Sunday, October 26, 2014

What do your kids do?

Today I realized my kids do ALOT in our home.

For example this weekend the boys did:

Their own laundry (bring it downstairs, put in washer *clothes only or towels only* and started with soap, flip to dryer *emptying lint traps* and started with bounce sheet in it, empty dryer to couch and put folded clothes away in their own room.

Made muffins (found bowls, ingredients, mixed in mixing bowl, cracked eggs, added water, mixed, put into muffin tins, put in oven.  Daddy took them out of the oven.  then put on cooling racks)

Did own homework (science, math, reading, etc)

Yard work (raked the lawn, put in bags, did some lawn cutting, put sticks out and put the bags and containers where they belong, did compost as well)

Did housework (swept the floor, did dishes, cleaned the table, put towels away, put kitchen stuff away)

Cleaned the front area (paired down shoes, organized area they change clothes, put donations into a pile, cleaned and organized the black container for toys, threw out toys they were done with or were broken)

"Winterized" their room (put their shorts away, went through hand me down clothes they liked, put all the clothes away, washed their sheets on their beds, made their beds with clean sheets, put up shelves in their room and downsized their "trinkets")

As you can see my boys do a lot.  I am so proud of them for being so helpful and so amazing when it comes to our day to day lives. 

We are blessed.  What do your kids do?

Monday, October 20, 2014

Got Bread?

A few years ago my dad reluctantly gave me the family bread maker.

It has such good memories.

When I was younger I remember my dad taking the bread maker with us on family vacations.  The one I remember the most is going skiing.  We would spend the day on the slopes and then Dad would make bread.  It was so nice coming home to the fantastic smell!  It was amazing.

We now have our family bread maker.

Our family has now been using it for a while now.  Almost 2 loaves a week.  It's very very rare we don't make bread during the week.

This past holiday we got a few loaves of bread from my parents.  We just finished the bread this morning and now are in need of a few more loaves :)

I guess it's time to start our family tradition again... and get that maker going!

Thankfully... it's a whole family thing.  The boys help make the bread and they love every step of it!

So tomorrow morning... we will have to start a new loaf so we have something for lunches this week :)

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Happy Birthday To ME!

Today is my birthday.

To celebrate... I'm hanging out with a sick Mr. Q.

What a celebration right?

You know.... if you had asked me when I was 12 what I thought I'd be doing in 20 years... never EVER would I have thought of being home with my sick kid. 

I believe I would have thought something along the lines of having a big party with friends.  Or maybe being given jewelry or be going on a romantic vacation.  Or maybe just hanging out with my family.

But where I am in life... I'm not sure.

I guess I thought I would be a dentist (my first dream) or maybe a music teacher (my second dream) or maybe just a mom (my forever dream).

And here I am.  32 years old and home with my sick baby.

What have I learned over the past year?

Lets see, this could be a long list so I'll go for the top 10

10 - Gods love never fails us.  no matter what is going on or how we are doing His love is always there.

9 - We finally OWN a home!  While the bank still owns a lot of it, we are working to pay it off.  It hasn't been easy but it's amazing to make this happen.  I'm so proud of my hubby for finding this home for us.

8 - My family is amazing.  Not just my living family of 4 but everyone in our lives.  From my "other family member, Uncle Jack", to the babies we lost, to the extended family on both sides, to my neighbours who slowly become more like family.  We are all so blessed!

7 - Sometimes you have to fight for what you think is right.  And sometimes, you don't.  Its a matter of deciding what is the best thing to fight for and go for it. 

6 - My job, paid or volunteer, is who I am.  I will always be "Kyler and Quinton's mom" but now I'm Ms. V at school.  I'm actually part of the school team and I love it.  My job really is a part of who I am and I am so happy I can give back in this way.

5 - Eating healthy can be fun!  I know this one sounds silly but this past summer we worked on portion control (which we need to get back to these winter months) and eating fresh food.  We did great and the food from Mama Earth helped so much!  I actually like eating healthy now!

4 - As much as I want to do everything, or almost everything, I have to remember to give myself a break and ask for help.  I'm slowly getting there with things in our house, but I'm going to need to work harder on things in my life as well.  It's hard to ask for help sometimes.

3 - Spending a little time on me is ok.  I keep telling myself this but I'm slowly realizing it.  This year (school year), Lori and I have been working out almost every afternoon.  The past two weeks have sucked for it but we generally get in an hour 4 days a week.  I love it!  It makes me feel good about myself.

2 - I miss spending time in my kitchen.  For the longest time the kitchen was the dumping ground in our house.  And while I love having a house, the kitchen sucks... you can't turn around without hitting someone.  We have had problem after problem with it since moving in. But since us redoing the kitchen (hello $20,000.00) isn't possible right now we aren't going to be able to do it.  I have slowly started spending more time in the kitchen and I love it.  A lot!

1 - Some things are worth trying once.  Even if you fail.  Just to say you've tried. 

Well... I should get off this thing and take care of Q.  Thankgoodness for nap time while sick!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

October 15th

Today is October 15th.  A few year ago I would just tell you that it was a normal day.  The day before my birthday!  The day that I would quiz everyone and say "So... what did you get me? Do you know what a special day is tomorrow?"

Now I know what a special day it is.

October 15th is the day that I celebrate my family, with my family.  We talk about Baby Casey. 

For those of you who don't know Baby Casey came into our lives in February 2012.  We found out we were pregnant.  It was so exciting!!  We kept it quiet during a big family get together in March and we were so good about not saying anything at all!

It was so cool.  We had been working hard to get pregnant.  Arnold and I had been going to fertility treatment centers and were doing a few cycles to see how it was going and what was "wrong" with me. 

Finally we were pregnant. We were told because a blood test came back positive with them.  It was awesome!  I was SOOO glad and so excited.

We even had an ultrasound or 3 :)  We got to see the little baby.  This little tiny body forming inside my body.  My body was making another human.  How incredible my body is!

Then on the last Wednesday in March, I started spotting.  I was so scared.  We called the health center and were told that we just needed to wait it out at home. 

After more emergency appointments with our fertility doctor we found out we were losing our baby. 

I remember laying on the couch crying.  Arnold holding me and crying and crying and crying.  I told Arnold I could never do this again.  I could never lose another baby ever again.

And then our lives changed again.

We lost Otis in November 2012. 

And I will never ever be able to do this again.

As a friend of mine has been saying:

"If you lose a spouse, you're called a widow, or a widower.
 If you're a child and you lose your parents, then you're an orphan.
 But what's the word to describe a parent who loses a child?" (from six feet under)

There isn't a name... nothing, not a single word in the English language is able to describe the pain, loss, and so many other feelings that are associated with losing a child.

Today, when you see someone who has lost a child, in pregnancy or as an infant, please give them an extra hug today.  They need it!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Hi! Have you met the most amazing man?


Have you met the most amazing man?  A man who does everything and anything? 

No really!  He does!

Sometimes it's not until you don't have something that you recognize how "lucky/blessed" you are.

When Arnold and I moved to Toronto and we were making friends I'd tell them about Arnold and the things he does for our family.  A lot of the time I'd get the following responses:

"No way!  How long did it take to train him?"

"You know if he came from a box that way you'd make millions"

"You are so lucky!"

"When you are done with him, pass him over!"

"What's he doing this weekend?  Could he hang out with my husband... maybe something will rub off and my husband can be more like yours"

To be honest... it never really clicked.

YES!  My husband is incredible.

YES!  I know this!

NO!  I didn't "train/teach/bribe/withhold" anything to get this

NO!  I'm not sharing.

He is the glue that holds our family together

Arnold is not only the one that makes this house work, by working.  But he is the one who can smooth things over with everyone.  Sometimes my brother drives me crazy!  And lets be real, this happens to everyone.  But not everyone lives with their brother.  We do, and are SOOO lucky!  He is awesome for the boys.  He is so great with them and we love it.  But sometimes we grate on each other.  This is where one of Arnold's amazing powers comes in.  He can talk to Jack about things that bore me to death.  He can talk to Jack about things that are pissing me off.  And more so, Arnold can be a friend when the time is needed.

Arnold is gone this week, as I've said before.  And hey!  I figured, single parenting would be fun right?  No.  My first night alone ended up with a little boy in my bed because he had an accident.  And I'm sure you can figure out all the work that comes with that!

But I've learned more of the things he does around our house.

For example........

*I knew tomorrow was a "garbage day" but not which garbage day.  Is it a GARBAGE day?  or a RECYLCING day?  Was it both? 

Once I figured out it was an actual garbage day, I figured no big deal.

*then came finding the bags for the garbage.

Who knew those were all downstairs in one spot (yes, he does every single garbage bag in my house!)

*After that came the realization that the compost had to go out and I wasn't 100% sure where those bags were kept.

Found them!

*I realized the floor was getting icky and should be swept......

Guess who does that normally? Yep... Arnold.  Guess it's me this week.

*Our recycling can was "throwing up" in the kitchen....

And another "Arnold job".

There is so much he does around here.

I forgot to lock up last night and had to come back upstairs to make sure the doors were locked up because this is another job Arnold does.

Eating dinner and having to put my own dishes away. 

Yes, I am that lucky.

Way more than I thought.

I am so glad our boys have Arnold as an example of what a man/husband should be like.  Sometimes these examples are few and far between.  But Arnold is in their lives every day.  He shows them how to treat their wives by how he treats me.  He shows them how to be an incredible uncle by how he treats our nieces.  He shows them how to be neighbourly by hanging out with the neighbourhood kids/families.  He leads by example when helping in our school.

So, I'm not the "lucky" one.  I'm not "spoiled".

I'm married to an incredible man.  An amazing man.  A Godly man. A man who loves me...

And a man who I love more than I ever thought possible.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Single parenting

I'm not an expert by any means.

I'm not an expert in parenting, teaching, marriage, music, ANYTHING!!

I don't pretend to be an expert.  I may know a lot but I'm not an expert.

This week I am experiencing something I have always known I could never do.  Ever.

I am going to be a 'single parent'.

Arnold is heading out for the week.  He is attending a computer conference in San Francisco. 

And I am going to be mommy and daddy this week.

Its a busy week for us.  We have basketball tonight.  Tomorrow is cooking club.  Thursday is swimming.  And Friday night my friend is taking the kids to the indoor playground.

Not only that but we have picture day on Thursday and pizza day on Friday!!  That should help this week fly by.

While I will not have to deal with the kids with no help this week (I will have some help from friends - my brother is doing 12-7 shifts every day this week), and will not be doing it all on my own, it is my married version of single parenting.

I pray Arnold loves his time there and learns a lot.  I also pray that I can make it through the week with the boys.

So here we go!  Let's see how I can handle it!!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Some Days are Just Crazy

Today I realized that my "job" is way more than people give me credit for. 

I'd like to give you a glimpse in on what happens in on of my semi-typical days at school.  I may not be a teacher, or an ECE, or an Educator of any significance.... and that may be my downfall later... but this is how my days can go:

Get to school and find todays work "hinted at" in a pile on a chair
Take down a table to get some work done
Go to the office, and sign in, collect attendance and any extra work that needs to be done
Make announcement for chocolate bar and RH gear
Empty the School Council Box and find out what children have brought in money or forms for new chocolate bar boxes
Go back to the office and get a deposit bag, zip and slip
Once reaching my room begin paperwork for chocolate bar needs
Start sorting envelope money and getting the pre-paperwork done
Sort out change and begin counting

This is where my "teaching partner" comes in and helps me out and we chat about our nights.  Sometimes it's just random things that happen, sometimes its venting over emails or something that may have happen, and sometimes it's just talking. 

We count the money together and talk about what jobs need to be done today and begin prepping out loud what needs  to get done.

TeachP leaves and ECE comes in.  We talk about what the plan for the day is (Plan A, as we know things change all the time) talk about what happen on day 4 (in our case, it's also a Friday... which means reading buddies, then in the PM we have extra play time).  We even had a conversation about photocopying and how to do it.

I left to go to classrooms and hand out candy and forms for new chocolate bar boxes.
Photo copy new classroom poem for the week

Go back to class and start organizing more chocolate bar stuff (can you figure out what our current fundraiser is?)
Talk about the fundraiser that we are currently doing and hope to do soon and the costs and possible profits with TeachP.
Begin filing and prepping the Friday folder and our trip papers
Get called by the office to be an Emergency SNA for the day
Clean up quickly and head to the office to get schedule

Head to Room 2 for work and then to get a student to go out for recess
Have break and spend it working with "my kids"
Walked into the room to see TeachP getting a change of clothes for someone who had an accident; the kids playing around and snack still on the table!  Talk about a world wind!
Got kids organized for Reading Buddies and got them out in the hall and then changed place with TeachP and went to the kid needing to be changed
Child got cleaned and ready to go and ECE brought them to their reading buddy
Finished cleaning up a bit and went to reading buddies

Got a snack and headed back to my ESNA position for the day
Worked with some kids
Back to room 1 to work with some students there
Left at 11:15 to get to my actual Paying Job!

Work (11:15 - 12:45)

Did attendance and some prep in the classroom
Sign out and go workout with Lori!  (one of my favourite part of the day)

Back at school by 2:20pm
Get more Chocolate bar boxes and prep them
Finish updating the fundraising plans
Talk out Monday plans with TeachP
Help tidy up in the room
Make sure the kids lockers are cleaned up
Sing the good bye song

Help prep dismissal and stick around

Then it's back to the classroom and finish talking about plans for Monday/Tuesdays and next years September, and things we want to change.

And then home by 3:15pm

Sometimes... our days always seem WAY more crazy than we think.

Now I'm so tired