About me

I am a Stay at Home Mom. I love Chai Lattes, anything chocolate, and all of the Real Housewives. I hate cleaning bathrooms.

I've been with my husband since 2000, married since 2005, and together we have two little girls. Little Bear was born in 2009 and Crazy Plates in 2010.

This is my blog. A place where I share all the fun and frustrating things about being a Stay at Home Mom.

I hope you can enjoy, relate, and have a little laugh.

Monday, July 28, 2014

How Do You Know You're Ready To Have Kids?

My husband recently finished building a deck in our backyard, so we decided to take it for a test drive and have a few of friends and their kids over for a little backyard BBQ.  I was sitting on the deck with a friend of ours who doesn't have any kids, enjoying some grown-up conversation.  The kids were running around the backyard, playing with Barbies and running through the sprinkler, and he turned to me and asked, "How do you know when you're ready to have kids?".  Boy, talk about grown-up conversation...

But, it got me thinking, how do you know?  My dad always says, if you wait till you can afford kids, you'll never have them.  So, I knew there had to be more ways to know that you are for sure ready to jump into the kiddy pool, so to speak.  Here's what I came up with.  Let me know if you agree.

1) If you usually spend your Sundays curled up on the couch with a good book, or a Will and Grace marathon and think to yourself, "gee, this just doesn't cut it for me any more.  I am bored with lazy Sundays on the couch".  Then you're ready for kids.

2) Remember the last blockbuster movie you saw?  When it was over, did you find yourself saying, "there just aren't enough high-pitched voices, annoyingly catching musical numbers, or animated animals"?  Then you're ready for kids.

3) When walking down the street, in line at the grocery store, or shopping at the mall, do you wonder what people are thinking about you, what you're doing, and how you're doing it, and wish they'd offer some unsolicited advice?  Then you're ready for kids. 

4) Is privacy no longer an issue for you?  Do you feel no shame changing, showering, or going to the washroom in front of an audience?  Then you're ready for kids.

5) Do you wake up in the morning and think, "I got way too much sleep.  I should really cut back".  Then you're ready for kids.

6) Do you find a clean, tidy house boring and pretentious?  Then you're ready for kids. 

7) Are you tired of people listening to what you say, and doing what you ask, and are looking for someone to challenge you...on everything?  Then you're ready for kids.

8) Do you love hot dogs and Goldfish and are looking for an excuse to base your whole diet off these two foods?  Then you're ready for kids.

9) Have you had just too many quiet dinners in nice restaurants?  Then you're ready for kids.

10) Are you ready to love unconditionally?  Then you're ready for kids. Because they're crazy, frustrating, confusing little beings, but they're the best thing that will ever happen to you, and you'll love every minute of it. 


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Housewife Hacks: Part 1

If you follow me on Facebook you know that every once in a while I post a tip-of-the-day.  A useful nugget of information that I feel is worth sharing.  Hold on to your smart phones, everyone, this time I have 10 to share.  It's part one of a blog series I'm calling, Housewife Hacks.  You're welcome.

1) This first hack I can't take credit for because I'm sure I saw it somewhere.  But, I don't remember where I saw it, so send your applause my way, and when I remember where I saw this, I'll pass it along.  For this idea, head down to your local craft store and pick up some unpainted frames, without glass.  Spread some newspaper over your kitchen table and get your kids to paint the frames.  Hang them on the wall, and tap in an extra nail inside the framed area near the top.  Using a butterfly clip from a stationary store, hang your child's art and voila!

2) Again, this one I can't take 100% credit for.  I think it was either Nanny Robina or Super Nanny who suggested to fill a drawer in your kitchen with Tupperware to let the kids play with while you make dinner. This is like that.  I filled a drawer in my bathroom with paper and markers to keep the girls amused while I shower and do my make-up.  They added the bubbles, even though they know they're not allowed to play with them inside.  The giant diamond ring is my engagement ring.  Just kidding.  It's from the dollar store.   

3) I found this pack of 200 cards and 200 envelopes at Target, and I just love it.  It was super cheap, and now, I have cards for the next 200 occasions.  The girls love making cards for people, so when a card occasion arises, I bring out this bundle and give one to each and there you have it!

4) When my make-up is finished, I scrape out the bits that are left with the back of a nail file and give it to the girls to play with.  They love putting make-up on when they play dress up, and now they can.  It also keeps them out of my make-up drawer.  For a little while, at least.

5) I have a bit of an addiction. To costume jewelry. It's gotten so bad that I've completely run out of space to keep all of my necklaces. If my necklaces were ceramic snowmen, I'd for sure be on an episode of Hoarders.  But not any more. Just look at this great idea I came up with! I (well, my husband) attached two cafĂ© curtain rods to a wall in my closet and now, my necklaces are organized.

6) If you have hand-me-down furniture, or grown-up looking furniture, a great way to make it kid furniture is with wall decals.  You can move the decals around to cover-up marks in old furniture, or switch it up when your daughter's Dora phase is over and her Frozen phase begins.  Although, good luck finding anything Frozen.  It might be easier to talk her back into her Cinderella phase.  

7) I'm not the best cook, or house cleaner, more often than not I forget to put sunscreen on the girls before we go to the park. But, one thing I do well is drink chai lattes. One trick is to get it without water.  It makes for a bolder chai flavour. I also get it extra hot because a lukewarm chai just isn't that great. But, the real trick is to stick a pen in the little hole opposite the drinking hole. It will make that hole a little bigger, allowing you to drink your chai more smoothly.  Remember those giant tins of apple juice? Your mom would pierce it with two holes for an even flow when pouring? It works the same way.

8) This idea I definitely cannot take credit for.  My friend, and fellow stay at home mom, Vanessa, made it for my girls.  I believe she started with a canvas, covered it with fabric and ribbon, and added the wooden S in the middle.  The ribbons are used to store hair clips, and the canvas hangs conveniently on the wall.  You can see more of her great ideas on her blog,  ABC OCD

9) To help with my morning routine, I've pre-Tupperwared some snacks for Crazy Plates and Little Bear.  I just toss a couple in each back pack, and now, making lunches just got a wee bit easier.

10) I love storage baskets.  Love, love, love.  I have a few strategically placed around the house.  When I clean up at the end of the night, I throw the toys into the nearest basket.  When the baskets are full, I pull them into the playroom, sort them and put them in their appropriate places.  Now, if only I could teach the girls to do this...

So that's it!  Housewife Hacks: Part 1.  If you have any good hacks to share, please do so in the comments.  Maybe I'll hack your hack and include it in Part 2.  Full credit will be given, of course :)

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Why I Don't Discipline My Kids...

When Little Bear was twenty months old, I went to a parenting seminar held by Barbara Coloroso.  As a first time mom, I had already read all the parenting books, but a parenting seminar!  This sounded like something I had to attend.  I hung on Barbara's every word as she led me through strategies for everything from disciplining kids, to getting them to eat their veggies.  I left the seminar feeling empowered, motivated to be the best mom I could be!  I felt equipped with the tools to run my house as perfectly and effortlessly as Michelle Duggar. 

Now that I'm a mom of two, it's a different story.  Parenting strategies for disciplining kids may work on Super Nanny, but they don't work in my house.  So, I no longer discipline my kids, and here's why...

1) I'm tired.  That's it.  I'm just plain, old, tired.  I've tried everything I can think of to get the girls to eat their veggies, clean up the playroom, and be quiet in restaurants and nothing works.  All that effort and arguing and repeating myself over and over again has made me so tired that I've decided the best thing to do is conserve my energy.  If they want Goldfish for breakfast, so be it.  If they want to stand on their chair at a restaurant, have at it.  I need to save my energy for playing with knives and running through parking lots without looking for cars.  This is where my limited energy is best spent. 

2) One popular discipline tactic is to take away privileges.  But, as I have learned, this is more of a punishment for me than it is for the girls.  Taking away the TV means no quiet time for mommy.  Taking away their favourite toy means they rummage around the playroom with the force of a tornado looking for something else to play with, and coming up empty because no toy is ever good enough, leaving me with a giant mess to clean up since they don't clean up their toys which was the cause of the initial favourite toy removal in the first place.  On our way to a birthday party one day, the girls were out of control, not listening to a word I said to them.  So, I told them we were staying home and not attending the party.  Worst.  Mistake.  Ever.  I love birthday parties, as you know, because my girls are entertained, make a mess of a space that isn't mine, and eat a meal that I don't have to make.  Instead they stomped around the house, cried, made a huge mess, and refused to eat the dinner I made.  Staying home from the birthday party was definitely a punishment just for me.

3) Lessons, like plane tickets, are not transferable.  Exhibit A.  Crazy Plates used to try to climb our Grandfather clock, and no matter how many times I told her she was going to get hurt, she kept doing it.  Until the clock fell on her.  Yes, it actually fell on her.  She climbs up on the counter, and no matter how many time I tell her she's going to fall off, she still climbs up.  She's fallen off probably 5 times.  So far.  She was playing with patio stones at Home Depot, and no matter how many times I told her she was going to get hurt, she kept playing with them until she dropped one on her toe requiring 3 stitches.  Exhibit B.  The girls got a time out for dropping a bottle of baby oil over the staircase and splattering baby oil all over the first floor.  The girls got a time out for 'washing' Crazy Plates bed with sun screen.  Crazy Plates got a time out after climbing up on the counter and covering herself in olive oil, and still, no lesson was learned, which became clear, when, just last week, we were in Blue Mountain with some friends and they snuck into the bedroom to cover themselves with shampoo and liquid soap.

So, I give up.  They win.  I'm waving the white flag.  I hear the teenage years are easy, so at least I have that to look forward to.  Sigh...

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Birthday Season...

I don't know about you, but for us, summer marks the beginning of birthday season.  It seems as though all the little kids we know were born in the summer.  But, I don't mind.  I love little kid birthday parties.  My girls are entertained for 3 hours, fed a meal that I didn't have to make, and they usually fall asleep on the way home, which means I can hit up the Starbucks drive-thru without anyone asking for a chocolate chip cookie.  What I don't love, however, are loot bags.  And here's why...

The last thing parents of little kids need is more annoying little toys, suckers, crayons, stickers, or other dollar store finds. My girls insist on opening the loot bags on the way home from the party, which means I have bits of loot bag goodness under all the seats in my van, stickers on all the backseat doors, and a little toy in one of the vents.  The rest of it gets brought inside and added to the bin of little toys we have in the playroom, which gets sprinkled around the house on a daily basis.   

Some parents have realized this, but have taken the loot bag to the opposite extreme. I went to a 3-year-old’s birthday party just the other day, and the loot bag was bigger and better than the gift I got for the birthday boy!  And there was a candy station and the kids got to fill up a bag of candy to bring home.  And this particular candy station included those extra long straws filled with coloured sugar.  Awesome. 

Last year we invited Little Bear’s entire class to her birthday party. We had it at an indoor play park with pizza and ice cream cake. Isn’t that enough? Buying loot bags for 20 kids is a monumental chore; trying to find something that is a reasonable price, in keeping with the theme of the party, practical enough that the parents will appreciate it, but fun enough that the kids will enjoy it. I hadn’t a clue what to get Little Bear for her birthday, let alone what to put in the loot bags for the kids who would be in attendance. 

So, dear parents, if we work together, we can abolish the dreaded loot bag and soon enough they will be something our kids learn about in museums…like records, or playing outside…