Monday, January 30, 2012

Monday Musings

What a weekend!  Friday, Mr. Twingle and I took Pickle to the walk-in clinic because she'd had a fever for three days and a cough that was keeping her up at night.  Turns out the poor little lamb has strep throat and a respiratory infection.  She's now on anti-biotics and two puffers.
Thankfully, Pickle is a very easy going little girl; and there's not much that gets her down.  Despite her obviously feeling like crap; she's been in pretty good spirits.  She's only had the odd moment of crankiness; BUT, that odd moment is enough to drive mommy batty since it seems she tries to make up for not being crabby all day.  Oh well...I guess she's entitled to that.  Strep is NASTY and I feel sorry for my poor little Pickle.

The rest of the weekend was fairly quiet, spent at home.  Yesterday, we got outside while it was snowing.  The first real big snowfall of the season, about 5cm!  The twins couldn't wait to get outside and play in the fluffy white stuff.  Of course, Pickle wanted to go too.  So I bundled up the three kids and the dog and we went outside.  Pretty showed Pickle how to do snow angel's while Boo got to work rolling a ball for a snowman.  Here are some photos of our snow fun!

No, the dog isn't going pee, she's eating snow!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Why I Write

It's been a while since I've thought about this question and so I thought I'd blog about it.

I started blogging because it seemed like the "cool" thing to do; yes, I followed the popular kids.  But I never really stayed with it for long.  I dabbled with the odd blog post on different platforms; but, never really became a "blogger".

In June of 2010, I made the heartbreaking decision to close my five year old cloth diaper business.  I had put many long hours, blood, sweat and tears into the business; but with the economic decline it wasn't feasible to keep it going.  I needed something to do with my time.  Yes, not running a business gave me more time to spend with the kids and I loved it; but you can only go so long without adult interaction before you start going insane.  That's when I decided I would give it a go at blogging, routinely.

Originally, I thought I'd just write about my days with the kids.  A way to keep family up-to-date with what I'm doing at home every day.  But I quickly realized I needed and wanted to write more than that.  You'll see that my post count year to year has grown since I started in June 2010.  Some months I do really well, writing almost every day.  Other months I can go weeks without anything to say...but that's life isn't it?  We don't always have something exciting or challenging going on that we need to share.  Sometimes what I write is just fluff.  There's no real indepth thought process to what I type.  Other days, it can take hours, broken up over the course of the day, to write one post.

I love the interaction I get when new people find and follow my blog or leave comments.  While Blogger doesn't allow me to interact well with my commenters, I do try to respond and hope they'll come back to see what I've written.  Maybe one day, I'll move to the Wordpress platform; but, for now Blogger meets my needs and it doesn't take a lot of thought to design and manage.  I enjoy finding new blogs to follow and reading them when I have a spare moment; which I admit is far and few between.

For me blogging is like keeping a journal, which I did all through adolescence and even into early adulthood. While I may not write as many personal things on the blog that I would have shared in a journal that was for my eyes only, I do get to express myself in the same way; it's just censored!

So I guess in a nutshell, I write for me.  Even if no one else ever reads what I write, I've put it out there for me to see and read.  Someday, the three kids may come across my blog and read my silly anecdotes or rants about their behaviour and thank me for writing about it least that's what I hope.

So tell me, why do you write?

Friday, January 27, 2012

{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!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Old Wives Tales

A friend of mine is pregnant with her second baby.  Before she was able to get in for an ultrasound and gender screening, we decided to put an old wives tale to the test.  It had been right for all three of my kids, yes, even the twins.

We used her necklace and I held it over her belly.  It immediately started swing in a circular motion...a girl! We tried several more times over the weeks before her ultrasound and always got the same result, without hesitation.

Well, it turns out the necklace was wrong.  According to her physician, the ultrasound shows the baby is a boy.  Of course, we all know that ultrasounds can be wrong and so she is taking it with a grain of salt.
I, however, am skeptical.  I mean, how is it that this wives tale could be right for boy/girl twins; but, not for this baby?  Am I buying into the myth?

I remember when my mom put my wedding ring on a chain and hung it over my belly.  I thought "what a crock".  Especially when the chain started to move back & forth, then change to circling; and back to swinging back & forth.  Little did I know at the time that I was expecting twins, let alone one of each!  Turns out the chain was right to act as it had.  With Pickle, there was never any doubt.  The same chain circled each and every time I held it over my belly.  An ultrasound confirmed that the baby was indeed a girl.

These recent chain of events have had me wondering about other old wives tales and their accuracy.  Does anyone have any experience with other tales; and were they right?  I know there are MANY old wives tales regarding pregnancy, the swinging chain is just one of those.  Some say you can tell the gender of the baby based on how the woman carries the child. Others say you can tell by what the mother craves.

What about old wives tales that don't involve pregnancy?  My favourite is "feed a cold, starve a fever".  Really?  Both colds and fevers can cause dehydration and make you sicker.  Drinking lots of clear liquids, including broths, when you're sick is key.

So are there any old wives tales out there that you dislike or find annoying?  I'd love to hear about them or your experiences with any old wives tale!

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

To Grandmother's House We Go

It amazes me sometimes how often the twins ask to go to their grandparents' houses.  They get super excited about going for a visit, especially when there's a sleepover involved.

Growing up, I hated going to visit my grandparents.  I think a lot of it had to do with the fact that my mom's parents were chain smokers and lived in a tiny apartment.  Get the two of them and my parents, also smokers at the time, in that little room and I could barely breathe.  I also wasn't allowed to touch anything, they didn't have any toys or activities to keep me busy and they watched football all day long.  
Gotta say, not much fun for an eight year old kid.  I'm also the oldest of all my cousins, with an 18 year gap between me and the youngest.  I often got stuck entertaining the little ones.  

As I got older, visiting them got more tolerable.  I could take books or my walk-man (disc-man) and lose myself in my music.  But I never had the enthusiasm that the twins have about going to see Grandma & Grandpa or Nana & Papa.

Do your kids like to go to their Grandparents?  Did you, as a child, enjoy visiting your Grandparents?  Why do you think that is?  I can't wait to hear your comments and thoughts.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Update on the #50BookPledge

So I recently finished books 4, 5 and 6 on my #50BookPlege!

Book number four, was Destined by PC Cast & Kristen Cast.  It is the latest in the House of Night series.  Yes, another vampire book.  But there is something about the House of Night series that I really like.  They are so different from anything else I've read.  I can't wait for the next book to come out...and you know there will be another one because they can't finish the series with how the ended Destined.

Number five, The Perfect Christmas, by Debbie Macomber.  I didn't quite finish my Christmas reading before the holidays so once I'd finished book 4, I returned to reading my holiday books.  There's nothing better than a feel good story to warm your heart.

In sticking with the theme of book 5, number six was also Christmas themed.  Angels at Christmas also by Debbie Macomber, was excellent!  There were two stories in this book and both brought me to tears of joy.  I would definitely recommend this feel-good holiday book top your holiday reading lists in 2012.

This afternoon, I'm "hopefully" off the library to pick up book number 7 How the Girl Guides Won the War.  Being a Guider and bleeding blue, as they say, I can't wait to see what author Janine Hampton has to say about the wonderful Sisterhood world wide!

How are you doing on your #50BookPlege?  Don't forget to link up your blog posts below!

My Eyes, My Eyes!

The other day, I decided to sort through some old photos we had stored in the basement.  These are random pictures that Mr. Twingle or I have taken over the years; before digital cameras became available.  Of course, the only way to see your pictures was to have your film developed and so we have two "photo boxes" of these random pictures.
My goal is to eventually get them scrapbooked and preserved properly; I just have to figure out what these photos are and when they take place.

So I'm going through one of the boxes of photos and come across some that Mr. Twingle has taken of his fishing in particular; his "bachelor" weekend.  His buddies had rented a houseboat and taken Mr. Twingle fishing for Muskee.  Little did I know, that I would encounter photos of some of the guys, in their birthday suits, jumping into the lake!  UGH.  Seriously, why would anyone take photos of their friends naked...that's just gross.  Turns out the naked party lost a bet and this was his punishment.  I don't know if it would have been easier to take if I didn't know the person in the photo.  But, he was in our wedding party...that's not an image I'm going to soon forget.

My eyes are never going to recover.  My retinas have been tainted.  I really never should have seen those photos.

I suppose on a positive note, it was me and not the kids that found the pictures.  Needless to say, those images will NOT be put in a least not one I make.  Maybe I should offer the photos to his wife?

Have you ever seen something you shouldn't have?  I'd love to hear about it.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Vivid Dreams

Do you ever wake up and think "wow, was that really a dream?  It seemed so real!"?  That was my thought this morning once I got over the pain from the migraine I realized I woke up with.

My dream was so beyond weird; but, I can vividly remember it.  It was like a scene out of Snow Dogs or Eight Below; or maybe a combination of the two.  It involved a team of husky sled dogs whom I found buried in the snow during a blizzard.  Two of the team were missing as was the driver, a man, named Jack. I have no idea who Jack is or why the dogs sought me out.  I also have no idea why I would dream about sled dogs.  I haven't watched anything recently that would put them at the forefront of my mind.

Even now, hours later, the dream keeps playing out in my mind.  I have no idea what my subconscious is trying to tell me; but, apparently I'm not catching on.

Have you ever had a dream that you just didn't understand and couldn't decipher?  I'd love to hear about it!

Welcome the Dragon!

Today, January 23, is the Chinese New Year!  For those of you unfamiliar with the Chinese New Year, this celebration is the most important of all the Chinese traditional holidays.  In China, it is known as the "Spring Festival".
In 2012, we welcome the Dragon.  The Dragon is the only mythological and "free spirit" in the Chinese Zodiac.  No one in our household is born under the Dragon; but, we're celebrating just the same.

I love introducing my kids to different cultures and traditions.  I think Chinese New Year is the perfect way to do that!  Today, is a PA Day for the kids so we're making some Chinese lanterns and red envelopes, filled with Chocolate gold coins of course!  We're also going to try some new dishes this week in honour of the Chinese New Year!

VH Sauces and Steamers make it easy to mix up meal time and introduce the kids to new flavours and dishes.  As far as picky eaters go, my kids are on the low-end of the picky scale.  They have their moments; but, they're usually willing to at least try something new.  I thought I might take a stab at creating my own Chinese dumplings and Spring Rolls which go great with any VH Sauce; but VH Plum sauce or VH Hoisin sauce are definitely favourites!

Tonight we're going to enjoy Mandarin Chicken and Broccoli!  I have no doubt this will become a family favourite!

  • PAM cooking spray, or other cooking oil
  • 4 boneless chicken breasts; whole or cut into strips
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 6 cups small broccoli florets (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 bottle VH Asian 5 Spice Stir-Fry Sauce
  • 2 cans whole mandarin orange segments, including liquid
Spray non-stick wok or large skillet pan with PAM or other cooking spray; heat over medium-high heat. Cook chicken with garlic until lightly browned.  Remove and keep warm
Drain mandarin liquid into pan; add broccoli and VH Sauce.  Cook 4 minutes or until broccoli is tender crisp.  Return chicken to the pan, heat through.
Reduce heat.  Gently stir in oranges, reserving some for garnish.  Heat through.  Garnish with reserved oranges.

Win It!

Why not try some new dishes in your family too?  VH Sauces and Steamers are providing one of my readers with a Chinese New Year gift pack, valued at $60!

To enter, tell me How do you introduce culture into your dinnertime meals?

For additional entries, you can tweet the following once per day.  Leave me the URL to the tweet:
"I'm celebrating the Chinese New Year with #VHSauces and @twinglegal"

Contest is open to Canadian residents only, until February 10, 2012.  Readers may enter across multiple blogs; but may only win one prize.  Good luck to all!

Disclosure – I am participating in the VH Chinese New Year Celebration program by Mom Central Canada on behalf of VH.  I received compensation as a thank you for my participation. The opinions on this blog are my own.

Friday, January 20, 2012

{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!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

2 Year Old vs. The Hamster

Pretty & Boo got hamsters from Santa this year.  They've been very good at taking care of them and keeping their bedroom doors closed to keep out unwanted guests (aka: the cat & Pickle).

Today, however, Pretty forgot to close her door.  I was in the office and Mr. Twingle was in our room getting ready for work when I heard the distinctive banging of the hamster cage.  I hollered up to Mr. Twingle that I thought Pickle was getting at Snowball; to which his immediate reply was "I need help!"

Turns out Pickle decided Snowball needed food.  She had gone into Pretty's dresser, taken out the bag of food and proceeded to spill it all over the room.  But, not before opening Snowball's cage doors.  In the midst of scolding Pickle and telling her not to feed the hamster, Mr. Twingle realized Snowball wasn't in her cage anymore.

"Where is Snowball?"  Panic.  OMG, the dog or the cat got it.  We're going to have to run to the pet store and get one identical to Snowball and somehow train it before Pretty gets home from school.  These are the thoughts running through Mr. Twingle's head, he confessed later.

Thankfully, Pickle had been paying attention and told us "Noball in da coset".  Sure enough, when I opened the door to the closet farther, there sat Snowball, in Pretty's Barbie house.  It was actually kind of cute!
I scooped her up and calmed her down as she really didn't like the vacuum sound of Mr. Twingle sucking up all the food Pickle spilled.  I then put her back in her cage, with a yogurt drop hamster treat and covered up the cage so she could sleep.

Needless to say, the bedroom doors and now closed, with child-proof door knob covers.

If we hadn't been in such a panic to find the hamster, I probably would have taken pictures of the disaster.  Thankfully, neither Pickle nor Snowball were hurt by the event and we've learned that in a case of the 2 year old vs. the hamster, the score is even!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

And the Winner Is...


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Congratulations Richard! I will forward your information to the people over at Kisseo and they will be in touch to get you hooked up with your Premium membership!

Thanks for entering.

The First Time I Saw... teeny tiny twins, I knew I was a goner!  Yesterday, January 16, would have been their birthday if they had been born on their due date, seven years ago.

Unfortunately for them (fortunately for me), they decided to make their appearance two full months (9 weeks early), on November 16.

Until you become a mother yourself, you never really understand the power of a mother's love.  If you read my birth story post, you'll learn that I didn't get to see the twins right away.  They were twelve hours old, maybe more...I'm not really sure due to the demerol they had me on...before I got to see Pretty.  Boo had already been taken to the Children's hospital by then.  But even twelve hours later my love and need to protect them was so fierce it overwhelmed me.  It was at that moment that I fully understood what a Mother's Love really means.

Did you have the same reaction when you became a mom?  If you're not a mother, did you have a reaction to something the first time you saw it?  I'd love to hear your stories!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Monday Musings

It's the start of yet another week.  I hope you all had a great weekend.  Ours was fairly quiet for a change.  Saturday, we all lounged in our PJ's until about 1pm when we had to get dressed to take Boo to a birthday party.  The rest of us went along for the ride and went to get a few groceries while we were out.  Pretty & I also went to Michael's to get some yarn to make a Minnie Mouse hat for Pickle, and a new scarf for Pretty since hers got torn last year when it froze to a snowman and Boo tried to pull it off.

We then spent most of the evening just hanging out.  Pretty decided she wanted to learn to crochet, and so I taught her the first basic lesson, creating a chain.  She has happily worked on that for the last two days.  Her chain got quite long at one point, almost three feet!  Needless to say, we ripped it out and she started again!  We tried moving onto a slip stitch next; but, she wasn't quite ready for that.  We'll try again in a few days.

I however, accomplished a lot this weekend in terms of crochet projects.  I crocheted Pretty's scarf; but, ran out of yarn.  I had underestimated how much I'd need because it's a thicker yarn.  I thought one skein would do it; but, I had to go back to Michael's yesterday for another.  The scarf is done with the exception of adding the fringe; which I'm going to try to do this evening.  I'll be sure to post a picture when it's done.

After I had run out of the yarn for Pretty's scarf, I started on Pickle's Minnie Mouse hat.  I found this photo online, and had to try it:

The pattern for the hat I found online.  I did make some modifications to it though, since it was written for a 3-6 month old; and this is what I came up with!  I haven't decided whether to add the white buttons though.  This was my first draft, it's too small for Pickle, so I had to make a bigger one.

Pretty liked this so much, she's now asked for one too.  I have to figure out how much bigger to make the gauge so it will fit her.  In the meanwhile, I found a pattern for another hat I thought's she'd like...Rudolph.  Pretty LOVES Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.  It started when she was about two.  It was approaching the holidays and I found the cutest little Rudolph stuffies at Shopper's Drug Mart, of all places.  When you pressed his ear, his nose lit up.  I bought one for each of the twins; but, Pretty took a particular like to hers and has never looked back.  She discarded her Bambi "lovey" and replaced it with Rudolph.  Now, five years later, Rudolph looks a little worse for wear; but, he still goes everywhere with her.  She's given up taking him out during the day; but she has to have him at bed time.  Needless to say, when I found the Rudolph hat pattern, I knew I had to make it.  I started it last night and finished it this morning.  Pretty hasn't seen it yet.  I have no doubt, that the second she walks in the door from school, it will go on her head and not come off until swimming later this evening.

So those are my musings for this Monday.  I hope you all have a splendid week.  Don't forget, today is the LAST day to enter my Kisseo eCard Facebook App giveaway.  You have until 8pm EST to enter.  Good luck.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Random Thoughts

So I'm sitting here, watching the Patriots/Broncos game and thinking how quiet my night has been.  Mr. Twingle bathed and put Pickle to bed, then we both put the twins down.  I guess he went to our room to watch the hockey game, while I watched the Toronto Rock lacrosse game; and he fell 7:30pm!  So it's been just me and the fur babies, enjoying the quiet.

Yet, I somehow feel short changed.  Mr. Twingle is so rarely home evenings that I was hoping to have a relaxing night with my honey.  Sadly, not the case.

Oh well, there's always tomorrow, right?


Thursday, January 12, 2012

Wishful Vacationing

Living on a tight budget leaves little, or no, room for things like vacations.  We do try to take the kids camping at least once each summer since it's a low-cost family excursion.  Some of my best memories growing up were from our various family camping trips and I love that I'm able to provide similar memories for my three munchkins.

That said, this summer we will likely camp once again.  The twins have been asking to return to a friend's cottage up in the Muskokas; and, we'll certainly try to make that happen too.

But if money weren't an issue and Mr. Twingle and I had time to actually go on a proper vacation, it would be to Europe.  See item #1 on my Bucket List.  But, that's not likely to happen anytime soon.

In the meanwhile, I can dream!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Swagbucks Swag Code Extravaganza

Swagbucks is making Friday the 13th a lucky day this week, as they hold a Swag Code Extravaganza, which means more opportunities to get reward points towards free stuff! It starts at 7am Eastern Time - throughout the day there will be 8 different Swag Codes, and if you can get them all, you'll have an extra 60 Swag Bucks in your account.

See you there!

Wordless Wednesday - Christmas morning

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Rafflecopter Launch Party

Rafflecopter was launched nine months ago as a free way for bloggers to run giveaways easily; look at my very own Kisseo eCard giveaway, using Rafflecopter!

To celebrate their success and the launch of Rafflecopter to the public, they are giving away an Apple iPad 2, 16GB and two Amazon Kindle Fire's!

Want to win, enter here...and don't forget to tell them I referred you!

Good luck.

Harry Potter Party - A Day to Remember

Now that the holiday hustle and bustle has died down, I finally have a moment to write about the Harry Potter party I had been planning for the twins' 7th birthday.  I wrote a few posts detailing my preparations leading up to the day, Planning Has Begun, Activities - 1, Sorting Ceremony, and Cake Pops.

It took months of planning, research and preparation; but, the party turned out great.  There were a few things that didn't get done the way I had expected; but, the kids didn't notice and that's all that matters.  The night before the party, I was up until 1:00am with final preparations.

The brick wall to Platform 9 3/4

Upon arrival, the kids ran (walked) through the brick wall I had painted on a clear shower curtain and hung with magnets to our front door.  Of course, since I was running the party and Mr. Twingle was busy with Pickle, we didn't get as many pictures as I would have hoped and we missed this moment.  They then proceeded into the living room as a staging area until all the "students" arrived.  We then proceed to the "Great Hall" for our sorting ceremony.  Years ago, I found a Sorting Hat.  At the time, I wasn't a Harry Potter fan and had no idea what it was, I bought it to use with a witch costume.  So that came in handy for our ceremony.  Kids took turns sitting on a stool.  I held the hat over their heads and, make up some gibberish, then call out a House designation.  We had 2-3 kids per each house.  
Pardon the messy "Great Hall".  You can see the Sorting Hat
on the table and the brick wall that got moved inside. Hanging
is our very own Nibums 2000!

Students then prepared for a trip to Diagon Alley to purchase their supplies.  I would have liked to set up the twins' bedrooms as store fronts in Diagon Alley better; but the kids seemed to like it just the same:

Cauldrons & pads of parchment
Not shown: Quills, potion bottles, and text book

Licorice wands, puking pastils.
Not shown: tontoffee, rockets and more

After our visit to Diagon Alley, we returned to Hogwarts to commence classes.  Houses were divided up with Gryffindor and Slitherin going to one class and Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw another.  We then rotated.

First up, was Divination.  Professor Trelawney, played by my SIL, Lisa, taught the students to read tea leaves and custom Harry Potter tarot cards she had made for the occasion.  She also talked about crystals and their powers.  Each student got to pick a crystal, to wear (adding to their caudron aka: loot bag).  

While Prof. Trelawney was teaching Divination, Professor's Snape and Umbridge (my brother & SIL) were teaching Potions.  Each student got to make "Liquid Lightening" and "Slitherine Slime".

Making Liquid Lightening (Mrs Weasley in the background preparing lunch)

Making Slitherine Slime

As you see in one of the above photos, Mrs. Weasley (my mom) was busy in the Hogwarts kitchen preparing lunch for the students.  Lunch consisted of Toad in a Hole (hot dogs wrapped in Pillsbury crescent rolls), Mrs. Weasley's Rock Cakes (raisin tea biscuits), Fever Fudge (chocolate fudge), and Hogwarts Party Mix (Hostess Party Mix).  We followed it all up with Hedwig Cake Pops.

These awesome nut-free, egg-free cake pops made by Cake Pop Gaile
After lunch, all four Houses went to Transfiguration, where they learned to turn rats into glasses using the spell in their textbook: Feraverto.  Of course, being only first year students, no one was able to master the spell and they were required to take their rats home to practice on.

We ended the day with the newly appointed head boy & girl (Boo & Pretty) opening their congratulatory gifts.

In retrospect, my expectations may have been a tad high; but, the feedback I received from the parents afterward all indicated that it was by far the best party their kids had ever been to.  So while I didn't have my Hogwarts Express cut out, to take the kids to the school, or my audio clips from the movie for the Sorting Ceremony, it appears everyone had a wonderful time.  

In fact, the twins have asked me to do it all again next year...YIKES!

Reliving my Childhood

Pickle is now 26 months and full of life.  She's into everything, absorbing it all.  Lately she's been very into playing with Pretty's toys: Barbies, Lala Loopsy and my favourite, My Little Pony.

In 2008, Hasbro's My Little Pony, celebrated it's 25th anniversary by releasing "retro" ponies.  These sets contained ponies that looked like the originals from 25 years earlier...the ponies I played with myself.  My BFF had bought one such set for Pretty, for her fourth birthday.  Pretty wasn't nearly as excited by them as I was!

Once again, through Pickle, I'm able to relive my childhood while playing ponies.  I love seeing what adventures Pickle will dream up for Blue Belle, Butterscotch and Cotton Candy.  I only hope that someday my girls will have just as much fun playing ponies with their own children as I have playing with them.

Monday, January 9, 2012

I Never Thought I'd Find...

...the sheer disaster that is Boo's room.  I understand he's a seven year old boy; but come on!  He doesn't seem to care either; which is the frustrating part.

Lego, dirty laundry, miscellaneous papers (I have no idea where they come from) and itty bitty toys like Tech Decks and more.  It's like crossing a mine field every time I go in his room.

For those of you that don't have the pleasure of having kids who are into Lego, you haven't experienced the pain of finding a small piece, jagged corners and all, with your foot.  It hurts and often results is profanities being muttered under my breath.

I had planned to take photos to back up my ranting; but, Boo surprised me by "cleaning" up the war zone yesterday when my parents came for a visit.  It's still not my version of clean...but beggars can't be choosers.

Do your kids have messy rooms?  Or have you found something in their room that you'd never expect to have found?

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Too Much Technology?

Today, I hosted a playdate for the twins & their friend.  Her mom comes with her as we get to enjoy some adult conversation as the kids play; a win-win for all of us.
However, we noticed today that the kids seemed to have a hard time finding things to do despite the plethora of toys and board games available to them.

This got us moms talking.

As is usually the case, we found ourselves comparing our childhood with that of our children.  The differences go farther than the typical "I stayed outside all day until the street lights came on" that inevitably pops up.
We came to the conclusion that kids today, not just ours, don't know how to entertain themselves because technology does it for them.  With the amount of TV shows, video games, and music videos geared at youth today, why should they have to think for themselves and find something to do?  Using their imagination seems foreign to them somehow.  Why pretend to play house and make tea and biscuits when I can pop in this disc, waive a controller and (insert favourite video game cartoon character) does it for me?

I'm all for society and technology advancing; but, at what cost?  Even in schools I'm finding the fundamentals like learning to print and cursive are falling by the wayside since computers can do it for them.

What are your thoughts?  Have we, as a society, become so technology obsessed that we no longer care about developing the minds of our children?

Saturday, January 7, 2012

My #50BookPledge

I adore reading!  I always have.  I remember being the only kid in Kindergarten that could read at an advanced level.  
There's something about reading that makes me feel good.  I'm not sure if it's the brain food, or the escape to another world for a brief period of time.  Whatever the reason, it's a hobby I hope all three of my kids will eventually pick up too.

When I stumbled upon a tweet from @HarperCollinsCa about the #50BookPledge, I was immediately intrigued and made my pledge to read 50 books by December 31, 2012.  

I'm already on a roll, I just finished my third book of the year this afternoon.  I plan to keep a running tally on the blog of the books I've read and maybe a brief thought or two on them.

The first three books of my pledge happen to be part of a trilogy.  The Hunger Games, Catching Fire and Mockingjay are three books that I never thought I would enjoy and yet; I finished all three in a week!  They were THAT good!  I picked up The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins as required reading for the momstown Hamilton book club.  When I read the synopsis on the book jacket, I thought I'd never get through it.  I really don't like sci-fi type books or movies.  But I was determined to give it a go.  Well, I'm glad I did.  I finished the first book in two days, even staying up until 4am (I typically go to bed around 10pm) because I couldn't put it down.  So...if you're looking for something to read, I would definitely suggest giving The Hunger Games a try...or you could wait for the movie which releases March 23, 2012.  I know I'll be in line to see the book brought to life!

So my first three books in the #50bookpledge:
1. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
2. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
3. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Next on my list:
4. Destined by P.C. Cast (the 9th book in the House of Night series)
5. The Perfect Christmas by Debbie Macomber
6.  Angels at Christmas by Debbie Macomber

Will you take the #50BookPledge with me?  I'd love to hear what you're reading.  Link up your #50BookPledge posts

My Daily Must Have

TEA!  That's right, my day just doesn't seem right until I've had a cup of tea.  I love the stuff, black, green, white, doesn't matter.  I like it all.

I must admit though, that I'm a bit of a tea snob.  I prefer to drink, and try to only drink, loose leaf tea.  A tea bag is like the hot dog of meats.  Loose tea provides much better flavour and is often of better quality.

Studies have also shown that some teas have health benefits.  Green tea is said to help prevent prostate cancer and improve memory as you age.  White tea, the least processed of all teas, contains the highest amounts of antioxidants.  Ginger tea is great at fighting colds, and for upset tummies.  It can even help boost your immune system.

The health benefits are just an added bonus for me.  There's nothing better than a good cup of tea on a chilly fall morning, or an herbal tea before bed.  It warms me from the inside out and makes me feel "good".

Some of my favourite teas are Peppy Peppermint, from Steeped, for after dinner or when I have an upset tummy, Irish breakfast, a strong black tea that will put hair on your chest (not literally) and the Holiday Spice tea from Teopia.

Do you have something you need daily?  I'd love to hear about it.

Friday, January 6, 2012

{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!

My "Special Place"

Do you ever have those days where you just need to escape?  With the three kids home this past week, I've found I had to put myself in mommy time-out a few times.
When I find my temper starting to flare, I will put myself in a mommy time-out before it blows and I end up yelling at the kids.  Usually, I escape to the bathroom because it's the only room in the house with a lock.  Whether I actually need to use the facilities doesn't matter.  Just 2 minutes of solitude behind a locked door can do wonders.

Oddly enough, my special place when the kids aren't making my blood boil, is also the bathroom.  I have a luxurious deep, oval soaker tub in my ensuite.  Do I need to say more?  Once the three kiddos are in bed for the evening, I'll escape to my bathroom once again, with a book and a glass of wine.  I'll light some candles and then soak in a very hot tub.  It doesn't matter how bad the day has been, emotionally, physically or mentally; the tub soothes my soul.
Sadly, I don't enjoy my lovely tub as often as I'd like to, or as often as I did before I had the kids; but, that just makes it all the more special.

Do you have a special place?  What or where is it and how often do you get to go there?

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

2012 Bloggymoms Blog Dare

I started out 2011 by participating in the BloggyMoms Blog Dare; a challenge to write a blog post every day.  Like most things, I started off strong only to crash and burn.

So I've decided to try again, only to make things more realistic for myself, my personal goal is to write one blog post per week, minimum.  Wish me luck :D

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Empower Pads Review

*Warning to my male readers, this review contains discussion of menstrual products.  If you're squeamish, stop reading now*
Embrace Innovation
Now a breakthrough invention that can help every woman be more comfortable during her special time of the month.
Negative Ion technology now in a sanitary napkin.

This is the slogan you see when you visit EmpowerPads website.  I have to admit I was pretty skeptical that a menstrual pad could make me more comfortable while receiving my monthly visitor.

Empower Pads claim to have:
  • Premium soft cotton surface
  • Anion core strip for menstrual discomfort relief
  • Soft leakage lock layer
  • Super absorbent water retention layer
  • Biodegradable polygel maximize top surface dryness
  • Breathable bottom layer eliminates moisture and heat fast
  • East to peel back adhesive improves fit and comfort
At first look, I didn't think there was anything special about Empower Pads.  They actually look less absorbent than some of the brands I've used in the past.  Yet I decided to give them a try.  

As a plus-sized woman, the panty liners and day pads are pretty much useless; but, I was surprised by how much I liked the night pads.  I didn't have that plastic "diaper" feeling I've grown accustomed to with other brands, and I did feel like my girlie bits could breathe better.

I also noticed that my cramps were significantly reduced.  Normally, I need to take a couple pain relief tablets on the first and second day; but, I managed to get by without any.  That's not to say my cramps were completely alleviated, because they weren't, but they were manageable without needing anything extra.

On the whole, I was pleasantly surprised by Empower Pads and find myself recommending them to you.  Pop on by their website, to ask about their FREE trial and judge for yourself!     

Disclaimer:  I received a shipment of EmpowerPads products to use in exchange for this review.  All opinions are my own.

Welcome 2012!

Happy New Year to all my readers.  I hope you all survived the holiday hustle and bustle and are now able to relax and get back into your daily routines.

The twins are still off school this week for their "winter break" and we've been busy organizing the playroom and taking down our Christmas decorations.

However, 2012 hasn't begun all that well for us.  You see we usually participate in a New Year's Day brunch with some of Mr. Twingle's friends.  This year, we were trekking to Bradford for the day.  I got up with the kids, gave them a light breakfast, prepped the brunch menu items we were to bring, got everyone dressed and ready to go while Mr. Twingle caught a few more Z's.  Once he was up and moving we loaded into the van to begin our trip, only the van had other plans.  At first glance, everything seemed fine. The radio and dash board lights turned on; but, when I turned the key...nothing.  Well, okay the horn honked, which is probably the weirdest part about it.
Sadly, we were not to make our annual brunch date, and we're STILL trying to get the van into a garage to find out what's wrong with it and get it repaired.

I'm hoping against all hope, that this problem with the van isn't an indication to how the rest of 2012 will fair.

Wishing you all health and happiness in 2012.