Motivation Monday {Silly Saves Me Edition}

It will come as a surprise to no one that I have been having a bit of trouble feeling motivated lately, but this morning I am feeling determined to be the one in control of my feelings – and some other stuff, too. Motivation has come home and, much like the prodigal son, I will embrace it and feed it and give it its old room back, and cherish it like never before in hopes that my appreciation for its return will have some big returns for me! Yay, motivation!This is how I operate apparently, so I had better learn to live with it*, right?I am not leaving this laptop without hitting publish. (Because motivation makes me make promises to myself and motivation also makes me keep those promises. Isn’t motivation rad, you guys?)This will be an extremely short post, but I feel like I am in a rip-the-band-aid-off sit’i’ation and I just have to hit publish. This will hurt me more than it will hurt you. Believe me.My point is, I have so much to say and so many ideas and they have just been stagnating, or being forgotten – because of course I won’t remember that great post idea if I don’t have a pen (mine!) and paper (also, mine!) to write it down in a way that will make sense to me at a later more convenient time! I am busy, distracted, worried for the world. Kids come with outside obligations that require my attention. I have to make dinner. I haven’t had coffee yet… You know? ALL the things that everyone faces pretty much every day and somehow manages to live with.Yeah. When the normal stuff of life gets in the way of happy-go-lucky  I am not – wait for it – happy-go-lucky! I do not like that.So I am fixing it little by little and right about now, just after I rip off this bandaid, I will have fixed it just a little bit more. Thank you for your patience and sense of humour. I am happy you stuck around.My tens of readers are actually extremely important to me. I appreciate you.So, while I work out the rest of my day, this week, this month, an editorial calendar that will bring me back here more often, and my entire life going forward**, I will leave you with this beautiful motivational quote.

You can tell it is inspirational*** because it is a nature photo and there are words on it.

That’s all it takes, right? 😉

How are you holding up? No really. I’m asking. How’s your motivation these days? I know I am not the only one who feels the way I do.

What do you do every day, week or month to keep your motivation revved up? What do you do to spark it if ever it drops?

You should know that Thing 2 just walked in my room *juuuust as I started that second sentence with pen (mine!) and paper (math test) saying, “Sign.”. I replied, “You’re interrupting me.” and explained further, “If you enter my room and see me very obviously trying to do something with this (points to face) look on my face, please do not make demands. Leave your things for now and I’ll sign them momentarily, but going forward this is not ok.”

So, I’d like my adulting sticker and a gold star, now, please and thank you.

**No pressure.

***Source: Deviant Art.****

****Full disclosure! Inspiration for this inspiration: A silly, yet completely honest, conversation on Saturday with a dear friend wherein I succinctly ahem nailed my annoyance with certain habits of certain online presences.

 

Author! Author!

author life direction choices beginning end chapter

Do you believe this? Are you the author of your life? Am the author of mine?

I love my sign. I really do. I want to believe what it tells me.

It hangs above my desk in the corner of our bedroom where I have tried to carve out a small space to call my own and in which I try to work.

Currently my desk is covered in piles. It is ridiculous. It is barely visible.

I guess it is time for me to end this chapter and decide how the new one begins.

Do you have anything motivational in your work space?

Is it working?

25 Happy Things To Think About Right This Minute

It’s Monday and that seems as good a day as any to post something new, doesn’t it? Plus, posting something happy on a Monday just seems kind of rebellious, so I am embracing my inner rebel and making a list of 25 Things in the hopes that sharing a bit of happy might help someone who is feeling the way I was feeling last week. (hint: not at all happy)

So, without further ado, here are 25 Happy Things To Think About Right This Minute. Maybe, don’t think about all 25 at once because we don’t want anyone’s brain to implode with awesomeness, but combining two or three at a time should be alright.

Here’s to happy Mondays!

  1. James Corden singing with pretty much anyone, at all, ever.
  2. The Peeper Frogs that are back and have been making their unmistakable peeps in the evening in Bedford.
  3. Tiny Kitchen cooking videos.
  4. Brand new purple pens.
  5. Finishing your taxes.
  6. Writing an honest-to-goodness old fashioned letter and mailing it.
  7. Being told you have made someone’s day.
  8. Using a favourite coffee mug and then putting it back into retirement to keep it safe.
  9. This kitten, who is obviously seizing the day.cute kitten freedom green grass spring
  10. The fact that your kids will have hours of daylight to play in outside after school this week.
  11. It’s bubble blowing season!
  12. There are only 3 weeks and 6 days until Victoria Day weekend.
  13. There are only 56 days until summer!how many days to summer days til summer
  14. The next occasion that involves cake.
  15. A good plan!
  16. This picture of a teeny bunny.bunny duckies and bunnies
  17. April showers bring May flowers.
  18. The buds beginning to appear on the trees.
  19. Chocolate!
  20. The awesomeness of safe, delicious, drinking water.
  21. Music.
  22. Kindred spirits.
  23. Puppies!
  24. Toasty warm towels straight from the dryer.
  25. Bedtime.

There you have it!

What would you add if this were your list?

Did you have a good Monday?

What made you happy today?

Let me know in the comments if you have a moment to spare.

*Source

** Source

***Source: can’t be attributed. If you know, please share so I can update.

December Has Been A Blur

Christmas lights music piano sadness blues

This month has flown by and I admit I feel a little bit overwhelmed.

I am finally getting what I want in many ways, and yet I am feeling like a failure because I didn’t have time to do a lot of the fun leading-up-to-Christmas stuff that we usually do.

Right now, as I type, I am having a horrible case of the guilts.

I hate guilt. Hate it. It’s useless. It’s as bad as shame. As a matter of fact, Shame can take a flying leap hand-in-hand with Guilt off the tallest cliff they can find. They need to go away. Seriously.

I am doing the best that I can.

What if it isn’t good enough?

It feels like it isn’t good enough, right now, and that – let me tell you – stinks.

I am here with two kids on their first official day off from school. I should (ugh.. Should might need to grab the ankle of Shame as it starts the decent from that cliff.) be doing something fun with my kids.

What am I doing?

I am ruminating about things I cannot change.

I am worrying about something that is beyond late that should have been done in November and of letting people down.

I am wondering when I will figure out how to be in three places at once and make all those places the happiest places ever.

I am being stupid because none of my rumination, worry or wonder can possibly make everything perfect.

AND! OH MY DEAR SWEET LORD! Perfect better be the pilot of the leap from that stOOpid cliff because it is the WORST!

Why do I do this to myself?

I know I am not the only one. I know that this, the most wonderful time of the year, can be a challenge to anyone at any given time. I know people are far from family and want to be near or they are near to family and would love to be anywhere but there.

No one has all the answers.

I know this to be true.

I do.

But what I wouldn’t give to be able to control it all.

I would be the merriest of festive fascists, ever!

Everyone would get what they want and need and no one would be without.

Not happiness, or health, or love, or food, or family, or friends, or festivity.

It would be – oh, I hate to say it – perf- NO! I refuse.

It would be ideal.

In the meantime, this is today’s soundtrack.

Now please excuse me, while I continue my annual ugly cry at my desk.

It’s okay. I’ll be fine.

Mr. Rogers was onto something. Crying really does get the sad out of you.

So, tell me, how are you holding up?

I know I am not alone. I never am, really.

Go ahead. Let it out.

Source

I Know That Guy!

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I have an uncanny ability to recognize faces.

It’s true.

I do.

I could give you lots of examples.

From being in a new city and spotting the one person from my hometown, to making a quick connection with a complete stranger while waiting in a line that makes him laugh which then imprints his face on my brain, to obscure actors (now made famous after a bazillion parts and cancelled TV shows, because of one popular American series – that I do not watch) who pop up in an old TV series on Netflix – such as Poirot.

You remember Poirot, don’t you? Super.

Anyway. Where was I?

Oh, yeah! I know that guy!

I know that guy! Do you?

Do you?

Just for fun, I’d love to see your best guesses** in the comments!

**I wish I could have captured an image from his first scene because now when I see this picture it is just so obvious. Oh well.

Source

Thankful Thursday: Bloggy Goodness Edition!

time to blog

Oh gee! Is that the time?

Whoopsiedoodle!

Normally, I might ask, “How did this happen?” or wax poetic about the day getting away from me, but you know what? Thursday was a bit kooky and I know exactly how this happened and where my time went.

Today was a very weird day. It felt at once like a Friday (Yay!) and a Monday (Boo!). That is simply not a good feeling for tired parent brains.

We had the day off yesterday for Remembrance Day and tomorrow is an Assessment and Evaluation day for teachers, so for the second time this week the Things don’t have school.

Thursday was just a weird day from beginning to end.

The chaos of the morning took its toll and I decided it was better for my kids to make their buses happily than it would have been to have a couple of cranky curmudgeons, stressed to the max, running late.

This meant, of course, that Mom’s Delivery Service was going to have to hit the road with lunches, etc.

This also meant that my morning was gone in the blink of an eye.

Oy!

Oh well. That’s life as a parent. It’s a constant pull between enabling and teaching.

Is this the right time for natural consequences?

Am I doing them a disservice by bringing them the things they need?

Will they never remember to hand in those assignments that are in their backpacks?

Should I let them squirm a little wondering if they will have lunch today?

Let me save you some (precious) time.

The answer is no.

No. Natural consequences happen naturally all the time. The chaos of the morning was out of the ordinary today and certainly not the fault of anyone in particular. It wouldn’t have helped to assign blame. It would have added to the tension that was already brewing, though, and no one needed that.

No. I am not doing them a disservice by remaining calm and making sure they get to school on time.

No. One day they will remember all the things they need all on their own. (Though, not perfectly and every single time because they are human just like me. Just like you.) Since today was sandwiched between two “no school” days (and because it is a Fake Friday, the last day of the week) it was also the last day of the term and therefore the last day to hand in assignments and have them count towards this term’s grades. No brainer! If you understood executive function, you’d see things (Things!) my way. (Perhaps a post is in order.)

No. No. That’s just mean. I don’t want them to worry that they won’t be fed. Who would want that? No one, right? I hope no one would want that. Life is stressful enough without tossing fear of food security in the mix. No. Just no.

All this to say, I thought maybe I would share some of my favourite parenting blog posts here tonight instead of writing very much myself. (Oops! Too late!) Sometimes the best cure for wondering and worrying about whether or not you are doing the right thing, is to read what other people are doing. Sometimes it makes you think. Sometimes it makes you laugh. Sometimes it makes you cringe. Sometimes it simply takes your mind off of your own private little internal conflicts long enough for you to realize there’s nothing to worry about at all.

So without further ado, I give you 5 blog posts I really appreciate.

First there was this gem from Yummy Mummy Club which made me laugh out loud, lament my own, ever present, Mt. Laundry, and then think, ‘Heeeeyyyy! She’s onto something!’

Next up this touching post from Curtains Are Open that highlights the, seemingly, crazy lengths great Moms will go to for their kids (and everyone else’s, apparently!) and the beautiful outcomes that can happen when you do.

Have you been spending too much time with your iThing and not enough time with your eyes on your Things? Maybe we should all consider this post from Mommy’s Weird a litmus test. We have the power to unplug. We do!

If you feel a sudden and acute lack of confidence about how you are raising your girls, at any time, please read this truly excellent post from Yummy Mummy Club. It’s all about the honesty. You’ve got this.

Finally, I enjoy so much over at Schmutzie.com so often, I would be remiss to not include it here. I especially appreciate Grace In Small Things because well, I really do appreciate grace in small things. Who doesn’t? Go read. You will not regret it.

So there you have it.

I am tired.

It’s so late.

I have so much to get done tomorrow.

Tomorrow will take care of itself, right?

First, this tired Mamma needs some serious zeds.

How was your Thursday?

Source

25 Things That Made Me Smile Today

Smiling is my favourite

Please allow me to get right to the point (a rare treat for those who know me, I am sure!).

I give you a succinct, if random, list of 25 things that made me smile today.

  1. Early morning snuggles with Thing 2.
  2. My first cup of coffee.
  3. Braiding Thing 2’s beautiful hair so she would be fancier than her normal Hermione Granger for her school’s Remembrance Day ceremony, today, where she would be singing with her school mates.
  4. The fact that last Christmas’ Poinsettia is still alive and well .
  5. The thought that I might actually be able to get it to bloom in time for December.
  6. Thing 1 practicing his trumpet this evening for his school’s Remembrance Day ceremony tomorrow.
  7. CrockPot turkey stock.
  8. Finally making a yummy, flavourful, batch of turkey soup.
  9. Calling it thoup.
  10. Remembering my beautiful niece and her utterly adorable developmental lisp.
  11. Remembering how Thing 2, who reminds me so much of her, also had an extremely similar lisp for a few years.
  12. Being told by someone whose opinion I value, that they appreciate what I do.
  13. My enormous, yellow, Fall Mums which are still very much in bloom.
  14. The idea that my red SIGG water bottle is my health potion.
  15. The brilliant idea to buy a second SIGG bottle in blue so I will not only have my health, but also mana.
  16. My magical glasses which after all this time still make me happy every single day because they are awesome.
  17. Thing 1’s awesome hair.
  18. Thing 1’s school photos, wherein he decided to *not* cut off his hair for school photo day and wore his “Wookie Expressions” T-shirt with exactly zero irony.
  19. The word rutabaga.
  20. The fact that we call it turnip (and always will!) even though we know the difference between rutabaga and turnip.
  21. A weird elevator ride with Daddy-O this morning as we were leaving for the commute where the elevator seemed to have a mind of its own, went up instead of down, and picked up a neighbour who then, presumably, assumed we just really like elevator rides.
  22. Parting ways with my husband while he took out the recycling and continuing to walk right alongside the elevator neighbour (who is mostly silent) who parks near me in the garage and not being able to stop myself from saying, “I feel like we are competing in the world’s slowest race.”
  23. Savoury.
  24. Crowdsourcing recipe advice via Facebook.
  25. Being married to a Computer Elf.

C’est tout!

It really is the little things.

What about you?

What made you smile today?

Source

Get Out The Vote!

Tomorrow is Election Day!

I am so excited!

I can’t wait to cast my ballot and then wait and see the results from riding after riding after riding come pouring in.

We always take our kids and talk about it a LOT leading up to the election. As you can imagine, my Things are pretty well versed at this point because it has been 77 days since the election was called. Tomorrow will be day 78 and every single day has involved a conversation about what Canada means to us. We can’t wait!

It matters.

It matters to me and it should matter to you.

I love this country and I have great hope for its future.

I know you have heard it a bazillion times over the past few months, but please, oh, please, oh, please go and exercise your right to vote tomorrow. The polls are open for 12 hours. That is a long time. Make sure you take the time to go and cast your ballot.

There are people in this world who would die for this right that we so often take for granted.

Think about that.

There are women who fought in this country for this right. It wasn’t all that long ago. It is shamefully recent history if you really think about it. Do not disrespect them by disregarding what they laid their lives on the line to accomplish.

They fought for you and me.

They gave us the right.

It is yours.

Exercise it.

Here’s a helpful video!

Once you vote and pat yourself on the back for taking part in the direction your own country takes, you will want to find out about the race and who is winning it. Who is doing well in your riding? Did your candidate win? Is your chosen party getting new seats in Ottawa? It’s all so exciting! You just want to know!

How will you know?

There are so many ways!

You will absolutely be hearing election coverage on radio and television both locally and Nationally. It will pretty much be unavoidable! Yay!

Here is another helpful tool from Elections Canada!

Since I am an avid Twitter user, I will definitely be following along on Twitter. You can follow Elections Canada here.

Essentially, the only way to not hear about the election on Monday October 19, 2015 would be to bury your head in the sand. And you don’t want to do that, now, do you? I mean, you’ll be in the dark and you will have sand in your ears. And that just sounds awful! * shudders *

Since we are all on Social Media why not go ahead and pledge to vote and show it? You can change your profile pictures! Check this out! Fun!

Okay! So we are ALL voting right?

Cool!

I knew I liked you guys!

Let’s do this!

So tell me, did you already vote? Will you vote tomorrow? Are you as excited as I am? Are you taking your kids with you? Will you be following along on social media and waiting to hear the exciting news at the end of the night?

I know I won’t be alone.

Twitter will be all, well – a twitter – with politics.

I hope to tweet you there!

AFTER you vote!

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A Hot Tip

I have two pretty adventurous kids, where food is concerned, but as any parent can tell you each kiddo always has his and her own preferred tastes.

Thing 1 is my the-hotter-the-better guy. Need I remind you of his little adventure with Ghost Pepper salsa?

Thing 2 used to think ketchup was “tooooo thpicy!” when she was a wee thing (with an ever so slight developmental lisp).

So, in the interest of keeping “thpicy” things out of Thing 2, I always found little ways to distinguish spicy from mild foods – even if they looked remarkably similar.

Picture a food such as homemade burritos or chimichangas. How can you decipher which one is mild and which ones are sweating-from-your-eyeballs spicy?

Well, in each of the aforementioned cases I would place a hint on the outside to remind me of what was on the inside. I bake chimichangas and if there are chilis or hot peppers inside, I always place one on the outside, so it’s easy to tell. Since Thing 2 loves tomatoes, I would place a thin slice on hers, just so she still had the “Ooh! Fancy!” reaction when it was time to eat.

Tonight’s supper was oven fried rice with red peppers and Italian sausages – mild and hot – and as I was preparing to pop everything into the oven I was reminded of this little life saver of a tip. I have been meaning to share it, but it is old hat to me and easy to assume no one would really care.

Then I thought of busy Mummies with little kiddos and how sometimes one little tip can bring joy and decided to make an effort.

I am building this up way too much.

Sorry!

I’ll get to my point now.

So I know which sausages are mild and which sausages are hot I simply place the mild sausage with the curve turning up, like a smile, and I place the hot sausages with the curve turning down, like a frown.

See?

img_2164

Can you tell which ones are spicy?

img_2165

Mild.

img_2166

Spicy!

Isn’t that helpful?

I hope so!

 

Set It Up Sunday

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Good morning*!

It is Sunday morning and the coffee pot just beeped and as happy as hearing it makes me, I can’t help feeling that yucky sense of dread. Sunday stresses can only be a matter of minutes away.

They don’t always come when expected, mind you. Sometimes they can be held at bay for a really long time. A whole day. A week or two. Rarely longer.

Sometimes on a long weekend they magically disappear. In summer they are practically nonexistent. I love summer.

Or contrariwise they morph into Monday Stresses and no one needs that on a Monday because let’s face it some of us already have major issues with Mondays.

Poor Monday. It gets a bad wrap. It’s just another day. Logically, we all know this, but if the traffic is bad or you forget your morning coffee or there is a pop quiz or the grocery store is out of that awesome bagged salad you so desire and desperately need, chances are it’s going to happen on a Monday.

At the very least, that is how you’ll remember it.

Tuesday is terrific. It’s got it made in the shade with it’s, ‘Yay! I’m Taco Tuesday! Everyone loves tacos. Go ahead and add some guacamole!’ swagger. Everyone loves Tuesday.

Wednesdays are weird. They are either completely wonderful or the worst. It’s all a matter of perspective, I suppose, but some Wednesdays are all Peak Performance, eat all the right things, go for a great walk at lunchtime, skip the chocolate, take the stairs, do one more lap, days. While others are more, what’s for dinner, why didn’t I thaw that, oh shoot I have an appointment, I have to sign how many forms immediately, the bus is late, I might as well just eat that now anyway because I am already doomed, days.

Thankfully, over the years, I seem to have gotten a handle on Wednesdays. I will them to be wonderful, more often than not. Typically, Brinner*** has its moment to shine during Wednedsay’s dinner hour. So easy and satisfying. Wednesdays, also tend to give me a WHAM! mindworm. If you are a WHAM! fan, I bet you know what I am talking about.

Thursdays. Well, Thursdays have always usually been good. Once upon a time it was “Must See TV” day and who could possibly deny the awesomeness of that? Habits. They really can work in your favour, you know? Plus Thursday is Friday Eve and everyone is excited to welcome Friday back into their lives at the end of a long work week, right?

Friday. You beautiful, happy-making, party all the time, sight for sore eyes, you. Are we ever glad to see you! You make the work week worth it and the school week tolerable. You make the secular among us religious – that’s power – if only for the time it takes to utter the letters T, G, I, and F.

I love Fridays. We always take the time to make Fridays fun. It doesn’t have to be fancy, but there are more Fridays than not, that are Friday Family Fun Nights at Chez Peady. We do enjoy our traditions. Sometimes it’s a movie night or a make-your-own-pizza night or a family game night. Sometimes we just relax and do our own thing, but Friday night is sacred. We try very hard to respect it and not make plans away from our Peady peeps!

Saturdays are best, though. Hands down. Zumba, time to get stuff done around our space, relax. Even laundry feels like less of a burden on Saturdays. Now that’s saying something, because we all know how I feel about laundry. Saturday is the freest day. There’s enough time left in the weekend that even if you have a lazy start to the day you can ramp it up in the afternoon and evening – especially as the warmer weather starts to grace us with it’s presence. The peepers are singing. The air is warm. You can take a late night stroll. Go have some froyo (yo!). Pick out a movie to watch even though bedtime is approaching. On Saturday all bets are off.

Oh dear.

Here comes Sunday again. It happens every week. Sigh.

So what can I do to make Sunday less of a bitter pill?

I can take a few minutes and set up my week so that Sunday is just another day, falling in line with the others, with a plan in place most stresses can be minimized. For me, for my Things, for all of us.

I have not been very good at this lately, but the time has come.

Today is Set It Up Sunday.

Today I will make a plan for my week and I will reap the benefits of that basic plan all week long – including next Sunday when I do it all over again.

I have taken a few minutes throughout the day today to set the week – and myself – up for success.

This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Filling in any and all grown up events for the week on the Mom CPU
  • Asking Things for any notes from school
  • Adding any and all remaining school events to the Mom CPU
  • Thinking about, researching, and then creating a menu for the week
  • Taking stock of the contents of the freezer
  • Making a grocery list
  • Planning to exercise/walk more
  • Committing to attending a fitness class on Monday with my NS BFF
  • Planning an earlier bedtime for myself
  • Recommitting to drink 4 litres of water each day
  • Finding and buying new sandals and sneakers
  • Avoiding sugar like the plague
  • Writing more
  • Learning how to set up a proper editorial calendar
  • Going outside to play. Every. Single. Day.

So that’s it. That’s my pl****. It’s not quite a full plan, but it is certainly better than nothing and way better than my flying-by-the-seat-of-my-pants approach of late.

Set it up Sunday!

What do you think?

Are you a “Fail to plan, plan to fail” kind of person?

What happens when you make a plan?

Do you follow through?

100%? Kinda sorta?

Tell me about your approach or what you find works best for you and yours.

Have a fabulous week!

*Or afternoon or evening or night depending on where you happen to be.**

**Now that I brought it up, where are you? No really. I’m asking. Feel free to let me know in a comment.

***Breakfast for dinner! Brinner FTW! Try it! Here, here, or here!