Saturday, December 29

AP moment of the day~ Fickle Me Mommy

Oh what a hormonal web we weave, when first we practice to conceive.....!!

From wanting to rip out my insides a day or two ago, to last night watching Knocked Up and crying and bawling through it again! I can not watch that movie without crying. It reminds me of being pregnant and losing my baby at 21 weeks and not being able to have a successful pregnancy since then. Today, 18 months later, I'm quite happy not to have any more ( hence the "ripping out" comment....!!) yet last night I was sooo emotional and if it would have done any good at all I'd have wished myself pregnant right there. Pregnancy is such a wonderful, thrilling and positive time, especially for me anyway. I don't get morning sickness, I love being pregnant and my hubby is so supportive...... anyway, we know wishing it doesn't make it so. So here I was, done with having any more children, happy with my "choice" one minute ( do you like the way I said Choice? It's not really a choice. I like to say it's a choice, but really my body has failed me and I don't even think I am ovulating any more! Too much info? Perhaps...) anyway the next minute I am weeping and wishing for more babies.... so what do I do??? Today when out shopping with my little guy, I buy three baby rats. Yup. You heard me. I'm nutso. Jessie was THRILLED!!!! Rex, less so.... :{ We'll see how it works out. Talk about impulsive craziness!!

I said to Rex I'm glad there isn't such a thing as a baby store... I'd be in there buying babies one minute and trying to return them the week after!!! :D

Friday, December 28

AP Moment of the day ~ When it all starts to go downhill, LEAVE...

...the house!! :D

Today started out ok.... the kids had ended up sleeping in our bed last night. Jack in my arms and Jessie across the bottom of the bed at our feet ( on top of the covers, in case there is any confusion.....) it wasn't an ideal situation, I really don't like to have the kids in bed with me..... they are so big and Jack is a terrible kid to sleep next to as he moves around so much!! He kicks and punches all night long!!!

Anyway, the morning started out fine, but what tends to happen here is the kids get sort of sick of each other after a while and the play grows from being peaceful and gentle play to more boisterous and chaotic play and can degenerate into an all out brawl. At this point I am usually trying to get some chore or other finished off before I feel I have the time to focus solely on them. ( Which is what they need in the first place!!! Ah!!)

As the course of events began to unfold in their usual manner this morning I noticed myself getting frustrated with them and growing more and more tense. Once we had had lunch and Jack was growing wild and crazy I had an epiphany ( it's like a hard candy....!) and realised that we hadn't been outside for a walk in a long time. We usually walk every day, but over the holiday season all our semblance of routines has dispersed on the winds and we have fallen into a very slap happy approach to daily life!! We bundled ourselves up and went through the entire routine in order to get out the house...Everybody peed?? Everybody got socks? Shoes? Gloves? Scarves? Coats? Are the tree lights off? Are the house lights off?? Is the dryer going? Is the door locked? Do we have keys? Phone? Dog lead? Is the stroller nearby? Are the tires good? .... etc etc..... and we finally all went out for a lovely walk in the fresh winter air. It really is a Good Thing (TM) to get out when the going gets tough!!! We returned home happy and rosy cheeked and the kids were far too tired to get into too much trouble before Daddy came home!!! ;D **SCORE**!!!!

Thursday, December 27

AP Moment of the day ~ What if I'm just not a good parent?

I came down from putting the kids to bed tonight, looked my husband in the eyes and said
"Sometimes I just want to reach in and rip out my uterus to be sure I don't ever have any more kids....."


You should have seen his face. His eyes got reeeeal wide and he laughed sort of nervously!

"Oh.....!" he said. ".......Right!!"

I know it's not just me, and if it is then I am officially a lousy mother, but there are days and if not full days, then certainly moments within days that FEEL like days where I just wonder what in HELL I was doing having children. The WORK involved in successfully raising a child is absolutely tremendous. It's physically and emotionally exhausting and I don't know why the heck I chose to do it and why on God's Green Earth I'd ever want to do it again!!!! I'm sure there are some who would say how rewarding it is and how fulfilling... yeah, maybe in another 20 years I'd look back and say how super it all was, you know, as the fog descends on my brain and I begin to forget the screaming, the yelling, the fighting, the WHINING, my god man the whining.... WHY do they WHINE?!?!? Every day, every single day there is whining. I can't WAIT for that to be over. All I ever wanted was for my kids to be happy. I want them to be happy more than anything else. I don't care if they are fat, I don't care if they are stupid. I just want them happy. What do I get??? Kids who seem to be miserable!!!! I ask them to do something, I'm some sort of tyrant. I don't ask them to do anything, I'm a slack parent who will raise slobs. I don't have time to read all the books telling me how to be a wonderful parent, I'm too busy winging it; flying by the seat of my pants, barely hanging on. Tonight I literally had a moment where I thought "WAIT!!! This is covered in one of the books I read..... what did it SAY??!? What page was it on?!?!??! " I need it downloaded into my brain where I can scan it using key phrases as soon as they come up........

But then, I take them to bed. Sure, I have to wrestle with the smallest one to get him into his fuzzy pj's, but I get them to bed. I find when I get to their room that they have tidied it, cleared up all the clothes that needed putting away and they have made their bed..... We decide to stick glow stars on the bottom of the top bunk so that they will glow over the children's heads. We spend a few minutes hanging them up together then Jackster goes and turns out the lights and the kids go "Campin' " under the stars. Tonight I am not allowed to sing Golden Slumbers but must sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and our three voices join together in song. It's cute. It really is.

Sitting here an hour or so later and my mood is mellowed more, helped along by a little Kahlua and Coffee, but mellowed none the less...! My mind is softening, the fog descending nightly for me, allowing me to wake again refreshed with the hope that today may be a good one, perhaps there will be no whining today.....!!

On my desk I have a picture of my little man. He is a huge pile of trouble and can make me CRAZY. He totally makes me nuts with his behaviour and yet..... he will hug me and ask me to pick him up and read his cookbooks to him. He is always saying "I Hewlpin'" and "I big a' stwrong...!!" and he's just so darn kind and sweet. If he is getting himself a drink he ALWAYS gets one for someone else too....whether they wanted one or not!!! He is always trying to help and is such a snuggle bug.......

From my seat I can see a picture of my little girl. She looks SO much like me in that shot. I can see myself in her smile, in her eyes, her hair is like mine, her personality so like me. I realised the other day that she is EIGHT. I keep thinking she is six. I really do. Time is shooting by and much as I moan and gripe and complain and say I can't WAIT for them to grow up........ I'm going to be looking over my shoulder at the past much faster than I will want and I will regret.

I will regret.

Wednesday, December 26

AP Moment of the day~Realizing how much your kids love each other

even when they are usually at each other's throats!!

It can be such a shock sometimes, when you are suddenly made aware how much your kids really do love each other. They do. THEY DO!!! You are looking askew at me. You have your doubts, I can tell, but honestly and yes, surprisingly, your kids love each other. Mine get on alright a lot of the time, but it's only a matter of time before they start fighting. One will take something of the other's. One will steal the other's book and throw it into the garbage can...... (ew)....... One will pull the other's clothes until the stretch out of all proportion. They wrestle and bicker, yell and scream, tear around and around the house screaming at each other until I think I might just go INSANE........ and then this.......

This evening we were again eating dinner too late... *( I know, tsk, don't I ever learn, even my OWN lessons?!?!?) * and the kids had had a busy day. Hubby was talking to Jessie and suggesting that we could look into sending her to school in the spring once in a while, so she could join in the music lessons and maybe sports. Now, one thing I know and she hasn't yet figured out, is Daddy talks the talk, but, erm, not so much with the walk the walk!!! An idea pops into his head and he verbalises it. We discuss it and it usually dies a death all of it's own. I have long since stopped worrying about things he talks about!! Jessie is still learning this so she took him very seriously and I could tell she was growing very concerned about what she was hearing. She pretty much thought he was going to send her to school. Full time. For EVER. Poor kid!! Anyway, as I said, she was very tired and gets pretty emotional when sleepy, so I was not any where NEAR as surprised as her Daddy was when she burst into tears at the table!!!! Her little brother was at the time being a total pest by driving his car over her table mat and when she began to cry he startled and instantly put his arm out to comfort her. He pulled her close to him and laid his head on her shoulder, patting her gently on the back. He started to act like he might cry himself; his lip came out and he started to sniffle..... we encouraged Jessie to let him know she was ok, but they both cuddled and hugged and Jack would kiss her on the cheek and look into her eyes to make sure she was really alright. It was so damn precious!!!! :D Being the type of people that we are, we had a camera handy and snapped a couple of pics of them!! It will come in handy to remind them how much they really care next time they are fighting it out to the death on the living room floor!! ;D

Tuesday, December 25

AP Moment of the day~And what a day it was!

Do you drive the neighborhoods and check out all the Christmas Lights every year like we do? The most beautiful old neighborhood in town is all decked out with lights and the streets are lit with luminaries... it's just fantastic. The houses are old old and large large.... Peeking in the windows as we slowly drive by we see well dressed families, smiling happily at one another. Smiling for the camera and tucking into Christmassy treats. It's easy to get suckered in to believing that everyone else's Christmases are perfect. No one whines, everyone eats all their dinner and there are no tears, no tantrums, no sadness......However, I'm sure you would find, if you could be the angel on top of the Christmas Tree that no home, especially one with small children in it, is a home of peace and tranquillity, especially, did you hear that?...ESPECIALLY on Christmas Day. To me it seems wrong to be sad on Christmas day, almost a crime against nature. It's Christmas DAY!! HOW can you be whining?!?! HOW can you be picking a fight with your siblings today of all days?!?!?! Why is it that family members can STILL find something to complain about on this Day of Days?!? Crazy..... but common. And the hardest part is, for me anyway, I am so stressed out about their being stress at Christmas time that this leads to stress in and of it's self!! I don't think the children should be whiny today, so I am stressed that their whining will bother everyone else... so I get snappy with them... so they whine more.....!!!!!!! AAACCCKKKK!! :D This evening, at dinner time, I realised two things. One, we had left Christmas Dinner too late. Crazy CRAZY to try and eat at 6pm after all the hoopla of Christmas!! Of COURSE Jackster was worn out!!! Doh!!!!! and Two, it really doesn't matter if all he eats is Turkey and no veggies.... heck, he's all but stuffed on fudge and cookies anyway...!!! LOL!! :D Tonight at the table he looked worn out. I asked him if he needed a nap and he said " I nap a'yap..." ... He hurried off and returned with a couch cushion and a blanket, climbed up on my "yap", lay down his "Pee'ow" and proceeded to nap as I finished my dinner!!!

I finally got it. Sure, this may not be "perfect" ... Martha doesn't live here and that's for sure, but it's all I've got and it's all mine. The year will come when the kids don't pick fights anymore, everyone eats all their vegetables.... and then they leave and go home to their own lives. Whilst I do often look forward to that day, I know I must also live and breathe in this one. This is their childhood, this is their lives, and for now I'm happy to be a part of it!

Sunday, December 23

AP Moment of the day~ Add a little Magic when you can...

Today I realised again that I have been too busy to spend decent time with the children just when I should be spending decent time with them. I thought adding a little Christmas Magic would be appropriate. ~ I draped beautiful colored icicle lights around their bunks and added a CD player playing Music Box Christmas... absolutely beautiful Christmas music... just like fairies were playing it....!! The children were completely enchanted and we lay together under the glow, reading a story ( The Night BEFORE The Night Before Christmas!) and listening to the pretty music as they went to sleep. I crept back up and took a quick pic..!! Isn't it adorable to see.?!?

As we get closer to the Big Day don't forget it's really easy to spread a little Christmas Magic where you can!

Saturday, December 22

AP Moment of the day~Finding a moment to bond

Or how to spend more than 10 minutes with your kids when you are gearing up for Christmas and have two chocolate wreaths, 194 cookies and a partridge in a pear tree to deal with.

This evening my hubby wasn't feeling his best so he took two aspirin, went to bed and promptly fell faaaast asleep. My son wasn't far behind him telling me he was tired and going to sleep with out effort or prompting, at 7:00 !!!! Now he usually is asleep by 8:30, but 7 o'clock is a record!! So it was just the girls!!! Jessie and I had the evening to ourselves!!! :D We turned on the TV and found that Elf was showing. We love that movie so we sat and watched that together. During the commercials I would run into the kitchen and clean it up and during the show we played Checkers together. It was a really enjoyable couple of hours and I hope to have some more of them! :D Perhaps tomorrow I can take some time with her, though more than likely with both children, and take them to the mall... it's going to be nuts with all the people, but the great thing about crazy~two~ days~before~Christmas~in~the~mall shopping is when you have already got all your gifts purchased there is no stress at all!! Just fun!! We can savor the atmosphere and look at the decorations in relative peace!!! I've tried shopping for the "perfect gift" on Christmas Eve once before... Never. Ever. Again!! :D

Anyway, the point I was shooting for is that it is so important, especially in this crazy, hectic time of year, to eek out time with the children. It's (almost!! ;P ) as important as those wretched holiday cookies!!! :D

AP moment of Yesterday!!! :D ~ Learning what sets off your child.

Oops!! Skipped a day there! :D I'm sure you all noticed and were writing your congressmen...!! ;D You should write to them, they love mail! :D

OK! Well yesterday was a VERY busy day to say the least. We made cookies and delivered them to all and sundry all over town. Mostly to businesses yesterday, we'll make more today or tomorrow for our neighbors. I had to hit the businesses on a weekday or I'll end up giving the cookies to the Saturday help, who usually have no idea who we are! :D

Anyway, we rush rush rushed through the entire day and for the most part the kids were just wonderful. At one point poor Jackster just lost it though. We had gone to meet a family who live out in the country and see if they would be willing and able to watch the children once in a while if I had an appointment or some such thing. I wanted my children to meet the family and spend time with them first rather than just dropping them off on total strangers and heading out the door! :D Anyway, the children had a lovely time and Jack really enjoyed playing cars with the young son. We had lots of errands to run and it was time for the family to have naps and such so I suddenly declared it "Time To Go!" and we all got up to leave. Poor Jack was devastated!!! "I STAY HERE!!!" he yelled!!! He loved it there and would have been perfectly happy if I had left!!! We cajoled, wheedled, pulled and dragged him to the car, all the time him yelling "I STAY HERE!!! I STAY HERE!!!!!!" and I wrestled him into his seat. I spoke kindly to him and said "You wish you could stay and play all day... you were having a nice time playing trucks. I should have given you a little warning first shouldn't I?" Poor boy. I meant what I said. I was so busy running everything I had to do through my head I hadn't given much thought to whether he was ready to go!!! Well unsurprisingly the little guy fell asleep in the car and I was able to finish all the rest of my errands with him napping. He slept for maybe an hour or more. That was when it dawned on me how tired he probably was. I have also noticed that when he is hungry his behaviour really goes down hill. he starts to throw things and fight with his sister, he runs around and yells more...! I'd never had put two and two together but one day it just hit me that he hadn't eaten and maybe FOOD would calm him down. Once I got that in my head I've been a lot more careful to make sure I keep him adequately fed and rested.

Sounds obvious perhaps, but I'm not really as smart as I look! :D

Thursday, December 20

AP Moment of the day ~ Making the house smell like Christmas in one or two easy steps!

I know, this doesn't sound very AP, but it really is. Taking care of you is one of the prime AP tenets.

After yesterday's drama, today was a very slow one. We were planning to visit some friends but they were sick unfortunately, so we stayed home. Hubby surprised everyone at the office by going to work this morning and I surprised myself by not wanting to do anything but loaf around, read tacky novels and sip tea. It turns out my body needed a rest from the stress I suppose, although I hadn't felt stressed at the time, it most likely took something of a toll on all of us. I did finally manage to get some things done and I was out with the kids running some errands, in the darkness that is 4pm at the moment, when hubby called me. A cousin of his had died suddenly this morning. He was only 46 and had shown no signs of illness or any indicators..... it was such a shock for everyone. I realised that when we arrived home we'd need to make the place nice for when Daddy got home. We hurried home and first put on the porch lights and the Christmas tree lights. We lit some candles around the place and I started the fire going too. We emptied the dishwasher and cleaned up the kitchen, fed the dog and tidied up a little, but the finishing touches were to simmer a pan of water with mulled wine spices in it and to put a gingerbread cookie on the warmer of the stove. This lent such a Christmassy aroma and feel to the house that, together with the fire and the lights, really made our house seem a relaxing haven for him to come home to. Of course he still had to face the squeaking dog ( she goes inSANE when hubby comes home ) and the bouncing kids who leap up and down up and down the moment Daddy's hand hits the door handle, but once the chaos was over, the atmosphere was able to calm him and he and I were both able to relax and be peaceful.

If only it would work so well on the kids......!!!

Wednesday, December 19

Ap Moment of the day ~ Even the big guys need some AP'ing once in a while.

Or how to get your husband to a hospital when he really, really doesn't want to go....

Today started out as a pretty normal day. Hubby had been home from work yesterday with a rapid heart beat, 240 bpm no less. He has this condition, Wolff Parkinson White Syndrome , which causes his heart to short circuit and start beating very rapidly. He had been taught how to deal with it from a young age, but as he gets older it's occurring more frequently and it seems it's now much harder, if not impossible almost, for him to get it to stop. Taken alone it's not life threatening as such, but the more it happens the weaker his heart will get.

Anyway, the man had been home all Tuesday with it and it had gone on ( unbeknownst to me ) all night long and again through Wednesday morning. I'd talked to him about going in to the ER... but nope, he wasn't keen. I gave it some time, gave him some space to come to the same conclusion in his own time, but nope, didn't happen. I said to him, imagine it was me. Imagine I was lying in bed with my heart racing in my chest, feeling light headed, tired and weak. What would you tell me to do??? Hmm??!?! I gave him until noon. I called the regular doc's office and asked the nurse there what they thought. She said

"Oh, yeah, you have to get your husband in the car and get him to the Emergency Room immediately!!! "

I said to her " Have you SEEN my husband!?!? How on EARTH am I supposed to get that guy in the car by myself?!?! "

It would be like trying to put a cat in a box!!!!

At noon I went in to see him... and he said he was not going in. Sadly I reacted as many of you may have done. I very calmly said to him that I was not his mother and wouldn't be telling him what to do.... ..... then I slammed the door and stamped down stairs. I was so MAD. The crazy guy had to go to the hospital and how on earth was I supposed to get him there myself?!?! I briefly flirted with the idea of calling 911 on his sorry ass ( an idea that had crossed his mind as well... he had apparently listened for sirens!! )but eventually he came to his senses and we both agreed that yes, it was pretty scary, but this had been going on for too long.

I called a friend who came over right away to sit with the kids, then I got the big guy in the car and drove him to the hospital. I wasn't really scared as he wasn't in pain and wasn't clutching at his chest or anything, but it wasn't a great situation to be in. Anyway, we got him to the hospital and we kept getting doctors coming in and shaking their heads, then shaking his hand asking him "HOW ON EARTH CAN YOU BE STILL WALKING AROUND?!?!" His heart rate was as if he had been running a marathon for over 24 hours straight.

The doctors tried all sorts of things to bring his heart rate down, iv drips of various kinds, and it dropped from 219 to 177 where it hung for a few hours. Another med brought it to 166 where again it sat for a few hours more. I mentioned to hubby that all we needed were a couple of candles and we could call this a date! We hadn't been alone this long in ages!!! Of course I thought it was funnier than he did...!! ;D Actually no matter how sick or stressed either of us are, we are usually able to make a joke or two! It's how we deal!! :D

Sooooo he's hanging in there at 177. They had decided that he should remain in the hospital over night so I made some more phone calls about the kids and our friend took them to her house so she could be there when her son got off school. I have to say here I am so proud of my kiddoes for today!!! They really were troopers and were so good despite the circumstances!!! Jessie even made a picture of Black Beauty pulling a hospital wagon with a red cross on the side as a Get Well card for Daddy! ( she's a horse fan!! )

I had considered going to the mall once his heart beat was back to normal as the hospital is right by the mall and hey, I've still got shopping to do!!, but his heart beat just wasn't budging and I didn't want to leave the poor guy alone there until he could at least get some rest, so he and I hung out together and made jokes about his heart rate and tormented the nursing staff. Late afternoon and the "specialist" arrived! The heart surgeon!! Duh Duh duuuhhhh!! He was a really nice man who knew right away to point to me as the boss (!!) and told me to take him in next month for a consultation regarding possible surgery. They were frustrated that his heart rate still hadn't dropped so they hooked him up to an insanely wire~y machine and took a reading of his heart and stuck some wonder drug in his iv. This drug was soooo powerful he could feel it burning as it went in. It only lasts in the body for 10 seconds or your heart will stop... but BOY did it drop his heart beat!!! BOOM!! down to a much more reasonable 84 bpm!!! Phew!!! And he looked sooo much better instantly!! He was back to his old self in no time and the lovely surgeon was convinced enough to let him come home with me for the night rather than having to spend the night in hospital!

To say he was relieved to leave is an understatement!! He called a friend of his and said
"They ain't built a hospital yet that can hold me!!!" LOL!!!

It's odd, an event like that, it can really show you what's important and what's not so much. When we picked the kids up tonight they were thrilled to see their dad, almost, but not quite as much, as he was to see them.

Tuesday, December 18

AP Moment of the day ~ Fostering Independence

Or what happens when your son doesn't want you to come home....!!

Today I had promised my kidlings that if they were very very good cousin Megan would come and babysit for them whilst Mummy went a~shopping~o !! They LOVE cousin Megan, and who wouldn't!? She's cute, funny, turns them upside down at a moment's notice, loves cooking with them, is not much taller than they are and she loves them to bits! :D So, naturally, they were thrilled at the prospect of a visit from her. Well, Hubby was sick home from work today, and I'm sure you know how that goes? It seems to take sooo much longer to do anything when there is an extra body in the house, even if it IS upstairs, the fact that someone else is home during the day can really throw routines out of the window. Ah well... anyway... the point is I was running a touch behind when Meggie arrived and I had promised to take Jessie to the library van so we could drop off a gift of HOT BUTTERED RUM (!!) to our library lady. She is SOOO good to us and such a lot of fun, we usually spend hours talking to her when we go to get books, but today we knew we'd have to dash in, pick up one or two books and then scarper so I had time to do a bit of shopping before Meggie had to get home for dinner...!! Well... we got to the van..... and our lady wasn't there!!!!! WHAT?!?!? the one time in MONTHS she wasn't there and it would be the time we had HOT BUTTERED RUM for her!!! I was forced to entrust it to the "substitute" library~van~lady and hope to goodness that she would indeed give it to our lady ( Rebecca is her name!! I make her sound like some kind of royalty! ;D ) and not hog it all for herself!!! (I'm kidding!! I'm sure she'll pass it along.... I'm sure she will. She will. I know she will. yeah... )
Anyhoo!! :D so we were much faster than even I had hoped we would be but we still managed to gather three bags of library books!! We have over one hundred checked out at the moment!!!
I'm digressing.. aren't I?!! :D

Well we were fast and got back home so I could drop off Jessie and the books and head back out the the stores! I walked in the house and was greeted by Jack!!

"Hello JACK!!" I say


Instantly he starts jumping up and down and crying... pointing and yelling at me!!! He wants me OUT!!!! He does NOT want me to be home yet!!! He has NOT had enough time with Megan!!!!! :D LOL!!!

I suppose I should be hurt, but eh, I don't mind really!! :D LOL!!!!! I gathered my wits, kissed my bairns, and headed back out to the store, pretty darned confident that my kids weren't missing me one iota. ...

Funny how that doesn't stop me missing them.....

Monday, December 17

AP Moment of the day ~ Happy Hormone Hogging Homemaker!

Or, the things you do for your kids!! :D

Apparently my hormones have gotten out of whack. ( what is whack? Is the rest of me IN whack? Just my hormones were OUT of it?? Can they get back in?!!?) ahem. Anyway, the nice pharmacy lady I spoke to a few weeks ago said she would be able to help me and she was preeeeetty sure that my progesterone level was low. If we raise it up with these little magic pills, then my life will suddenly get 100% better!! It has been known to save people's marriages!!! I MAY win the lottery!! It's THAT good!! :D So anyway, I got my progesterone today!! Whooot! But first, I had to take a spit test...and for anyone else who has had to take that wretched spit test you have my utmost sympathy. It was HOOOOOOrrendous!! Who knew it could take up to 45 minutes to fill a tiny tube with slobber. UUUugggghhhhh. Sooooo, once I'd filled the tube and gone through all the rigmarole that pertains to getting the children ( and the dog ) out of the house in winter, we headed to the pharmacy, dropped off the Vile Vial of Bile ( not bile, but it rhymes... give me some leeway...!!) and I was rewarded with a small tub of Happy Hormones!!! Hoooray!! The pharmacist explained everything to me... (how many times I take how much on what day, depending on which way the wind is blowing and if the moon is full or may be full depending on if it's cloudy or there's a chance of a chicken........ ) all very straight forward I'm sure... I'll just have my people look at it and see if they can make head nor tails of it! :D She explained that, as I am on day 18, I needed to take two pills today, one in the day and one before bed. ....

"You can just take it when you get home," she reassured me, patting me gently on the arm, tilting her head slightly and looking, sympathetically, in my eyes. PAH! Forget that!!! I wrestled briefly with the childproof top, fumbled around for a pill and shoved it under my tongue immediately. The Pharmacist looked a little aghast!

"No, no, you don't understand!!" I mumbled around the troche,

" I have children in the car!!! I have to take it right away....It's for the sake of the children "

Man. I'm feeling better already! :D

Sunday, December 16

AP Moment of the day... you know you might be an AP Parent when...

You are sitting on the couch with your hubby after a loooong day "in the field" and you are watching his favorite TV show on DVD. The action is getting tense, things are going to get really exciting and.... AND...... you hear the thump thump thump of pyjamaed feet stomping across the ceiling as your smallest and most troublesome child heads from his bed, to yours. Instead of looking around the room to see if anyone else might be around to take care of him OR pretending you don't hear anything and seeing which one of you jumps first, you simply get up, right away, and head for the stairs. Bonus points if you also turn back and say "You watch it without me, don't wait, I have a little boy to take care of" !!!! This AP stuff must be catching! :D

Oh, and you know you're a good blogger when you come back down 30 minutes later having, naturally, fallen asleep next to the cuddle bug, and instead of watching the rest of the show, you head to the computer to blog about it!! LOL! :D

That's me!! AP Mama / Blogger extraordinaire!!! (If only!!! :D)

Saturday, December 15

AP Moment of the day.. sharing the love! :D

Due to popular request ( or rather, nagging until I can't stand it anymore... that's YOU Heather..!!) the recipe for Hot Buttered Rum can now be found in the sidebar >>>> !!

Enjoy! A LOT !! :D

Friday, December 14

AP Moment of the day~ Even when they are "all growed up"

... they are still your babies.

My little girl, Jessie, is 8 going on 13. She is growing up so fast. I see her regarding herself in the mirror, trying poses, putting on makeup and making pouty lips.... !!! Scary. She's still quite innocent, partly I'm sure, due to being homeschooled, but she's picking stuff up from somewhere! She wants her hair cutting really short and stylish, she begs to wear nail polish ( no! ) and wants to put on my make up when we go out now, rather than putting it on for fun at home. I know she wants to be like me and I love that, but NO! ( I let her wear some lip gloss and I may dab on some blush for her, but that's my line!!) She has a mind of her own ( of which I am very proud!! I don't have a mind of my own and it's something I struggle with a lot, so I'm very happy she is making many of her own choices and decisions! ) and she sometimes talks back.. (GASP!!! NEVER!?!? REALLY!?!!?! .. it's true!) so yes, she's growing up. My first born, my tiny baby, my precious (!! "Precious"!!!) is growing up.

Tonight I was putting the kiddoes to bed. Jessie decided she wanted to sleep in with Jack. Apparently he'd asked her to and he is really snuggly in his footy pj's so I can see why she didn't argue much. I read them a sweet story during which Jackster began snoring! I kissed them both goodnight and turned out the light. The humidifier was running and so was the furnace as I was leaving the room, so I didn't quite catch what Jessie had said,

"What?!?! " I asked her.

"...mutter mutter mutter..." she mumbled, even quieter than before.

"What did you say Jessie? I can't hear you..."

"Nothing" she said "It's ok...."

Pah! I know better than that!! I went up to the side of the bed and asked again...

"What was it you said honey? I just couldn't hear you. What was it you needed??"

" I don't suppose you'd sing Golden Slumbers to me,... would you? " she asked.

I almost cried. I almost cried right there. I managed to calm myself before I spoke.

"Of course I will honey. Always."

Many years from now I will still remember her asking me to sing her a lullaby before she went to sleep and the absolute joy it filled in my heart.

My first born, my baby, my big girl.

Thursday, December 13

AP Moment of the day~ a little taste of Christmas!

We had a lovely day today visiting with our friends who are also a delightful homeschooling family. I always love when they visit, they are all so polite and friendly and the children all play so nicely together. At one point today I glanced around to see all the children sitting in a circle reading books!!! They also spend a vast amount of time out playing in the snow whilst their mum and I spent our time in the kitchen as I prepared some of my old and new Christmas favorite treats! My old favorite is the Five Minute Fudge Wreath courtesy of Rachel Ray. Oh BOY that is a treat and it's very large so I can cut it into tiny pieces and send them off with hubby to work. I look like a saint and there's still TONS left for me! :D Ha HAH!! My new favorite is Hot Buttered RUM!! Hooo man. I LOVE it!! Another dear friend gave me the recipe after I refused to leave her house without it having just sampled a mug full the other day. After some grueling hours where she learned I was indeed serious, she caved and shared the recipe.

I visited my local teensy weensy grocery store and picked up the stuff I needed for both recipes..... sugar..... butter...... eggs..... rum flavoring.....chocolate chips.... butterscotch chips etc. and I told the lady at the checkout what I was planning on making! "Oh DO come back and bring us some samples..." she begged!! "Sure! If I don't slip into a diabetic coma first!!" I quipped back!! ;D

It was only when I was at home and most of the way through the recipe that I looked to see just how much rum flavoring I needed to add and realised I was three bottles short. Tha's right... 3 BOTTLES short. I should point out that this recipe makes enough for the neighborhood (but not MY neighborhood!) and the bottles of flavoring are small... but still!! 3 bottles short is significant!! I left my friend in charge of the kids and dashed back out to the store again. ... I checked the prices of the flavoring and realised that 3 bottles were going to add up...... hmmm...


Soooooo here I am standing at the checkout with a large bottle of Bacardi Rum!!! I said to the woman behind the counter " I could either spend $12 for three small bottles of rum flavoring OR I could spend $13 on a BIG ASS BOTTLE OF REAL RUM!!!" ;D Made sense to me!!! :D I carefully drove home and tentatively skated into the house on the ice. I had a horrible feeling I might fall on my backside, or worse, DROP THE RUM!!! :D Happily neither event occurred and I was able to slosh my liquor into the mixture and we were soon sampling away !!!!!

A couple of mugs full later and I'm three sheets to the wind!! 'D

A little taste of Christmas indeed!! HO Ho HO!!!!! ;D

( For the recipe for the Hot Buttered Rum please send $50 in small bills to the address listed below!! ;D For the 5 Minute Wreath just pop it into Google and it should come right up for you! :D Enjoy!!)

Wednesday, December 12

AP Moment of the day ~ a quick and easy gift to make!

Don't forget being AP also means taking care of you. When you suddenly remember that you want to take a little something small to the woman who babysits for you now and then or your child wants to make something for Grandma... or some crazy woman on your homeschooling list wants to start an ornament swap three days before Christmas and you think that if you have one, just ONE MORE THING TO DO YOU WILL LITERALLY PULL OUT YOUR HAIR....this is the answer to your prayers! :D
A home made ornament!

First select your photo....

Then cut it into strips and poke small holes in the top and bottom of each strip....

Stack all the strips in order and fasten the top and bottom with fasteners.......

Spread out the strips forming a sphere......

Add a string.......

and hang....!! Simple eh!! :D

This time of year really causes an awful lot of stress for so many people and so many families... don't let the lack of a cute ornament cause you any distress for a moment longer! ;D

Peace on earth, and in the living room.... one homemade gift at a time...!! :D

Tuesday, December 11

AP Moment of the day.... Oh, we got photos alright..!

.... have you ever seen Calvin and Hobbes where Calvin's parents want to take a nice photo of Calvin and every one of them are messed up by him pulling faces or closing his eyes etc?! We went to get family portraits taken today and it was a lot like that.... No smiling serenely into the camera for us! Oh no!!! Our session was chaotic to say the least, but you know what? The pictures are the best I have ever seen!! I LOVE the pics we got of the kids!!! They were so REAL!!! Although we were pretty stressed out initially trying to get Jack to do this, stand there, look over here.... well... once we let him just BE we ended up with the most superb pictures of HIM, being him. There's a lesson here.... we look for perfection and try to contort ourselves to fit it's image, when all the time perfection is right here, right in front of our eyes. :D

Sunday, December 9

AP Moment of the day .... making lemonade!

Today we worked some more on decorating our Christmas Trees. For years I have decorated everything in one day but it has been getting harder and harder and more and more stressful to do that. Today I read an article from Flylady saying that we shouldn't try and do it all at once and end up frazzled and yelling at our families... Christmas is for the children... it occurred to me that I am so caught up in making it look "perfect" that I forget it's all about the kids. Sure, in years to come I can make it perfect... but who will be here to care?! Now we put some decorations on here, some there... I let the kids do as much of it as they want to do and it shows!!!! But the tree has never looked more innocent!! More loved!! Jessie and I went out and bought an Angel to sit on top of the tree today. She is beautiful and finishes it off so nicely. I have decided to no longer concern myself with Jackster's cavalier attitude to my baubles, so some got broken..... as long as no one gets hurt and he's trying to put them on the tree nicely, then that's just the price I pay to have a loving family who want to help decorate and beautify our Christmas tree. The day I have a perfect tree and an empty house will be a sad one. I see that now.

Saturday, December 8

AP Moment of the day ~ what to do when your son makes you wish you'd only had one child and it wasn't necessarily him?...

...You take a few moments and gaze at a picture of him that you love and you watch as the little bugger "Hewlps cween" the table and the kitchen with those sparkly eyes that get him out of so much trouble....!! I swear today I just wished I'd never had him. I know that it's almost a hanging offence to say that sort of thing out loud, but facts are facts. He is VERY difficult almost daily. He seems to be able to muck up the simplest of tasks and I don't mean accidentally, making every outing or activity a trial... but then he will look at you with his loving eyes and a big grin and your heart melts for him. It's lucky he's cute..... that's all I can say!!!

This is the pic I gaze at.... how can you not love this face!?!?!

Friday, December 7

AP Moment of the day ~ the things you do for love!

Today we had to go for a walk to the post office in the snow. We didn't just walk... we had to take the sled!! Jackster and Jessie both wanted to ride but that's one heck of a load for a little plastic sled never mind the fact that the dear city folk had cleared the streets for all our sakes ... and now there was no snow or ice to pull the thing on!! LOL!!! I managed to find enough ice in the middle of the road to ease us along but Jessie had to walk most of the way! We also had the dog and a bag of mail .... what a sight!!! I could quite happily have just driven down, but that's not where you make the memories is it?!?! "oh, I remember the days when Mum would drive us to the post office...!! " nooo.. the memories come from when Mum is tugging her arms off trying to find the snowiest path and falling on her beeeehind in the snow to the great joy and amusement of the kids!! I had snow in the most unlikely places!!! But the memories, they are in my heart! :D

Thursday, December 6

AP Moment of the day~ Keeping traditions alive!

Every year I host a Gingerbread House Day and we have done this for 8 years now! I really enjoy doing it and find it SUCH fun. As the years go on though and the children get bigger and into more stuff more and more folks started going the old "Kit" way! I always Poo Pooed the kits preferring our traditional labor of love method, but this year.... this year I nearly succumbed. I saw some kits in Target and I gave it serious thought. I suddenly realised how easy this could be!! I could buy TWO kits, each child would have one of his and her own... I would have to do NOTHING!!! Yeeahhyy!!! Well given that all children want to do is glue candy onto gingerbread what could be better....!!?? I went home and asked Jessie what she thought..... "How about we just buy KITS this year?!?!?! " "No!!" she said! "No, I want us to make the dough and design our own houses....!!"

I was stunned!!! and secretly thrilled I suppose! All those years and all that effort was not for nought at least!!! so home made gingerbread houses it is!!! until next year maybe!?!? :D

Today was Gingerbread House Making Day!! This is no small task people!! :D I have no intention of eating our houses, so I use really cheap flour, eggs and such... the ingredients just have to be the right consistency as far as I am concerned! :D We make a double batch of dough so we have enough for a huge house. We have to make the dough a few days in advance and let it get really cold. After we've let the dough sit a few days in the fridge, we then have to decide what we are going to make then we design templates for it and cut it out. Baking is pretty easy but in order to make the walls etc really hard and strong we bake it longer (much longer) than usually required. Again the walls and such need to sit for at least another 24 hours, preferably longer, to make sure they are really firm. I've tried making gingerbread houses with soft roofs and walls to disastrous results!!!! Today was the day of assembly so we use a "glue" of powdered sugar and egg whites to build the walls and then we glue candies and what have you to decorate it up!! :D Today's was a castle and we strove for some realism so didn't use much in the way of candies apart from my concession to the gummi sharks swimming in the moat of blue sugar!!! It was quite successful really and the children really did enjoy putting it all together! What do you think?!

Tuesday, December 4

AP Moment of the day~ If ever oh ever a Whizz there was...

Jessie Beans is one.....because, because because because because beCAUSE....!! Because of the wonderful things she does, of course!! :D

Today Jessie wants to be a ... Wizard. Well technically she wants to be a Wizard~ess. I'm not sure that there is such a thing, but, as a good AP Momma, I don't tell her that!! :D She wanders around in her Wizard~ess garb and does Wizardess things like point her "wand" at people and wave it manically in their eye region causing my Mummy brain to come close to exploding point trying to restrain myself from blurting out "YOU'LL HAVE SOMEONE'S EYE OUT WITH THAT!!!!" She writes spells in her spell book and reads stories about Wizards and the like!!! Goofball. The best magic she performs, however, has to be the morning cuppa she brings me every day!!

Today we also tested her kitchen magic as she and Jackster "helped" me make the Gingerbread ready for our Gingerbread house party on Thursday! They had a super time cooking and the dough looks great!! We'll see how it works out tomorrow! :D

Monday, December 3

AP Moment of the day~When helping really isn't quite as helpful as perhaps it could be!

Today I've been a tad busy tidying the house so that I can clean it!! It took hours just to get it picked up enough to clean!!! Admittedly I get a bit nutso when the house is a mess and I had let it get a little out of hand lately. The kids were super and they know to keep out the way when I'm tidying up. Beans took good care of Jackster and they spent the majority of the day in the basement where Beans schooled Jackster on his alphabet and had him counting and such! The cute part is where she has him raise his hand to answer a question!!! Poor boy!!! Anyway, they were pretty good kiddoes all day..... until... the dreaded..... "I hewlp?"....." I hewlp a Mummy?".... "Mummy.... Mummy I hewlp a you??!!" LOL!!!!! I have very little patience with children who want to help. I don't mind when I plan on them helping me and I am all filled up with patience and time.....but when I'm really busily trying to get stuff done and they want to help, well, I'm not at my best!! :D Jackster loves to do windows!! He sprays our vinegar spray all over the windows and wipes away to his hearts content! Of course the windows only get clean about half way up, but hey, they're cleaner than they were, right!!?!? I was busy cleaning the floor and he wanted to help spray the floor! I asked him to sit by me and he could spray ONLY WHEN I SAID!! He did such a good job and was so careful to spray just where I pointed and only when I said so!!! Later I was vacuuming... he really hates the noise so he and Beans had gone upstairs to hide. I busied myself cleaning and suddenly Beans came back down... "Jackster's in the sprayers... he's spraying EVERYTHING!!!!" I go upstairs to see and he is in the bathroom with another vinegar spray bottle.... there is vinegar spray EVERYWHERE. It's up to the ceiling, it's all over the giant mirror, it's on the cupboards, on the carpet... his shirt is drenched with it!!!! "NoooooOOOOooooo!!!!!!" I shout "Jackster....N....." then I catch sight of his devastated little face......"oohhhh..... you were helping weren't you?!!" "yes" he quietly says. <<>> as my heart breaks for him!!! I give him a huge hug and tell him what a super helper he is!!! He did such a thorough job!!! :D Bless his little heart!!! I take care to hide the spray bottle out of sight and we go downstairs for dinner. As we are setting the table he starts to haul everything out of the pantry and sets them on the table!! Boxes of soup, mustard from the fridge, jars of pickle... I hear him whisper to himself as he scurries past me with his booty...."I'm VERY hewlping"....!!!!!!!!!!

Yes he is. He's also very trying!! :D

Sunday, December 2

AP Moment of the day~Attached kids grow up to be very independent!

Today we started off the season with a visit to our cousin's place for a Holiday Open House. Their home is perfect for the occasion, beautiful, warm and FILLED with holiday knick knacks, pictures, treats and good cheer. We missed last year's open house and I do believe it has been two years since we saw them, but they are the sort of family that you see and are instantly at home with. Anyway, we walked in and initially didn't see anyone we recognized despite the house being filled with guests. We wandered around a bit looking for our hosts and finally tracked them down. Beans wanted to see their daughter and was told she was down in the basement with all the other kids... did she want to go down and look for her?!? Well.... I wondered what would happen. She barely knows their daughter and hasn't a clue about the other kids ... I expected that she would want me to go down with her, to hold her hand or take care of her..... HAH!!! I should have known better!!! She said "OK"!! And with nary a backward glance she went down to the basement and visited with all the kids!! Next thing I knew I saw her and a line of girls parading out into the snow to play snowballs together!! I hardly set eyes on her the entire time we were visiting!!! She had a marvellous time, and so did I !!!

I remembered as I was writing this that this past May she surprised the heck out of me too... We met some new friends locally and their daughter was having a camp out for her birthday party. A bunch of her friends had a tent pitched in the yard and the girls were going to have a slumber party out there. They had a small camp fire ( and a Dad who was supervising the marshmallow melt !) and were telling ghost stories!!! I dropped Beans off at about 6:30 and said I'd swing back about 10pm pretty darn sure I'd need to take her home as she wouldn't know anyone and would be scared to sleep out in the dark with strangers....! At 10 pm I went "to fetch her" !!! She was sitting around the fireside swapping ghost stories !! ( MY KID!!! GHOST STORIES!!!) and having a blast! I asked her if she was alright and would she like to come home and I was met with an indignant "MOM!!!" ....o.....k.......!!! I went back home with my tail between my legs!! I couldn't decide if I was delighted or terrified!!! I settled for delighted! :D I'd left my phone with her and anticipated the phone ringing any moment all night long.. but ..nooooo!! When I was finally allowed to collect her at NOON the next day I might add, she'd had a WONDERFUL time and made a bunch of new friends!!

I know that people who don't really understand Attachment Parenting can think that it creates children who cling to their parents and who are afraid to leave their sides... in fact quite the opposite actually. It turns out that if you give your child confidence in your love and affection, you make your child certain that you are there for him or her whenever they need you, then they feel much safer pulling away as they are programmed to do, knowing that when they look back, you are right there every time.

AP Moment of the day ~ Communication is a two way street OR I love a parade!

Today should have been the Star City Parade which we have been going to for years. Sadly and for the first time in it's history, it was cancelled due to an ice storm. We'd been watching the weather forecast for the last few days and it was looking ominous to say the least. I had begun to prepare the children that perhaps, sadly, we may not be going to the parade this year. I knew they would be HEARTBROKEN. I was prepared for perhaps some tears, maybe even weeping and pounding on a pillow.... I know the kids LOVE the parade.

We always get ready to go in a calm and peaceful manner, there's NEVER any shouting or anything like "Comeoncomeoncomeon we're going to miss the start, we won't get anywhere to park, we won't be able to see anything.. all the good spots will be taken comeoncomeoncomeon......" or anything else approaching that insanity.... weeellllll... I say never.... I mean, not often.... not every time.... ok, every time, but I don't MEAN to do it like that...something just takes over me!!....

Anyway, I know they love the yummy treats I make to take with us, like that one time I made some delicious brownies..... what??!?!... they WERE delicious. Ok, they were a liiiittle dry. And sure, we didn't have anything to drink with us that time..... oh come on... we only gagged a little bit.....what a fuss...!! The chocolate dipped pretzels were delicious though!! They were GOOD!! and only a little messy. I mean everything came out in the wash after only two rinses!!! The hot chocolate made it though!! THAT was really nice... and only burned the first couple of sips and after that your tongue and lips were numbed to the pain...!!

But the best part was standing on the sidewalk and watching the folks walking by!!.. it wasn't THAT cold...! Oh you could SO feel your feet!!!! Ok, so you lost sensation in both your big toes. Who needs big toes when you can watch yet another small town marching band go by?!!? :D And as for being able to feel your nose,, it's over rated!! So yeah, it's cold but then isn't it so much nicer when you get back inside and start to thaw out!!!!

What about the marching bands though?!!?!? and the DRUMMERS?!?! And the FIRETRUCKS!!! WOW EEEE!!! THE FIRE TRUCKS?!!!? With the sirens...and the horns... and the drums...... and the very noise sensitive son... who screams and cries with his hands pressed to his little ears!!!!


So I very delicately approached the subject of perhaps skipping the parade this year, due to the storm....... I got down to their level, looked them in the eyes and very gently said..

"honey....Beans, Jackster, listen, the weather is going to be really terrible for the parade today and it has been cancelled....... I'm sorry but we won't be able to go this year......"

I waited, ready for the storm. .....

"OK!" said Beans!! Unphased! Jackster was equally nonplussed.

"WAIT!!" I called out as they ran off to get on with playing or what ever else they thought they were going to do... "aren't you going to miss the parade? I thought you loved going? It's a tradition!!!!!!!......"

"Nah!!!" said Beans. "It's too cold and noisy. We only go because you tell us we have to!"

Oh. I guess it's just me who loves a parade.

It's funny what you go through and what you put others through because all the time you think it's what they want, and in the end it turns out to be what you wanted and sometimes, even worse, it turns out no body wanted it at all!!!

I suppose the lesson here is listen to your family, your children, and make sure that what you are hearing is what they are saying!!!

" .... Seventy six trombones led the big hundred and four cornets close behind...."

Saturday, December 1

AP Moment of the day ~Baby it's cold outside.

Parenting and everything else takes a lot more time and dedication when the temperatures start to fall. The very thought of taking a walk suddenly takes on new depth when you have to go through so many steps just to get out the door. One winter's day last year I thought it would be lovely to take the children ( and the dog ) out for a ride on the red plastic sled. I'd drag it behind me and they would ride together and we'd laugh and sing jolly songs........ well... it didn't quite go that way. Firstly we have to get out the door. In our house everyone has to pee before we go anywhere. ESPECIALLY if it's below freezing out. So everyone goes to the bathroom. Then we make sure we all have thick pants, socks, vests, shirts tucked in, boots on, gloves, scarves, hats, coats zipped up to chins. Sounds easy, right? It's not. Someone took off their socks and likely tossed them down the basement stairs. I don't know why, it's just what he does!! So we have to find the socks. Of course, as is the way with socks, once they have separated they tend to resist getting back together so you can only ever find ONE easily. The hunt is on until the sock is found OR Mother gets sick of looking and goes up to get a fresh pair. OK, so now the boy has socks. Beans... where are your boots? They should be right here by your coat.... what?? .... your bear was using one as a car??? well can you please go get the boots so we can go for a lovely ride on the sled in the deep and glistening snow??????? Now I have to get gloves on my boys hands. His fingers don't cooperate with regular gloves, they just never seem to go in the holes. Mittens are no good either, they fall right off again. Last year I found the perfect solution. Duct tape. I'm serious. I put a couple of pairs of socks on his hands and then duct taped the lot to the sleeves of his coat!!! Voila!!! His hands were warm and dry and there wasn't a chance he'd lose a glove!!!

Don't knock duct tape!! :D

So we have gloves on, we find the boots, we've all peed, we have scarves round necks, hats on heads, coats on, smiles on, dog lead on..... and we head out the door. The first thing that hits you is how COLD it is. It's MUCH colder out than it looks from inside. And the WIND. BLASTING from the north. AND... and... it's getting dark already. Yup. It's taken so long to get outside that now the sun is fading and once the sun goes down the temperature plummets. GAH!! Quick!! To the sled for our lovely little ride on the snow!! Come on!! It's not THAT cold!! What do you mean you can't feel your hands??? Clap 'em together a bit!! Come on it'll be LOVELY!! Look at the sun glistening off the snow!!! Wrap up in this blanket!! Pip Pip !! come on!!!...... We get them all bundled up on in a blanket on the sled..... I give the rope a tug and we're off.... we come away from the shelter of the house and, yup, there's the wind!! HOWLING at us. It tugs at our coats and hats and spits hard snow pellets in our tender faces. The kids hunker down more and start to whimper, just a little. I tug on the rope more and flip both kids off into the snow. They are so bundled up that they can't move easily and flounder like fish out of water, kicking their limbs uselessly until I hustle to pick them up, dust them off and ... sit them back on the sled. I know. What was I thinking?? I had the vision in my head and I just couldn't shake it. I dragged the poor blighters down the hill and back again thinking they must be having a really jolly time (!!) meanwhile I lose all sensation in fingers and toes. We make it home alive, thank goodness, and of course then have to spend a hurried ten minutes taking everything off again because once you get inside you then start to MELT you are now so hot!! Everyone sheds their gear only to leave it in a freezing cold, wet pile, on the floor just inside the door. ( have you noticed that if you track in snow from your boots you are guaranteed to step in it whilst wearing socks...?? Then you have cold wet socks on your previously warm feet?? It can frustrate one....!!! )

I realised that if it takes you twenty minutes to get dressed to go out, ten minutes to get undressed once you get home and you are out for only 15 minutes .... you're wasting your time and would be better set waiting for spring. Winter is best appreciated through glass!!

( Make mine a Gin glass....!!)

Thursday, November 29

Ap Moment of the day~ How to make friends and not really influence anyone one way or the other really as I'm not a very pushy person at all......!!

"The only way to have a friend is to be one."- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Today the children and I joined a friend and her little girl for a trip to Hobby Lobby (You should be able to hear a fanfare there...!!! if not, please provide your own suitable huzzah type sound effect. Thank you. ) or, as some like to call it, the Mecca of crafts, home decor and accessorizing!!!! I'd not been there in years and was stunned at the size of the store ( and the teeensy~ness of the aisles!!) It's a full blown MIRACLE that my little guy, Captain Destructo himself, did not once reach out and smash three billion dollars worth of this, that and the other with one swoop of his chubby arms...!! However, I'm digressing! ;D (no WAY!! How could this HAPPEN!?!? )


Sooooo... we went to Hobby Lobby, we picked out this, that and some of these....oh .. and those...!! It was super! I helped my friend spend a boat load of her cash and didn't spend one penny of my own!! THOSE are my favorite shopping trips!! :D

oh yes... sorry...!!

We shopped and checked out and both went our separate ways in the parking lot after hugs and promises to talk later. I needed to run back in to the store to go to the bathroom. I left the kiddies locked in the van with books and told them I'd be right back. I ran back into the MASSIVE store and searched for what seemed like a month for the bathrooms. Oops. I said bathroomS !! I should have said BathROOM. One. Bathroom. For a store that is intended to suck in a gazillion "guests"... so I see the bathroom door... a vision for my sore eyes and aching bladder... I'm almost upon it... I can almost feel the handle in my palm, am sensing the relief I will feel in a short moment... but.... AAAACCKKKK!!!.. another woman, in my mind Old Wrinkly and MEAN grabs the door handle before me, swoops in and locks it. In vain I grab the handle and yank, wiggle and pull on it, my brain screaming "NO!! NO!!!! There can't ONLY be ONE STALL in this HUGE STORE!?!?! NOOOO!!!!!!" Only there is. The poor woman must have been thrown into a bladder freezing tizzy by my door hammering.. perhaps she thought I might actually make my way in...!! I began to wait. ... and wait .... minutes pass. In those minutes another lady comes along towards me. Instantly my eyes seize upon her. I glance quickly at the bathroom door.... no way sister... it's MINE..... I assume a wider stance in case I need to tackle her. She heads to the bathroom door and pulls on it...... I gather up my deepest, sternest voice, I lock eyes with her and lower my forehead just a little......".... erm....I'm waiting..... there's ..... there's a line...!!!"
The lady and I begin to wait together. A team now. We keep our eyes peeled against further invasion. Back to back we stand, all the better to see a full 360 scan of the store. Another woman approaches <<>> I hit her with my best shot "OCCUPIED!!! THERE'S A LINE!!!!" My team mate and I begin to banter .... we've been waiting so long we ask each other... "perhaps she fell in?" !! then it escalates..." You know, I'm not sure I WANT to go in anymore...!!" I counter with "If I didn't have my kids in the car I'd make you go next!!!" .... Suddenly we hear the FLUSSSHHHHHH of the toilet! The relief is almost palpable. Surely the wait will end soon. ..... more minutes pass. ANOTHER FLUSSSSSSHHHHHH!!! Now we're panicking!!!! Just how bad is it in there?!!?!?!? We're nervous now! The potty humor is flying back and forth trying to mask our fears...!!! Finally the door unlocks and the woman exits.... "It's not very clean in there" she warns. Team mate and I exchange wary glances and each raise our eyebrows in due concern. ..."I'm going in!.." I announce ..."but I'll be FAST!!" I dash in, holding my breath and pee like I've never peed before!!!! I wash my hands and fly, triumphant, out the door!!! "STOP THE CLOCK!!!" I yell!! "Much faster!!" my team mate beams and I find myself smiling with pride! " Nice waiting with ya! " I call out, as I begin to jog back to my kids and the van.

As I run, I am suddenly struck by the thought that I really liked this woman! She was about my age, she had a similar sense of humor to me, she liked Hobby Lobby obviously and she had my back when we were waiting in line!! We had bonded!!!! and now I was leaving and would probably not see her again.

I'm reading a book called "The Friendship Crisis" which talks about how hard it is for women to make new friends as adults. How hard it is to get the time to find new friends and then to take the time to nurture them. The book suggests if you find someone you think you could be friends with, then let them know! Get their phone number, make a date to meet up sometime.... I was thinking all this on the way back to the car, but figured I'd missed my shot. Fate had another idea in mind as when I was backing out of my parking spot I saw her leaving the store. I drove around the parking lot and wound up across from her car as she was loading it up. "HEY!" I called out..."So you made it out then?!?!?" she called back "Yeah!" I asked her if she lived locally and she said she did. "Great!!!!" I yelled. "Would you like a new friend?!?!!!"

And that is how we met. I phoned her tonight when I was making dinner and we chatted for a while and shared some good laughs. We're going to have coffee soon and get to know one another some more. I'm looking forward to it.

Friendships are what help make the world go around. We should always nurture our old friends but also remember to make space and time for new ones. It's the AP thing to do!!!
"Two may talk together under the same roof for many years, yet never really meet; and two others at first speech are old friends." - Mary Catherwood

When a friend calls to me from the road
And slows his horse to a meaning walk,
I don't stand still and look around
On all the hills I haven't hoed,
And shout from where I am,
What is it?
No, not as there is a time to talk.
I thrust my hoe in the mellow ground,
Blade-end up and five feet tall, And plod:
I go up to the stone wall
For a friendly visit.
Robert Frost.

AP Moment of the day ~ feeling each other's pain.

This afternoon the children played in the basement for quite a while. They had been happily down there for some time when I heard a terrible yell. It was Jackster and he was getting louder. He came up the stairs, sobbing and yelling "Yey Yee..... down a nairs.... Yey Yeee...." I thought that Jessie must have done something to upset him, maybe she had taken something from him or they had fallen out .... I couldn't understand what he needed and he was so desperately sad... I began to grow afraid something horrible had happened. I called out to Beans and she came up the stairs to me. I asked her what had happened and she began to cry too... Apparently Jackster had accidentally caught her in the eye with a DVD box as they were looking at them and it had really hurt her. Jackster was obviously really upset and scared that he had hurt her and they were both in a state!! Lots of cuddles and kisses and reassurances that all was well and the event was forgotten.

Fast Forward to bed time. We are in the bathroom getting ready for bed. I try to keep things calm and peaceful at bed time, it's more conducive to sleep that way! Jackster was feeling very cuddly and kept snuggling me so Beans, naturally, felt left out. She wanted to snuggle too, so I sat down and held her tight. Jackster wanted more so we had a group hug and cuddle. When we were all sufficiently loved up, we got up to go to bed. Beans and Jack headed for the bathroom door, Jessie hurried out of it and quickly pulled it shut behind her..... onto Jackster's FACE. Jackster was wounded emotionally and Jessie was devastated, she hadn't meant to do that.... She started sobbing, Jackster then was worried about Jessie so he started sobbing......!!!!! Again, even more hugs, kisses and reassurances and by morning it will all be forgotten.

Honestly, these two are the most compassionate kids! Sure, they wrestle and fight over things and such, but if one is ever sad or hurt, the other one joins right in! It must be the "Attachment" part!!!

Tuesday, November 27

AP Moment of the Day~ Priorities

Picture the scene. Mama and the kiddies have just come home from running countless errands and appointment after appointment. There is laundry to do, dishes to clean, dusting, vacuuming, dinner to make, menus to write, Christmas lists to make, school to do ..... it's a long and never ending list..... and the boy wants to snuggle on my lap...!! Ok... but make it quick hon... and maybe I can type as I hold you...... but then, as he snuggles with me, he falls asleep in my arms. Suddenly nothing is important anymore. His warm little body nestles close against mine and I realise I can sit here all day and not do anything or even feel the need to do anything but gaze at his sleeping face, kiss his soft cheeks and breathe in his warm, vanilla cookies smell.

This is my priority. Right here. Right now.

Monday, November 26

AP Moment of the day ~ Thank GOODNESS for Mister Spoon!

Today we used up the very last of the Thanksgiving leftovers!! I'm amazed they are all gone!!! Tonight Beans and I made Vegetable soup and it was really very tasty! All the veggies were well seasoned when we served them for Thanksgiving, so they were even better when cooked up in the soup. Daddy and I had the soup thick, like a stew. It was very tasty!! The kids liked theirs smoooother, so I pureed it up and added some milk to make it "creamy and delicious!!" .... Jackster wasn't buying it. He wasn't buying ANY of it. He got down from the table, he begged for popcorn "Boppy DORN?... Boppy DORN??.... BOPPY DORN!!!!!" over and over and over again until I thought I might, I just MIGHT flip my lid. I tried the "When... Then...." approach ( from Kids Are Worth It ) but he didn't care WHO said it would work, he wasn't buying that either. I begged, pleaded, cajoled, insisted, ignored, got tired of ignoring and yelled, *sigh* I'd done EVERYTHING I COULD THINK OF... until.... wait.... it might... just... WORK!!! MISTER SPOON RETURNED!!!!!!!!!! YIPPPEEEEE!!!!!!! Mister Spoon is AMAZING!!! That spoon guy can get Jackster to eat JUST ABOUT ANYTHING!!! :D The first thing he does is say, in a lovely, high pitched and happy voice...."Hiiiiiiiii Jackster!!! It's MiiiiiIIIIIISTER SPOON!!!" Jackster, without fail, will look at the spoon and say "Hi" !!! :D Then mister spoon uses his charm, wit, and poise to get Jackster to eat his food.... and when that fails he pretends to cry!! ( I know, I know... bribery, blackmail, corruption... oh horror, oh horror. So sue me!! These days Jackster has pretty much given up on all foods except those of the bread family!!!!! Rotten kid used to eat any thing and everything, but these days... pah!!! so, yes, I'll use bribery if I have to!!! ) anyway, the spoon may cry...!! Jackster, then, very sweetly will say "Don't cry....!!!!" and he'll take a bite of food!! As long as Mister Spoon is feeding him, he'll eat anything!!! Mister Spoon ROCKS!!! Right now Mister Spoon is headed for the dishwasher, but he'll be back in the morning for .....Oatmeal !!!!

Mister Spoon. If you don't have one, get one!! ' D

Sunday, November 25

AP Moment of the day~ Play (Doh!) builds connections

Today was a lovely relaxing and peaceful Sunday~after~Thanksgiving. I got up at the crack of dawn for an icy walk but then hustled home, got back under the covers and hubby and I hung out there as long as we could until the kids finally came and ordered us out!! LOL!! How funny is that?!!? The kids telling the parents "You can't stay in bed all day!! GET UP!!!" LOL!!!!! Anyway, after THAT it was very peaceful. At one point we were all gathered in the dining room. I was online looking around at this and that, Beans was working on her Knitting Nancy and trying to make a rug out of a three inch cable of yarn... and Jackster and Daddy were sitting together at the table making Play Doh pies. If I had to pick my favorite moment of the day, that would have to be it. It was quiet, it was relaxed, the family was all together but doing our own things... it was just perfect. Jackster just loves to make pies and he would warn Daddy "Cawefuw.... wewwy hot!!! Fwow on it!!" LOL!!! Too cute!!! These moments in our lives may only be brief, it's not a week's vacation to Disneyland or something, but these moments are what memories are made of, what we cling to as we grow into adulthood.

Someone loves me and makes me Playdoh pies.

Saturday, November 24

AP Moment of the day~ think like a child...or why my kids love me!!

The children were just out playing in the snow and I, watching from the warm kitchen, remembered my childhood and the joy of coming in from the cold to a steaming cup of hot chocolate !! When they finally came back in, I made up some of our fabulous Ghirardelli Double Chocolate hot cocoa and then thought, hmm.. how can we improve on this.... sooo I got out some organic half and half and whipped it up into a frenzy. When the chocolate was warm I divided it between two cups and then dolloped the whipped half and half on top. It looked nice, but needed something... oh yeah... what it needed was dark chocolate curls sprinkled on top...THAT'S what it needed! ;D WOW!!! The kids eyes lit up and it tasted sooo good... I might have to make a little for myself..... right after I have lit the fire....Hot chocolate and snowy days call for a roaring fire in the fireplace... and a good book.....and slippers......and maybe a small nap!!! Bliss !!

AP Moment of the day~Taking care of you..... getting the heck out the house once in a while! :D

Last night we had our neice come over and babysit for us! Whooo hooo!! A "date night" !! We perhaps get out, hubby and I, around once a month, perhaps once every six weeks. The only night she was available over this holiday weekend was last night, so we took her up on her offer and she came over about 6:30. The kids LOVE her and barely batted an eye as I hugged them up and bade them farewell and adieu and adios... pleading with them to please be good for Meggie, please don't tear around the house screaming like last time.... please don't make her bake cookies with you and then pour flour all over the floor like the time before that.... please don't make the poor girl read every book in the house before you will even consider going to sleep when you know I read you two stories, two lullabies and then lights OUT!......The kids were all but pushing me out the door whilst I wrang my hands which were gloved up against the frigid air. On the occasions we do go out I have visions of us getting into horrendous wrecks and the poor children being left, orphaned, because their parents just had to get that "alone" time.... they just couldn't be happy at home night after night after night with their own children.....!!!! Last night was worse as the winter weather has finally arrived and the roads were icy... more worry for me...!!! I am, it appears, the quintessential worrying mother!!! I could worry for the Olympics for sure, if I didn't make it digressing!

So anyway...!! Hubby and I make it out the house and down the drive. ( cue the violins... ) We wave from the car to the poor children, sobbing at the window, pitifully waving hankies and wiping away tears of.....sorry? ... what???...oh... apparently they were jumping up and down laughing and were waving flags... silly me. Ahem. ( violins screech into silence! ) Hubby and I head off into the bright city lights of small town mid America!! I am dressed up "fancy" and have make up on... heels... the works! I'm looking GOOD and looking forward to my night out!!! Imagine my chagrin to find that e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. in town is closed on the night of Thanksgiving! EVEN STARBUCKS!!! ***GASP!!!*** I KNOW!!!!!!!! oh, I tell a lie.... the 24 hour crappy grocery store was open.... a gas station was open.... the movies were open ( but they weren't showing anything of interest. I considered sitting in their lobby eating popcorn and watching the screens with the previews but hubby wouldn't go for it!) and blockbuster was open. Natch. Our first stop was the gas station where we had an "exotic coffee" ( bleurgh!! and ptooowieee ) and a chocolate bar. It was all of 17f so even getting in and out of the car was a pain and something that you really had to work yourself up to do!! Do I REALLY want to get out into this cold and leave the warmth of the van?!?! After the dizzying heights of the gas station we then went and held hands in the Blockbuster and looked at all the boxes along the walls....!! We already HAD a ton of movies we'd rented at home BUT I was delighted to find that Blockbuster sells my FAVORITE chocolate ( see sidebar.....>>) and so I persuaded hubby to buy one for me and happily skipped ( sort of ) back out to the van where we considered our options for the remainder of our evening. We could go to the lake and sit and watch the moon on the ice, we could drive around and look at the lights... we could go home and watch movies in the warm.....!!! We decided to head for home but suddenly realised THE KIDS WOULD STILL BE UP!!!!! LOL!!!!!! Desperately we began to wrack our brains for something to do to delay the inevitable.... we remembered our good friends live on the way home and, despite it being Thanksgiving night, we called 'em up and invited ourselves on over!!! :D They welcomed us so warmly, served us pecan pie and hot apple cider and made us laugh and laugh!!! Our friends said they LOVED being our dates!!! We left them after an hour or so and returned to our warm home to find our oldest sleeping peacefully and the young un still holding out!!! I kissed Beans as she slept and held out my arms for my little guy. He sleepily looked up to me and said "Mammy Home!!" and I snuggled him until he fell asleep in my arms. Bliss.

Date night is lovely and getting out is imperative.... but coming home is the sweeter.

Friday, November 23

Ap Moment of the day ~Thanksgiving

Today I gave my family the gift of a lovely Thanksgiving Day. I made the meal from scratch, from Turkey dinner to pumpkin pie ( with ginger topping that caramelised ...!! Recipes by request..!!! ) but the food wasn't the gift. The gift was my promise to myself that no matter what happened, no matter how stressed out I was, my family would not see me lose my temper or get flustered with them. ... and I did it!! I had a couple of challenges.... both children wanted to help... Beans was VERY helpful... donned her pinny and helped make the pies and dress up the turkey, Jackster, well, he wanted to be helpful by bringing in all his cookbooks and doing his best to tell us how to make cookies....!! I don't have a large kitchen by any means, so his being in the room with his stool and his books was rather stressful for me, but I was able to deal with it with a smile on my face and warmth in my heart. The house wasn't very tidy, there was laundry in the living room, the fire wasn't lit, the table looked ok but wasn't fancy at all... the piping bag burst when I was trying to pipe mashed potatoes, the Rustic Cranberry and Apple tart was not going to be cooked in time for dinner since it needed to cook too high AND there wasn't enough pastry to cover it.... Beans dropped the pumpkin pie on it's way to the fridge and Jackster wanted to play out in the snow and when he finally was persuaded to come inside, would eat NOTHING but bread. N.O.T.H.I.N.G!! Flippin' kid. BUT, I didn't get upset. I kept my calm, smiled, and said "Nothing will bother me today" !! It WORKED!! I can't believe it worked.

We had a "perfect" Thanksgiving by not focusing on what "makes " it perfect but on allowing it to BE perfect, whatever it was.

I hope your Thanksgiving was wonderful too.... come on Christmas... BRING IT ON!!!! :D

Wednesday, November 21

AP Moment of the day~let the kids be kids..!

I first have to share SNOW!! We had snow today!!! And not just a few dry flakes skating past the window, no real snow!! or, as Jackster puts it "NO!!!!!!!" LOL!! He just loves "no!!"

Anyway, today was going to be the day I took pictures of the children for the Christmas cards. We had errands to run in the morning and then when we came home we planned to give the kiddies a warm bath, wash and blow dry Bean's hair, dress up in fancy togs and have pictures taken! :D The bath went reasonably well and Bean's was super enthused about getting dressed up.. she LOVES to wear pretty dresses and look beautiful....she'd had her dress picked out for some time and spent a good few minutes picking out ribbons she wanted to wear that would go with the dress.... Jackster... not so much. I didn't actually have anything terribly fancy for him to wear, but I did have a few smarter shirts in mind.... but he wanted to wear his Cars T Shirt. He REEEALLY wanted to wear his Cars T Shirt. I mean A. Lot. I begged him, please, this is just for a photo, "You want to look nice for the Christmas Cards don't you?!?!! " ( Seriously, please, like the kid cares what he looks like on Christmas Cards!!!! ) I tried reasoning, pleading, bribing, then suddenly it hit me.... of COURSE he should wear his Cars T Shirt!! His obsession with Cars runs as deep as Bean's obsession with being Ladylike and demure in Princess like dresses....!! He IS his Cars T shirt and it would be wrong of me to try and dress him up in something that would be MY idea of what he should look like... he needs to be himself.... and I think he scrubs up pretty darn nicely! :D

Happy Thanksgiving Eve, from my family, to yours!

Tuesday, November 20

Kids Say the funniest things... warnings...!!

A while ago the family were all sitting around the dinner table and Beans got the giggle which annoyed Captain Destructo immensely!!! He became quite agitated and repeatedly asked her to stop....."..stop it.....Stop! .... STOP IT!!!!" which of course only lead to her giggling even more whilst desperately struggling for composure to ease his wrath! "stop it...." he said, in a warning tone......"stop it... or I POINT A' YOU....!!!!!!!!!!!" Dun dun duuuuunnnn!!! LOL!!!

We all dissolved in stitches!!! He's hilarious!!! When I'm thoroughly annoyed with the children at the table I give them "the look" and then, if needs must, I point at them ( you know, as mother's do... the "point" which means "You are on Thin Ice Mister ( or Miss ) !!" Clearly the little guy thought that was the scariest thing to do to a person and by Jove, he was going to do it if she didn't stop giggling and quick!! ;D

Of course now, if anyone in the family is remotely annoying... well..... they are warned....!! ....
"I POINT a' you.....!!! "