Five For Fun

1. Holy moley!!! As you may have noticed, things have been a little bit quiet around here lately. Despite the cyber-silence things on the other side of the screen have been abuzz with busyness, let me tell you!  Craft fairs, family trips, parent-teacher interviews, work conferences, small people losing their first teeth, baptisms, Christmas-planning…all on top of this thing we call Life.  We Mamas have been up to our armpits lately, but we’ve missed you!

2. Back in August I made 12 complete freezer meals for my family and 8 partial or “short-cut” freezer meals. Additionally, I had some breakfast items, baked goods and other freezer staples stockpiled in hopes that this would make things a lot easier to manage when I returned to work in September.  The good news is that this has been working extremely well, as I have mentioned previously.  We’ve been eating hot, homemade meals on a regular basis, and breakfasts, while quick, have been easy and balanced.  The very, very, very bad news is that when I went to my freezer this evening to consider what I might use later this week I discovered that I have only three meals, 8 muffins, and 12 waffles remaining.  I have a feeling yogurt tubes and KD will be making a comeback in our house leading up to Christmas Break.

3. Our oldest turned six (!!) last weekend.  Not only is he the only child willing to take silly selfies with me, he’s also sweet, smart, funny, fun-loving, and a fantastic big brother.  We are so proud of him and can’t wait to see what the next six years will hold.  To celebrate we had our second “out of the house” party ever, at Rebel Space Indoor Playground & Cafe and it was worth every penny.  15 little boys had an absolute blast and there were plenty of sweaty heads to prove it.

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4. I’m starting to believe that if I hear Taylor Swift’s “Shake it Off” even ONE MORE BLESSED TIME I may impale myself with the nearest available stabby thing.  Don’t get me wrong.  I love me some Tay-Tay.  For real.  But, I can only do this so many times.  So just stop it.  Please.

5. Last time I posted a Five for Fun I mentioned that I needed to see my family doctor, my dentist, and find the time to mop my floors. I am pleased to announce that since then I have managed to do all of these things.  Of course the floors now need to be mopped again.  But here’s a question: Is it really possible for a working mama to have clean teeth, a clean bill of health, AND clean floors all at the same time?  Exactly.  So, I’m taking my 2/3 to the bank and calling it a win because teeth and health trump tile every time!

**Sneaky bonus number 6**  I’m feeling challenged in all my busyness to make the upcoming season of Advent all about slowing down, being present, practicing patience, and finding the joy in just being still.  I’m hoping to write more about this in the weeks to come.  Stay tuned!

Love, Amanda

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Five For Fun

1) October is flying by. Whoa. Our days have been busy even though we Homeschool and stick pretty close to home most days. My eldest daughter is gaining confidence in her reading and it is such an honor to be there to watch it happen. We are using the book “How To Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons” and we are about halfway through it. I would absolutely recommend it to anyone that likes short, easy lessons that can be done for 5-10 minutes a day.

2) We wanted to take the kids to a pumpkin patch to each choose their own pumpkins and then go apple picking but the day we chose ended up being way too cold and within ten minutes all the kids were squabbling and crying about cold hands. We promptly got back into the van while my husband loaded three huge pumpkins into our trunk.

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3)That same day we spent the afternoon at the farm. Whenever I say “the farm” I am talking about the farm my husband works for. We consider them family and love spending time out there. The kids all jump on the big trampoline, play in the woods and go visit the sheep, donkeys and cows. I hope they will always remember those days as being special because for me as their mother they really are. My dad grew up on a potato farm and I like to think it would make him happy to see my kids in rubber boots running around getting dirty and talking to the animals.

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4) I am not a good sleeper. It is currently 12:11am and I have to be up at 7 am. Not every night is so late but I have so much trouble getting my brain to switch off that I have to stay up most nights until I am completely toast. At least I have good sock knitting and Gilmore Girls on Netflix to keep me company.

5) My girls are super pumped about Halloween this week. They have decided to be little witches and keep begging me to let them wear their hats around the house. I am saying no all the way until the 31st because in previous years I have caved and then by the big day they were bored with their costumes and would end up wearing something random from our tickle trunk. Either way, this week will be fun as we get ready by carving pumpkins, baking something pumpkin-y and make some new memories trick or treating on our street.

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Five for Fun

1) I am in over my head, folks. Granted, I am a fairly short person, but right now my to-do list is longer than I am tall. I’ve got a killer combination of baby showers, Halloween costumes, birthday presents, Thanksgiving dinners… The first thing I do when I start to get overwhelmed is make lists. I make a lot of lists. And always, always, the first list I make, is a list of all the other lists I need to make. Crazy, right? The first list is always something like, “Groceries to buy. Crafts I need to finish. Chores that need to get done.” And so on. Then I get into the details of each individual list. (Please tell me I’m not the only one who does this!)

2) Anybody else have attention deficit issues when it comes to crafts? I’ve been making hats, bookmarks, baby shoes, capes, masks, and Halloween costumes. I bought some of these for some tiny embroidery. And I’ve been painting.  I just need to learn to sit down and finish one project before I find something new and awesome to start.

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3) I love Halloween costumes. My kids only go to about a dozen houses for trick or treating, but I love letting the kids pick what they want to be, and working on making their ideas come to life. This year we’ll have an Elsa, a robot, a pink poodle, and a bumblebee. We have a history of bugs for first Halloweens. It’s all about those antennae.

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4) It’s almost (Canadian) Thanksgiving! We will have the pleasure of enjoying two turkey dinners this year. I’m cooking one dinner, but supplying desserts for both. Help me decide? Apple crisp, pumpkin pie with gingersnap cookie crust, lemon tart, apple pie cinnamon rolls, or something else. I need at least two. Oh, and did I mention I can’t eat grains, dairy, soy, or eggs?

5) After seven months of extraordinary sleep-deprivation, Pooter decided to start sleeping through the night last week. Six nights in a row of seven to twelve hour stretches. And then, just when he’d lulled me into a false sense of security, he’s been back to his old tricks for the last two nights. For a while there, I was drinking coffee because I liked it, but not because I needed it. I cling to the hope, however, that since he’s proven he can do it, he will go back to doing it sooner than later.

 

 

 

Five for Fun

1. I’ve been back to work for three and a half weeks now. It feels pretty okay, you guys.  We’ve got an excellent and highly efficient morning routine going, the lunches have (so far) been homemade, the clothes have been clean, the dog has only punished us once for leaving her alone all day, the Tupperware lids are all still accounted for, and we all still like each other at bedtime.  Almost always.  So, there has been some bickering.  And there may possibly have been one or two incidents where I may possibly have screamed repeatedly at my family to GET IN THE VAN!!!  But generally, things are going well.  I have not even misplaced my keys that many times.  Okay, so seven times.  Really what I’m saying is that 43% of the time I knew exactly where my keys were at the exact moment I needed them.  That’s less than half the time, people.  If you know me at all you would know that the cards in my wallet are organized alphabetically, I fold my family’s underwear, and I have labels on all the things.  But I can rarely keep track of my keys.  So maybe I’ll work on that.  In any case, I feel pretty good about finding that this working mom thing is totally cray-cray most of the time but also highly doable most of the time.

 

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Cabin 18

2. I recently spent a night away from home at White Point Beach Resort.  Oceanfront cabin, a fireplace, coffee, wine, girlfriends to share or sit in silence with, waves crashing on the rocks, a salty sea breeze, hand-knitted socks, a good book, a comfy chair, and blessed quiet.  It was everything I knew it would be.  Sometimes all it takes for me to remember everything I love about my life is to step away from my life for a short period of time.  It’s good to be back.

 

3. I tried a new curry recipe last week that my entire family (all three of my small people included) loved.  You will find it here.  The only changes we made were to add some sweet potato, diced carrot, about a cup of chicken stock, and about a tablespoon of fish sauce.  I served it over warm naan bread and, you guys, it was nommy.

 

4. My eldest son lost two teeth last weekend and I am pleased to say that the Tooth Fairy remembered to show up both times. Also, I was so not prepared for how emotional I would get over him losing his first tooth.  I’m pretty sure I’ll need to be sedated for his first middle school dance.  My baby is growing up and I don’t like it.

 

5. I really need to go to the dentist, see my family doctor, get a hair-cut/color, wax some stuff, and mop my floors. Since I am having difficulty deciding on the order in which to prioritize these things, in addition to the difficulty I am having in remembering on any given day that these things ought to be prioritized in the first place, I find myself doing none of these things every day so far this month.  I need to change my ways.

Five for Fun

Fred1. I’m pleased to announce that Fred has been officially adopted by our family! He’s been the perfect addition in every way. Thanks to Gail and all her helpers at Home to Stay for rescuing Fred from an unimaginable situation so that he can live out his days with us. We love him so much! If you’re looking to add a four-legged member to your family, please consider adopting a rescue animal. He or she will love you forever.

2. It’s back-to-school week for me. I have been taking courses from a local university via distance for over a year now. I’m still a little amazed that I can work towards a degree while maintaining a full-time job and a family. What a time to be alive! With The Boy starting school this year, I am happy to teach him that learning never ends.

3. It’s basically fall. It’s my favourite season in many ways, but I think I only wore sandals about a dozen times this summer. No fair.

4. The Boy had a fire drill the first week of school, and he was terrified by how loud he imagined the bell would be. His teacher had practiced with the class the day before it was scheduled, and he freaked out, so she wrote me a note asking if we could talk about it a bit that evening. He freaked out again just talking about it. I found a fire alarm on YouTube and played it for him a couple of times, during which he continued to freak out. At bedtime, he asked if we could say a prayer together that he wouldn’t be so afraid of the bell the next day, and we did. I got an email from his teacher the next afternoon saying how well he did and how brave he was during the fire drill. I am just so pleased with his teacher, his school, and the way he’s adjusting into this new phase of his life.

5. My buy-nothing year is off to a great start. I’m documenting most of it on my personal blog, Monique Makes Do. If it interests you, please follow along. If you’re like-minded, then you can join us over at our Facebook Page!

Five for Fun

Sleepy Dudes

Plum tuckered.

1. There is a dog in my house, and he just might end up being ours. We’ve been giving a lot of thought to adding a four-legged member to our family, but both my cat allergy and my father’s rodent-loathing have narrowed our choices considerably. We found a fella we believe to be the perfect fit, but I won’t jinx it by giving it all away just yet. He is a very sweet boy and these two are fast becoming best buds.

2. September 1st might as well be New Year’s Day to me, since that’s when I make all of my resolutions. This year’s list is short: buy nothing. There will have to be exceptions, of course, and it is enumerating these items that occupies much of my fun-thinking time. Stay tuned and watch me succeed/fail spectacularly!

 

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Stove-top Alchemist.

3. My brother is getting married tomorrow, and I spent this past weekend making custom lip balm wedding favours. I am always so pleasantly surprised when something turns out as well in real life as I pictured in my head. I used the recipe from Karrie at Happy Money Saver (with slight modifications for the bride’s and groom’s custom flavours). I love it. Would make again.

4. While helping to choose music for the wedding playlist, I remembered that I know all the words to a lot of songs.

 

 

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Monique.

5. I once bought a dress online for the stupid reason that it had the same name as me, and it’s never fit me so it’s hung in my closet for over a year. One of those aspirational dresses. You know what I mean. Or maybe you don’t, in which case I congratulate you on being so highly evolved. I had planned (months ago) to wear it to the wedding this weekend, but wisely, I had a back-up plan: I borrowed a dress. Well, I borrowed four dresses, actually. I have never done this before, but I suspect it helps to have friends with great taste. Thanks for the assist, Sam!

 

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