May 27 2010

Funnest Kid Party Activity EVER! (ages 8-12)

Ok, last year I was in the middle of getting separated, unemployed, had no money and no employment insurance and a pile of debts. (stick with me, this is going to get a lot funnier ;)

My (10 at the time) daughter was jonesin’ to have a bunch of buddies over and since the year had not been going very well, I agreed.

The big issue was food. She wanted 10 friends for a sleepover and that meant that I had to feed 10 ravenous 10 year olds plus the 7 year old sister who would never let an opportunity to hang with the big girls pass her by. (she eats the most!)

It was really stressful. I didn’t want to ask people to send food with their kids because I wasn’t too keen on everyone knowing just how bad things were.

Now, as an outside-the-box aficionado I knew that I would be able to come up with a cool idea but as the party approached I had nothin’.

The kids arrived and were all super excited. I like to have a loose plan so that the maniacs don’t drive me to drink (any more) so I had planned to send them on a scavenger hunt.

Just as they were gathering around and asking about the hunt and dinner and cake and whatever, I had a mad epiphany!

What if I sent them on a scavenger hunt for food?!

We sat down with the kid cookbook and thumbed through to find 3 dishes. An appetizer, an entre and a dessert. Then I separated them into 3 teams, each armed with the recipe.

On the count of 3 they took off into the neighbourhood with their recipes and went to the homes of friends, asking for 1 thing on the list.

It was a crazy success. Not only did the kids have so much fun finding all the ingredients and competing against each other, they had a blast making the food and eating it too.

The winning team got bragging rights and got to eat first while the other teams served them. It was so much fun!

When I relayed this story back to the moms of the kids everyone applauded the creativity of it. (only a select few knew the real reason why I had opted for this particular party planning technique)

All in all it was the most successful party ever and many parents are now super pissed at me for setting the bar too high. Meh, what can I say?

Necessity really is the mother of invention!

May 27 2010

My Bad Knees – this is gonna cost me!

I’ve been an athlete in one form or another for pretty much my entire life. I was on skis for the first time at 2, golfing at 6, did all the track and field events I could enter, cross-country running, basketball, volleyball, softball, really anything with a ball.

Suffice to say that athleticism has been an important aspect of my life.

When I first popped out the kids I knew that sport would have to be pretty major in their lives too. I’d be fine if my kids wanted to be “readers” gasp. But they were also going to have to be athletic. In fact, I used to say “this family skis so if you want to stay in the family march your butt into that ski suit, strap on your boards and let’s go!” (admittedly it was a type-A moment but I think you get my drift.)

Turns out the little buggers are excellent athletes who excel well beyond any successes I had. At 6 they were both doing back-handsprings and can now both do back tucks! They’re in cheer-leading and it’s mad competitive and fun to watch.

My fearless 8 year old is routinely held aloft by other 8 year olds, often suspended 6 feet above a flimsy matt with only skinny arms holding her up. She seems right at home up there too which makes hiding my terror that much tougher.

Anyway, all this “encouragement” (let’s go with that rather than “pushy cheer-mom” shall we?) has now lead to one of my worst fears…dum, dum, dummmmmm….BAD KNEES.

Today the 11 year old and I headed to the much-put-off Dr’s appointment to discuss knee discomfort. Although to hear her tell it it’s less discomfort and more like “knives being stabbed into my knees”. Perhaps her flair for the dramatic could be attributed to her father…but I doubt it.

Anyway, so there we were at the Dr.’s office and within 30 seconds I’m out hundreds of dollars for upcoming physio, orthotics and new shoes. New shoes!? I just bought her those stupidly over-priced DC skate shoes and now I have to buy more? Ack!

I really have only myself to blame. I blame their dad for the messed up nonesense going on in both their mouths. (I didn’t need braces but daddio had them for about 12 years I think) So I have to take the heat for the crappy knees.

Oh, and as if it weren’t enough outlay of cash, she had to chime in with “what about this acne?”. That we can blame on dad for sure. He had a crater face for all of high school. Thank god I didn’t know him then or I wouldn’t even be having this conversation about genetics.

The acne question has already cost me another $40 in “prescription” product!

What’s the moral of this story? I think there are a few but let’s go with; don’t take your kid to the doctor…EVER!

May 27 2010

Yoga Farts – a necessary evil

I’m fairly sure that this has happened to everyone at least once during their yoga practice.
You get yourself up in shoulder stand or down dog and…BAMB! one slips out.
How embarrassing! Memories of grade school sphincter indiscretions pop into your head and you lose focus of what post you’re supposed to in.
You quickly steal glances around the room to make sure no one else noticed and if you happen to catch someone’s knowing eye you die a thousand deaths.
Ah, the yoga fart is most definitely the scrouge of all yoga practicers.
Last night, during power yoga, I was especially gassy. I did my best to hold in those annoying little SBD’s but a few slipped past the blockade.
I think it’s the crazy positions you’re meant to do in yoga that cause this phenomenon. I’m not entirely sure we’re meant to be pulled and prodded and yanked into pretzel shapes. Maybe yoga farts are the universe’s way of telling us that this is just not good for you!
Or maybe I’m just looking for co-farters so that I don’t feel like the only one who has disturbed the zen of the room with a big, smelly toot.
More yoga today. Wonder what this practice will smell like? :)

May 26 2010

Newb Takes on Tweetdeck

Holy shit, have you seen Tweetdeck? It’s insane! This is going to take some getting used to but as I have advised people in the past, you eventually get used to everything.
Do you ever get that feeling of being over-whelmed when trying to learn something new?
Of course you do. If you said “no” you’re a big, fat liar and we can definitely be friends ;)
In the last 30 days I’ve: lost 20lbs, done 26 days straight of yoga, learned how to create this site in word press, learned how to use twitter, set up friends on twitter, joined an mlm (only 1 and only because I have successfully used the product) and now am learning twitdeck. (oops, I meant tweet, not twit.)
Not to mention the fact that my first kick at the word press can didn’t go quite as smoothly as it could have. Mostly because I wanted my blog to look like Heather Anderson’s (dooce (dot) com)¬†which is epic and cool and pretty and has lots of pictures which I could do if my camera would cooperate.
Tangent there, sorry.
I’ve learned so much in the last month that it’s a good thing my head wasn’t filled with a lot of useless learnin’ before cuz it’s allowed lots of room for useful learnin’ now (don’t know why that’s funnier with a country twang, it just is ok!? Jeez)
I’m happy to share this stuff with you if you want to learn too. I’m not saying I’m a guru by any stretch of the imagination but I will say that I am close enough to having just learned it all that I will remember all the shit you have to go through to learn something new.
The biggest trick is DON’T PANIC! You have time. You don’t have to learn it all in a day, a week a month etc.
So many of us mommy types feel like we have to jam every task into a snippet of time that “we” think is reasonable. Give yourself a bloody break here and think about the benefits the final product will bring you.
Good luck.
Hit me at jax (at) divahh (dot) com if you want some help or have any other tips for moi!
Love to share!