Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Must Life Humble Me This Way?

I lost my car key.  This was a problem, because we only had the one.  We had gotten the car used, and it only came with one key.  We didn't get another because it was one of those keys that are ridiculously expensive; it's programmed by a computer. 

Anyway, it happened on a Friday so we had all weekend to look for it.  I tore the house apart.  I mean, I was pulling apart couches and moving furniture.  I moved the washer and dryer.  I tore the car apart.  Nothing.

I usually put the keys in a pocket in my purse or leave them beside my purse.  I couldn't remember which place I had used.  It had been a crazy day because of the teacher's-strike-but-then-no-strike, and I had been stressed out and flustered when I came in the house.  I even thought it might have fallen out of my pocket, so I looked in the garage and under the car.

To summarize, I found everything we had ever lost, except my key.

After wasting hours of my life looking for it, we realized we had to move on.

I couldn't believe it, but I had to have my car TOWED to the dealership in order to get a new key made.  The CAA asked me what was wrong with it.  I responded incredulously, "Absolutely nothing!  I just lost my key!"

My car was towed as I looked despondently on, mentally kicking myself.  I would have done it physically if I was more flexible.

I had to pay $371.00 for a new key.  I know.  It's unbelievable.

I said to the guy at the dealership, "Well at least if I find it I'll have two working keys!"

He shook his head, replying, "Well, actually...it has been reprogrammed now so you'd have to pay us more to reprogram the old one."

Money. Grab. (That's all I've got.)

Anyway, the other day, about a week later, I found the key.

I can barely bring myself to admit it.  I hate to say it.  I can't believe it myself.

It was in my purse.

I had looked in my purse about five times.  My husband had looked in my purse.  My kids had looked in it.

The key was wedged into a bottom corner.  That doesn't really make me feel any better.

To recap, I got my car TOWED while the key was sitting in my purse.

This may be one of the most embarrassing things I have ever done!

You can laugh at me now.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Wheat-Free: An Experiment

I am choosing to go wheat-free for two weeks.  I say 'choosing' because I don't have celiac disease, so I don't have to do it.  My friend and boot camp instructor recommended I try it as a way to reach a new level of health.  I have never agreed with fad diets or demonizing any food.  But I have heard that wheat has been modified so much that it is no longer healthy.  I don't know for sure if that's true or not, but mostly this plan has been about increasing my vegetable intake as well as healthy protein and alternate foods that I'm not used to yet.

So far, so good.  Of course there have been ups and downs.  Like the time I saw some gluten-free chocolate chip cookies in the grocery store and I stared at the box, transfixed, for too long.  I was able to walk away.  I also went head to head with a granola bar but I was again able to back down.

What I like about this plan is that it seems very healthy, because it's about cutting out sugar and wheat and processed foods.  Hence why I can't buy those gluten-free cookies.

I thought I was eating a lot of vegetables and salads before, but now I'm eating even more greens.  And I'm eating more protein like tuna, chicken and eggs.

I am loving my eggs and vegetables - mushrooms, kale and onions - in the morning.  I wasn't sure how I was going to cope without my Fibre 1, but it has been fine.  I also love berry smoothies in the morning.

And I've bought things I've never bought before.  I went up to a salesperson in a health food store and asked where I could find edamame, but I pronounced it as if it rhymed with 'same'.  She looked at me funny and said condescendingly, "Do you mean edamame (pronounced edamamEH)?"

I wish I had said what I thought, which was, "Do I honestly look like I care what it's called? Because, in case you haven't guessed, I don't! Just point it out!"

I'm using camelina oil, which I love, and also more quinoa and flax seed, and lots of different kinds of nuts and seeds.  I also love boiled potatoes.  Amazingly, they are delicious cold.  (I know, but if you don't believe me - just try it!)

You definitely have to be organized and be a good shopper.  If you don't have the food around you can eat, that's when you get those meaningful stares from the granola bars hanging around in your work cupboard.  If you have a good stash of nuts and Greek yogourt, you're good.

I'm one week in, so we'll see how it goes.  Just don't wave any cookies in my face.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Frozen Waterfall = Fun

These are pictures of Tiffany Falls in Hamilton, Ontario.  We love going to see the waterfalls during the winter when they are frozen.  They are incredibly beautiful.  The kids love it, too.  I was so happy to hear them exclaiming, "Look at THAT, Mom!"  I love how, when they are outside, I never have to suggest ways for them to occupy themselves like I often do at home.  They just go to it.  They each grabbed sticks and started poking at the ice and making designs.  They broke off small icicles.  Definitely a great family outing.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Guest Post from Mommy Blogger Directory on Using Social Media

How to Use Social Media to Promote Your Blog
Social media is a huge component in advertising, especially for small business blogs. Sites like YouTube provide a place where blog owners can post videos and then directly link back to their blog. By posting a video that is informative and related to their blog, bloggers can generate tons of traffic.

The concept is quite simple. All that is required is a short video explaining something of interest to users. Usually, an instructional video can do the trick. Viewers search for videos that give them step by step instructions on how to perform tasks and are naturally inclined to seek out more information. Videos that include links back to a blog with more information on the topic will peak viewers curiosity and generate traffic to promote the blog.

Most blogs are invisible without traffic to the site and good standings in search engine results (to increase your search engine rankings and make money blogging, check here!). The key to earning higher ranks in search engine results is to promote the blog using social media. Without traffic, a blog is basically useless because it has no audience. Social media generates the much needed back links that are crucial to gaining a high search engine ranking. The more traffic generated by social media sites, the higher a blog will rank on the search page.

Michele Gill

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

I Can't Keep Track of My Mind, How Can I Keep Track of 3 Backpacks?

I almost drove over my kids' backpacks the other day.  That's right.  All three of them.  I was about to drive off, completely oblivious to this fact, and I would have done it if it wasn't for my son's friend hanging out his car window yelling "STOP!" at me. 

Luckily I didn't just brush this off as kid-shenanigans (that word makes me sound old, doesn't it?).  I stopped, rolled down my window, and heard him yelling, "BACKPACKS!"

That rang a bell.  I'm sorry to say it was a very faint bell, however, and it took me a moment to sift through the various thoughts in my head that had to do with backpacks.

Oh, yeah.

Suddenly it came to me.  On my way to the car after school with my three kids and their respective backpacks, my friend had asked me to look at the tile she'd picked up for her kitchen floor.  I had dropped the backpacks in front of my car and went over to her trunk to see the tile samples.

Then I had blithely put the kids in the car and forgot all about the backpacks.

Imagine if I HAD driven over all of them.  The smashed lunches!  The wrecked homework!  Do you think a teacher would accept that as an excuse?  "My mom drove over my homework."   That wouldn't look good at all.  The teacher would wonder about me even more than usual!

Of course, I'm not the only one who has trouble with backpacks.

Recently my friend put all of her kids' backpacks by her van, then packed her kids in it and drove off, leaving the backpacks on the side of the road.  Luckily a friend drove by and noticed them.

You know, it's just that us moms have too much to think about.  We're making sure all the kids get in the car and get buckled up.  We are usually thinking about what we're going to do for dinner that night, whether the kids have homework, if any kids are going to any play dates (and every parent knows the crazy high-level kind of negotiations that go on with play dates) or if they have hockey or what-have-you.  It's busy.

If I can't keep track of the barest vestiges of a sane mind, how can I possibly keep track of three backpacks?