Thursday, June 26, 2008


I was informed by my 6 year old daughter that a boy in her class told her she was "hot".

Screeeeeeech.....(insert sound of needle scratching across a record)....


My brilliant comment after the old brain fired up again?

"Perhaps he meant that you were hot as in the weather was making you warm."

Eilidh's reply? (insert eye roll) "NO, mom (insert shaking head as if birthed by a moron). He meant I'm beautiful."

Have I mentioned she's six? Why does my six year know what being 'hot' means and why the heck is a six year old boy calling her that?

So my next brilliant bit of mothering was to ask Eilidh what she did after he told her his opinion of her outer beauty.

"I told Kailin," (her best friend).

I'm thinking a girls only boarding school will be the only way I'll survive her teenage years.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


This is the latest fashion statement for newborns?

Yes, what every baby needs. To be decked out in adult apparel. High heels, the ultimate sexy fashion accessory.

I'm tired of people dressing their little children like adults. I'm even more tired of people wanting their children to act older than their age. I'm super duper tired of people letting their 8 year olds dress like Britney Spears.

News flash. They are children. Not adults. Children. For lots and lots of years.

And we wonder why children are having sex at 13 and babies by 15.

I'm feeling rather crotchety today (*stepping down from my soapbox).

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


When some people marry, the family silverware is passed down. Others are fortunate to inherit the family jewels (diamonds and gold, people!). Still, others may be blessed with a grandmother’s quilt, or dining room table, or family cast iron skillet (“Now, don’t you go an wash that there….thar’s bacon fat on that there pan from my granpappy’s momma. Yes sir, that there pan’s been seasoned REAL nice.”)

I inherited a curse. No, really. Ask anyone. People refer to it as “The Mahoney Luck”. Others in the family call us the Griswolds. This curse goes wherever we go, and seems to gather great strength whenever we get farther than 30 kilometres from our home.

I’m sure it’s from my husband’s side of the family. I do recall going on many an excursion as a child and not managing to pitch our tent next to a red ant hill or a wasp infestation. I recall one summer driving to Saskatoon and back and not once being stranded on the side of the highway. I think my reasoning stands.

People get a terrified look in their eyes when I tell them we’re going away.

“Have you mapped out the closest hospitals?”

“Did you update your life insurance including accidental death and dismemberment?”

“For the love of God, can’t you guys just stick a tent in the backyard and stop the madness!! You know nothing good can come from this!!”

Last night, Heath and I discussed our summer plans. We decided against the whole Europe thing (who wants to see a bunch of old castles and artwork?), said 'it doesn't really appeal to me' to all those flashy overpriced venues such as Disneyland and 6 Flag Magic Mountain, and vetoed the lameness of hopping on some silly monstrosity of a cruise ship that serves food 24 hours a day and has daycare for your children. Who needs that nonsense?

Which of course means we planned a road trip. We love those. Four kids in a minivan, driving far far away from our mechanic who's children we have put through college. Far far far away from the safety of our little home, where the electricity works and water flows. Far far far far away from sunshine, clear skies and a warm breeze.

This year will be better though, because we get to add a 70 pound dog into the mix. Let the Griswold Annual Road Trip begin.

I'd promise to post pictures, but the camera seems to break/fall in deep water/get run over by a wayward seniors bus/ eaten by a bear on our road trips. Perhaps Eilidh could draw a picture or two. I hear art therapy is a wonderful thing.

Monday, June 23, 2008


It truly felt like summer today. Making the kids get up at the crack of noon, forcing them to weed the yard, lamenting over an invisible hole in the blow up pool and barbequing hot dogs at dinnertime. The endless summer days sprawl ahead of us like the never ending trail of drool coming from our 70 pound mutt. 'Tis the life I love.

There is something quite amazing about God giving us these lazy days of peacefulness....days where you feel like you have permission to do nothing constructive, to just 'be', to recharge, to contemplate, to just let life happen.

Most certainly the mundane tasks of life continue to pop up in bits and pieces. Children need to be fed, laundry needs to be done, carpets need to be discovered under piles of toys and discarded clothing. But it's lovely sitting on a park bench, feeling the sun soaking into your skin, watching kids frolic in the warmth. Then sauntering home, carrying a tired two year old all the way. When she lays her head on your shoulder and tightens her chubby arms around your neck, you have time to savour the moment, breathe it all in, etch the moment into your memory.

I was paid well today.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Shopping Day

I went shopping at Stupidstore today. (Shudder.)

I was accompanied by four children. ("No, I'm not buying that. Stop asking me. No, that's full of sugar. No, that's too much. Just one. Maybe next time. Put that back. Yes, we're almost done. Keeley, come back here.")

I purchased no less than 5 birthday gifts. ("Kaitlyn, go find something for Cameron...make sure it's noisy. Patrick, what did you say Josh wanted? Eilidh, does Hannah like Polly Pockets? Would Griffin like this? Patrick, would Eric just like cash? Keeley....come back here.")

I waited in line for 15 minutes with a 2 year old on a chocolate chip cookie high. (And the messy face and hands to match.)

I threatened a 6 year old in the parking lot with the possibility of never going to a water park for the rest of her natural life if she asked me about it one more time. (Hey, water parks can be a cesspool of germs anyways.)

Oh, and I purchased a box of Nice 'n Easy shade 103B, with color blend technology and long-lasting 100% grey coverage. (No further explanation needed.)

Thursday, June 19, 2008

A Job

I've been contemplating a job.

Not a job in my field of expertise (perhaps that's stretching field of "I know a lot about it" may be more apt?) A job that's 'just' a job. A job where you go to work, do what needs to be done and then you get to go home and not think about that job until your next shift. The kind of job that you figure out how much you just made working said job as you drive home. The type of job that doesn't send you emails between shifts, and involve worrying about children that are not your own. The kind of job that doesn't take over your family.

So I've come up with a few parameters for my search.

1. It has to be when either the husband or the oldest is home. There's no point in paying a babysitter for the youngest one if you're working for minimum wage.

2. It can't be when any child in the house has a scheduled activity to be driven to. Summer is fairly light, but during the school year, this eliminates Mondays (Sparks for Eilidh), Tuesdays (Irish Dance for Kaitlyn and Eilidh) and Wednesdays (Soccer for Patrick, Youth group for Kaitlyn) and Saturdays (Soccer for Patrick).

3. It cannot be when Kaitlyn needs to be driven to work and Heath is not home. She usually works Mondays, Thursdays and on the weekend.

4. The job has to be close by. With the price of gas, I'm not interested in driving to work just to pay for the gas to get there.

5. It can't be at dinner time. That's family time.

6. It cannot rely on Heath getting home from work at any specific time. Sometimes he needs to come home when work is done, not when the clock says so.

7. It has to be flexible to children waking up in the morning with fevers, unexplained rashes and projectile vomiting.

8. No brown uniforms.

So, when I work all the above into a grid, I think I'm looking at working Thursday and Sunday nights from midnight - 3 am, barring sick children and unknown skin issues.

Perhaps I had better start recycling those coffee filters.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


I met up with two of my oldest friends last night. Oldest as in I've been friends with them since I was in grade 1, not as in they're octogenarians.

There's something about old friends that feels like putting on your most favourite comfy jeans and a fuzzy sweatshirt. They just feel right.

We rarely see each other. Sometimes we go for years without meeting face to face. But we pick up where we left off, listening to each other's lauds and laments. None of us can remember details of each other's lives because we've all had children and hence have lost much of our short term memory, but we cover that in the first 10 minutes (How old is....? What grade...? How long....?).

Then we move on to life. The kind of stuff that stays between friends. Not gossip. Real life stuff. And then you realize that two hours has gone by. You hug and say goodbye, and mentally add more items to your prayer list. Life is full of ups and downs and lots of detours along the way.

My husband was away with friends this weekend, long time friends that he doesn't see everyday. Two days away. Lots more than 2 hours. And I think those men discussed how many pumpkin scones they each got to eat. When he got back, he did not know if so and so was still seeing the long distance girlfriend, how work was going for so and so, how so and so was dealing get the idea. But he did mention what types of beer they all drank.

I'm beginning to think that men and women are wired differently.

Friday, June 13, 2008


Once upon a time there was a little girl who dreamed of living in the suburbs. She dreamed of having four messy children and a husband who went to Victoria without her on the weekend to help run lifeguard competitions. She dreamed about driving a beat up purple minivan and changing exploded diapers in the middle of the night. She dreamed of yappy dogs, carpets that needed vacuuming and dirty dishes in the sink.

She didn't dream of marrying into wealth, living in a fancy home, or driving a convertible '69 Mustang. She didn't dream of big breasts, a flat stomach and no laugh lines. She most certainly didn't dream of 1.8 children and a maxed out RRSP fund. And she didn't dream of cosmopolitans at dinner parties seating 12 or caring what the labels said inside her clothes.

And this little girl was lucky. Because her dreams came true. And because her dreams came true, she was blessed with daily reminders to live in the moment, not to take things for granted, to love people not things. She was blessed with moments like a 2 year old discovering the antennae on slugs and the beauty a 6 year old sees in flowering weeds. She knew to be grateful for smelly 12 year old's socks because it reminded her that he was a boy as God made him. This girl knew to be grateful for a 16 year old wanting to talk at midnight. She knew those were some of the best times to talk.

Life wasn't easy. Life would have been so carefree if she had dreamed that different dream. But God knew her heart. He knew she couldn't grow and flourish and learn to see the beauty of His creation if she was driving a Mustang. He knew this little girl needed to stay grounded with vehicle repairs and oil stains on the carpet. He knew her needs as He created her. So He placed those dreams inside of her and stood by watching proudly as He allowed them to come true, one by one, just as the stars appear on a cloudless night.

And that little girl was happy. And grateful. And knew she was blessed. And thanked God everyday for allowing her dreams to come true.

Although she is dreaming that her next minivan is any colour but purple.

Thursday, June 12, 2008


When I was a kid and I wanted a friend to come over, I asked my mom if so and so could come over. It was called having a friend come over.

We're living in the 21st century now. The modern name for 'having a friend come over' is play date.

"We should get the girls together for a play date."

"Can Eilidh come over for a play date?"

I have no idea when or where this name started, but I'm betting some Early Childhood Educator coined the phrase. (I have my ECE, I'm allowed to gripe.) I decided to Google it (yes, 'to Google''s a verb I'm sure). And now I'm just a tad sad. Do you know that there are websites with play date rules?? That you can read up on play dates on Wikipedia?

When oh when did the Western World lose the skills needed to have a kid come over to play at one's house for 2 hours? Have we all lost our minds?? Our common sense?

Judging by the rules on the web, I suck at play dates. As the 'host parent', I'm supposed to be serving the 'guest parent' some light refreshments for the first 30 minutes while their child 'gets comfortable' with their new surroundings. I'm supposed to be planning crafts and activities and nutritious snacks. I should to be modeling 'give and take' conversations yet not be too accommodating to the guest child so as not to cause my own child to become jealous. And I'm supposed to be sending a thank you note after my child's been on a play date. Who frickin' knew?

I've had parents raise their eyebrows at me when I tell them I don't prepare for play dates....I don't 'run' play dates, and I certainly don't 'plan' what's going to happen during them. I have also had parents give a huge sigh of relief when I admit this to them out loud. They get this relieved look on their face and tell me that they don't know what to do to 'entertain' another child for an hour at their house, and they feel guilty asking a child over without an activity planned. So they don't 'do' play dates.

Well I'm hear to tell you that I don't do play dates, either. I let my kids have a friend over when they ask, and they play. They plan, they argue, they sort things out, they tell me if they're hungry or thirsty, they giggle and yell, run and goof around and enjoy the spontaneity of each moment. And I supervise. I step in when needed, bite my tongue when I want to solve their problems but I know they can if I give them the time to do so, and yes, I serve them nutritious snacks. And quite possibly, I may slip them a cookie to dip in their milk.

I'm a rebel with a cause.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


I have a nephew. His name is Calvin. He rocks.

Top Ten Reasons Why Calvin is Da Bomb.

10. He can make his hair grow straight up, defying all laws of gravity.

9. He could beat me at chess when he was 5.

8. He shares a room with his kid brother....and his kid brother is still alive.

7. He can get about 12 feet of air when on the trampoline.

6. He likes to grow things in the garden and not under his bed.

5. In the future, I will be able to phone Calvin and ask him to come save my houseplants.

4. Freckles? Girls love freckles....

3. He has the largest Webkin collection in Western Canada.

2. He's an AWESOME big cousin who's always looking out for his little cousins. They love him.

...and the number 1 reason that Calvin is da bomb is.....

he's my first nephew!!

Monday, June 9, 2008


Keeley's officially 2. The cake, the kids, the chaos. It was a great day.

Having our entire extended family over is wonderful. (Although it makes me long for a finished basement and deck.) We have a lot of family. And that makes for a perfect party for Keeley. She's the quintessential 4th child. Loves a crowd. The more the merrier, as long as she's in the middle of it. She was in her glory...balloons, family everywhere, a bowl of cheesies within her reach and a mom too busy to stop her from eating as many as she pleases.

The only problem with the day is that I was so busy doing 'stuff'' it was a bit of a blurr. But I'm a lucky lady. My brother Bill has a camera attached to each hip (I think he takes them off to shower). So my 2 year old's perfect day was completely chronicled with a picture diary courtesy of Bill (and to be fair, my sister Elizabeth stole his camera and took some pics too).

At one point, I was preparing food in the kitchen and looked over to see Bill taking a picture of the birthday cake. I thought, "Geez, that's a good idea." Oddly enough, I think I have 14 pictures of Kaitlyn's 2nd birthday cake that I personally took...but she's a first child. Things were different back then. And I found Bill gave me a funny look when I asked if he was able to take some pics of Keeley blowing out the birthday candles. He didn't say anything but I think he was thinking, "I've been taking documentation of all family events for the past, oh, 6 years. I think I have a pretty good understanding of the importance of taking a picture or two of a two year old spitting on her birthday cake." I could be wrong.

So...all in all, a great day, great pictures with speedy service (Bill uploaded the pics within 4 hours of leaving my house) and no invoice in the mail for photography services rendered.

I love family.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Turning Two

Keeley is my baby.

My baby is turning two on Sunday. In a blink of an eye she's gone from this:

To this:

She loves stickers.

She loves her Daddy.

She loves her Eilidh, Katie and Patrick.

She loves going for walks that have no destination but the discovery of an ant, a rock or a slug.

She loves cuddles and kisses and giving spontaneous leg hugs.

She loves life.

We're so blessed.

Thursday, June 5, 2008


My Irish Dancers.
Eilidh and Kaitlyn performed in "The Call to Dance VI" two weekends ago. I'm so organized that I've just uploaded the pictures. I'm so stinking organized that I didn't even get a picture of Kaitlyn with her dance shoes on. It was a great show. I was a proud mommy.
Great memories.....and a reminder that our girls are growing up.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Spell Check

As I've admitted in previous posts, I'm pretty computer illiterate. But even I know about a little thing called "spell check".

I have seen the word 'receive' spelled 'recieve' no less than 3 times in the past thirty minutes. Do schools not teach the cute little 'I before E except after C rule' anymore?

I, for one, am so relieved (yes, i before e in this instance) to read that the most important thing happening in our schools right now is to get rid of all the junk food. Let's not dwell on the fact that my 'A' student son asked me yesterday which province was farther away - Ontario or Quebec. Having aspartame laced yogurt and water and diet coke in their vending machines is going to make everything better.

Perhaps the politicians could pass another law. That all products contained in any school vending machine must not only be 'healthy' but educational as well. I can see it now. Patrick puts his loonie into the machine and out pops a diet Coke. As he goes to twist off the cap, he notices some way cool radical writing on the bottle. He looks with interest and reads, "British Columbia is the most Western Province in Canada." Accompanying this fascinating fact is a brightly coloured map, which Patrick would ponder and then state, "Well, look at that. Ontario IS closer to BC than Quebec."

These little snippets of education could include:
  • The difference between your and you're.
  • The name of the Prime Minister of Canada.
  • How to pronounce Nunavut.
  • And of course the I before E rule.

I'm brilliant.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Pumpkin Scones

I decided to make pumpkin scones today. (Exciting! I know you've all been on the edge of your seat waiting to hear about the latest crazy moment of my life.)

I just realized that I make pumpkin scones on Tuesdays. (ANOTHER exciting bit of info for you....I'm sure you're hyperventilating by now.) I had no idea until today. Am I a nimrod for not realizing this until today or just a closet organizational freak who is so closeted that she doesn't even know it? Am I just an insane creature of habit? Maybe it's the sleep deprivation of the past 2 years that have caused me to not notice until today. I'm starting to feel a bit loopy.

I dunno....with four kids and a busy household I was under the assumption that apart from Monday meaning lots of loads of laundry and Friday meaning a trip to Stupidstore, I kinda went with the flow and 'planned' things by the seat of my you know what.

I'm so tired. I feel like I've been awake since 5:30 am Saturday morning. And Keeley is still sick. I don't know where I'm going with this. I cannot type three letters without making a mistake. Must go put on coffee. This whole scone epiphany must go on a shelf somewhere to be pulled down later.

Fortunately for the family, I can make pumpkin scones with my eyes closed. And they go GREAT with coffee.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

The Art of Blogging

This blogging thing is complicated.

I'm the first to admit that I'm pretty computer illiterate. (My keyboarding skills are AMAZING though.) Other than my brother Bill's blog (which he doesn't write anymore...very sad), I'm pretty new to the blogging world. My sister and another brother blog and I enjoy reading both of their daily insights. We're all busy and it's a way I can feel like I'm connecting with them even though I only get to see them a couple times a month. It was for this very reason that I've started blogging.

Until recently, I did not read the blogs of people I didn't know. And then I clicked on a link on Facebook (ahh! yes, the dreaded Facebook). A friend of mine had joined a prayer group for a young married couple and their unborn baby. And the woman had CF. Because of Eilidh's friend with CF, and with me still learning about the disease, I clicked on the link to the husband's blog.

There I sat, for 4 hours until 1 am in the morning, reading their story, crying for people I had never, and will never, meet. I cannot do this family justice by trying to retell their entire story. The Cole's Notes: Wife, Tricia has CF. Was going to be registered for a double lung transplant. Found out they were very unexpectedly pregnant. Refused to abort, Tricia continued with pregnancy, and baby Gwyneth was born at 24 weeks, 4 days. Lots of scary medical issues including not knowing if either was going to survive. Fast forward almost 5 months, and both mom and baby are going to be heading home, mom with new lungs. And all with the belief that God is in control. If you've got 8 hours, I highly recommend checking it out.

I digress.

What started out as a way for this family to keep other family members and friends up to date about their lives has turned into a 4 and a half million hits blog. Welcome to the Internet world. Nate has allowed his blog to be read by anyone as a way of educating the world about CF, premature birth, organ transplant and God. And that's amazing. But what happens when you open up your life, or part of it, to the world?

Some people start to feel like they're allowed to critique, complain, and leave comments all under the veil of anonymity. Misunderstandings arise. People take things the wrong way. If someone disagrees with something written, they feel that they have the right to start a debate.

But here's the clincher. People are critiquing some one's life. The decisions they make. And in a public forum. Is that ok? Is that what is allowed in the blogging world? If I was sitting across from a person I do not know personally telling me about a decision they have made for their infant, unless that person asks for my opinion, do I have the right to give it? Does the fact that I'm reading the information on a computer change that?

What ARE the blogging etiquette rules? Several blogs I've read set the ground rules up front. "This is not a place for debate." Or "I welcome your viewpoint on this." Some blogs I read have disabled the public comment section because of negative or destructive comments. Other blogs want people to debate with their opinions. But here lies the difference. The blogs that want to debate state as such. The blogs who are wanting to share some (and that's the key...SOME) of their life, typically state that their blog is not a place up for debate.

My head is a spinnin'. Have I broken any blogging rules just writing this post? I hope not. Do I want someone debating on my blog? Debating, perhaps. Criticizing my parenting skills, not so much. I have a 16 year old daughter doing a fine job on that point already.

What are YOUR thoughts on blogging etiquette? I'm setting the ground rules for this post. I'm open to debate on this one point. Opinions, thoughts, recipes....what have you. I'm not too interested in rude comments around how lame my blog is, or that I have too many children or something of that nature. Be nice. Play fair. I'm a newbie.