Friday, October 30, 2015

Week 19: What's In My Bag?

This week's writing challenge is to write about "what's in my bag." Ever since Tim and Janice gave me an LL Bean canvas bag with a picture of a pig Tessa drew on it, these have been my go-to bags. I used my first one so much it wore out. This is my second one and it's been holding up fairly well.

I got a large size and Dave thought it was ridiculously huge. Considering how often it is full (or overflowing) with various things, he was quickly convinced this was the right size to get. So this was what was in my bag on a random Thursday morning.
At the top left is my purse. I will unpack that, so to speak, a little later in this post. The Tupperware container with the yellow lid holds an assortment of acetaminophen and IBU. I got tired of never having medication with me when I got a headache so I started carrying it with me.

Continuing clockwise is the old-style credit card machine from work. This is not usually in my bag but I needed to process credit cards at home yesterday so I had to bring it. Next to that is a stack of work I brought home. I carry the black binder (my job "Bible" as it were) and the purple folder with me every time. The purple folder gets filled with whatever I need to work on at home.

The last thing in my bag was a stack of library books to return to the library. These are symbolic of all the various things which get stuck in my bag for me to deal with -- library books to return, dry cleaning to drop off, things to return to people.

Another thing, which isn't pictured, but which is usually in my bag, is our camera. However, I was using it take these pictures so you can't see it.
I rarely carry just my purse, but I always have it in my bag. It's navy and I bought it at Target about a year ago. Again, I just emptied whatever was in there at the time. On top you can see a pile of coupons and my wallet. My dad brought it back for me from Bhutan so it's pretty unique.

The next "row" is my cell phone, which I forget to charge and forget to carry. As soon as I took this picture, I charged it and it's still plugged in (and likely well charged) ten hours later. Ha! Next to it is my Costco list from earlier this week which I promptly recycled after I took this picture. Next to it are my coloured pens for my day planner. (Honest truth -- my day planner use has fallen off and it's been sitting on my desk, untouched for about three weeks. Gah.)

The next "row" starts with my chequebook and a pen solely used for writing cheques. Next to it are the kids' Jr Jays membership cards. After I took this picture I put them with the kids' stuff in my office. Then are my sunglasses and my Carmex. I've been wearing Carmex for twenty-five years. If I use it fairly regularly (five times a day), I don't get coldsores as badly.

Yes, I have two sets of keys. The ones with my U Georgia key chain (Hi Erika!), the picture of Rachel, my Tupperware, and the green bin are my personal ones. The boring yellow ones are my work keys.

I also usually have some Kleenex in my purse but I seem to have run out. I'll have to re-stock.

And after reading Emily's post I have to admit, I don't actually have any feminine products in my bag. I'm really not hiding them; I just never carry them. And then I'm running to the store at odd times. So after reading her post, I'm going to start carrying those as well, because that's a really smart idea!

So that's what is in my bag.

Do tell, what's the oddest thing you carry in your bag?

Thursday, October 29, 2015

So About Those School Resolutions

Back when the kids started school, I wrote a whole post of "not resolutions" which basically boiled down to one thing, "Be Prepared." Now that we've survived almost two months of school I thought I would do a quick check in and let you know how things are going.

One of the things which has worked really well is that Dave has been taking the kids on Saturday mornings. Sam has religious school at the synagogue and Rachel has music and, every other Saturday, Tot Shabbat. On the off weeks they do errands. This means that I have about four hours to myself every Saturday. You may have already figured this out because I usually spend some time reading and commenting on your blogs :)

The other thing I do though is follow through on some of the things which make our school week a little easier to handle.
Except for a few weeks, I've menu planned the kids lunches. Dave is the one who actually packs them but he claims that having them already planned out makes life easier. I also make sure the dishes are washed after school (see below) so that they are dry by the time Dave makes lunch. This has been working pretty well, except for Thursdays when I have about twenty minutes at home before our evening activity.

I also make sure we have the food on hand for the lunches I've planned. I've discovered that one of the best times to go grocery shopping is 7am on Monday mornings. That's the earliest our grocery store is open, it's quiet, and I get through my list in about twenty minutes.
Something which has been working surprisingly well is laying the kids' clothes out for the week. I set out outfits, according to the weather, and then the kids just know to put the next outfit on. Rachel's outfits also sit on a shelf in her room; I just put them on her dresser for a picture. I usually put Rachel's outfit of the day on her dresser the night before, but Sam just dresses himself in the morning with the next set of clothes on the pile.
Since I've been trying to get a few hours of work in every morning, or I'm gone, Dave has been handling the whole breakfast routine. I can safely say I am awake well before the kids almost every weekday morning :)

So, in general, I think things, on the school front at least, are going pretty well. Now it's just the rest of life to sort out!

What tricks and tips do you have for making your school/daycare mornings run smoothly? Anything else I should add to my Saturday mornings of preparing?

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Week 18: Someone (Else) I Miss

For those of you who have been reading around here for any length of time you won't be surprised to hear (read?) that someone else I miss is my parents.
We talk on the phone a lot and, after this summer's nightly routine, the kids will want to call Opa every night once in awhile for a bedtime story, but it's not the same.
I haven't lived at home since I was seventeen, except for a couple of summers. That's been over twenty-five years, so we're pretty good at this long distance thing. And I'm so glad that over the years Mom and Dad have made coming to visit a priority. They came to see me the year I lived in The Netherlands and they came to see me when I was working in Israel-Palestine.

For the five years Dave and I lived in Edmonton, it was so great to have them so close. Where "close" was defined as a five-six hour drive away. We could go to their house for long weekends and they could come and spend time with us.
They were there eleven hours after Sam was born...
...and in the next room when Rachel was born.

Even though we live 3,000 kilometres (2,000 miles) apart, they are here for us when we need them. And we try and get to Saskatchewan as often as we can, which sadly isn't as often as we'd like to.
I'm so excited that Mom and Dad have made the decision to drive here for Christmas! Whooo hooo!!! And then, because they have been here for almost all of Sam's birthdays, they are coming again in March.

When Rachel heard that she asked, "Are you coming for my birthday too?" Well, an hour later, Mom and Dad called and said, "Yes Rachel, we'll be there for your birthday too!" And then they warned us that they were almost out of air miles :) Ha ha ha!!!

So while about once a day week, I wish that Mom and Dad lived in the same town, or heck, even the same province, I am thankful that we get to spend as much time together as we do. But I still miss them when they're not around.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Three Strikes And You're Not Out

Honestly, our weekend was pretty quiet with moments of really good fun. Is it sad that I can't really remember what happened on Friday night?! I do know that supper took about an hour to bake, the kids were happy, and I read about half my book club book during that time. And, after a hard fought game, the Blue Jays lost the sixth, and deciding, game of the ALCS. I was both sad, and slightly relieved, that they lost. Sad because I really wanted them to win it all; relieved because now I have more time for other things. Ha!

On Saturday Dave and I got a bunch of stuff done around the house -- chores and such. It was a super-exciting day!

Sunday morning, Janice and I decided to have Sunday School at Starbucks. We do this once in awhile and it's a good time :) I had a Earl Grey Tea Latte, also known as a London Fog. I actually liked it so I may have to throw that into my regular rotation once in awhile.
On Sunday afternoon our care group went bowling. I don't know why we didn't get pictures of anyone else but it was a ton of fun! Except for the fact that my scores were not worth mentioning, even if I did get two strikes. After watching so much baseball, Sam and Rachel were fairly confused about the fact that strikes were a good thing in this sport. And when Sam was paying attention to me, every time I got a gutter ball he would announce, "Baaaalll one!" "Baaaalll two!" "Balll three and you're out!" (Sadly, I got three gutter balls in a row on a fairly regular basis.)
Sam did really well on his first time bowling without bumpers and Rachel ended up getting some lighter balls so she had pretty good games too. The rest of us played and laughed and had fun. And yesterday morning Dave and I were sorer than we wanted to admit after just two hours of bowling. I guess we're getting old. Ha!

The weekend ended with book club and Janice drove to my house and then we walked the rest of the way. It was about a forty minute walk so, even though I had been planning on walking on my own, I was really glad Janice decided to join me.

We read This Is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper which is a good book. However, if you decide to read it, be warned that the language is quite explicit. After discussing the book we decided that we want to get together and watch the movie.

And that was pretty much our weekend -- bowling, Blue Jays, and book club.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Week 17: Someone Who Broke My Heart

It appears you can't trust me anymore when I say, "I'm going to blog about it tomorrow." Blogging, unfortunately, takes a back burner to sleeping, doing dishes, and working. It makes me sad, but there it is. However, I do want to keep blogging (and reading blogs) so thank you for putting up with my inconsistency. The reason you get a post today is because we have a bit of a new routine where I get pieces of Thursday evenings to myself, but not at home. So I'm writing this post from the library. There's free wifi, I'm drinking a Coke, and I'm surrounded by books. It's not really that bad a deal :)

So on with the writing challenge, someone who broke my heart. Originally I was going to write about how my best friend in high school, Kim, met a guy while we were out cruising 8th St and then set me up with his best friend so we could double date. I snuck out of the house (meaning I told my dad I was going to hang out with Kim and forgot to mention the boys) to meet up with Kim and the guys. The friend and I were getting along quite well, but then the age question arose. I was eighteen. It turned out he was sixteen. Or maybe even fifteen. Which was the kiss of death for our romantic relationship.

But then, as I was looking though old pictures, to find one of Kim and I, I found some other pictures. And they reminded me of a more serious heartbreak. So that's what you get to hear about instead.
The summer I was nineteen, I got home from university and didn't have a job. I ended up moving to the mountains to work as a maid in a hotel. The work sucked, but Hello! There were mountains! I shared a cabin with Alexis and she was a great cabin mate. On our days off we had lots of adventures like downhill skiing (above is us prepared for summer skiing -- sexy high-waisted shorts and all!) and white water rafting (below -- you can't tell, but I am wearing shorts (probably the same ones) under that jacket). This was the summer I discovered my inner pool-shark. It was pretty awesome.
We staff all had a lot of fun that summer -- hanging out and partying. I later found out that when I got off the bus to start the summer, some of the staff saw me in my pristine jeans and white sweater and decided I needed to be corrupted. I did enjoy sampling various drinks (I was nineteen - it was legal) but in other ways I wasn't so corruptible. For instance, I refused to sleep with anyone. Which is what led to my heartbreak.
Above are C and K. 
For posterity's sake, they will remain somewhat anonymous.

One night a guy showed up. (Is it bad that I can't remember his name? I think it might have been Sean. That's what I'll call him for the sake of this post) I think he was working construction somewhere and he was staying at our hotel for a few weeks. He was cute and the first evening I like to think I impressed him with my pool skills. The next day all of us in housekeeping, including C, were talking about him and I was looking forward to more flirting and pool that evening.

At the end of the evening, after more pool (and yes, flirting) I went to bed, alone. The next morning I woke up and got to work cleaning. C had the day off and I was on to clean up Sean's room. I knocked on the door and went in to clean. Sean was gone, but, to my horror, C was in his bed.

I was stunned.

I spent the next few days avoiding C and Sean and trying to recover. The real knife in the heart was when Sean left, C and I were scheduled to work together. She was totally bummed about him leaving and I spent the next week cleaning rooms with her, forced to listen to Air Supply's greatest hits for EIGHT HOURS A DAY. I honestly don't know if that was worse than the actual fact of the two of them together.

I don't remember the timing of all this, but around the beginning of July, K's two male friends came to visit her. Well, there was pretty much instant attraction between me and one of them (as I found out later, fortunately it was NOT the one K was interested in as "more than a friend"). K generously invited me to spend a few days with them, and the night before the guys left, D and I stayed up all night talking, just about got eaten by a bear (Ha!), and the rest as they say, is history.

D became my first serious boyfriend and we were together for almost a year before I decided I wouldn't be spending the rest of my life with him.

Ah young love.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Fall Frolicking

I was going to post Week 17 of the 30 Week Writing Challenge, because I know you're all holding your breath waiting to hear about who broke my heart. However, because I need pictures scanned for the post, and Dave had a busy day at work, you'll have to wait until tomorrow for that literary masterpiece. And because it includes scanned pictures, you know it's going to be awesome. Ha! Today I'm writing about Thanksgiving, which was last Monday.

Thanksgiving Day was a gorgeous fall day this year. It was windy but sunny. So we decided to print off another walking tour from our library, pick up some Starbucks, and head out. Sam decided he'd rather have a milkshake which turned out to be a mistake as, later in the day, he threw it up all over the Chariot and put a quick end to our afternoon.
One of the first stops on our tour was actually an amazing old house where I lived for eight months. I think my room was the peak you see on the left, but I can't really remember.
But then we ran into some awesome fall leaves and took a tour break.
Rachel attempted to make some leaf angels.
And then Dave and I traded places.
I'm glad the kids like "throw leaves on Daddy" better than they like "throw leaves on Mommy!"
Then we continued on with our tour. We seriously considered buying the B&B on the right. If seriously considered means "I tried to convince Dave it would be a good idea for at least a minute." After all it's a bargain at a little less than two million dollars.
We then continued our tour with a few more stops until, as previously mentioned, Sam threw up in the Chariot. We cleaned up as best as we could and headed home. We then spent the rest of the day listening to the Blue Jays (win!!!) on the radio, eating frozen pizza, and hanging out in the playroom and the basement.
Gorgeous fall days like this almost make our winters worth it. Almost.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Reading For The Weekend

This past weekend was the Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon. As you may remember, I participated fully in this readathon in April. Dave and I agreed that I wouldn't devote 24 hours to reading this time, but I did encourage Sam to read along with me. Sadly, he got more reading done than I did :) He read 5 books, including an e-book. I read one. And 60 pages of another one. Ha!
If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen about a hundred pictures from the readathon (sorry) but here are a few more.
Above is how Sam and I spent most of the afternoon -- reading, sharing a blanket, and eating Oreos. Below is how Dave and Rachel spent about five minutes in the afternoon. Then they went to do errands.
I read for about four hours after the kids went to bed and then I went to bed too. We also went to a fundraising dinner for Haiti with Janice and the kids, watched the (very sad) Blue Jays game at their house, went to the police station to get criminal record checks for church (seriously!), and had a date on Sunday afternoon. We were super-exciting and spent time working on our New Zealand photobook.

On Friday night, we also hosted all of my mom's sisters for supper. That was fun. And we took a picture. And no, my mom wasn't there.
So this weekend was a much better weekend than last weekend. And I want to say thank you for all your amazing comments. I will be trying to respond to each of you individually but it might take me some time. Work is starting to get really crazy, the Jays are fighting for a spot in the World Series, and Sam is starting to bring home homework which we need to work on with him. After all "I" and "at" are really hard words to spell :)

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Weekending It Up

I didn't mean to disappear yesterday after my post on Tuesday but my right sinus felt like it was going to burst out of my cheek so I called in sick and went back to bed. Between some extra sleep and some wonder pills Dave picked up for me at the drug store, I am, thankfully, feeling much better now.

Our weekend started with listening to the longest game in baseball playoff history. Okay, technically it probably wasn't but listening to a five hour, fourteen inning game, which our team lost (boo), felt like it took forever. While I was intensely listening to the game, Rachel did my hair. And hers too!
On Saturday, my youth, who I'm a mentor for, came over and we attempted this Pinterest find. We had a lot of fun and I feel like our pumpkins turned out pretty well.
Then we pushed our Pinterest luck and attempted these pretzels. Um, they were delicious! I want some right now. Thankfully they are pretty easy to make so maybe I'll make some more once I'm done writing this post. They were so good A asked me to send her the recipe right away.
For supper Dave made these toast cups, without bacon. We declared them good and were thankful for our "3 out of 3 Pinterest day!"
Sunday morning we woke up, and since I was inspired to keep baking with the kids, we whipped up these breakfast cookies. They were also a hit. Sam didn't want to bake but he did read the entire recipe out loud to us, from the computer, which was super-helpful.
Sunday afternoon we went to our first Siskins' hockey game of the season. It was fun to watch hockey again and we may spend another Sunday afternoon, or three!, at the rink over the next few months.
Sam and I took the opportunity to make some faces during one of the breaks!
That evening Dave and the kids played some baseball at the kids' school while I ran some errands. It was a beautiful fall evening and the home team won, so it was a good time.
That was our Saturday and Sunday. And I can't believe today is already Thursday. That's what happens when you have a short week and a sick day. Yikes.

I'll be back tomorrow with Week 17 in the 30 Week Writing Challenge and next week I'll write about our Monday, which ended up being a gorgeous fall day.