15 Things In 15 Minutes (and not a minute more)

15 in 15 fifteen minutes

It’s 11: 44 and I have to hit publish by 11:59.

Here goes!

I am exhausted.

We were away for the weekend and with the exception of one thing I simply couldn’t get done most of the things that needed doing were completed.

We didn’t turn the radio on for the entire drive to New Brunswick.

We arrived in the dark on Friday.

We managed to take advantage of not one, but two BOGO Starbucks Holiday beverages. Oh yes! Today there was a Peppermint Mocha and there may or may not have been a Cranberry Bliss Bar. Who’s to say? It’s a mystery, really.

The Things were thrilled to spend some time with their cousins this afternoon.

We celebrated a special Birthday today!

We were extremely entertained by our nephew and his mad candle lighting skills, but we especially appreciated his Dad stepping in to really get the show started. (Have you ever seen a musical candle that blossoms with fire and sparklers? We have!)

I think our gift was a hit (though who can ever be sure, really?).

We were treated to an amazing feast of Persian food and I really would like to learn to cook all the Persian things right now.

We left for home in the dark tonight.

It was completely and utterly pitch black out. No stars to be seen, yet the cold night air was crisp and seemed to make the visibility better than usual. There was no haze or fog at all. Unheard of!

We made it home in record time because all the traffic seemed to be going with the flow in the same direction as us and there was nary a dingbat on the highway the whole way home.

Thing 1 managed to study for a science test and upload a video to YouTube after we arrived home. (Motivation is a wonderful thing.)

Thing 2 didn’t get to share her violin playing with her Nanny, even though she made a point of bringing both her violin and her music with her all the way to Moncton. (She will just have to book some time in December. Maybe by then she will have a Christmas carol in her repertoire.)

C’est tout!

Goodnight!

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The More We Get Together The Happier We’ll Be

We are not at home this weekend, but we are together and that makes me …


We are spending our weekend in Moncton, NB to celebrate a birthday and since it is pretty chilly outside we are making an effort to thoroughly enjoy …


We made an effort to get out for a bit today and wound up at one of our favourite places – Chapters!

With a new Star Wars movie merely weeks away from being released into theatres, the merchandising is at its peak. Chapters has a tonne of fun new things for Star Wars fans – young and old – and a really cool selection of Star Wars themed books. There is even an adult colouring book! I mean really. How awesome is this?

Light Sabre Mandala Star Wars
We found what we wanted and needed. Then we bought what we needed and left the Millenium Falcon Bluetooth speaker and somehow bid the two foot tall talking Yoda adieu.

Daddy-O took our purchases to the car (along with Thing 1’s hoodie and my fleece jacket, because it was a thousand degrees in this particular Chapters today) and we went to find a spot where we could sit inside the very crowded Starbucks.

We walked to the back of the store to where Starbucks is located and we all agreed it was very strange to see the windows which used to gaze upon Crystal Palace – and a whole lot of natural light – completely blackened by the walls of the gigantic retailer that now occupies the space. That’s going to have to be fixed because holy darkness! It didn’t help that there were also a couple of lights out.

We found a table and asked our table neighbours if they could spare a chair. They were happy to oblige and we were very thankful. So we sat and waited for Daddy-O to return.

As soon as he was back we ordered two for one hot chocolates for the kiddos and two for one Praline Chesnut lattes for the parents. The hot chocolate was a hit as usual and we liked the lattes which we were trying for the first time. Yum!

This was supposed to be a coffee date. Just the adults. An hour or so alone with decadent Christmassy coffees. Solving the problems of the world. Making plans. Just the two of us.

You know what they say about plans …

Oh well.

After recent world events (that I definitely cannot solve alone) I could instantly think of about eighty-seven things worse than our date turning into a family affair.

One coffee was all I needed.


Two made it a date.


Four made it family fun.

Who am I to argue with that Math?

How was your Saturday?

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?

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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?

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Let’s Talk Turkey!

coffee cup thankful Thanksgiving Fall decor

This week we have learned a valuable lesson at Chez Peady.

If you chop it up and put it on the table, they will eat it.

It doesn’t matter the time of day or meal in question.

If it is cut up into bite sized pieces and there’s maybe a little veggie dip, salsa, guacamole, or hummus for dipping the veggies will vanish.

I forgot! The Things are such great eaters they will try anything I make and usually without complaint because, as I have talked about before, I do make sure there is at least one thing that everyone likes for sure, but I am not a short order cook and I do not make extra meals, special meals or meals made to order.

Though, not too long ago I was dreaming of having a fully functional buffet brunch bar with waffles made to order, an omelette chef, a mountain of fresh fruit, and a great bottomless cup of coffee, for myself. This is a fantasy. This is not a hotel. It is a nice dream though.

So, knowing brunch was not going to appear magically* and really not feeling like a bacon-and-eggs brunch, I decided the cure for this breakfast break was to roast a turkey for dinner and roast a turkey I did!

I pretty much let the Things and Daddy-O fend for themselves** all day with no regularly scheduled meals – at all – until dinner.

Yup.

Super Mom!

I couldn’t help it. I had a one turkey-track mind.

Ever since Thanksgiving, I have been thinking about next Thanksgiving. Luckily for me, I don’t have to wait until next year. I only have to wait until American Thanksgiving***.

I am so excited that we celebrate both Thanksgivings for all kinds of reasons, but I’d be misleading you if I didn’t divulge right now that one of the main reasons is for the turkey – and all the fun fixings.

For Canadian Thanksgiving we are usually not at home, so we don’t get to have any of the fun leftovers the following week. The hot turkey sandwiches drenched in gravy with yummy leftover mashed potatoes, carrots, and turnip**** on the side. The double decker club sandwiches with crinkle cut fries and gravy. The amazing turkey soup made lovingly by using every single scrap of leftover turkey. All delightful in their own rights and treats one really misses when one isn’t in charge of roasting the main course!

For American Thanksgiving we are almost always at home. When the Things were smaller I used to call in “festive” so they would have the day off school. Yes. Really. I would quite literally call the school and leave a message on the answering machine or speak to our lovely Administrative Assistant (in Ottawa) and happily explain, “It’s American Thanksgiving and we are calling in festive!”. It was very freeing actually and I think it gave the person listening to the message a laugh, on what was otherwise a random Thursday in November – which if you have never been to Ottawa – can be quite grey and cold. I hope it brought joy. It certainly brought me a lot of joy. We would stay home and I would roast a turkey and we’d watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and have a grand time! A scrumptious turkey dinner on a weeknight is very happy making, indeed. I love the fact that some American television stations televise Miracle on 34th Street or It’s a Wonderful Life right after the parade on American Thanksgiving Day. Pretty much, it’s the perfect end to a very happy day.

I mean, who could deny the beauty of a day designed to celebrate the joy of a bountiful harvest with family? Throw in the fact that it is a super excuse for an extra thankful Thursday and another roasted turkey and well.. SOLD!

So, with all of this in mind – and the fact that fresh turkeys were on sale – I went out and bought one to roast today.

I regret nothing!

It was scrumptious.

We had turkey, mashed potatoes, carrots, turnip, corn, stuffing, fresh rolls and gravy.

And the best part is that, if we want we can have it all over again tomorrow because LEFTOVERS! (Yay!)

Now, I really must finish this post, so I can get the CrockPot fired up because while we are sleeping magical slow cooker elves will be making the base for an amazing batch of turkey soup. (Also, yay!)

Tell me, are you a fan of roasted turkey?

Do you gravy all the things?

Are you gluten free like me and left with a little sad space on your plate?

I am working on a stuffing solution. I will be back with one by the 26th! Mark my words.

Which one of you is working on my replicator, again? We need to have a talk about the progress you are making.   harumphs *

**Don’t worry. There was plenty of food to forage. Protein, cereal, toast and Nutella,  Halloween treats – whoopsiedoodle!

***Hah! We are even Hobbits when it comes to Thanksgiving! Second Thanksgiving FTW!

****It’s rutabaga, I know, but it’s still turnip, you know?

Sweet Sunflower Snacks (A Pictorial Snack Tutorial)

Did you know you can cut an apple almost all the way through, pop out the core, let the flower petals fall open, then add a dollop of peanut butter and a few mini chocolate chips, to make a delicious and nutritious sunflower?

You can!

See?

Isn’t that fun? It is a favourite around here, especially in Fall, when the Nova Scotian apples are at their absolute best. Delicious!

Easy, right?

Totally.

You can use what you like best, of course, but I tend to use a Golden Delicious Apple, Natural Peanut Butter*, and gluten free mini chocolate chips. You only need a few chocolate chips. They are chocolate chips! They seem to have a magical power over kids. If they find 2 in a mini muffin they’re thrilled, so I just go with what I have worked so hard to achieve. Happiness!

So, what do you think? Do you think your kids would like to try a Sweet Sunflower Snack?

I am willing to bet they would.

What is your favourite snack food? Do your kids have special snacks after school?

Let’s talk about it!

If you give this a try, I’d love to hear what you think.

Oh, just one more thing! I nearly forgot!!

Look!

img_2879

It’s a teeny tiny Thing 2 enjoying a Sweet Sunflower Snack a few years ago! Aww!

img_2880

This small Corelle bowl might be the ideal serving dish for this snack. Notice how it helps the apple slices keep the flower shape, while containing the Peanut Butter? That’s better than the larger plate for presentation. (Though the larger plate was best for an after school snack with extra Things!) I also like the mix of white chocolate and dark chocolate chips here. It seems more flower-like, to me.

*Of course, if you have a peanut allergy you can use another nut butter or a soy butter in its place. Still yummy!

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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My Current Mindworm {A Semi-Regular Series} : Tear In My Heart (twenty one pilots )

I hear this song every single day on the radio, so yeah, I’d say the songs on the radio are okay.

Here is Tear In My Heart from twenty one pilots (please know how much it pains me to not capitalize the name of the band).

I love this song.

That is all.

The video confuses me, but videos are always confusing.

Always.

If you disagree, I suggest you look up “Saved By Zero” by The Fixx or “Daydream Believer” by The Monkees or pretty much anything early MTV years.

See? Confusing!

Anyhoo!

Yay, music!

 

 

*Oh, and I am totally counting this as a post. FYI.

Peak Performance Day: Dance Edition

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Sometimes bloggers like to talk about music (some of us a bit more than others) and when two people who happen to love the same tune find each other, well, it’s a bloggy goodness match made in heaven!

A while back, Becky – Hi Bitsy! – over at A Little Bit of MomSense began sharing what she called “song obsessions”. Well, I was all over that because it is very happy-making to learn that a person you enjoy in the Twitterverse is really that cool/nice/kind/friendly IRL (or as close to RL as we can get – for now!) Facebook is not quite IRL, but it can be close, especially when people are themselves and not trying to make everything all shiny and perfect. Becky is one of these real people.

Her last song obsession (or two) was different. For once I wasn’t totally in agreement. I loved one and the other, well, the other I felt wasn’t the best offering from Flo and her machine. In fact, I had moved right past “What Kind of Man” (which I found … umm … yell-y) onto “Ship to Wreck” because I feel it is truly Flo at her best.

So I am here to share it … and a few others … with you and Bitsy. I hope everyone enjoys this random, Peak Performance Day, dance party.

Florence + The Machine = Awesome

Said the Whale -live no less!

And here is the recorded version I dance to on the regular at Chez Peady.

Okay, I can’t really explain why I love this one so much, but I love it! It’s so groovy and melancholy and yet boppy all at once. The refrain “don’t think I could forgive you” over and over through a myriad of scenarios makes it a pretty rad “forget you”, don’t you think? Forgive me the ahem full moon in the video, but hey it’s already so odd you might never even get there. Wait. Did I just intrigue you into watching the whole thing? Tee hee hee. Please enjoy Lilly Wood & The Prick and Robin Schulz “Prayer In C”.

This Jimmy Eat World song is very catchy and I really love it. I feel like I have been hearing it for many years and that’s because I have, but it seems to get fairly regular airplay, here in Halifax, on one of my favourite radio stations Radio 96.5 FM and every time I hear it I find a new reason to enjoy it. It’s happy-making. The last time I heard it I decided to dig a bit deeper and when I read more about it’s origin I liked it even more. Here’s “The Middle”.

And for awesome, if not obvious, reasons I leave you with this bonus tune from the Foo Fighters, who clearly are amazing human beings as well as musicians.

So there you have it. These are the mind worms that have invaded my brain of late.

I hope you enjoy them.

What songs are on a permanent loop in your brain or on your playlist lately?

Go ahead and share with me in the comments. You can even add a link to your favourites!

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Dancing With The Bloggers

dance-colour

Do you remember the scene from “In and Out” where Kevin Kline’s character, Howard Brackett, is trying to not dance?

When you watched it were you all, pfft “Challenge accepted. No problem. Look. Here I am not dancing.” or, like me, were you physically pained by the thought of not movin’ and groovin’ to Gloria Gainer belting out “I Will Survive” to the point where you had to clench your muscles in the theatre seat so as to not jump up and dance for him?

Furthermore were you practically praying that Howard would just dance already?

Be who you are man – it’s okay we all have a thing. Move! Dance! Embrace yourself in all your glory and for heaven’s sake DANCE!

*If you haven’t seen “In & Out”, I think you should.

**This short and silly post has been sitting in my drafts since April and I am setting it free!

***I hope it made you smile.

****I also hope it made you dance.

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