Bikram Yoga - Not for Beginners

I meant to only take one day off then with my kids school and halloween life just got in the way and I ended up taking 3 days off. As a result day 3 was almost as hard as day 1. I was doing all the poses and felt OK after doing both sets of the first 3 poses. I was probably doing about 80% of the poses but after an hour my stomach decided to rebel and I was done. I did leave the room but came back in and sat in the heat for the rest of the class.

If you have never ever practiced yoga before and you are unsure about how to do even the most basic of poses this is not the class to learn in. The instructors don't teach the poses, various skill levels, or ensure you are doing them right. They push you to push yourself further into poses while they stand in the front of the room directing what to do.

My husband is going tomorrow, at least he says he is, with me and I know he'll blow me out of the water. It should be interesting though because he has never practiced yoga before.

My goals now are:

Go to my first class ..... Done
Get through the whole 90 minutes... Done (then undone)
Do all the poses twice without puking.......
Go 9 out of the 14 days......
Kiss my knees.....

Day 1

Bikram Yoga - Yep Still Hot

Bikram Yoga Vancouver

Bikram Yoga

Halloween Treat Card

For my daughter's class I put together a halloween treat card to give out to her classmates. I printed out the finger Jello receipe on the back of the card so parents could make finger Jello treats for their children. I used a halloween stamp from Stampin Up and Really Rust Stampin Up paper and ink.

I used a scoring blade to make two folds, a 1/2 inch apart,so the card was 4" high by 3" wide.

My daughter helped stamp the cards and attached the chocolate bars to the inside of the cards. She then folded the cards on the scored lines.

Lots of card making ideas

Some Wonderful Card Ideas

Some amazing stamps and a card gallery

Keeping Kids Safe Online by Educating Them

The "experts" on the subject of keeping kids safe Online instruct parents to protect their kids by ensuring no one can access their kids. Sounds simple enough right, well I disagree with this method because you can't ensure that no one will ever access your children's information or them. It is safer to start young and educate them in baby steps about information, the Internet, and email instead of doing it for them.

Many parents have been to courses that instruct them to keep their contact information close and not to hand it out to anyone. They shouldn't let their kids have email addresses or have their name on any contact list. They should make sure their computers have parental blocks that keep kids from going to unapproved sites. They should manage their children's information for them and make decisions about what websites to visit.

The question is, are parents really protecting their kids by hiding from the world?

I don't subscribe to the whole hide away in order to protect. I allow my kids to have their own email addresses and phone numbers, does this mean I'm putting my kids at risk? I don't think so. My kids are still young enough that I have control over what they do. I use these tools to talk about what is appropriate and what is not, we talk about what information to put out into virtual world and what information to alter or hide. I allow them to practice these skills in the open (no computer in their room) and help them make safe decisions.

I ask them questions to ascertain what they think, what they know and problem solve for the best decisions. Instead of just making rules, I bring them into the decision making process to help them understand why they need to do certain things.

Before they could read, approved websites were saved in their favorites and they could click to get to them easily. As the grew older and began using search engines like Google we discussed what keywords to use and how to protect their information. My kids know not to use their real birthdays, addresses, or names. They have chosen safe birthdays, addresses, and names to use instead. They know why they can't use this information and what could happen if they do.

You tube is a big issue in our house because my son thinks its the best site and his friends send him links. There are some things on You Tube that are not appropriate for him to watch. We have talked to him about what he thinks is appropriate, what key words does he think he should avoid and a few others we deem inappropriate. We tell him why we don't want him looking at videos that are violent, have fighting, or are hateful. I use stories that I've heard about and ask him what he thinks about the story and how it effects what he does online.

We have some rules that are not up for discussion. Before he presses play he needs to read the title, the comments, and based on certain words determine if its is appropriate. The big rule when it comes to You Tube - he has to crank the volume so we can hear what he's watching. The computer is in the main living area so he can't sneak so easily, if he sneaks then he looses privileges. If his emails are inappropriate then he looses the email. He is learning what is appropriate by doing not being told or hidden away.

We also are made aware what friends are passing on links and information that is not appropriate and we can then act accordingly with that child. Once again our son is made apart of the decision process so he can learn how to choose friends.

They are still too young for facebook, myspace, and other social networking sites. But as they grow they will have the basics on how to protect themselves online and will have been practicing certain behaviors long before they are teenagers and I have little control over what they do.

I don't know, maybe protecting yourself by hiding your contact information and living in a bubble will keep kids safe. I doubt it because at some point they will want to have an email, have friends call them, and go out into the world. If they haven't made decisions or learned by baby steps over time how to protect themselves how can we expect them to know at 16, 18, 20?

Halloween School Party - Pumpkin Jello Cake

I'm busy today getting a snack ready for my daughter's school halloween party tomorrow. The kids love my flavored gelatin (Jello) creations so I'm making a pumpkin cake out of flavored gelatin that the kids can eat with their fingers. There are some flour and corn startch allergies in my daughter's class and all the children should be able to eat this Gluten Free Cake.

Finger Jello is a family favorite, my mom would make it for after school snacks and parties. I've taken it to the next level and made sculptured creations out of this yummy versitile treat.

Yesterday I helped carve pumpkins in her class and the teacher has been teaching them about pumkins all month. I decided to stay with the pumpkin theme for her class and for my son I'm gonna put together a large finger Jello spider.

For the pumpkin:

1 round bunt cake pan
8 small boxes of Orange Flavored Gelatin or 4 Lrg boxes
2 large box Knox Gelatin packets - 12 packets
1 frozen concentrated orange juice tube
Boiling Water

First Step:

6 small boxes of Orange Flavored Gelatin
12 packages of Knox Gelatin
1 Frozen concentrated orange juice tube
6 Cups Boiling Water

Mix the above ingredients together and pour into bunt cake pan. Fill to top if you have some left over set aside at room temperature for the next step.

Place into fridge to set

Second Step:

Once the Flavored Gelatin has set dip the bunt pan into sink of hot water briefly - just until you can see liquid on the inside edge. This doesn't take to long and you should shake the bunt pan to see if the Gelatin mixture has broken away from the pan. It happens quick!

Turn the pan over on a cutting board or plate.

Third Step:

2 small boxes of the Flavored Gelatin boxes
4 package of Knox Gelatin
2 Cups boiling water

If you have left over mixture from step one pour it into the bottom of the bunt pan. If it set then put in microwave for 30 sec - 1 min until it can pour into bunt pan. Fill bunt pan 1/4 full of liquid orange flavored gelatin.

Take the set orange Flavored Gelatin out of the fridge and place flat side down into the bunt pan until it stops. Make sure the liquid has surrounded the set Flavored Gelatin - don't want any gaps between the liquid and the set Gelation mass.

Put into fridge to set.

Step Four:

Leave in the fridge for as long as possible to make sure it has really set throughout.

To remove from pan dip it into hot water again.

Turn pan upside down onto plate, platter, whatever you are utilizing to serve it. Put back into fridge.

Step five:

For the stem you need to block up the hole in the middle of the bunt pan with plastic wrap. Put bunt pan in freezer while mix up Lime Flavored Gelatin for the stem.

Plastic Wrap and tape.

Tape plastic wrap to the outside of the center flute to cover the hole. Tape it as tight as possible to the bunt pan.

1 small box lime Flavored Gelatin
1 package Knox Gelatin
1 Cup Boiling water

Take bunt pan from freezer and pour a little bit of the mixture into the center flute of the bunt pan. Put back in freezer - make sure that the bunt pan is on a plate to catch any leeks. Once frozen pull out of the freezer. Fill up the center flute of the bunt pan and put into the fridge to set. Make sure you keep a plate underneath the bunt pan to catch any leeks.

Step Six:

When the green lime Flavored Gelatin has set then dip it into a sink of hot water and remove the Flavored Gelatin from the bunt pan.

Bring the orange Flavored Gelatin pumpkin out of the fridge and fit the stem into the center hole of the pumpkin. Cut the stem to size.

Done!!! Put into fridge until time to deliver to the school!

Alternative: make a flat thin layer of finger black Flavored Gelatin in a pan. Cut out shapes for a Jack O Lantern face and then carve out some of the Orange Flavored Gelatin pumpkin and fit in the black pieces to make a Jack O Lantern.

Birthday Jello Cake - Finger Jello Cakes make the best birthday party cakes as the kids eat up all the cake. Pair it with an ice cream cake and you're set.

Variation - Spider

Other Halloween Treat Ideas:

Pretzel Bones and Nutter Butter Ghost treats

Halloween Costume Ideas - Lots of Pictures

Lots of Halloween Treat Recipes

Betty Crocker Halloween Cookie ideas - and more!!!

Candy Corn Popcorn Balls

Eyeball Potion - Parties always need eyeballs!!!

Bikram Yoga - Still Hot

Second day and I actually made it through the full 90 minutes. I gotta say there were times I wanted to leave but I wanted to get through the full class so I stuck it out and am glad I did. It was a hard, long, hot, sweaty 90 minutes but I did it!

The first half of the class was easier then yesterday but I still felt the heat and by the last half hour I was getting sick. To get through it I took it easy and only did one set of the poses. So I'm still not there yet, my next goal is to do all the poses twice without puking.

There were some amazing women at the class who could bend themselves and hold positions I didn't know were possible. The strength, control and concentration in these women was a sight to behold but very intimidating. A few others were new like me so I didn't feel completely inadequate.

The hardest thing about this class is seeing myself try to contort myself into poses in the mirror. It's a good thing I'm way too hot to care about what I look like at the time because it is a comedy in itself.

My goals.

Go to a class..... done
Get through the whole 90 minutes .... done
Do all the poses twice.......
Kiss my knees..........

Day 1

Bikram Yoga

Birkram Hot Yoga - Yep its warm.

Birkram Hot Yoga - It's all the rage, everyone is talking about the health benefits and how wonderful it is, so I thought I'd try the introductory promo - $29.00 for 2 weeks. Today I lasted all of 45 minutes before I was puking my guts out.

I don't take vacations to "hot" spots because I don't like heat. I don't even wear a coat in -15C (0C is freezing) because I feel warm all the time. Heat makes me nauseous - obviously! So it was no surprise that I didn't make the whole class on my first try out.

This is no beginner's yoga class, the poses are hard and I'm really out of shape. A work out to me is walking up stairs, with or without a laundry basket. I was really pathetic trying to grab my foot behind my back or bending forward to touch my forehead to my knees.

1 day down and only 13 more to go......

Goal one - go to a class - completed
Goal two - stay in the class for the whole hour and a half....
Goal three - kiss my knees ....

What is Birkram Hot Yoga

The Kids Want a Dog

My kids have wanted a dog for a very long time. When we moved I told them if we find a house that has a decent yard and a place to put a dog run outside then we could look at getting one.

First task they have is to pick a type of dog they want. There are so many different dogs and they have a huge job ahead of them, so better to start now. The dog will have to be good with kids, low or no shedding, smart, and not too big (afterall we live in a city not the country).

Second task will be learning as much as they can about the breed so they are prepared to take care of the dog properly.

Helpful sites on Pets:

Pet Care Education - easy to navigate and packed full of information.

I'll add sites as I find them. If you know one I should check out leave it in comments.

Click to view please image on merchandise

Sibling Halloween Costumes

Since they've both been old enough to choose their costumes they have been similar characters. This year is no different, grim reapers. No princesses or fairies in our household, well at least I don't have to worry about skimpy costumes.

Last year it was Darth Vader and a Storm Trooper. I searched everywhere for the Darth Vader helmet and thankfully a friend had one. I think this was my favorite halloween costume duo. It just worked!

Scrapbook - Pirate Layout

I finished a 4 page pirate layout for pictures of a Pirates of the Caribean's Jack Sparrow show at Disney World which my son was a volunteer. I had a 8x10 photo and a 8x10 certificate to incorporate into the layouts. The set includes: Title Page, 2 page, Last page.

For the layout I used stamps for the title and stickers for the embellishments and a tag to journal. For the tag I used the chocolate chip stamping up stamp spot to color the edges and scraped it across the outer sides to dirty it up.

I used:
Karen Foster cardstock pirate stickers,

Rock n Roll clear stamps - brand name escapes me I got them at Micheals

Distressed Alphabet clear stamps by Kaiser Scrapbook

Stamping up ink spots:Chocolate chip and ruby red,

Textured 12x12 card stock and printed 12x12 card stock

Suri Cruise - $3 Million Wardrobe for a 3 Year Old?

I picked up the latest Hello magazine on a whim to see the pictures of Suri Cruise. Suri is cute, adorable and spoiled. It's great that Tom finally passed on his good looking genes into the gene pool and his little princess does not disappoint the cameras. I read the article and they all sound very happy, but are they raising Suri to be a selfish spoiled brat?

Her wardrobe alone puts her into a class all her own - $3.3 million. Can she even wear all those clothes? How many has she grown out of without ever putting on? What values are they teaching her? Life is all about shopping, what you wear, and how you look? They report with pride that she is a little fashionista who helps mom choose outfits. OK I can think of more things that would bring pride to a parent then she can dress herself and the clothes match. Big deal!

The Cruise mansion has a whole wing devoted to every whim and wish Suri has. It sounds like whatever Suri wants Suri gets whenever she wants it. Since Suri is a media gem and the other Cruise children were kept out of the lime light it is hard to remember she has siblings. Were they raised the same? If Suri has a wing for herself do they each have their own wing? If Suri's wardrobe is $3.3 million, how much have the other Cruise children wasted on excess?

If Suri's life is to play out in the public eye how will the Cruise princess turn out in her teen years? Her early 20s? Is there more then rampant consumerism in her life? She is a little doll and I can see how it would be hard not to give her everything and since they can, they do. I personally think excess in life is not a good thing for a child. It is hard for me to look at Suri's life and think "wow, what an amazing little girl she's turning out to be." It's more like "OMG what a shallow exhistance." It always amazes me how many people look up to the Paris Hilton's of this world thinking that is something to be proud of. If you want to emulate someone, Angelina Jolie looks great, has it all, cares about community, and is doing something to make this world a better place.

Work ethic is something learned by those who work for what they have, not those who are given everything. Daddy works hard and has a great work ethic, that is something to be passed on with pride. Time will tell if she can look beyond her self and play well with others or if she becomes another Paris Hilton.

Nutrition - How I Trick My Kids into Eating More Vegetables

Every mother wants their children to eat their vegetables, and I'm no different. Neither are my children, they don't want to eat the more nutrient packed types of foods like spinach and kale. So I work them into other foods so that they don't even know they are eating healthy.

Easy ways to get vegetables into kids:

V8 Fusion Juice
Ranch dip with carrots / celery / peppers
Peanut Butter dip with celery
Cheese Sauce on Broccoli

A way to sneak vegetables and other high nutrient foods into kids: Baking!

I buy quick oats and grind them with my coffee grinder to make flour and then substitute it for 1/2 (up to 1 C) of the white flour required.

I buy flax seed and grind them with my coffee grinder to make flour and substitute it for a 1/4 of the flour requirement and cut back on a bit of the fat. (trial and error) This add essential omega 3 to their diet for brain development and since both my kids are bright I'd say it worked!

I use a magic bullet type blender to blend spinach and kale with the required liquid to add vitamins and nutrients to the recipe. I drain the liquid and throw out the pulp. This only works IF it's a chocolate recipe and I add a bit of extra coca to cover up the green color. NOTE: don't blend a lot of the vegetable about 1/4 of the magic bullet blender cup and top up with the required liquid.

To chocolate chip cookie recipes I add craisons and dried blueberries for vitamins. I use the oat and flax flours with the white flour. Approx 1/2 white flour and the other 1/2 a mix of oat and flax flour.

I love recipes for banana breads, chocolate zucchini cake and fruit muffins. I use the oat and flax flours and add cranberries, dried raisins, dried blueberries, dried goji berries and whatever else I find in the kitchen.

Muffins are the easiest to make healthier. Not just with the flour substitutions but by substituting the butter for a canola oil or another high omega 3 oil. If a chocolate muffin then I blend spinach with the milk.

My favorite cookies to make are garbage cookies.... Take a basic oatmeal recipe add flax seeds, craisons, and throw in whatever else you have in the baking drawer to make them healthy then add lots of m&ms. They are good and healthy.

I use omega 3 brown eggs in all my baking.... the yolks are almost orange they are so packed full of nutrients.

Children need cholesterol for good brain development so don't worry about the fat content.

I use apple sauce in place of some of sugar and cut back on the butter a bit.

I grind up nuts to a flour so they don't know they are eating them. - This is only OK if your child doesn't like crunchy bits in baking and isn't allergic to nuts.

The best Muffin, Chocolate Zucchini cake and Banana Bread recipes are in the Best of Bridge books.

Today's One of Those "Blue" Days - How to Stay Happy as a Stay at Home Mom

Maybe it's the rain but I'm down in the dumps today. On days like this I get nothing done, am thinking very negatively, and don't want to move off the couch. One of the hardest parts of being a stay at home mom is the isolation, especially since we just moved to a new province and I don't know anyone. Maybe I need some "happy" pills or just a good night sleep.

Really I should be grateful, extremely grateful, that I have the life I do. Afterall, I have a roof over my head, food on the table, and two wonderful children. Yet, I'm still unmotivated and starting to have thoughts that are darker then I'd like them to be. If it was a matter of the negatives overwhelming me then I'd be able to combat these blues with a positives first attitude. That is listing out all that I'm am grateful for, concentrating on the positives of life before the negatives. However, it is not - it's just the "blues" for no reason, except perhaps boredom, lonliness, or lack of mental stimulation.

I started to search out other websites that claim to have the answer for stay at home moms to remain happy. Many people do not understand how someone who is home and has no demands outside their family could get down - but it does happen. One of the reasons mothers work outside the home is for their mental health, others stay home for the same reason. Everyone has bad days, everyone gets "blue," everyone needs coping tools, and everyone needs support.

How to stay Happy being a stay at home mom

Dr. Phil Stay at Home Mom Message Board

How to be a Stay at Home Mom

Happy Housewives Club

Counting Your Blessings

I should really take this opportunity that life has given me to enjoy being a stay at home mom and have a nap. If I waste a day I shouldn't really sweat it and give myself a break for not doing the laundry. Better yet, I think I'll pick up the phone and call my girlfriends back in Calgary - that is always the best medicine for days like these.

Nicole Ritchie Names Son Sparrow - What to Consider when Naming Your New Baby

Nicole Ritchie and Joel Madden are among a growing trend of passing unique names on to their offspring. What they haven't considered though is although it may be cute for a baby, how serious will they be considered as adults?

Whether we like it or not we all have a preconceived opinion of who based on their name. Whether someone is named, Brittney, Gertrude, Ashley, Margaret, or Apple, people form an opinion based on people they know or heard of with that name.

As an adult the Apples, Sparrows, Skis and Rains will have to put there name on a resume and carry on a career with these names.

What is your first impression when you hear the names Micheal, Hunter, Conner,?
What is your first impression when you hear the names Echo, Breese, Leaf, Iceland?

Can anyone spell your child's name or pronounce it properly when reading it? How frustrated will your child be when they have to constantly correct their teachers, employers, or employees? With the world relying on computers and the Internet to communicate with each other will others pronounce what they read correctly without the benefit of correction?

Will children make fun of their name? What if they shorten it, will you like the nickname? No matter how much we correct our son he still shortens his sister's name The other thing that we are discovering now is that people expected her to be a boy not a girl. Not so bad when your a girl but a boy with a girls name or a name that switches to a female name may be uncomfortable with it, ie Marion, Leslie, Lawrie, all are boys names usurped by the feminine.

Life is difficult enough without parents saddling you with a name you can't either live up to or live down. However, sometimes a name just fits and you can't get it out of your head and no other name seems as right.

Cool Baby Names

Scrapbook - Using Sandpaper to Age Scrapbook Paper and Photos

I crinckled the paper and brushed sandpaper over it lightly to enhance the creases and folds. I then used the sand paper on ripped edges of the photo to give the photo a more worn out look.

Scheduling My Time to Get Stuff Done!!! So Much To Do and Not Enough Time

I am trying to get a hold of my time so that I am not wasting it and getting more done around the house. My goal right now is to make sure there is enough healthy food available to make lunches easily and after school grab n go snacks. By organizing tasks into blocks of time I can be more efficient.

Monday's I get all my shopping for the week done. I'm out of the house all day driving from one store to the next and then spend the rest of the day putting everything away.

Tuesday's I bake and prep food for the freezer or into snack packs for the kids. I just bought a Rival Seal a Meal,*** I plan on getting more prepping done to make cooking meals the rest of the week easier. I bake a lot on Tuesday's so that I'm cleaning up the mess once and utilizing ingredients for more then one receipe.

Wednesday's I clean the main level of the house and do laundry. I'm not very good at cleaning so it does take me a lot longer then most people. Laundry seems to be never ending but the bulk of it gets done.

Thursday's I book any appointments the kids need, ie doctor, dentist, activities, etc. I use this time to plan meals for next week, organize time and stuff... the rest of the day is "me" time.

Friday I clean the upper level and get the rest of the laundry done.

Not sure how this system is going to work out. I have a friend who plans out her time this way and seems to get everything done, is not stressed out, and stays in budgets. If I look at being a stay at home mom the same way I organize myself when I'm a working mom I should be able to save money, have healthy food on hand, and get everything done. Well, maybe......

*** After using up the whole roll trying to get a handle on the Rival Seal a Meal I have decided that it is good for freezing meat and that's about it. When I buy a large amount of meat, ie a warehouse pack or a huge chunk of beef from Costco, it will keep portions frozen better. If I ever get ambitious enough I can add marinade before I seal it, although it would become very messy when the air vacums out - so maybe not.

Volunteering my time for my Children

I get myself into moments of manic and I start to over book and over commit myself. I just left the latest PAC meeting for my kids school and I voluntered for 2 committees, I had to leave the room to stop myself from committing to more. I need a project, something to focus on, something to occupy my time and utilize my skills. Keeping it to one is the problem, there is so much need for parents to step up to the plate and make the school a much better place for our kids.

I'd love to say this is a problem resulting from more mothers going to work and not having the time to volunteer but that's not true. I remember my mom always complaining that the same group of parents volunteered while the rest complained and didn't help out. That was 30 some odd years ago and most moms were stay at home moms.

If you are a stay at home mom with the future goal of going back to work volunteering is the perfect way to do something for your kids and keep your skills sharp. It looks great on your resume when you show that you continued to utilize and hone your employable skills while you were home. It also shows that you are a good worker, a valuable asset, and a community oriented employee.

What do you think would be more valuable on a resume when you try to get back into the workforce: 1) a block of time at home 2) a block of time at home where you used marketable skills outside the home.

The skills a mother uses in the home are valuable, but to many employers they don't value them the same as out of the home skills. Volunteering while you are staying at home shows that you are able to manage both taking care of your family and completing other commitments (such as future employment).

So volunteer - help out - show your children what it means to care about more then yourself.

I just finished picking my kids up to have another - will you volunteer - request because I did such a great job volunteering last time. Just how much time do I want to spend in my daughter's class every week????

Scrapbook - Aging Process to add a Antiqued Element to Your Page

My favorite Scrapbook technique is aging to create an antique or old fashioned look. This picture was taken with a Canon Rebel 35 mm camera with black and white film. The lighting in the room created this old fashion feeling picture. In order to enhance this I took a quote on cream/beige coloured card stock, ripped the edges and then used some brown chalk to create a dirty time weathered appearance on the card stock.

There are lots of aging products on the market that make it easy to create an antiqued look to your paper craft projects. I used what I had on hand at the time and liked the result.

So Far Behind I Can See My Big Butt!

To start your day off so frustrated and annoyed with all the choase around me and not enough sleep is the worst way to start a day. I still have boxes to unpack and since my husband has yet to re assemble most of the furniture I have no where to put most of the stuff, including the kids clothes. After months of living in boxes my patience for disorganized choase has finally worn itself out.

The kids have a lot to do with my frustration level today, they've always been hard to get out of bed and get going in the morning and today was no different. I ended up yelling and my daughter ended up in tears. Tears work on her daddy and her brother but not on mommy when mommy has had it with her antics. After 10 minutes without a response or even a look in her direction she finally picked out clothes and got dressed while laughing and talking to her big brother. I got to say her crying to get her way bit is pissing me off to the enth degree.

If this morning is any indication of how the rest of my day is about to go I may as well go straight back to bed. Considering the rain outside that may not be such a bad idea, afterall I'm behind already what's another day!

Working Mom or Stay at Home Mom - Which is Better? Part 1

Today Dr. Phil pitted stay at home mom's against those who work outside the home. I've been both and if I could, I would work outside the home again - in a heart beat. I didn't get to watch much of the show, had to take the kids to their Wednesday activity. What I did see was no surprise, women who believe what they have chosen is the right choice and those that make the opposite have chosen wrong. Why is it that some feel it is their right to decide for others?

Could it be that those who are most vocal about others making the wrong choice are unsure of the choice they have made for themselves? I can't say what's the best choice for kids but I can tell you what the benefits and downfalls of being both are.

Stay at home mom's have more time to do everything they need to do, but they have to do everything. Days merge into each other and I feel that I never accomplishing anything. I always feel like I'm behind the eight ball and every time I start to get ahead I end up two steps back. Since I rarely have anywhere to be and see adults very infrequently I spend too much time in comfortable clothes and with my hair in a pony tail, taking care of me is a luxury I just don't have any money or energy for. Since I'm home my husband expects to have to do less around the house because I have the time, after all I'm home all day. My days are filled with laundry, cooking, baking, organizing, planning, and driving the kids everywhere. I feel like I don't get anything done because I'm doing so much at once and there is always a distraction or two.

Benefits of being a stay at home mom(SAHM):

1. When I'm staying home with my children, my life revolves around them and for them. I am a part of their lives, I get to share more of myself with them and they with me.

2. I have time to ensure they get to activities, although I don't always have the money to enroll them, but I do get to watch them and I'm always there when they need me.

3. I am able to cook healthy meals and bake healthy (or not so healthy) snacks in lieu of pre packaged food.

4. I have formed bonds with my kids that no one else could and I am able to make them know without a doubt that they are the most important thing in my life.

5. One of the perks is that I get to have lots of hugs, kisses and cuddles everyday, whenever I need them.

6. I have more time to meet my friends for coffee on a regular basis.

7. I have time to scrapbook my family memories and tend my garden.

The Downside:

1. I do loose touch with what is going on in the workplace and I have fallen behind in my career. It made it really hard when I went back to work to accept that there were younger people who were above me in the corporate ladder.

2. It is isolating to be home everyday, all day with my children. It can be hard to feel as though I'm contributing to society or doing something important with my life. I watch others in the news doing so much, being so much, and I am jealous.

3. Some days I feel as though I've lost my "Self" and I'm not sure who I am or what I want for myself. My days are filled with caring for others helping to define their sense of "Self."

Being a stay at home mom is hard, especially for those women who thrive in the workplace. For those who thrive taking care of their family, their home, and their children Staying home with their children is where they thrive. That is why neither option is the right choice for everyone, everyone is different, every family is different, every child is different, and every situation is different. It comes down to why the choices are made and if they are made in the best interest of the child how can anyone fault a mother for making either choice?

Thanksgiving a Time to be Thankful

I can't believe its Thanksgiving again, every year is beginning to blur into the next. I am looking forward to today though, it going to be nice just a few family members at the family home. Usually its a whole slew of 2nd and 3rd cousins out at the cabin, which is nice too, but considering the way life has been going lately less is more. Its just nice to get away from the unpacking and disarray of our lives right now into the safety of home.

I am lucky I have a mother who loves to cook and she enjoys taking care of her family. For all the difficulties we seem to have as mother and daughter, I know that she is always there.

My children are my biggest blessing and I am so fortunate that they love each other so openly and unconditionally. My mother-in-law thinks they are too close but I think that's a good thing. They need to know that the other one will be there for them no matter what. How many siblings can say that they can count on each other?

Everyone has been blessed by God, however we spend so much time focusing on what we don't have, what others do have, and how misfortune has darkened our doorways that we can't see what is right in front of us. Our family learned the lesson of appreciation lately and how relative it is.

We sold our beautiful home to move 12 hours away to a much more expensive market. Everything we looked at, everything we put an offer on, was less than what we had and cost $ 150 000 more. We rented an old crappy duplex for the summer because it was in the same neighbourhood as the home we had an accepted offer on. When the offer fell through and we had to spend September in the old place too our family was stressed and unhappy. We tried to purchase another home in the area but with the market boiling over, every offer we submitted was rejected in favor of a competing bid. We finally found a rental that cost more but would provide us with a more perminate home until we found a house to purchase.

Everyone in the family was so thrilled to find this place, move in, and were so greatful to have found something that met our needs. Overnight the mood in our home went from depression to elation and our son finally was happy to be at the coast. Thing is, if we had moved from our house in Calgary to this home we would have been frustrated with it. We wouldn't have been grateful to be paying more to live there, we needed the experience in the dump to transition us to less for more. For that we can be grateful for the extra month there.

In Canada and the US no matter what we are going through, where we are living, or what we have we can be grateful. We live here and not in a third world country struggling to find a crumb, a morsel, a handout to survive. We have so much and yet we all feel we do not have enough. Compared to 90% of the world, we all have everything and for that we should be thankful.

Relocating and Personality Change in my 10 Year Old Boy

I am a bad mother, at least I feel like one. Every good mother at one time or another feels that choices she has made are the wrong ones, resulting in devastation for her children. Uprooting the family and transporting them to Vancouver, BC just before my son entered grade 5 is one of those times. Had we moved just one year earlier then things would have been easier for him. Grade 5 is that time when children start caring about friends, brand names, and fitting in. My son's fears about making new friends and not fitting in has made this glaringly clear, so much so I feel like I am a bad mother.

My 10 year old son, my precious baby, is very outgoing, extremely extroverted and makes friends easily. His personality is usually a magnet to other boys who constantly find themselves at our doorstep. It is not unusual for him to bring home a new friend he met at the park or just outside our door. It's his energy, his sense of humour, and his attitude that attract many different types of boys to orbit around him waiting for his attention. At times he gets overwhelmed and shuts the door for alone time to recharge his batteries from the drain of others demands. This is why I didn't worry about him when we decided to move.

This summer there was a change in him, he became worried about fitting in, what others thought about him, carrying about brand names and interests. He began to hide his magnetic personality behind a facade of a cool standoffish personality. He started to emulate what he thought "cool" boys are and then was upset when he didn't make new friends right away. He seemed to be uncomfortable in his own skin and unsure of every decision, every thought, and of his real "self". It was heart breaking to watch, I just wanted to grab him and crack this new shell into a million pieces so my happy go lucky boy would come back to me.

Every walk resulted in distance between us, especially if other kids were around as he retreated further into his new "cool" personality. I would watch him look at other kids, scared that he wouldn't measure up, afraid to approach them, and looking so stiff. It broke my heart, I wanted to gather him up in a hug and make it all go away, but of course that would have only made things worse for him. I felt him falling away from me building more and more walls that I couldn't get through, resulting in a lonley place for him - isolated behind what he thought would be "cool" behavior.

I broke through on one such occasion when we were hurrying into the school for a meeting and I didn't have the patience for his slow "cool" pace to put more distance between us. I was getting angry and had enough of his attitude but instead of freaking out on him I wanted to distance myself from him. I turned, looked at him and loudly stated, "on the way home we'll swing by the mother exchange center and you can get a new mom that your not embarrassed of but for now move it." He laughed, he actually laughed and caught up to me and said, "I don't want a new mommy, I love my mommy." I'm not sure why this worked but it did.

It has taken time but he's making friends at school, in activities, and at the local rec center. He still isn't the same boy who left Calgary, AB, but he's more himself lately. I can only hope that this experience will help him love his real "self" and he'll understand how wonderful he is and this "cool" attitude will be a thing of the past. I realize he is growing up and that part of the process is to grow away from me, that's the hardest part for me, watching my baby distance himself from me for the perceived benefit of other kids. God give me patience and help me to be there for him when he needs me and to give him space when he doesn't.

Disney Trip Scrapbook Title Embellishment

I wanted to make my families Disney Vacation scrapbook unique by utilizing various disney scrapbook products with stamp supplies to create titles that stand out.

Disney stickers
Various alphabet stamps
Stamping Ink
Versa Mark
Embossing powder
Gold Pen


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