Thursday, February 28, 2013

The things I want to give my children

Things are changing... and that makes me sound old.  I recall many adults saying those same words when I was a child.

WE (and I say we because I think the majority of people who read this are around my age, if your not - I am referring to people approx. 20-30 years old) are being considered the 'jobless generation'
To read more on that - click here

We went to a post secondary school, studied hard (or kinda hard) and graduated assuming that we would  actually work in the field that we studied.

It wasn't that simple.

Either way, we all work hard now to make ends meet and with a pile of debt from years of school, it is pretty difficult. And then we have kids. And I would be a hypocrite to tell that that having children is a bad idea.  In fact I think having children was my BEST idea - ever!  But, they do make it a little more challenging to stick to a budget.

So now I have an *almost* 11 year-old boy.  We live in a nice little town, with nice people, most of whom commute to Toronto for better paying jobs to make ends meet.  Most of them are older than I am - but that's not really important.

Seth's friends have their own iPads, they live in HUGE houses with a pool in the backyard and they have their own TV's in their room, with a PVR, Netflix, Xbox, and a PS3 connected to it.  They play hockey, karate, swimming lessons, indoor and outdoor soccer, and take some sort of music lesson.

Seth wants to know why we don't live in a big house, why we don't have a pool, why he only has a Nintendo hooked up to the tv in his room, and why my old iPod, that I gave him, doesn't have a camera. (Yes, I gave him my old iPod touch when I got an iPhone because I don't need both, and yes, somedays I regret my decision to give it to him -  especially since he figured out how to iMessage people and I have this new obstacle in the hallway.)

What I am trying to say is that I do not feel like it is my responsibility to give my kids these things.  I am responsible for the obvious, food and shelter, but on top of those things this is a list of things I feel like my kids should have....

What I want to give my kids

- Creativity, I want my kids to express themselves, to have a fun way to showcase their thoughts, ideas and dreams. Whether it is art, dance, cooking, card making, scrapbooking, whittling, or puppets, kids (and adults) need to express themselves,

- My time, I don't want my kids growing up and saying they were raised by a nanny so that I could work hard to give them a plethora of things they did not need. (don't take this is wrong way, I have no problem with families who have a nanny, and I totally understand how it could be a necessary option for a lot of families, I mean, that when I am not working, I want to be fully present with my children and I don't want to be working 12 hours a day, 7 days a week)

- Self confidence, by showing my children that I have a desire to spend time with them it will help them to believe that other people might also want to spend time with them. By listening to their thoughts, ideas and crazy stories, they will believe that there are other people who also want to hear those things.

Imagination, I want my kids to be able to turn the boring and mundane into something fun and exciting.  A trip to the grocery store sometimes turns into a treasure hunt, or a walk to school when we've left late can turn into the race of the century.

- A sense of Responsibility, nothing in this world comes for free.  They need to earn their allowance, and pay for some of the things that we can't (or don't want to) purchase for them.  Childhood is a time of freedom, no bills to pay, so all their money can be saved.  This past summer Seth bought his own plane ticket to visit his Aunt and Uncle in Edmonton.  It took him a year to save, but ask him -  it was worth every penny! (and every toy he resisted buying throughout the year)

- Unconditional Love, my kids may do some of the stupidest things, but they are my kids, I loved them since the moment I heard their heart beat, and nothing Nothing, will change that!
What's better than a hug
from your sister?

- Sibling Love, I guess it is not really me who gives this to them, but I can teach them to love each other, respect each others differences and preferences and in turn, also teaches them how to be a friend.

-Big Dreams, my kids are amazing, talented, wonderful little people (and I'm sure yours are too) and they can be ANYTHING they want to be. Astronaut, Prime Minister, Hollywood Director, Doctor, Ballerina, or Grocery Clerk, Burger Flipper, Maid, Mommy (which kind of involves the last 3), if thats what they want to be, and that's whats going to make them happy, then that's what they should be!

- Cookies, every kid needs good, homemade cookies.  As a mommy, I kinda get to decide what goes into my kids stomachs (sometimes - they have, on occasion, eaten things they shouldn't have, like crayons)  So if they want delicious cookies, I'm going to give them delicious cookies.... in moderation.

weekend to relax

Today I learned...

A relaxing weekend of doing nothing leaves enough 'catch-up' work to keep you busy until the next relaxing weekend.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013


Today I learned...
All my kids are crazy - yes, all 3 of them.

Somehow that makes me think it might be genetic....

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Ranger cookies

I broke up with sugar.  We cut the ties last week.  It was hard but it had to be done.

So why not take this opportunity to blog about my favourite cookies! (smart thinking, Kathryn)

These cookies are simply delicious because they are crunchy and soft and chew all at the same time. 
With these cookies you can have it ALL! (but I can't even have one) So enjoy!

Ranger Cookies

preheat oven to 350

1 cup shortening (I use butter - softened)
1 cup sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp Vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 cups quick rolled oats
2 cups rice kripies (I sometimes use some cornflakes if I have them around too)
1 cup flaked coconut.

You know the drill - 

Cream shortening and sugars til fluffy, add eggs and vanilla.
In an other bowl combine dry ingredients and gradually mix together.

drop by tablespoon onto baking sheets and bake for 7-9 minutes.


It is really really REALLY hard to stay away from sugary treats.  And actually - I learned this earlier this week, but it seems I have been re-taught this again today... and likely again tomorrow I will be reminded of this challenge, hopefully for months to come.

Does anyone have a cookie?

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

We're all in this together!

Remember that perception you had of motherhood....  the one you had before you had kids.
Cuddling, napping together, making fun crafts, baking, playing at the park... they look so good in my mind.

Moments of fun... sweet faces.

Patience and walking hand in hand.

It's easy to forget about those 'Other' mommy moments...  Because as I type, I have an *almost* 4 year-old begging me to make Jell-o for the 100th time this week, and then getting stuck between the couch and the wall (seriously, there is not enough room back there for a child, and I have no idea how she got back there!)  

Moments like these - 

Screaming while doing something fun!

Screaming while visiting family


I hope that window was clean!

Nothing like a little nose picking while you are getting a family photo taken!

are easy to forget... unless you are like me and you take pictures of those moments!

Back to my point - motherhood is not really like I thought it was going to be.  I don't think many mothers could honestly say that it is.  
There are times, when things are going perfect, when I sit down and say to myself "I had an awesome day with my awesome kids!" 
There are also those days where I feel like I have just removed a child from behind the couch 20 times, I have cleaned up spilled milk 10 times, I have already fed them and where did that marker come from?, how come there is crayon all over the wall?, how did the photos fall off the wall on their own?, you want Jell-o again??  take your finger out of your nose, share your toys, if you need to pee, go to the toilet, get your hands out of the flour bin, yes, I can make Jell-o, paint?  you want to paint?  I just cleaned crayon off the wall and marker off the carpet and now you want me to take paint out?....  

You know those days... we all do.  And I think I just realized this the other day!

I know a lady, she is an amazing lady.  I constantly wonder how she has so much patience and think of what a good mother she is - she seems like she has it all together, all the time.  And she asked ME, what I was making for dinner, because she had no ideas.  No big deal, I know, but even those 'perfect' mothers need help sometimes.

I heard story of an other wonderful mother, who had a child who could read the clock and knew when time was bedtime.  7:30, on the dot, and the child would not go to bed any sooner.  So this mother would turn the clock forward on a bad day and get her kids to bed earlier so she could have some peace.

I heard that and thought "That is a fantastic idea!"

So when I visualize those moms who do everything, I visualize a clean house, dinner cooking and mommy playing with the kids, but I am pretty sure that is completely IMPOSSIBLE!!  
A clean house - maybe for a few minutes.  
Dinner cooking - absolutely.  
Mommy playing with the kids - heck yes!  
but all three at the same time - there is no way!

So rest assured mom's out there in the interweb - you are not alone.  As my daughter now beckons for more two-bite brownies, I must go.  My dishes are half done, at least one room in my house is clean, and I need to make more jell-o.