Wonderful Winter Solstice!

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I have left my prostrate position from deep inside the Peady Plague pool of powerlessness to wish you all a wonderful Winter Solstice.

It’s the shortest day of the year and while, to some, this might be one of the hardest days before Christmas – and in the middle of Hanukkah – to find any cheer at all, because lets face it the darks make the SADs so much worse, to me the shortest day of the year is reason to celebrate.

Why? Because you know what happens the very next day? That’s right! The days begin to get longer and longer days mean more daylight and more daylight means more sunshine and more sunshine means more Peady Powers because – in case it isn’t abundantly clear – I am 100% solar powered!

Just like WALL-E*.

So yay!

May this be a wonderful Winter Solstice and may the coldest season of the year find you filled with peace, love and joy, surrounded by people who love, respect and support you in all that you do! To warmth in winter and coziness in cold and cheer in the bleak midwinter.

I wish all these things for you!

*Seriously! How awesome is Spydergrrl? So awesome!

Source: http://www.emanoncreations.com/data/media/215/winter_solstice_wp_01.jpg

Time Crunch.

Chalkboard mugs are very happy-making!

 

 

I have about 20 minutes to post this.

It will be short and sweet*.

I am quite literally feeling the time crunch.

 

The first Monday after Daylight Savings Time ends can be rough, but we all survived the day from beginning to end with nary a freak out. I am very happy about the way the Things have gotten better at adjusting to the whole “Spring forward. Fall back.” each year.

I remember how challenging it was when they were teeny. It felt like they would never “get” it.

Just like all the other molehills that a parent can easily turn into mountains, it just seems to eventually work out.

More often than not, these days especially, the grown ups remain calm and the Things follow suit.

Thank goodness for that!

 

10 minutes! *deep breath*

Remain calm.

 

Monday was mellow, but very productive.

The combination of a very lazy weekend and the snow storm happening in a neighbouring province was a terrific motivator.

I had my coffee in the very happy-making chalkboard mug you see up there and was all set to get stuff done.

I managed to find snow pants for Thing 2. So challenging to find!

I bought a pair in the right colour, but too small a size. Another that was the right size, but wrong colour. I was seeing flurries. It was really not the time to get all persnickety about perfection. (A downfall of mine, but I digress …) The girl needed snow pants and she needed them yesterday!

We tried them on after school and decided that we could try one more store after supper just on the off chance they had one purple pair left. If they did? Great. If not? The fitting ones would win, regardless of their colour.

 

Long story short?

After getting stuck in a really horrendous traffic jam while picking up Daddy-O and arriving back home way later than usual, I whipped up a yummy supper which we happily devoured and cleaned up after and then it was very late. Very nearly too late to take a Thing out to a department store to find snow pants.

What should we do? Are you getting sleepy? Are you sure? Okay then, let’s go!

So, we were off to will a pair of purple snow pants into existence.

And we did.

We got the last pair of purple snow pants in Thing 2’s size and she was positively giddy with joy.

 

Never mind that I currently have three pairs of snow pants in my bedroom right this minute. We got the pants!

 

Time’s up!

*whew*

 

 

*Just like me! *snorks*

This is Planet Hoth

Oh, April darling. You are the funniest month yet. I just can’t get enough of your amazing sense of humour and jovial, bringing-all-the-yuks-all-the-time ways.*

Yes. It is April Fool’s Day. Yes. Atlantic Canada is having another spring storm. Oh, I know that it’s “winter” weather, but a few days ago in a brief moment of clarity, in the 35 minute window of calm, before yet another storm front, a friend decided maybe Spring was feeling snubbed with all the “Winter” storm reporting and was merely waiting for a mention, to take its place in the limelight, so I stopped saying winter. Yes. Even though there was a blizzard blowing outside my window.

Did it work?

It totally did!

APRIL FOOLS!!!

Of course it didn’t work, because this winter is NEVER going to end. EVER!

We are at home yet again. It’s Tuesday. That’s a refreshing change** from Wednesday, isn’t it? The school buses were cancelled and as per our policy*** so, too, was school.

We knew there would be freezing rain today, but we really didn’t believe it would be followed by more snow and blowing snow and falling snow and snowing snow and snow snow snow snow snow! Oops! Sorry. Forgive me. It’s all been a bit much to handle.

Thank goodness for Things who know how to entertain themselves****, a husband who can work from home when the weather is stormy and a sense of humour that is firmly in place, because otherwise I would absolutely be adopting hermitage as a valid life choice. I live pretty close to the edge of hermitage, these days, anyway. I mean, it’s not like I can go anywhere in this yucky weather and we have enough cereal for a Seinfeld episode, so we won’t starve. Maybe we should just take that final leap?

 

 

Meanwhile, life on Hoth is not all that bad.

It’s always bright.

There’s no shortage of ice for our drinks.

We hear the Tauntauns are arriving any day now.

So far no one has been frozen to the ceiling.

 

I’m just going to wait here for Han Solo to rescue me.

 

So, how was the weather where you live today?

Please tell me it was spring-like.

Like Obi-Wan, you might be my only hope!

 

*Lilith Sternin implied.

**There has been a “weather event” every Wednesday since December (pretty much) in The Maritimes.

***It’s in the manifesto!

****There was a Disney Channel marathon, some CPU time, an awesome animal rescue invention building session, some reading, a game of “Guess Who? Mix n’ Mash”, and a rousing game of “Can You Escape?”. Yup.

And snow on and snow forth…

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March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb. Oh, yeah. Suuuuuure it does.

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A very blustery view. Thankful to be inside, safe and warm.

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I had such hope for these planters and solar lights. *sighs*

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As the day went on, the buildings across the street began to vanish.

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The snow doesn’t usually cover the patio this way. You can (maybe) see evidence of the plow, but that was gone pretty quickly.

*sings* This is the storm that never ends, yes it goes on and on my friends. Some clou-ouds started snowing it not knowing what it was and they’ll continue snowing it forever just because…. This is the storm that never ends, yes it goes on and on my friends. Some clou-ouds started snowing it not knowing what it was and they’ll continue snowing it forever just because…. This is the storm that never ends, yes it goes on and on my friends. Some clou-ouds started snowing it not knowing what it was and they’ll continue snowing it forever just because…. This is the storm that never ends…

{There will be a *very* short video of the blizzard here as soon as it’s processed by YouTube. One assumes there is a backlog of blizzard, snowpocalypse, snowmageddon, sprinter videos for poor YouTube to process. That’s okay, YouTube. I understand.}

*head desk*

It is now 12:45 AM and the blizzard still blows.

The only question on my mind at the moment is whether or not Thing 1 and Thing 2 will have school later today. I am predicting a repeat snow day.

What do you think?

 

Let’s get our “buts” in check, so we can get our “butts” in gear!

‘Scuse me while I kiss the sky!

Or eat some Ruffles.

Or don’t go for a walk.

Or maybe skip breakfast.

Or just sit here all day.

Winter has gone on far too long this year, but guess what! In a few weeks it will be warmer and sunnier and I will want to feel better than I do right now and ALL the aforementioned things that may or may not have happened (Who’s to say, really?) over the winter will come running back to me and haunt me with all the woulda, coulda, shoulda uselessness of hindsight. Oh, hindsight! Why must you be 20/20? You are such a jerk!

But! (No no…  it’s okay… this time. Really. I’m going somewhere here.)

It’s not too late! We have time to make a positive change*. You. Me. All of us! We have to start today, though. Right this minute, even.

I will use the body I have to get the body I want. I don’t need a gym. No one needs a gym. Right? I do have Peady Powers after all.

I know what to eat to fuel me. I know that being happy is a choice. I know that going outside as often as possible is good for my brain. I know that the ONE thing I can do today and everyday that I have been avoiding is moving. Oh sure, I can run and play with my kids and I can walk really, really far, but I want to be able to just move more and better as I get older. I don’t want to feel hindered by my age or attitude. I know age is inevitable. I know my attitude is a positive one. The trouble is, I lack confidence in my body and its ability to grow old gracefully.

For instance, right now I know I have committed to do something and I know it will be good for me and won’t take much time, but I am sore. Good sore, mind you, but sore nonetheless. So I have to talk myself into doing it**. Telling you is helping. (Thanks!) I am going to do it though. Right now. I’ll be back. (*pfft* As if you’d know! You just have to trust me… )

My friend Sheila is a licenced Zumba instructor and has a sincere interest in all things fitness. She is a great influence and a staunch supporter in my quest for better health. She wasn’t always the fitness enthusiast she is today. She has her own journey and reasons for taking charge of her health. We have been friends for a decade or so and we have been witness to lots of life’s ups and downs – including those of the scale variety. I asked her if I could use a quote of hers for this post and being the awesome person she is, of course, she said yes.

“My wake up moment was when I decided I was too young to feel that way. I was not willing to give in to all the little things. I wanted more out of life and I refused to accept all those little discomforts as just part of aging. Yes it’s part of aging if you don’t take care of your body.

I am hitting reboot on my eating habits and exercising. Don’t worry. I haven’t gone too bonkers. I just need to be healthier and there’s no time like the present, right? I am at a place in my life where I need to feel empowered and strong. I have some pretty amazing support. A best friend who will help me to get out and walk as often as possible, a group or two of like-minded people sharing ideas, successes and advice, and a faraway friend who is on her own mission to keep healthy, even as time keeps reminding us of its constant passing.

I am a firm believer of everything in moderation – including moderation!

Honestly, I am. Sort of. Wait. Do the Ruffles count? Oh, never mind. The point is there’s change in the air and I am ready to not only embrace it, but I am also willing and able to cheer you on, too!

So, maybe, just maybe we can get our buts in gear, get our butts in gear AND get our butts in gear! I say we give it a go! Who’s with me?

Have you been taking care of yourself this winter?

*There’s always time for positive change, by the way. Always.

**I did it. I promise.

March Breakin’!

We worked so hard. We studied and tried our best. We did our homework and learned lots of new stuff. We woke up on Mondays and went out bravely into the cold even though there were some days when it was physically painful to do so. We had our hair brushed and braided. We were on time for band. We made healthy lunches (or, at the very least, interesting ones). We suffered through cold and flu season and survived. We finally made it! Yippity biscuits! It’s March Break!

*blink blink*

Now what?

March Break Mug

Monday morning coffee in a customizable mug. LEGO! (Bonus: Math book)

Well, first of all a healthy dose of relaxation is in order. That is what the weekend is for, in my not so humble opinion, and we relaxed as much as we could knowing we didn’t have the same obligations we usually do, to be up and at ’em, come Monday. There is something so glorious about the Sunday before March Break “officially” starts. We were mellow. There was no acute case of the “Sunday Stresses”. It’s a beautiful thing, I tell you.

Yesterday was great! We had a day free of scheduling and just relaxed and spent time together as a family. We played an epic game of LEGO Champion, had a simple lunch,  went outside into the sun (and cold!) to play at a local park close to the water (well, it’s still ice actually, but I digress..) – we even invented a new game while we were there! Then we went grocery shopping (Yes all four of us! Crazy, I know, but it works for us.) for the week and came home to prepare dinner. We really kept it simple because everyone needs to minimize stress, not just the “students”.

After dinner there was time to do whatever we wanted on our own before we all got jammified and ready to watch our feature presentation. Thing 1 had some CPU time with Daddy-O, Thing 2 watched a TV show and made more Rainbow Loom creations, and I went to my happy place. Yup. Social Media. Twitter. Facebook. Instagram. Pinterest. I even perused Linked In. (WOT!) It was wonderful!

Then we all piled into the big bed to watch our movie. It was one of our favourites. We used a randomizer app – just for fun – to choose between “A Bug’s Life” and “Enchanted”. “Enchanted” won. Yay! Silly technology FTW! The movie was great, as usual. The Princess saves the Prince and they all live happily ever ever after.

Now it is Monday. March Break has officially begun, and we, like many families are looking forward to five days of freedom and some frugal fun!

So, without further ado (Hah! That’s totally further ado, isn’t it?!), here are some ideas for free, frugal, or relatively inexpensive fun, for the coming week.

From Monday to Thursday of each week Video Difference allows families to borrow two DVDs gratis.

Of course you know we are readers and we love the library. There are special events planned for each day of the March Break at Halifax Public Libraries branches all over HRM.

Chapters Indigo also has a free special activity for children in store every day this week.

All week long from Monday to Friday Cineplex has a March Break promotion called Toonie Matinees.

With many fun museums to choose from, in and around Halifax, there is plenty of entertainment and even a bit of education (Awww. Mo-OOmm!) to be had by just picking one and going for it!

I think we might choose to spend some of our March Break budget on something grody! The Discovery Centre has “Animal Grossology” as its feature exhibit. Ewww!

As always, we will go out and play as often as we can this week – even if it is a bit chillier than we would like – because playing is simply the best way to get exercise and have fun together as a family. Getting outside into the sun is good for everyone!

Hopefully, we can swing a play date or two and maybe even meet up at one of the special events mentioned above with some good friends.

How will you be spending your week? Will you have lots of time with your children? Does this fact frighten you.. or is it business as usual? Are you on a beach vacation? (What?! And you didn’t invite *me*?! *harumphs*)

I’d love to know what you will be doing and what kinds of activities your family enjoys during these long school breaks. I hope you will share some of your fun ideas with me by leaving a comment. Let me know if you decide to take in any of these cool activity suggestions! I’d love to hear what you think!

Happy March Break, everyone!

Olympic Spirit: Go Canada Go!

Wow! What an amazing day for Canada’s Olympic athletes and Canadians at large!

Currently Canada has a total of 7 medals – 3 Gold (WOW!), 3 Silver (W00t!), 1 Bronze (Yippity biscuits!) and is tied with Netherlands and Norway for the most medals. That is a great start, wouldn’t you say?

With so much speculation leading up to (and political buzz surrounding) these Sochi games, I am glad that, so far, the athletes have been able to focus on their individual and team events (aside from some funny tweets, a few crazy bathroom photos, a trapped athlete and some judging rumours) without too much controversy.

We spent much of our weekend watching Olympic coverage on CBC (So thankful for the CBC!!) and talking about all the cool and interesting sports with our kids. Watching the Women’s Hockey Team on Saturday was a definite highlight of the weekend and I am so glad that Haley Wickenheiser is playing. She was the flag bearer for the opening ceremonies and is quite the amazing ambassador for Canada and sport. During one of the breaks in the coverage of the Canada vs. Switzerland game, they showed the most awesome clip of Haley Wickenheiser after the Canadian Gold medal win against the USA in Salt Lake City at the 2002 Winter Olympics. This quote has to win something! (Even if we’ll never really know the entire story behind it.)

The Americans had our flag on their floor in the dressing room and now I want know if they want us to sign it.

Whoa! I was amazed at how calm and pointed her question was. It, at once, raised her level of cool while pointing out a pretty awful example of sportsmanship on the parts of the American players. Nothing more needed to be said. She got her point across and her little dig in. I’m sure it’s all water under the bridge by now. Right?

Are you watching all the action from Sochi? Are you lucky enough to be there? Are the games making you feel extra pride for your country, homeland or heritage? Does seeing all the amazing athleticism make you want to go out and play more than usual? How are you using the Olympics to foster the joy of sport or activity with your kids and family?

Me? I got a Silver medal just for showing up today. Mondays are hard and Thing 2 is a very generous judge. Sure, I didn’t win Gold – that was reserved for Thing 2, but I received Silver, while Daddy-O only got Bronze, so, you know …  WINNING!

Silver!

This is *my* Silver Medal. Not too shabby, eh?

You should know I am not competitive at all. Nope. Not one bit. Yup. *wink*

If you are interested in making some medals of your own (or with your kiddos) here is where Thing 2 got her templates. There are also some great activities and printables here, lots of good information here, and some good Canadian stuff here.