Archive - 2016

1
Why This Mama Bird Ain’t Happy About Back-To-School
2
Our Back To School #CartersOshKosh Fashion Picks + Enter To Win a $500 Gift Card!
3
Why mindful? And what does that even mean anyway?
4
I Didn’t Expect To Feel Like This When She Turned Ten
5
Childish Things We Still Fear As Adults
6
Beach Babies Rejoice
7
Cooking With Kids With Special Needs
8
Parenting Exposed (literally)
9
Waiting Room Worries
10
Buffalo Cauliflower “Wings”

Why This Mama Bird Ain’t Happy About Back-To-School

A friend posted a question on Facebook asking, “Are you happy or sad about your kids going back to school?” The majority of responses were something like, “It’s been fun but I want my routine back!”  My sad face emoticon response was in the minority. I am not excited about my kids heading back to school in the least.  That might make me sound all, “Oooooh, I’m such a wonderful mother. I enjoy every single second with my perfect children, crafting and baking wholesome snacks, and exploring nature on our many hikes and adventures. Hashtag…. #blessed” As if. The last thing I hiked up was my skirt at the waterpark.  Me lamenting my kids return to school doesn’t make me some kind of earnest earth mother who savours each second with her spawn. Of course I savour some seconds, but not all of them. Some seconds/minutes/hours are loud and clingy and annoying and totally cut into my highly coveted “me time.”  Admittedly, I’ve had it easy. My husband is a teacher, off for the summer. I always have an extra set of hands. I’d be singing a vastly different tune if I was home alone with my kids for sixty-eight days straight. […]

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Our Back To School #CartersOshKosh Fashion Picks + Enter To Win a $500 Gift Card!

When my son was a baby the majority of his wardrobe was from Carter’s. OshKosh B’ gosh; he was a stylin’ little dude. He obviously didn’t care if his socks matched his overalls or if his onesies had cute sayings on them, but I did. He was my pride and joy and dressing him up in cuddly outfits made me swoon. Thirteen years later his socks no longer match his pants. In fact, they rarely match each other. This man-child doesn’t give a care about fashion and heaven forbid I should lay out a super cute outfit like one of these for him to wear… So thank goodness for my fashion-loving daughter. She loves dressing up. Hair accessories, purses and bracelets, dresses, cute t-shirts and pretty sparkly shoes…she adores all of it. A few weeks ago, before I even knew I’d be writing this post, we popped into the Carter’s | OshKosh store near our house. We needed tall socks for “Crazy Sock Day” at Avery’s bicycle camp and I knew I’d be able find what I needed. Neon star and polka dot socks in hand, we browsed for a bit. My son was with us and I felt a sudden[…]

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Why mindful? And what does that even mean anyway?

I like to hang onto things—to cling to past experiences and their corresponding feelings (good and bad) like some kind of memory hoarder.  At the same time, I enjoy time travel into the future. If only I had a functional crystal ball, then I wouldn’t need to spend so much time guessing and imagining what lies ahead. I like to know how things are going to play out so I create possible scenarios in my head. It’s a crap shoot. About 90% of my predictions are wrong. Or more often, by the time the future becomes the now, I’ve forgotten what outcome I was trying to orchestrate in the first place.  My husband started actively learning about mindfulness years ago, long before it became a trend. And man has it ever become a trendy. These days you can’t swing a yoga mat without hitting a meditating millennial or a #mindful hashtag.  Wherever You Go, There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn is the first book on the subject of mindfulness that my husband read. In fact, it’s the first book he’s read from cover to cover in our entire marriage! Clearly it captured his attention.  I’m reading it now. It’s no ‘Girl[…]

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I Didn’t Expect To Feel Like This When She Turned Ten

As her tenth birthday approached, I felt on edge. Normally the prospect of a celebration has me excited—party planning, baking buying a cake, and wrapping gifts are generally joyful. But instead of joy, I felt dread.  It wasn’t until after her party, when it was quiet and I was alone pouring over images of my daughter as a baby, a toddler, a school girl, right up until photos taken that morning of the amazing ten year old person she has become, that it all came out in a rush of emotions I didn’t expect.  I was choosing photos for a video to document our daughter’s first decade of life. You can watch it below if you feel inclined. I know, it’s kind of like me saying,”Hey, wanna watch slides of our vacation to the Grand Canyon?” And then forcing you to sit through two hours of photos of my family posing in front of various rock formations. Except, this video is only two minutes long and it’s worth watching if only for the song. God I love this song. Milestone birthdays—there’s obviously a lot of nostalgia that go along with watching your child grow up…and away. As babies, they clung to us. They[…]

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Childish Things We Still Fear As Adults

Kids naturally develop a little fear. Well, most kids. Not my second born—that kid isn’t scared of a thing, to a fault. She’s an enigma wrapped in a fearless cape. As adults, we can usually reason our way out of childish fears. I know there aren’t monsters under my bed. Monster dust bunnies maybe, but nothing deadly. And I know that if the phone rings when I’m home alone, and the caller whipers, “Have you checked the children??” it’s just my husband on his way home from work and his voice sounds creepy because he has a bubble in his throat. It’s all good. Not scary.  As an adult I’m more afraid of death and taxes. Shadowy monsters and the Boogeyman don’t warrant more than a raised eyebrow from me at this point. I have bigger fish to fry. Speaking of fish, we adults are way less afraid of sharks now than we were in our formative years. Thank you Mister Spielberg—you twisted creep. You wrecked the ocean for me for decades.  Some fears, no matter how juvenile or preposterous, follow us into adulthood. We can’t shake them no matter how hard we try to rationalize them away.  I’m not talking about sincerely[…]

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Beach Babies Rejoice

I grew up with sand between my toes—not a comment on my mother’s housekeeping, but a product of living a stone’s throw from White Rock beach. I spent every possible minute turning over rocks in search of sea critters, and digging my feet into the sand until it went from warm and dry to cool and wet.  All children should experience the joy of exploring tidal pools, building sandcastles, and running barefoot on the sand.  .  This is why I’m thrilled to share this video about “World Beach Rescue Day.” Not to mention that it combines two of my favourite things—the beach and wine. Barefoot Wines and the beach go together like Frankie and Annette (If you don’t understand that reference you might be a Millennial, in which case, you’ll have go Google it. Or like, Snapchat it). Since moving away from my beloved seashore to the land locked province of Ontario, I’ve come to appreciate the great Great Lakes. They are rather spectacular—shark free and unsalted even. I haven’t switched teams completely however. Ocean or lakes, or rivers for that matter, they all run through me. It’s more about the beach. Step barefoot onto sand, and stress involuntarily dissipates.  Beaches[…]

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Cooking With Kids With Special Needs

I took Home Ec in high school. Didn’t you? I learned to sew (a little… I made lopsided pillows and a hideously blinding canary yellow duffle bag). I also learned the basics of cooking. We baked tea biscuits, made lentil soup, learned how to cook rice, and even made a pie from scratch. We put together a bunch of other dishes I can no longer remember, but the principles stuck. The other night my son asked how I knew how to make a roux (the base for the sauce in our mac and cheese) and I told him, “My grade nine Home Ec teacher taught me.” He was shocked I could remember that far back and also that he had never heard of this “Home Economics” thing. I told him it was easy to remember since my teacher was hard to forget. She cut her thumb during one lesson and nearly fainted before she was rushed to hospital. Another time she set one of the ovens on fire and we had to be evacuated. I found her antics hilarious and as a result, I got sent to the office more than once. Not cool I know. Even less cool since[…]

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Parenting Exposed (literally)

Parenting makes us vulnerable. We expose parts of ourselves we never imagined we would – emotionally and in some cases, physically. Something happened several years ago that I’ve only shared with a select few. I feel like now is a good time to dust off the details and share it out loud because I can laugh about it now.  Back in the summer of 2011 when my daughter was a spunky five-year-old, we were invited to attend a big outdoor children’s event. I didn’t want to go. It was difficult taking my daughter out back then. She’s a precocious kiddo whose physical and cognitive delays make it tough to rein her in sometimes. But my son who was obsessed with lizards at the time was desperate to see the reptile show at the party. His needs frequently come second to his sister’s—which is often the case of siblings of kids with special needs. He was so looking forward to holding a Bearded Dragon, how could I deny him that (creepy) pleasure?  We were at the event less than five minutes when Avery stuck a sponge covered in green paint in her mouth, picked up a pile of goose poop in her[…]

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Waiting Room Worries

My husband and I have sat in many waiting rooms over the past few years, anxiously awaiting news. It’s scary, and nerve wracking, and lonely—your basic trifecta of darkness.  But thankfully and luckily and gratefully (your basic trifecta of good fortune) our children’s surgeries have gone well. Yes, I said children.  I rarely write about our developmentally typical boy child. He’s a full-on teen now and his stories are his stories to tell. But recently he had to have surgery. He’s the kid we don’t have to worry about or fill out complicated medical waivers for. I actually said something to that effect not long ago so apparently I jinxed it. Anyway, it was fine. He is fine. I asked him if I can share a bit about it at some point because we learned some things from this experience that I know other parents can benefit from. He said, “Sure,” with a shrug. So I’ll get to it one of these days.  But back to the undisputed star of this blog—our developmentally atypical girl child. She has several surgeries under her belt—none as serious as some of the ones friends’ children have gone through. But, there have been risks and[…]

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Buffalo Cauliflower “Wings”

Ask any former meat eater and they’ll likely have an achilles heel—the one dish that makes them involuntarily salivate whenever they smell it. For me, it’s spicy chicken wings. It’s not the chicken, but the sauce that gets me. As a vegan-ish person I was thrilled to discover these Buffalo Cauliflower “Wings” at a local pub. I ate a few. Okay, I ate enough to actually hurt myself.  I made them at home to serve at a party recently and they were gone in seconds. Even my carnivore friends loved them. I’m definitely making these again. But I’ll pace myself this time. 

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