Tag Archives: favourites

A Year in the Life

2012A year in the life of our

wonderful,

usually crazy,

often funny,

sometimes lazy,

never dull,

family.

Januaryhands2

When I was 16…

Twenty years ago today, the boy I had a huge crush on took me on my very first date. Turns out, it was my only ‘first date’. Because sometimes one is all you need…

Februaryatlas

Mom Shrugged

… I’d like to be everything to everyone. So I feed myself a steady diet of comparison and perfectionism (and chocolate; there’s always chocolate)…

Read More.

Marchtimeshare

Modern Day Torture (aka Timeshare Presentation)

… Strongly implied is the fact that non-timeshare holders will lead lives of sad desperation. There will never be time or money for a real holiday. The best we can hope for is quiet days spent huddled in a dank basement, braiding armpit hair into a scarf…

Read More.

Aprilhourglass

How Do You Find The Time?

… Whether you wing it from one moment to the next, or plan your day down to the minute, we are all subject to the same limitations.

86,400 seconds – 1,440 minutes – 24 hours

Each day, everyday, it’s all we’ve got. In this day and age, we can do almost anything, but we can’t do everything!..

Read More.

Maypaint

Painting the Pink Room Green

Dear Little Brother,

Your sisters painted the pink room green today.They looked at every single paint chip in Home Depot and picked this colour especially for you. They painted your room themselves. There were a few spills. There are more than a few touch-ups needed. And it doesn’t look exactly perfect.

Except it is. Because they did it for you. They were so careful. And they worked hard all day long. Your big sisters love you already and they can’t wait to show you your new room!..

Read More.

Junekey

Test Driving a Person

… There were several moments today that felt utterly surreal. We have been frustrated with the long wait periods, the endless streams of paperwork and the strange bureaucratic rituals we must complete. But suddenly they seem like so little, considering what’s at stake here. They are giving us a human being. And we get to keep him forever. How weird is that?..

Read More.

July

Birthday Cupcakes specially decorated by the Big Sisters

Birthday Letters for The Boy

… You’ve officially been part of our family for 1 month. Our lives have been turned upside down, but no one’s more than you. It hasn’t been an easy month, but it has been a very good one. Your Daddy and sisters have discovered that you are the best thing they never knew they always wanted. I wanted you all along, but even I am blown away by how important you are to us all. We are enjoying you so much. You are so much fun: so much mischief-making, full-tilt, maniacal laughing, enthusiastic fun. I’m so glad you are part of our family!..

Read More.

Augustunderwear

The Underwear Crisis

… Attempting to harness the power of peer pressure, we celebrate the universality of underwear. Mommy wears panties, L wears panties, C wears panties, EVEN Daddy wears panties. Manly, manly panties to be sure, but as far as B is concerned, EVERYONE wears panties. If we’ve ever met you, chances are we have assured B that you also wear panties…

Read More.

Septemberinbox

Breaking Up With Normal

… I’m ready to just be. Rough edges, awkward pauses and comfortable pants… the me who isn’t trying so hard…

Read More.

Octobersorry

What Do You Say?

… I’ve been absolutely certain that actions trumped words. Wasn’t that the point? Not what we said or how we said it, but what we DID. Sure, I had been a little bit wrong, but he was wrong-er.

So there…

Read More.

Novemberjam

No Such Thing as a Perfect Day

… I made one of the most crucial parenting mistakes: I took it personally. In my head, it wasn’t bedtime or sleeping or being alone that he was fighting – it was ME. My success. My plans. My time to myself.

So I made the situation worse. Turns out harsh whispers of: “Just. Go. To. Sleep.” are not as helpful as you might think…

Read More.

Decembermine

Staking a Claim

The greatest surprise of this adoption (apart from my pitiful stamina in the going-without-sleep-marathon) is how insecure I feel. In my mind I know that things are going well; that attachment is a process and although messy and overwhelmed much of the time, our family is thriving. But my heart is not so confident…

Read More.

So here’s us, in 2012.


Friday Favourites: The End of the World

candlesToday is The End.

Of the Mayan calender.

Not, it would seem, the world.

Since we don’t actually use the Mayan calender. Since most of us had never even heard of it until this year. Since it’s really not this mystical, prophetic word, merely the end of an ancient system of time measurement (according to our Mayan tour guide when we were in Mexico last year). It’s really not worth panicking about. When my calender runs out, I simply go out and get a new one. It doesn’t have to MEAN anything.

But there are a lot of Chicken Littles in this world. At the slightest provocation they jump right to doomsday scenarios. It’s silly, but kind of entertaining as they run around, wringing their hands, worrying about end of days. Remember Y2K? Good times.

At this time last week I heard about the Sandy Hook school shooting. I couldn’t believe it. I still can’t. For those families it really must feel like the end of the world, no matter what calendar we use. And as much as we want to find a reason and assign blame and make it MEAN something, it was the kind of horrific violence that will never make sense to me.

This is where Christmas can either help or hurt. Either it is an idealized, pretty holiday full of trite and easy answers. OR it is God of the Universe jumping into the chaos, confusion, pain and stupidity that we call life, to be WITH US.

There were end of the world cults in Jesus day. There was senseless cruelty and systematic violence (see: Herod killing all the babies of Bethlehem, Roman torture methods etc.). He wasn’t the instant-fix, beat-up-the-bullies, end-to-all-troubles Messiah they wanted and expected, but he was GOD WITH US. And somehow, even when it doesn’t make sense, that helps.

Prayer

Merciful God, in this Advent season we thank you that you can rewrite the script of our lives,

moving us from wandering to arrival,

from self-hatred to acceptance,

from distance to nearness,

from loneliness to belonging,

from weakness to energy,

and all this because of the enfleshment of your dear Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus, who became one of us

and showed us the way.

Amen.

From: Thoughts and Prayers of Advent

Christmas for Dummies

I almost gave up on this video, it seemed slow, but the ending is worth it. The point of all this: religion, christmas, theology… is really so simple.

Revolutionary Approach to Christmas

Both challenging and encouraging as we try to downsize Christmas to a more manageable size, Advent Conspiracy is a new way to approach the holidays.

Must See Video

If you haven’t seen Landfill Harmonic yet, then you’re a rotten egg. Triumph of the human spirit, uplifting, inspirational – I’m running out of clichés… you get the picture.

Quote

Christmas gift suggestions: To your enemy, forgiveness. To an opponent, tolerance. To a friend, your heart. To a customer, service. To all, charity. To every child, a good example. To yourself, respect.

~ Oren  Arnold

So here’s us, where each day the world begins again. And God is with us through it all.

Also, I mispell the word calander EVERY time.


Friday Favourites Reblog: Christmas at Our House

I have mentioned recently that we’ve decided to Downsize Christmas this year (insert gasp of shock and horror). I haven’t always felt this way. So here’s a blast from the past (last year at this time) with an old Friday Favourites:

So, the main problem a lot of people have with Christmas is that it starts WAY too early and consumes everything in its wake. Capitalist profiteers grab onto it like its the last cigarette at an AA meeting. It is in your face everywhere you turn: the decorations, the events, the sales, the music… everywhere you go, that same cheesy music echoes in your ears.

Well, I totally drank the koolaid this year. So brace yourself for an all festive favourites post today. Sorry cynics, you’ll have to look elsewhere for your holiday rant. But be sure to check back in the new year, I have very ambivilant feelings about Valentine’s Day.

Favourite Christmas Quote: “Teach us to give and not to count the cost.” — St. Ignatius of Loyola. Coincidentally, this is my husband’s LEAST favourite Christmas quote. But I’m pretty sure the saint was talking about a generosity that goes beyond fuzzy socks and santa claus pez dispensers.

Favourite Christmas Book: The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson. Not the most politically correct book of all time, but it has a heart of pure gold. Plus, I remember my mom reading it to me, so extra points for nostalgia. It starts with “The Herdmans were absolutely the worst kids in the history of the world.”

Favourite Christmas Movie: definitely It’s a Wonderful Life! I MUST watch this at least once every year, preferably on Christmas Eve. If you don’t like this movie, you have no heart. You are cold and cynical. And you may be married to me.

Favourite Christmas Tradition: We shamelessly stole this idea from our friends Mark and Lanette (you know what they say about sincerity and flattery and all that good stuff). One night in December we invite another family to join us for Grinch Night (a different family every year; be nice, and next year we might invite you!). Everyone dresses in green; this may or may not include green streaks in your hair and green face paint. We eat all green food and watch “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” and “Shrek the Halls”. Green caramel popcorn is the best – looks snotty, tastes delicious!

Favourite Gift Giving Ritual: Like most concerned (read: neurotic and guilt ridden) parents in the modern age, we are always looking for ways to teach our kids the real “reason for the season”. Ya, I said it. I just threw up in my mouth a little bit, it’s so cheesy, but truly, I want more for them than just mindless consumption. We found the idea of Three Wise Gifts in a parenting magazine years ago and it brings a little more meaning to Christmas morning. Before opening gifts we read about the Kings who came to worship Jesus (an undetermined number of magi who came years after Jesus was born with 3 gifts). Each year we buy our children gifts in these three categories – frankincense: for worship (usually a cd or meaningful book); myhrr: for the body (clothes or good smelling stuff); and gold: something precious (this is the “big” item and is often shared by all three). Not only does it keep the gifts reasonable, but each one represents a different side of Jesus – God, Saviour and King.

Favourite Christmas Character: Mary, the mother of God. A scared, confused teenager facing an unplanned pregnancy and the censure of her whole community. Birth-days are not cupcakes and party favours. On the actual day of birth there is pain, exhaustion, blood, sweat and tears. It is a messy, overwhelming, and completely amazing experience for every mother. Throw in a few miracles, angelic visitors, political upheavel, uninvited guests… it’s hardly the serene image we see on Christmas cards. But even more powerful, because that’s kind of God’s thing – showing up in the middle of chaos and upheaval.

A great place to find thought provoking and beautifully written articles called Deeper Story had a great post about Mary, definitely worth a read: Incarnation.

So here’s me, celebrating Christmas in the middle of chaos.


Friday Favourites 38

Tonight the girls watched part of “Yours, Mine and Ours” about two huge families who become one Mega family. Four kids is hardly a mega family, but the lovely chaos on-screen definitely feels familiar. And fun. And exhausting.

Life with 1.6 children is not historically the norm, so maybe we’re not the weird ones after all. And I don’t think it’s just about numbers. Maybe this is just how family life is supposed to be. Not neat and orderly. Not easily manageable. Not picture perfect. Just real and sticky and loud and bumpy and strangely sweet.

Quote

I’d be hard pressed to find anyone in the modern world who has heard that classic AA staple: the “Serenity Prayer.” But I wonder how many, like me, had never heard the whole thing. You know, the parts that don’t fit on a mug or bumper sticker. The extended version has been a huge help to me this week:

God, give me grace to accept with serenity
the things that cannot be changed,
Courage to change the things
which should be changed,
and the Wisdom to distinguish
the one from the other.

Living one day at a time,
Enjoying one moment at a time,
Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,
Taking, as Jesus did,
This sinful world as it is,
Not as I would have it,
Trusting that You will make all things right,
If I surrender to Your will,
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life,
And supremely happy with You forever in the next.

Amen.

~ Reinhold Niebuhr

Documentary

The best thing about Netflix (other than reruns of favourite tv series from my teen years) is all the documentaries. I’m not the kind of person who often chooses to rent or go to a documentary when there are perfectly shallow, predictable sci-fi/action/dramas out there, but with all these options I find myself watching films made for grown ups, by grown ups. And actually enjoying it.

This week I watched Precious Life, made by an Israeli journalist about the family of a Palestinian baby who needs a bone marrow transplant to survive and is transferred to a Jewish hospital. My favourite part is when the Dr. explains the process of transplant to the family, how the body and the new marrow may fight one another, but they must learn to coexist if he is to survive.

monkeyappPreschool App

Who wants angry birds, when you can have a happy monkey?

Monkey Preschool Lunchbox has cute games of matching, colours and simple puzzles. Enough of a challenge to help them learn, but enough change and rewards to keep it fun. Definitely the best preschool app we’ve got right now.

Big Kid App

iPod art by C
iPod art by C

For older kids (and immature adults like me) this Art of Glow app is pretty fun. Not only can you make pretty, shiny pictures, but you can animate them. Eat your heart out Lite Brite!

Blog

I’ve been enjoying the blog Laments & Lullabies lately. The author wrestles with serious stuff: mental illness, step-parenting, marriage and raising a toddler. She has the two elements I love most: she’s uncomfortably (for some) honest and she’s hilarious. I especially enjoyed Evidence my Toddler is Smarter than Me. So true.

Preview

Fellow dorks: a new Star Trek movie! Yay!

Music Video

It IS December, though I find it hard to believe… so here’s a little Christmas cheer. Love the song. Love Jimmy Fallon. Love the preschool instruments.

So here’s me, off to visit the farm with my city kids today. I wonder if they’ll still be keen to eat bacon after spending some time with it In Real Life?


Friday Favourites 37: Advent

Last day of November. Blink and you’ll miss the next month entirely, it can zip by that fast.

Advent has so many great possibilities, but this year, more than ever before, I am embracing the adage: I can’t do everything. Maybe you can. Maybe Martha Stewart can (millions of dollars and a household staff would help). But me, not so much.

We’re not skipping Christmas this year, we’re just, downsizing.

Quote

Anyone who believes that men are the equal of women has never seen a man trying to wrap a Christmas present.

~ Unknown (aka Common Sense)

Advent Tradition

It’s that special time of the year. The tradition we hold most dear. That’s right: Daily Chocolate.

BUT, I’ve got a thing about mainstream chocolate (which uses child slave labour to pick cocoa: mmmm… taste the suffering). So I’m not buying the standard ones anymore.

Enter despair and depression. I know you think I’m talking about the kids, but it’s Glen who nearly wept at the thought of doing without. On the other hand, I nearly wept at the prices of the fair trade calendars. So last year (when I was feeling more Griswald than Grinch) I put together our Fair Trade Advent Calender.

Christmas Countdown: Fair Trade Style

advent

Once it’s made, it’s not much work to tweak and reuse each year. This year the kids are helping put it together, including brainstorming simple family activities for each day: things we’re already doing or can do with little to no prep/hassle. I wonder if “Clean your room” counts as festive fun. I know it’d be fun for me.

Christmas Lights

This year we are NOT putting up our Christmas lights. After watching this, we may never again. I mean, how can you follow something like this?

At first I thought this song was saying something about “Gangland Style.” Some kind of hip hop nod to the mean streets. But then they did the dance at the Wiggles concert and it didn’t seem very gangster-ish after all. What language is that? What does it mean? When did I get so old that I am bothered not understanding the lyrics of a song?

Amphibian Video

C watches this and decides that she really MUST have a pet frog for Christmas. I watch and think, “ha ha ha… ew… NO.” Sorry kid.

Meanest. Mom. Ever.

So here’s us, celebrating Advent without a pet frog or Christmas lights or a daily dose of brown wax popped out of an overpackaged “calender”… and all the better for it.


Friday Favourites 36

Birthday celebrations continue. Several times a day B looks at me, as if it has just occurred to her, “Happy Bir-day Mummy! I luv YOU!”

It never gets old. Apparently, Glen doesn’t feel his McCain Deep ‘n Delicious chocolate cake quite made the grade, so rumor has it the girls will be making me a cake this weekend. I’m hoping to milk this thing right into December.

Quote

The world is full of people looking for spectacular happiness while they snub contentment.

~Doug Larson

Randomly Generated Compliments

Feeling down? Depressed? Wondering if anyone cares about all your hard work? emergencycompliment.com offers a steady supply of Emergency Compliments to be used at times of great insecurity.

It told me: “Rumor is Disney is basing its next cartoon on you.” and I clicked the I-still-feel-crappy button over and over again until I hit “Your blog is the best blog.”

Thanks. I DO feel better!

Video

I had Brene Brown’s Power of Vulnerability on my “To Watch Someday When I Have Time” list for over a month. Guess what? I never have time, but I finally watched it anyway.

It was BRILLIANT! Funny and inspiring, and I have found time to watch/listen to it 2 more times since.

I want to be this person. Someone who lives wholeheartedly. Someone who is “willing to let go of who I ‘should be’ in order to be who I am.” A person of Compassion, Courage and Connection. Someone who knows that what makes me vulnerable is what makes me beautiful.

I’m convinced that vulnerability is the first step to being WHO God meant me to be.

Blog

One of my favourite ways to avoid vulnerability is to explain it all away. I slap a clever title on it and make it into bullet points and post it on my blog. Idelette McVicker knocked me upside the head this week when I read She Rises While it is Yet Night.

“I can’t be in my story, if I am constantly trying to make sense of it first.” Ouch. Right.

This article and many like it are the reason I enjoy SheLoves Magazine. I’ve hardly scratched the surface, but there are brilliant writers here, all driven by the same engine: “Let us be women who Love.” They manage to pull it off without being sugary or churchy or insipid.

So here’s me, learning to be a woman who loves, who is vulnerable, who is content.. who is Disney cartoon material.


Friday Favourites 35

Life has been steadily improving. Despite a lingering cough we’ve overcome the worst of the flu and are eagerly (and by eagerly, I mean with denial, bargaining and depression) awaiting our flu shots next week.

Halloween was a success. The boy could NOT understand why we wouldn’t let him go INTO the houses we were visiting. He held onto the doorframe and tried to angle his foot in the door, then screamed when I pulled him away. By house #3 we gave up. But Grandma made him the most amazing crab costume, so he looked adorable. Like I said, success.

The girls collected more candy than any one person/family/small nation need consume and we are quietly smuggling buckets of it to Glen’s work. They are allowed to keep whatever fits in a large ziploc. I keep whatever I can stuff into my mouth when they are not looking. Everyone wins.

Hurricane Sandy Photo

You never know what to believe these days. It seems like most of the photos floating around the internet from Hurricane Sandy were photoshopped or of another time or place. But I think this is my very favourite one:

A close runner up is this REAL photo of my family waiting out the storm in Boston. My Dad and Brother-in-law had to put my one-year-old nephew in the playpen, so he wouldn’t mess up their toys. Boys!

Awareness Week

When we brought our daughter home from the hospital and word spread around that she had Down Syndrome people were very supportive. I remember thinking: what a great day and age to be born in, when so many people understand and accept this syndrome. Then my neighbour brought over a plate of muffins, patted my hand and told me she was “sure she’d outgrow it.”

Turns out, there are a lot of people out there who don’t know much about Down Syndrome or what it means in the lives of those who have it. I saw this video a few years ago and I loved it. Despite all the challenges my daughter will face, she has a bright future. Because we’re more alike than different!

Here in Canada it is National Down Syndrome Awareness Week. Now you know.

Way to Build a Family

As you all know, we adopted a child locally from foster care. It is not the easiest route to adoption (though probably the cheapest), and we are huge supporters of it. Reece’s Rainbow works to put children with Down Syndrome in families who will love them forever.

Christmas Gift Idea

I don’t usually sell things on this blog. But for this I will make an exception. It’s one thing I never knew I always wanted. Until now. Maybe it’s because I’m a writer, but I’m a sucker for anything with meaningful words. Not only is it a beautiful bracelet, but it ALSO raises money for Spectrum Mothers Support Society.

This organisation is VERY near and dear to us. It was founded by Sally, the Foster Mom who has held our hand and won our hearts as we walked through adoption. She is the real deal, not only helping children, but Moms too. She and her team help and encourage young mothers, single moms, women in crisis and the like, in hundreds of practical ways. “Shining light into the lives of mothers when they need it most.”

The bracelet is made by her sister (Naturally Heartfelt) and on sale at etsy here.

Quote

“All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.

~ T. E. Lawrence

So here’s me, and my heart has a thousand dreams. One of them involves halloween candy that helps me LOSE weight. I’ll put it in the “unlikely” pile.


Friday Favourites 34

I told my husband that I would DEFINITELY post something upbeat and life affirming this week. So far I’ve managed insecure/neurotic and angry/confrontational. It’s not looking good.

This afternoon as I rocked an extra-tired boy in my arms for Nap Attempt #3 (his first nap was interrupted by an impromptu field trip to pick up sick big sister from school and his second by the aforementioned sister coughing/crying/calling for Mommy)… anyway, there was rocking and wiggling and he decided that I just HAD to take a turn sucking on his soother (which smells strongly of spit but is nevertheless a very sweet gesture). He’s a giver.

We were having a moment there, when he started coughing so hard he puked. A half liter of curdled milk all over me, the chair and the once-upon-a-time-cream-coloured-carpet. As I scrubbed and laundered and bathed, I have to admit I wasn’t feeling all that upbeat or affirmed.

But then I realized how good I’ve got it. Hubby worked from home today so I wouldn’t miss my lunch date with my aunt. Sick boy is extra snuggly and I am well within my rights to keep him in footie jammies all day long. Sick girl is content to lay on the couch and reacquaint herself with the Wiggles (just in time for their big concert on Sunday, at which point she WILL be healthy, she WILL). The big girls have playdates, fun activities at church and sleepovers, quite happily leaving us home to enjoy early bedtimes and whatever the grownups want to watch on Netflix all evening long.

It really is a wonderful, messy, difficult, meaningful, smelly, exhausting, worth-it-all life!

How’s that for upbeat? Now here’s some random stuff that makes me smile.

Quote

“Behind every great man is a woman rolling her eyes.”

~ Jim Carrey

Marketing Gimmick

Make something pink, add the tag line “for her” et voila: a whole new product. If it’s pointless enough Ellen, will promote it on her show.

App

Earlier this week I was reading a book, blissfully unaware of the world around me when out of nowhere a car careened around a corner, hit a blockade, flipped over and over and over and landed RIGHT ON TOP OF ME!

The next day I was caught in a fiery explosion while talking on the phone. The girls found Action Movie FX and I can’t help but get caught in the crossfire. You can add all kind of disasters to whatever you happen to be filming with just a click of a button.

Apple Maps Parody

So here’s the thing: I love apple products. And like most people who do, I am strangely loyal/obsessed/fangirl about them. But apparently Google doesn’t feel the same way. In fact, Apple and Google broke up last year. And Apple was all like, “I don’t need you anyway, I’ll make my own maps, better maps… You’ll rue the day!!! Mwhahahaha…”

So, the latest iPhone and, thanks to automatic updates, ALL of our phones, now have Apple Maps. And it is Terrible. But, there’s always a bright side; this one is that now we can all make fun of it. I bet Google is feeling pretty smug right about now.

So here’s me: I smell like vomit, the snot on my face is not my own, but who’s to say this isn’t life affirming?


Friday Favourites 33

This week was a bit of a departure for my blog – a little more theology and existential questioning; a little less snot and poopy diapers. To restore balance, today’s post is 80% silly and 20% preachy. You’ll see.

Bank Drama

Preschoolers make the BEST screenwriters! “I’m gonna take ALL them ten dollars!”

Video Apology

An incredibly popular post circulated on Facebook recently: a funny rant from a man about the absurdities of feminine hygiene commercials. Apparently, Richard felt misled and woefully unprepared for reality when he finally snagged himself a girlfriend. He has a point. Nothing says “welcome to PMS” like an ecstatic supermodel in a white dress frolicking in a field of flowers.

The rant was funny, but even better is this hilarious “apology” to poor disillusioned Richard.

Debate Highlights

I am Canadian. But let’s face it, our politics are boring. And what happens in the US affects the rest of us (or at least our television shows). And I have a lot of family that lives there. And twitter has A LOT to say on the subject. So, we try to say informed and felt smugly intellectual watching the town hall debate the other night. Okay, Glen watched and I checked my email, and my wordpress stats, and read through some blogs, and contemplated painting the living room, and finally went to bed (it was LATE).

But I was there, and it was on. And this is pretty much how I remember it.

Lego Reenactment

Congratulations Felix Baumgartner on being immortalized in lego… oh, and that whole supersonic-freefall-from-space thing too. But the lego thing, that’s really cool.

Soap Box

And now for the preach.

I’ve got opinions. I try not to be too obnoxious about it… well, anymore (in my late teens and early twenties, I embraced my inner know-it-all with great enthusiasm).

Last year, around this time I read some articles by Kristen Howard and she ROCKED MY WORLD. After a great deal of research and soul searching (and crying like an angry, sad, chocolate-loving baby), I decided that I could no longer support child slavery by buying chocolate (The Post You DON’T Want To Read).

It’s a real thing, not just crazy overreaction by bleeding heart hippies. Something to keep in mind when you choose what to hand out at the door this Halloween. Stick with a non-chocolate alternative or, even better, use your power as a consumer for good and buy fair trade (chocolate that is NOT made from cocoa beans picked by children who have been bought/kidnapped/forced into labour).

So here’s me, and I am also 80% silly and 20% preachy. Just ask my kids.


Friday Favourites 33

My online persona is a real whiner (my offline one is too, but you don’t know that, so I can pretend that she’s nobly stoic or tenaciously cheerful or at least less of a drama queen). I like to think that my tendency to struggle is offset by my deep joy and gratitude for this life we find ourselves living.

I’d write more, but the boy is climbing on the table and trying to grab this computer for the 837th time in the past hour. I think this means he’s feeling better.

Quote

A two-year-old is kind of like having a blender, but you don’t have a top for it.

~ Jerry Seinfeld


Video which most closely resembles my life:

To follow up yesterday’s post, and of course to spread the word about the dangers of heart disease – love this one!

Video which reminds me how absurd most of my “problems” are:

Without a doubt #FirstWorldProblem is one of the best hashtag threads on twitter (Mom: that means that people on the internet write little sentences about one topic and label them so that everyone can read them). Helps keep things in perspective and makes us laugh at ourselves – this presentation of it is brilliant!

Video which made me think, but enjoy doing it:

We watched a clip from The Truth About Dishonesty at our care group as part of a discussion about the moral path. The animation is entertaining (RSA Animate can make almost any lecture amusing) and I’m always interested in the perspective non-religious people have on the church. What struck me most is our insulation from consequences, ability to rationalize almost anything, and above all, the power of a fresh start.

App

For the first time I’m bringing you an app I haven’t actually used. I love the idea of it. Not another app with 7 different fart sounds or a bizarre game to waste my time, but something to help improve mental health. If you’re convinced that your life and the lives of people you love are not affected by mental illness, you’re probably in denial. Maybe you should see someone about that.

The recommendation from Comments from the Couch with psychologist and therapist, the Ducklows:

“At the core, the Optimism applications are mood charts, designed to help with managing mental and emotional health. They are used as self-help or self-improvement tools for depression, bipolar disorder, and other real life health concerns…

The Optimism apps help you to be more in charge and less dependent on your biology and your emotions. A continual feedback loop, in the form of charts and reports, improves your understanding of who you are, what you are going through and the things that are helping or hindering you.”

So here’s a word from the boy, (I thought I should give him a “turn” after all): 0-o[451536

lklkjagkjkdfaiccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccc

jklds4154444444444444444444444444412


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