Sunday Smilemaker(s)

I have more than one smilemaker today.
My 3 oldest friends and I get together every year with our children and have our own Christmas for them.
This year, the party was hosted at our house. With 8 children under 8 (most of them under 5), there was no shortage of shouts, squeals, crying, laughing, and excitement.

As the evening wound down, everyone gathered up their children and said their goodbyes. As I closed the door behind my friend B, with her little man C (you can find him here… or here), I realized that we don’t do this nearly enough.

Why only once a year?

We’ve been best friends since we were kids. We’ve seen each other through heartbreaks, weddings, divorce, births, deaths and multiple trips to the hospital for any number of injuries and illnesses.

These are the women I trust with my life, and who I am proud to be friends with.

Most of the time 😉

Here are some fun shots from our afternoon together.

Monster got an R/C truck for his gift.  This made him “sooooooo happy!!”

He spent the next 20 minutes racing it back and forth from the living room to the entryway, all the while trying to keep the remote out of the quick hands of little BusyBoy.

The first moment he set it down and turned his back…..


Hallowe’en prep party

I don’t have my boys with me for Hallowe’en this year.

I’m not sure how to feel about this.

I won’t miss driving all over Hell’s half acre, trying to make sure that all the correct people have been visited, ensuring that no one is offended by our lack of appearance. Not an easy feat when you live in a different town than the majority of your family.

What I will miss is the prep party. The electricity in the air as they wiggle into their costumes. The energy that they exude as I try to get their make-up on properly, and to their satisfaction.

I will miss the excitement that they feel when someone can’t guess who they are…

I will miss looking in the rear-view mirror on the way back from Gramma’s house (always the last stop) and seeing sleeping superheros (or villains, in some cases), clutching their candy sacks tightly.

I will miss carrying little limp bodies into the house, arms wrapped around my neck…

I sure hope they have fun tonight.

broken, not defeated

Think back.

Remember the hallways of your high school, lined with lockers. Innocent students gathered between the bells, chatting with each other, exchanging one binder for another, joking, teasing, laughing. Glances exchanged as the student that everyone loves to pick on strolls by, books clutched tightly to their chest, eyes glued to somewhere 3 feet in front of them on the floor.
They won’t look up. Won’t make eye contact.
They walk the gauntlet every day, hoping no one will make a comment that will drive their self-esteem even lower into the ground.

That was me in my early years of high school.

I was never popular. I didn’t wear the latest fashions or care to keep up with the most popular music of the time. I had a small circle of friends that I was very close with, and didn’t care if I had any more.

In Grade 9 I was teased terribly. I wore jeans and t-shirts every day, so I was nick-named “Farmer Girl” even though I didn’t live on a farm. Boys made fun of me for being flat-chested. I had a girl cut a chunk out of my hair in science class one day.

Bullying awareness has been taken to a new level these days. And who can really blame schools for trying to get the message out there that this will not be tolerated? Teenagers are taking their own lives because they are being teased incessantly for being different. Gay. Foreign. Different. Frightening. They all seem to be the same thing anymore.

I read about a 15 year old Canadian boy, Jamie Hubley, who took his own life after years of being teased for being gay. 15. The bullies broke him.
I thought the world was a different place now? I thought everyone was free to be whatever they were on the inside and people wouldn’t judge them for what was on the outside? I especially pride myself on being Canadian because of our reputation for being accepting and welcoming to all.
Apparently a large majority of the population missed the memo.
I think what bothers me the most about this is that the people doing the damage were not his parents, not the adults in his life… it was his peers. Fellow students his own age.

I worry for my own children.
Will the children make fun of Monster for having hearing aids? Does it make him so different that children won’t play with him? Will the fact that he’s always had them make a difference – the number of children with disabilities has risen exponentially over the last 20 years, after all.
Will Peanut get teased for wearing his heart on his sleeve? He is an emotional little boy and is easily hurt – and I don’t mean just physically.

I look at the loss that the Hubley family has had to endure and wonder what they are thinking today. They had allowed Jamie to change schools to escape the teasing. It followed him. In his blog he made it very clear that he didn’t want his parents to feel like it was their fault.

I’m a parent. And while I can’t imagine what they are experiencing right now, I know that they have searched every corner of their brains searching for the moment they ‘missed’ that would have saved their son.

My heart goes out to them.

giving thanks

They say that turkey is soporific. That the tryptophan found in the meat is the raw material for the synthesis of sleep-related serotonin, a neurotransmitter.

Who are “they” anyways? The scientists of the world? They obviously don’t have children
If that were true, my house would be dead quiet after a huge Thanksgiving meal like we had last night.

That, my friends, was NOT the case.

So I put to you, scientists of the world, this challenge. Come and prove your hypothesis at my house following a long day and an over-the-top turkey dinner.
In a perfect world, the hour and a half hike, bike riding extravaganza and turkey-laden dinner would all lead to perfectly exhausted children, yawning and stretching, asking at 7pm what time they can go to bed. Everyone would happily crawl into their pajamas, adamantly refuse a bedtime story, snuggle into bed and immediately close their eyes, welcoming the deep slumber that awaits them. This would leave the evening open for Hubby and I to curl up on the couch and watch the MLB playoffs in peace, sipping San Pelegrino contentedly.
I have given myself the night off from studying, in order to enjoy some quiet adult time.


We live in a madhouse, full of 7 year old attitude and 5 year old antics.
Turkey tryptophan hasn’t affected them at all.

Bathtime was the usual disaster. “I don’t want to get out” “Monster was in longer than me” “I don’t want a shower, I want a BATH” (anything to make it last just a little bit longer).
Monster demanded that I read his Train bedtime book. It’s a great book… the first time… but when you read the same story every single night it becomes a bit monotonous. Good thing he’s still young enough, he doesn’t notice when I turn 3 or 4 pages at a time. Yes, I’m a page jumper… don’t tell me you’re not, because you would be lying.
Teeth brushed, stop jumping on your bed.
No you don’t need to play your DS tonight, just get to bed.
Wrestle, wrestle…. boys are sooooo much fun.

FINALLY – everyone is in bed and I’m sitting on the couch. Dishes are done (thanks Hubby!), San Pelegrino poured, baseball game ON. As I sink down into the soft leather, I hear the faint squeak of a door opening…

“Mommy? I’m hungry.”