Come Away With Me Contest Entry!!

“This blog post is a contest entry for Harlequin’s Come Away with Me Bucket List Contest located at http://bit.ly/1fhFAhz

I was on facebook when I noticed a friend shared a link. A contest link!! I’m all about the contest entry. A wonderful woman I follow on twitter, Karma Brown, wrote a book. About experiencing life at its worst and trying to move on by experiencing the adventures life has to offer. The contest – win something off of your bucket list. And then I had a ‘hmmmmm’ moment. While I have thought about things I want to accomplish in life, I never ever have written a bucket list. Maybe there is some truth to the Karma’s hashtag #‎WriteItDownMakeItReal‬.

So I present – my top 10 bucket list. It was a lot harder than I thought putting together the top things I want to accomplish.

1. Go to Hollywood and pretend I’m famous – result of childhood dream never coming to fruition. I blame NKOTB for this one. I was supposed to go on tour with them and be the kid sister of the group. (Girlfriends come and go but family stays forever!) They obviously never got the memo.
2. Sleep in an underwater hotel – I’m a water baby, the sense of tranquility, the environment of helping me think anything in life is possible – priceless.
3. Pay for the kids teeth in one shot – bucket lists have weird items once kids come along
4. Pay off student loan before I’m dead – previously in my head this was within 5 years of completing school. Once kids come along I think bucket lists are more fluid as well.
5. SWIM WITH DOLPHINS!!! Will they think I’m fluffy? Will they think I’m pregnant? These are science based questions I want to know!!
6. Get a picture published – that they paid me for. In my head this is followed by someone paying me to travel the globe with the kid (dd13) and sidekick (husband), creating photo essays. Pictures to share with everyone on how I see the world……but no snow pictures. I can’t do that anymore. My bones are getting too old for this Canadian ‘cold’ crap every winter. I need heat.
7. A class at Second City – whole pretend I’m famous theme again……….
8. Vacation on the pink shores of the Bahamas – water baby theme here and PINK SAND!!!
9. Have time to write, have someone believe, get published
10. England, Ireland, Scotland – kiss the blarney stone and have hope that things I speak of, things I want to experience and explore, that someone out there will listen and help me on my way. Okay – maybe just touch the stone …. Acrophobia .. but I am going to try to kiss 🙂 And seeing castles, history, and attractions!!

PS. I’m the first one on the library hold list to get her book when the order finally goes through!! It sounds like a good read!!
PPS. Including my PPS, I did this whole post in 2786 characters. I rock.

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Menu’d challenged

We’re coming up to a year of living in Saskatchewan.  I’m not gonna lie – it’s been a tough year.  Depression, coldness, bullying (my heart still breaks over what the kid went through), family back home, friendships missed, etc…  We all, especially this winter of coldness, really liked our food.  And as I’m not the biggest fan (read I hate) of the cold and snow, we really didn’t go out and exercise the way we should have. I’m not going to write we should have done this or should have done that.  Or I should have done that or I should have done this for the family.   I do wonder about food addiction – it would explain a lot.  Life sometimes sucks the big one though.  We all make decisions that aren’t the best.  It is what it is.   What matters is what we do next.  ….  ….. ….. or what we at least try to do 🙂

I came up with the idea of a menu plan.  (I absolutely love the fact I’m taking credit of an idea that dieticians, doctors, and the medical field has been spouting for decades). One week at a time menu plan.  Honestly, if we did one for a month, we all would have run screaming in terror from the table from the effort we would have had to put in for it.

The three of us sat in front of the white board and started to discuss ideas. The kid might only be 12, but it’s important her opinion about what we put into our bodies counted. (Note: the sidekick and I had veto rights if candy was a daily serving suggestion).  I figure it’ll help her with food decisions in the future if she see’s how all of us try to make better decisions.

And holy batman was this hard to do.  Even though there are only three of us, the different personalities and different food likes became very apparent.  We also realized we aren’t very creative in the kitchen.  We apparently like our staples.  This hopefully will get us out of that rut and try new things. … … maybe … the kid is quite stubborn – a trait I blame on the sidekick.

We may not be nutritionists, but the sidekick and I took what we have learned the past mumble mumble years and tried for this first week to bring veggies to the front of our plates and carbs left behind on the shelf.  Little steps…. little steps… My taste buds are already missing the chips I vetoed from the sidekick 😦

Our white board looks like this.

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Notice what the kid wrote under june 27th? 🙂

I think we’re menu challenged.  Is it suppose to look so scary?

I am all for this new change in our lives.  The sidekick has mixed feelings.  The kid – well I think she’s wondering how to write candy in my handwriting on the board.

I want to hear from other food/menu/challenged people.  You have the info, but you well .. lack the discipline 🙂   How do you do it?  How do you make your meals?  Do you have a food addiction?  Are you doing it on your own?  Honest truth please!!  I went to a nutritionist a couple months ago and she gave me a great relearn about what I already knew so that helped.  What has helped you?

Toddler Fight Club – Where have we gone?

I know I’m late with this post. Contemplation the last few days.  l have been thinking and pondering about alot. Thinking about where we are. Thinking about people around us.  Thinking about stories we’ve heard from others around the country. Thinking about how people interact with each other.

Thinking…….

I read the paper and it seems that my pondering has gone into full smoke out of my ears pondering lately.  It hasn’t been the best couple of weeks for the younger generation.  I’ve read about 12 year olds trying to murder each other.  But I can’t write about that as I have a 12 year old who has bullying in her sphere. It just …Why? …. So young… I can’t even comprehend …

I came across another article that had my jaw dropping.  Allegedly a daycare in the United States had a toddler fight club happening.  Adults were having the toddlers fight each other.  Adults….not children … adults….and not even children but babies.  Again, I can’t even comprehend.  Video hasn’t been released, but in it you apparently here a child cry saying another kid pinched me.  An adult voice says no pinching, only punching.

I know that ….stupidity isn’t even the word for it… goes on all the time in this world.  We don’t hear the worst of it.  I truly thank God for that.  Though I am sorry for the police, firemen, and professionals who see it up close on a daily basis.  I can’t even fathom …..

Children and the elderly …. they’re our vulnerable population.  Yet we pay those who work with them very little.  (Excluding teachers here from this post.  They are awesome and going to put the kid through university with all the knowledge they are cramming in her head.  This will allow the kid to take care of me when I’m old.. JOKE JOKE JOKE NO HATE).

I know there are bad seeds in every profession.  I know that there are awesome people in the profession.  I know that it costs a mortgage payment to put a kid in daycare.  I know it cost 3 mortgage payments to have your elderly mother or father in an awesome long term care facility.  I know the paperwork, and the numbers to pay workers more ..budgets…. allocations…. I know… I know… I know…

My head space went into overdrive as I thought about this all.  When I worked in Ontario I loved working with seniors in the community and in the day program.  Here is Saskatchewan I’m working with kids/teens.  I know that if your mother needed recreational/community care, you’d probably really want me on your team.  I’m really good.  I enjoy the companionship of those I serve.

But I’m a main bread winner.  I need to take care of my family.  I got accepted into university to finish my degree (Right now I have a college diploma).  If finances work out I will be attending classes in September.  I don’t think when I finish I will be working in the same capacity at all.

Which is a shame because the community will lose a valuable person.  There are so many of us that are moving on because the economy, life situations, … it’s hard.  A lot of valuable people walking away from taking care of your loved ones.  It’s hard for a lot of people on both sides of the fence.

Broke my heart.

I don’t know….. a post that may or may not make sense.  Things I heard about just from family and friends – and then news … Ideas here … Ideas there….

I’m curious – what do you think about this news item.  Tell me.  How would you change it for the better?

 

Bullying – what parents should know

Disclaimer: I am not an expert. I am a parent whose child has been bullied. These are tips I have come up with to help other parents with the same issue.

If you follow the kids blog, you might have seen her latest post. For the past little while she has been bullied. It has been verbal and social bullying. Which is a lot harder to prove. Some people think it’s not a big deal. They haven’t been ‘hit’ or they are to sensitive. It is a big deal. We have had many meetings with the school. Which is interesting as bullying is in the forefront everywhere. You would assume this wouldn’t be such an issue.

This experience has shown me how much I want to advocate for parents who don’t know which way to go when their child comes home saying they are bullied. I wanted to showcase a few points one needs to know on this
horrible journey.

1. Documentation: Document everything. Document phone calls, meetings, outcomes, and what people have said. Remember however, documentation is about facts. It is not about feelings. This documentation will also help you remember times and scenarios of what has happened.

2. Policy: I took for granted when we moved here that a zero bully policy was adhered to as it was at the kids school back in Ontario. The past few days I have read up on the school’s policy. It is not the same as what I took for granted. If you are moving to a new school, or even the school you are in, be aware of what the policies are. If you don’t agree, there maybe trouble down the way.

Be aware as well, because of their policies and procedures they may acting within the parameters of what they are necessitated in doing. You may not agree with it, but they have covered themselves.

3. Be calm: While reading their policies, I came across an irate parent policy. When dealing with school administration, always be sure to be calm, cool and collected. Even if you want to go in swinging because you are not being listened to or consequences of negative behaviour are not dealt with the way they should be, be calm. If you are upset, this can and probably will be used against you.

4. Be educated: Social media is both a great and horrid invention. Sadly, people use their screens as shields for saying negative, hurtful and sometimes threatening things. We went to the RCMP to inquire about cyber-bullying. A lovely RCMP officer sat down with us and educated us on what is criminal behaviour, cyber-bullying and bullying. All information is good. Educate your children as well. Everything they post, even if deleted can be retrieved.

5. Save everything: Save your documentation. Save as well any social messages that have been used as cyberbullying. Instagram, facebook, KIK, twitter, etc… These if need be can be used to help you in the future with your case.

6. It’s not fair. It sucks. Bullying should be dealt with immediately. “We do not accept unacceptable behaviour. Period. The End”. Sometimes it’s not. You shouldn’t have to fight for your child’s safety, and their right to be educated in a safe environment. Yet I can tell you there are many many parents out there who are. This journey has had me talk to many people in my town. The stories they told me made me want to cry.

7. If we are silent, nothing will change.

I’m not going to put a whole bunch of links down. Google bullying. Google bully Canada or whatever country you live in. The resources are abundant. The education is there. Arm yourself with it.

Lastly, tell your child they are awesome. Sitting in the school office I looked over at the kid. “You’re awesome. Never forget that”, I said. “I know,” she smiled.

The cashier turned around

The kid got home from school on Thursday a  couple minutes late out of breath.  Her bus stop is at the corner so I was a little befuddled.

“Sorry I’m late,” she said.

“No worries. You’re home.  How come?” I asked.

“The bus driver for some reason missed our stop and we got off 2 blocks over by the church.” she answered as she took off her coat.  “I made a mistake though.  I wasn’t paying attention and turned to walk down the other street and I realized it was the wrong street.  But B was there and I didn’t want to look weird that I didn’t know where I was going so I walked with him.”  She began to walk up the stairs, “He showed me his house.  So I whispered ‘I can stalk you now’ which took care of my walking mistake and I turned around and came home.”

I was silent for a few moments.  It was a lot to process.  “So, um.. what’d he do?”

The kid began emptying out her lunch bag.  “Just looked at me….he kinda smiled.”

“Uh huh.”

I have to admit, I do admire her creativity in making a  mistake fun.

20 minutes later found us at the grocery store picking up odds and ends for the weekend.  Waiting in line, the kid was punching letters on her phone with a concentration that was awe inspiring.  “What are you doing?”  I asked.

“Nothing!” she replied as she quickly put her phone in her pocket – eyes wide and smile a mile big.

“Hand it over,” I said.

“Huh?”

“I get complete access to your phone whenever I want.  When you hide your phone I worry,” my hand was out.

“It isn’t a big deal,” she insisted.

My hand was out as I eyed her with my ‘mom’ eyes.

“It’s in the notes,” she informed me.

I scrolled and laughed.  Out loud.  The cashier turned around to look at me.  The kid smiled.

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Disclaimer: I’ve always written the kid has a good sense of humour.  This was the kid being funny.  She is not going to stalk the kid.  The kid and her are actually good friends.  She was being a funny 12 year old kid.  If you thought otherwise, please learn to laugh.  And enjoy the stories I write 🙂

Just when I think humanity will persevere….

Yesterday I wrote about the best contest EVER!!  Chestermere Lifepath Wellness Centre in Alberta was having a contest to gift someone for Christmas with a new smile.  Up to $10 000.  Braces!!  Veneers!! Implants!!  I would rather win this contest for the imp then winning a trip to Disney!!

Today Chestermere Lifepath wrote on their facebook wall,

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You know what? WTH people who ruined this?? You took away someones maybe only chance for a LIFE CHANGING prize.  This contest could have helped someone who doesn’t have the means to afford a brilliant smile.  A boy who doesn’t smile at school, a lady who hasn’t smiled in years.  I agree Chestermere, I am shocked of how a simple gift of a new smile can create such behaviour from people.

I know how as a parent it hurts your soul not to be able to afford something needed desperately for your kid and this saddens me to no end. Just when I think humanity will persevere…….  I was so looking forward to seeing who won and how happy they would be.  Mind boggling…

 

Doggies and kitties

This week saw our adventures take us to the local humane society. We decided to volunteer as a family.

Except for the fact there is snow in these pictures, we had a fantastic time giving back. Check out the imps take on her blog Press With Jess.

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The imp learned alot about animals that have been abandoned or hurt. I almost came back with the cutest kitten.

I have no clue if doing things like this will help the imp become a productive member of society. Fingers crossed in 10 years you find her a successful individual in whatever she chooses.

Marriage Isn’t For You

Love this post. Just wanted to share it with you all.

Seth Adam Smith

Having been married only a year and a half, I’ve recently come to the conclusion that marriage isn’t for me.

Now before you start making assumptions, keep reading.

I met my wife in high school when we were 15 years old. We were friends for ten years until…until we decided no longer wanted to be just friends. 🙂 I strongly recommend that best friends fall in love. Good times will be had by all.

Nevertheless, falling in love with my best friend did not prevent me from having certain fears and anxieties about getting married. The nearer Kim and I approached the decision to marry, the more I was filled with a paralyzing fear. Was I ready? Was I making the right choice? Was Kim the right person to marry? Would she make me happy?

Then, one fateful night, I shared these thoughts and concerns with my dad.

Perhaps each…

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My two cents for what it’s worth .. or not worth :)

I was scrolling through my twitter feed this morning, when a tweet caught my eye.  @yummymummyclub wrote As this post from goes crazy viral (70k+ shares in 2 days), comments get nastier. Why?

Of course I clicked on the link.  Human curiosity was simply bursting with inquisitiveness.  This is a flaw that at one point will bring down the human race I think.

Christella wrote how she hopes to start a new tradition of her children receiving experiences and shared time with loved ones instead of material goods.  I smiled, because that’s what I try to do with the imp.  One birthday the imp got Mississauga Theater tickets for a Max and Ruby show.  We had so much fun there.

I read more of the article.  I pondered it.

I rushed off to work and contemplated what I had read through out the day.

I got home and read the comments.

I then read the article to the sidekick to get his take.

We both kinda were on the same fence.

I by no means at all condone the negative comments.  At all.  While berating Christella for her words, some of the comments offered no apology for the way they offered their words.  There was one comment that I actually clicked like to however.  A commenter named Veronica wrote the delivery could of been kinder – I agree.

Again, I offer no apologies for what was written.  It shouldn’t have been.  (At the same time, what I saw on twitter made me a little sad too).  However I hope that I can maybe put forth into light why the comments were written.  I won’t touch on the money aspect cuz that’s a whole different other post.

MusingsFrom_TO tweeted these two particular words concerning this – people’s insecurities.  Life for most of us, is fast and draining.  We moved to Saskatchewan because we couldn’t afford it anymore in Ontario.  My job, I never saw the imp because of the hours I worked.  Now, while we can afford a couple more things, I find myself contemplating applying for a job that would give us financial stability … at the knowledge that the hours will again leave me little time to spend with the imp.

When I actually told the imp, she was saddened and begged me not to because she didn’t like it before.  It sucks what life throws at us sometimes.

For me, the article played against my insecurities as a mom.  I can barely spend time with my own child because I need to work in order to afford things like food.  The guilt of not being able to spend time with my nephews and nieces like the article wrote about hurt.  Some of us are not lucky in what we have and are able to offer as others able to.

At the same time, I have to realize though – and this is what some of the commenters forgot I think – the bloggers we read on the internet, most of them probably don’t have a degree or doctorate in social work, human interest or psychology.  They don’t write with a person in environment perspective.  The don’t write with the knowledge of social functioning, or anti oppression theory.  (Interesting book).

Most are just moms who have stories and thoughts to tell and are lucky enough to tell them in this platform.  They hope that their stories may aid or give us humour as we walk along. That is all.  You take what you want from it.

I hope one day I too can offer my perspective in life through my blog and have someone appreciate it.  Just like the professional bloggers.

Heelying On By

This week has lead me to be very thoughtful about all that is happening in our lives. I’m not ready to put the musings in my head on computer screen yet. I will soon – but I need a couple more days to fully untangle all the wool gathering.

Instead I bring you the imps blog post for this week. She was a bit sad and needed to find away to make things better. She asked me to film telling me what to do. I laugh my butt off with her. She’s an amazing kid.

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This week I was really mad.  On facebook I follow Skyzone in Mississauga.  I have been there two or three times.  It is EPIC.  I saw on facebook that they were making it even better.  They added basketball hoops so people can dunk like their favourite NBA stars if you had one.  I really wanted to go but I remembered … I was here not there.

They also made Ontario better by finishing Ripley’s Aquarium in Toronto.  It’s at the base of the CN Tower, which is my favourite place to go when I lived there.  I have read 3 of the Ripley’s books and they are fun!!

I wanna go back and live there again.

But I’m here.  I know I can’t go back so I found another way to keep myself occupied.

This Friday, my Mom, Dad and I went to Walmart . I had my Heelys on. Heelys…

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