Thursday, October 10, 2013

It's been 10 months since I've been on here???

HOLY SMOKES!! Time is sure flying. The past year has been, to say the least, challenging and emotionally and mentally exhausting. Of course there have been some bright spots which I'm trying to focus on but overall it's been a heck of a year and I'm looking forward to starting fresh in the New Year!

There's lots to get everyone up to speed on, which I will do over the next few posts since I need to get back on here since getting all of my thoughts down in words helps me to process and deal with everything a whole lot lucky people just get to come along for the ride.

TODAY is the hubby and I's NINTH anniversary! Like everyone we've had ups, downs and around and arounds, but I am so happy that we still have eachother! That is what we are celebrating and focusing on today!

Tis the season for being thankful so let me start this Thankful Thursday off with a few of the things I am most thankful for...and they are obviously no brainers...I'm thankful for my husband who supports me and is my rock through it beautiful children and quirky yet adorable dog Odin...they make me laugh daily and that's the best medicine...and my incredibly amazing group of family and friends...wouldn't have made it this far without all of you guys!

So, that was just a quick check in to say I'M BACK!! Let's get this party started...again.

Monday, December 3, 2012 I love thee

I don't think I need to explain to anyone who is on Pinterest that it's FABULOUS! It has the ability to make the un-crafty to become crafty, the crafty to become overwhelmed with ideas and possibilities, the un-organized to be inspired to get things in order and can even motivate us to become pretty great cooks!

I have been notorious for pinning anything and everything on my profile that looks good, or reminds me of someone, would be nice to do or make, etc. and never doing anything with all of those amazing pins....until yesterday!!!

Last night T and I decided to whip something was super easy and had just 2 ingredients in it...that's my kinda baking! It also intrigued me to see if it actually worked and tasted good.

This is what we started with...

Step #1: Mix pineapple with Angel food cake mix.

Step #2: Watch it become frothy

Step #3: Pour into pan and stick it in the oven at 350F for 30 minutes

The finished result...VOILA!

Pineapply Angel Food golden goodness!!! Now, if you don't really like angel food cake or pineapple then I guess this isn't for you, but I really enjoy it...and it's a nice sweet snack that is pretty much guilt free...or way less guilt than the double chocolate something or other I was wanting to make too :)

All in all, I got to get my bake on with Miss T and it didn't make a ton of mess or take a long time so that is always a bonus. Great experience :)

Thanks Pinterest!

Next up for this Mom...meal planning!!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Off days are ALLOWED too!

Ok, so I had a nice post the other day about positive steps towards some kind of order in my house, do one thing at a time, try and stay calm around the kids...blah, blah, blah right??

I also mentioned in that blog that I wasn't one to blow smoke up people's behinds so I am going to be the first one to say that today was NOT a great day! Now, the pre-therapy Tracy would be saying to myself and everyone else around me "THIS WAS THE WORST DAY EVER" but as the good old therapist always asks me "Was it REALLY the worst day ever?? Like really??" The answer of course is always "Well, no, it wasn't the worst day ever, but it was pretty stressful and not all that enjoyable". When someone asks you that question it has a way of bringing you back down to earth. I also vented via text message to one of my super fab friends who just happened to ask if I had dyed my hair yet (innocent enough) and she got back "I JUST WALKED IN THE DOOR AND ATE. THERE'S NOT ENOUGH TIME FOR EVERYTHING. C is having a temper tantrum and is in his room throwing things...Arrrrgggghhh". Poor girl...she didn't deserve any of that! She just gently reminded me about my "positive attitude" blog post that I did the other day and told me that I was strong and to just take a breath, leave the room for a minute and come back. That sort of diffused the situation a little bit...even though I felt nowhere near in control of anything going on around me at times tonight! I do indeed have amazing support :)

Today was just a super busy day that probably isn't much different then anyone else's, especially if you work full time and have kids with a spouse out of town. Literally it feels like you wake up and immediately have a full time duty to get the kids ready and out the door, then it feels like FOREVER (really not forever) until you get to the bus, on the bus and downtown in the bus, then there's the paid job that I am at everyday, finished off with another full time job of getting home, getting kids, getting fed, homework, baths, teeth, stories, bedtime. Like I said, not unlike anyone else's day but still a little overwhelming to say the least.

So, at the end of all of it I MADE myself look back at it and say "What is ONE thing you accomplished today?" and it dawned on me that I managed to get a load of laundry washed (not dried yet, let alone put away, cause let's get real here), put 2 loads of laundry INTO their dressers, and a load of dishes into the dishwasher with T's help. I also dyed my hair which is something I have never done by myself but it seems that since I turned 32 my hair has decided to turn white so welcome to the world of hair dye (not just for the fun of having a different colour anymore) ;)

I may have yelled a little, fought with a certain 4 year old to eat his spaghetti before he could have some fro-yo, then sent that same 4 year old for a time out in his room, managed to take all 3 kids to a parent teacher interview BEFORE eating dinner (which is asking for trouble if they can't eat exactly when they want to), and even had moments of self pity for a minute or two, but all in all I still accomplished some stuff and I guess I have to start patting myself on the back for some of the little things...

Here we are...made it through another day relatively unscathed and looking forward to what tomorrow has in store (besides chaos ;). Just have to keep reminding myself that we are allowed to have "off" days sometimes and it doesn't mean I am taking a giant step backwards and it isn't the end of the world. I just need to focus on moving forward!

Oh, I also managed to grab a pair of skinny jeans on my lunch hour today and all I can say is "The jury is still out on whether or not I can pull them off..." and that's a whole other blog post ;)

Have a great night!

Monday, November 26, 2012 NEVER ends!

Obviously the title to this post makes most of us go "Amen sister, preaching to the choir" along with "Duh, of course it never ends" (unless of course you want to be raising the smelly kids or be THAT girl in the office)!!

The household duties never cease to be completely overwhelming and never ending but I am determined (today anyway) to at least do something about it. Following the methods I have been picking up and following in other aspects of my life, there seems to be a lot of merit in breaking things down into manageable groups and dealing with them one at a time if need be.

Enter the semi-plan (or random smatterings of thoughts that sound good at 9:45 at night):

- Do ONE load of laundry a night...that's it. Collect all the random socks hiding on and under things, any spiderman underwear that seem to wind up in the strangest places and throw them in the wash.

- School lunches need to be made when all of us still have the momentum to move before we petrify on the couch and watch some shows at bedtime.

- Stay as calm as you can when dealing with the little sponges we call has actually amazed me how the stress level has decreased at bedtimes even when everyone is tired, cranky, all of a sudden can't climb stairs because their legs hurt, I'm hungry, I'm thirsty, blah blah blah... all because I have kept emotions and reactions way more in check than in the past!

That's as far as I got because I didn't want to overload myself with thinking about ALL of the things that have to be done in my house. I don't know about you, but if I start making a mental list of chores and obligations that I MUST CONQUER before bed (even though I realistically don't need to achieve absolutely everything RIGHT NOW) I tend to get overwhelmed and internally combust and do NOTHING! Not very effective is it?

I understand that it's so easy to look around your house, flip out and say "How does it get like this? All the time, it's like this" "Why can't we keep things tidy at least?" "WHERE did that booger come from, WHO did that booger come from, WHY is there even a booger stuck to something that ISN'T a kleenex or the inside of someone's nose??" "Oh look, the dog is STILL taking stuffing out of his bed and leaving a trail of fluff all over the house. Why haven't I taken it away from him yet?" I say things like this to myself every single day, but there's gotta be a better way...and I hope that this is one step in the right direction for myself...

I'm not going to sit here and say that everything is sunshine and rainbows because I seem to have accomplished one menial task a day because clearly THIS is not the blog for blowing smoke up people's rear ends :) I'm just trying to pass along some of my thoughts and possible suggestions that might work for me and would maybe work for some of you...that's it, that's all. Just one crazy busy Mom to another...

Have a great night everyone!!!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Adventures of a pre-teen

This weekend was an eye opener for a few people in our family. Miss T is almost 11 years old and for the past few months has been able to get away with sometimes wearing a training bra but this weekend it became apparent that it was TIME for the "better wear a bra all the time" talk...this was hard for both of us to come to terms but after we went through the "I don't WANNA" response from her end, followed by my "Well honey, I wish I could tell you that it will reverse and you can go back to not wearing one at all, but they are just going to get bigger from here so we might as well go with it" we decided a shopping trip was in order.

Tonight we hit the mall, picked out some bras, ate some popcorn, laughed,  hit Claire's for some accessories and then it hit me...BAM! I was actually out with my OLDEST girl and having a great time at the MALL! If you know Miss T she has always been her father's daughter in the respect that she is NOT a shopper...actually despises the mall...or DID at least! Well my oh my how things have changed and that's when I looked at her and realized that she has changed so much in just the past few months that it's kind of making my head spin. The words "I LOVE the mall" actually came out of her mouth tonight and I just laughed. I can't even tell you how many times I have had the argument with her about "one of these days you'll enjoy shopping and we won't be able to get you out of the mall" to which she used to say "hahaha ya right, I don't think so. I don't like shopping!"

I couldn't believe what I was seeing as she cruised through the mall picking out trendy little things and ooohhing and ahhhhing as we went along. My baby girl is so not a baby anymore and we are now onto the next stage of her life. I am both nervous and excited since it is a very crazy, intense time for girls but I am so glad I can be with her every step of the way as the girly friend arguments happen, giggling over boys, fighting with her hair, trying to pick out clothes, etc. On the "I don't wanna let her grow up side" it's so hard to not see her as the 5lb 7 ounce little angel that came into my life and rescued me in so many ways.

Let the preteen games begin...

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Hello, my name is Tracy and I'm a Catastrophizer!!

Yep, that's right, this may come as a complete shock to you (haha, or not) that I tend to think of something and before the thought has even had time to form completely I have already dreamed up the most catastrophic ending...insert explanation here...

As the years have gone by I think that slowly I am getting better at dealing with the impending November event known as the Cancer Follow-up (must think of catchier title) but the fact still remains is that I dread it...more than I dread pretty much anything.

My therapist asked me what kinds of things go through my head when I even THINK about sending the e-mail to Mr. Cancer Doctor to start the process of bloodwork, ultrasound, injections, etc. The first thing I said was, "This is the year that they are going to find something, this is the year that it comes back, this is it..." Before I have even clicked on the "compose email" button I already have it figured out in my head and in one of the most negative how do we deal with this, because we both came to the realization that a) it needs to be done and b) that is not the most healthy way to approach it.

He had a brilliant idea, and one that I have already been applying to the rest of my life to deal with my anxiety issues, I just didn't think about putting it into practice when it came to the cancer follow ups.

First things first...chunk the "process" into stages and FORCE yourself to deal with ONE of them at a time...don't let your brain wander and get carried away to the dark side! So, first step...write an e-mail to Cancer Doctor..don't over think it, just write the e-mail...takes 2 minutes. Of course getting the courage up to even do that took almost a full week but I am happy to say that I took his advice and just kept telling myself over and over "it's only an's just an e-mail...that's it" and managed to bang out a quick message to my doctor to get things going for 2012.

Of course the next step to deal with would be the emotions that come into play when I even see Cancer Doctor's name appear in my inbox and my stomach goes into my throat...but I just opened it up, read that he will be sending me the requisitions and completed that stage of the game (check, check)

Next up...dragging some poor (yet fabulously amazing) co-worker(s) to the lab downtown to make sure I don't bail on giving them my blood. I will conquer that first and then move onto the next step which I am already trying really hard not to think about. This seems super simple to most people, and it probably is for a lot of people, but it is taking me a great deal of discipline to stop my train wreck of a brain from going on overload!

It has helped lower my anxiety a ton about the whole process and am I still scared?? ABSOLUTELY, but I know that it needs to be done and by chunking it into manageable parts I feel like I have more control over everything.

After's just an e-mail right??   :)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Craft Night - Week 1 - Pumpkin & Ghost Glo Jar

Tonight was kind of hectic as is pretty much every night in a house with full time working parents, 2 full time students, a preschooler and a dog...and a partridge in a pear tree ;)

Mike has had the flu for the past 2 days so I came home from work and took the kids out to Wal-Mart for a pumpkin carving kit and some ginger ale for the big man's tummy! We decided to grab some McDonald's while we were out and then headed home to get ready for bedtime.

When we got home I busted out some supplies for our first weekly craft night with the kids...the project? Lantern style decoupaged jars! They were all over this like a fat kid on a purple smartie ;)

Behold! the supplies...and Caleb!
So the kids started in with painting the jars with Mod Podge with foam paintbrushes while I tore up pieces of tissue paper to slap on. I couldn't find orange tissue so red it was but I was hoping once the little flameless candle was in there it would give off an orange's hoping anyway.

Very focused!

Making a ghost!
After I did some touching up with the Mod Podge to seal any tissue edges and make sure we had sufficient coverage we let them dry on the table for a little bit.

While we were waiting the kids covered the lids of the jars with green paint for the pumpkin top and white tissue paper for the ghost head.

Nothing like some big sister help :)

Excuse the messy house. haha
To speed up this process as bedtime was seriously approaching and I knew they desperately wanted to see the finished product I busted out the hair dryer and they were ready in no time. Taylor and Rachel then drew their faces on their creations and we were almost ready for the finishing flameless candle!

So proud!
TA DA!!!! We turned out the lights after Caleb put the candles in the jars, screwed their lids on and this is what we saw!!!

We were so happy with how they turned out and the kids can't wait to put them out on the porch for Halloween!

Craft night #1 was a success and a great way to break up an always crazy work/school week!! It feels so great to enjoy doing things like this again :) Can't wait for next week!

Thanks for dropping by!