Tuesday, May 28, 2013

39 and counting!

Pin It Today was my husband's 39th birthday so we took "Happy Birthday Daddy" pictures for fun. The kids felt the need to include some of their favourite stuffies too. Of course.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Litterbugs Get Fined in Our House

Pin It We have far too much STUFF in our house and I have been wanting to SIMPLIFY but the task feels so completely overwhelming to me that I give up before I even begin.

And yes, I realize that is completely counter-productive.

My depression may or may not have something to do with it as well. I admit nothing.

The irony that having a simplified, organized home would actually significantly help my depression is not lost on me.

ANYWAY... this post is actually not about organizing my home. It is about a nasty habit my children picked up that is adversely affecting my home and making it feel exponentially worse. Over the winter I started to notice a trend with my children. They would unwrap a granola bar or a piece of gum or something and then - wait for it- drop the trash ON MY FLOOR.

Oh yes they did.

No amount of expressing my shock and horror about this atrocity seemed to make any impact on them. They would still continue to throw trash just anywhere they liked as though we don't have garbage cans placed strategically in every. single. room. in the house for that very purpose.

Last week I told them that I was done. Ok... "told" is an understatement. I lost my ever-loving mind and through horrified tears in my most guilt-inducing voice informed them that every time they threw something on the floor instead of in the garbage can they would have to go through their belongings and get rid of something.... as in recycle or throw something away that was old or broken or donate something that they no longer wore or played with.

I explained that if we were to throw trash on the street or in the park that would make us litterbugs and we would get in trouble because that is illegal and we would get a fine. I explained that throwing trash on the floor in our house is just as wrong and so they would be getting fined from now on. Since they don't have cash they will be fined STUFF. If they never throw trash on the floor they have nothing to worry about.

This pronouncement was met with serious freaking out and my husband very graciously negotiated a one-week grace period. He told them they had one week to prove that they could change. One week to prove that they would never throw garbage on the floor again. One week to prove that they could behave in our home like they behave at school and in other people's homes where they would never ever dream of throwing garbage on the floor.

And so I waited. For one week I left all the garbage on the floor that they threw there. I didn't pick it up. I didn't say anything. I just left it there.

Shockingly *insert voice dripping with sarcasm here* they did not follow through on their promises to never ever never again throw trash on the floor. I'm sure you are all just as surprised as I was.

So today my children were informed that they had to go through their belongings and find things to get rid of. And oh there was weeping and gnashing of teeth but I stood my ground. Litterbugs get fined in our household.

It's actually killing two birds with one stone - not only are we teaching them not to be complete slobs by reminding them that there are consequences for their actions, they are also helping me go through all their STUFF. Actually it is four birds because we are reminding them that donating things actually benefits those who are less fortunate than us and recycling benefits our planet. It is an all-around good thing and no crying or yelling (on my part) was required.

And yes- they also had to pick up all the garbage they dropped on the floor.

Incidentally did you know that if you stop cleaning up after your kids stuff gets messy really fast? Because it does. Just in case you were wondering.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

#JumpstartDay Twitter Party Thurs May 23

Pin It Did you know that one in three Canadian families cannot afford to enrol their children in sport or recreation activities? In fact we fall into that category ourselves. If it wasn't for disability funding and low-income scholarship money our kids would not have been able to participate in sports this year. Because of that special funding Aiden and Owen were able to join swim club for the first time and Olivia was able to take her very first dance class. This is the first year my children have participated in extra-curricular sports because we could simply never afford it without help.

I can't even begin to tell you how wonderful swimming was for both of my boys but especially for Owen. My son has found his home. He has found where he belongs! He loves being in the pool and says things like "when I am in the Olympics...". That is a beautiful thing to hear.

Aiden was able to build relationships with his swim team. Yes, he swam and he developed as a swimmer for sure. But he learned some very important skills as team mate that are hard for kids with Autism to learn.

And Olivia- oh my little girl! She danced her heart out and she twirls and leaps and does her ballet everywhere she goes. Such a gift.

To think we almost missed out on that because we couldn't afford it.

And we are certainly not the only ones!

I only recently learned about an amazing program called Canadian Tire Jumpstart and I am thrilled to tell you about it.

Canadian Tire Jumpstart is a national charitable program that helps financially disadvantaged kids participate in organized sport and recreation. Jumpstart helps cover registration fees, equipment and/or transportation costs.

Since the inception in 2005, Canadian Tire Jumpstart has given more than 581,177 kids across Canada the chance to play. Canadian Tire Jumpstart is dedicated to removing financial barriers, so children can participate in organized sport and recreation.

How can you support Canadian Tire Jumpstart?

Make a donation.
Host your own event in support of Canadian Tire Jumpstart.
Support a fundraising event for Canadian Tire Jumpstart.
Visit one of our partners: any Canadian Tire, Gas+, Mark’s, Sport Chek , Atmosphere or Pita Pit location and get your own Jumpstart Red Ball for a $2 donation.
Visit your local Canadian Tire on Jumpstart Day , May 25th.
‘Like' the Pita Pit Facebook page during May, and Pita Pit will donate $1 for every like they get to the page.
Visit Buffalo Wild Wings on Wednesdays in May, and donate 10% of your bill to Jumpstart

100% of customer donations go directly to help kids in financial need participate in organized sport and recreation.

The Canadian Tire Corporation funds all the general and administrative expenses as well as the program delivery costs of the Canadian Tire Jumpstart program.

Join us on Thursday May 23rd for the #JumpstartDay Twitter party from 9pm-10pm. Great prizes and a celebrity guest! Don’t forget to follow your host @CTJumpstart and your moderators: @Nugglemama, @Tarasview @Shasherlife @RossanaWyatt.

Prizes are available to Canadian Residents Only, but all are welcome to the party. RSVP below to be eligible for prizes. We’ll be chatting about sports, getting kids participating in activities and chatting with a celebrity guest!

Follow the party on our custom Tweetgrid here.

Make sure to enter your Twitter Handle “@yourTwitterhandle” in the Link/Blog Title field, and Twitter URL “www.twitter.com/yourtwitterhandle” in the url Field*

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Like Kisses in the Sky

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I wanted to share my beautiful Mother's Day gifts with you all. Olivia wrote me the sweetest poem...

It says "I love you mommy so much like the kises in the sky. you are beautiful."

Seriously. How cute is that?

She also gave me about 15 drawings and these lovely flowers in a pot she painted herself...

Owen's class did not make mother's day presents at school so he drew me this picture of him and I holding hands and gave me a big hug and told me he loved me which I assured him was just perfect ...

Aiden told me he didn't want to give me his gift. He told me his teacher MADE him make it and told him he HAD to give it to me. So he did. But he wanted me to know he had serious reservations about doing it.

When I opened the gift I quickly realized why...

It was a coupon book filled with things he would do for me... Of course my son would not want to give me coupons! I told him I understood completely why he didn't want to give me the gift but that I was totally going to use it anyway. *insert evil laugh here*

I informed him that I would wait until he least expected it - like when he was super mad at me - and then I would whip out my coupon book! BAM! Oh, you hate me? Well, here's a coupon for a free massage! Thanks honey :)

He found my glee over this somewhat disconcerting but I just continued to share various scenarios in which these coupons would come in extra handy for me. *snicker*

Honestly I couldn't stop laughing the whole time I was reading these coupons. The illustrations just kill me. I especially love this one... "A walk with Aiden... your to young to Die! No!"

My kids are so awesome.

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Dancing Her Dreams

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Olivia had her very first dance recital this weekend and she conquered her stage fright and danced in front of TONS of people! We are so very proud of her. She looked adorable in her costume and she knew every step of her routine. Her class danced to the song "Dancing Your Dreams" and it was, by far, one of the cutest things I have ever seen. 

And for those of you in our family (hi mom) here is a video with more pictures and the actual song she danced to. We were sitting too far away to take a decent video of the whole routine but this will give you a pretty good idea of how sweet it was:

Thursday, May 02, 2013

The #WalmartFrugalHeroes Challenge

Pin It The challenge? Dress two children for summer on $100.

Could I do it? I honestly wasn't sure.

I was fairly certain I could cover Olivia - there is always a ton of cheap and adorable stuff in her size that she loves. However, I was significantly less confident about finding clothes that would work for my boys. My sons are currently the exact same size (much to their chagrin) so they are able to share clothing for the most part. That means I need to find clothes that appeal to both of them in order for something to truly be a success.

I was certainly up to the challenge though!

My husband and I set off for Walmart this afternoon and got to work. In under an hour we had chosen 5 shirts and 5 pairs of shorts that we were almost 100% sure Olivia would love... and another 5 shirts and 5 pairs of shorts that we were reasonably sure that the boys would love.

Here is what we chose...

Total cost? $99.75 = SUCCESS! 

When the kids got home from school I showed them their new clothes. Olivia was (predictably) thrilled with her summer outfits and promptly began to try every single item on. Surprisingly the boys were equally thrilled with our choices and each asked to wear one of their new shirts to school tomorrow.

I call that an extremely successful shopping trip.

Now if it would just warm up outside everything would be perfect because we can't wait for summer to begin. Bring on the sunshine!

Disclosure: I received a $100 Walmart Gift Card to take part in the #WalmartFrugalHeroes Challenge. The opinions are my own.
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