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.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Wise Man


       Yesterday, after supper I noticed that my little Tassimo carousel was devoid of all coffee. I had a moment of sheer panic in which I yelled something along the lines of, "holy shit we have no more coffee how did I let this happen tomorrow morning is going to suck so bad!" I turned around and saw that Nick and the three kids were staring at me funny. I pulled myself together (barely) and said casually, "never mind, it's not the end of the world. I can do without- no big deal."

That's when my husband turned to face me and said seriously: "Rachel, you just quit smoking, gave up Pepsi cold turkey, are on a diet...and started your period. I cannot, in good conscience, go to work tomorrow and leave you without coffee. It's too dangerous for the kids."

So this morning, I raise an enormous mug of steaming hot coffee in recognition of one smart husband (and three small children who will more than likely survive the day.)


Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother's Day

Today is for the women who get up every night to change a diaper, breast feed a wailing baby, expel a monster from under a bed, clean up a puddle of vomit, or sooth the aftermath of a nightmare without complaining.

Today is for the creative moms who stay up until midnight decorating the perfect Sponge Bob birthday cake, DIY coordinating accessories for new outfits for school, make up songs their kids find funny, and who sacrifice their spotless living room for couch cushion forts on a rainy day.

Today is definitely for the women who pull their hair out trying to put a different, delicious, nutritious meal on the table that everyone will eat every night. For the moms who cut the crust off sandwiches, make sculptures out of veggies, who hide flax and chai seeds in everything, who try every day to fuel their kids with enough good food to energize them to conquer the world...or at least the monkey bars.

Today is obviously for the moms who spend their weekends freezing in rinks in every godforsaken corner of the frozen Tundra, for the moms who shuttle between swimming and dance and piano lessons, who remember to bring snacks to T-ball practice, who's ears bleed throughout Junior's first violin recital, who talks to virtual strangers in order to arrange play dates.

Today is the day for single moms to bask in a tiny bit of recognition for the mountains they move with sheer will and stubbornness. Today is recognition for the sacrifice, exhaustion, and sometimes, loneliness they must feel; but its also for the resilience, independence, organization, and determination they exude every day.

Today is for the working mom- who leaves the house every day to earn a living, leave her mark on the world, contribute to the infrastructure of society...and then returns home to make supper, do the dishes, help with homework, pick up cars and trucks, and read bedtime stories.

Today is for those blessed saints currently living with the dreaded teenager. For the moms negotiating curfew, struggling with the balance between protecting them and allowing them freedom to bloom, for the sideways dirty looks they ignore, for the technology they have to endure/pay for, for the time and genuine effort they spend moulding individuals who hopefully won't become assholes.

Today is for moms of special needs kids. For the countless hours spent with doctors, therapists, and specialist, for the hoops they are forced to jump through for funding, for help, for hope. For the sleepless nights that will never end, for the stress and anxiety that comes with every day situations, for the daily struggle to communicate with their child, for the stares and ignorant comments they are assaulted with while out in public, for the family and friends who just don't "get it", for the uncertainty the future holds.

Today is for Moms; for every woman who struggles to do her best, day in and day out, who makes it up as she goes, who sometimes receives little thanks or encouragement. Today is for Moms who won't trade that title for anything.

Happy Mothers Day Moms! 

Friday, May 3, 2013

Rachel: The Hockey Feminist

Today a guy that my husband associates with informed him -in a public forum- that I am not entitled to an opinion and that I should stick to things I know best, like "my little blog about being a mom." That this man -whom I've known and liked for almost ten years- proceeded to continue disrespecting me in response to a single comment I made against his preferred NHL team on Face Book, was disquieting to say the least. To insinuate that because I am a female, I incontestably have no idea what I'm talking about is a sexist position that, incredibly, still subtly permeates our society and every day situations. I am, at my core, a natural born feminist. I see no merit or value in the default position of discarding an opinion, or an idea for that matter, based on the person's gender.

I am also not the least bit surprised that this fellow has utterly missed the point of my blog: that my identity and knowledge base is not limited solely to being a stay at home mom. I am, quite obviously, so much more. My "little blog" could easily be about a variety of topics and interests that combine to create the foundation that is 'Rachel'. The fact that he intentionally tried to turn my blogging about being a parent into a disparaging remark speaks volumes on the lack of respect, as well as the value and importance that he, and many in society, place on women who choose to remain at home with their children. My role is viewed as trivial, and not really a contributing position in our communities- large and small.

It is these intentional and off handed comments and jokes about a woman's lack of worth/importance/intelligence that becomes the examples for our children and sets the standard of what we find acceptable and true to our family, friends, and co-workers; they clearly say to those surrounding us that we do not care enough to speak out against outdated, chauvinistic opinions, that we condone the systematic oppression of female growth, development, and prosperity. Overkill?? Try telling your daughters that they will never earn as much money as their male colleagues, that their athletic accolades will never be as celebrated as boys', that they should never dress to provoke boy's uncontrollable urges, that regardless of their esteemed education, their opinions and ideas will be openly scoffed and sneered at by their peers. How well does that sit in your stomach? Simply put: it shouldn't.

So the next time I comment on your hockey team's performance - save your verbal diarrhea, put your Big Boy pants on, and get over it. Yes, I have a vagina. And yes, I also know a lot about hockey. I am a woman, a wealth of information.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

I'm Leaving On A Jet Plane...

Today is the day! We're leaving to spend the night in Montreal before boarding our plane at 6:00 Friday morning to spend a kid-free week in the DR. I have that anxious/nervous/excited feeling in my stomach I get before a trip. Or is that the slice of cheeseburger pizza I had no self restraint against?? We're extremely fortunate that Nick's parents can take time off to care for our kids so that we can recharge. I plan on bringing them home some DR booze- I'm certain they'll need it after spending over a week straight with our posse of offspring.

We cleaned our house non-stop for the last 48 hours (Grampa Dan is staying here with Noëlle to keep her comfortable in her daily routine.) And to keep Saku from dying of a broken heart after we leave. He's 100% worse than the kids.

For the last seven days we've lived in the mountain fresh scented world of Laundry. Washing, drying, folding, and packing 10 days worth of outfits for 3 kids and 2 adults; laying out six days worth of coordinating school clothes, hair elastic, hair clips, bracelets, and shoes. Had to ensure that the school had an extra week's worth of diapers, bibs, juice, Sippy cups, and "back up outfits" for Noëlle- realized that we didn't have enough bibs to have one everyday for breakfast here at home, lunch at school, and supper at my in-laws without them having to worry about laundry. Bought more bibs. Realized that some (most) of Raegan's jammies are a smorgasbord of hand-me-downs from the older kids...and they are stained/ugly. Bought more jammies. Realized that I didn't have enough coordinating accessories for my outfits. Bought more jewelry, scarves, hats, sunglasses :D

Realized that Saku might have a heart attack after he concludes that we are, in fact, not just gone grocery shopping: baked him bacon oatmeal AND banana peanut butter dog treats as an "I'm-sorry-we-abandoned-you-but-I-promise-we're-coming-back" gift.

I'm tired. Let the holiday begin already! Xo

Monday, April 8, 2013

The State of Sunshine

In a few days Nick and I will be boarding a plane to spend a week in the Dominican Republic. Alone. Without the kids. Surrounded by other adults. Who don't need me to cut up their steak, wipe their bums, or chase away monsters from under their beds. We are going there to attend the wedding of a much loved girlfriend from university that I haven't seen in exactly ten years. Needless to say, I am over-the-moon-excited.

I haven't flown since my university days; I've never vacationed down south. We haven't gone anywhere alone in two long years. This trip is essential for me: my internal battery has been low for quite sometime. There have actually been many days where it has run on the wisps of fumes alone. Staying at home with the kids has proven to be rewarding beyond what I ever imagined; however, they also have a tendency to drive me crazy. Bat. Shit. Crazy. This week alone in paradise with Nick will cleanse and detox my soul of all the gunk that clings to it.

My original goal was to lose a significant amount of weight for this trip so I can fit into my cute, skinny clothes. Well, that plan had a design flaw: I like to eat and hate to exercise in the winter. Or in the summer. Or when there's daylight. New plan: buy lots of cute, fat clothes. Check!
I'm also part Albino. Not really, but you'd never know that by looking at me. All those women who spend an afternoon languishing in the sun and then for the next six months enjoy their bronze glow radiating off them and in their wake...yeah, I hate them. I have two skin colours: Translucent and Lobster Red. My plan: slather on tons of sunless tanning lotion and fake it 'til I make it. I'm pleased and impressed with the results- for the first time ever, I have a (completely artificial) golden tan. I wasn't always diligent in washing my hands after, so now it looks like I scrunch bags and bags of cheese Doritos for fun. I'm slightly embarrassed that people think I have a nine-pack-a-day smoking habit. New plan: distract their eyes from my orange hands. So I dyed my hair a new, darker color. I was tired while playing Hair Stylist, and wasn't paying attention...and didn't realize that the dye had dripped down my forehead. Now I have these deep, dark purplish slashes on my face from my hairline to my eyebrows.
New plan: email much loved girlfriend and request that her wedding photographer refrain from including her orange and black friend in ANY of her pictures.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Sabbatical Over

As our grey tinged snow banks slowly recede, revealing limp brown grass, mounds of defrosting Saku poop, and long forgotten sun faded summer toys, I've decided to flex my fingers and break out a new pen to write my first blog post in well over two months.

Although I've always been partial to hibernating for the months of January and February- this year I took it to the extreme. Something about this Winter just sucked the life- and motivation- right out of me. Deep within the white knuckle tight grasp of Winter, I devolved into a lazy slob. Ok, that's exaggerating- I wasn't THAT bad. But I did let 37 strands of silver hair take over my hairline without sufficient retaliation. I did lounge in Lazy Supper Territory: soup again everyone? I did stop primping for my husband ( that's a blatant euphemism- what I actually did was stop giving a Shit. Zero makeup, zero hair styling products, zero form fitting/fashionable clothes, zero fucks given.) I did fall into the habit of going to bed at 8:00. What I really needed was an intervention: people who love me showing up in my living room with a day planner, blush, a cardigan set, and a kick in the ass. Such external motivation never manifested however, and I was left to languish in my mundane routine.

My vitamin D deficient, pasty white skin is itching to go outside. I finally found my motivation (apparently it hates sub-zero temperatures and buggered off to Fiji for a few months. Go figure.) I'm finally feeling like Me. I'm ready for Spring.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Parenting: Boiled Down

     There was once a time in my life when I was not a parent. During this mythical era there were many things that I took for granted- Like:

Wearing hoop earrings without fearing that my ears would suddenly be ripped off by surprisingly strong little fingers.

Wearing a necklace without ever being strangled.

Sleeping the whole night through.

Sleeping in past 7 am.

Basically, just sleeping in general.

Peeing in private. Sub category (a) Never having to scream through the bathroom door: "Mommy's just going pee!! Stop crying and screaming- no one kidnapped me: I'm. Just. Going. Pee!!"

Leisurely poops.

Never wiping someone else's boogers on my pants. Never crossed my mind. Ever.

Being blissfully unaware of who Toopy and Binou, Calliou, The Wiggles, and Yo Gabba Gabba are. 

Fishing out a floating poop from the bath water wasn't always part of my nightly routine.

My young, perky 20 year old boobs didn't require an $85 bra made from titanium, Kevlar, and Spanx to keep them in place and at attention.

I could drink coffee- an entire coffee- in one sitting. Before it got cold. Or a Lego thrown into it. While reading the newspaper that we no longer get.
*stares wistfully into the distance, smiling at the fond memory*

Sexy Time never being interrupted because someone has to kaka and can't reach the light switch and there are monsters hiding in there waiting to bite his bum.

Going out in public, looking fantastic. Talking to other adults at least once. Every day.

Stopping at the grocery store on a whim to just pick up two items. In and out in under five minutes. With no bribes being purchased.

I was never in a situation where I had to catch someone else's vomit or premature poo in my hand. Wasn't really part of my social scene...

I had energy past 8 pm.

I stayed up later than 8:22 pm every night.

We went on actual dates!! (Insert romantic instrumental music here)

I didn't consider laundry a marathon sport.

No one ever slapped me. And if they did- I punched them back. Now I put these aggrataved assult suspects on a time out. Hardly seems like justice.

If someone I loved was screaming, crying, and hyperventilating it was usually because she just caught her boyfriend cheating. Not because I said "No" to Play Doh time.

I had zero (0) Disney movies memorized.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

57 Words

Recently our daughter's speech therapist sent home a booklet for us to fill out. It contains hundreds of words that developing children typically use when starting to understand the basics of communication. We were surprised to discover that Noëlle uses, and understands, 57 words. To most parents of five year old children, 57 words would not be brag worthy. We, however, are not most parents, and Noëlle is certainly no ordinary five year old. To us, 57 words are the difference between frustration, confusion and meaningful interactions; they are the difference between being a "special child", and being a thinking, feeling, personable individual.

With these 57 words, Noëlle can express real emotions- Happy and Love -to some of the most important people in her young life who she knows loves her: Mommy, Dada, Dryden, Baby, Saku, Nana, and Poppa. If we manage to do our job as her parents well, then these will always be the foundation of her life: family, love, and happiness.

With the very few words she understands, she amazes us by expressing a healthy sense of self worth: Noëlle Good Girl, Little Star. She is mirroring the image and opinion that others have of her (which let's face it, all girls do) so we need to be diligent in ensuring that these are always positive.

Noëlle's 57 words have helped display her personality to the world, her singular individualism that we sometimes foolishly forget she possesses. She is bossy (Sit! Stay! No! C'mon! Shhhh!) She is funny (tickle tickle, Boo!) and polite (Thank you, Morning! Sorry, Hello, Bye, Night!) Noëlle is a great singer (Twinkle Twinkle, Row, row, row, Round and round) and a charmer (Love you, Gentle, Hug?)

These 57 words have given our daughter a voice, a means to communicate her basic needs and wants, the possibility to interact with those around her. These words make her understood. These words validate her intelligence, and importance. Her small pool of vocabulary encourages me to try to choose the best words to be absorbed into our kids' sponge like brains- I am the Hemingway of our house, labouring endlessly over the perfect word.
The perfect word to become #58...

Sunday, January 13, 2013

My Mission, Should I Choose To Accept It...

I can imagine my child-free friends stopping by and surveying my unwashed hair, yoga pants (yet no yoga mat to be seen for 100 miles), floors covered in faint muddy paw prints, and kitchen sink overflowing with Kraft Dinner encrusted plastic bowls and thinking to themselves, "I wonder what she does all day?"

Now, I cannot speak for other stay at home moms, but my days are spent essentially preventing the accidental deaths of my three children. I have a theory: (or is it a hypothesis? I should have paid more attention in science class) my babies were born with an ingrained death wish; it is my job as their mother to beat this Dare Devil gene into submission.
Examples of their death baiting:

Dryden luring Raegan (with a cheerio) into a laundry basket poised at the top of the stairs so that he can push her down on "a ride."

Raegan attempting to swallow 28 of Saku's round dog kibbles at once.

Noëlle discovering how to climb onto a sideboard to dangle herself off the living room banister...a good 20 foot drop onto the basement stairs below.

Dryden using my curtains as a bungee cord- around his neck.

Raegan getting the cap of a shampoo bottle stuck in her mouth.

Noëlle climbing into the front loading dryer for a nap.

A sub category to my duties would be preventing the Dog's death at the hands of two toddlers and a baby. These situations include, but are not limited to:

Trying to feed him inedible objects (wash cloths, large pine cones, rocks, a wooden spoon, a beer can)

Attempting to "fix him" with a screwdriver.

Eating his tail and/or ears.

There has also been the odd occasion where I have actually contributed to their deadly mission. Last week, while carrying Noëlle out to her waiting school bus, I slipped on ice at the top of the stairs and we tumbled down together. I got up, picked her up, took a step on more ice, and promptly wiped out again. Luckily, we spent good money on a bullet proof snowsuit so she was fine (giggling in fact.) The next day my arse and back was a lovely shade of twilight. A hazard of my job. No compensation.

And so, at the end of my day, if I get to tuck three squirming, breathing children into bed then my contract to them has been fulfilled for that 24 hour period. If I have energy after that, I MIGHT tackle housework, msg/text some friends so that they know they are still important, and ready myself for tomorrow. THIS is what I do all day.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Happy Birthday

I started my 31st birthday today by reading an amazing letter. I would like to share it with you:

My Dearest Rachel,
Happy birthday! I can't believe that you are already 31; it seems like only yesterday that you were a precocious child- full of mischief and wonder. I remember your teenage years spent discovering who, and what, you would like to become. I loved your early 20s- having so much blind faith...always leaping in before you ever thought to look. I would like to share some advice for your third decade of life; and like most advice, it is offered out of love and a genuine desire for you to have the best, for you to be your best.
Live, Love, and Laugh. There is a reason these three words are seen everywhere: they are the key to a life well lived.


Live every day as though it were your last. Have no regrets at the end of each day (and I'm not talking about the laundry not getting done, or an email not responded to.)

Go outside and play with your adorable kids- they will remember your efforts and carefree love of "play."

Be more spontaneous. Not everything needs to be planned, budgeted, and detailed in a list. Go where the wind, and your heart, takes you.

Take some trips- make your world bigger.

Follow your passions! Become involved in that organization. Start that business. You know what I'm talking about.


I want you to love yourself this year. Take better care of your body, and of your soul. You only have one of each. They are worth the investment.

There is a reason you married Nick: he is the only person in the world you could imagine loving until you die. Treat him as such.

If there is a choice, ALWAYS choose being an amazing mom over something else.

Never miss an opportunity to tell your family and friends you love them. They are the ones who will drag you, kicking and screaming, out of every predicament, every heartache, every uncertainty.


Act silly with your kids, teach them that their little world is hilarious, and wonderful, and fun.

At all costs, keep your sense of humour. Your ability to laugh at the crap in life makes the crap in life beatable.

I hope that your birthday was fantastic; that your family showed you that they are happy you were born; that your friends let you know that their life is better with you in it; that today was the first day of a remarkable year. Happy birthday!

Your 31 Year Old Self xo