Camp Week

This past week the kids have been in camp, I have been cleaning and walking, and shopping, and de-stressing. It’s been a really great week, and I’ve had some time to consider what I want to do moving forward. I’m a pretty contemplative person, I like to feel like I’m not wasting my time, that the things I spend my time on are worthwhile and important. I want to have a hand in making the world a better place, and while I’m not going to go and become a doctor or something like that, I still believe that I can have a part in making my small world a better place.

I was cleaning the basement area when I decided. Out with CHARA, with no guilt. I have been a part of the residents association for a year, and while I like knowing what’s going on in the community, I don’t really feel like it’s a valuable use of my time. It’s too far removed, I like being a part of Girl Guides because the benefits can be seen right away! I see the girls every week, and get to see them learn and grow, and I think that that is where I want to focus my efforts. Of course, I’ll still be a part of the parent council at Nay’s school, I’m not certain about Cake’s school though, it’s a bit far away. In only four weeks, I’ll be done my role as soccer coach, as after this Nay will have aged out of the parent lead program. So, next year, Girl Guides and parent council, that’s it. As soon as I receive the remainder of my reimbursement from the summer party, I’m going to send in my letter of departure from the board. I’ve already got all the stuff packed up in the basement, so it’ll be nice to get that space back.

Enchanted Forest

Enchanted Forest

I can’t believe I didn’t get any pictures of this, but last weekend, we went out on the kayak’s and pulled out the fishing rods for an afternoon with Nana and Grandad. Shawn was at home installing our new retractable awning above our new patio door, so we got out of the way and went to spend some time outdoors. Both Cake and Nay caught some fish, Cake caught a big sunfish, and Nay caught a teeny perch. While Nay was kayaking, he kept rounding on Cake, Grandad, and I asking if we had caught him a pet fish yet. I told him that if he kissed the fish on the mouth we could keep it. He declined, wonder why? Ha! The kids enjoyed the kayaking, though I think they were letting Nana do 90% of the work. We’ve crossed fishing with Grandad off our list, but I’d still like to go again, and have asked if we could visit McCaffrey’s cottage for a day later on in the summer. Hopefully that pans out, as it is a great experience for the kids (and me!)

I’m glad for the week of camp, but I’m ready to go on more adventures with the kids again. Today is their last day, and then on Sunday, Anna arrives for our week of Anna Adventures! I’m thoroughly looking forward to seeing her again, she is now FOR SURE a full blown teenager so we’ll see how that changes the dynamic from previous years! Depending on the weather, we’ve got a few fun days planned for her, so I’m hopeful for warm and sunny but not blistering hot. Fingers crossed!

Happy Friday!

Jenn

Wavy Hair, Swim Googles, Sun Warmed Lunches

***I just realized that I originally published this post as a NEW PAGE, oops!! That’s the problem with the new wordpress platform, grrr, anyway, this should have been published on July 10, 2015.***

Since Cake first started school, the first week of summer has typically been about and preparing for Canada Day. That’s why, for me, the week after that is usually the first week of real summer for me. We sleep in(ish), we eat not at predetermined times, but when we’re hungry to eat, some days we wear bathing suits and pj’s for longer than we wear any actual clothes, it’s awesome! This week was all about what I wanted summer to be about: pool, lunches outside, fun outings, friends. Of course, we’re still playing soccer and playing piano too, but those are mere afterthoughts.

On Monday, we had to visit Nay’s school to water some newly planted trees. We’ll be watering the trees a few more times throughout the summer, hopefully they’ll live long enough to grow and provide some shade for Nay before he leaves that school in grade 8!

After watering the trees, we hit the splash pad which was the first thing to be crossed off our summer list! We went to the Central Park splash pad, I’d never been there before but it’s relatively close to our house. Not enough to walk, but not a long drive for sure. The kids, as usual, were a bit intimidated at a new place, but once they surveyed the possibilities for fun they ran in. We stayed there for quite some time until I felt like the sunscreen on my back was no longer a sufficient barrier against the super high UV that day. I was right too, I have now a small triangle on my back where I couldn’t reach with sunscreen. Every day since then I’ve remembered to ask Cake to get my back so I don’t forget!! We’re almost just about done reading The Magician’s Nephew, which the kids are totally into. Cake even wanted to read aloud a chapter on Monday night, she is getting much better at reading aloud and remembering to use the pitch in her voice and pauses for exaggeration.

First of many visits to splash parks this summer!

First of many visits to splash parks this summer!

Ring of water!

Ring of water!

Breaking for lunch at the Splash Park!

Breaking for lunch at the Splash Park!

Cake reading a chapter from The Magician's Nephew

Cake reading a chapter from The Magician’s Nephew

Tuesday was all about swimming, and library, and building. We were out to get groceries and decided to stop and have lunch at a restaurant! So fun, to go out with our books and order eggs and read over lunch. I swear we had almost an entirely silent lunch, but it was perfect.

Pool jumping!

Pool jumping!

Swimming with doliphins

Swimming with doliphins

Making of a materpiece.

Making of a materpiece.

Lunch time reading may become standard form around here.

Lunch time reading may become standard form around here.

Building with our structures plank set.

Building with our structures plank set.

Wednesday was Shawn’s birthday, so we had a bit of prep work to do that day. We picked a few cups of red currants to bake Shawn’s traditional birthday pie, a red currant pie with a lemon crust and a merengue top. I’ve posted the recipe about 5 times so I won’t again, but it’s totally the best pie ever. We gave Shawn a whole bunch of fancy shampoo and bath stuff for his birthday, which originally was going to be his father’s day gift but he suspected that I had bought him an apple watch for his birthday and was dropping some not so subtle hints that he really, really, really wanted the watch early. So, that’s what he got! We went out and got him some yummy thai and chinese food for lunch and made sure to deliver him coffee through out his work day. Our evening was kabobs and corn on the bbq and swimming until the mosquitoes drove us inside. Day three of awesomeness! And a few more items crossed off out summer list: library, bake Daddy a red currant pie.

Daddy and Cake...and pie.

Daddy and Cake…and pie.

Happy 36th Birthday!

Happy 36th Birthday!

YUM!

YUM!

Thursday, we had Cake’s friend, Sammy with us for the day. We had to water the trees at school again, so she met up with us there. Originally the plan was to go back to the splash pad, but it was a bit too cloudy and cool for that so we opted for mini golf instead! Now…I am a rule follower when it comes to this kind of thing. You hold the putter correctly, you aim, you attempt to get your ball in the hole. I was golfing with three kids who did not care much to follow the rules about about the 8th (out of 26) hole. They started bowling the balls down the green, Nay was pretty much playing hockey with his ball, a few times they tried to hit their balls quite hard, until Cake hit hers into a stream and then that put an end to that idea. I was fighting it at first but realized I was loosing the battle and decided to put up with the stares of the elderly ladies who were playing ahead of us instead. I told Shawn when we got home that I needed to go mini golfing without the kids to make up for it. Had it just been my two, I would have been much stricter but since we had a plus one, I had to loosen the reigns…at least somewhat! We finished the afternoon off with swimming in the backyard, where they stayed so long I had to bribe them out of the pool with peanut butter cookies. It worked, and the kids had enough of a chill out time for me to make some dinner and get reset for soccer that night.

Mini golf fun.

Mini golf fun.

My soccer team seems okay this session. I have one girl who is constantly asking if the other team is cheating, which is…weird. Every time they huddle she runs up to ask me if they’re talking about how to best cheat. What do you say to that?!? Uhhh NO! I have gotten a lot of weird questions from kids over the years, but this is by far the weirdest one and she obviously didn’t believe me because she brought it up more than once! I’m going to have to figure out ways to quell this by next week, since I’m sure I’ll hear about it again.

Today, Sammy came back to spend the day with us. Both Cake and Nay are delighted about this, Nay always adores Cake’s friends and is much happier for her to have a friend over than to invite someone himself. This morning we packed a picnic lunch, and drove out to the aviation and space museum. In my mind, I always feel like that museum is so. far. away. But it’s not, it’s like 20 minutes or something ridiculous. Anyway, that museum is not a favourite for sure, but we hadn’t been there since the kids were quite small. The aviation part was just okay, they had a scavenger hunt type thing, which *could* have been quite good, if they were to do it slightly different. The kids were given a passport and were to find planes based on clues in the passport. The only thing is that we had to follow a staff member around and then he gave the kids a stamp. I thought it would have been better if there was a mailbox with a stamper in it, and the kids could do the hunt individually.

The space section of the museum was a bit more up to date, and had lots on Chris Hadfield, whom the kids all recognized. We surprisingly spent over two hours there, and then went outside for lunch and to play at the park. The kids are now home, and playing in the pool, Nay wants to play a board game, Castle Panic, and then Clue so we’ll see if I can pull them out in enough time to do that before Sammy goes home.

I love summer, seriously, I never, ever want the kids to go back to school. Ever.

Checking out their reflections.

Checking out their reflections.

Aviation museum is probably not that much fun if you can't read.

Aviation museum is probably not that much fun if you can’t read.

Outer space.

Outer space.

Watching the space video all together. When the Northern Lights they all ooooo'd and ahhhhh'd.

Watching the space video all together. When the Northern Lights they all ooooo’d and ahhhhh’d.

Heeeeeeere's Nay!

Heeeeeeere’s Nay!

Not so impressed with this feature of the museum.

Not so impressed with this feature of the museum.

That’s our first week, next week the kids are in camp, something I totally regret signing them up for. I know that they’ll have fun with their friends, and I’ll get time to get the house tidyed up and maybe put away all my sparks stuff, but I’ll miss them big time…and also I have to drop them off before 9am, that part sucks.

Best summer ever!
Jenn

Lazy Days are Here Again

Today, I had two glasses of iced coffee. I barbecued our lunch and will do the same for dinner. I sent the kids to get their own drinks, I hung laundry in the sun, read on my phone for hours, played numerous losing hands of Pokemon, and did not worry or stress about anything. It’s hard, after all, to make your summer list when you’re stressing about super unimportant to-do list items that are not at all fun.

Being at home during the summer with my kids gives me such immense pleasure, I cannot begin to describe it actually. I love them, and being around them, and want to cherish it while I can, before they’re 12 and 13 and want nothing more than to get away from me! Every summer I make my summer list, and even though blogging has been difficult for me this past year this is one thing that I want to keep going, though I may have the two amazing glasses of iced coffee to thank for the energy I used to do this all!

IMG_3143Here is it, we made the list yesterday, and then this morning we all did a few paintings. I don’t paint with the kids often these days, because well, one time, but two whenever I do, they comment on how my paintings always look better than theirs. Practice is always what I tell them, but their lack of self confidence is very familiar to me so it’s something we need to get over here. I don’t want them giving up on art just because someone else is better than them, the way that I did because my brother was a better artist than I was.

This year, I also loosened the reigns a little bit, and let Nathan write some of the words. I usually don’t let them help with ‘my’ list because well…you know why, don’t make me say it!! Nathan has been working quite hard on his handwriting skills so I let him help.

IMG_3145He wrote two items, ‘Go to the park’ and ‘Library’ his first ‘a’ was backwards and their were random capitalized letters but he’s slowly getting better, so I’m happy.

I’m a big fan of filling the page when I make art with the kids, and I try to encourage them to do the same, though I have a thing for lines to my pages usually involve some sort of linear work. Overall though, it’s a very ‘me’ painting and I love it. After the summer is over and it’s filled with check marks I’ll put it away with the rest of my lists until I’m old and my kids have moved out and I need a good cry.

On to the LIST!

MacKenzie King Estate
We haven’t been here since Cake was a baby!

Upper Canada Village

Greek Exhibit @ History Museum
Cake has been itching to go here for almost a year, we were going to see it in Montreal but decided to wait.

Saunders Farm

Splash Pads

Thimble Cafe for lunch
A dairy free cafe? Yes please!!

Kids Kingdom
Certainly not our usual type of place, but I thought it might be worth a try.

Melting Ice with Salt Experiment
L
ook on this website for more activities for kids, I’ve loved her site for years!

Parc Omega
I’ve never been here, apparently good, just don’t go on a super hot day.

Go Fishing with Grandad

Play mini golf

Lights Show on Parliament Hill

Go Camping in the Backyard

Read lots of books TOGETHER!
We just finished The Secret World of Og, and have now started The Magician’s Nephew

Have a breakfast picnic

Do science experiments

Vanderlaand Farm

Billings Estate Museum

Pinhey’s Point

Go to the Drive In Movie theatre

Go to the beach

Go to Toronto

Go Bowling

Colonel By Days

Make sand art

Festival of India (August 8)

Museum of Aviation and Space
Did we all see that a Star Trek exhibit is coming in 2016!!

Children’s Museum

War Museum

Shakespeare in the Park, July 23rd, 7pm

Eco-Odyssee

Visit from Anna

Go to the Park

Library

Make Art

Sleepovers

McCaffrey’s Cottage

Make red currant cake for Daddy

Paint trees with chalk

Invite friends for an outdoor movie night

Read outside

IMG_3144

I always leave a few open spots at the bottom for instances of ‘ooooh that sounds fun, let’s add it to our summer list!’ so this year I’ve got a few spots to fill up with fun!

Do you think we can do it all? If other years have taught me anything, the answer is NO! but, it’s fun trying!

Happy summer days are here!
Jenn

Nature Museum Photos

This week we skipped school on a Tuesday and went to the Nature museum downtown with our friends Sebastian and Elaina. The kids love it there and can spend hours uninterrupted playing and exploring. We’ve probably been there a dozen times in the past few years, and I had to promise we’d go again soon when we were leaving the building. That says a lot about a museum, I think!

Caitlyn and two year old Elaina discussing the scientific benefits of slicing a giraffe into paper thin sections.

Caitlyn and two year old Elaina discussing the scientific benefits of slicing a giraffe into paper thin sections.

Lifting flaps never gets old.

Lifting flaps never gets old.

Nathan and Elaina designing their own superior skeletal robot of the future.

Nathan and Elaina designing their own superior skeletal robot of the future.

Smiling with the future world dominating robot he designed.

Smiling with the future world dominating robot he designed.

Cake and her skeleton design.

Cake and her skeleton design.

Yes, this is a sliced up horse; haven't you ever seen a slice of horse before?

Yes, this is a sliced up horse; haven’t you ever seen a slice of horse before?

Mommy: That was horrifying let's never go there again.

Mommy: That was horrifying let’s never go there again.

What's in this thing...

What’s in this thing…

Wild Bird Care Sanctuary, favourite spot in the museum.

Wild Bird Care Sanctuary, favourite spot in the museum.

Dinosaurs.

Dinosaurs.

IMG_1987

Elaina is having a very important call, don't bother her.

Elaina is having a very important call, don’t bother her.

Don't eat me!

Don’t eat me!

High Five!

High Five!

Manning the submarine with Sebastian.

Manning the submarine with Sebastian.

They stayed there for awhile.

They stayed there for awhile.

Crushing rocks.

Crushing rocks.

Switching rocks, in colour!

Switching rocks, in colour!

Taking turns.

Taking turns.

Creating earth quakes.

Creating earth quakes.

Seal Hole.

Seal Hole.

RAAAAAWWR!

RAAAAAWWR!

Nay and Sebastian learning about how different dinosaurs chew.

Nay and Sebastian learning about how different dinosaurs chew.

Fun times, as always.

Jenn

Cake Learns a Lesson

A few weeks ago, Cake’s teacher at her new gifted school assigned the kids a memory project. They had to memorize a story and then recite it in class. Cake chose Little Red Riding Hood. Every time a reminder was sent home, I asked Cake about her story. Was it memorized: yes, was she happy with it: yes, did she want to practice in front of me: no. In March, when she moved schools I told myself that my days of harping over her school work was done. She had a capable and trustworthy teacher who is specially trained to deal with her. I wouldn’t need to scrutinize every thing she did during the school day because now she finally had someone who was proven, and was willing to teach her. I never once considered that Cake didn’t understand that now she could learn, now she actually had to try.

So then on Monday night it all kind of came crashing down.

At bedtime, the night before her story was due, she came into my bedroom and announced that she had chosen a new story. Uh, what? About five milliseconds later she started to cry, a lot, cry really sad tears. I pulled her into bed and tried to coax out of her what was the matter. She resisted, a lot, and eventually tried to get away from me because I was asking her questions trying to figure out what was wrong with her. I followed her to her bedroom, and we talked, or I talked and she cried. Eventually she opened up that everyone else in her class had chosen harder stories than her and she was embarrassed to recite Little Red Riding Hood in front of her peers in the morning. She said she wanted to recite a new story, but, it was not yet memorized. I did my best to calm her, I rubbed her feet and back, I tried to calm her and tell her that she would do fine. I got her to agree to go to sleep by around 9pm, however she was exhausted and I did it by promising her we’d figure out what to do in the morning.

Morning came, and her demeanour was no better. She was going to recite the new book, no matter what, but she knew she would fail because it wasn’t memorized. SO, I’m not sure if I’m a sucker, or what. I told her that I would give her a pass for the morning. She could stay home until 11am and then I would give her lunch and take her to school. Over the next 4 hours she worked on the memorization in her room and I called her down every once in awhile to hear her recite. By 11am though, she had not yet memorized her new book, I’m So Embarrassed by Robert Munsch.  Not only that, but she had lost her confidence and the tears had come back. Initially I was angry, had I not asked her several times over about this project? Had we not discussed the story choice and her feelings with it? Ugh. I was mad, I slapped my hand down on the table to startle her out of her crying, and said we were going for a walk. We had to walk Holly, after all. She was putting on her shoes and I told her to bring the book. For the entirety of our 5 km walk with the dog, she read and recited that story over, and over, and over again. I’m not sure how many times she did it, but the action of movement and memory work was helping her to remember the parts she was getting stuck on.

When we got home I made her lunch and let her have a thirty minute break. Then back at the book, she followed me around as I did the chores, reading and putting it down to recite. She did that all the way until it was time to pick up Nay from school. She was so close to getting it now, but she had been working on this story for HOURS, so I backed off and let her play with a few of her classmates from SWC for awhile. Over the course of the evening, she did fractions with her brother, and played on her computer and did all the normal things we do. At bedtime I was tucking her in and she told me the story again and only needed a few prompts. I told her she did great, and that she should get some sleep, though when I went in at 10:30 last night to turn off her audio book she was still awake.

In the morning our time is short, from the time the alarm goes off until her driver comes to get her is only one hour. She re-read the story with her breakfast and just now, while we were waiting for her car I asked to hear the story one more time. And…it was perfect. She recited the whole thing with no prompts at all! I asked her if she learned something from all of this, she said yes, that it was easier to work on memorizing when you weren’t tired, and that next time she should choose a project that is good right from the beginning and not wait until the last minute.

Success.

Now I never want to hear that story again, ever.

Jenn

Dog….s

I had a really good idea to write about today, it was going to be all insightful and stuff. But…I’ve got dogs.

IMG_2327

This picture isn’t from today, you can especially tell because they are clean dogs. NOT filthy covered in mud, and smelling like decaying leaves in pool water, dirty. Because right now, these play-machines are in my house and they are, in fact, filthy-covered in mud-smelling like decaying leaves pool water-dirty dogs. These dogs, are playing non-stop and are really good at getting eachother pretty darn dirty. All the floors in my house are going to need to be scrubbed on Saturday morning when Luna the golden-doodle goes home. Holly will also need to be scrubbed, I may even send her to the groomer because it’s that bad.

I was just about to say they’ve stopped playing (3 hours after they woke up) but then Holly got up and Luna jumped on her.

I know I’m sounding like I’m complaining, but really, I’m pretty happy because, DOGS! Let’s see if Shawn comes home from Mexico and feels the same way…

Jenn

Close Your Eyes, Go to Sleep

When the kids were little I had a pretty strict bedtime routine. We would have dinner, never any screen time after dinner, of course. We had baths twice a week (Sunday’s and Wednesdays) every night though, pajamas, go pee, brush your teeth and floss and then go and choose two books for Mommy to read (and in the early days, we’d have song time too.) These were the days of grumpy bird, and dr. suess though, so two books per kid wasn’t such a big deal. All in all, bedtime routine lasted one hour and it was beautiful quality time.

Around Cake’s senior kindergarten year was when it started to change.

It started with the books. The books were no longer quick stories with rhyming and silly voices. They were long, early chapter books, and the kids wanted to take turns reading the chapters. So, our 1 hour of bedtime routine was stretching out quite a bit, and believe me I like listening to my kids read as much as the next mom but, let’s all be honest here, I can only take so much. I can remember listening to classmates reading Shakespeare in grade 9, they stuttered, had no flow, were monotonous. This is what it was like, almost painful! But, let’s be clear, my kids were 4 and 5 and had not yet mastered the art of storytelling. Now it’s a completely different story, and all my years of ridiculous voices have paid off because NOW I get treated to good storytelling. But, then? Not so much.

So it was there, when our bedtime routine evolved.

Instead of story time with mommy, the kids would get ready for bed and then be shuttered in their rooms for ‘reading time.’ They loved this, I was pretty happy too since it meant that I could retire earlier in the night. I was happy with it for a long time too.

Last night, after rushing home from Beavers, and singing my usual chorus of ‘quick, quick, it’s time for bed, no time for anything else!’ It did occur to me that I miss our drawn out and quality bedtime routine. How many nights a week are we rushing home from this place or that, only for me to have the kids rocketing up the stairs to throw whatever pajamas they can find and pass the toothbrush over their teeth and then an AUDIO book reads to my kids?!?

I’ve been replaced, by an iphone.

This morning, while waiting for Cake’s car to take her to school I brought up the old bedtime routine and asked her if she missed me reading to her at night. There was a pause, and then a polite ‘yeah, a little.’ She knew what I wanted to hear. I sent her off to school and then went up stairs to drag Nay from his sleep. He was groggy and sitting in my lap still confused as to why he wasn’t still asleep in his bed. I asked him if he remembered when we would tell stories at bedtime, sitting in the big chair in his room. He responded with a kind of wistfulness that yes, he remembered the reading. I asked him if he wishes we still did that. Again, he replied to my question with affirmation and then got off my lap to produce a sonic the hedgehog level four reader. ‘We can read together in the morning too.’

He’s beside me now, reading the book and ignoring his peanut butter toast, and resting his feet on my leg like it was a foot rest. I have no doubt that I would have made a killer Sonic voice, but he’s reading it for himself and I’ve promised to read him something tonight before bed.

Of course we’re out of the house until at least 8:15 tonight for a CHARA meeting. So I have no doubts I will be singing my song, and reminding the kids one billion times to put their books away and brush their teeth.

Jenn

The Things I Learn

I have this thing while Shawn is away, I try to stay up super late so that I fall asleep easily and not fret about all the crazy sounds the house makes. I’m not sure when I started doing it, but it’s a pretty recent development considering he’s had a high travel job for the last 9 years. It works pretty well, and I fall asleep quickly, but as you can imaging it makes the next days total crap. I stayed up particularly late last night, and there is regret, just as I’m sure there will be regret tomorrow morning when I stay up late again tonight.

Last week I learned something, about Cake’s strabismus actually. All these years I’ve been going by a photo from the doctors office that explained what she saw.

IMG_0693

The other morning she was reading one of my blog books, and it was a post about her eyesight. She informed me that THAT picture is NOT what she sees without her glasses. What the what?! At first she said she saw two of everything, and I pointed out that there was two girls in the picture. She said no, that the two mommy’s she was looking at didn’t touch. One was in focus and the other one looked as though she was looking at me through water. I was all wavy. But they don’t touch, at all. This was very concerning to me obviously, how could I not know this about my child who has worn glasses since she was two? Though it does explain how she was able to learn the letters even without her glasses, she could see them, just had to work hard to decipher where each letter began and ended before repeating.

Here she is pre-eye crossing.

Here is Cake pre-eye crossing.

And then, there's this adorableness.

And then, there’s this adorableness.

I'm dying this is so cute.

I’m dying this is so cute.

Oh my.

Oh my.

I did take a picture of Cake this morning before she left for school, but my mac took an update and I seem to have lost my icloud photo sharing…it’s somewhere…and if I could find it you would see two things. What my cute Cake looks like without glasses at 7am on her way to school, and also the yummy oatmeal I’m eating for breakfast this morning. The grocery store is stocking a new brand called “love grows’ and I’ve been buying their granola bars and bites and last week I picked up two containers of oatmeal from them. Cake had one and I’m having the other today. So far, I’m really enjoying their stuff, less sugar, and of course no dairy.

This morning is spin class, which I’m not looking forward to at all, but I’m told that I’ll eventually enjoy it so I’m sticking with it in my fight against giving up on things that I start. Cake has her french tutor tonight, so I need to recover from the weekend of destruction, and of course to prep for tomorrow nights CHARA board meeting.

I’ve decided that I’m going to give up one of my volunteer commitments. I know I’ve been saying that FOREVER but this time I mean it. I had to write out a resume this weekend, and I spent as much space writing out my current volunteer commitments as I did writing my entire career history. Mind you, I haven’t had a traditional job, but it was still 15 years of working compared to current volunteering. I’m trying to assess what I want to keep and leave, and trying to prepare myself to disappoint some people. I know no matter which I choose I’ll be disappointing a group of people who rely on my time. But I don’t have time to commit to all these causes and not let my family life suffer. It’s just so hard to choose. I LOVE Sparks, so I know that’s staying, everything else is on the chopping block though.

Happy Monday!
Jenn

Am I a Professional Pushover?

This week I have:

– Taken a troupe of Brownies to a sleepover
– Researched an arranged to get a BBQ for the parent council at my sons school
– Organized clothing donations for my daughters school and my Sparks group
– lead my Sparks in an Earth Day meeting, which included me cutting out 250 hearts by hand.
– Desgned a tri-fold brochure for the residents association
– Wrote up a community bulletin for my city councillors report
– designed a business card for my residents association
– Started editing the pictures i took at the Brownie sleepover

l did all of this. For Free. Am I a pushover? I feel like if I don’t do things then they might not get done. If they’re not done, then what’s the real consequence? Shouldn’t I concentrate my energy on trying to find a way to use my ‘skills’ harharhar to make money so that my family isn’t without Shawn for half of every month? I will ponder more on this…because clearly I need to be MORE in my head.

Cake and her friends at the Brownie Sleepover.

Cake and her friends at the Brownie Sleepover.

In a recent appointment of Nathan’s the doctor observed that both of my children were very much in their heads and that they often needed to be brought back into their bodies. I think it’s pretty true for me too, I often live in my head and while I try to be cognizant of what’s happening in my body, it’s difficult to shut down the brain and let my body relax. Probably why I find it difficult to fall asleep, and I am constantly clenching my jaw; I’m aware of it, but have had little success in moving past the acceptance phase of my pitfalls.

Yesterday I wrote about my worrying about all the worrying I’m doing. My dad texted me (and I still haven’t replied yet) to stay the course. HA! Easier said, than done! Though he did say to keep writing, so that’s what I’m going to do, I’ll write because even though I do this for free, out of all the stuff I listed up there this is my favourite thing to do. I love to write, I have words and thoughts going through my head all day long, and it’s not a list or well sometimes it’s list-like, but I really like to think and ponder and relate to the world around me.

Cake is reading my first blog book, tutus and rainboots.

Cake is reading my first blog book, tutus and rainboots.

She laughs and giggles at what she reads, I need to keep reminding myself of that. Cake laughs and giggles, and chooses to read my book over any other book in the house to read with her breakfast. She chooses my book, even though she has hundreds of other books to choose from. She wants to read my words, she wants to see the documentation of her, and her brothers life.

Keep writing.

Jenn

Stuck in His Head

This boy:

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He’s going through some stuff, and he makes me wonder if I, as his mom, am blowing things totally out of proportion. Like, am I weird or something and hyper analyzing everything he does just so that I have some extra stuff to worry about every night when I should be trying to fall asleep. Nay is going through some stuff that I’m not quite ready to talk about yet, but you know its gotten out of hand when you’re worried that you are worrying too much. That’s right I’m now worrying about my worrying. Makes so much dang sense.

At least I came to one reasonable conclusion this morning when I woke up. I decided that in all my extra time in the morning, I should write instead of reading into the depths of reddit. I have to be up early to get Cake to school, but once the lunches are made I then have thirty to forty minutes until I have to call her downstairs to catch the car. Nay’s not even awake when she goes normally, so when I wake him up I help him with his breakfast and then I have a whole hour again! For the past month, I’ve been reading or facebooking and then lamenting at the end of the day when I’ve failed again at using my time effectively enough to find the time to write! So, new plan, because I always have new plans. I will write in the morning in between making lunches and making breakfasts and sending my kids away. Today I have already managed to write up a piece for CHARA that will be published in the River Ward Community Bulletin, a few important emails, and the most important: this. This is the most important thing I will write, I know this because I recently published???printed another blog book and Cake spends her mornings reading them and giggling to herself. She really likes reading the things I wrote about over the past years. I published my first blog post on March 22, 2010, I have been writing for FIVE years??!! Seriously though, she likes reading them, and I like to think that when she’s a grown up woman and is looking for insights in to what the hell I was thinking she’ll know. So writing this, THIS, it’s so important so I’m going to keep going. And, I’m really a better writer in the morning anyway so I’m super hopeful.

Hopeful and worried,

Jenn