Friday, December 31, 2010

The Year in Review

It's time to say good-bye to 2010 and reflect upon the last year.

We've had our ups and downs over the year and I'm definitely hoping 2011 will be better for us.  

I think the best part of the year has been watching Pickle grow and develop her little personality.  She is so much fun and definitely loves life.  She can make anyone smile, even on their worst day.







We saw the twins' hit milestones this past year with each of them losing their first tooth.


We went on several excursions including Marineland, Canada's Wonderland and the Ontario Science Centre to see the Harry Potter Exhibit.  



I decided, with a saddened heart, to close my online cloth diaper store.
I started my blog to chronical my journey as a SAHM raising twingles.  I've written posts from the heart and hope you've enjoyed the ride.
I hope 2011 will be just as rewarding despite the trials and tribulations we may be faced with.
Wishing you and yours a very safe and Happy New Year.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

I'm Going to Disney World!

Okay, not really.  Although, I'd LOVE to go.  Can you believe I've never been?

I digress.  One lucky reader is going to see Disney Live!  Mickey's Rockin' Road Show.  That reader is:


Janet (anonymous)

Anonymous said...
Hey Steph, 
My preferred show Hamilton, ON Copps Coliseum Jan 23, 2011 3:00pm
Thanks, Janet Nielsen

Congratulations Janet.  I'll be emailing you the details on how to claim your prize.  Have fun at the show!



For those of you that didn't win, don't despair.  Don't forget you can still purchase tickets and enter code:  MINNIE for the London, ON show or BLOG for the other Ontario dates.  


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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Well That Sucks...

As those of you that follow my blog know, I had started the project 365 a while ago and failed miserably at it.  Taking a photo every day turned out much more difficult than I had anticipated.  

I called it quits and decided that I would put forth a renewed effort starting January 1, 2011.  It seems my plan has hit a small snafu.  On Boxing Day during Christmas v2.0, I was in the process of getting ready to take pictures when the baby decided to put tape and wrapping paper in her mouth.  I lurched to get the paper out and dropped the camera, lens down, in the process.  

My poor little camera now has a lens that is extended; but has been jilted so one side is in while the other remains out :(

I guess the upside is that it was only a point and shoot camera and not an expensive SLR; but, it's still not in our budget to replace at the present time.

So, I'm still going to try to do the 365 challenge starting Jan 1; I'll just have to use my phone to take the pictures.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

'Twas the Night Before Christmas & Out on the Ranch...

The following was published in "Regional News This Week" on December 22, 2010.  I thought I would share it with all of you as the message is clear and one that we may tend to forget in today's age of technology.

'Twas the night before Christmas & out on the ranch
The pond was froze over & so was the branch.
The snow was piled up belly-deep to a mule.
The kids were all home on vacation from school,
And happier young folks you never did see-
Just all sprawled around a-watchin' TV.
Then suddenly, some time around 8 o'clock.
The power went off, the TV went dead!
When Grandpa came in from out in the shed
With an armload of wood, the house was all dark.
"Just what I expected," they heard him remark.
"Them power line wires must be down from the snow.
Seems sorter like times on the ranch long ago."
"I'll hunt up some candles," said Mom.  "With their light,
And the fireplace, I reckon we'll make out all right."
The teen-agers all seemed enveloped in gloom.
Then Grandpa came back from a trip to his room.
Uncased his old fiddle & started to play
That old Christmas song about bells on a sleigh.
Mom started to sing, & 1st thing they knew
Both Pop & the kids were all singing it, too.
They sang Christmas carols, they sang "Holy Night,"
Their eyes all a-shine in the ruddy firelight.
They played some charades Mom recalled from her youth,
They stayed up till midnight - and would you believe,
They youngsters agreed 'twas a fine Christmas Eve.
Grandpa rose early, some time before dawn;
And when the kids wakened, the power was on.
"The power company sure got the line repaired quick,"
Said Grandpa - and no one suspected his trick.
Last night, for the sake of some old-fashioned fun,
He had pulled the main switch - the old Son-of-a-Gun!
-anonymous


Merry Christmas everyone!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Making Friends Monday - December 20, 2010

Good morning and welcome!

How is your holiday shopping going?  Have you finished or do you plan on doing it all this week?  I thought I had finished shopping for everyone; but, realized I still have to get stocking stuffers for the dog & cat.  I also have to take the gifts for my parents and grandmother to be bound at Staples.  I make them a family calendar featuring photos of the kids from the past year.

If you're still stuck for a gift idea for the kids, why not take them to see Disney Live! Mickey's Rockin' Road Show?  I've got a great discount on tickets for you and you can enter to win a family of four pack of tickets.  See my post to find out more.

It's Monday and that means it's time to make friends.  The rules for Making Friends Monday are simple; but, must be followed if you want to be selected as the next featured blogger.

1.  Follow the Making Friends Monday hosts, listed as numbers 1 through 4 on the linky.  Leave them a comment so they know to follow back.
2.  Grab the MFM button and use it in your own blog post.  Grab the linky code to get even more followers!
3.  Start hopping and remember, following back is appreciated.

This week's spotlight blogger is Kim from Chubby Cheeks Thinks.  When you're done here; stop by her blog to check it out and say hi.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Disney Live! Mickey's Rockin' Road Show


Those of you with children are probably pretty familiar with the stars of Disney Live! Mickey's Rockin' Road Show.  I know the twins love watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Handy Manny in the mornings while eating breakfast before heading off to school.

That's why I'm super excited to be taking them to see Disney Live! Mickey's Rockin' Road Show in January 2011!

I'm even MORE excited to host a giveaway for a Family of Four Pack of tickets for the show of your choice:
Kitchener, ONCentre in the SquareJanuary 7, 2011
Ottawa, ONOttawa Civic CentreJanuary 8, 2011
London, ONJon Labatt CentreJanuary 9, 2011
Oshawa, ONGM CentreJanuary 13, 2011
Toronto, ONRogers CentreJanuary 14-16, 2011
Windsor, ONWFCU CentreJanuary 21, 2011
Hamilton, ONCopps ColiseumJanuary 22-23, 2011

But wait, there's more!  For those that don't win our giveaway, you can still receive a discount by purchasing tickets at TicketMaster.ca and entering one of the following codes:  London, use "MINNIE" all other cities use "BLOG".  Tickets would make the perfect Christmas gift!


MANDATORY ENTRY
(please leave your email address with EVERY entry so I can contact you if you win)

Leave me a comment with your preference of show date, location and time.  (1 entry)

OPTIONAL ENTRIES
Follow me on GFC (1 entry)

Follow me on Twitter (1 entry)

Tweet about our giveaway (1 entry per day)
"I want to #win 4 tickets to Disney Live! Mickey's Rockin' Road Show from @twinglegal http://bit.ly/gMHre5 #giveaway"

Buy tickets to Disney Live! Mickey's Rockin' Road Show from Ticketmaster.ca and leave me the transaction code (3 entries).

Follow me on Facebook (1 entry)

Grab my button and post on your blog, leave a comment with link for me to find it (1 entry)

Blog about the giveaway, leave me the URL (2 entries)

Giveaway open to residents of Southern Ontario.  Giveaway will run from December 17, 2010 until December 30, 2010.  

Good luck to everyone that enters.  Here's a fun colouring page for the kids.
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Five Question Friday for December 17, 2010

Good morning!  I hope you're all having a wonderful week.  What are your plans this weekend?

I've got a busy weekend ahead.  I have to finish a very exciting blog post for all of you announcing our newest giveaway!  Tonight I'll be attending the joint Guides/Scouts Christmas party and then my Guide unit is having a sleepover.  Sunday will be spent hosting my brother and sister-in-law who will be coming over to do our Christmas together since they're travelling to Florida over the holiday itself.

So without further ado, let's get on with Five Question Friday.  If you want to play, head on over to My Little Life and link up!


1.  Do you regift...and if so, do you have a regifting horror story?
I have regifted in the past and no, I don't have a horror story.  I don't see anything wrong with it as long as you make sure to keep track of where and when the gift was received and from whom.  That way you're not going to end up with a regifting story.
I don't think you should have to keep a gift that you're not going to use.  To my thinking, I'm either going to regift it and save myself a few dollars in the process, or it's going to get donated or thrown in the garbage.  Why not take advantage of the fact that you have a ready-made gift to go?

2.  Do you know what you are getting for Christmas this year?
I'm going to have to say yes and no.

Yes, I know what I'm getting from my hubby and that's nothing.  We just don't have the budget to buy for each other and want to make the holiday extra special for the kids so we've spent our money on them.

No, I don't know what I'm getting from extended family members and I like it that way!

3.  Who brings the most gifts in your family, you or Santa?
I'd have to say that it's a tie.  Santa usually only brings one big gift and maybe one or two smaller items for the kids.
We usually try to have at least two gifts under the tree for each person.  Even if it's one gift wrapped in two boxes!

4.  What store do you love to buy jeans from?
I love getting my jeans from Reitmans.  Being a plus sized gal, finding jeans that fit well can be a challenge.  I've found through trial and error that the jeans at Reitmas have the best fit for my shape; and, they're affordable!

5.  Christmas meal:  Big, All Out Meal or Snacks & Apps?
It's gotta be a big, all out meal!  Usually through out the day we skip lunch and will just have snacks and apps so we have room for the big dinner.  Turkey, potatoes, gravy, stuffing, three or four veggies, rolls and pie for dessert...YUM!

Okay, well that's all for today.  Now I'm off to bake for tonight's party.  Have a wonderful weekend.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Do You Santa?

I've been reading a lot of blogs and articles lately about the Christmas season and about parents choosing not to do the "Santa thing" with their children.

It seems the argument is not just about consumerism; but, also about lying to your children and crushing their little worlds when they learn the truth about the man in red.

I've thought about what I've read and the arguments presented.  I agree that the focus of Christmas has become too commercial and kids feel entitled to big, elaborate gifts.  However, I don't believe teaching your kids about Santa is to blame; at least, not entirely.

Growing up, Christmas was a magical time for my family.  My dad who had never celebrated Christmas as a child due to his mother's religious beliefs, was like a child himself at Christmas.  Our holiday season started the day of the Toronto Santa Claus parade.  As I think I've mentioned in a prior post, there are very few years that we didn't go to the parade and line the streets with thousands of other families.  Those years we were unable to make it we sat home and watched it on T.V. while ordering in the Festive Special from Swiss Chalet.  We would spend the day before the parade putting up the outdoor decorations to be turned on during the parade.   My brother and I got so excited over the prospect of seeing the main man and giving our carefully drafted letters to the Canada Post workers who walked the parade route and delivered the letters to Santa themselves.  Of course, Santa was the whole reason for being there.

I remember being nine the year I found out the "truth".  I was upset until my Mom asked me one simple question "Do you believe in make-believe?".  Of course, I answered "yes".  My Mom, in all her wisdom, then told me "As long as you believe in make-believe, you can believe in anything you want".  And it is that one statement that I have carried forth with me into my adult years.  That one statement that made the non-existence of Santa easier to bear.

And so, now as a mother of three, we do the "Santa thing" with our children.  Seeing their eyes light up with wonder and excitement at the mere mention of Santa is truly heartwarming.  Mr. Twingle and I have set boundaries with the kids regarding gift getting from Santa.  You see, Santa has to make many toys for the children all over the world and so if they ask for too many, or too elaborate a gift, then Santa can't make gifts for other children.  The twins know that they can ask for three items and that Santa will bring one of them; providing they've been good of course!

We do make a point of teaching the kids about the meaning of Christmas, not just about Santa.  It comes naturally for Mr. Twingle as he's a PK (Preacher's kid) and has grown up in the Church.  Up until last year, we regularly attended Christmas Eve services and will likely resume this year.  The meaning and spirit of the holiday for us is more than just Santa and gifts.

One might ask if I feel bad knowing that I am lying to my children?  No, not at all; for the simple reason that I still believe in make-believe and NO one can prove that Santa DOESN'T exist!

So my question to you is "do you Santa"?

Merry Christmas everyone!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Saved by a Time Machine!

Let me begin with a brief history.

I have only been a Mac user since September 2007.  Prior to my iMac purchase I was a PC user.  I would never have even considered going Mac until my husband got his MacBook Pro and showed me just how wonderful Macs could be.  I was quite happy on my PC despite the numerous viruses, crashes and freezing until it happened...the crash to end all crashes.  In the middle of working one evening the computer shut down and wouldn't restart.  We tried everything to get the computer to reboot and were unsuccessful.  The worst part was I had recently dumped all our photos of the twins onto the PC and didn't yet have a back up of all of them.  We took the PC to a data recovery specialist hoping they would be able to find our photos and any other files; but, despite their efforts, they couldn't recover anything.  I was devastated to have lost those precious memories of the twins' milestones.  Things like crawling, trying solids and more have been lost forever.

Fast forward to this week.  I decided it was time to clean up my Pictures folder and free up some space on the hard drive.  I have a lot of clip art images I downloaded for one-time use that I could get rid of and not worry.  I guess I got a little too over zealous in my cleaning as I accidentally deleted my iPhoto Library folder!  Picture me freaking out that I was stupid enough to have done that and I've lost all our photos from 2007 to present.

That's when I remembered Time Machine!  I have an external hard drive and run regular scheduled backups through Time Machine.  I quickly found the most recent back up; which is November 2, and restored the file.  Unfortunately, I did lose a month's worth of photos; but, I'm okay with that as I didn't lose them all!

My precious memories have been located and I'm now in the process of freeing up space on my external drive so it can run a full backup and I won't lose any more photos.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Five Question Friday!

Thanks for stopping by this first Friday in December!  I awoke this morning to a VERY light dusting of snow.  It wasn't really anything spectacular; but, it made it seem more festive.  I'm totally getting into the holiday spirit and even started my holiday baking this week.  I'll post my cookie recipes for Molasses Spice Cookies and Cinnamon Polar Bears later this weekend.

I hope you'll join up with me and My Little Life for Five Question Friday.  Head on over to My Little Life to link up!



1.  What's on the top of your holiday wish list and why?
What I would like more than anything this Christmas is to win the lottery.  We've had a rough year, like many families, and it would be nice to be able to catch up and to also give our families some financial cushions too.

2.  What is your favourite Christmas gift from the past?
This one's easy!
My engagement ring.
Mr. Twingle and I moved into our very first house together at the end of November.  We had agreed not to get gifts for each other; just stocking stuffers, since we had just spent so much in closings costs, etc.  Of course, neither of us stuck to that agreement.  I bought him a George Foreman grill and in keeping with a childhood tradition, pj's to be opened on Christmas Eve.
He also knew about my tradition and so he woke me up to open my gift.  Inside was a housecoat with a pocket.  In that pocket was my engagement ring.  Mr. T got down on one knee and proposed in our new master bedroom.

3.  If you had life to do over, what would you be when you grow up?
I would become the lawyer I always wanted to be; but got talked out of.

4.  When do you put up your tree?
Our tree usually goes up the first Sunday of Advent.  We're late this year though as Mr. Twingle is out of town and I need his help to assemble the tree.

5.  What is your favourite Holiday?
Anyone who knows me, knows that my favourite holiday is Christmas.  I love the whole idea of it.  The sights and sounds.  The scents and foods and goodwill towards men.

Okay, so those are my answers.  Now what are yours?

Musings of a SAHM

I've been very fortunate to be a SAHM (stay-at-home-mom) since the twins were born in 2004.  At the time I was running a home-based online business; but I was and am a mom first and foremost.

What I have learned in those six years is that though rewarding, being a SAHM is not without it's unique challenges; and it's hard.

I listen to my friends that work outside of the home complain about this and that aspect of their job, commute, etc and how I couldn't possibly understand since I'm no longer in the work force.  While I sometimes find their statements totally unfair I sometimes envy them.

You see, it's a rare occasion when I get adult conversation on any given day.  The hellos and good-byes in the school yard just don't count as quality conversing.

Most of my days are filled by wearing different hats.  On any given day I may wear some or all: chef, chauffer, doctor, playmate, teacher, referee, psychologist, psychiatrist, maid, photographer, musician, comedian, judge, jury, volunteer and I'm sure there are more; but, I just can't think of them right now.

More often than not these days, I wear the referee hat most of the day.  The twins are at an age where they are trying to exert their independence and test their boundaries.  They argue and fight with each other and me.  Somedays it takes every ounce of strength I have not to scream and yell at them.  I'm not perfect by any means and somedays I do yell.  But then I feel that horrible mommy guilt afterwards and usually have a good cry once they're all tucked in and "I love you's" have been said and hugs issued.

There are people around me who look at my life and think "what is she doing, I wouldn't want to be in her shoes", and you know what?  I'm okay with that.  Motherhood, or even parenthood, isn't for everyone.  However, don't look down upon me and the life I've chosen simply because it's not the life you would choose for yourself.

I may not be wealthy.  Hell, I may not even have money for a coffee; but, I get paid something a lot better than that.  The unconditional love that I get from the three kids, even on those horrible days where I want to beat my head against a brick wall, is worth more than even the highest paying job or deepest adult conversation.

{this moment}

Inspiration taken from SouleMama {this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see. Wishing you a beautiful weekend!
I couldn't decide on a photo, so I hope you enjoy my little video!