Category: NaBloPoMo

The One Where Sleep Is The Priority

I am exhausted.

I need sleep.

I must sleep.

 

I am sure I’ll have lots of words another night, but right now I’ll just leave you with this.

 

Are you NaBloPoMo-ing?

Is it totally kicking your butt?

 

How do you prioritize your day so that you have time for your life, your kids, your volunteering, your Parent-Teacher interviews, your meal preparation, your healthy eating, your fitness, your cake, your job(s), your family?

Help a mother out.

Leave me your best tips for surviving the time crunch of everyday life in the comments!

If you leave a great one, I might even invite you for a Friend Nap.

 

 

 

They Love Me Anyway

For as long as I have been making school lunches, I have been leaving little notes in the Things’ lunch boxes.

Long before they were the avid readers they are now, I would print simple messages of love and encouragement on sticky notes. I am a believer in environmental print*. Kids are smart. They don’t need all the rules memorized before they put theory into practice. A little heart shaped slip of paper speaks volumes. A speedily scrawled smiley face on a paper napkin can make a kid’s day – especially a day that is in dire need of levity. You remember those days, right? We all have them.

Sometimes it’s a silly doodle. Sometimes it’s a riddle. Sometimes it’s a hint about a special after school activity.

Other times it’s a reminder, cleverly disguised in witty prose.

 

Here are today’s notes.

 

 

 

 

And they love me anyway.

 

Do you write notes?

Do you leave notes in your children’s (or partner’s) lunch boxes?

Are you a poet (and totally know it!)?

Are you a writer or a printer?

When is the last time you wrote a letter or a note on actual paper for someone else to read?

Do you value the skill of cursive writing?

Or are you all g2g lol and ttyl 24/7?

Why not leave me a note in the comments! *wink*

 

 

*Don’t believe me about the environmental print? Try this experiment with a teeny kiddo** who is not yet reading in the traditional sense: Show them a favourite item (National Brand cookies or the cover of a familiar book, for example.) with writing or a logo on it and see if they recognize it. They will. That’s *reading* when you are not yet a reader in the traditional sense. Kids are awesome!

 

**Umm… not just any kiddo, to be clear. Make sure the kiddo is yours or you might totally freak the kid and his/her parent/guardian out!

***The Things don’t call me “Ma”, but I called my Ma, “Ma”, when I was little. Also, we are still working our way through the entire “Little House on the Prairie” series and well, it’s just fun to sign some notes that way!

 

Totally Terrific Taco Tuesday

 

Were there tacos?

Was it Tuesday?

Of course there were tacos!

We really do have tacos a lot at Chez Peady. It’s okay though because everyone loves them.

We have tacos every week. Typically on Taco Tuesday, but if we miss a Tuesday we have been known to have a Taco Wednesday or Friday. See also, Sunday through Saturday. I mean really, is there a day when tacos are not a good idea? No. I don’t think so.

I have pretty patient people in my family, especially when it comes to food, so they are on board with my plan to never grow bored with Taco Tuesdays!

That’s why I often change up the topping ingredients and even the kind of tacos we have.

We’ve had fish tacos, beef tacos, turkey tacos, chicken tacos and vegetarian tacos and each of those can have a variety of toppings and healthy additions, such as chickpeas or black beans. Every time I change something up they eat it up. No complaints. I love these people. Seriously.

 

Today, I was very busy* trying to play catch up with life (and Twitter, foolishly!) after a weekend away, the added stress of Parent-Teacher interviews last night, grocery shopping had to get done, and I also knew I would have an extra Thing after school today, which was great, but I had to get stuff done, you know? So I was not feeling fancy. Not at all.

I was feeling all apologetic as supper was being prepared because it was going to be a pretty plain Taco Tuesday. (I mean, sometimes Taco Tuesday gets pretty awesome, ’round here!)

Thing 2 was sitting at the table (Doing a science experiment. As one does.) and I mentioned that it wasn’t going to be a very fancy meal.

She said, “You mean we are just having plain tacos?”

“Yes.” I replied as I popped the taco shells into the oven.

“Like, just beef and nothing else?”

“Yeppers**.”

 

She sounded more than okay with that, so I turned to confirm and she had the biggest, happiest, smile on her face.

She was positively giddy at the idea of simple tacos.

Then Thing 1 joined in with, “I love plain tacos! You mean there’s no beans in there?”

Nope. No beans.

“Yay!”

They were so happy to have plain tacos.

Simple.

Kids really get it.

I hope someday I will be as wise as they are.

 

I try so hard to keep things simple, I really do, but every now and then I am so thankful to be reminded why.

 

Why do adults complicate things?

Do you ever find yourself in a situation – that by it’s very nature is simple – and you somehow have to make it more complex?

Do grown ups all have some odd Rube Goldberg syndrome?

 

 

 

 

 

*Uh oh! The B word!

**Yeppers, I actually say that word.

Fudge! (The Recipe)

Oh, you knew it was bound to happen.

Here is my go-to recipe for fudge.

 

FUDGE

2 cups Brown Sugar

1 cup Margarine (or real butter!)

6 ozs. Carnation (canned) Milk (Yes. Really. I know. I know. Just trust me.)

Boil for 10 minutes at Med. High Heat

Remove from heat and add:

2 Cups Icing Sugar

Vanilla (about a teaspoon – or to taste)

Beat for 2 minutes with elecric mixer.
________________________________________

For Chocolate* Fudge add 1/3 Cups of Cocoa

9″ x 13″ pan

 

 

All the usual rules apply. Score the fudge before it cools completely to make cutting the little squares easier.

Now go forth and fudge-ify!

 

Let me know how it turns out!

 

 

*We have made this into a Mint Chocolate as well, by swapping mint extract for the vanilla.

 

 

 

 

Panda Hugs and Electric Cars or Why I Love WWF Canada

I love charities.

I am a fan of fundraising.

I have this cockamamie dream that one day I’ll reach the pinnacle of my career as a volunteer and become a philanthropist extraordinaire and spend the remainder of my days making people’s lives better.

It’s a lofty goal. I admit it.

Oh, but what a great story that would be.

I’ll keep dreaming and doing my part to make the world a better place one little act of kindness at a time.

 

In the meantime I am so glad there are organizations like WWF Canada making steps towards reversing climate change and keeping our planet, our one true home, safe, so that my children (and yours!) will have a home for a very, very, very long time.

Clearly, I am a fan. Yes, of the planet, of course, but also of WWF Canada. I’ve written about it here before. I’ve also written about it there.

 

On Monday, I received the latest “Panda Mail” from WWF Canada and one of the featured pieces was called “First Dates with David Miller”. This is a three part video series wherein Canadian celebrities go on a first date with former Mayor of Toronto and current WWF Canada President & CEO David Miller and chat while riding around Toronto in an EV (Electric Vehicle).

You could go ahead and let your imaginations run wild, but I think it would be best if you checked out the silliness for yourself.

But I will share one.

Enjoy!

Yes, that is Kid In The Hall, Mark McKinney.

I wonder if he tried to crush David Miller’s head.

 

So that was fun, wasn’t it?

I thought so.

But…

Now I can’t get this out of my head!

 

How *can* you deny an electric car?

 

Sorry, Wrong Number.

The following is a true story that happened today.

*rrriiiing*

*rrriiiing*

Me: Hello!

Dude: “HE WON’T BE COMING BECAUSE IT’S SNOWIN’ LIKE A  [email protected], HERE.”

Me: *blink blink*

I’m sorry, but you have *got* to have the wrong number.

Dude: *audible gasp*

*chuckle*

“Oh my God! I’m SOOOO sorry!”

*laughter*

“I am so, so sorry. Sorry!”

Me: That’s all right. Don’t sweat it. I hope you find the person you’re looking for. Bye.

*disconnect*

 

Sometimes you just have to laugh – with a stranger, apparently.

 

I think technology is making us all a little bit .. umm .. well .. to use a phrase Thing 1 might use, “Well, doi!”.

What do you think?

Is technology making us ridiculous?

Has human interaction become foreign, somehow?

 

Do you think we are becoming to fellow humans, as these aliens were to the phone?

 

 

 

 

*This looks identical to the phone that was in my house when I was a kid.

**Little Known Peady Fact: My iThing rings like an old phone because the ring tone is – wait for it – “Old Phone”.

***Full disclosure: We are watching “Her” and I am having thoughts!

Source: http://dnok91peocsw3.cloudfront.net/inspiration/153210-612×612-1.png

 

Do You Have Change For 365?

Never mistake motion for action.

I have a secret.

It’s a really good one.

I have been keeping it since the beginning of October and at first I really didn’t believe that the thing I am about to share could even be real, so there was a lot of “Seriously?! Are you sure? Really?!” going on in my mind.

You see, I am a bit of an activist. Nothing too radical, but it’s true, I am.

It’s small actions that lead me because I believe small acts of kindness or small acts of charity or small acts of love can really add up over time and change people’s lives for the better.

This is a philosophy I have imparted on my children (Daddy-O, too!) and when I see the reflections of my philosophies in Thing 1 and Thing 2 I just want to burst with pride. It’s an amazing feeling when you see your child make connections that show they really get what you have been modelling (read: preaching!). I am sure you know what I mean.

Well, since Thing 1 is in Junior High, I have been extolling the virtues of Free The Children, Me to We and the We Act charities and we talk a lot about the Kielburgers and the extremely amazing things they have accomplished in their very young lives. Amazing people!

I have been encouraging him to join his school’s We Act Committee since last year because what better way is there to put theory into practice than, well, by putting theory into practice?

Have you ever seen the work that goes into organizing a bunch of teenagers to do anything? It’s not easy, is it?

Well, the amazing thing about the kids that choose to take part in the We Act Committees in their schools is that they are the ones organizing everything. They are self motivating. They know they are doing good things.

They know they can be the change they want to see in the world and furthermore they are being that change.

Isn’t that amazing?

So, I am very proud to say that Thing 1 *is* a part of We Act – and he’s very proud to say it, too. (That’s one win for the Mom, in case you are keeping track!) Yay!

Of course, there are those who might think these kids are working only for We Day and all the amazing celebrities they might get to see, should they get to go (there are no guarantees!), but the work the kids do is happening all year long. That’s right. 365 days of the year, teens in Canada (USA & UK, too!) are taking action to make this world a better, safer, more educated place.

Pretty cool, right?

365 days. That seems rather ambitious, doesn’t it? I mean, you can imagine how difficult such an undertaking might be. It could be overwhelming to try and keep track of a year’s worth of actions.

It could be, but it isn’t. Why isn’t it? Well … because … there’s an app for that! (Yeah! I said it!)

TELUS (a proud sponsor of We Day) created We365, a free mobile app that enables youth to use their phones for good and propel social change through the power of technology, every day of the year. I downloaded the app when it was first released and played around with it. I may not be the target market, but I know a good app when I use it.
The new and improved We365 app will help youth do even more to help their communities. Using the app, tweens (like Thing 1 and Thing 2) and teens can rally friends around causes they support, share their accomplishments, and earn badges and points. Parents of students who must complete “mandatory” volunteer hours (Ontario students, for example) will also be happy to hear that the app tracks volunteer hours, which can be shared electronically and remove the need to keep track of all that oh-so-easy-to-lose-track-of paperwork.
Isn’t that wonderful?
Here’s a glimpse of a challenge you might see when you use the We365 app.
World Kindness Day? Oh, you get me We365 app. You really get me.
Or how about this?
Wait. You mean Craig Kielburger himself uses this app? Yes. Yes he does. Come on! That’s cool.
How about some badges to reward you for completing challenges? Fun, right?
It can be very motivating to get this simple feedback and motivated people do wonderful things!
Obviously, I am a fan of this app. Can you tell?
I love the idea of tweens and teens cutting their social media teeth, if you will, in such a positive environment. I am encouraging Thing 1 to use the We365 app as a way of introducing him to the brighter side of social media. He is well aware of my perspective on using one’s powers for good. He knows how much of my time is spent online using social media. He knows that for the most part I really do practice what I preach. See the good, be the good!
We often hear about creating a positive electronic footprint. What a great place to start!
Now, about my little** secret. I am going to tell you, but you have to promise not to tell Thing 1, because he hasn’t a clue.
I have been invited, by TELUS, to attend We Day Atlantic, on November 28 at Scotiabank Centre (along with a few of my blogosphere peers) to take in all the awesomeness.
I am so grateful.
I believe so much in this initiative and kind of activism.
Oh, and I’m still kind of freaking out.

 

*That Ernest Hemingway quote is one of my all time favourites. This is kismet! So excited! Like, *happy jumpy claps* excited!

**It’s HYOOGE right?!? So happy!!