Archive for the ‘Lists’ Category

I am so tired and yet, do you think I would go to bed? No, no I wouldn’t. Because I’m so into a whole bunch of things on the Internet, that it’s almost impossible for me to walk away. I’m sure it’s officially an addiction. When I go to bed at night thinking about The Rantings Network, and the first thing I think about doing in the morning is working on it (to the point where I’ll argue with myself, “Sleep on the couch or work on the web” and the web almost always wins!), I think it crosses the line from hobby to addiction.

So what has kept me so attached to my computer, you ask. I’ve been working incredibly hard on fifth and sixth blogs/sites in The Rantings Network, The Art Of… and The Art Of… Academy. In the last week:

  • My concept for both have changed
    Originally I had planned on The Art Of… providing all sorts of educational sexual information, and The Art Of… Academy would just be a members only gathering spot.

    Since then, it’s changed to The Art Of… Academy offers courses on a variety of sexual subjects. Viewers register to access lessons and the participant workbook. The Art Of… will now feature selected lessons, participant contributions and other posts of interest.

  • I’ve created a total of five series, each having five courses with a minimum of five lessons. Of course, I’m still in the research stage, so all this is just templates and ideas – but I’m gonna look at that as a huge accomplishment!
  • I’ve created at least another four sub-sites to house all the courses. Thankfully, since they’re password protected, and I don’t expect anyone to start registering to courses until closer to the end of the year, I can take more time adding content and don’t have to feel rushed.

    After all the pages are set to add content (which I figure will take me a maximum of another two weeks), I’ll be starting a strict research regime to prepare for lesson creation, and the current plan is to have courses complete and ready to go by the new year!

Somehow, even though I feel like (and The Boyfriend probably does too) I spend all day at the computer, I’ve been getting out of the house. Today, we got invited over to The Club House (Mama T’s place). First we went to the exercise park, and even though all the kids have been begging me to take them all week, they were hardly interested and only cared about going up to The Club House. We got maybe half an hour in before they all started whining too much. I spent most of the time at the exercise park on the “glider”, which is basically these step pads that swing back and forth, as if you’re walking with a bounce to your step (and with little-to-no joint pain).

Then we went upstairs, and somehow Mama T got Carter to fall asleep on her chest. He never falls asleep on my chest, even though I’ve tried a thousand times. He normally just keeps crawling up me, and pulling my hair. Even The Boyfriend can’t normally get him to fall asleep on his chest, Carter just crawls up and sucks on his nose (that’s The Boyfriend’s own fault!).

We had a delicious homemade hamburger lupper (lunch and dinner), watched Stuart Little 3 (and I’m curious why they did it cartoon animated, even though it had all the same actors as the first two), and then I dozed off with Carter in my arms in Mama T’s broken gliding chair. It was a surprisingly nice little nap actually.

We came home and almost immediately I jumped on the computer, and I’ve been on it ever since. Though I think I’m going to bed after this post, maybe a game or two of Mahjong Dimensions. So that’s my day in a nutshell 😉

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We were doing so good
We were making such strides
We had kicked the addiction
We were changing our lives

I don’t want to whine, I really don’t. The Boyfriend and I agreed to a cheat day a couple days back, and bought a pack of smokes. We had both been complaining about wanting a smoke. As I’ve said, it seems harder to not smoke now than it did for the first three weeks. Our cheat pack lasted one day…

So then the next day, we bought another pack which only lasted a day. Today was a two pack day (that were bought, we’ve smoked one so far :() And seriously, I hate it. I want to go back to the way I felt when I wasn’t smoking. I’m still just considering it cheating.

The Boyfriend and I were sitting on the couch, and I said “I think starting Saturday, I’m not buying anymore smokes”, and he goes “Really?” as if he was disappointed. All along, I had thought that he was so upset that I had given in, and that he was loving the quitting. So I say “You want to keep smoking?!?!”,  and he goes “We’re chasing the wagon. I figure as long as we never go over a pack a day.”

It feels like crap. We were doing so very good. Those first three weeks, I was managing any possible cravings I had (put on 7″ in the process, but I blame that partially on quitting but more on breastfeeding), though it wasn’t for the smoke that I was having a craving. It was for the exhale. That’s always been my favourite part of smoking. Exhaling and watching the smoke blow out my mouth, feeling like all the problems are going with it. That, and I love the way I look exhaling 😉 It feels very french retro.

After the first three weeks, it seemed like at least once a day, everyday, I would be seriously craving a smoke. I’d start thinking about it, then I’d start talking about it. Then I started bumming a smoke or two a day off Alfie, and then came the day of the cheat pack…

It just makes me feel really hopeless about all the other goals that I had set for myself, and made me realize how many of those goals I’ve also given up on.

  • Doing dishes everyday.
    The Boyfriend had 3 days off, and I didn’t do more than what was needed for meals every night. So 5 plates, 5 forks, and whatever cookery we used for the meal.
  • Lifting my weight everyday
    I was doing awesome. I think I did a week and a half straight. Then The Boyfriend bought me the stability ball and resistance band (and the vacuum so I could put the stability ball on the floor without fear of it popping), and I haven’t lifted weights a day since. The Boyfriend’s been doing it on and off, even doing push ups and on the days that he doesn’t lift weights, he does 25 presses with Carter whose about 13 pounds.
  • Vacuuming everyday
    I’ve vacuumed twice. Both times were delightful experiences. I just haven’t had an ounce of energy to do it. The kids were doing really good keeping their toys downstairs for about a week, and it was easy to clean the living room then. Now, they’ve started bringing everything up here, and it’s just easier to leave it than clean it!

This week has been a week of disappointments. I had so many plans for this week, and I didn’t accomplish a single one of them. Even The Boyfriend, who works graveyards, and sleeps during the day, got more done than I did.

I had planned to go grocery shopping yesterday, but then we got busy around the house and so I said I would do it today. Today rolled around, and it was cold outside, so I’ve put it off for another day. I finally buckled and called my aunt for a ride downtown to drop all my paperwork off, even though my original plan was to walk down, take a bus back. But I guess I’m too much of a diva for that or something…

I wish it was just easy to become motivated, and be less lazy. You’d think that it would  be so simple. Just get off your butt. For some reason, for alot of reasons maybe, it just seems so hard! I feel very stumped, like I’ve hit a brick wall. I hope I figure something out, I think it’s time for another re-evaluation…

So question: Kenzie’s been out of control with the asking about games. I swear all I really heard from him today was “Can I play a game yet?”, and every single time it got whinier and whinier. At one point, I was sure that only dogs could hear the pitch he was reaching…

Saying “Wait” seemed to work for a better portion of the day. “Just wait a minute, Kenzie” and it would buy us about an hour of silence. Is it horrible to continually tell your kids to wait? It feels like it’s being mean, but “No” causes a horrendous fit, giving in means he’s on the games all day long, wait buys time in between the ever annoying question.

Well time to feed the baby…

I was looking through pictures (all sorts of pictures) last night, and I came to a few realizations about a variety of things.

1. All my kids have grown SOSOSOSOSOSOSOSOSOSOSOSOSO much…

Past Present

Kaeidyn, 1 1/2 years old

Kaeidyn, 5 years old

Kenzie, 2 or 3 mths

Kenzie, 3 1/2 years old

Keirnan, 1 day old

Keirnan, 2 years old

Carter, 1 day old

Carter, 3 mths old


2. I looked hella rough after Carter was born…

Right After Labour

3 days later...

3. I seriously need to do something about my eyebrows…

Hardly see em...

4. I can’t wait to get my pre-baby body back…

Pre-Baby

Lil Bit Pregnant

Really Pregnant...

Post Baby Body

So, yesterday I was looking around on Amazon.com (which I’ve decided I don’t like as much as I did originally, because they don’t do PayPal – and I don’t have a credit card…), and started checking out the Wii. I’ve been wanting one since it came out, and I played a game of tennis (and kicked some serious butt!).

The Boyfriend and I are either bad or good (depends on how you look at it) at sort of pre-planning our bigger purchases. Though it’s not like this great plan, we’ve just kind of made a list of what gets purchased first and next and so on and so forth. It’s just a list, without any real plan whatsoever. For instance:

  1. Buy a Vacuum
    We did this. It was the number 1 thing we needed.
  2. Buy a Wii (with WiiFit Plus)
    Want it so bad, it’s our next big purchase
  3. Buy a Car
    The plan is to do this with a Profit Sharing check. YAY for Wal-Mart!
  4. Get a new deep freezer
    This is The Boyfriend’s desire, not mine. We have a perfectly good deep freeze, except for the fact that almost an entire months worth of food went bad, because it was unknowingly unplugged. So he just wants to get a new, tinier one.
  5. A new guitar for me…
    My old one, the one The Boyfriend bought me when we were first together for my birthday, my muse, is broken and I can’t fix it. So we’ve agreed, I eventually get a new one.
  6. 32″ Flat Screen TV
    Another one of The Boyfriend’s desires.  For some reason, one that I don’t quite understand, he wants a TV in our room. We’re almost never in our room for any length of time, let alone any time that it would be worth it to put a TV down there. But he’s been obsessed with the idea over the last couple of days.
  7. A Cell Phone
    When we first started dating, The Boyfriend went out and bought us both cellphones. I was going to his house alot and leaving Alfie at my house with the kids alot. He never had a land line, back then Alfie hated calling his phone, so he solved the problem by buying me my own cell phone.

    Well one day, I opened up my cellphone and the screen was just blank. And it stayed that way. I didn’t get it fixed, because it turned out I didn’t really need a cellphone. No one ever called me on it… Now I don’t know where my cellphone and he has no real use for a cellphone.  But we’ve discovered that when we go shopping or whatever, it would be great if we had a cellphone.

    There’s been times where Alfie’s had to send Mama T to pick Kaeidyn up from school, because The Boyfriend and I have been rushing back from grocery shopping and couldn’t call in time to let him know to get all the kids ready to go pick her up. Luckily he’s a generally smart guy, and figured out to call my Mom (even though it was only 10 minutes before Kaeidyn got off school).

  8. A new computer
    We keep saying we need to buy a new computer for The Boyfriend to run his games on, like World of Warcraft and Pirates of the Burning Sea. And I want a laptop for all the writing that I want to be doing, and all the research that I end up doing…

This stuff will probably take us a few years to acquire. As long as we have a Wii by summer (because I want to get my pre-baby body back, and I think that a Wii Fit will keep me motivated and I’ll want to do it because I love me some video games – I enjoy trying to beat everyone’s high score, it would be great competition for The Boyfriend and I. Muwhahahahahaha), and a car by next winter (profit sharing should be next month, so with any luck, it’ll be as soon as next month!), because eventually Alfie’s gonna get a job and not be able to walk Kaeidyn to school every morning, and then I’ll have to suffer through the freezing cold winters.

Kaeidyn has a full day of school today, which meant we had to send a lunch to school with her. Should be easy, right? Wrong. First, I don’t get paid until tomorrow, and I don’t touch The Boyfriend’s money without asking him first. And he’s sleeping, and I don’t even know if he has any money (I’m very determined to keep my financial independence and not force him to pick up Alfie’s slack), and I’m not gonna wake him up to ask. But anywho…

So then I find out yesterday, that I’m out of sandwich bags. Then to make matters worse, the last piece of bread got finished off late last night, and the english muffins went moldy. So all the things I needed for Kaeidyn to take for lunch, we didn’t have. For once, Alfie was useful in this department, and he had everything I didn’t, so lunch has been saved. But man was I ever stressing about it all morning. I even woke up early because of it!

Still have tons of cleaning to get done today. I’m probably gonna start that relatively soon. Hopefully I’ll actually get the revised edition of my to-do list done. And then tomorrow is going to be a crazy day. I have to walk downtown, then bus it back up to the North Side (haven’t been on a bus in almost 2 years), then I’ve got to do grocery shopping most likely solo, and then I’ve got to pile $500 worth of groceries (which doesn’t sound like alot, but somehow just around that – give or take a few dollars – feeds us for an entire month!) into a cab and then bring it all in the house as quickly as possible. Not looking forward to tomorrow… Oh well, what can you do?

I finally got out of the house today. I haven’t been outside since our monthly Mama T & McDonald’s trip. The weather was absolutely beautiful today, and the boys were very hyper. So Alfie, Kenzie, Keirnan, Carter and I, all walked to go pick Kaeidyn up from school.

The walk there was awesome. Carter sat quietly in his Snugli. The boys had fun slipping around on the ice, but were keeping up really well. Walking home was another story entirely. Kaeidyn normally gets to play in the snow, but today it felt like they were all be so annoying with it. And I was sure someone was gonna get hurt. But we made it home, all of us fine and still alive.

After lunch, finally, I decided that it was going to be a nap day. I’ve been pissy at The Boyfriend, and stressing over kid stuff, and napping normally helps that. This wasn’t one of those naps. I woke up from the nap more mad than I was when I went for it. I didn’t even let anyone know I was actually out of bed, and instead made a dash for the bathtub where I filled the bath with hot, hot water!

My favourite thing(s) about taking a bath are:

  1. I don’t have to stand up
  2. I can lock the door
  3. I get to read without being bothered
  4. It’s quiet in the bathroom

So I spent the next 45 minutes, in a ridiculously hot bath, reading “I Am My Mother’s Daughter” by Iris Krasnow. This book doesn’t really apply to me, being that it’s meant for aging daughters and their aging mothers. We’re talking 40-year-old women with 80-year-old Mom’s. I don’t have an 80-year-old Mom.

I also didn’t pick this book. It was brought over by my aunt in a huge stack of books (mostly romance novels). Now I’m not a huge fan of romance books, I mean it’s not that it’s not a good read, I just can’t get into the story. Romance doesn’t make much sense to me. Sexuality and intimacy do, that’s why I can love reading erotica. Romance on the other hand, not so much. So since I don’t like the romance novels, and I’ve read every other book I own that isn’t a romance novel, I figured I’d give this one a shot.

I was suprised at how much I liked “I Am My Mother’s Daughter”. Mama T and I have a pretty tumultuous relationship. I don’t remember a time in my life when my Mom and I weren’t having an arguement of some kind. To one up it, we both are pretty bad for holding grudges. I mean we forgive, but forget it… Are you kidding me?!?! I’ve never in my life even considered “writing her off”, even though I’ve been given handfuls of reasons.

I’ve always thought that out of all three of us kids, my Mom was always the hardest on me. Always had the most expectations of me. Always attacked me. But my sister always acts as if she’s had it the hardest and like Mom is more intense towards her. She’s been close to writing my Mom off many times, and on more than one occasion has gone months without talking to my Mom. I get nervous if my Mom doesn’t call me every other day.

“I Am My Mother’s Daughter” isn’t really useful to me, because I’ve already gotten to the point where I know there’s some things I can’t control (thank you 28 days with Sandra Bullock for teaching me that ;)), and there’s just nothing I can do about it. My Mom is my Mom and she’s not perfect, she makes mistakes, and she screws everything up sometimes. I could spend the rest of my life angry at her, and resenting her for the way she did or did not raise me, but what would I get from it?

It’s easier to accept that my mother is who she is, just as I am who I am, and that’s the best I can expect from her. I think that my sister would benefit greatly from reading this book. Then again, I think sometimes my sister is so stuck in her own little world that it wouldn’t even touch her. She’d just be reading the words. It’s really my sisters prerogative to be mad at my Mom at anytime in her life, so if she wants to be, there’s nothing I can do to stop that.

The book is mostly about Mom’s who are close to the end of their lives and daughters who wish they would’ve forgiven or forgotten so that they could have closure with their Mom’s before they died. I would hate to feel guilty for the rest of my life for not being there for my Mom when she passed. I couldn’t imagine what my sister would feel, as she pushes all her emotions way down to the bottom of herself until something sets her off and then she explodes, like an emotion-filled volcano. Reading this book makes me think a lot about my sister and my Mom and my kids. I hope none of them ever really hate me!

The Boyfriend and I finally talked a little bit about some of the problems we’ve been having this last week or so. It’s all nothing major at all, but it’s stuff that’s been bugging us. For me, it’s been the sleeping. I know he works a graveyard job, and I’m fine with that. I just wish I could see him awake some days. I wish I could rely on him for help more. It sucks too, I feel so bad complaining about it all, mostly because I know it’s something he would love to give me, but this job makes it hard. I don’t want quitting the job to be an option. He worked this job for 2 years before meeting me without any thoughts of quitting, and I don’t want to be the reason he quits a perfectly good job that he loves.

We didn’t talk about all the issues, because there just isn’t enough time and frankly, I don’t have the desire. One or two issues a day is all I care to deal with right now. I keep questioning whether or not I have a right to bitch about the things that I want to, and while I know I have the right to do anything I want to do (without breaking the law…), it doesn’t mean that I want to go through a slew of emotions. I used to be like that, every time I had a problem with something, I would go through all the crap. And I’d end up bringing up stuff that had happened months ago way too often. I don’t want it to be like that.

It’s not like The Boyfriend and I really have alot of issues either. My issue is he sleeps too much, his issue is Alfie. That’s really it. The only thing that sucks about all that, is we’ve had the same issues for almost the entire time that we’ve been together. And while things have changed, it almost feels like nothing has changed at all.

Well at least I got some fresh air, a nap and a bath today 😉

Well people, sadly, I have officially given up on the 31 Days to  Build a Better Blog challenge. Upon receiving my 13th day task, I have come to the ultimate decision that 31DBBB is more for people who have a blog already established.

For instance, yesterday’s task was to focus on my current readers by e-mailing at least one. Well there’s a dilemma there right now. I’ve only received spam comments (if they weren’t spam comments, I’m sorry for deleting them. Askimet put them in my spam folder and I am automatically suspicious of everything that goes into a spam folder), I’ve had no subscriptions to the newsletter (sign up by clicking the button to the right). While I know that The Boyfriend and Mama T (my Mom) are reading this, I don’t need to reach out to them by e-mail, when I talk to them both in person almost every single day.

I’m not giving up completely on the 31DBBB challenge either. I’m just giving up on it until I have some readers and it looks like this blog is going somewhere other than just for my own fun. Until then I’ll just keep doing the NaBloPoMo thing (which I’m finding incredibly easy, especially now that I’ve gotten rid of the other challenge – I suppose, the real challenge).

So I had an “I feel like such a bad Mom” moment this morning. Today was Kaeidyn’s Sparkle Day at school. On her Sparkle Day, she gets to take in a toy or something else that she feels like showing off, basically show and tell. She gets to pick one boy and one girl to ask a question about what she brought in. Then either we, the parents, or the teacher (if the parent’s don’t go) read Kaeidyn’s Love Note to the class. We, the parents, wrote the Love Note which has reasons why we all treasure Kaeidyn as part of her family. Another plus to Sparkle Day is she gets to be the special class helper, which she loves because she gets to spend extra time standing next to the teacher.

This morning, I wasn’t even thinking about checking the school calendar, and I hadn’t had a chance to hang up the calendar that I just printed off last night, so I forgot completely about Sparkle Day. She went to school without anything to show and tell about, and it only really super sucked because she’s got tons of new things from Christmas that I’m sure she would’ve loved to show off. I didn’t realize until it was already too late. Needless to say, she got home and the first thing she said to me was “Mom, you forgot my Sparkle Day. Next time, can you not forget my Sparkle Day!”, I felt so bad 😦 Luckily, she’s a very forgiving child.

So then we had planned a McDonald’s day with Mama T. About once a month, we try to take all the kids to the McDonald’s Play Place, and let them go nutty. Today was even more difficult than usual, as we had The Boyfriend and Carter with us, so we had to do two trips to get to McDonald’s and two trips to get home.

The best part about the day, for me anyways, was when I asked Mama T if The Boyfriend and I could take the car and grab some stuff from Wal-Mart. Even though we had to take Carter, I felt like it was the most relaxing moment I’ve had in a long time. It was probably only because I was outside of the house and I feel like it’s been an incredibly long time since that last happened.

Tonight, I have to cut the kids hair. I hate it!! I really do suck at cutting the kids hair. I’ve butchered the kids hair, especially Kaeidyn’s so many times, it’s ridiculous. If it wasn’t for the fact that Kaeidyn is in school, and cares about her appearance, I’d just keep butchering it. So I cheat, I don’t actually cut anything more than their bangs. I hate that too though, because Kaeidyn’s hair is all different lengths (and not in the good way), Kenzie’s left side is longer than his right. I was planning on taking them to a professional, but their bangs can’t wait until I can set it all up. I bought new hair cutting sciscors today, so hopefully it’ll go alright enough.

Then I got these little tiny elastics (that will be perfect for Kaeidyn’s fine hair), so after hair cuts (and baths, unfortunately), I’ll be putting little braids all throughout Kaeidyn’s hair. I can’t wait to see what she looks like with a full head of crimpy/wavy hair. One day, I’m gonna do my whole head in braids.

Me and Two Kids

So, Mama T’s been reading my blog, and for the first time (probably since the day of my birth), I truly thought my Mom had some rather intelligent advice. And can you believe that it was advice about my blog?!?!? Her advice (not in these exact words) is that I had to give more praise for the Mom’s all around the world that do this same job as me, and those that struggle just as much, if not more than I do.

My Mom, for the better majority of my life, raised me all by herself and she seemed to do a much better job (in alot of areas) than I do most of the time. My Mom was/has been very instrumental in raising  my kids, being there for me through some of the roughest parts in my parenting journey thus far. She suggested, in her advice about my blog, to do a post much like what I’m going to do in a few minutes. I would save it for Mothers’ Day or something, but I have it on my mind right now. Sometimes, my Mom forgets how much I appreciate her, because sometimes, not only do I forget to tell her and show her, but she has two other kids who often forget too.

My Mom taught me ALOT of things throughout my life. All the parts of my parenting that I think are really good, are mostly thanks to my Mom’s nagging. She’s always had high expectations for me, but can you blame her? I clearly have a great amount of potential 😉 So here goes… This one’s for you Mom, Cheers!

Things My Mother Did or Said That Changed My Life… FOREVER!

  1. She gave birth to me!
    Without this, I would’ve never been born 😉 And then you wouldn’t be able to read these particular Rantings.
  2. Divorced my Dad
    No offense to either of my parents, but honestly, this was one of those divorces that made me more happy than sad. The only part I hated about my parents divorce, truly hated, was when my Mom first started dating other people.

    I’m sure Tiny (yes that was his name, Tiny. And he was one of the tallest, bulky men I’ve ever seen. Not really Tiny, but I guess it was cool or something…) was a really nice guy. He tried really hard with us kids, buying me a Toronto sweater when he went there and getting a friend of his to paint a jean jacket with a horse for me. But I didn’t want my Mom to date…

  3. Bought me Jasmine
    In 1995, we lived here in Red Deer, and my parents were seperated. Mom and Dad (at that time, better known as Santa) bought me this beautiful doll. I’ve been obsessed with dolls since I was young, but Jasmine was completely different.

    Her hair was dark, short and super curly. Her lips bright as cherries. Her eyelashes were long, and her eyes closed when she laid down. She was probably about two feet tall. This doll, undoubtably changed my life forever.

    She was ruined almost immediately after I got her. She was one of those dolls you could take for a bath and then leave in the bath and she would drain out. So I took her for a bath. I let her curly hair dry, and didn’t even think about what would happen when I tried to brush it. The next day, her hair was knotted, so we took a dog brush to it. Almost all her hair came out. Then I painted her nails (and did a bad job, I might add), and then I pierced her ears, her eyelashes started falling out.

    At that time in my life, I diagnosed all my dolls with diseases and often saved them from traumatic, life-threatening health issues. I gave Charisma, one of my smaller dolls, a brain transplant after she got a brain tumor. Jasmine, unfortunately, had contracted the worst disease of all.

    Lacrosse (yes, that’s how I spelt it. It was pronounced La-Chrose. I didn’t realize and neither did anyone else, until about 2 years after the diagnoses that my word was actually the word for the sport), was ultimately what ended Jasmine, and I tell myself this 14 years later. Just so everyone knows, I still have Jasmine, in a storage box in Swan Hills. Lacrosse was a devastating disease, causing her to stop breathing upbruptly, “causing” the loss of her hair and eyelashes, and eventually “causing” the loss of her arm. After she lost her arm, she started looking a bit like Chucky, and was more scary than cute, and so the closet became her new home.

    Jasmine and I were best of friends. I would spend every cent I made on her, often taking her on trips to Value Village and buying her a brand new outfit or bathing suit or earrings. She was my number one doll and she changed my life. Thanks to her and her made up disease, she taught me compassion and unconditional love.

  4. Held me and told me it was okay
    This one seems obvious right? Some of the biggest memories I have of my Mom were just of her holding me and telling me it was alright. Again, here in Red Deer, 1995. I was in Grade 2, at the school my daughter now attends, and I had entered the school talent show upon the insistence of my teacher.

    I get up on stage, after weeks of hardcore practice. Mama T loves telling this story. I practiced everywhere, in my sleep, on the toilet, everywhere! So the first microphone, doesn’t work. The second, not turned on. Finally the third works. All the time I had practiced, I had practiced with a tape recording. On stage, I had a live piano accompaniment… That I didn’t recognize.

    I completely butchered Somewhere Over the Rainbow. After singing, and having my skin turn the same color as the many bright floral patterns on my dress, I quickly walked off stage, into my Mom’s arms where I cried for the rest of the talent show. She just kept holding me and telling me it was alright.

    Or when I was probably 11 or so, and we lived in Salmon Arm. Every year, the school we attended had this huge barbecue. One of the things that all the kids loved was getting to dunk the principal. If you didn’t dunk him after throwing the ball three times, you got to run up and use your hands to push the button which would release his chair and everyone would laugh hysterically as he fell.

    My turn came up, and I missed with the ball every time. I’m double jointed and my elbows don’t bend the right way. Don’t ask me exactly how, because I can’t explain it. One day, I’ll take a picture and put it up. To this day, I still can’t do push ups properly because of it. Plus I’ve always had incredibly weak arms. So I run up to go push the button so that I can make the crowd laugh hysterically as the principal splashes about in the cold water of the tank. Instead, my arms give as I push with all my strength and the big wooden button comes smashing back in my face.

    I walked with a huge grin all the way back to my Mom, who opened her arms, as I quickened my pace and fell into them. She held me and told me it would be okay, as the pain slowly subsided from my already swelling nose. Suprisingly I didn’t break my nose at all.

  5. Moved to Red Deer
    I never wanted to come here. I never wanted to leave BC. I was born in BC and I lived all the best years of my life in BC. But Alberta had all the jobs, and Mama T needs a job. Without a job, my Mom feels useless. So we moved to Red Deer…

    Moving to Red Deer completely changed everything about my life. First, I met Alfie. Then I landed in a mental institution. Then I had Kaeidyn and went through the post partum depression. Then I landed in another mental institution and then I had Kenzie. I had Keirnan and next came the break up with Alfie. After that came The Boyfriend and Carter. Thankfully my Mom’s been here every step of the way, or I don’t think I would’ve survived Red Deer!!

  6. Held my hand during labour
    With Kaeidyn, my Mom was with me until I got wheeled down for my c-section. With Kenzie and Keirnan both, she was the only one there and held my hand and let me almost break her fingers. She was the first person (other than the doctor) that got to hold both Kenzie and Keirnan and the second with Kaeidyn. My Mom was the best support person during labour ever though. Especially when I was begging for drugs or another c-section. She seemed to know just what to say to piss me off enough to push that baby out of me!!!
  7. Forced me to sing
    It wasn’t forcing in a mean way. It was Mama T’s personal brand of encouragement. She’d keep me up late, just so she could hear me play one of my songs, just one more time. After I started playing guitar and singing at the same time, she’d make me play for all her friends.

    I used to hate it with a passion. Especially being that I don’t appreciate my talents very much. I always think I could do better. My Mom, on the other hand, always appreciated my talent, and she always knew other people would too. After a few years of having her “force” me to play for her friends or our family, I’m finally comfortable enough to record my own stuff and let other people hear it, or in some cases play in front of other people. I got up the courage this summer to play outside alot, not to anyone, but outside where others could hear. That’s pretty exciting for me.

    If Mama T hadn’t encouraged me so much, I probably would’ve given up on the music thing after the talent show fiasco…

  8. Mama T told me that I am the only voice for my children
    This was the most empowering things my Mom ever said to me. Alfie and I had broken up when I was pregnant with Kenzie. It was a very tumultuous time, and Alfie had been threatening to take the kids away. Then he wanted me to let him have visitational rights. So I told him he could, but it would have to be supervised. He didn’t like that idea at all. I often thought about going back on it, even though I didn’t think it was what was best for Kaeidyn.

    Mama T made it very clear to me, that at 1 1/2, Kaeidyn didn’t have the ability to say for herself that it wasn’t what she wanted. Kaeidyn didn’t know what was best for her and what wasn’t. It was my responsibility to be her voice and to protect her at all costs.  That was the biggest, most important parenting advice I ever received. You are 100% accountable for your kids, especially when they’re under the age of understanding!

There’s alot more that I could write here, because my Mom’s been the biggest influence in my life. It’s either a good thing or a bad thing. I’ll go with the former, because I think I’m a pretty good person overall. So what’s the point, what did she teach me?

  1. Tell your kids you love them everyday
  2. Hold your kids and never let them go
  3. Protect the ones you love
  4. Never give up on your dreams
  5. Be the voice for your young children
  6. Treat others with kindness and respect
  7. Be compassionate
  8. Work harder, because you have the potential to do better
  9. Look at a story from every angle so you can make your own decision on what’s the truth and what’s not
  10. My kids are my priority and my responsibility – an obvious one, but one that I’ve needed pointed out to me on more than one occasion (sadly…)

So there you have it, The Ten Teachings of Mama T. You better recognize! Love ya Mom, thanks for being my number one fan. Happy Not Mothers Day to all you other Mom’s out there.

What did your Mom teach you when you were growing up? How did she change your life? Do you parent your kids like your Mom did with you, or do you do the exact opposite, or do you try to find a healthy balance between the two? Leave a comment, or send me an e-mail (UnpredictableAngel13@hotmail.com) about your Mom and her life teachings.

So I’m not writing a super long post today, because I’m being too much of a perfectionist and it’s just being ridiculous. I’ve started my Marathon Day 4 post, and deleted it and edited it and then re-edited it, too many times today to want to look at it anymore.

My task is to Analyze a Successful Blog in my niche. Now I have a handful and a half, at least, of family or Mommy or parenting blogs in my Google Reader. Alot of these have only been added in the last month or two, so I’m still in decision making mode about which ones I truly like and which ones I don’t like. But just to see what the top family/Mommy/parenting blogs look like, I jumped over to Technorati and checked out the Top 100 Family Blogs. So now I’m in the state of going through all these new blogs, and picking out the good from the bad (in my opinion…).

So after deciding that 31 days to do all these things that require alot of time, effort and research, could definitely not be done everyday for 31 days by someone who doesn’t write a blog as their lifetime job, is a little advanced. I’m giving my brain a rest for one night. Unfortunately, it’s not working out for me so well.

After The Boyfriend left for work, I was channel surfing like I normally do on Monday nights, while I wait for The Big Bang Theory to come on. I stumbled across this show on PBS called This Emotional Life, and so here I’ve been for the last hour and a half watching it (and absolutely loving seeing Alanis Morissette!), and I’m really enjoying it.

Of course, I wanted to share with everyone my excitement over a cool show with Alanis Morissette on it, that’s about social relationships and neurological processes. It basically proves that love, compassion and attachment are a vital part of human development, as essential as food and shelter.

I personally, almost need the logic of a scientist to believe in anything, but I’m a romantic at heart. So while I believe in love at first sight and soulmates, it’s much more reassuring to me when there’s a psychologist or neurologist telling me it exists. That and it’s amazing to learn about what happens to the mind and which horomones are released and all the little things that a body does when a woman has a chance to bond with her baby, or a person falls in love for the first time, or when two people have sex.

So about 45 minutes ago now, I jumped on the computer with the intention of writing a great blog post about this show. Then I started writing, and I kept jumping all over the place. I’d be writing in a more essay type style, and then I’d be writing like I was telling The Boyfriend about this awesome show I just saw on TV, and I just couldn’t focus on it.

I restarted and then deleted a whole bunch, and about 20 minutes later after not being able to get anywhere further than “So…”, I just decided I would write a quick post and let you know that I did start my Problogger task, and I am planning on posting it tomorrow, along with Day 5’s focus on my current readers.

Oh by the way, I made myself these super cool, easy-to-use Blog Ideas lists. I haven’t started filling mine out yet, but after this post, I’ll be able to. Here’s a couple of pictures to make you smile:

What I Learnt:

Using ‘lists’ has always been a popular and effective technique among bloggers wanting to write content that gets spread from one person to the next. Just look at pages like the front page of Digg, TweetMeme and Delicious and you’ll see that many of the ‘hottest’ content on the web at any given time are written in this style.

8 Reasons Why List Posts are Powerful

  1. Lists are scannable
  2. Lists keep post succinct
  3. Lists look neat
  4. Lists can be comprehensive
  5. Lists are persuasive
  6. Lists can add to the ease of writing
  7. Lists go viral
  8. Lists break down the complicated

Problogger Warns:

don’t go over the top with ‘list posts’. They can be incredibly powerful but on many blogs readers can become frustrated with them if that is all you do.

Today’s Task

Today your task is to write a ‘list post’ on your blog.

My Best Of 2009 List

  1. Carter Was Born!
    Carter's Birth
    This year, we welcomed the sixth member of our family (and our fourth child), Carter Drayke. Even though, after having Keirnan, I said I wasn’t getting pregnant again until at least Kaeidyn was in school, back in January, I found out I was expecting again.The Boyfriend and I both knew before the test, but the confirmation seemed like a big slap in the face. The pregnancy was long, and even though in terms of health it was my best pregnancy yet, it was a hard pregnancy. Carter was my least complicated pregnancy, and I lasted until 4 days away from my original due date, which was October 28th (the doctors moved it further back to November 7th or 8th, because I was measuring small – which is the least abnormal thing for me!).

    So October 24th, we welcomed our handsome man, who at 2 months old now, seems like he’s not even a baby anymore. Weighing in at a solid 12 lbs 2.5 oz., he’s holding his head up with ease and already starting to crawl. Definetely one of the best things to happen this year!

  2. Kaeidyn’s Officially a Big Girl!
    Kaeidyn's First Day
    This year was a year of many milestones for my eldest. First, she started school. The day was epic for all of us. The first day, was an orientation that Alfie and I got to go to with her. For her, it was an amazing, exciting day. For me, it could’ve gone better.The day was a drop-in. When we went, we were the youngest parents there. The teacher had hardly acknowledged our existence. Looking back on it now, it was probably just because she was incredibly busy doing something else. At that time, I took it as she was ignoring us.

    The next day was Kaeidyn’s first day completely by herself. We got there, and Kaeidyn ran up to the teacher and started talking to her. Again, it was probably just the teacher was incredibly busy, but she turned away from Kaeidyn and I took it as the teacher ignoring my kid. I walked out of the school bawling my eyes out (even though I said I wouldn’t cry when Kaeidyn started school!).

    Of course, Alfie had to make it worse by telling me all the way home that “It’s okay”, secretly laughing to himself that I was being the irrational, mom-on-the-first-day-of-school cry baby, that I said I wouldn’t be. His own little “I told you so” dance.

    Even though I’ve cried alot over the stuff that’s gone on at school with Kaeidyn, from Christmas Concerts to speech therapy, it’s one of the best things that happened this year for alot of reasons. I love how much I’ve learnt about her since she’s started school and how much she’s learnt. I love watching her get older and wiser and smarter with each passing school day.

    Another really big milestone for Kaeidyn was losing her first tooth. She said one day her bottom front tooth hurt. Nothing seemed out of place. The next day, her tooth was loose. About three weeks later, after a short freak out about “it’ll hurt so bad!”, with the help of a paper towel, we pulled that loose tooth out.

    The next day, she woke up to a loonie under her pillow, a missing tooth and a second loose tooth, which she lost about two weeks later. Now her adult teeth are coming in and she’s incredibly excited. Can’t wait for her to lose her top front teeth!

  3. This Summer
    Picture of Summer
    This summer was by far my most favourite summer ever. I’m not normally one for the outdoors, preferring to be within the confines of my own home. For some reason, this summer, I never wanted to be in the house!This summer, not only did the kids and I all get tanned, but we did alot of fun stuff as a family. We went:

    • To Gull Lake
      At Gull Lake at Gull Lake Kenzie in a Hole
    • To Kin Canyon/Rotary Park
      At Kin Canyon Walking through Kin Canyon On the stairs Mommy and Kaeidyn Kenzie carrying wood Kaeidyn carrying Wood
    • Camping for a Day

      Kenzie, Keirnan, Riley, Kaeidyn, Kenzie and Hope Building the Tent Big Hill
    • To The Fountain

      Kaeidyn at the Fountain Kenzie at the Fountain Freezing Kaeidyn Valerie Rayne in the Water
    • To The Westerner Parade
      Eating Apples at the Westerner Parade
    • To The Exercise Park
      Exercising
    • To the “Club House”


      The Club House is really what the kids call Grandma’s House but I’m calling the field out behind her house the Club House.
    • To the new Bower Ponds Park

      At Bower Ponds At Bower ponds Bower Ponds
    • Paddle Boating

      On a Boat On a Boat
    • To the Blackfalds Water Park

      Trying to Convince the Boys to Go Play At the Water Park
    • For a nature walk at The Kerrywood Nature Center

      Fish At the Kerrywood Nature Center At The Kerrywood Nature Center Kerrywood Nature Center
    • To Discovery Canyon

      Discovery Canyon Discovery Canyon Discovery Canyon Eating Apples Eating Apples Discovery Canyon

    Needless to say, we can’t wait for this summer!!

  4. Tons of Great Pictures
    The Boyfriend and I got tons of great landscape pictures which we’ve been using as desktop backgrounds. Some of my favourite landscape pictures from this year include:

  5. Great Kids Movies
    This year was a year with many great kids movies. They’re have probably been alot of years with great kids movies. Thankfully, I’ve had a computer all the other years, so I was never forced to watch kids movies. This year, it was a goal of mine to spend more time doing things with the kids. So this year, I watched a few kids movies with the kids and I loved every one of them. Maybe more than the kids did.Kaeidyn and I absolutely loved Tinkerbell and The Lost Treasure. We did the whole family movie night for this one, and while it was hard to keep the boys extremely interested in it, Kaeidyn, The Boyfriend and I were having a hoot and it was a seriously funny movie.

    Bedtime Stories (the kids call it “Raining Gumballs”), is another one of our favourites for this year. The first couple of times, the kids watched it alone or with Alfie. I finally watched it, and seriously, one of the best Adam Sandler movies ever! It’s funny, it’s touching, it was exciting.

    Another one that we all enjoyed this year was Monsters vs. Aliens. My favourite part of the movie is when “The Missing Link” says that it felt warmer, “That would be a very convenient truth”. I laughed hysterically through most of this movie. The best part was, even though the kids didn’t understand any of the references, they laughed through most of the movie too.

    And even though it’s not a kids movie, one of our memorable movie moments was taking Kaeidyn and Kenzie to go see Transformers 2 at the big Galaxy Cinema. That was alot of fun and the movie was spectacular.

  6. The Delicious Food We Ate
    My Delicious Nutritious Shepard’s Pie

    Preheat Oven to 425 degrees farenheit.

    INGREDIENTS

    • 1 lb Lean Ground Beef
    • 6-8 Medium Potatoes
    • 1 can of Corn
    • Approx. 1/2 cup of frozen carrots, finely diced
    • Approx. 1/2 cup of frozen cauliflour, finely diced
    • Approx. 1 cup of Original Tomato Sauce
    • Butter
    • Cheez Whiz
    • Milk
    • Seasoning Salt
    • Onion Salt
    • Garlic Powder
    • Salt and Pepper

    INSTRUCTIONS

    1. Peel potatoes and cut into chunks.
    2. Place in a larger pot, fill with enough water to cover. Turn on high heat and bring to a boil.
    3. Place frozen cauliflour in a medium pot, cover with water and bring to a boil.
    4. Begin browning meat in a medium pot on medium heat, adding salt, pepper, onion salt, garlic powder and seasoning salt to taste.
    5. Once meat is browned, carrots and cook for approx. 5 minutes or untl carrots are soft.
    6. Add tomato sauce to meat/carrot mixture and reduce heat. Simmer until everything else is prepared.
    7. Open can of corn, save the liquid from the can, and cook in a small pot on medium-low heat.
    8. Once the potatoes are soft enough that you can no longer pick them up with a fork, they are ready to be drained. After draining, return to the pot, add half of corn liquid, a small amount of milk, about a tablespoon of butter and a tablespoon of Cheez Whiz and the boiled cauliflour. Mash to desired consistency.
    9. Add remaining corn liquid to meat and sauce and let simmer
    10. Place a small layer of mashed potatoes into cupcake tins (I used a 12 cupcake one) and cook in the oven for about 7 or 8 minutes.
    11. Remove from oven and add a layer of the corn, then a layer of the meat and lastly another layer of the potatoes. Place in oven and cook for about 15 minutes.
    12. Add some grated cheese to the top of each Shephard’s Pie Cupcake and cook in the oven until the cheese is browned.
    13. Remove from oven. Eat and enjoy your nutritious, delicious Shephard’s Pie. Careful: It’s really hot!

    Tomorrow I’ll put up Cheesy Pork and Potatoes (mmm!),
    a meal good enough for breakfast, lunch or dinner!

    So there you have it, my list post and the best things about 2009!