Sunday, September 27, 2015

"You're so embarrassing mom!"

Do you know how easy it is to embarrass a tween?  I took my girls up to Calgary last weekend to stay at my sister's for a visit.  While we were there I pointed out locations of places I used to frequent when we lived in Calgary such as: "That's Glenmore Reservoir where I used to train and compete in Dragon Boat races", or "That's the neighborhood where I used to go for my Flamenco dance class".

My 10 year old was mostly silent and when I asked her what was wrong she said, "Why do you have to do such weird and embarrassing things?!" Parenting win.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Banishing Brown From My House

I like colour. And although many people have beautiful homes with neutral browns and greys, I prefer to surround myself with colour and light, especially as our winters are so long and dark. I don't mind the cold of winter, but hate the constant darkness.

This weekend Mike is patching and painting our downstairs hallway, which actually starts in our mainfloor kitchen. Mike is a bit of a perfectionist, so he thoroughly scraped, patched & sanded all the surfaces as well as removing a door and all the hardware from one doorway.

When we moved into our house it had a grand total of 4 different colours of greige/taupe/brown in a variety of finishes, and often a satin finish was used to patch an eggshell wall. Not only that, but the walls were filled with nail holes and gouges.  Mike painted the girl's rooms before we moved in and has been steadily working away at the rest of the house since then.

Once this hallway is painted we will only have one more room to paint in order to completely banish the unwanted brown from our house - the downstairs family room.

Here are the colours of our house now.  I've tried to include pictures of each room if I have one.

Living Room/Dining Room/Upstairs Hallway: Martha Stewart Beach Grass

Master Bedroom: Glidden Gentle Tide. This is a really hard colour to show in pictures.  It photographs as a grey-blue, but in reality is everything from a warm aquamarine to a pale blue depending on the light.  It is almost identical to Benjamin Moore Palladian Blue.

Oldest daughter's room: Pittsburgh Paint Honeydew Melon.

Youngest daughter's room: Pittsburgh Paint Coral Flower

The kitchen walls and cabinets and the whole house's baseboards are all Behr Vermont Cream.

Somehow looking at these colours in the photos doesn't do them justice.  I'm not much of a photographer and that probably doesn't help. I also realize that every computer monitor shows colour differently, and every person sees colour differently.

I'm so particular about the colours I choose, it literally took me 6 months to choose the white that we used for our baseboards & trim, and I waffled for about a year on the exact colour of green that I chose for the living room & dining room.  It worked out for the best though; when I was choosing the colour of white for my kitchen walls and to colour-match my cabinets, I already knew what my favourite colour of white was and the decision was easy.

I've chosen the colour of our basement family room when we eventually get around to doing it - Periwinkle:

Sunday, June 28, 2015

This is England

I've been sick for forever.  I had strep throat and then managed to catch a wicked cold while on my fifth day of antibiotics.  I'm just coming out of it now.  I took this opportunity to watch the original movie and the following series' of "This is England". Thank you to all the YouTube users who took the time to upload all the series.

What can I say? It's amazing.  It's gritty and real. The characters are multi-dimensional and complex. It touches on friendship, love, family - the one you're born into and the one you make for yourself - pretty much everything that matters.

I laughed, I cried, I discovered the saddest and most beautiful song I have ever heard, Dogwood Blossom by Fionn Regan.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Jolene - Three Ways

You know how you see recipes that say things like "Zucchini - Three Ways"? Well here is the song "Jolene" three ways.  I had never heard this song before I was married, but my husband got me hooked on it. For some reason I've been really into it again lately.

The original:

In case you mistakenly thought that Miley Cyrus can't sing and is a total pop music construct:

Hey Ocean! has a song of the same name, that talks about the original song, while not being a cover:

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

It gets busier (if you mistakenly thought it gets easier)

I've done it before myself, seen a mom with a couple of toddlers and a newborn, or a set of Irish twins (or triplets) and said "oh my, you have your hands full". And they do, and I did, and probably so do you. But what no one tells us before we have kids, is that the busyness of babies and toddlers, while tiring, is nothing compared to the full-on non-stop day-in-day-out hectic schedules of school-age children.

Before I had kids I worked full-time, and I imagined life after the birth of my daughter as a calm and relaxed lifestyle, with leisurely coffee dates with friends while my baby slept in her stroller. Instead, I had a colicky baby with reflux who never stopped crying or nursing, day or night. I couldn't leave the house with her. Then when she was three I had another baby. I had two kids who tag teamed getting up at night (and still do). The only thing that got me through sometimes, was imagining the day that they would sleep through the night and go to school for a portion of the day.

Then a month before my youngest started kindergarten, I started a new 20 hour a week job (which, surprise!, is often more than 20 hours a week). I was sure that I could easily juggle work, kids, my volunteer commitments, and running a household while still pursuing a creative life. Was I ever naive. I have immense respect for full-time working mothers, and even more for those of you who are full-time working single mothers. To spout a cliche: I don't know how you do it.

You think it's going to get easier, but the busyness of babies and toddlers is multiplied and transformed into a schedule no longer of your own design as they get older and involved in more activities. Suddenly you're eating in the car while driving kids from one event to another. Or trying to cram a quick trip to the store for milk and bread between work and picking up the kids from school (because you've realized there's no bread for sandwiches for lunches the next day or milk for breakfast). There are always a million forms from school to read & sign (at least that's what it feels like). Then, just when you think you have a handle on your schedule, the random extra events pop up, like music festival, science fair, specialist appointments and field trips or work gets heavy and suddenly you find yourself trying to jam a bunch of extra stuff into limited hours. Or, as I experienced last week, both your kids come down with viruses and then one gets pink-eye just to top it off.

Honestly, I've come to believe that families with children under the age of 18 need one full-time stay-at-home parent in order for a household to run smoothly and efficiently.