Thursday, September 30, 2010

Why is it so hard for people to RSVP?

Connor's birthday party is in a week. I sent his birthday invites out to his daycare buddies two weeks ago. I put this coming Saturday as the RSVP deadline.

I put my phone number and my email address.

I've heard from 7 of the 19 kids in his class.

Now it is entirely possible I'll hear from the other 12 before Saturday but will I? Not likely.

It bugs me to no end.

Don't forget - this Saturday at 8 pm is the draw for the Papa's Pride go "like" the Facebook page and get into the draw!

Monday, September 27, 2010

The Kindness of Strangers, Part 3

It goes on and on I tells ya!

For any newcomers, please refer back to The Kindness of Strangers Part 2 otherwise you will not understand where I'm going with this post.

I spent three hours on Friday night sewing a bag made from a red tartan kilt I bought at Value Village (no luck finding one on freecycle)
It was a custom order from the manager of the Whitby Salvation Army Thrift Store. She wanted to give it to her best friend (who is Scottish) for her 60th birthday.

You'll recall, this is the same manager who gave a whole pile of fabric to my fabric angel for free when she found out what it was for. My fabric angel had passed along the managers email address to me and I contacted her to arrange to meet with her, I wanted to donate a bag to her partly for her kindness and partly because she offered to show it around to her church friends.

I digress. I made the bag and it turned out fantastic, one of my best. (you can see a pic of it here) So off I went to the Sally Ann Store with the tartan bag as well as all my others so she could pick one for herself.

I was nervous, it had been three weeks since we'd spoken by email and I was worried she'd forgotten I was coming. But she hadn't.

I've never met anyone who was so happy to see me. She raved about the bags (both the one she bought and the one I gave her) She told no less than 6 people while I was there about the bags she had, why I was making them and how they can contact me. She told me she was going to tell all the people at the party next weekend about the bags and she was thinking of ordering some as Christmas gifts. She then insisted I go through the fabric bin and take anything I could use, no charge. She also said if she comes across anything she thinks would work good she'll put it aside and email me.

She was so enthusiastic, I came out of there walking 6 inches off the ground.

So whether or not her enthusiasm drums up any cash for our cause...I'm not to worried about it. She made me feel good. I think I made her feel good. Her friend will certainly be getting a one of a kind birthday gift. And that sale put us over the $200 mark for donations. Only $2800 more to reach our goal!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

What a rebel

Connor adjusted a lot better to daycare than I thought he would. He cried a bit but not even as much as either of the girls did. He still whimpers in the morning when we're leaving and has those big fat tears that make you feel about this big. (I'm not kidding, his tears are so big that they don't roll down his cheeks they fall right out of his eyes onto the floor like rain - it's almost cartoonish.) But he's happy when he gets there and he's happy when I pick him up.

He only goes three days a week so it's broken up and a couple of weeks ago he only went once because he was sick so he's not been really consistent yet.

But this last week he was there all three days. And I think he's finally figured out that 'school' is here to stay and he's starting to rebel.

In the last two weeks he's peed his pants 5 times. This is the boy who was 100 toilet trained day and night.
Yesterday was the icing on the cake though.

Connor was in the playroom playing marble works when he started throwing them. I called him out to tell him to stop throwing the marbles and I noticed his undies were wet. I told him to take them off and put them in the laundry. He took them off and threw them into the playroom and laughed. So I sat him out at the wall. This is where it gets really fun.

My little boy, the apple of my eye, heart of my heart....took hold of his penis and peed all over my floor.

This wasn't an accident. And I know this because I said "Connor!! What are you doing??!!" and he said "I peeing on the floor!" and then he grinned his biggest, cheesiest grin and laughed.

I'm not a spanking parent but, oh boy, if I was.....he would have had a red behind!

So he got sent to his room where he threw an almighty fit.

Later at suppertime he got sent to his room again because he was mad about the cup he was given with his supper so he thought he'd hit me. Another fit.

In the end, he went to bed for the night at 6:45 and slept until 6 this morning, got up to pee and went back to bed again until 8. So he was either really overtired or coming down with something.
Or he's making me suffer for sending him to daycare.

We're off to Chuck E Cheese today. We're having his birthday party there in a couple of weeks and I remembered yesterday that he was scared once when we dropped Mary off there for a party so I thought we should go and hang out there for a while so he's not afraid to go to his own birthday party.

Happy Sunday.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Papa's Pride Giveaway

I'm going to try a smaller giveaway to see how it goes and if it works the way I'm hoping it will I will try a larger one next time around.

I'm trying to drum up some traffic on the Papa's Pride Facebook Page. Facebook is a powerful tool and each time someone "like"(s) the page all of their friends see it, visit it, etc. And from there people place orders which in turn makes more money for our cause.

So here's the giveaway info.

Starting now to October 2nd at 8 pm EST visit the Papa's Pride Facebook Page and click LIKE. Every new like will be recorded and entered into the draw.

Now don't be alarmed, for those of you who already "LIKE"(d) the're in the draw too.
But - here's the good part....If you've already "like"(d) the page and some of your friends or family members are 'new likes' drop me a note to let me know you referred them to the page and I'll give you an extra entry into the draw. So if you have 12 facebook friends who "like" the Papa's Pride Facebook Page you'll have 13 entries in the draw.

And here's the prize for this draw. You'll get a set of 12 beautiful, all occasion, Papa's Pride photo greeting cards and envelopes.

Sound great?!

If this goes the way I'd like it to then next time I hold a draw we'll draw for a bag.

The more traffic we can generate to the page the more opportunities there are to make a sale and raise some more money for this very important cause.

So let's get liking!

I'll announce the winner here and on Facebook next Saturday.

Good luck!

Curiouser and curiouser

So I've been reading up on the feeding habits of herons. You see, our pond used to be full of fish....4 large koi (very large - two of them are over a foot long) and several smaller pond goldfish. I got the pond goldfish from a friend, she was filling in her pond so I bought 5 of them for my dad.

When you approach the pond the fish will swim up to the top of the pond to be fed. Apparently since last weekend with the heron incident, no one has seen the goldfish. All the koi are still there....but no goldfish. It leads one to believe that sneaky Mr. Heron was enjoying himself a feast before Snickers caught him.

It seems as though the Great Blue Heron (which is the breed native to our area) not only wades for food like other herons but can also fish in deeper water and will sometimes spot their food from flight. So while I'm still not sure how he managed to fish out our goldfish from such a deep pond, I'm pretty certain he did.

What I can't figure out is why it was even near my yard. Most Herons do migrate but apparently not always, they are hearty enough to withstand our winters. So why was this water bird in a residential neighbourhood that is not significantly close enough to a watershed or lake to warrant such a bird hanging about? It's a mystery to me.

But, regardless the reason, he's got a full belly now and I know now it's not the raccoons I need to worry about.

The Clothing Fairy?

When Emily got home from school today there was a bag of clothes on the front porch for her. It was a large bag, with some dresses, a few pairs of shorts, some jeans....and.....wait for it.....a pair of pink lululemon pants.

She was over the moon ecstatic. Everything fits her and she loves it all.

So I emailed a friend who frequently gives Em hand me downs from her daughter to thank her but lo and behold....they weren't from her.

Who were they from? Your guess is as good as mine.

I'll get to the bottom of it and thank the gifter properly. But in the meantime, thank you clothing fairy!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Concerns and a funny video

I'm becoming concerned about Mary. She's energy wrapped up in go go go, with a side of noise. She's always been that way and while it's always been an endearing quality, I'm starting to worry if it's something more. It's only the third week of school and already she's not handed in 3 assignments and is forgetting things at school. The 'focus' is not there.

I'm thinking I may request and early conference with her teacher and further to that bring her to the Dr. I'm starting to have some very real concerns about ADHD and this is big because I have always been the one who thinks this is a widely misdiagnosed, slapped on label for any kid with a bit of non conforming energy.
We'll see.

And finally, a friend posted this video on FB and I thought it was pretty funny. Any mother who's tried to make a new mom friend will appreciate the humor in it.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Random Rambles

I'm feeling a mixture of blah and energetic today.

I've cooked supper for tomorrow night already, as well as supper for tonight. (Roast pork for tonight - our Sunday tradition) and for tomorrow I tried something new. It's sweet potato, lentil, barley soup. I was going to throw it in the crock pot tomorrow and then though - duh, why not today - one less thing to do tomorrow. I gotta say, it's out of this world. I got the recipe out of my Today's Parent magazine.
Normally I don't do recipes from magazines, I find them too fru fru and labour intensive but this is soup and forgive me but you have to be an idiot to not be able to make soup.

I have to say too, it's one fantastic soup. Very tasty and surprisingly hearty for not having any meat in it. (I'm thinking it would taste nice with chicken or beef if one was so inclined)

I also made cheese biscuits to go with it but not any cheese biscuits, I made cheese biscuits a la Red Lobster. I'm a skeptic when it comes to copied restaurant recipes - I tried a Swiss Chalet chicken sauce once that was horrible but I have found an Applebee's Fiesta Lime Chicken recipe that is out of this world (and in my regular rotation) so I thought I'd give the cheese biscuits a go.
I used this recipe and it really did surpass my expectations. They are out of this world.

So, that's all done (plus salad for my lunch tomorrow)

I also got my laundry done. I know, not really that fascinating. I have a remarkable amount of clothes that need to be ironed now - the same ones that can't go into the drier. This sucks a bit since I hate ironing.

The lock on my front door broke today too. It jammed so I was locked in my house. I took the whole thing apart but still couldn't get it opened. I ended up having to call a locksmith. I don't like calling any kind of tradesmen on weekends - it means it's gonna cost me an arm and a leg. But I can't not get in and out of my house either.

He came and had my door fixed within 30 minutes. Can't complain. And it didn't totally ruin me, $150. Could have been worse.

I'm thinking about putting together some kind of giveaway for Papa's Pride (a bag or photo greeting cards or something) to try to get our name out there a bit more. I'm just trying to figure out the logistics of how I'd do it and whether or not I'd do it through the blog or through facebook. I'm open to suggestions if anyone has any. Would it be cheeky of me to write a letter to our local paper the Oshawa This Week? They do special interest stories. They did a story about Lisa's Beads (I have three of their bracelets...they are lovely!)

Anyhow, that's my random ramblings for today. Have a lovely week!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Who needs a dog when you have Super Cat!

Snickers is a fabulous kitty. We adopted her from the Humane Society as a kitten in 2003. Since then she's proven to be a valuable member of the family.

Within her first weeks of being here she proved herself to be an efficient mouser - there was a mouse sitting on the back of my Dad's couch and she made short work of it. She also catches birds, moles and small squirrels and rabbits (okay, the latter two, not so great but it does keep our cat food bill down!)

She's cuddly without being needy but not a snob either. She's very protective - when I was pregnant with Violet she was one of the reasons I took the pregnancy test. She would not leave me alone. Every single time I sat on the couch she was on my like Oprah on a baked ham. She knew I was pregnant before I did.
And when I was pregnant with Connor it was the same - she didn't leave me alone for the entire nine months. And after Connor was born she would curl up on the couch above his head and watch over him....but she never stood on him, lied on him or even licked him. Just sniff would do....she knew he was one of us.

This morning I was laying in bed, listening to Connor talk in his room and wishing for more sleep. My bed faces the window - my window overlooks the backyard, more specifically our fish pond.
Suddenly I see something jump up at the window. I thought I must have imagined it. Then I saw it again. Then I hear a horrible squawking/hissing noise - it sounded like a pissed off raccoon. Then I see a large bird, like a goose, fly past my window.

So, my thoughts are - a goose was injured, landed in our yard and the cat is pissed. It is migrating season for the geese and when one goose is injured or sick another will land with it and stay with it until it either dies or recovers.

So I look out the bedroom window and see Snickers in the garden, looking toward the back door of the house and hunched down. I look toward the house, looking for a goose, a raccoon, anything.

But what I saw was not on the ground, it was on my roof. A Heron. A huge, grey Heron.

Well now I'm excited. We see herons a lot in the marshes but never in our neighbourhoods. Why in the world would a heron be on my roof. There are no marshes even remotely nearby - not with respect to having this type of animal hanging about.

Then it occurs to me.

The pond.

We have 5 large koi and about 8 smaller pond goldfish. A feast for a heron.

So I speculate that this bird lost it's way, flew over our house, noticed the fish and thought hmmm....breakfast.

Snickers, ever vigilant, saw this bird trying to get his fishy buddies (for what it's worth, I don't think the heron would have succeeded, the pond is too deep for the heron to stand in and too narrow for is to fly down to and scoop up a fish) She scared the bird away from the pond, up on to my roof.

I ran into the living room, got my camera and snuck out the patio door in my room. I tippy toed out and tried to snap a picture of it but as soon as the bird saw me it took off. I got two shots but they were both blurry and not even worth saving. Disappointed to say the least but what an exciting start to my day!

Hope yours is just as exciting!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

I think I might be a nerd

I was watching the news yesterday and there was a story about the release of the video game Halo Reach.

Now, I'm not exactly what you might call a gamer. I don't have an xbox, I have Wii. I play games like Mario Galaxy and Wipeout (and I suck at both) I don't even understand the concept of some of these games.

But I know to gamers games like Halo are HUGE.

So the news story was about the people who lined up for upwards of 8 hours to be the first to get the game at they could go home and spend all night playing it.
One guy even went on to say "This is like my dream come true!"

Wow. Really? Your dream come true is to line up for 6 hours to buy a video game so you can stay up all night and play it.

Dream big my friend.

So while I sit in my chair, and blog and judge about the sheer nerdiness of these people we reflect upon one Saturday morning in August in 2008 in which I made Sean line up with me at Toys R Us to get a Wii Fit. Only 30 were available at the store and I wanted one for my birthday. So we lined up for an hour and a half and got one of the last units there.

I'm thinking I may have to come down off my high horse. I did line up for a video game.

I'm not coming down all the way though, I only played it for a few hours.....not all long.

Monday, September 13, 2010

I need a foot rub

I was late for work today.

For those who know me well (for those who know me even a little) you understand that this is a monumental thing.

I am NEVER late. For anything. The only thing about me that's ever late is my period.

I leave my house at 7 am. I work in Toronto, roughly 35 km from home. I take the highway, I get off in a neighbouring city to take Connor to daycare, hop back on the highway and head to work. Most days I get to the Timmies next to the school by 7:45. That gives me time to get my coffee, get to school and be in my classroom for 8:00. School starts at 8:30 but I like to be early to get things ready.

So this morning, as per usual I left at 7:00. The highway was backed up as soon as I got on and I basically stayed about about 40 km/hr until got to the daycare. Now it's 7:20. Now I realize I need gas (note to self, from now on get gas at night!) but the gas station next to the daycare is closed so I have to drive a few blocks over. It takes two lights for me to turn into the gas station because traffic on this street (which leads to the highway) is so backed up.

I get gas, I'm back on the highway and flying. I get to my exit and see cars backed up again. But - I do know there is construction for about a km on this stretch. It does usually slow me down a bit but not much. Today however, we're crawling, even past the construction. Then I hear it on the radio, the traffic lights are out at the intersection where my school is. This is roughly 5-6 km from where I am. And we are not moving.

Now I'm panicking. It's 8:15 am. I'm not moving. And this stretch of road there is no where I can get off to find an alternate route for at least 3 km.

I sent a text to the other ECE asking her to tell my teaching partner that I might be a bit late.

It's now 8:25 and I can see it. The street I can turn down to get off this road and get to my school.

I turn onto it and lo and behold there is construction at the intersection ahead and it's crawling here too.

By the time I got there I was raging, near tears and 10 minutes late.

This combined with the stress of switching kids around in our classes so I had 11 new ones today and didn't have their desk tags or cubbie labels up yet (which goes against all of my anal over preparedness) I was a walking stress ball.

I decided today would be a great day to wear my high heel boots. I don't have trouble with them, I can wear them all day and they don't bother me. But this all day usually consists of some sitting. I sat for 10 minutes while I ate spring rolls and samosa (my teaching partner brought them in....they were soooooo yummy)

So now my feet are swollen - they look like sausages. They hurt. My muscles hurt from stress.

But I still had a great day!!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

I've become ''that'' neighbour

We have two sets of neighbours. The ones to the west/north west and the ones to the east/north east.

Our western neighbours are great. We have the nice Newfie guy next door (the one with lung cancer). We have the resident neighbourhood lookout (he's the one who knows everyone in the neighbourhood and all of their business - but not in an irritating way) He's the one who's wife is also battling cancer. We also have the couple who are around our age - the wife is finely leathered from sun exposure and the husband seems nice enough but has only ever said two or three words to me. But they never seem to get annoyed by the kids balls and Frisbees repeatedly ending up in their veggie garden. All in all, they are all great neighbours. They are nice to us, we are nice to them, they are all on the Christmas card list.

The neighbours to the east, however, are a whole different story. Now granted, there is a tree line that separates our yards and we are elevated above them slightly so the opportunities for 'chit chat' over the fence is not there, though the playroom window overlooks one neighbours yard perfectly and the front yard sides the other neighbours yard perfectly.
So, there are two neighbours in particular on this side. Mr. Green Lawn, so named because he has a yard that is immaculate (seriously, we're talking Hank Hill obsessed with keeping his yard green - there is not a weed to be found on this mans lawn. It's really a thing of beauty) The thing that rubs me is that he's got this gorgeous back/side yard and no one EVER uses it. EVER. It's fenced off. There are no lawn chairs. There are no umbrellas, nothing...just a green square. Anyhow, in our 8 years here they've never once said hi to us. Okay, not the friendly sort.

Then there is "playroom neighbours" so named because we can see their yard from our playroom. Sean has talked with the old woman (the grandma I think) who used to live there and the husband walks their dog past our house everyday and even once snowblowed our sidewalk and the lower part of our driveway (despite the fact that we don't actually live on the same street)
But the wife has never said hello. She also bitched out the cable guy this past summer when he had to put a ladder in her yard to re run our cable line.
So again, not overly friendly folks but we've never had a problem with them.

Until last night.

Last night at about 9 pm we suddenly hear music blasting - so loud it could have been coming from inside our own house. We quickly discovered that playroom neighbours kids (older teens/young adults) were having a party. This family has many parties, and they do tend to be loud but it's their voices that are usually loud and that doesn't bother me. Have fun! But, this was different. This music was ridiculously loud.

I was getting madder and madder and I finally said to Sean, you can go over or I can go over but either way they are being asked to turn the music down a bit.

So we both went.

Now let's establish that Sean does not like confrontation whereas I love a good brawl, especially when I'm on the 'just' end.

So Sean knocked on the door while I waited in the driveway. A girl got out of the car and said "I guess you want them to turn it down?" I said, "Yep, my son's bedroom window is right there and I can hear it as clear as day in his room"

So she went into the yard and we followed. When we got to the side of the house the door opened and the mom was there. Sean asked her to turn the music down to which she gave him a 'look' and said "Well, not too much. They are allowed to play it loud until 10 pm"

Here's where I lost it.

So the exchange goes something like this.

Me: "We didn't ask to turn it off, we asked to turn it down. I can hear every single word of that music like it's in my house. My son's bedroom window is right there. He's two years old. He's trying to sleep."

Her: "Okay but we have until 10 o'clock."

Me: "I don't really give a shit! It's too loud, it doesn't need to be so loud that I can hear it in my house like that. My son is in his room screaming hysterically because it's so loud he can't sleep" (okay, so this was a lie, he was sound asleep but she doesn't need to know that)

Her: "We'll turn it down a little but not all the way because we have until 10 o'clock"

Me: (now I'm really pissed and yelling) I didn't ask for it to be turned off - but turn it down. You have until 10:00? Fine. I'll bring my son over here and he can scream in your house for the next hour! How would that be? That's what I'll do, I'll got get him right now and he can scream in your kitchen until 10:00. Turn it down!!! Be considerate of other people, you're not the only people in the world!!!"

And then we left.

They did turn the music down. Thank goodness because I know calling the cops would be futile, they have better things to do.

They did however, exact their revenge. At about 11 pm we heard two loud thumps at the side of the house. We looked out but with it being dark we didn't see much.

This morning however, we saw three or four pears along the side of the house (they have a pear tree in their yard)

Mr. Green Lawn's yard is also littered with pears and crushed beer cans. That will go over well, I'm sure.

So yep, I've become that neighbour. The one who bitches when the music is too loud. I guess I really am getting old.

(though I'll admit, I was wishing I had a noise canon like the ones the cops use for riots....that would have been some fun at 6 this morning!)

Saturday, September 11, 2010

These are crazy economic times.

When I get my first paycheck on September 24th it will have been over 3.5 months since my last real paycheck. I closed my daycare (unofficially) on June 25th so my last fees collected were two weeks before that.

We've managed. It's been tight and thank God for Visa - we've been able to supplement when we've been short.

It's been worth it though - robbing Peter to pay Paul because it gave me the summer with the kids (even if they did ignore me) and it gave me the summer with myself...time to become amply bored with being a SAHM. I couldn't do it, not just for economic reasons, but just out of sheer boredom. I was never a SAHM really because I still worked at home (for the purposes of this post I mean with an income providing job because I know just as well as all of you that SAHM's work their asses off - they just don't get any money for their efforts) So kudos to you mom's who stay at home with your kids. No amount of Mommy and Me classes or playgroups would be enough to stop me from tearing my hair out.

I'm going somewhere with this.

I'm cheap. Yep, I said it. I'm not going to nice it up with pc words like frugal, conservative, economically careful....I'm a scrooge. But only on certain things. For instance groceries...if I can get generic I will. But I won't sacrifice some things, like say, pasta. I can't generic whole wheat spaghetti so I only buy the brand name. I won't do white pasta. Yuck. Pop is another thing. It's diet Coke or nothing.

When it comes to clothes, well, the only reason I bought new clothes for me was because I was going back to work and had to look the part (and damn - I looked fabulous this week!) For the kids though, I'm cheap.

I'm coming out with it. Get ready. I buy second hand. You wanna know why? Last year Mary successfully put holes into the knees of all but 3 pairs of pants. And the reason those 3 survived was because they were jeans - Mary doesn't wear jeans so they sat in her drawer untouched. She also stains every shirt she wears within minutes of having it on. This is why we buy 'busy' patterned clothes for her. It's not just about the 'very Mary' look, it's about being able to wear it despite the chocolate and Sharpie smudges because you can't see them - they blend in with the pattern.

Emily grew 3.5 inches this past year. I'm not kidding. It's on the kitchen door jam cookie jar ladder (confused? I'll tell ya later) So needless to say, her clothes don't fit her long. She does however have a fabulous friend who is one size bigger than she is who hands down a lot of beautiful clothes to her. The problem is, the changing bodies - this girl is tall and very thin whereas Emily is pretty average sized all the way around. So for her, it just makes sense to buy stuff second hand. Add on to this her growing 'need' for brand name stuff.
We've talked about this before. I'm not opposed to her wearing a Bench jacket but I refuse to spend $100 on one so if she wants one she better be buying herself.

And Connor - well, he's a boy. We needed a whole new wardrobe for him - we don't have any hand me downs (actually not true - Emily's friend above has a younger brother (Mary's age) and we have most of his size 5 and 6 wardrobe. I look forward to not having to buy Connor clothes for probably a good solid two years.

Today I took the kids to Value Village. It's a local charity second hand store. It's where we send all of our outgrown clothes (Ironically most of them came from there in the first place) I can outfit my kids in really nice clothes; Gap, Children's Place, Carters at a fraction of the true cost simple because they are gently used. (though a lot of the stuff is NWT)

A new on opened last week so we popped up there and Emily found her dream come true. She snagged herself a lululemon hoodie for only $25. It looks like it came right off the rack at the store. She came tearing through the place eyes wild, face red, jumping up and down "Look what I found, look what I found!" Under other circumstance I would have balked at paying $25 for anything second hand but let's face it - we're talking about a $100 hoodie.

So, I managed to get Connor a whole seasons worth of pants, some jammies, a hoodie, Emily's hoodie and a pair of jeans, some pants for Mary, some toys for my class and a toy for Mary and all for under $100. Can't beat that.

And it's a damn good thing too because you see, the girls have only been in school for a week and already I've written $93 worth of checks to the school.

These really are crazy economic times.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Here goes nothin'

So even though my first 'official' day of work was Thursday tomorrow is my first day in the classroom.

I'm gonna barf.

I'm sure it's going to be awesome. I'm sure I'm psyching myself out. I'm sure all the things I was panicked about on Friday will be just fine....

Oh God, I hope so!

I promise to fill you in the first chance I get tomorrow.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

If I might direct your attention.....

to my Papa's Pride blog (most specifically to those of you who have not 'liked' Papa's Pride on facebook yet)

I've added several new bags in recent weeks but I've also added a new section with photo greeting cards for all occasions. At the very least, check them out, maybe even buy a won't be sorry!

I Can't Live Without You!

Last week I gave you the worst products ever. So in the interest of fairness I'm going to give you what I think are the best products ever. The ones I can't live without.

Again, in no particular order

#1 - Dental Floss Sticks.
Not just from the aesthetic point of view (no one wants to look at you when you have nastiness between your teeth) but from a comfort point of view. Nothing sucks more than having something stuck between your teeth. I've given myself headaches from trying to hook stuff out of my teeth with my tongue.
Now I carry dental floss sticks. I have them in my car, in all my purses and bags...I am NEVER without them and I am a much much happier person.

#2 - GPS
If you read the beginning of my post about getting a GPS you'll know that it's not something I ever thought I'd use. I can read a map, I have a Perly's in my car and I used to mapquest everything. But then I was given a Tom Tom (jane jane) as a gift and since then.....
On Thursday alone I used it to map my way to my coworkers house, to an unfamiliar high school and then out to the west end to a church. That would have been a lot of map reading. And let's face it, looking down to follow a map is not as safe as glancing at your GPS that is stuck on the window. Love it.

#3 - Flushable Wipes
Too much information ahead. These bad boys aren't just for kids. They are the best thing ever invented. And now my tushy is a wipe addict because the thought of not having them in the bathroom makes my colon clench.
This is another 'always have with me' item. It's bad enough if you have to 'go' in a public bathroom (a whole other issue) but to have to go in a public bathroom and NOT have flushable wipes available....well, I just don't feel fresh!

#4 Crock Pot
I'm willing to put the time in in the kitchen to cook a nice meal when I have the time. But I don't always have the time. Even when I worked at home - cooking a nice meal with 3 under 2 underfoot wasn't always an option. But Rival came to the rescue with the Crock Pot. You can cook anything in it. And mine is huge!
Needless to say, now that I work out of the house this guy will be working overtime and we'll be eating our good, healthy meals, on schedule, everyday.

#5 - Digital Cameras
Whether it's a high end DSLR or a cheap point and shoot, the digital camera is a fantastic invention.
When Emily was born we took (as all new parents do) 85 million pictures of her. And they are all developed (in doubles so that we could send copies to Sean's mom and my mom) And they are all in a big box in the basement. We never see them. They need to be sorted and organized. I'm a creative person but I don't have time for scrapbooking and even if I did - 85 million pictures is only a slight exaggeration. I'd never have enough money or space for all those scrapbooks.

But the digital...I'll admit this does mean I take even more pictures than before BUT - I can delete the crappy ones and save only the great ones. I see them all, either displayed on my digital picture frame or on the slide show/screen saver on my computer. It doesn't cost me to send photos to family and friends via email, FB or this blog....
Truly, a genius bit of technology and one I could not live without.

So there you have it. I can't live without any of the above 5 products.

What are yours?

Friday, September 3, 2010


Incredibly discouraged.

I'll start from the beginning but my head it swirling so it might be a bit jumpy.

I found out on Monday that the teacher I was going to be working with decided to retire. I'm happy for her (truly, I am, I saw her today and we talked and I am happy for her)

On Thursday I met the teacher I will be working with.

I came out feeling more apprehensive than I did before. I didn't feel the 'click' I did with the other teacher but hoped I was just looking to hard for it.

So, the conversation went something like this.

Me: So are you planning to go into the school again tomorrow?
Her: I don't know. I ordered some things. If I get them I will, if not I won't. I was in there on Wednesday and got the room set up.
Me: Oh, great!

Later on.

Me: If you decide you're going to go in tomorrow please call me and let me know, I'd like to get into the classroom with you before Tuesday just to see what we've got to work with (let's remember, she's also new to this school...just hired on Tuesday
Her: Oh, that would be wonderful.

We then discuss her plans for this morning and agree to meet at 11 am at the school.

So 11:10 I get to the school (yes, I was late and yes, this is totally not in character but I did that on purpose, I wanted her to get there before me)
But she was not there.

So I spoke for a bit with the other teacher as well as the one who I would have worked with had she not decided to retire.

And then I went to my class.

Now, if you read above, my teaching partner said she'd set the room up. I'm gonna lay it out there. It was not set up. It was a mess. There was no rhyme or reason to anything on the shelves. The furniture was not set up. The walls were bare. There were no name tags on the cubbies.

So I talked with the other teacher for a bit. I said, I'm not sure if I should go ahead and start. I don't want to step on toes but there is a lot of work to be done in here.
She said, well, maybe you need to take control.

This is my struggle. I am a self proclaimed control freak. I would have no problem going into that classroom, spending 4 hours and having it set up beautifully. But here's the thing. I am but one player in a team of 2. And my teammate was no where to be found. I'm also treading on new territory. I don't want to step on toes but I also think this reflects on me. I CAN do it, the question is SHOULD I? And though I've never had the "If I'm not getting paid for it I'm not doing it" attitude, the simple fact is, I'm not paid to be there this week. This doesn't seem to fall under what is considered my responsibility.

So, I put names on the cubbies. I tidied a couple of the basins. I talked to Sean on the phone and texted the other ECE from my school. And in the end I spent 2 hours in the classroom waiting for the other teacher to come. Looking at what we had (and more importantly what we DIDN'T have) making mental notes of what I should bring in on Tuesday. I admired the other kindergarten class and will admit I'm horribly jealous of my fellow ECE because her classroom is all set up and gorgeous. So I left and I cried all the way home. And I'm left spending this last weekend before school starts wondering what the hell I'm going to face on Tuesday morning.

In an ideal world I'll go in on Tuesday and see the teacher has been there and has it all organized and set up. (In a perfect world she would have shown up today and we could have done it together)

I need to push this from my mind because I'm already feeling those pangs of regret. I'm worried. No, I'm scared out of my freakin' mind now because it seems to have fallen apart before my eyes.

I'm going to go in early on Tuesday morning. I'm going to hope for the best but if I show up and it's like it was when I left.......I just don't know.

Why me? Everytime something good happens to me something comes along and shits all over it. I was so excited. And now I'm completely discouraged.