It’s Now Official

Earlier this week we called the official beginning of summer.

Yes I realize that summer doesn’t begin until the 21st of June, but when we have to bring out the big monster black fan……

At that point, break out the sprinkler’s, the bathing suits and the slip and slide. Summer has begun.

About 4 years ago we bought this amazing fan.

Seriously, AMAZING!

It basically creates a hurricane force wind tunnel and woe be to whatever pieces of paper you might have left lying around. They have just been blown over into Alberta.

It was amazing and totally saved our lives on many hot and stagnant summer nights.

See, our house is particularly bad because even though the sun hits it’s zenith around 2-4pm in the afternoon and then outside typically starts to cool off…..that is only the starting point for the fiery pit of hell that our house becomes. We have a clay tile roof and while it keeps our house nice and cool until just after noon… noon it has started to absorb ALL of the heat of the sun and it just gets hotter and hotter and hotter and hotter. In the evening, there is a significant temperature difference between the outside temps and the temps inside the house. The house being so unbearably hot that all you want to do is get into a tub filled with ice until you start to turn blue.

Any way, we bought this fan and it was worth EVERY. SINGLE. PENNY. that we paid for it.

Problem was that we also had a 3-4 year old boy who loved to experiment….and those “normal human filters” that gently suggest that you should not do certain things….yah, those weren’t (aren’t always) in place.

So he would try to feed different things through the fan to see what would happen. For example, if you put a small piece of paper through, it would come hurtling out like a bullet. Or if you sprayed water through via a mister bottle, it sprayed water every where….fun, fun, fun! The scary one was when they fed string through the back of the fan and we had to cut it off the motor and from being tangled around the blades…..NOT. SO. MUCH. FUN!

One day when we weren’t paying enough attention, the kids managed to topple the fan over onto it’s back and so where it should have had tons of air that it could suck in through the engine mechanism…it had next to nothing – squishing through the carpet.

Apparently, we left the house and it ran like this for a while and then it QUIT. The engine died and no amount of tinkering (by Jon) could resuscitate the stupid machine.

The summer was almost over and so we just “stuck it out”. The next year we were moaning and complaining about how unbearable hot it was and how did we ever deal with the heat, when we finally remembered that we used to have this fan……..Oh yah – the fan…..

We went out to Canadian Tire and lo and behold, there was another fan exactly like our old one. We were SO excited to bring that thing back home…..

We have now pulled that fan back out of storage and Monday marked the first day that we pulled it out and it has made our place bearable….not amazing, but bearable…..

I can’t help but thinking about what we’ll get to do when we own our own place………we can buy A/C units if we want…..wouldn’t that be heavenly?

What do you do to cool down in the summer months?

The Comfort of Family

We went and visited some friends on Friday. I’ve known her since we were teeny, tiny wee ones.

She is my longest and closest friend.

Killer Eyes

We are not the kind of friends that are always up in each others spaces – 24/7, BUT……every, and I do mean EVERY time we get together it feels like we were just together yesterday. We might have more to talk about if some time has passed since we were last together, but the honesty and trust that is there……it just can’t be beat.

So we finally managed to hook up and when we were talking we realized that it’s been over 2 months since we sat down and relaxed together. I’ve seen her briefly in between that time and we’ve talked on the phone, but we hadn’t actually spent an evening together.

Her husband is literally one of the biggest and yet most gentle spirited people I know.

The Gentle GIant

This picture does him absolutely no justice, and yet it does capture something of that gentleness that I see and feel every time we get together.

Our kids are the most amazing friends……


and even though we both have once child who struggles a little more than some of the others….they are still AMAZING kids…

Hailey & Jeremy

Her littlest darling is an absolute monkey. She had me shoot a freak load of pics of her. She has such a personality. You’d NEVER be able to tell that from the pics would you. (click through to see a ton more of her looking SO cute)

Crazy Monkey Gang Sign

My littlest monkey serenaded us on a miniature guitar and improvised his lack of a guitar pick by using a bread tag….

Tiny Guitar Playing

Jon – the most amazing husband ever….

My Man

…..grabbed the camera and took a few pictures of me – see I really was there….

Bringing back the crazy eyes

There is a MUCH nicer picture of me if you click through to the whole set…..

It is so nice to be able to go and hang out somewhere with people that you know and love and to feel like you are just chillin’ in your own house.

These guys are so much more than friends….they are family! I hope that you all have or find friends like this in your lives…at least once.

Oh today…..

We just heard news that we didn’t get the house. I mean, there is sill the remote possibility that the accepted offer could fall through, but it’s unlikely and so we are now headed off on the wild adventure of searching for and offering on another house…or townhouse or something……who knows what the future holds in store for us.

I’m sitting outside on my deck in the shade and a GORGEOUS hot breeze is blowing and today is literally one of those perfect days. If you go and sit out in the sun, you stand a great chance of burning because the breeze will deceive you into thinking that you have a bit more time. Seeing as I am a MOLE-Y freak, I tend to embrace my inner Snow White and either stay in the shade or slather on the sunscreen.

I do try to get a bit of sun – ya know, with the imprtance of Vitamin D and all….

I don’t relish the actual looking for a house part, and definitely am not rockin’ the waiting after you put in an offer, but getting into my own place…that’s the part that I’m really looking forward to.

But today, I will relax. Possibly clean my house a tiny bit. Snuggle with the baby and hopefully plan the meals for this week. It helps so much when we know what’s happening for dinner instead of hitting 6pm and just then starting to think about it all.

And right now…I might just go and get another coffee and sit out here in the warm breeze. MMMmmmmm, so nice!

Waiting…..more waiting.

We had just sat down to watch a movie tonight and the baby started crying. He was saying owie and then asking for me and then more crying and well, I’m not sure why he woke up , but he doesn’t want Jon, but he does want to nurse and well….we don’t do that in the night. You know, unless he was really honestly sick or something and needed the extra comfort.

I recognize that I’m well into the “extended nursing phase” and quite frankly I’ve been surprised at the LACK of nasty comments that I’ve gotten. Not that i want any nasty comments, but Siah is definately far beyond what is considered normal to still be nursing. There are lots of people that I’ve read about and fewer that I’ve actually known who nursed beyond 2 years old and so when I sit down and nurse Siah in a public place….I’m not nasty about it, but he might nurse around noon when he would take a nap and if I’m out, then I nurse him…..I’m pretty sure people are thinking it and I get the “surprised” looks, but so far no ones said anything.

I won’t be nursing him when he’s 5 so don’t get all excited, but we’re enjoying this time together. Maybe he enjoys it more than I do, but we’re not ready to quit quite yet……I’m sure you’ll all hear about it when it happens….’cause I’m kinda open like that.

Okay, so all of that had NOTHING to do with what I was going to talk about tonight which was that we are waiting to hear some news.

It could be good news, it could be bad news or it could be so so news. I think that about covers any response that we could get back from the people that we made an offer to for their house.

We should hear something sometime tomorrow.

I’m hoping that we do get the home, but I know that if it’s not meant to be then it won’t happen and while I would LOVE to live in this house – I can be confident knowing that God has it all under control and that He is leading and guiding us.

If this one doesn’t work out – while I think that this could be a good fit for our family, there is obviously a better home for us.

To tell you a little bit about our offer and about the home….

We have offered a little over $20,00 less than the asking price. This is kind of a HUGE deal for me as we could do the asking price, but our Realtor did some homework and found another house in the same neighborhood with a smaller house, but a slightly bigger property that sold 3 months ago and we are offering roughly what that house sold for. This house has been on the market for a while and we are hoping that they want to sell it.

It has 3 bedrooms with one extra kind of weird room that could be used as a den or office or a bedroom. We will need to put the girls together and the boys together in bedrooms and so from that aspect it’s different from here where each kid has their own room, but when we walked into the place it felt like home more than any other place that we saw.

It has a kitchen that opens into an eating area which is seperated by a hallway from the dining room which opens in to the front living room from which the front doors opens and then hooks around again into the kitchen……off of the eating area and down 4 steps is a family room….

It all feels very open and cozy – if that’s even possible…I know that they typically contradict each other. There is a wood burning stove that would be awesome in the winter and the yard is fenced which is AWESOME especially for Siah.

We can SEE ourselves in this place for the next few years until the kids grow up and need more space.

We are praying that God would lead and direct us and we are willing to walk away, but we would LOVE to live in this place…if we had a say in it all.

And so….we wait…..hoping……


I am SO grateful to those who asked me how the house hunt went.

Honestly, I am feeling so disappointed and discouraged with a few things in my life and feeling down and well….overwhelmed and….. to have some of you ask about me and my life – it makes me feel like someone cares and with the way I’m feeling….that’s a really nice thing. It’s a really REALLY nice thing. I don’t think I am really adequately expressing how good it made me feel to feel like someone out there cares……. I know that’s stupid thinking (the part where I feel like someone cares because of comments) ….but it’s where I’m at…

Okay! Here it goes….

The house hunt…we’ve been approved for a mortgage. In Vancouver, we’ve been approved for a very VERY modest mortgage. Like, we are looking for a town home…probably a 3 bedroom town home and most of the town homes that are available in our price range are….well…they are iffy! If we could find one with a rec. room in the basement, we could possibly make that into a room for the girls to share, but MANY if not most, of the town homes have NO YARD AT ALL.

If you’ve heard me talk about my kids at all especially Jeremy, then you KNOW that the kids need some where to be able to burn off some energy. We are not a TV or electronic entertainment family – in fact we’ve once again cut our cable. We unhooked the TV about 2 weeks ago and then today canceled the service because why are we paying for something that we are not using. It is initially difficult to wean the kids, but then, as if by magic, they become happy cheerful playing children instead of television zombies ready to snap the heads off each other in the event that one should stand between them and their beloved TV.

All of that to say that we need some sort of a yard….or at the very least SOME PLACE for the kids to play and to keep Siah safe while getting some fresh air.

For the very same cost in Walnut Grove….which is a part of Langely – which is 6 cities or about 35 minutes from Vancouver… can get a HOUSE with a YARD….that needs no fix up except to re-paint.

In Walnut Grove, we would be close to family….lots of family….it’s a HUGE family community…I have dreamed about living there for years…..

So which do we choose? Closer to work….like a LOT closer to work but with no yard and seriously compromising space for the family.

Or Further from work, (it’s about half way from where we are now and we have been commuting for an hour each way since January) but with a house, yard, community, family, and enough living space… We could possibly bus to work in just over an hour if we needed to.

So, I am conflicted……I want a house. I want to be able to plant a veggie garden. I want the kids to be able to play outside. I want a place where the kids will WANT to bring their friends home to “hang out”. I want the kids to not feel like we have compromised them and their needs for our “work”. I want them to be comfortable and happy. I want us to be comfortable and happy. I really want a house. I don’t really want a town house.

And, then we are getting comments about how we “need” to be closer, and about how it’s better to live closer and that we will need to compromise. I do recognize that there are compromises but I want to compromise where my kids don’t lose out. We could live a little bit closer (but not in Vancouver) but there would be NO family around in the event that we would need to ask them to help them out.

We are not expecting our family to raise our kids as we go and do our “job” but sometimes we do need family and there is a better chance of having them available if we are closer and slim to none chance that they’d be available if we lived further away (from them).

So that is the whole house thing……FUN, EH?

I’m also struggling with feeling like what I’m doing (at work) is pointless. I’m way to early in this game to be feeling this way, but in someways it feels like I’m trying to run against the current and after 5 months of running against the current while at the same time trying to not rock any boats that are floating past me – I’m tired and frustrated!

I LOVE to be able to organize and work with structure and to create and make things easier. I get frustrated when it feels like there are things outside of my influence that I am relying on to get done so that everything else can also get done and those original things don’t get done and then that effects me and my “effectiveness”. That probably made no sense but think of domino’s….if the original ones are not knocked over then the rest don’t get knocked over either….you need to start at the beginning and you are counting on the beginning ones to start and complete the task. When they don’t get done….then it effects everything. Does that make sense? If not, then oh well….

I also feel like we are living in limbo land. We want to be able to sign the girls up for Late French Immersion School, but if we don’t know where we are going before school is out, then we can’t do that….there there is no guarantee that we will even be able to get them into the program…. At this rate, if we don’t make a decision, then the kids could still be in the school where we currently are, and if that’s the case, then I feel like I might be a little bit crazy in September after trying to do the whole kids out of school and work and commute forever and ever and just the thought of it all it messing with my head.

I feel like I really need to get settled. I want to get settled. This is year number two of unsettled-ness and I’ve about had it. I need the stability in my life. I do SO MUCH BETTER when things are stable.

At this point, I feel like I’m going to start whining about my life and so now I will stop. Or else you will hear a lot of whining and moaning and no one really wants to hear that.

So that is where we are at…..I’d love to say that everything was awesome and amazing but honestly that’s not how I’m feeling right now.

I’m feeling pretty discouraged. I know that it’s just a “feeling” and that I’ll feel differently soon, but right now….this is where I’m at. Warts and all… is fun(ny). There are ups and down and if you ride the waves as opposed to fighting them – you don’t get quite as tired out as if you try to fight through it.

And so I ride through this bit of a down turn in my life…..

Ripped Off

There are aspects of myself that I absolutely LOVE and then there are some things that I can’t stand.

The fact that I have dark hair and light skin – I’m okay with that. The fact that I have hair on my upper lip – not so cool with that – and because of the previous mentioned dark hair and light skin it means that it’s obvious that I have a mustache.

I don’t shave or bleach, but I do wax the suckers right off of there. Yes, it’s hurts like a bugger, but that’s the price I pay for looking a little less manly. As much as I’m into natural stuff, I’m not so into going “au naturale” that I’m okay with my mustache. Once He – lets call him Harry – gets to the point where when I look in the mirror all I can see is this black hairy caterpillar on top of my lip….then pretty much everything else takes second priority.

For example, this morning……Siah’s early morning wake up call for a little mommy and me time was at 4:25am. But, we’re talking about a kid who previously (as in 2 months ago) was still waking up 2-3 times a night so I’m happy with the straight through ’till early morning routine. When He fell back asleep – I WAS AWAKE. I could have gone and run a marathon. Well, not technically, but who’s getting technical at 4:30 in the morning – SERIOUSLY!

So, I did think about getting up, but quickly dismissed, hugged my pillow and went back to sleep. I needed to tak e a shower this morning….it had gotten beyond the I can fake this with a rag and some soap and LOTS of hairspray. I actually HAD to take a shower….and I woke up after 7am……it was 7:05am to be precise.

I took off like a banshee ripped through the shower and then began the ardous task of doing my hair. I like my hair to look good and I typically hate it the first day that I wash it. It needs to be a little bit dirty to REALLY WORK! So, I moussed it. I blow dried it. I added a little hairspray and then curled it with my fabulous bendy curlers….and while doing my hair….Harry just kept taunting me. Every time I’d try to look in the mirror to see what I was doing with the curlers, Harry would wave at me and kept getting it the way. It was really hard to concentrate with all his distraction techniques.

I finally had enough. I rolled up the last two curlers by feel and opened up the medicine cabinet to try to find the “Harry Removal Kit”. Jon asked me what I was doing and then tried really hard to oh-so-casually mention that, “Wouldn’t a tiny bit of hair look better than a giant red welt on top of my lip?”

Nope! Really it wouldn’t, and this stuff that I had was really good and there shouldn’t be too much of a red welt, and even if there was – I could handle that better than Harry gettin’ all excited and waving around making a big scene.

And so I did it.

We said goodbye to Harry today. He will be gone for about 6 weeks – maybe even 3 months if I’m lucky. He always manages to find his way back, but for now……things are good.

And this kit…..honestly….THE BEST. I went out and asked Jon if he could see and ANGRY RED WELT! and his response was that it was difficult to see with all the make up I had covered it up with. What he didn’t know was that “you never wax and then clogg up all the pores with make up – that’s just begging for a zitty mess.” I had no make up on….I’m trying to figure out if I needed to be angry with him for saying that I had a crapload of make up caked on my face BUT…..I’m just so happy to be Harry-less that pretty much nothing can spoil my good mood.

Well, the only thing that puts a teeny-tiny damper on my excitement is that we are going House hunting today and well…frankly….it’s FREAKIN’ ME OUT!

How do we know if it’s the right one? What if we make a bad choice? What if we have creepy neighbors? What if the house is a…….. lemon – I know that’s what you call a bad car…what do you call a bad house? I am not one to look forever and ever and ever and ever and EVER! I can make anything work, but this is a HIUGE decision…….AWWWWWKKKKKK!

So, I’m just going to go and look and pretend that we are house shopping for someone else. Yah! That’s what i’m gonna do. I’ll just pretend. How’s that for some awesome coping skillz? I ROCK!

I’ll come back and report on how cruddy the houses were later or not….oh…and I’ve been stress eating this week and there is NO WAY that I’ve lost weight this week and pretty much the only way that I could lose weight is if I lost a limb…and frankly I’m not wiling to sacrifice one of those at this point and so I’m trying to ride out this week making smart choices and aiming for next Saturday. I’ll still post the damage so ya all can see what stress does to me. It’s AWESOME! in a totally not awesome way.

Alright! I’m gone, but I’ll probably tweet during the day – ya know…if you’re interested in seeing what we’re up to and what amazing pieces of work fit within the confines of our mortgage.

Just Clicking Away

I keep clicking over here and looking at this page and then clicking away as I’m not really sure what to say.

I went to see Geli at her Track & Field Day today….

So Proud of Her...

She was in high jump and discus throw, but we could only stay and see her do the high jump and well, she had two tries and didn’t make the lowest attempt, but I would say that 90% of the girls trying didn’t even clear the pads never mind the bar and so they were definitely weeding out the riff raff right off the bat.

I had this whole post in my head about how the “middle school PONG” was so bloody strong at the stadium, that you would have thought that it was an enclosed space. WOW! I can’t even fathom helping out at the school if the open air stadium smelled that bad. I do realize that it was a hot sunny day and that the majority of these kids are full on hitting puberty and also have no working knowledge of either deodorant or showers, but seriously….I was truly amazed at the stench that sat like fog in that place. It was UNBELIEVABLE!

Click on the picture to see some other shots from the event.

Then Jon and I headed out to our weekly Sushi Date. This is pretty much our only “protected” time of the week. Pretty much NOTHING messes with out one hour Thursday Sushi Date.

Siah was too cute. He loves coming with us and we love having him While it’s not the same as a NO CHILD date, it’s still pretty awesome.

Tea Time

We are going into Vancouver tomorrow to look at a bunch of town homes and one house in the hopes of finding something within our price range to be able to move into this summer.

I’m equally excited and terrified and annoyed and worn out. It’s an awesome ball of emotions and probably what’s wearing me completely out right now.

And that is why I keep coming here, wanting to post, but clicking away. I don’t know what to say and like this post shows…..I feel like I’m just verbally diarrhea-ing on you all. I LOVE this place. It’s MY PLACE. It’s my place to talk and chat and emote and I feel so tapped out that I’m not even sure what to talk about or chat about or even to emote about.

I have pictures lined up in iPhoto that I need to upload, and now it feels like they are so old that what is the point….I think that all the travel and uncertainty are just really wearing on me.

I need to get settled and we are working on that. This has just been a very loooooooong year with a freakload of commuting and well….I’m tired.

Is it summer, yet? I need a vacation.

I’d love a child free vacation, but I’m still nursing and so that’s a ways off yet.

That’s a whole ‘nuther post….if I could ever get enough emotional energy to write about. Yes, I am extended nursing. And I realize that Siah is at the age were others think that he (and I) should just stop and well….I’m not planning to yet. I am expecting the comments to start any time now and realize that there are some who are not commenting, but are sure thinking their comments and while I’d love to say that I don’t really care. It’s not the truth. I don’t like to be judged. I try desperately hard to not judge and I’d rather talk about “why” I can chose to make this decision for my son and myself and my family and that we could agree to be different.’s a big long topic and one I’m not going to try and deal with today. Maybe another day….soon????

I’d also like to talk about working outside of the home. Again, another day…

Also, moving into Vancouver…..BIG FREAKIN’ ISSUE……and terribly expensive and so against what we want in our lives and yet so much a part of what we want in our lives…..and once again…that freaking dichotomy……..

Also, Jeremy….he is at least a few posts in and off himself……oh man…

Well, I’m gonna sign off and hope for better things tomorrow.

ps. Can I just say that after using my father-in-laws camera, I HATE my stupid little camera. I LOVE his Nikon D90 and when we have a spare $grand+ kicking around I’d love to get one.

Heavy Loss and Loss of Heavy

I should have updated on Saturday, but somehow it’s Monday now……..

How did that happen?

I lost a bunch of weight this past week. I think that the biggest culprit of the weight gain was not in fact the wedding food, but it was “that time of the month”.

I was down 3.8 pounds. And now, I am currently 188.2 pounds….or at least I was on Saturday.

So, the whole weight loss thing seems that it’s going “okay” for me. My sister is getting married in a month and while I’d love to be down to 180lbs….I’ll just be happy if I’m under 185lbs. Baby steps, people…’s called setting realistic goals so that if things don’t work out the way I “hope” then I’m not too, terribly disappointed.

One thing that was AMAZING….if you’re a guy or just don’t like to talk about “female” things, then you should just stop right here and be on your merry way……I’ve warned you!

When I originally started seeing the naturopath about all the losses I’d had, she put me on a whole bunch of stuff, but one of the things was a tea.

I LOVED the flavour of the tea and what she told me was that it was a tea that helped with “female health” and reproductive organs and energy and that well, it was just pretty darn good stuff.

I took it for two months and then got pregnant and stopped drinking it. During that time I went from a long 35 day cycle to a 29 day cycle and went from bleeding like I was a stuck pig for an entire week to what I would assume (from what I’ve read) is a normal or normal-ish length and flow for all that fun time of the month stuff… know average flow for 4-6 days.

I figured that the naturopath had worked her magic and that was the reason for my “normalcy” finally after my entire life of being….well……grossly not normal…

I found a recipe for some tea online and wondered if this was the tea that had been given to me back then. It sounded similar. I picked up the different ingredients and mixed the magic potion up and made myself a pot of loose leaf tea. As it was sitting and brewing, I smelled it and it smelled exactly like I remembered. After it had sat for a while……I had a cup and YUUUUUUMMMMMMMY!

It was the exact tea.

I was thrilled. I could make it anytime I liked and for WAY cheaper than I had bought it through the naturopath.

I had wondered if it would help at all with how I’d been feeling which was tired and a bit worn out and also if it would help with the “overwhelming time of the month” situation.

I did feel a bit less tired and like I had more energy, but there was absolutely NO difference in the length of my cycle. In fact, nursing is still messing that whole thing up and I was actually 43 days in between cycles. But, OH MY GOODNESS!!!!! the difference it made in the amount of it all.

I actually felt “normal” again….not “my normal”, but what you read in books and on the internet and hear from the dr that should be normal. I was normal. It wasn’t overwhelming…It was, quite frankly, amazing.

I know that amazing is not something that you typically read about the whole time of the month thing, but honestly….this month was amazing. And all I did differently was to drink some delicious tasting tea. I’m so excited.

If you click on the links below, you can read about the benefits that you can get from the ingredients. This stuff is pretty darn good for you.

Mama’s Brew Tea (but you don’t have to be a mama to drink this stuff)

8 parts Red Raspberry Leaves
3 parts Peppermint Leaves
3 parts Alfalfa herb
2 parts Nettle Leaf

I use tablespoons to measure it out into a glass container, and then mix it all around. I store it inside a dark cupboard in the kitchen.

I use 1 tsp of the mixed tea to 1 cup of water.

I actually make 2 litres (8 cups) at a time. I’ll have a cup and store the rest of it in my fridge. I just pour out a cup into a pot to heat it up. (I don’t have a microwave) Supposedly the microwaves actually breaks down some of the nutritional value.

I’ve made it two ways….

1) In a pot on the stove. I’ve put in 2L of water into a pot and then 3 TBLSP of the tea let it come to a boil and then let it steep for 10 minutes.

2) I boil 2L of water in my kettle and then put 3 TBLSP of the tea into a pitcher and when the water has boiled, then I pour the water into the pitcher, stir the tea around and let it steep for 10 minutes.

After it has steeped for 10 minutes, then you can strain the leaves out (I use a mini-strainer) and then it’s good to enjoy.

Some people like to add honey to it, but I just like it plain. It’s delicious as both a hot and cold tea.

You should be able to get the ingredients at your local heath food store. None of them are difficult to obtain.

If you decide to try it out….let me know what you think and if it helps you at all.

Lather, Rinse, Repeat

No, I’m not actually going to talk about hair or shampoo or anything like that, but really what was running through my mind was the stupid whine that seems to be on a looping track these days.

I’m so tired. We’re running around crazy busy. I never seem to have time or energy to do things that I like to do. We are commuting too many hours in a week. When will we buy a place in the BIG CITY? Will we actually be able to get a place in the BIG CITY? Whine! Whine! Whine! Moan! Moan! Moan! Snivel! Snivel! Snivel! and all that crap….

It seems to be all I’m saying these days, and I’m thinking that you have got to be at the very least as sick of hearing about it, as I am sick of whining about it.

And so….I’m gonna talk about something else.

I wanna talk about LOVE! Yup, Love.

See, I’ve been mulling a whole concept of “Unconditional Love” over and over and over in my brain….about as much as I’ve been whining about it, and so you know it’s quite a bit.

The concept of loving unconditionally in your life takes a RADICAL SHIFT of thinking….at least it does in mine.

Especially in the area of parenting.

You see, Since we became parents……12-13 years ago – we’ve done this sllllliiiiiide from one type of parenting to this whole completely different kind of parenting.

Before we were all about control. Control your children so that you can train them properly and then you’ll have good kids. Yell at them when they get outta line, spank them (it’s how we were raised), if they disobey, make sure that the punishment is so severe that they never want to even contemplate doing that thing again. And make sure that they know who is the boss….if they don’t respect you as being in control, then you’ve lost all hope of ever having a good kid…..

There was a lot of fear that we might “mess up” and somehow our kids would be wrecked or ruined and then it would all be our fault and we’d be these horrible bad parents and “Woe is us! We wrecked our kids! There is no hope for us or them!”

I know that’s a bit of an overkill reaction, but it’s kinda what we felt like.

Slowly……OH. SO. SLOWLY……there were aspects of that type of thinking that just didn’t sit well with us and we started to institute slow, tiny, itty-bitty, baby steps of changes. I think the first change was that we decided to not spank our kids any more. Not that we don’t believe that there shouldn’t be consistent discipline or that there shouldn’t be consequences for choices made, both positive and negative…..but we just didn’t see that “we” could justify “hitting” our children in anger or love or really for any reason. I never wanted to see the kids flinch when we raised our hands to them. We don’t want to see them shrink into a shell of themselves when a voice is raised at them. We don’t want their concept of us to be an angry, yelling, hurtful parent who is disappointed when they mess up and is only happy and approving when they “get it right”. We don’t want their concept to be that if they are “good” then we are happy and accepting; and if they are “bad” then we reject them until they “get it all together”.

We want to love our children and to be a safe place for them to grow and develop and to stretch their “wings”. We want them to RUN TO US not only when things are good, but especially when things are bad. We want for their concept of us to be that we love and accept them for WHO they are and not for what they DO. They can’t win or lose our love. Our love is UNCONDITIONAL… it FOREVER. We love them because they are our children. We just love them.

When we love unconditionally, we just accept that there are hard times and better times. There are things that they need to learn, and what better place to learn those things than within the boundaries of our love.

The whole unconditional love concept doesn’t mean that I just let my kids run wild and do whatever they want, and I just say….well, my love will make up for all the rude destructive behaviour and one day they’ll grow up to be productive successful contributing members of society. Nope! I’m still responsible to train these little ones. I’m more responsible the younger they area and as they grow older, my responsibilty for them lessens until they are confidently standing on their own and then I’m just their if they need me and ask for my help or advice.

But for now….they can learn through choices and consequences. Life is made up of choices and consequences and just about everything that we do in life is either a choice or a consequence. I can choose to speed, but I have to accept that if I speed, the consequence could be a $150 ticket at the least OR I could kill someone at the worst. Learning to make positive choices, means that I don’t want to kil anyone and so I choose to NOT speed because I don’t even want to deal with that consequence…..

But the whole idea of choices and consequences means that I don’t have to yell anymore….not that i’m not human and sometimes I go further than I can handle and then I get to apologize to my kids for yelling. I mean, if I want them to be respectful to me and to each other, do I not offer them respect as well. Lead by example, right? But take tonight for example…..we’ve talked about not yelling at each other. Talk respectfully. Treat each other the way that you’d want to be treated. But, tonight….that one didn’t go over so well.

The kids were helping to tidy the house and Xandra and Jeremy started to get a little frustrated at each other and instead of asking us for help with their dilemma or figuring out a way to communicate their needs and wants…it dissolved fairly quickly into Xandra screaming in a fit of rage that she “WASN’T SCREAMING AT YOU?” And so calmly I told them both to go to their rooms and get their jammies on as it was time for them to go to bed.

They dissolved into a sobbing mess, neither wanting to go to their rooms, but both heading their all the while crying about how sorry they were that they were yelling and that they wanted to stay up and help.

I calmly explained that I wasn’t angry, but that the consequence for screaming at each other disrespectfully was that their time helping in the family was over and they could just go to sleep. Xandra handled it a bit better than Jeremy and got her jammies on and piled into bed. Jeremy was a bit more upset and that’s normal as his brain doesn’t always grasp the situation quite the same way as the girls due to his own personal sturggles.

Just because he struggles doesn’t mean that he gets away with it. He still has to deal with the consequences that his choices bring to him. That’s life…that’s what life brings…that’s what he will have to deal with for the rest of his life. It’s better that the learn that now, where it’s safe within our love as opposed to learning it when he steps out on his own…..that would not be loving of us to just “set him loose to figure it out on his own”, would it?

And so, I went back to their rooms, and hugged them and explained how the situation could have gone differently. There are several different scenarios that they could have chosen, but their choice was to try and control the situation by force. In effect, they were beating each other with their words and their volume….not cool! They did “get it” and they went to bed. In case you were wondering, it was 7:30pm and by the time all was said and done and their lights were turned out it was 8pm, so it’s not like I sent them to bed at 5pm…

But the big thing….once upon a time….I would have yelled….and possibly screamed at them to exert my control and force over the situation. I would have used my words and volume to try and force them to do what I wanted. They have learned from me, and it’s going to take time to help them “un-learn” that way of dealing with situations. Fortunately, I have that time and I’m willing to take the time to help them learn new ways of dealing with different situations that come up.

My kids are still expected to be respectful of people and things. They are not allowed to just run wild. BUT…….I want them to know that above all else, they are loved and that they are loved because they are my children, and not because they are “doing” it right. I believe in them. I want the best for them. I will be cheering them on ans they make great decisions, and I will be here with open arms when they make choices that negatively affect them or those around them. I WILL LOVE THEM UNCONDITIONALLY!

A “No ‘Poo” Update

There are some out there who will understand my title and others who won’t, and that’s okay…it’ll all become clear very quickly.

I got an e-mail today from someone who came across my blog because she was looking into something that I was looking into over a year ago.

There are a few things that we started over a year ago and I’ve actually been thinking about the fact that we’ve made some pretty radical changes in our life style over the past few years and really…’s all been good. I’ll try and update on a few more things in some upcoming posts.

But, to talk about the whole no shampoo deal……

Just over a year ago, we ditched shampoo and really have never looked back.

The whole baking soda thing really actually does work.

I still don’t use the apple cider vinegar to rinse with, but from time to time Jon will. The difference between the two of us is that I have absolutely straight thin hair and Jon has thick and amazing curly hair. He figures that it helps him and I really don’t think it does anything for me.

In the past year, I did buy one bottle of some all natural non SLS shampoo, but other than that…it has been baking soda and water.

Even the kids have adapted and they would probably be my only gripe, and really – it’s not the baking soda as much as it is a “user error.” The 12 year old has hit puberty and has the nasty greasy hair to show for it. When she does a crap job of scrubbing then she walks outta the shower with hair that is just as greasy as when she waltzed in. The other gripe, is that the 10 year old has sometimes come out of the shower with a HUGE clump of the baking soda that was not scrubbed in properly and never got rinsed out well and so it’s just sitting in her hair and if left there, it can be quite irritating – not to mention terribly ugly.

For the 8 year old boy and the baby, mostly we just use water on their hair…and the 8 year old probably gets his hair scrubbed with the baking soda about once a month.

I believe that the scrubbing is the kicker. You’ve got to scrub the baking soda in and around very well in order for it to do a good job of cleaning.

We are still using this method a year later and I don’t see us quitting anytime soon.

But, how is my hair – you ask???

It’s fabulous. Really. Not that I’m bragging, but I feel like my hair is WAY healthier that it was before. I can go longer in between shampoos. I probably wash my hair twice a week. It just doesn’t get as greasy. It feels soft and is manageable, and I think that it has more body because there is less “gunk” weighing it down.

I am thrilled that I gave this method a shot. It has been SO worth it for us. It’s simple. It’s easy. It’s healthy and it’s amazingly cost effective.

One thing that I haven’t totally figured out is how to store it and use it in the bathroom, in a pretty way. Right now the box sits on our counter or in our vanity and we bring out a small measuring cup and take some into the shower with us. I am looking for a nice container that I’d be able to leave sitting on the edge of the tub and just be able to either spoon out or shake out or………..I dunno something.

We actually left a box sitting just outside the shower, but it got some moisture in it and the baking soda got clumpy. So, I’m just gonna just throw it out there and ask if anyone has any ideas of what I could use to store the baking soda in the bathroom and preferably in the shower but that would still look nice.


Anyone out there tried this? What were/are your thoughts? Did it work for you? Lemme know.

ps….I have a 40% off sale on all the jewelery in my store and it’s on until the end of May – just in case you were interested in picking up a little something for a little less.