Archive for January, 2012

This little boy!

Yesterday morning we were all hanging out in bed before getting ready for school. The boys had nursed and James was reading a Berenstein Bears book to Ethan. Ashley and Caitlin had drifted to our bed for a snuggle and to listen.

Sean was sitting on me in the bed, playing his new game of ‘let’s try to stick a finger up mammy’s nose’. I dodged and we both laughed. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Well, I wasn’t laughing for long this morning. I got distracted by a section in the story James was reading. Sean seized his chance and plunged into my nostril with his sharp little nail (note to self: Keep. Those. Lethal. Weapons. Trimmed!). It caused quite a gusher.

Our whole family leaped into action. James helped me from bed to bathroom with tissues and then did a lightning fast online search on his phone for a solution (that’s my problem-solving man!). Ashley raced downstairs to ‘get the pink piggy’ (a phrase we use alot around here). Then we spent the next 15 minutes in the bathroom waiting for the blood to clot.

We all quite enjoyed hanging out in the bathroom together. It was Caitin who pointed out how we were all hanging out together again in an unusual place. Yesterday we all somehow drifted to the boys bedroom and hung out there together on the bean bag and floor before dinner.

When the excitement was over James discovered that Sean had finally gotten his hands after an oft sought after prize. He had managed to reach, and topple over, my glass of water beside our bed. He must have been very pleased to get his hands on that while we were all occupied with my nose. I could almost here the sound of glee travel through time to mock us.

And then at the breakfast table, while Ashley helped make lunch and James made breakfast, while Caitlin made me a cup of tea and Ethan snuggled up to me inquiring several times “are you alright now mum?”, Sean struck again. This time he covered himself and the table with apple sauce.

Be warned all: don’t take your eye of this guy for a minute!

Oh, and you might want to have one of these ready in your freezer:

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I find menu planning and using my menu board very helpful to me and the rest of the family during the week. James and I chose and bought the menu board together shortly after Sean was born. I was in a bit of a slump food wise and it helped bring back my enthusiasm for cooking.

I used to change my menu board for each meal. Now I find that if I write the list of dinners for the week on it I can glance at it quickly during the day and remember what I need to do for dinner prep. James and the girls like to look at the board to get a feel for what to expect for the week ahead (both to anticipate and steel themselves depending on whether the meal is a favorite or not!)

Chicken Supreme, Steamed Rice, Baby Peas

Chili con Carne, Steamed Rice, Broccoli

Chicken Kievs, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans and Corn

Beef Casserole, Irish Brown Soda Bread

Broiled Lamb Chops, Homemade Chips (French Fries), Baby Peas and Carrots

Chicken Nuggets, Rotelle Pasta (Wheels) with Choice of Sauce, Broccoli and cauliflower

Breaded Chicken and Sunday Veggies (Roast and Mashed Potatoes, Baby Peas and Brussel Sprouts)

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“Do less and feel more.” –Cheryl Richardson.

After I wrote the Monday Musings post last week, I had a night when one of my children woke me up just as I had fallen asleep, which them completely destroyed my ability to go back to sleep. To add to the situation I started feeling disappointed and frustrated because I had actually gotten to bed with lights out a lot earlier than usual. I had been so pleased as I turned out the lights because I’ve been wanting to get more sleep.

I lay in bed for a couple of hours trying to fall asleep again with no success. I found my head filling with thoughts of things I wanted to get done. Then I felt an increase in anxiety that I’ve discovered is really an adrenaline rush as my body prepares for the actions that are filling up in my mind.

This is when I realized that I was moving to action and not just staying in my head, but it was happening when I was supposed to be sleeping. Not good! My solution to most problems is to first have a cup of tea. So I got up, took my pillow and my favorite quilt to our library, made a cup of decaf earl grey tea and watched a DVD I own called Creating Abundance by life coach Cheryl Richardson.

As some of you may know I have been on an extended sabbatical from my career as a counselor and life coach since the birth of my children. J I have enjoyed reading Cheryl’s books and blog and watching her speak in public. I even had the pleasure of meeting and interacting with Cheryl when Ashley was just a few months old (wow, that was 9 years ago!) However it has been a few years since I’ve read or watched any of her work.

There are certainly some gems in what she shares as she coaches and for me the gem for that particular night was “do less and feel more”. It was the perfect time to hear that one! It is good for me to feel more than act. I can get caught up in plans and responsibilities and miss what I’m really feeling, or what other people I love are feeling.

Experiencing anxiety in bed at night because my thoughts are driving me to act is a good example of when not to act. Those are the moments that are best dealt with by acknowledging the feelings and then curling up comfortably on a sofa and listening to a gifted and inspiring public speaker while I sip my tea.

Action would only have fed my anxiety (although I bet I would have gotten a lot done in the wee hours of the night). Instead, I just waited until the adrenaline ran its course and the anxiety passed. I reminded myself that I have time for the things that are priorities in my life right now and if I don’t have time to do some things, then they just won’t get done.

Now along with my motto of:

and my caveat of:

I can add Cheryl’s:

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On Fridays I take part in Food Waste Friday, hosted by Kristen over at The Frugal Girl. It’s a way to use public accountability to reduce the amount of food wasted in our homes. It’s proving quite effective 🙂

Firstly, what do you think of the snazzy new logo above for the Food Waste Friday posts? It is courtesy of the The Frugal Girl. One of her readers, Jen over at Dear Mommy Brain,  sent her the code so that she could share it with us.

And now for the almost fabulous, but really tragically heartbreaking, news

I thought this was going to be a zero waste week. I almost made it last week.

I looked though my fridge last night, designated the last of the leftovers for lunches and snacks today. We polished off the leftovers and I cleaned the fridge today, rejoicing in the feeling of zero food waste.

(You all know this isn’t going to have a happy ending, right?)

Then I pulled out my container with bread dough from the fridge. I was all excited to make delicious artisan bread to go with dinner this evening. I opened the lid to discover heartbreak (those of you who are squeamish look away now!):

All I can think is that something must have contaminated the dough before I put the lid on.

I am crushed 😦

Roll on February. I will keep trying…

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Earlier this week I shared how I am savoring the joy in our days more lately. I was very luck to capture this moment. Sean really cracks himself (and us) up with his newest skill. Enjoy!


Note: If you click on the image it will take you to the video clip in my Picassa gallery. It should play automatically over there. If you wish to pause or resume just click on the image again over there.

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I am currently creating a cookbook containing all our family’s favorite breakfast and baked goods. My goal is to give a copy of the book to each of my children when they eventually leave home and move out into the world. There is nothing like favorite childhood food to comfort you as an adult. As I create a new entry for this cookbook I will post the recipe here to share with you all. I hope you will enjoy it too 🙂

(And if any of you have any questions about how I create the pages using my digital scrapbooking software StoryBookCreator 4 by Creative Memories, please leave your question(s) in the comments section and I’ll do my best to answer them.)


The recipe page for Oatmeal Raisin Cookies is finished. I am very pleased with getting another page completed.

There are close up images of the recipe just below the cookbook page image, so be sure to scroll down if you’d like to easily read the recipe itself.

Previous Recipe Pages:

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Oatmeal Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

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“It’s only possible to live happily-ever-after on a day-to-day basis.” –Margaret Bonnano

Continuing with my desire to live, laugh and love and to engage in action more than analysis I have been trying to live more in the moments of each day.

I’m noticing moments when it is important for me to stop what I’m doing and engage with my family, whether it is to really listen to what they are saying, play that game they want to play with me or read the book that we have been enjoying together.

Sometimes I get so caught up in the responsibilities of caring for my family that I forget to be part of the family.

I am trying to remember that in just another few years I probably won’t be able to carry my daughters, who are 9 and 7, to bed or give them jockey backs (or piggy backs J). So now when they are extra tired or feeling a little unwell, and ask me to carry them, I do.

In just a few more years my sons won’t make the same level of deep, adoring, and prolonged eye contact with me as they do now. I missed when that change occurred in my girls and want to savor it now while I can.

When I find myself thinking about something that I want from my relationship with my husband that I might not be getting, I am trying to determine what he may want or need that I’m not giving. This is a great strategy for me to get out of my head and act.

With so many days of snow last week our whole family was home together. Although James had to work from home, we did seize opportunities throughout our days to enjoy being together whether outside in the snow or all six of us singing and dancing as we cleaned up after dinner.

It feels so good to notice all the moments when our family is interacting well. It is so easy to focus on squabbles and forget that they are not the majority of our experience even if they are some of the loudest!!!

I guess what it comes down to is that I am savoring the joy more.

Are you living happily-ever-after today?  I know I am.

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