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.