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!


 

On The Go

I feel like I have not stopped to take a breath in the last two weeks.

I don’t think I like it.

I mean I am busy and busy can be good, but there is a fine line between busy and crazy-busy.

Busy is having something to do and managing to still get the basics taken care of.

Crazy-Busy on the other hand leaves me feeling like I am always forgetting something, barely meeting commitments, scrambling to take care of pretty basic stuff (Oh hai couch covered in clean laundry! Stop looking at me like that. I’ll get to you. Eventually.), not being as careful as I should be with the care and feeding of myself, skipping exercise (because surely all this running around must be good for something, right? Wrong.) Feeling like I can’t do it all.

It is not balanced.

I want balance.

How the heck do people achieve that? Seriously. I’m asking.

I want to write more and I love having something to do. Honestly. These things make me extremely happy.

I need to take charge of my shedule.

Maybe I should actually construct one, even. Oh ho! Now we’re talking!

I love knowing that something fun is coming up and I love looking forward to family events and fun with my Things.

I have no qualms making sure that they meet their commitments, get sleep, eat well, exercise. (Thing 2 is even taking part in the Drs. NS Youth Run this morning at the Blue Nose Marathon.)

Time to take a step back and make sure I am doing this for myself.

Yesterday, was actually lovely. We had a family day and we haven’t done that in a long, long, time.


That’s the first thing getting entered in my work life balance schedule.

How do you manage it all?

Do you even try?

When is the last time you felt at ease with the way everything was working out in your life?

Do you live a Crazy-Busy life?

Do you secretly love it?

Twinkle, Twinkle

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Well they are certainly not “little” stars, but they are not exactly fully grown, so they get to be called ‘Tween Stars, for now.

Make no mistake about it though, these actors who appear in Disney and Nickelodeon television productions – despite their ages – are pros.

That is why I am very happy to tell you I am taking my very own ‘tweens to see ‘Tween Stars Live and I have a promo code so you can take your ‘tweens, too.

Here are some more details.

A Non-Stop, Fun, Family, Star-Studded Variety Show and Concert
Featuring the Biggest Stars on Disney & Nickelodeon LIVE!

This highly interactive, ‘Up Close and Personal’, family variety show features Improvisation, Comedy, Tween Star Musical Performances, Games, Totally Tween Trivia, and an always unpredictable, in-audience, Q & A Session with The Stars!

There are prizes, surprises, secrets, and Tween Stars interaction both on-stage, and in the audience, throughout the show. You might have a chance
to act out scenes on-stage with the Tween Stars too!

Get Up Close and Personal with the Tween Stars. Following The Show, hang out with the stars, get their autographs and take pictures with each one of them! A limited number of VIP tickets will be available and a show ticket is required in order to purchase a VIP Autograph & Photo Session ticket. Parents do not need a ticket to attend the VIP Autograph & Photo Session. This event always sells out!

Tween Stars Live now in Canada! 10% off TICKETS!!!! Promo code TSLCan15 http://usfamilycoupons.com/coupon.php?regionid=75&bid=11988&dealid=1931 @usfg

We have very high expectations. My Things are really looking forward to seeing “Dez” and when I told them about this opportunity they both had the exact same reaction upon seeing a photo of the featured Tween Stars. Can you guess what they exclaimed?

“GIBBYYYY!”

Yup. Noah Munck will probably hear that a lot on this tour.

There are four shows left in Atlantic Canada.

I hope you go and I hope it’s great. Calum Worthy makes me laugh every single time I see him. I am sure he’ll be great.

I’ll be writing about our experience after we see the show this weekend in Halifax at the Rebecca Cohn Auditorium.

*Promo code is good for all remaining shows in Atlantic** Canada

**St. John’s, NL (May 16) – Halifax, NS (May 17)

Moncton, NB (May 30) – Fredericton, NB (May 31)

***As you know, I don’t typically promote specific events, but this seemed a very good fit for my Things, so I am once again stepping outside my comfort zone and trying something new.

Image source.

Luke and Leia and Blogs – Oh My!

As promised, here are this year’s May the 4th (Be With You) treats!

What do you think?

Did you celebrate Star Wars Day?

Tell me all about it!

Now … umm … not to worry you or anything … but …

Beware the “Revenge of the 5th”!

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*Source.

** Happy Cinco de Mayo, too! Imagine Cinco de Mayo falling on Taco Tuesday – so fun!

One Step Forward And Two Steps Back. (Or My Life In Glacier Parenting)

glacier parenting ice cold falling apart force

I had no intention of blogging tonight. (Well not here at least.)

I’d really rather be doing something else. (Eating chocolate, mostly.)

However, here I am. (Hi! Fancy meeting you here!)

I have a PSA*. (Pullleeeease STOP Arguing!)

Today, while sunny and nice outside, has been ridiculous.

There were homework woes that have not been displayed so outwardly in years.

I forgot how trying it could be.

Well, no. Not quite forgotten. I will never forget the struggles we have gone through.

It is more like I had hoped a milestone had been passed for good, but clearly no, that is not the case.

Life, is not really well known for being so simple, is it?

The frustration of feeling your child’s frustration is awful. I swear to you that I know this kid better than he knows himself. I know the way he is feeling. I know that I do. They are his feelings, though, so he must feel them. I try my best to help him help himself. I encourage. I monitor. I remind. I know.

I do all these things and yet I end up feeling like the enemy. I can do and I can know all these things, but I cannot experience his life. I cannot live it. I can’t make him understand these things anymore than someone could understand them for me. And you know what? That really stinks!

How frustrating for the frustrated to not understand that I understand.

It gets a bit tangled right about there. Hands tied. Deep breaths. Bite tongue. Walk away. Just for a little while. A minute or two. Go have some water. Figure out dinner. Make a plan. Check on his little sister. Let cooler heads prevail.

I am not a fan of all this sadness. It is draining.

I am totally exhausted right now. I feel like my day has been stolen. Everyone’s has. Everyone’s.

Not the way I prefer to end a week. Or start a week. What is Sunday? Is it the end or the beginning? I am too tired to choose. Does it even matter? (Now I have Semisonic’s “Closing Time” running through my head. You know? “Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.”)

It would be worse to maybe never feel it though. My empathy, I must believe, is a strength.

And yet.

Hoo boy! This day.

It feels like the Toddler phase is never-ending ’round here.

Alas, feelings are not facts. I say it. I believe it. I must apply it to myself.

Sorry if I scared the bajoopees out of those of you currently parenting Toddlers, earlier.

It really does get better. I promise. It does.

It’s just that, for me, today, I felt like all the steps forward were being outnumbered by all the steps back.

*Go ahead, fire away with all the things PSA could stand for. I meant Public Service Announcement, but I admit some pretty funny not so PG words also popped into my head. Meh. At least my sense of humour is still intact**.

**Full disclosure: It was hanging by a thread not too long ago and quite frankly is still a bit iffy***.

***When Thing 1 was teeny, he used to say “Iffy Daisy!” instead of “Oopsie Daisy!”, which was something we said a lot. Mostly, because we had a teeny Thing 1 who was busy dropping and spilling things.

Earth Day Play Dates Require Dirt.

It has been a rainy 24 hours or so, but fortunately the sun really seems like it is trying to shine. No actual sunshine, as of yet, of course, but the grey skies overhead are nice and bright.

I am sitting here silently cheering it on.

Inside my head? Oh, inside I am full on “Rah! Rah! Siss boom bah!”ing, but Thing 2 has a friend over and I don’t want to appear any quirkier (which, if I’m being honest, is *pretty* quirky) than usual, so I am giving them some space right now.

Kids need time to just be. They are making their own plans as they go along and there were murmurings of “fort” not too long ago, so frankly, I am curious to see what they come up with.

I’m risky like that.

In a little while I’ll offer snacks and drinks and they’ll happily chat while they eat together. It’s really sweet to hear their breathless giggles (So much giggling!) and to see the way they enjoy each others company. It’s a rare treat to have a playdate all afternoon on a Wednesday. What luck to have a PD Day smack-dab in the middle of the week!

These are the days I cherish. I am so thankful I get to be here today.

You know what else I am thankful for?

Dirt!

Yes. Dirt.

In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.  Margaret Atwood

So, after the kiddos have a snack, we are going to plant some seeds. Yay!

Now, I just have to find the old fashioned flower mix seeds I have had hanging around this place forever.

Where did I put them to keep them safe?

(Well isn’t that the best phrase to hear when you need something immediately? “Somewhere safe” loosely translates into, “You will never see again. Muah ha ha ha!”)

Maybe my items are a tad more sinister than yours, but yeah, that’s pretty accurate, I’d say.

Found ’em!

I’ll be back. *pfft* As if you’d know I ever left! *winks*

❀•❁•❀•❁•❀•❁•❀•❁•❀•❁•❀•❁•❀•❁•❀•❁•❀•❁•❀•❁•❀•❁•❀•❁•❀•❁•❀•❁•❀•❁•❀•❁•❀

I’m back!

Did you miss me?

Silly!

The girls had so much fun today and they were very enthusiastic to plant some seeds.

First, though, they had to decorate their little flowerpots. So we dug out the Sharpies and the petit artistes had fun coming up with design ideas.

Is there anything more wonderful than an enthusiastic kid? I think not. I just love ’em!

Instead of me listing everything they did, let me show you.

So that was my Earth Day.

How was yours?

Oooh! Just one more thing. I am pretty sure that these little giggling girls made the sun come out. Yes. By the end of the playdate the sky was turning blue and the sun was indeed shining.

Happy Earth Day!

 

Lather. Rinse. Repeat. Forever.

I am a ridiculous human being.

How does this happen?

I swear I closed the lid.

And yet, no. Clearly, I did not.

Laundry? Fuggetaboudit.

If I told you how many times this week this one little load of laundry has been washed and forgotten you would throw your hands up at me. (And not in that ” and wave ’em like you just don’t care, yay-we-are-so-happy-we-must-dance way, either. In that “*pfft* I give up. YOU are hopeless!” way. But I digress …)

I am mad at myself. This is so wasteful!

How can I remember – before I run out of underwear – that there is laundry in the washing machine?

I live a distracted life.

Many of us do.

Once upon a time I had the most beautiful washing machine. It was the coolest colour and it had a buzzer on it that was so loud it could make your heart stop. Man, I loved that thing.

That was what seems like a lifetime ago, now, though. Long ago and far away, when Thing 1 was teeny and I was blonde – because my hair grew out of my head that way, naturally – as opposed to, well.. never mind!

My point is …

Help!

Please tell me I am not alone in my forgetfulness.

*Look! I made a meme. I’m so proud! The lengths I’ll go to for my tens of readers. I mean, really!

Supper In a Flash!

Feed daily!

Sometimes, despite best laid plans, we get out of our routine of good habits – such as meal planning or writing a weekly (or monthly – who are these people?!) menu.

When this happens, as it has for me recently, I am forever grateful for my imagination, creativity, enthusiasm, the ability to make something from (practically) nothing, and a good collection of meal ideas to fall back on.

Here are a couple of good “go to” recipes that can be made quickly and inexpensively, which, to me, is a great bonus!

 

Oven Baked Chicken Legs

Package of plump delicious chicken legs

Drizzle of olive oil (I use EVOO)

Seasoning (Applied in the following order)(Or not)(Whatevs.)(I’m breezy!)

Freshly cracked black pepper

Kosher salt (pinch)

Seasoning salt

Garlic powder

Onion powder

Cayenne

Oregano

Parmesan

Arrange the chicken legs on a sheet pan covered in aluminum foil. Drizzle EVOO over the chicken. Begin layering your flavours. I eyeball this process according to the spice level my family desires. I sprinkle from on high so the spices kind of snow down over the sheet pan. I find this allows me to control the spices better and I never get a giant clump of cayenne or a gob of garlic. Next I take my tongs and just flip the legs over and back to sort of evenly coat them with the EVOO and seasoning. It isn’t an exact science and I am sure it will be fine whether you do this or not. Go ahead! Give it a try!

375 degree oven 40 minutes (or until done).

 

 

Oven Fried Rice*

2 c Uncle Ben’s Converted Long  Grain Rice

2 c water

1 pkg.  onion soup mix

1/2  c. oil

2  tbsp. soya sauce (I use gluten free)

I add a red pepper that has been diced because it makes it scrumptious and any time I can add a veggie, well, I do! I think it would be so pretty to add red and green (Christmas!) or several different colours to assist in the whole “eat the rainbow” quest.

Bake for one hour at 350 degree oven with cover on.

After first half hour of cooking, remove the cover and stir. Replace cover** and continue baking until done.

 

Take them out and cover to keep warm – or if you are lucky enough to have two ovens you can cook both things at once, keep the chicken warm, and well aren’t you the fancy schmancy Martha Stewart-y type? What the heck are you doing here reading my silly blog? Surely you have a Regatta Gala or some other fabulous event to attend tonight? No? Taking a break from being a Socialite? Okay. Cool! Hi!

 

What are your “go to” oh-no-is-that-the-time meals?

What kinds of things can you whip up in a flash that will feed your family and make them happy at the same time?

Feel free to share in the comments.

Bon appetit!

 

 

*We call this “Nanny Rice” at Chez Peady. Feel free to adopt this habit.

**I use an enamel roaster with a lid and I find a lot of moisture escapes. To accommodate this fact, I tend to add about a 1/2 c extra water. I feel that an awesome Dutch Oven would contain the moisture better, so if you have one***, try it and let me know how it goes.

***Dear Santa, LeCreuset. That is all****.

****Well, that and a goat.

Source: http://literarywinner.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Why-do-they-want-dinner-EVERY-night.jpg (Sometimes you just have to share the love with a stranger blogger.)

Mele Kalikimaka!

Tropical Tree

Today might be a three post kind of day because I have so many drafts, that I am starting to get anxious about it.

Anxiety at Christmas? You don’t say!

Hah!

Who doesn’t have a little extra anxiety during the holidays? I don’t think I know a single person, actually.

However, I have vowed to not be that stressed out Mummy. No way. It’s no fun to be told Christmas is nothing but stress. Or worse, to think it. Especially when you have little eyes and ears watching and listening to everything you do and say. It’s simply not true, anyway.

Christmas is a wonderful season of perpetual hope, and if there is one thing I have learned in my years on this planet* it’s that hope floats. It’s always there and you have to hone your hope holding skills throughout your life, because it’s short. Really, really short. Even when it seems long.

Christmas is what you make it. You can make it all about stuff and spending and stress. Sure! Go right ahead. Seriously, fill your boots, but don’t blame your getting caught up in the commercialism on Christmas. Nope. Christmas didn’t make you do that. Santa didn’t point to the most expensive, elaborate, electronics and say, “By the powers of Comet’s Candy Cane, I command you to buy that!”. Not a chance.

Christmas is simple.

Humans make it complicated.

You have to be human, but you don’t have to be pressured into a holiday that stresses you out.

Cool your jets.

Take a breath.

Remember the wonder.

Breathe in the aromas.

Think back to a time when you believed in the magic.

Embrace the simplicity of an old fashioned Christmas, whatever that means to you.

Know that you are not alone.

Everyone is stressin’ a bit.

No one has *everything* done.

Martha Stewart has a team!

We just have each other.

Smile and know that even when people around you seem to have everything under control, there’s always an element of mystery in how the heck things get done.

For instance, we here at Chez Peady have been having the soggiest December I can ever recall and we have also been fighting a wicked cold, so we are very admittedly behind our typical December schedule. All the things that have not yet been done, were put on the back burner while the things that had to be done got done. School concerts, finding the lost trumpet, trumpet practice, finding the right shoes, making sure everyone was where they needed to be on time, getting a bit of shopping done, making sure I talked to my mother as often as possible, getting to a few charity eventseven one in my Jammies – these all took precedent over making sure the ornaments were in the perfect place.

It’s life and it’s messy.

Look!

Christmas Mess

 

Am I freaking out? Nope. Why should I? Why should I waste a single drop of my precious energy freaking out when it will get done, with or without a grown-up tinsel tantrum?

It always has. I have yet to miss a Christmas. *wink*

So, my best advice to you, as Christmas is festively, twinkling up on us, is to take a deep breath and embrace the merriment.

 

Don’t forget to take care of your own needs, too. You matter! We need you to be at your best**, of course.

This morning I went to Zumba – just so you know I really am practicing what I preach – and I almost jumped for joy when I heard this pop up in the middle of class.

Yes, we did a Hula this morning to Mele Kalikimaka***. It was so fun! Could my Zumba instructor be any cooler?

 

So, tell me, what stage of preparedness are you in for the upcoming Holidays?

Are you about ready to be Dasher and flee the scene?

Are you happily a Prancer ready to take on the task and dance your way through your cookie exchange?

Are you feeling Grinch-like and wondering what the heck is the big deal anyway?

Has your inner Ebenezer reared his Scrooge-y grumpiness?

What is your best advice for having a yule that’s cool?

Leave a comment and share your best tips for avoiding tinsel tantrums.

 

 

*No, I have never lived on another planet. Though there was that time last winter when it felt like we lived on Hoth.

**But we even like you when you are at your worst.

***Mele Kalikimaka**** has been a month-long mind-worm. Go ahead and ask my chicas! Ukuleles at Christmastime? Oh YES!

****Then there’s this, which I saw on Saturday, but wasn’t blogged out until today, hence the edit! COME ON!! This is hulu-arious! (Day #8) Zucchini is the sweetest doggie!

It’s The Very Best Time Of The Year

IMG_3040

I told a friend this morning that I needed to get my “Jingle Bell Juice” flowing.

We have been fighting a wicked awful cold here at Chez Peady and 3/4 of us were affected. (1/4 of us has super immunity and I await the NASA scientists every cold & flu season, because this kid never gets sick! Seriously! How does he do it?!)

Anyway, not the best time of the year to catch a bug, is it?

I mean, we all have a lot going on and we all want to feel cheerful and energetic. It’s the time for dashing through the snow and sleigh bells, not trudging through the tissues or popping plugged up ears.

We are on the mend now and energy is slowly returning which is great because there is still so much to do. I feel like I am a bit behind on the Elf-ing schedule, but I really do try to adhere to Dr. Seuss’ Grinch’s timeless realization from “The Grinch who Stole Christmas”.

The school concerts are this week and that always makes me feel like Christmastime is here. Thing 2 is very excited this year because she (a tall kiddo) gets to stand in the front during her class’ performance. She was so excited when she learned this a few weeks ago she wrote this* as soon as she got home from school.

 

IMG_9783 - Version 2

 

Isn’t that sweet? How much** do I love the little white board in our office?

Thing 1 is pretty tense about his concert. It isn’t helping that his trumpet is MIA for the night. It was left on the bus. Yup. Not even kidding.

I am just going to have faith and believe that everything will work out. What else can I do, really?

It’s the season of perpetual hope, right?

 

Speaking of hope, my Things are really hoping for a white Christmas. We have no snow – at all – in Bedford. We have had lots of rain this month and we have yet another, rain-filled, nor’easter headed our way. It’s difficult to get all “Ho ho ho!” and “Deck the Halls!” when there is no sign of snow.

Unless of course you have a dear friend who sends a childhood memory out into the Twitterverse for you.

Do you remember this gem?

Thanks, Kyooty! That made my day.

 

So, what are you finding challenging this month? Are you all set for the holidays?

Is it easy breezy decorate all the trees-y or are you untangling tense tinsel at every tick of the clock?

 

*Have we talked about how every family should have a white board or chalk board accessible to everyone for writing special news, notes, or asking questions? No? There’s a forthcoming blog. Promise!

**SO MUCH!