Jul 26, 2011

Big Changes folks!

I hinted at it a bit yesterday on my fanpage, but today, I'm going all out with it.

I'm going to delete this blog...

Wait!  have no fear!!  I will still be posting and ranting and blogging, but this time on my very own domain! 

please make sure that you change all your favorites and other links.  The NEW address is:

With the new domain name purchase came a whole new blog layout, and as much as I love the one that the fabulous Miss Steph did for me, I'm loving my new one!

Check it out folks...let me know what you think!

Jul 18, 2011

Am I the only one??

Let me set the scenario for you:

  • You walk into the kitchen and see crumbs all over the floor.
  • You start to sweep the floor, find a bath toy under the table and decide to put that bath toy away.
  • You get to the bathroom and see your towels that you'd piled up to take to the laundry, you decide to finish that job.
  • When you get to the laundry room, you remember that you need to take out some meat for supper.  You take out the meat and head back upstairs.
  • You walk into the kitchen to defrost the meat and see that your floor is still full of crumbs and you can't imagine how you can possibly be working all day long and still get no work done.

This isn't a one time thing.  This happens to me all the time.  Whether it's putting things away, preparing supper or even taking a shower (I once lost my bath towels.  Mr Delusional found them on the kitchen counter next to my coffee cup) I lose track of what I'm doing and why I'm doing it.

I started thinking about this as I ran downstairs to get a hand towel (which were sitting in the laundry basket unwashed because I forgot to put them in the machine after remembering to take the meat out for supper) - and I had this whole post written up in my mind.

I came and sat down at my computer all ready to write it up and then....couldn't remember what it was I came to the computer for.  Was I searching for a recipe?  Was I needing to check my email?  Why was I sitting here??

True Story peeps.

Jul 14, 2011

Best. Comment. Ever.

While my dad was here visiting, we were talking of cartoons that we used to watch.  I looked at Mr. Delusional, who was politely following the conversation, but not having grown up here, was at a loss as to most of what we were talking about.

"Oh, poor Mr. Delusional, did you watch any English cartoons?" I ask, patting his knee in sympathy.
Iman giggles and says, "Not my dad, he's so old he only had rocks and dirt to play with when he was a kid!"

Yes...my husband is as old as dirt.

Jul 5, 2011

I could have told you that.

I saw a story on the news a few weeks ago talking about how whining is the most annoying sound. Ever.  Did they really need a scientists to confirm this?  I think that mothers all around the world read that article and said, "well, duh."

In case anyone in my city doubted it - I decided to take my kids grocery shopping with me.

Well, no - I didn't actually decide to do that.  Fate did.  Mr. Delusional was out on some family business...and I ... well, I needed groceries.  My kids had been playing outside in the heat all day, and have been either fighting off or getting over a summer flu.  In other words; they were in "a mood."

The whining started before I even left the house.
"he hit me!"
"I did not, she pinched me!"
"No I didn't, he looked at me!!"

Yeah...that's not an exaggeration of what happened at all.

Then we got there.  There was a fight about who was going to push the cart.  There was a fight about what kind of eggos to get.  There was Adam trying to nab all the stuff off of the shelf and then pouting when I refused to buy Corn Pops.

When we finally got to the checkout - I was more than frazzled...this is when the kids start asking me for all the things that they know that they can't have.
"Can we have a chocolate bar?"
 "How about gum?"

Then I look up to see that while arguing with the kids about this junk...Adam has decided that he needed to catch up on the Kardashians and is happily flipping through a tabloid magazine.  I shake my head but think to myself, at least he's occupied and quiet, and I go on putting my items onto the till...then I hear a rip and see that Adam has torn one of the pages of the magazine.

I quietly meltdown.
My kids sense the impending doom.
They suddenly all become quiet and helpful.
The ride home is silent.

Then we get home.

There is the chaos that ensues in just getting out of the car.  Apparently it's too much to ask a 7 year old to help his 3 year old brother out of the car.  There is shouting, pinching, crying, slapping. Meanwhile, Iman is standing there barking orders to the boys, and I'm trying to be the Incredible Grocery Carrier and have 5 bags hanging off of each arm and shout "Would someone get the door??"

Then I realize that the neighbors are all out enjoying their peaceful evening.  *crickets and judgmental stares*

Eventually, I get the groceries in, the kids in and my temper under control.

Now, I wait for them to sleep.

Jun 22, 2011

More Daycare-isms

School is swinging down, and the things my kids say is as good as ever!


While folding laundry, I notice the tell tale signs that Adam was playing with some scissors.
Me: Adam, what happened to these pants?
Adam: OhmeGod (it's his new word...don't know where he got it from) something happened to them in the washing machine!
Me: No, I don't think it was the washing machine...
Adam: Oh, I 'member now - a dinosaur ate it.
Me: A dinosaur, really!?
Adam: well, maybe it was Isaac.  He likes to cut.
Me: I don't think Isaac would cut up your pajama pants...
Adam: *sigh* Okay, okay, I did it.

While washing up the kids for our afternoon snack:
Me: What should we have for a snack today?
Daycare boy:  Idunno.
Me: I know, let's have some carrots and dip!
Daycare boy: Do I look like a bunny?

After making the afternoon snack above (carrots, broccoli, cheese and crackers):
Me: Okay guys, snack is ready.
Daycare boy: *looks over plate* Don't you have any meatballs around here?

Daycare girl: Hey Adam, let's make (daycare boy) possessed and then he can join us!"
Adam: Yeah! That will be fun!"

Jun 21, 2011

Eeeek! They know my weakness!

So, after a rough morning with the daycare kids (not even gonna go there), and then a nap time filled with chaos and homework, I had a relatively nice afternoon.

I decided about 2 minutes after I woke up that I would not be cooking supper tonight. It was gonna be a leftovers or cereal kinda night...and I knew that I'd have to mow the lawn after almost a full week of rain...which was gonna be hard work.

I don't like hard work.

I did it anyhow.  I think my lawn is easily 1/2 an acre.  Well, probably not.  I may be exaggerating just a bit.  But, when wrangling 3 kids, 1 power cord and pushing that machine through thick, tall grass - it feels like that much.

My kids helped out.  They pulled the cord so that it was always out of my way.  They moved the lawn furniture and put away toys.  The three of them sat together with their halos at just the right angles.

They waited until I was almost done. I was hot, sweaty, tired and frustrated with the number of trees and bushes that I have to wind around in the back yard.  I turned off the machine, sat down and wiped the sweat from my brow.

That's when Adam pipes up, "Mom...can we order a pizza?"
Me: "no"
Then Isaac tries, "We'll pay for 1/2." (this almost worked last time)
Me: "no, guys, not tonight"
Then Iman chimes in, "Well....can we get slurpees?"

oooh...she hit me where it hurts.  On a hot day, after mowing a lawn - most people would grab a beer.  Not being a drinker, Slurpees are my drink of choice.  Oh, how I want a slurpee!!  I want to walk to the store and get one, but the ramifications are just something I'm not willing to live with!  3 kids hyped up on more sugar than they've had in the last week - and then trying to get them to bed so that I can get the rest of my homework done....just not something that I can do.

But oh...how I want a Slurpee.

Jun 18, 2011

Funkilicious Clothing - A Review of Islamic Design House

It's no surprise that I'm Muslim - it's also no surprise that I have a style and attitude that is all my own (if you haven't learned that yet, you haven't been a blog follower for long!) I've never been one to follow the fads, (just ask my friend, The Princess, who cringes when she sees me all glammed up only to be wearing my beloved red chucks!)  So, Islamic clothing has always been a sore spot for me.  It's just so....drab.

Photo from Islamic Design House
Then, Amenakin of YouTube fame did a review of Islamic Design House.  Oh my, I was in love!  These things have style and funk and still cover all the basics requirements of my faith.  I looked at the site on and off for months.  Eventually, one of the jlbabs went on sale, our Canadian dollar was at an all time high, and I thought, "give it a shot."  I ordered this one (in navy) and then sat worrying that I'd regret it.

When the package came in the mail, I was trepidatious.  I was worried it would be stiff or uncomfortable.  I was worried it would wrinkle when I sat and I'd be spending hours ironing (God knows, I hate ironing!)  I was worried the seams would fray or buttons would fall off or the material would be cheap and thin - but all my fears were for nothing. When I pulled it out, I happily found that the cotton was so lovely.   In fact, I was so impressed that I ordered another one - yes, you'll notice a trend, I've only ordered from the discounted, old season stock - I'm cheap, I can't help it!!

All of IDH's garments are made from 100% cotton.  This is great for many reasons, but for me the biggest benefit is the breathability of it.  I can easily wear this in the hot summer months without swealtering, yet when it was cooler here, I was still warm (granted, to go outside in Canada in the winter, you MUST wear a jacket!!)

Photo from Islamic Design House
The sizing is great too - As a tall(ish) person, I've always found that clothing is never long enough for me.  Buying pants is a nightmare that I don't even want to think about (you know, you sit down and your pants are halfway up your shin?  I hate that!!)  Anyhow, the IDH jilbabs come in a variety of lengths (5 different options from 52-60 inches) I chose the longest, but likely could have gone with the 58, the 60 however allows me to wear heels (if I should ever choose to - I don't usually, but it's nice to know I can if I want!).  They also have different fits; slim, regular and loose. I love these options because it means that you can open the package and wear it - not take it to a tailor to be "fixed."

Finally, my main reason for loving them so much; the design concepts are fantastic!  They have an edginess that still manages to be graceful.  It's just not something that you can describe. Their sporty, casual and simple looks can appeal to a variety of tastes - and there's a new collection launched every season (so you're not stuck looking at the same ones all year long!)

I know that these are really meant for a "Muslim" wardrobe, but I think that non-Muslims could just as easily look fantastic in these as the Muslim women do!

Jun 8, 2011

Why do I keep thinking I'm Martha?

The other day this weird sort of "1950's housewife" bug bit me.  I went on a big old baking spree.

I made BREAD people...by hand.

This made me think that I was like the Muslim Martha.  I made bread, I could do anything.  I expanded my Muslim Martha experience and made .... (wait for it) ... home-made chicken noodle soup...& buns.


This is what I tried to make
Then I saw an old friend from high school was making some cookie monster cupcakes.  I looked at the picture and thought, how hard could it be?  (here's a great blog about these cupcakes, also the place I got that awesome picture from)

So, I went shopping.  I bought little white chocolate blob things for the eyes (already had the chocolate chips for the pupils) -- I bought some blue food coloring, some icing (yes, pre-made) and some mini chocolate chips (they were actually snack pack ones)

Today I went to work making them.

I mixed up my packaged cake mix and plopped it into cupcake tins.  While they cooked, I made the eyes...then I mixed together the blue icing into the pre-made tin of cake frosting.  Here came problem #1.  In order to get the deep blue of Cookie Monster, I had to put in a lot of food coloring -- this, in turn, watered down the icing.

When the cupcakes were cooked and cooled, I iced.  I'm not all that fancy and didn't bother with the Icing bag thing. I  just splattered in on and thought "it's supposed to look messy."  Here's the problem though -- the icing was too thin to stay "messy" and it smoothed itself out.  It didn't do it immediately, though...it was a sneak attack thing.  It waited until the eyes and mouth were in...and then everything began to slowly slide off the cupcake.

I ended up with this.

Even the cupcake is sad
Yes folks, it's like something straight from Hyperbole and a Half  - I really like this blog, so I thought I could maybe get away with saying that I had made some "Hyperbole" cupcakes...then I remembered blabbing about my plans on facebook first.

Yikes.  I'm no Martha.  At least they taste good (but fair warning, they'll make your teeth turn blue)

Jun 6, 2011


I've never had a child who's thrown tantrums.  Oh...they've thrown the occasional fit now and then, but never one of those screaming, throwing yourself of the floor tantrums where other people look at you and say "oh my God, what a horrible parent!!"

So, seeing that I lacked something in my life, God gave me Adam.

A few weeks ago, we went to buy bikes.

(Yes, I said a few weeks ago -- it's taken me this long to get my mental functionality recovered...I've just been in a fetal position rocking slowly in the corner this last while)  

Anyhow - the kids have all outgrown their old bikes and were in need of new...so we said "Hey, let's go to Toys R Us and look at some bikes!"  However, we didn't go to Toys R Us, instead, we stopped at another store along the way to look at the bikes there.  Apparently, this meant that the world was coming to an end to Adam.  He started crying the moment we pulled into the parking lot.  He's cried before, and so we thought he'd get over it by the time we got into the store.

We were wrong.

He cried all the way through the store.  Then he saw the bikes and stopped crying.  After checking out the bikes we realized that there was a sports store in the mall, and we could look there since we were already at the mall.  This made Adam cry again.  This time, he started to intersperse screams of "NO!" while kicking and screaming.  It sounded like we were torturing him. (note, I have never tortured, nor  head anyone being tortured, I'm using a figure of speech called an "a simile" - please stop sending me emails asking me, "did you really do that??")

So, he cried all the way to the sports store, saw a bike that he could actually try riding and was fine.  Then we left to go to Toys R Us.  We thought he'd be happy about that.

We were wrong.

He cried through the sports store.  He cried through the mall.  He cried through the other store we stopped at.  He cried through the parking lot.  He cried in the car.  He cried at Toys R Us.

He cried for 4 hours. He cried, he screamed, he kicked, he thrashed - he could have had a starring role in the next Exorcist movie.

And people wonder why I don't plan on having more.

May 25, 2011


It's been a long, long time since I was able to write one of these posts...we've been through a dry spell lately, but today they were right back at them.

"Stop being such a girly princess!" 
"when my mom walks her shoes go 'click, click' and her boobies do this *jiggles about like crazy*"
While cleaning up a mess of blocks for about the 17th time today, my little dude looks at me and says, "Does my mom pay you enough to do that??"

May 21, 2011


Yesterday, while eating supper, Isaac decided that he wanted some juice, I told him that he'd have to go downstairs to get some out of the basement fridge.  Down he goes - and comes back up with milk.  He looks at it, looks at us, and then says "Oh...I brought milk by accident" (he comes by it honestly!) and then goes back downstairs to put the milk back and get the juice.

Suddenly, I hear *thump, bump, crash* and then..."uh....Mo-om!!" I rush down to see if he's okay, imagining he's got a bone sticking through his thigh or something. Nope, instead, I see that he's dropped the milk down the stairs, where at the bottom, the jug hit at just the right angle that it split all the way up the side.  Isaac is standing there in a puddle of milk, holding on to a rapidly leaking jug and desperately trying to cover the gaping hole to stop any more milk from spilling.

Folks, he was standing right next to a bathroom!!

So there he is, with a gallon of milk all around him, standing next to a sink with a complete look of bewilderment.

"What happened?" I asked after the cleanup began.
"I tripped on a piece of foam." he says.
"What foam?  There's no foam here."  But oh, I was mistaken.  There WAS a piece of foam...perhaps the size (and dimension) of a quarter on one of the stairs....

*le sigh*

May 20, 2011

a brief, musical interlude

My lovely daughter is in grade 4.  This is the year (where I live anyhow) that children learn all things fantastic, sexual education (limited to getting hair in the nether regions & body odor), the French language that they'll likely never use, and...the recorder.

Oh, I'm not sure if I can quite explain my complete lack of total joy emotion about this.  I don't come from a musical family, but it doesn't necessarily mean that I don't enjoy music.  I played the piano eons ago, and my dad can sing...but that's about as musical as it gets.

It would seem that Iman has inherited this lack of musical genius appreciation of music.  She was so excited to get that recorder.  She chose the color and takes loving care of it every day (cleaning out the drool that eventually makes its way into the inner chamber)  She makes sure that it's safe in her back pack and out of reach of her little brother who is notorious for trashing everything.

And she practices, God help me does she practice!  The tweets, the ear-piercing squeaks, the poorly played tunes...it makes me want to scream.  I love my child, I love to support my child, and as much as I want to support her in her endeavour to play melodious tunes, deep inside I really just want to quash her dreams.

What kind of horrible mother thinks that?  Apparently me.

It also got me thinking about my future.  I've been debating going further into my education and becoming an honest-to-God teacher... then I thought, someone went to school for 6 years to learn how to teach children to play music.  Why on earth would you want to do that?  I like that children like music...I like singing songs and dancing with my kids.  But there is no way on God's Green Earth that I'd sit down with a bunch of musical instruments and attempt to listen to them try to play.

I am Hethr, Mrs. Negativity this week.  I'm also praying that the recorder lesson plans are over soon, because my sanity is hanging by a very thin thread...a thread that's vibrating with every note she tries to play...

May 13, 2011

questions, questions and more questions

I had to take Adam to the doctor last night (sore throat, fever, etc).  I don't know about the doctors in your area, but here, it's endless waiting...waiting for what seems like forever.  I've learned to come prepared - books, snacks, his blankie, etc.

So, we pull up to the doctor's office and I see that there are only 4 or 5 other people there.  This is exciting because it means that I won't be there for more than 2 or 3 hours (yay).  We get in, give the required information and set down to the business of waiting.  While we're in the waiting room, I'm hit with a barrage of questions, questions that are likely personal and that we typically keep to ourselves.  Adam, however, has no etiquette filter.

what's on that kid's face?
why's that man sleeping?
why does that boy have a pony tail? Pony tails are only for girls.
that girl's not covering her cough. Can you tell her to do the elephant?
Why does that man smell like that?
What's wrong with that man?
That girl has chicken pox, I had chicken pox, did I give her the chicken pox?
After much embarrassment, the nurse finally calls us into the treatment room where we were forced to wait some more.  This time, the questions were about the room.

Is that a light switch?
Can we turn it off and then on again?
Is that a door handle?
What's that? (hand sanitizer)
What's that? (tongue depressors)
That's for my ear, right mommy?
Will the doctor be able to find my throat?
Can I lay down?
Can we lock the door?
When is the doctor coming?
What's that? (the case of swabs)
What are these? (the stir-ups)
When I grow up and become a lady, I want to use those to get my baby out, okay mom?
Ugh...how long until the doctor comes?
I don't like my wife.
yeah -- you read that last one right.  He actually said to me, "I don't like my wife."  Good God, I do not know where that came from, but it was so funny that I laughed until I cried.  

May 9, 2011


Today I was reminded about how very, very white I am.  Let me give fair warning that what you're about to read may cause horror and/or disgust -- if you like animals or can't stand the thought of eating them...just choose to ignore this post.

This afternoon my mother-in-law calls me up, "we're having some dinner here tonight, would you like to come?" I say sure.

I cooked my own food anyhow and brought it with me (thank God for this).  Turns out that my mother-in-law's food is a meal of stewed goat -- with the extra specialty of the head.  *shudder*  There she is ripping pieces of meat off the bones, then breaking the skull apart to pass out the brains.

"Here, Heather, do you want some brains?"
"No, thank you," I reply as I shrink away from her offering, "I'm way too white for that."

They laugh.  Mr. Delusional and his brothers all happily munch away on the parts that the typical western folk wouldn't dare touch.  I was happy to see my sister-in-law was equally disgusted by it all.

Then, I look up to see Adam, sitting by my mother-in-law's side - blissfully munching away on a piece of brain. "More chicken, please" he says.

I died right there.  Just felt my soul fall right out of me.  I mean, I'm not one to freak out about eating meat. I eat it all the time.  I do, however, have a problem when the meat that I'm eating looks like the animal.  A steak doesn't look like a cow plodding through a field.  A drumstick doesn't make me think of a chicken happily cock-a-doodling in the morning.  A goat head on a platter however, makes me think, "maa-a-a-aa."

I don't even have an ending for this.  I think I'll dream of poor little sad goats tonight.  :(

I'm back, did ya miss me?

So, I've been back from Mexico now for long enough that my brain has had a chance to absorb all the things that I saw there (some good, some not so good) -- don't worry, I've still got more to write on my Mexico Blog  but I have homework and kids and life to deal with first.

Which brings me to my post.  Apparently I was missed.  Poor Mr. Delusional has come to the realization that I do a lot more than he thought I did (I don't even want to know what he thought).  On Saturday, I was blissfully sleeping in and he did a load of laundry *gasp* -- sure, he messed up my routine, but I forgave him.  The kids were making their own lunches all week Adam has started weaning himself from his blanket...I feel like somehow I missed out on a whole lot while I was gone.

Things were back to normal pretty quickly though. Iman and Isaac were squabbling, Adam getting into things he shouldn't and me stuck doing all those chores that I really hate - like grocery shopping.  On Mother's Day.  Woot. Woot.

Not much else happened for me on Mother's Day - I got a home-made card from Isaac, spent some quality time with Iman, and visited with friends.  At bed time, as I snuggled with Adam, he kissed me on the cheek then sat there rubbing it for a bit.  "What are you doing?" I asked.  "Rubbing my love in so that it reaches your heart." he said.

Best. Mother's Day. EVER.

(Oh - a post script to my own mom - There is an entire post developing in my brain - dedicated to you and your awesomeness.  I can never thank you enough for everything you've done.  Love you.)

Apr 30, 2011


We were warned from the very beginning not to drink the water here.  We are not to use it to brush our teeth, and we are not even to use our dishes unless they are dry.  

But - the habit of sticking your toothbrush under the tap and brushing was just too much for me to break.  I'd always remember after I'd had the toothbrush in my mouth, or better yet, as I was putting it away.

Well, my habit has come back to bite me.  I was sick last night.  Violently, horrendously sick.  I don't want to disgust you with details, but let's just say that both ends were going so strongly that my body still aches from it today.  

I hurt.  My stomach feels like I've been punched by Mike Tyson, my aching back and arms feel like I've been through boot camp.

So, a little word of advice from your dear friend Hethr:  When in Mexico remember to use the bottled water for anything that will eventually go into your mouth.

Pray for me friends.  I don't know if I'll survive another night like the last one.

Getting lost

A few days ago I was sent with a smaller group of other students to the orphanage to play with the girls and bring some of the donations down to them.  We arrived in a cab, spent a fun few hours playing with them, and then decided we'd walk home to see San Miguel de Allende on the way back.  It was only about a 10 minute cab ride there, so we thought it wouldn't be so hard.  Our teacher even said, "If you get lost, just keep the Parish of San Miguel in your sites because our hotel isn't far from there."

This is our group - very, very lost
Ha, easier said than done.  We found dead end after dead end.  Within the down town area, all the street names are written on the sides of the buildings, this was not the case out there.  We had no idea where we were and our limited Spanish was quite the amusement for the locals that we asked for directions.

We turned one corner and found a little store - bought some pop and tried to ask them how to get back to our street, we just got shrugs.

We walked for about 20 minutes, found a gaggle of children hanging out on their front step and asked them, they laughed and laughed....we asked them where the parish was and got these stares of "you've got to be kidding me" -- they pointed down the street and after two steps, we saw the parish - very far away, but so very obvious that we now understood why we got the looks we did.

We met a man on the side of a street and asked him where we were on our map.  He motioned to us that he didn't have his glasses, so one of my classmates, Gail, pops hers off her head and gave them to him.  He still couldn't find where we were.

Suddenly, I realized that I was missing my camera.  A surge of panic washed over me as I remembered last having it at the place where we bought our now empty pops.  We were torn - do we turn back and try to find it after all those twists and turns, or do we just give it up as a lost cause...that's when I looked at another student, Linda, who had my camera slung over her arm...she even forgot she had it too!  So the hunt to get home was back on.

We knew we were getting close when we went from dirt roads to a new, nicely paved one.  Still nothing looked familiar.  We walked for another 10 minutes or so.  We saw two men holding an adorable little baby on the side of the street chatting away to one another.  We walked up to them, holding out our map and asked, "Donde??"  One of the man looks up and says, "You lost?"  Oh, how sweet it was to hear English!!  He tried to find where we were on the map, told us our map was too old and then said, "You're only about a 10 minute walk from where you want to go....if you know what you're doing."

Right.  We had no idea what we were doing!!  He told us to stay on this road and eventually a cab would come.  He was right.  We all piled into the back of the cab - we were rescued by Alfredo.  With all 5 of us in his car, we made it bottom out on every speed bump (of which there are MANY).  He charged us an extra 10 pesos, but we made it home.

What an adventure!  It ended up taking us more than 45 minutes to get home...but I wouldn't trade in that experience for the world!

Apr 29, 2011

Funny things can happen while in Mexico

Well, I just finished a little mini journal on one of the other places that we visited...but I would be remiss if I didn't recount some of the more ... uh ... interesting experiences that I've had while here.

The first day we went out to visit with the orphans.  4 of the Madres there were having birthdays within a month's time, so we brought a cake and had a little celebration for them....they also had a celebration for us and had made us some lunch (chicken and rice) ... there were little bowls of salsa (ooooh, fresh salsa!) and some other little bowls of roasted peppers.

Our Seafood Surprise
Well, someone asked why no one was eating the peppers.  So, I cut off a piece.  These peppers didn't look any different than the pickled peppers that I used to eat in Saudi...except that they were roasted.  So, I cut off a piece about 1/2 inch thick and a good silver dollar round.  Then, I popped it into my mouth, chewed it up and swallowed it.  "That's not so bad." I said.  Then, a burning inferno came up from the depths of my stomach...it crawled it's way up my throat and set fire to my mouth.  I've eaten (and enjoyed) spicy food before, but this was beyond anything I've ever had.  I could feel the heat radiating through my body...it made me sweat and my face was red for a good 1/2 hour afterwards.  We laughed about it, and I thought it was done.  BUT...then we went walking that evening...even 4 hours after, just the motion of trucking it up the hills here was enough to slosh around the pepper juice in my stomach and I could feel the burn start again.  lol

Then, yesterday my instructor told us about how great this little seafood place was.  "They have this thing that has avocado, some cilantro, some shrimp and clamato juice over it all"  sounded great.  So, away we went. She orders one (grande) and the waitress says, "Mixas??" and Toni says, "When in doubt, say ci!" so...we did.

What we didn't know was that "mixas" meant that your lovely shrimp dish was mixed with octopus, clams and something that looked like leftovers from an anatomy class.  It was a horrifying concoction that came to us!  I tried, I honestly tried to eat it....but even after trying to dig out just the prawns, I couldn't do it.

What an experience!!

Apr 26, 2011

Reflections on Day One

Wow. There are not a whole lot of words for what I experienced today. What an amazing place this is; it is visually stunning.Your senses are overwhelmed by the majestic beauty of it all. I woke up this morning to the chirping of birds and the babble of water outside my window. I sat on the patio, alone, as the world woke up around me. The streets began to come alive with cars going to and fro...a dog barked...a cat stretched lazily and curled up in a pool of light from the breaking dawn. I was inhaling peace with every breath.

Eventually, the casita owner and the rest of the students woke up – we were served breakfast (so good!) and given an overview of our day. We were to be given a presentation at 10am, and then out to the orphanage by noon. It didn’t seem like too much, and I now understand why.

The morning’s presentation was given by Dianne Hart of Feed the Hungry – this place does SO much more than simply feeding the hungry. They have invested into the schools by building kitchens so that the students can have meals. Then, they needed to hire cooks to make those meals, and they 2 women from each municipality to hold the positions. On top of feeding the hungry, they also educate parents and communities about healthy eating, preventing malnutrition and teaching them how to grow community gardens so that they can plant and grow their own fresh vegetables.

They’ve also expanded and have started a scholarship program where they pay for the children to continue their education. In places where most children didn’t go to school past grade 6, they now have them in grade 10. The students have goals and ambitions now (architects, dentists, nurses, chefs) and they have hope. Hope is the most promising thing.

Her presentation was moving and stirred my soul. Please consider donating to their cause (you can choose if you’d like your money to go towards the educational or the nutritional aspects).

We had a bit of a break and then when right to Casa Hagar Santa Julia – oh my gosh...this place literally moved me to tears. The Madres have taken in these girls, most of whom are not orphaned, but abandoned. Some are removed from their homes due to violence (physical or sexual)....their stories are just horrifying. However, the Madres don’t want you to focus on the girls’ past; instead they want us to look towards the future – what can these girls be? Why were they chosen to be here? How can we help them to become strong, proud women?

We got a simple tour of the centre – it’s beautiful. The girls are learning self-sustaining life techniques such as cooking, sewing, jewellery making and more. They are all quite self sufficient and polite. I was amazed at how “together” they are. The older ones looking out for the younger, the younger ones polite and well-behaved. They were thrilled that we were there (they are so starving for motherly attention) and it was just an amazing thing to sit back and watch. They served us lunch (delicious) I ate a roasted chilli pepper (not the best idea!) and then we had a birthday “party” for the Madres (4 birthdays within a month!) – it was fun, it was heart warming, and it was so memorable.

When we left, Robin (a volunteer there who is essentially the translator for us all) told us, “You are all in our hearts, you are a part of our family.”

I sobbed. I tear up just recalling this now.

Today was a day that I will not forget any time soon.

Apr 22, 2011

10 years ago today...

Take another walk with me down memory lane.  10 years ago today, I was 42 weeks pregnant...yes, forty-two.  I was as big as a house and slightly depressed that I could no longer wear any maternity clothes other than a pajama -- which was made of polyester.  That wouldn't have been so bad except for the fact that I was living in Saudi Arabia and the temp on that lovely day was around 35*C (or for my American friends, 93*F).  I was large, I was hot, and I was swollen.

However, I had a doctor's appointment that morning.  The previous 2 weeks I'd gone I was told "You're 3 cm dilated, you'll have that baby any day now!"  I'd stopped believing my doctor and her enthusiasm.  This time, I walked in and her face dropped, "You're still pregnant?!  Get out of here, go to the hospital, it's not safe anymore!"

So, merry me, I took along my hospital admittance papers and we drove to the hospital.  I walk in, all cheerful and happy and "yay we're having a baby" only to be stopped by a nasty old doctor who just dripped evil.  "I don't care if you're 50 weeks pregnant," she cackled, "you're healthy, the baby's healthy, go home!"  Then she got on her broom and flew away.  Well, not really, but that's essentially what I imagined.  :(

I softly cried to myself and began to waddle my way out of there, leaning on Mr. Delusional and trying to keep my wits about me.  And then a nurse came up behind me and said, "Dr. McWitch is off duty at 5, why don't you come back at 530?" and I heard the angels sing.

So we went home.  We were in the midst of moving from a 2 bedroom to a three (literally across the hall from one another, it was the kind of thing where you pick up a piece of furniture and move it to where you want it in the other apartment...no boxes or packing or any of that hogwash, so I moved some stuff around, Mr. Delusional got the bed put together and I took a nice, long nap.  Later on, we had some supper and then drove back to the hospital.  Dr. McWitch was gone and a new doctor was there.  She smiled and said "Of course we can take you.  There are a lot of women who are laboring right now, so you can just rest in your room until it's less busy."  I loved her.

I got to my room, read a little bit...painted my toenails....read some more...then they delivered a supper to me...it was 7pm.  They gave me a full chicken breast, mashed potatoes, gravy, a cup of tea and a small can of pop.  I inhaled it all.

Finally, around 1030 they were ready for me.  They wheeled me upstairs, we argued about how to induce (I wanted them to break my water...they said it was dangerous, etc, etc.  I eventually got my way).  Shortly after 11, they broke my water...the doctor tutting all the while.  I had instantaneous and very strong contractions.  The doctors and nurses decided to have a tea, because I was going to be "a while" before I delivered.

Around 1130, I told Mr. Delusional that I had to push. He pushed the call button.  The nurse came in with her tea cup in hand and said, "Oh, you're not ready to push yet, Mama, but I'll check you..." and she proceeded to lift up the sheet covering my legs....at which point here eyes popped and her tea cup dropped and she shouted, "Doctor!!  She's crowning!!"

At 1135, my beautiful baby girl was born.  Very white, very chubby (those extra 2 weeks in utero really showed) and very, very hungry.

Happy 10th Birthday to my beautiful Iman.  Love you forever!

Apr 21, 2011


So, a while back I was contacted by Agoo Apparel Inc about a review opportunity for some Agoo leggings.  I said sure, and here is my honest and fair review:

The package came in early March, simply wrapped up in grey shipping type plastic.  Inside was a pair of the Agoo Bamboo Leggings - bright green with little lizards all over them.  I couldn't have been more excited to get a "boyish" pair!  They are super soft and were way beyond my expectations.  I've used other leggings before, but they just can't compare to the Agoos!

Let me just do a quick review of leggings in general, and then why I like the Agoo so much.  Leggings are fantastic things for little babies - especially those that like to crawl around in a diaper and T-shirt (like my Adam used to) - and the thing is, his legs were always cold. After chatting with some friends about this, I discovered little leggings that he could wear.  They're great - they keep their legs covered enough to be warm, but (apparently) aren't bothersome to little dudes.  They're great under shorts/skirts especially on spring fall days.

I thought that leggings were only good for babies, but I soon discovered that my older kids were snagging them to wear on their arms (for the same reasons as you put them on the babies!)   They'd head to school on a spring day -- too warm for a jacket, but still a bit too chilly in the morning to wear just a shirt.  They'd mix and match the leggings that I have and were the talk of the school.  Everyone wanted them.

The Agoo Leggings, however, are even better - I cannot describe how soft they are.  They have been through the wash many times and have not faded or shrunk (a major reason it took me 6 weeks to review - I wanted to put them through the ringer!)  They are fantastic.  They are also bigger than the other brands that I have.  This means that they fit Adam's 3 yr old legs/arms and come up to mid-bicep on my older kids (as opposed to the other brands which barely made it over their elbow) -- those extra two inches are fantastic!  I also noticed that the elastic isn't as tight...some of the other ones that I had would leave some harsh red marks on Adam's chubby thighs, and though he's no longer a baby with chubby thighs, I don't think the Agoos would have left any mark on him.

All in all, they are a fantastic product - very happy with them -- especially right now - they are great chickenpox-on-the-arm covers!  My little man is stylin without itching!

Apr 19, 2011

What Next?

So, as if my life hasn't been stressful enough lately - with my last class forcing me to look within myself to places I'm not really comfortable going and then talking about it in a public forum (sort of -- it was for all my classmates to read).  Then the cost of this Mexico Practicum just keeps skyrocketing (passport fees, immunizations, travel insurance, etc) I hadn't really planned on these additional expenses....Then, to top off the list of monetary woes, my bursary for school ended...2 weeks before the new course was up to be paid.  :(  Ahh...such is life.

Then there are the issues around the house - the leaky sink (now fixed) and the broken dishwasher (still broken) which means that I'm still doing dishes by hand.  This breaks my heart....and wears away my skin.  No kidding here folks.  Check it out -- those are the fingers of Yours Truly, and the skin is literally sloughing off.  It's a very unpleasant feeling.  I tried doing a home hand treatment that I have called Instant Manicure, when that didn't work I tried another one that I'd forgotten I'd bought but discovered way back in my drawer BeautiControl Paraffin Treatment (no, this isn't a Beauticontrol ad, I swear!) Anyhow - that one worked a bit, but it's still bugging me.  If you have suggestions on how to fix this, please let me know (it's only on my hand that holds the sponge...weird huh?)

So, as if all of this wasn't enough, on Friday, Isaac started complaining about his sore throat - again.  This is the eighth time he's had tonsil issues in the last year.  It's frustrating...I tried putting it off, hoping against hope that it would go away - it didn't.  Then, this morning when Adam woke up he had spots all over him.  Big, red, itchy spots.  My mind instantly went to the irrational Bed Bug paranoia that I have.  I tried to brush it off, but by supper time, the spots started developing little rings around them...not a good sign!  So off to the doctor we trudged...Isaac indeed has tosillitus, and Adam?  He's got chickenpox.  Yeah...chickenpox.

What's coming next?  I only have 4 days left before I leave - please, dear God, please let them go smoothly!!

Apr 17, 2011

6 days

I'm leaving in just 6 days.  I'm so excited that I could just burst right now.  I've been trying to contain it because Iman's birthday is on Friday --- I can't be more excited about my trip than her birthday now, can I?

Anyhow - while I'm in Mexico, I have another course starting.  The instructor is just awesome and has already posted up the first 4 units.  I really want to get at least 2 of them over and done with before I go (that's totally do-able) BUT...

(there's always a but, isn't there?)

But, I'm so excited that I can't even really concentrate! This course is on children with special needs, and normally I have a lot to say on it (it's something that really interests me a lot) but all I've been able to do all day long is run over the list of things I want to do in my head:

  • recheck my bag - do I have everything (good thing I did that, because I almost forgot my pajamas!)
  • write out a list of "things" for my mom while she's here (she's awesome and taking care of Adam.)  This will include things like his normal routine, his likes/dislikes, how to turn on the TV and switch it to the DVD so she can get a little reprieve now and then... etc
  • write out a list of things for my older kids to do (feed the fish, clean their rooms, not make grandma never want to come back....you know, the usual).
  • try to get that stupid sink fixed
  • ^^ ditto for the dishwasher.
  • write a note for Mr. Delusional to remind him that the light in my oven has been burnt out for months, and the dryer light just burnt out today.  
  • remind Mr. Delusional to buy me printer ink so I can print out my reports to take on the plane.
  • oh yeah, print out my boarding tickets
  • ask for more donations (hint, hint peeps!)

  • let my mom know how my deep freeze is organized so she doesn't get lost.
  • laundry - clean underwear is essential in this house!!
  • Ironing....not cause I want to, but because I don't even want to face it when I come back.
  • birthday party for Iman on Friday (daytime with a few of her friends, evening with the whole family)
  • Saturday = family fun day/time spent together before we leave day/try to get to sleep because I have a long day of plane rides and apparently a bouncy, jiggly, vomit-inducing bus ride to the casita the next day.

Yeah...and I'm trying to get some homework done.


I got this recipe from a girlfriend of mine a while back (maybe a year or two ago??) - anyhow, they are absolutely fan-freaking-tastic cookies.  So delicious!  I hope you enjoy them as much as everyone I've made them for does!  These cookies are moist, chocolate morsels with a banana flavor burst!  So good!

Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 cup butter/margarine
1/2 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs

1 tsp baking soda
3 cups flour
1 tsp salt
2 very ripe, mashed bananas
1 package (2 cups) chocolate chips

Cream the first 5 ingredients together in a large mixing bowl until fluffy.
Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.

Drop by spoonfuls onto baking sheet (I use parchment lined for easy cleanup) and bake in a 350* oven for 10-12 minutes (mine usually take 14 minutes)

Apr 13, 2011

Dishwasher Woes

I've mentioned before about the issues with my dishwasher.  My lovely Mr. Delusional fixed it many times and has made me a very happy woman each time.

This time however - it was beyond his fixing abilities.  Sometimes it was filling, sometimes it wasn't.  There was no rhyme or reason to it.  We pulled the whole thing out thinking that perhaps the hose was kinked, but nothing worked. I gave up and have been doing dishes by hand for the last week or two.

Yeah, you read that right, I have been doing my dishes by hand!!!   

I know that there are people out there who don't have dishwashers and my complaints, to them, are likely whiny.  I did dishes by hand for far too long.  I hated it.  So, when we moved to our house and it had a dishwasher, I was in Lazy Hethr Heaven!  (too bad it also didn't come with maid service....ahhhh... that would be so sweet!)

Anyhow - back to me and my whining.  I've now been doing dishes by hand for a few weeks.  With the daycare kids here, that means that I usually do about 4 or 5 loads of dishes a day.  I. Hate. This.

So when I woke up this morning and saw the big red circle around today's date on the calendar, I did a little squeal of glee - today is the day that the dishwasher repair man was coming!!  The kids and I spent the morning coloring and baking and waiting for the moment the door bell would ring.

Finally - around lunch time, the van pulls up - the kids swarm him and the poor man is bombarded with questions:

  • What's your name?
  • What's in the bag?
  • Why do you have a band-aid?
  • You're not allowed to wear shoes in Hedr's house, you gonna take them off?
  • Why do you have an orange screw driver?
  • Can I see your screwdriver?
  • Oooh - he has a flash light!  Can I play with your flashlight?

It went on for quite some time. Eventually I was able to feed them, wash them up and put them to bed -- meanwhile, Mr. Repair Man is tinkering around.  At this point, he's taken apart the entire machine - front cover is off, bottom piece is off, racks and screws and bits are all over the place.... and he's on the phone.  I hear him say "I've tried everything, I just don't know what's wrong with it."

Uh...so not the words I wanted to hear, hun!

A few (5) phone calls later, he's figured out the issue, and has to order a new part (water intake valve and also a new mother board 'just in case') and he leaves.

I still have no working dishwasher - I have to wait for the part to arrive and for a new service call to be booked.

Hethr's not happy.

Apr 8, 2011

Score 1 for Mr. Delusional

We discovered this weekend that two of the tires on our SUV had holes in them...one a screw, the other a nail. Mr. Delusional took it into the repair shop to get done. All that time, I was worrying about how much it would cost. Two new tires...at I don't even know how much a piece!!

He comes home and says, "Can you believe what they charged me for the tires? $80!!"
Me: "Really? That's awesome!"
Mr. Delusional: "What? Awesome? For a simple patch? I could have bought a patch kit and done it myself for less than that!"
Me: "A patch? Like Micky Mouse does on his cars??"
Mr. Delusional: "Micky Mouse....really??"

Touche, my love. Touche.

Apr 4, 2011

It's only Monday and my Eye's Already Twitching

I thought that I would have a myriad of posts during spring break...however, it was quiet here.  My mother came and took my kids for 4 days (yes, all three kids for 4 whole days!) and with one daycare child sunning himself on the beaches of Cancun, another too little to cause much disruption, and the third happy to have me all to herself, it wasn't that bad.

Mr. Delusional and I enjoyed some much needed husband/wife time together as opposed to the usual mommy/daddy thing.  There's a difference.  A big one!

Anyhow - my mother eventually brought my kids back (yes, she had developed a bit of a twitch!) and soon after, my chosen son was back here (nicely tanned and full of stories) we were back into the swing of things.  Again, it wasn't that bad because my older two were here and each on loves to be the little mother hen to the daycare children. I was more like an observer than a caretaker.
However, all blissful things must come to an end.  Spring Break is over and we're back to our daily routine...and we didn't miss a beat.  Iman and Isaac each asked to be woken at 530 this morning to exercise with me.  No, I didn't bother waking them that early (I'm not that delusional!), but thought I'd wake them at 630 so we could have breakfast together.  That didn't happen.  They slept through their 7 am alarm....they slept through my 715 "wake up, you're going to be late" and their eyes barely flickered at my 730 "get up now before I get mad!"

We then had the mad dash for "I have nothing to wear" and let's not forget that "there's nothing to eat."  Eventually we got through the hair combing, face washing and teeth brushing and they were off.

Apparently that was the sign for Adam and the daycare kids to go totally psycho.  They fought over toys, they fought over noise, they fought over spots to sit, they fought over who was fighting.  It was horrible.  Then, as if someone waved a magic wand, they were nice and wonderful again....and a little while later, it was back to the fighting.  Needless to say nap time came and there wasn't even a fight to get into bed.  Everyone was very happy to crawl under their covers and grab some much needed sleep.  

They should be waking up soon - I'm hoping they're in a good mood -- we're off to hop in puddles regardless of smiles or tears!

Mar 24, 2011

Sometimes, I have days like this...

poor psycho kitty.  I have sympathy for you.

Please do NOT try this at home!

So, let's just say that you're getting your supper ready (it's a crock pot meal today).

Let's just say that the recipe calls for browning your beef in onions & garlic before adding it to the crock.

Let's just say that before you put your pan onto the burner, you took it out and placed it on the counter where someone had taken the little plastic bread tag off the bag and left it on the counter.

Let's just say that by some strange act of God, the bread tag managed to stick (unbeknown to me) to the bottom of the pan.

Let's just say that I then stick the pan on the stove top and turn on the burner.  I fry up my onions and add my meet and think "wow...that smells funky."

Let's just say that I shrugged that off and turned to wash the breakfast dishes while the meat was browning.

Let's just say that the fire alarm goes off.

Let's just say that the fire alarm going off automatically sends a message to my security company (it was APX, but is now called Vivint).

This is all that's left of the bread tag.
Let's just say that the kids freak out and the baby (who'd just been put down for a nap) wakes up screaming.

Let's just say that Vivint automatically sends out a text message to me and Mr. Delusional when emergencies like this happen.

Let's just say that Mr. Delusional is driving to some far out store to be a relief manager there today.

Let's just say that he's freaked out too.

Let's just say that Vivint's two-way voice comes on to check on the "health and safety of the residents" - and it takes some convincing to get them to call of the fire and other emergency vehicles that were automatically sent out.

Yeah...don't try this at home, peeps!

Mar 22, 2011

Spring Break

Spring Break is coming.  Just 4 more sleeps.  Grandma has promised to take my lovely, sweet, innocent children.  All three of them.  She offered to do it for the whole week.  We'll see how long that lasts.

Now, I'm going to pretend that grandma doesn't read this blog and just write what I need to say.  So, Grandma - Close your eyes, exit the page, or just fain innocence when you see my lovely offspring.

They are fighting.  My daughter is very much a girl and fights with venomous words spat out in anger, while my son is very much a boy and uses his fists.  I'm not happy with either - but also realize that they are siblings, and as such, they will fight.  Meanwhile, Adam screams and whines and cries to get his way.  All in all, I'm running on that last little thread that's holding me together with sanity...and they're bringing scissors.

So, in an act of desperation, I called my mom for help.  She says "Tell them that Grandma says that they can't come if they don't behave -- put a star on the calendar so that I know...."

Well - this is all well and good, but they don't seem to give a rat's behind.  But -- I'm so close to digging burial plots in the back yard that I'm willing to lie to my lovely mother in order to have a little bit of peace in my life.  I'm THAT stressed.  Right now, I feel like a failure as a mom.

Mar 17, 2011

I got an idea!!

That's what I hear a lot now these days.  Whether it's from Adam and his chosen brother, "Hey, I got an idea...let's build a tower with the lego!" (and there's always such genuine enthusiasm when they say it) - or my older ones who have some crazy ideas....it's a common phrase these days.

Last night, while cleaning up from supper, I hear my lovely daughter say, "Hey, I got an idea and it won't even hurt......well, it might hurt a little bit, but it's gonna be so cool!"

Needless to say, I dropped what I was doing and rushed into the living room where I see Iman trying to convince Isaac to let her hold him with his stomach on her head while she spun him around - she called it a Human Helicopter.

sticky eyeball toy
When that idea was put far, far out of everyone's mind (and hopefully, but not likely out of existence) we sat down to a nice bedtime snack of Oreos and milk.

Today, Isaac comes home from school and he's gotten a ball as a prize for some reason that I don't understand.  Anyhow - this wasn't a bouncy ball, it was a sticky ball -- remember those sticky hands things we had as kids?  Or maybe the sticky octopuses that you'd whip at the wall and they'd creep their way down?  Yeah, it's that kind of material -- only it looks like an eyeball.  It's a little creepy, but right up Isaac's alley.

So, he's been playing with it all day long: showing the daycare kids that he can "defy gravity" because it sticks to his hand...or trying to toss it from one hand to another....you get the idea.

After supper, he decides that he needs to wash his sticky eyeball ball...he does - and is thrilled that it was even stickier than before.  He decides to throw it up...high...and of course, it gets stuck to the ceiling.

I hear trills of giggles and laughter - and then a "You need to tell mom!"
"no, you tell her!"
"no, you threw it, YOU tell her!"

after a bit of a pause and probably more fighting back and forth that I couldn't hear, Isaac pipes up with: "Mo-om...My eye is stuck to the ceiling!"

Mr. Delusional came to the rescue - he lifted Adam up to the ceiling where he reached up and pulled ... and pulled ... and pulled -- that stupid sticky eyeball must have stretched a good 4 inches before it finally came off.

And that, my friends, is a glimpse into the craziness that I encounter in my daily life.

Mar 12, 2011

Happy Anniversary!

Today is my anniversary - Mr. Delusional and I have shared a whopping 13 years together.  We are both still alive, and neither one of us are in jail, so I consider this marriage to be a success.  I must let it be known that I'm not a fancy, frilly, girly-girl type of person (shocking, I know!)  I don't particularly care for flowers, I don't like having to dress up (jeans and sneakers are my preferred choices), and I'm not big on romance...I'd rather just cut to the chase than go through all the wooing and swooning.  I guess I'm more like a man than a woman... cest la vie.

So, with that little tid-bit about me - let me just take you down memory lane, dear readers - to the evening of my marriage proposal.

*insert groovy music as we time warp back 13 years and a few months*

Mr. Delusional and I had been spending long hours together talking about all things that really make my heart melt - politics, religion, culture (hey, I've got a scientific mind, not a Harlequin Romance one - these are the things I adore!) Anyhow, a lot of this time was spent talking over the 10 cent hot wings at Boston Pizza (the romance continues)...

...So, one day we were sitting there in BPs waiting for our wings to come, when Mr. Delusional reaches into his pocket and pulls out a ring box.  The lady at the table next to us did one of those ultra fem *gasp* things with her hand fluttering around her throat and her lady companion turns and quietly says, "Aweeeeee!"

However, it didn't go down the way that they thought it would.   There was no getting on the knee, there was no taking of my hand and saying "Hethr, will you do me the honor of becoming my wife?" nope...I wouldn't have had that anyhow...instead this happened:

Mr. Delusional sorta tossed the ring box on the table and said, "So....you wanna do this thing or what?"

The ladies at the table next to us choked on their own disbelief as they saw me light up and say, "Hell yeah!"

And thus, began my life with my man.  Unorthodox and uncouth...but I wouldn't have it any other way!

Mar 11, 2011

Thank GOD, it's Friday!

I have had a rough week.  Sometime in the middle of Sunday night, someone came and switched out my kids.  They took my lovely, sweet, (rather) well behaved children and replaced them with fight-picking, screaming, whining demons.

Why?  Why did this happen?  I have absolutely no patience for it.

Adam's been rude and mean and pushing/swatting/shouting at everyone and everything if he doesn't get his way.
Isaac has been defiant (so out of character for him) - and Iman's been both clingy and screaming for her own space.

I'm tired.  I'm frustrated.  I have a bunch of homework to do, I have to finish preparing for my trip to Mexico and I have the homework that's associated with that as well.  I really want these last few weeks away from my kids to go nice and smooth....but it's not.

I'm just praying that we'll ground ourselves this weekend and start fresh on Monday.

Mar 7, 2011

Big Words and Little Mouths

Back around Christmas time, my chosen son's father was building a super secret gift for his wife (a shoe shelf!).  I'm assuming that chosen son was around while the piece was being built because he was suddenly taking the hammer from the Little Tykes tool station, banging the wall and sporadically shouting, "Dammit!!"

Mom and I worked hard at eradicating this word from his vocabulary.  However, children being the lovely little sponges of learning that they are, Adam quickly picked up on this fascinating expression and began using it himself.  He'd say things like "Stop saying 'dammit,' dammit!" or "Dammit, (child's name) said 'dammit' again!"

So, while I worked hard at ridding it from my chosen son's vocabulary, I worked just as diligently at wiping it from Adam's.  It seemed to work well, I don't recall them saying it much past mid-January.

It must be understood, however, that we are dealing with children...more specifically, we are dealing with my Adam - a boy who shines a new light on the antics of childhood.  We'd been dammit-free for a little over a month when today, Adam got upset that I wouldn't allow him to munch on chocolate covered almonds for supper.

That's right, I am an evil, horrible mother who doesn't let her kids eat chocolate for supper.

Obviously enraged by the deprivation of all things chocolate, Adam runs a loop through my kitchen and living room screaming in frustration.  He stops dead in front of me and with tears in his eyes shouts, "You Dammit!!"

It was so wrong of me to do, but I laughed.  I laughed until I cried.  This just made him even more angry, but I couldn't help it.  I laughed and laughed and laughed.

In the end, we talked about the whole issue and how that's not a word that nice people should say...then we ended up having popcorn for dinner.

What?  Is popcorn not a complete meal?

Mar 3, 2011

Please Advise my Fellow Daycare Providers

I am incredibly lucky to have absolutely wonderful daycare parents.  They are thoughtful, understanding and respectful.  What more could I ask for?  It has taken me 5 years to find families that fit well with me and my philosophies...but I have achieved just that.

Sadly, that's a rare case.  I have 2 friends right now who are also daycare/dayhome providers who aren't so lucky.  Friend #1, let's call her Tracy, has parents who are disrespectful.  They send their children to her care when they are ill -- I know that parents have a hard time taking the time off of work, but when you send your kid to your providers house sick, every other person in that house is exposed!  It's horrible!  The sickness spreads from child a to child b...then to the provider's child or the husband or the provider...the next thing you know even the cat is sick and all because the parent brought their kid in when they should have stayed at home.  

Tracy also has an issue with a parent who says her child is potty trained.  Tracy has yet to see the child use the toilet (or potty) in her home and is constantly cleaning up wet spots all over the place (even her brand new couch!!)  I don't even know what to say about this.  I've just gone through the potty training phase with Adam and my own chosen son -- sure they still have the occasional accident, but not to the point that I'm stuck with a home drenched in urine.

My other friend, who we'll call Elaine has parents who just walk all over her.  "Hey, would  you mind keeping my 18 month old baby awake all day today so he sleeps on the drive home?" -- do you think about what effect this will have on the other children in the home?  What about poor Elaine who works a 12 hour day with no break, and now you're asking her to keep a toddler awake all day long?  She also has issues with parents being late (like hours late), or "forgetting" things like shoes or jackets.  

I just don't understand.

Granted, I have never been the parent who's bringing their child to a dayhome, but still, I would certainly hope that I'd treat the person who is essentially raising my child during the day with a little respect.  Would these parents accept it if someone treated them this way?  I don't think so!  Do I just live in a fairy tale world where people "do unto others..."

What are your thoughts??  What advice would you give these providers (either as a parent to a provider, or as provider to provider).

Mar 2, 2011

Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss!

I'm sure that I've mentioned before my love for all things Seuss.  I love his stories, I love his art.  I love the messages that many of his stories send, and I love, love, love that his writing still inspires young readers today.  Dr. Seuss books are fun, engaging and (in my untrained and personal opinion) help children learn to read without any effort.

Since today is his birthday (and it's almost over, yikes!), the kids and I decided to have a Dr. Seuss Day.  We started off by reading some of his books: my personal favorite is The Cat in the Hat, but we didn't leave out One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish or Fox in Socks (another one of my favorites!).  We played a Cat in the Hat inspired game called Cat in the Hat I Can Do That!- which is so cool and so much fun.  We had the kids as young as 2 and as old as 33 playing and laughing and winning (we all won, of course!)

However, the day just wouldn't have been complete without our Green Eggs and Ham - this is one of the first books I ever remember reading.  One magical day my own daycare provider was flipping through those pages saying "I am Sam.  Sam I am" and it just clicked.  A whole new world had opened up for me and I was hooked on books.

Anyhow - I digress.  We read (a very worn and tattered version) of the Green Eggs and Ham and then got down to the dirty business of making and eating our own green eggs and ham.  Well...green eggs and turkey ham.

We started off with eggs...separated the yolks from the whites....you'll also need green food coloring (my picture is crooked, and I'm too darn lazy to fix it....live with it peeps!)

Then, I added a few (4-5) drops of food coloring to the whites and mixed it up. (oops, another upside-down pic!)

I put the green whites into the pan, and then topped them with the yolks.

While the eggs were cooking, my daughter helped to paint the (turkey) ham...just a little food coloring and water (a few teaspoons).

Once it was all together, we had us a "Green Eggs and Ham" meal!!

Now....to think on how to make something equally cool tomorrow.....

Feb 25, 2011

A Festivus Friday Vent

My girlfriend Magz, had a facebook status this morning bragging about  rubbing in  talking about how wonderful her day was going and it wasn't even 8 in the morning.  Because I hadn't yet had my morning coffee, I was in a delusional haze and decided to comment about how my day was also going stupendously.

What an idiot I can be!

Why would I think that I could talk about how great my children were behaving?  Not 20 minutes after writing that little tidbit, they started fighting.  All I hear is, "Don't touch me....give it....stop looking at me....you're bugging me..." (need I go on?)  Also, for some reason, Adam has decided that instead of using words today, he'd much rather just put on the whine.

I don't know if I've ever mentioned it before, but whining is one sure way to drive me directly to the loony bin.  I hate it.  I feel myself turning into Gargamel.  It's horrible - but there's nothing that I can do about it.  Me + Whining Children = The nastiest thing you will ever see.

So, combine this nasty freak of nature with my moody husband and I tell you, it was nearly the start of World War III here.  Can you believe all this because I asked him to be quiet during nap time?  (no, conscience, I don't think that the readers need to know that I over reacted to his obnoxious antics and said "If you wake up the children I'll kill you!!!" why would that have any affect on the support my lovely readers have for me??)

So now I'm sitting here, stubborn and angry and just wanting someone (Mr. Delusional) to bring me flowers and say sorry (even though I should be the one apologizing).

Feb 23, 2011

The Trouble with my Man

Unless you live under a rock or don't follow me on Facebook, you'll know that Mr. Delusional hurt his leg the other day....here's the story.

A few years ago, we had a bit of a flood in the house.  It ruined the floor and furniture, so we got new stuff.  The new stuff included what I like to call "the one-ton coffee table."  Now, of course the table doesn't quite weigh a ton...but it's built of very, very solid wood and has big old glass panels (and drawers too)...If I had to guess, I'd say the thing weighs a good 80+ pounds.  It's so heavy that I dread it when the kids eat popcorn or something, because it means that I have to drag the thing out of place to vacuum underneath it, and then put it back.  It's heavy.

So, fast forward to Friday.  I'm happily doing a little bit of homework okay then...doing some curriculum research....okay fine - playing on Facebook while the kids were napping.  Mr. Delusional was getting ready for work and came into the room to put his laptop away (on the end table).  He came into the room rather briskly - and as he walked towards the end table, he swung his leg and smacked his knee into the corner of "the one-ton table."

Okay, there was  not nearly enough gasping and sympathy from you all.  So let me clarify a little...he hit the table so hard that he moved the one-ton table.  Yup, it lifted up out of the grooves that it had developed into the carpet and over by a few inches.

There's still not enough sympathy folks.

He hit that table hard; a direct hit on the knee cap to the very corner of the table.  In fact, he hit the table so hard that he took the black off of his pants.  No lies peeps...what I thought was maybe something transfered from the table to his pants is in fact a section of pant where the dye has been removed.  It's a little 1 inch bar of white against the black of his pants.

He had instant swelling -- not a whole lot around the knee itself, but definitely on the knee cap.  He swore up a streak...and seeing him in so much pain almost made me cry.  After he calmed down a bit, he took an Advil and hobbled into work.  I called him a couple of times to check on him, until he said "Please don't talk to me about it anymore, I can't think about it!"

Yup...he was in pain.  But, he was also a man - which meant he wasn't going to the hospital unless a piece of bone was sticking through the skin.

He worked his full shift, came home and iced it (it was still swollen and by then it was hot and swollen to about 3 inches above his knee cap) took another Advil and went to bed.  The next day, he couldn't bend it.  But he still went to work.  His excuse was "it's the long weekend, I can't ask another manager to come in on the long weekend because I hurt my knee."  He did the icing and Advil again when he got home.


He worked again on Sunday and told me that he'd go to the hospital that night.  For whatever reason, he didn't leave the store until 8, and then felt it was too late to go to the hospital, to which I lovingly replied, "Fine then!  If you're too stubborn to go to the hospital, don't come hobbling to me when you have to have it amputated!"  Yup...shining moment for me right there!  I still helped him with the ice and elevation and all that.  Oh, and I forgot to mention that he was unable to get dressed/undressed on his own for the last few days.  I did that for him, too -- cause I'm an awesome wife that way...except for threatening him with amputation that is.

On Monday, I get a phone call from him around the time I'm expecting him home.  He's at the hospital!  Hurrah!!  The doctors looked at it, x-rayed it and came up with this: "you've likely got a hairline fracture of the kneecap - these things don't show up well on an x-ray, so just continue to do what you're doing." (meaning the icing and Advil).  

Don't these guys know anything?  How can you tell a man like my husband something like that?  Do you know what that means?  The next time something happens to him he won't go to the hospital.  He'll just put it off and put it off....and then you know what I'll be stuck with?  Him, hurt beyond what is necessary because he's just too stubborn to go.

Feb 18, 2011

Saving my Sanity

So -- probably 2 years ago, I went all Flylady crazy and bought a bunch of her stuff.  The dusters, the "control journal" -- and a little book that she recommended called Saving Dinner.  I browsed through it, got distracted -- and left it at that.

Well -- after being sick of the same meal every week, I decided to give it another go.  I figured I didn't have much to lose.  If you saw my recipe book collection, it would become painfully obvious how many I've tried, and how many I've given up on.  I'm tired of trying and putting all this effort into foods that the family doesn't eat.

So, I pulled it off of my book shelf, blew off the dust and took another look at it.  I'm into week 2 of  using this - and let me just say, this book is awesome!  She has her recipes set in different seasons (so a winter, summer, spring and fall group)  She has a weekly menu complete with side dish suggestions (that's what always gets me when I make a meal!).   She has a grocery list -- nicely divided up into categories for you (such as produce, dairy, meat, etc).  Best part -- So far, it hasn't taken me more than 1/2 hour to cook my meals, they are healthier than anything else they would have eaten before AND most of the time, most of the family likes it.

That's saying A LOT.  You see -- if it were up to my kids, we'd have Spaghetti every night.  I'm lazy - so I'd rather just "cook" cereal.  Hubby's picky and likes his 4 square...it's a never ending battle!

I've been really sneaky with my meals so far.  I've told the family that we will be using this book for the whole year, and that I expect them to let me know what they think of each recipe.   We are rating it on a scale of 1-5; where 1 is please don't serve me this nastiness again!! and 5 is oh my God, I've died and gone to heaven!!  So far, most meals have been a 4.  That's something considering the range of picky eaters that we have!

We've had amazingly yummy things like Tuna Fusilli (sounds horrible, but was so good.  the kids each gave it a 5!), Sweet Bean Burritos, Herb Crusted Chicken Piccata (This was fabulous -- even though it was a little more black than nicely browned -- lol!), Ginger Beef, Romano Turkey Burgers (mmmm!!!), Fish Nicoise....etc...

It's been FABULOUS.  It's been fun to find some of the things on her shopping lists (like Neufchatel cheese....even the deli manager didn't know what it was -- but a quick google search told me I could easily substitute Cream Cheese).  Kale is a vegetable that I'd never heard of or even knew what it looked like -- but  the produce boy showed it too me...I was dubious when cooking it - but it's now my new favorite!

Her book has a bunch of recipes (also quick and easy) in the back for side dish options - BUT -- even better - she has "serving suggestions" listed under each recipe.  Things like "a big green salad and some roasted red potatoes" -- and she has those serving clearly marked on her grocery lists so if you don't want to make something, you can simply leave it out.

The menus serve 6...as in 6 adults - so we always have left overs.  My own family is eating fabulous, but my daycare kids are eating just as well - as the left overs often make it to their plates for lunches.  I nearly fell over when my little daycare girl (a very picky eater) ate 1/2 a chicken breast and a side of spinach and squash and then asked for seconds!

Yup, I'm sold.  I love this book.  I think you should try it.  Give it an honest to God try.  She only has 5 menus/week - so you still have the option to make an 'old favorite' or go out for dinner, or whatever.  So, my lovely readers -- if you'd like to check out the book, the link to it on Amazon is up near the beginning of the post, and my fellow Canadians - you're link is below.  I think the only complaint that I have is that it's written in US measurements (like "buy a 15oz can of ___") where as in Canada, everything is in grams.  It takes a little math okay, Google searching, but is oh-so-worth it.
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