Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Happy 32nd Bday To Me!!

A cross section of my birthday:

-Wake up to my alarm; decide I don't need a shower today- sleep for another 30 minutes.
-Wake up. For real this time.
-Get two older kids ready for school; son is whiney (secretly grateful it's not the weekend.)
-Put kid #2 on the bus.
-Put kid #1 on the van.
-Get locked out of the fucking house by kid #3 (thank god I had enough brains to put a coat on before going outside to put Noëlle on the bus. Our keypad lock's batteries are dying, so it took me a good ten minutes to unlock the door. Apparently toddlers think hypothermia is hilarious.)
-Take kid #3 to her first dentist appointment. Bribe her with Timbits. Don't give a shit how counter-productive this is.
-Get kicked in the shin by strange kid at the dentist's. Congratulate myself on not body slamming him à la 1989 Macho Man Randy Savage style.
-Lie about flossing my two year old's teeth daily :/
-Take toddler to Walmart: pass an older gentleman with a long white beard- my kid freaks out, yelling "Santa! Santa!" It was straight out of Will Ferrell's "Elf" I shit you not. Thankfully, he was too old to actually hear her.
-Come home, put sleepy kid to bed.
-Bake my own GF birthday cake.
-Snuggle in front of the fireplace with a Pepsi and new book.
-Promptly get a phone call from the school: "please come get your barfy kids."
-Wake up toddler, go get sickies.
-Spend afternoon with kiddos in the toyroom, watching cartoons.
-Super hubby saves the day by bringing home Chinese food.
-Gorge until I slightly hate myself. 
-No one eats the cake hahaha
-Monitor tubby time while hubby cleans up and does dishes.
-Bath time interrupted by floating poop.
-Wash tub. Re-wash kids.
-Bedtime! {insert music from choirs of heavenly angels}
-Bask in all the Facebook love <3
-Snuggle in front of the fire to blog...and watch a Steven Segal movie :)

A perfect day, imperfections and all xo

Thursday, December 12, 2013

West Jet's Annual Xmas Extravagance

If you've spent any time on Facebook this week, you've undoubtedly saw, or heard about, West Jet's YouTube video. If you haven't- here's the low down:
West Jet set up a virtual Santa Clause in the terminal that passengers boarding the plane got to tell what they wanted for Christmas. While the passengers were in the air, West Jet employees then went shopping for each item requested by unsuspecting passengers. After they landed, their gifts were delivered via the baggage carousel. Tears, surprise, and genuine gratitude was displayed by all. A feel good story that has been shared over one million times already. 

Here's a bit of "Bah Humbug" for ya...I hated it. I thought the money spent on this kerfuffle (Google it, it's totally a word) was wasted on affluent jet setters. Do not for one second believe that this was anything other than a brilliantly devised marketing ploy; a clever, and well executed maneuver to stand out, and utilize social media to advertise. For that I guess, well done. 

Let's say that entire production cost West Jet $100,000 (pennies compared to the airplay they've gotten from it)- if they really wanted to use their corporate name, money, and influence to make a real difference in lives during the holidays- or everyday for that matter- they could have spent that money differently. Given an hour, I bet you could come up with almost a hundred different ways. Don't have an hour? 

I do.

1. Give the money to a women's shelter to help pay for therapy, job training, and education.
2. Pick 30 elementary schools and sponsor their breakfast programs FOR A YEAR!
3. Buy an abandoned lot and build a playground.
4. Fund several before/after school programs.
5. Create a dozen community gardens in low income neighbourhoods so everyone can have access to fresh, organic produce.

6. Pick one of the MILLIONS of community centres around the country and help them expand/renovate/innovate their programming.
7. Fund programming at a library.
8. Give all the money to the Dup15q Alliance ( ;)

9. Give the money to absolutely any homeless shelter.
10. Fund a program where retired police/military work within the schools to help with the issue of bullying (enough of this Wear A Pink Shirt To School bullshit- we need concrete solutions, not fashion)
11. Fund Self-esteem/self-worth workshops for at risk youths. 
12. Donate 200 iPads to Autism Speaks (this isn't for entertainment- these help our kids communicate and interact!)
13. Pimp out a Snow Suit Fund.
14. Sponsor an ENTIRE VILLAGE in Ethiopia- bicycles, chickens, goats, oxens, feed, seeds, fencing, irrigation.

15. Donate it to a struggling hospice.
16. Donate it to ANY children's hospice (Roger's House has my vote...and heart)
17. Use it to provide respite to 100 overwhelmed families who desperately need it.
18. Educate a community about alternative medicines.
19. Dig a well in Africa.
20. Start a scholarship for high school students going into the trades.
21. Create a grant for musicians.
22. Create a grant for artists.

23. Pick a crappy assisted living retirement home and renovate it.
24. Back an entrepreneur starting an organic fast food chain (for the love of a God, why aren't we funding this?!)
25. Donate it to a crisis centre.
26. Use it to upgrade a small community's fire truck/pumper.
27. Get a volunteer fire department new gear!

(Aren't they kinda awesome?!?)

28. Give it to one school board and have it dedicated towards more EAs and ECEs in the classrooms!
29. Buy $100,000 worth of toys, clothes, and books for kids in foster homes, and group homes.
30. Assist any number of single parent households struggling to make ends meet.
31. Hold a giant Health and Wellness Expo with free admission!

32. Give it to the United Way (do you have any idea how many different programs they distribute money to??)
33. Create 250 Cristmas baskets for families in need (toys for the kids, hats/mitts/scarves for everyone, Christmas supper)
34. Any soup kitchen in North America would faint over a $100,000 cheque.
35. Fund a program for teenage moms to subsidize their daycare needs while finishing high school, and while furthering their education and/or job training.
36. Create a grant for first time entrepreneurs. 
37. Create a grant to help subsidize rising hydro costs for the working poor.
38. Free yoga/boot camp in the park for an entire summer. For anyone.
39. Give it to four different animal shelters.
(Well hello there!)

40. Create a grant for a holistic veterinarian starting his/her practice.
41. Create a grant for a holistic dentist starting a new practice. 
42. Donate it to a hospital to forgive someone's medical debt.
43. Fund a program that teaches youths about debt, their credit scores, money management, creating a budget, savings/GICs/RSPs/ know, all the unimportant stuff they don't teach in school -,-
44. Make A Wish Foundation.
45. Pay for a service dog or eight...
46. Help fund a small community's Green Bin program.
47. 100 gym memberships 
48. 100 grocery gift cards earmarked for organic fruits and veggies.
49. Habitat for Humanity.
50. Free music lessons to an entire community.

51. Funnel it into an established program that pays for sports registration and equipment for kids who's parents cannot afford it. 
52. New books for an old library.
53. Donate it to a mental health facility. 
54. Wind turbines.
55. Solar panels.
56. Free swimming lessons at a facility. For a year.
57. A fully adapted van for a special needs family.
58. Autism research.
59. An electronics recycling program- pretty much anywhere really.
60. Pick any number of baby boomers who have lost their jobs due to plant closures and pay for their re-education and job training.
61. Create a mentoring program for teenagers after school.

62. Subsidize utility bills for seniors on a fixed income within a community.
63. Create a Mom & Tot play group/support group; pay for it's location and programming for a year. These are vital within the community!
64. Create 667 "Patio Garden Kits" and distribute them in an urban setting. 
65. Create a little subdivision of "Tiny Homes" (Google them- they're awesome) for the homeless to live in while they find jobs, and get back on their feet.

(Tumbleweed homes are my favorite) 

66. Literally ANY small community hospital could use 100 grand.
67. Bet that would buy a new MRI machine...
68. Work programs for the developmentally challenged.
69. Day programs for the developmentally challenged. (Beyond 21 is our local non-government funded post education program.)
70. Pay off $100,000 from someone's mortgage (recently unemployed perhapse?)
71. Start a youths/seniors group: seniors get visitors and learn technology maybe, youths get to learn about traditional skills and lifestyles.
72. Build an Independant gym/stage/study hall that homeschooling families can utilize, share, and socialize in.
73. Go to any job bank and hand out cheques for $5000- help them out while they're actively trying to provide for their families. 
74. Sexual abuse victims. 
75. Browse Gofundme or Kickstart- there are so many deserving causes!!

So, I just deleted an entire paragraph; instead of leaving you with my jaded grumblings on consumerism, media, and the art of distraction, I'd rather you think about my list. What would you add to your list? What would you like companies such as West Jet to spend $100,000 on?  How would your community benefit? How could the global community benefit? 
How can we make this happen...

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Elf In The Goddamn Garbage

Seriously, am I the only one who absolutely hates the Elf on the Shelf phenomenon?!? Last year I was (barely) able to contain my disdain for this new tradition, but this year, this year I'm considerably more...bitchy? 
Cranky because I miss carbs and Pepsi? Obviously, it's all of the above.

Although the Elf on the Shelf drives me nuts- certifiably homicidal as a matter of fact- please don't mistake my dislike for this activity as being "Anti-Christmas", or "lacking Spirit and creativity", or being a general "Poo-Poo Head." 

{Look, isn't he adorable!? What's wrong with you Rachel?!?  >:/  }

My issue with this *incredibly creepy* elf is the introduction of yet another lie to our children. We're very honest with our kids- we use the proper names for body parts even if that makes others uncomfortable, and we don't make up tales to easily explain hard to answer questions. 

** Disclaimer **
I lie on a weekly basis to them about bedtime. This ruthless dishonesty will continue, unchecked, until one of the clever little bastards learn how to tell time.

I have a hard time encouraging my kids to be kind, to share, to use gentle language, to play nice with each other just because a *really creepy* elf is watching them. I expect them to learn to do these things because that's how we're raising them, because I expect them to listen, obey, and emulate our instructions and actions...also, because I'm their frigging Mother And I Said So. #godsohelpmeifyoudontstopfighting! How would we put emphasis and promote these good behaviours beyond Christmas- when that *really fucking creepy elf* is packed away in the basement? 

Now before all you Pro-Elfers go ape shit and scour Pintrest looking for horrific/creative acts of revenge for your elves to perform on me...

...chill. I'm genuinely pleased that your family enjoys the creativity, and tradition of Elf on the Shelf. Really. Just keep him away from me; he scares the bejesus out of me. 

{ Hahaha!! I love the look on this dog's face! }

Elf on crazy peeps, Elf on...xo

Sunday, November 24, 2013

It's Alive!!!

Miss me?

I'm having a hard time resurrecting my blog. If this was a zombie apocolypse, my blog would the idiot zombie limping around in circles, eating it's own arm. I keep drawing a big, fat blank every time I start. I keep giving myself little pep talks: "you can do this Rachel- just start writing, write anything." So here it goes; my Anything.

I started working for a direct sales company in August...aaaand I let it take over my life haha! I wanted to devote my full attention, and effort into It Works (the mlm company I became obsessed with), and I lost sight of almost everything else; I abandoned my garden mid-harvest, I neglected my house decorating duties, I cancelled our annual pumpkin carving party, I traded in my Pintrest worthy Mom-manship for haphazardly thrown together meals, and mountain elevations of folded laundry that never managed to see the inside of dresser drawers. 

Luckily, I have seen the light at the end of the network marketing tunnel, and it beckons me back into the real world. I'm at a comfortable junction where I feel like I could continue to work the business effectively, while maintaining a life that is seperate from it; a life that includes friends, writing, gardening, and Super Momming. 

Baby steps!

(*and if you are interested in buying a wrap and/or nutritional supplement: hahaha!*)

Before It Works wrap.....and after

Folded laundry: abandoned, forced to raise it's feral young in the wild...sad.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggitty Jog

Hello Lovelies,

We have just returned home from our second international Dup15q conference (this year in fabulous Minnesota.) I'm quite tired. I plan to blog/Tweet/create cave paintings/choreograph an interpretive dance about our experience tomorrow and beyond, but tonight I just wanted to create a quick post to share what I am basking in tonight- right now: love, appreciation, and gratitude. This conference tends to come along just at the right moment in my life, usually when I am about to run out of steam. This conference fills me with hope- not only for Noëlle's future, but for this entire growing community thrown together by both chance, and the tiniest of genetic material. We are all there to learn from each other, to support one another, to do better, to BE better. This conference lights a fire in my soul (and under my ass) and motivates me to be More. To learn More. To do More. To give More. 

I am incredibly grateful for the billions of hours that went into creating this conference by numerous selfless people who are who are leading the way, building a strong foundation for this community to grow upon, and setting the bar higher and higher so that we can ALL be More.

Much love xo

Friday, July 19, 2013

Life Without Neighbours!

So, I'm loading the dishwasher this afternoon, enjoying the silence of our home. The girls were in their beds napping the heat away under lazy ceiling fans, and Dryden took the dog outside to play "car wash" on the front porch. Country living at its finest. I was startled out of my daydreaming by a car honking at our house on its way by. 20 seconds later, another enthusiastic honker. Odd.
I poked my head outside to look around and saw my soon-to-be four year old son, shorts around his ankles, bare bum, tiny wiener out, peeing in our front yard; he was standing there, facing the road, hands clasped behind his head, cocky smirk on his face that clearly said, "ah! This is the life!"

My husband is responsible for this obsession with peeing outside, so it's on him to explain why peeing behind the shed is preferable to the front yard.

And if you were one of the honkers today, I hope you enjoyed the show and could appreciate his joy at simple country living!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Less Fat/More Happy

     My quest to lose the 50 lbs I've accumulated during my various pregnancies has been a frustrating and disappointing exercise in feeling terrible about myself and failing to shed any weight. Not a damn pound.

(^ that's me...before my waxing appointment)

 I obviously (painfully so) have no idea what I'm doing. I give up! I give up making excuses. I give up eating food that's poisoning my body and feebly justifying it. I give up being too tired to work out. I give up doing it in my own; I stopped feeling bad about my physical shell and joined a gym.

Now, it's been a good decade since I've set foot in a gym- and when I used to go to the gym I was a young athlete with a bangin' bod. So needless to say, I was intimidated and leery of making the necessary first step. What do I even wear to the gym now? When I was in my late teens and early twenties, anything I wore looked great on me. Now I require a little more...ah...strategic planning for my wardrobe. Alas, there was no cool looking fat girl workout garb to be found- so I went all out in retro gear. And by retro, I mean head to frigging toe Olivia Newton John "Lets Get Physical, Physical!"

Apparently the leg warmers were too much...

3.8 seconds after setting foot through the  door, I realized that I couldn't bluff my way through this- I needed someone who: 
(a) knew how to use the machines.
(b) could tell me what to eat.(fortheluvofgodpleasesayicandrinkpepsi)
(C) would keep me accountable.

I chose this gym because I had a specific trainer in mind; I attended a "Healthy Eating" seminar he gave and it sparked something in me- a tiny ember that was waiting patiently for just the right time.
This is Jason, my trainer.

...No, you're right, this picture did not help dispel the intimidation I felt on Day One. And no, I do not stare at him non-stop: I'm too busy concentrating on breathing and not having a heart attack and dying. Because that would be super embarrassing.

30 days later, I have no idea what I weigh; and for the first time in years, I don't care. I stopped using that as a gauge to measure my health. I do know that I am stronger, I have more energy, my skin looks fantastic, and I feel great. The small changes have become catalysts for big changes- the tiny ember has become a full blown flame, and I have no intentions of putting it out.