Okay so I’m a little deliquent in posting… It’s Summer :-)

It’s summertime!

I love summer.

The carefree spirit it brings. Garden parties, trips to the park, drinks on the porch, meals outside, bbq’s, bike rides, soccer games, devouring large slices of watermelon so juicy that it drips down your arm… the list is endless. But I love it.

It seems I’m not the only one who feels the carefree spirit of summer. I see it in my kids all the time. For all of the technology in the world I wish that there was a gadget that could record the memory that I had just witnessed. Sometimes I am fortunate and I actually capture a snapshot.

Below I managed to capture a carefree moment. Something as simple as a balloon can bring a smile (or a tear if lost) to a child’s face.

girlsandballoons

I love how something as simple as a balloon can bring hours (and I mean hours) of enjoyment to a child. Sometimes we need to step back a remove them from electronics and let them enjoy the simple things in life. Like playing with a balloon.

Joanne my husbands grandmother recently celebrated her 80th Birthday and I managed to capture this picture of Nicole running through the grass chasing one of the balloons. This little moment and many others are ingrained in my head. This is what summer life should be….Nicole at Joannes 80th Birthday

 CAREFREE!

It took Nicole to make me realize as much as people have a tendency to annoy me sometimes I just need to ignore them and carry on.

On our way home from soccer practice it was just Nicole and I in the car. I was cut off by some jerk and yelled.

“You IDIOT!”as if said idiot in the car could hear me.

“What’s the problem sweetie?”

I explain  to Nicole that said idiot almost caused an accident and we could have been hurt.

Nicole repeats herself.

“Soooo what’s the problem sweetie pie Mommy?”

I open my mouth to repeat  myself and then it dawns on me.

I understood what she meant. We didn’t get into an accident so what’s the problem?

Nicole is too smart for her own good and she’s doesn’t even know it yet.

Sometimes I find it amazing. As much as kids learn from us every once in a while we can learn from them. I think that’s one of the most awesome parts of being a family. Learning from each other.

What have you learned from your kids lately?

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Hello Friends!

Yes it’s been a long while since I’ve posted. My life has been beyond crazy. I’ve been sick, had final exams, holidays, family trauma drama, and relatives visiting from England that I got to meet in person for the first time.

So that brings me to this post. It’s now June. I didn’t have my act together this year, so I broke down and bought fruit and vegetable plants for a container garden.

To give you a little background

We bought our house almost four years ago. Three years ago I did what every good gardener does. I used compost that was overflowing in the composter and put it around my gardens. However, the person that we bought the house from failed to mention the composter was where he composted nothing but the garden weeds.

Ugggh!

So it’s been a struggle to get a handle on them. I tried a new method this year in the front garden. I used an electric cultivator to dig up a particular weed that spreads underground. And Voila! To date it has worked. I plan on trying this method on the back garden eventually but for now I wanted a food garden.

Earlier in this spring… 

Our grocery store’s garden centre had a few interesting things that I picked up.

A dwarf fig tree, blueberry/strawberry combo planter, and grapes that can be grown in a container. Yes folks you read that correctly. The Vineland research institute came up with the dwarf varieties this year and I was so excited at this prospect that I picked them up.

Hmmmm! Grapes and figs that produce fruit in the first year. grapes

Procrastination Doesn’t Pay!

Yes this year I procrastinated. Last year I lost hope since the garden was/still is a mess. This year I said

“SCREW IT… I will container garden!”

I visited a few different greenhouses. Since it’s already mid-June the pickings were really, really slim. I ended up out of all places, at Home Depot. On a wing and a prayer that they had what I wanted. Luckily they did… for the most part.

Here is a pic of my small score.garden

A few beefsteak tomato plants, eggplant, sugarbaby watermelon, orange peppers, sweet banana peppers, bell peppers and 1 small Jalapeno pepper plant.

I drove down to Seaway greenhouses and managed to score zucchini, cucumbers and a few herbs.

Perfect! So I began planting in containers.

Nicole was curious about what I was up to. She saw me plant flowers a few weeks earlier but then she began asking questions.

“Whutz dat?”

“Vegetables and some fruit plants. This is how we get our food.”

“No don’t…Mommy buy at the store.” She frowned a crossed her arms across her chest.Nicole gardening

“Yes baby but food doesn’t just appear at the store it has to grow, be harvested, which means picked and then it gets sent to the grocery store for us to buy.”

Nicole bent down to analyze the bag of dirt.

“Momma would rather get food from the backyard, it’s closer.” I winked at Nicole and she giggled.

“You’re silly.”

“I am not.” I protested.

“Do you want to help?”

“Sure do! That garbage! Yucky!” Nicole points to the dirt.

“No baby that’s dirt. We need it to add to the containers in order for everything to grow. It’s not garbage. Garbage is something we can’t use.”

Nicole put her hands on the cool moist soil.

“Yucky garbage!” she retracted her hand.

“No not garbage, it’s dirt.”

“Durt?”

“Yes dirt.” I finished planting one of the pepper plants and set it aside.

Nicole garden

“I will help you!”

Nicole marched towards the pot, grabbed it and carried it across the yard placing it carefully beside the others.

“He needs to be with his friends. So they can have a party!” Nicole proceeded to dance in the garden and shook her little bum at me laughing.

I thought to myself “Ah yes,  they party so much so that they explode into fruits and vegetables.”

 Nice one Nicole. Nice one.sunglasses smiley face

I Da Boss

I would like to apologize for the delay in posting. I have been waiting for my blog to be graded. So I’ve decided I am going ahead and posting. Professor, I’m sure you’ll figure out where I left off.

Given the events of the last week I thought I would share some humour.

Last Night

Lately Lucas has been mouthy. Okay not lately, it’s been like that for months. Mouthy, and full of attitude.

My husband Ron decided to teach him a mini lesson and it eventually turned into Ron putting Lucas in a head lock. They decided to horse around. It went something like this:

“Nicole, grrrrr heeeelp me! Geeeet daddy, get’em.” Lucas is on the ground refusing submission. Ron is laughing.

Nicole is sitting on her knees in her chair eating a peanut butter sandwich at the kitchen table. She peered down at him, licked her index finger and thumb.

“Nooo Dudis, I eat peebutter sanwich. I busy.”peanut butter sandwich

“Give up yet Lucas? She’s not coming to help you.” Ron holds the head lock a little tighter.

“Grrrr.” Lucas laughed.

“Nooo! Never. Giving. Up.” Lucas continued to struggle.

At the Dinner Table

“Dudis, stop it! Yooo, yoooo, eat yooo dinner.” Nicole commanded in a bossy voice and frowns down at him.

“Okay Lucas we’re done.”  Ron said.

“Neveeeer.” Lucas replied.

Lucas tried to haul Ron down one last time but failed. Ron laughed.

Lucas is now laying on his back, on the ground, blocking the doorway between the hallway and kitchen.

Nicole finished her sandwich, hopped down and stepped square on Lucas’ gut to get to the hallway. Something he didn’t expect.

“Ohhhh Nicolllle!”

Nicole stopped in her tracks, turned around slightly and looked down at him.

Nicole let out a large sigh.

“Dudis, stop orsing aa aaawound. Come on, come on. Nap time.” Nicole motioned with her hand for Lucas to follow her down the hallway.

Ron and I glanced at each other and laughed.

“Well you’ve been told buddy, time to go to bed.” I said grinning.

“Whaaa whaaa, she can’t tell me what to do!” Lucas replied.

“Nope but I can. It’s bedtime buddy. Get your jammies on. Let’s go.” I said.

“Thanks a lot Nicole.” Lucas half gets up off of the floor.

A tiny voice echoed down the hallway.

“Yoooo welcome Dudis. I da boss.”nicole upside down

Emergency Preparedness…with Kids

My post this week is a more serious one.

Emergency preparedness. Most people aren’t prepared for a power outage of a few hours, let alone a few weeks. As hurricane Sandy made her way up the east coast I decided to get better prepared.

My list was as follows:

    1. Propane for the BBQ. I hounded my husband by text all afternoon. “Pick up propane!” If we weren’t going to have power, at least I could cook on the BBQ. (Last time the power was out for three days. We had no propane and relied on the fast food joint that miraculously had power. An expensive lesson.)
    2. Food that could be BBQ, and pizza. Yes… you read that correctly, pizza.I cooked a few party sized pizzas when I got home the night the storm was supposed to hit. Pizza can be eaten cold, and odds are no one will complain. Cereal (oatmeal), bagels, peanut butter, bread, various fruits such as apples and bananas. They don’t need refrigeration and have little garbage. I also bought the essentials, candy and chips.pizza
    3.  Water. The most important supply. For some strange reason, the grocery store managers in my fine city didn’t seem to think this would be a major purchase this week. Therefore, every last bottle, including the most expensive brands were gone. However, after visiting two different grocery stores I found some, one large container. Yes, I bought the last one.
    4. Other beverages such as juice, beer, wine and pop. All to be put in a cooler with ice. Might as well have a little fun. Strategically I am saving the water.
    5. A kettle that can be placed on BBQ. For the record, my husband can be darn right grumpy without his coffee. The kettle was a must.
    6. Batteries.  Every shape and size, and a lot of them. Kids can be downright unreasonable if their toys don’t work. To avoid headaches this was mandatory. The batteries were also back up for flashlights and the fake battery operated candles.
    7. Deck of cards, board games and puzzles. No batteries required, and can provide hours of fun for the kids.board games

So now the tricky part…

Keeping the kids calm. Not to mention myself. So my idea was to make it a party. (Hence the pop, chips and candy.) If you tell the kids it’s a party, especially if they are younger, they are excited, as opposed to scared.

When I told my daughter Nicole it was a party. She jumped around excitedly in our kitchen.

“Party! Party! Party!” she stopped in her tracks and looked up at me.

“Birfday Party?”

“No Nicole. Just a party.” She raised her hands in the air.

“Yaaaaay!” and continued jumping around our kitchen and into the living room.

This time

The storm didn’t really affect us. The high winds left some people without power for a few hours. The storm also left some people with tree limbs around their property. A relatively small clean up job. We know most of the east coast wasn’t so lucky. So I trumped this up to a good practice run. We know there will be a next time, so it gave me some ideas.

Purchase Suggestions For the Next Storm

      1. A crank/solar radio. Most now come adapted with a plug for your cell phone. An excellent way to get up-to-date information.
      2. solar lamp. The lamp can charge in overcast conditions, and some have cranks if the charge isn’t enough. The best part about the crank option is the kids can feel they are doing something useful. You can also make it a game. One person can crank against another, and you can time them.
      3. A Crank flashlight. Same idea as the solar lamp but they also come as waterproof and may also float.
      4. Glow sticks. This way the kids relate this item to Halloween. A party atmosphere a.k.a fun.

Really it’s for your piece of mind so you can locate them in the dark.

Additional Suggestions

One of my last suggestions is something that many people don’t do. Check your first aid kit regularly, and by that, I mean every six month. Many people don’t realize that everything in the kit including Band-Aids go off. (They lose their stickiness.)first aid kit

My last suggestion is to practice. The perfect time to practice your emergency preparedness, other than an impending storm, I decided, was Earth Hour. You can hold Earth Hour Party, and practice all your emergency preparedness ideas and build on them.

Do you have suggestions on how to prepare for an emergency with kids?

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