Monday, November 30, 2009

What do you mean I'm not perfect?

Pin It I have decided to join Write of Passage- the Challenge to Write Well . The challenge today is to write about my most embarrassing moment... and honestly I don't think I can pinpoint one moment as the pinnacle of my embrassment. My embarassing moments are of the more on-going continuous just-because-I-am-so-awesome kind.

I am not the world's best housekeeper. I openly admit this. I am capable of cleaning and making my home look lovely. I do actually clean my home on a regular basis... daily in most cases.

But I have 3 kids and a husband who works from home and a blog that I MUCH prefer to work on. Those things often keep me from my housecleaning chores. And most of the time I am ok with that.

Except when people "drop by" for a visit.

Then I sincerely regret my decision to procrastinate on the whole cleaning thing.

My husband is a minister. A minister who has his office in our basement. Which means people drop by. A lot.

You would think that knowing this would cause me to turn into one of those Super Moms who have perfect homes all the time. But alas, it seems I am incapable of accomplishing such a feat.

The thing that drives me crazy though is that no one EVER drops by when I have just cleaned my home and it is all sparkly and pretty and not humiliating in the least. Nope. They wait to drop by until there are laundry piles (both clean AND dirty) scattered everywhere, until the dirty dishes are stacked high on the counters, until my floor is covered with crumbs and miscellaneous kid-stuff, and until I look like I just woke up... no matter what time of day it is.

Why do they do that?

One time in particular stands out. My oldest son was 17 months old and my younger son was a mere 3 weeks old at the time. I had post partum depression and a massive thyroid malfunction going on. My husband had an office away from home back then so he was gone for the day. I had become a hermit.

We lived in a HUGE apartment building that required us to buzz visitors up. I dreaded hearing that stupid buzzer but took comfort in the fact that it gave me a 3 minute warning. I can do a lot in 3 minutes.

On this particular day every single thing in my entire home was dirty or scattered or in a pile or on the floor. Nothing was as it should be. Not one square inch of my home was presentable. I was most certainly not presentable. I wasn't even emotionally presentable. There could not have been a worse day for an unexpected guest.

When that stupid buzzer rang my heart stopped as I looked around the chaos of my home. I quickly realized that NO ONE must EVER see what I had become. So I ignored that stupid buzzer and prayed earnestly that whoever it was would just go away. I started chanting lines from Forrest Gump "please God make me a bird so that I can fly far far away" and promising to be a better homemaker if only God would spare me the humiliation just this one time.

But no. My pleas were ignored and some evil  helpful person let the nice lady in. Of course I didn't know that and delusionally thought I had dodged the bullet once more. So imagine my horror when my doorbell rang. I broke out into a panic-sweat and tried to pretend I was not home but my would-be guest clearly didn't get the hint. She knew I was home and assumed I was simply occupied with my young children and proceeded to open the door and call out to me so she could surprise me with the lovely "welcome baby" gift from our church. Apparently my husband had confirmed that I would be home but failed to call me with a warning. I truly wanted to kill that man in that moment.

I wouldn't even invite her in I was so horrified. I rushed to the door and tried to block the way into my home.  I'm sure she thought I was the rudest pastor's wife alive. But don't worry, from our front entrance she could see all the way into the living room disaster area and into the hallway filled with piles of dirty laundry and into the kitchen that had clearly been taken over by messy aliens.

She took a look around and a look at me and then stammered an apology and said something about the gift and dropped in my hands and hightailed it out of there. When she left I broke down and wept and cursed God for not saving me from the humiliation and my husband for not warning me about my impending doom and the universe in general for making my life one big cosmic joke. I felt very sorry for myself. And oh I was embarrassed. I just KNEW the whole church would know that I was the worst housekeeper in the whole world by sundown. I completely avoided that woman for months even though she was very nice and it was most certainly not her fault that I was a walking disaster area. She didn't even rat me out to the rest of the church but it didn't matter...the humiliation had worked its way deep into my soul.

Over the years I have come to accept my inadequacies and I try valiantly not to care about appearances when someone drops by. Everyone always says that people come to see me not my home. But there is always that part of me that just wants to sink into the floor every time the doorbell rings.

I desperately want a magic wand and an invisibility cloak like in Harry Potter. Or a maid.

I must admit now that my children are slightly older (7, 6, and almost 3) and two of them are in full time school it is a bit easier to keep up. But I am still no super mom. And my stomache still clenches every single time someone drops by... even when I really honestly like them and am genuinely happy to see them!

Nothing like a good dose of mortification to keep one humble I guess. On the up side I have found that people really are very forgiving and that I am certainly not alone in my housekeeping challenges. But every once in awhile I wonder if the organized cleaning machine that I once was before marriage and parenthood will ever return. I miss her.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Weekly Winners- decorating for Christmas

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I am a little late posting my weekly winners today because until this evening I didn't HAVE any weekly winners!

I tried to get a decent picture of our Christmas tree but have discovered that it is actually pretty hard to get a picture that actually shows what it looks like.



I love love LOVE Christmas. I love the day itself, I love what it stands for, I love that it is also my birthday, I love the lights, I love the presents, I love the tree, I love the music, I love it all. 





Everything just looks so pretty and sparkly and it just makes me happy :)

I would decorate pretty much every available surface if I could. I maintain that every home looks better with Christmas decorations!

Even if they are completely mismatched like mine. Eclectic is good.


I have a thing for angels and ribbons... together, separately... doesn't matter. I don't know why, I just really like them.

I especially love this ribbon this year...


It is just so darn pretty!


So there you have it. A small peak into my Christmas obsession and delight!

You can find more Weekly Winners at SarcasticMom.com.


Friday, November 27, 2009

Dear Internet,

Pin It Please don't crap out on me like that again. Do you know how stressful it is for me to have to go without you for an entire evening and then to get up in the morning and for you STILL to be gone?

I didn't like it.

Withdrawal is not good for my state of mind.

And I don't CARE what your excuses are. Behaviour like that is simply unacceptable. I had things to do, posts to write, stuff to giveaway, email to check, tweets to twitter, statuses to update. Social networking was YOUR idea internet, not mine. You sucked me in. And then to just cut me off with no warning? Cruel.

Pay attention internet, don't make me tell you this again! Your job is to WORK when I sit down at my computer... not to obstinately refuse to work thereby forcing my computer to swear at me saying things like "could not find connection" and "no you can NOT access your email and blog because the internets have been raptured and you have been left behind. Sucks to be you."

Now don't get me wrong internet, I'm very thankful you decided to come back on once my dear husband had that nice chat with the nice techie man and went and got us a new doohicky for the thing in the place and hooked up the whatchamacallit...but I would really prefer if you never put me through that kind of stress again. Ok? Thanks.

love,
Tara

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy American Thanksgiving

Pin It Olivia has fallen asleep in a couple pretty cute positions over the last couple days. This in-between-still-napping-and-not-needing-a-nap-anymore stage has been a little rough. I am hoping she adjusts to a reasonable schedule soon!






A very Happy Thanksgiving to my American friends- I hope you all have a wonderful holiday!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

a lovely surprise for me...

Pin It I've been in a bit of a funk lately and I think the gloomy weather has had at least a little bit to do with it. So my sweet wonderful husband decided to surprise me with this...


He brought me a tropical breakfast!! Well, as close to tropical as we can get here in Northwestern Ontario, Canada. Tropical juice, fresh strawberries, pastries, yummy yogurt, beautiful flowers and a lovely magazine full of pictures of places I would love to be right now :).

I love my husband! He cheered me right up :)

Monday, November 23, 2009

an update from the land of the non-functioning mommy...

Pin It Hi everyone,

The last couple days I've been sort of non-functioning. It started with a nasty migraine and then I was just wiped right out. Yesterday I went back to bed TWICE during the day and slept for hours. Then today I went back to bed after the boys went to school and slept until 1 pm. I NEVER do that. Doug was hanging out with Olivia and at some point in the morning ( I have no idea when) she climbed up beside me and went to sleep and we had a nap together. When we woke up she sat up, smiled and said "Momee you sweep (sleep) too?". Then she asked me to play hide and seek and cook her some rice. So we did.

I am just exhausted though STILL. I sure hope this feeling doesn't last too long.

I am very thankful for my awesome husband who keeps letting me sleep. Thanks Doug, I love you.

I recently asked *aka TOLD* my husband that I NEEDED a time-out space for ME. With Olivia's crazy sleep schedule I never seem to get a single minute of non-kid time during my days. So my sweet husband set up our small TV and old dvd player in our room and told me I could disappear in there and watch Gilmore Girls and chick flicks to my hearts content. I haven't actually done it yet but the fact that it is a possibility is very nice.

I am in no way prepared for Christmas. I have no bought a single gift or put up a single decoration. I realize most of you have Thanksgiving this week but here in Canada we did that way back in October. And I'm glad because I just don't think I could do a major holiday this week! We also don't do the whole "black friday" thing here like you all do in the USA. In fact I had never even heard of it until I started blogging a few years ago!

Speaking of blogging it has now been over 3 years since I started this blog. I can't believe it has been that long! I started when I was 8ish months pregnant with Olivia and now here she is about to turn 3 years old in 2 weeks. TWO WEEKS! I'm not prepared for that either. I have no idea what to do for her birthday.

I wish you all a very happy Monday and to my American friends may all your Thanksgiving preparations go exceedingly smoothly!

What have you all been up to these days? Are you all ready for Christmas? What would YOU do for a 3 year old's birthday party on a tight budget?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Oh Sleep Where Art Thou?

Pin It I'm having a terrible time with Olivia's sleeping schedule these days. She is in that awful "just starting to grow out of naps" stage. It is kind of driving me crazy. So this evening she fell asleep on the couch just before supper time... not good. Now it is midnight and she is still going strong. Since the boys went to bed HOURS AGO Olivia has eaten several snacks (or more accurately asked for several snacks but eaten only small bites from said snacks leaving the rest to pollute the living room), read several books, done a few puzzles and watched several programs on TV...

then we played with "Dowen"'s (what Olivia calls my son Owen... drives him crazy... makes me laugh) skateboard...
while showing off our fabulous new shoes that grandma bought today of course. We think the dirty shirt/no pants/diaper/socks/sparkly pink shoes look is really going to take off.
Then she found Owen's disgusting Halloween vampire teeth stashed in the toybox and had to try them out...
because every girl needs a good set of fangs obviously...

So here I sit practically falling asleep in my chair, listening to Diego singing about his rescue pack in the background praying this nasty sleep stage doesn't last too much longer. Even though she IS super cute mommy still needs sleep.

World Vision Gift Catalog

Pin It Even with the economic recession those of us in North America are extremely blessed. If you are reading this post than you likely have a home, food and clothing... and most of you have your own computer and your children have their own toys. That is a lot more than SO much of our world's population.

This Christmas why not consider giving a gift that will help those less fortunate than we are?


Through the World Vision Gift Catalog, you can make a donation to dozens of different projects around the world to help children and families in need. It’s much better than giving an impersonal gift card or a last-minute purchase like a sweater, and the donations can go a long way to promoting health and wellness in the developing world. These items make great gifts for moms, dads, grandparents AND children! The World Vision Gift Catalog is a wonderful opportunity to give great, inexpensive gifts that no one will want to exchange.
The World Vision gifts are a great value for people trying to pinch their pennies and please their loved ones. And they stretch a family’s “giving dollars” this year because, thanks to corporate product donations and government matching grants, many of the gifts will help provide much more than the $25 gift! A sampling of inexpensive gift items include:
- $16 will buy two soccer or basketballs for a child
- $17 will buy improved hybrid or drought-resistant seeds for a nourishing harvest and income
- $18 will buy enough bed nets to protect an entire family from malaria
- $25 will provide $350 worth of school supplies in the U.S.
- $25 buys two chickens to provide a lasting source of nutrition and income for a family

Last year alone, World Vision’s Gift Catalog raised $25 million and provided assistance to more than 500,000 people around the world.

World Vision launched the Gift Catalog in 1996. And while a goat ($75) may be World Vision’s number one seller, there are more than 100 gifts (many under $35) to choose from.
To order: www.worldvisiongifts.org. Or call toll-free (888) 511-6511. All items are tax-deductible.




Wordless Wednesday- "I did dat mommy... see?"

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Olivia and the hand sanitizer

Pin It Me: Hey Olivia, what is that you have? (translation- why have you been so quiet for the past 5 minutes?)

Olivia: dis bottle an my Mickey Mouse.

Me: What's in that bottle Olivia?

Olivia: yotion (lotion) mommy

Olivia: see? its on my hand! Gamma gave it to us.

Me: Olivia, what is in your slippers?

Olivia: nuffing (nothing) is in my swippers mommy.
Me: really?

Olivia: just yotion mommy!
Me: nice work honey.

Olivia: fanks mommy

(just as a point of interest if you completely ignore puddles of hand sanitizer left in your daughter's slippers it will dry all on its own and she will wear them the next day as though nothing had been there ever)

When is allowance just a bribe?

Pin It GUEST POST from The Mind of a Mom

FACT ~ In today's society we give our kids too many material things. If you don't agree just look at the mount of toys or clothes or whatever your downfall is that our children have.

Often by the time our kids are in their teens they expect things to be handed to them. When our generation or our parents generation were growing up and we had to do chores or tasks for our pocket money. As parents today we often find ourselves being the bank-machine on wheels.

This discussion came up for me because my girlfriend thinks that it is okay to just give her daughter money when she wants something, no questions asked. I, on the other hand, am an old school believer that The girl has to earn her money.

Now when I say earn I am not talking a 9-5 child labour camp in my home. She has to bring the garbage from her bedroom and the washroom down to the garage on garbage day. She needs to unload the dishwasher. She must vacuum her room once a week and occasionally she must dust. The girl is 15 and is very sport oriented (soccer, volleyball, field hockey, cross country, flag football) and because of this The Hubster and I want her to focus on her school and sports and prefer that she doesn't work part-time quite yet.

The other day I was talking to my girlfriend and she asked me what The girl was doing and I thought she meant right at that moment so I told her " vacuuming her room". She then said to me that I was not teaching my child anything, all I was doing was showing her how to bribe her children into getting them to do things. I was taken aback when she said this. I would have never thought that having my daughter do things around the house and giving her an allowance was bribing her to do things.

My take is that we are teaching her responsibility.
I think if I was bribing her I would tell her she would get cool things if she succeeded in her chosen sport.... wait I do that too :o)

Do you bribe give allowance to your children?
What chores do you think are reasonable?

Thanks so much to The Mind of a Mom for this guest post!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Dove Body Wash

Pin It I was recently sent some samples of Dove body wash to try out. I really loved the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty and pro-age campaigns so I was more than willing to review their products.
Here is a bit of information I took off the Dove website:
NEW Dove Body Wash with NutriumMoisture™:

• Repairs and maintains skin’s protective layer during cleansing

• Unlike moisturizers in other body washes, Dove Body Wash with NutriumMoisture™ penetrates
surface skin deep down to replenish and nourish

• Clinically proven to significantly reduce dryness and improve moisturization

• Available in Deep Moisture, Sensitive Skin and Gentle Exfoliating


I was able to try all three kinds of Dove Body Wash with NutriumMoisture. I think my favourite kind is the Deep Moisture but all three are great. I appreciated the subtle scent and how soft my skin felt after using the products. I also used the Sensitive Skin Body Wash on my children. All three of my kiddos have ultra sensitive skin and end up with rashes if I use anything too harsh- none of them had any sort of bad reaction to the Dove Sensitive Skin Body Wash.

Dove Body Washes with NutriumMoisture were honoured with one of Allure magazine’s 2009 Best of Beauty Breakthrough awards! Allure magazine established the Breakthrough Award in 2000 to acknowledge products that set new standards for innovation.

Any company who makes videos like these deserves to be supported in my opinion:







Sunday, November 15, 2009

Weekly Winners- it's all about the Lego

Pin It I didn't take a whole lot of pictures this week... it has taken me ages to recover from the flu. I do like this picture of Olivia though...
You can really see her chipped/falling apart front teeth in that one.

My boys wanted me to take pictures of their Lego creations...
They are incredibly detailed...
They have made everything from army bases to spaceships and tanks...
And of course Owen always seems to throw Spongebob in there somewhere...

But there is an inordinate amount of angry looking soldier type characters...
I think that guy has some angst :)

You can find more Weekly Winners at SarcasticMom.com.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Bright Star Kids review

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Last year I had the privilege of reviewing Wall Graphics from Bright Star Kids. I loved that product so much that I contacted them and asked them if they would like to be a part of my because Christmas is coming gift guide. And lucky for all of you they said yes!



Bright Star Kids sent me this adorable personalized Canvas Art for Olivia's room. Olivia chose the design herself from the Bright Star Kids website and she loves the farm animals. She daily points out the various animals and makes their sounds- it is so cute!





So what are Kids Canvases? Bright Star Kids range of Canvas Art are designed for those who would like to add some colour to their child's room but don't want to go for a full on theme. You can have your canvas personalised with your child's name, and we will then print out your chosen design on to top quality canvas. Your chosen design is then wrapped around a sturdy wooden frame, and comes with ready to hang with quality artist rope. You then just hang them on your wall using a normal hook, and hey presto you've got a fabulous looking personalised artwork on your child's wall. The best thing about them is that they'll last for years and you can move them around easily. If you need to move home, simply remove and move to your new home. Perfect to use in rental properties.
The Canvas arrived at our house in perfect condition and considering it travelled all the way from beautiful Australia that is quite impressive! The colours are bright and fun and perfect for a child's room. I love that they are personalized. Kids Canvas Art comes in Farm Animals, Jungle theme, Pony, and Superhero girl/boy.

Kids Canvas Art would make a perfect gift for the child in your life! You can even get it gift wrapped from Bright Star Kids making it an easy gift to get.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

sMall entertainment

Pin It On the day we went to the city for Olivia's dentist appointment we stopped in at a mall to kill a bit of time. Olivia was completely enamoured with the pretend vehicles and played on them for quite awhile- even though we had no money to actually make them go. She didn't care :)


She especially loved the school bus. She kept talking to the plastic Arthur and patting his hand and telling him she would take him home, not to worry. It was absolutely adorable.


I am fairly certain that playing on those vehicles was the highlight of the day for her :).
 
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