Monday, May 31, 2010

The Week Ahead

It's another full week ahead, and I keep waiting for when this schedule is going to "wind down" for the summer. Geesh.

I have a full daycare this week, so that always makes life (and my days) interesting. Two three year olds, one potty training and one still having accidents, make up my days. I'd hazard a guess that I've potty trained at least 10 kids. When you are thankful you are "finished" training your two kids, think of me. I also have a little 1 year old boy now too. It's funny how you forget about Cheerios and morning naps, but here I am back to it.

Tonight is our new (ish) puppy's first doggy obedience class. Since I had 4 hours sleep (don't ask) and the room where they hold the training is tiny-my husband and daughters are going to go. After that, it may just be my husband going for the next 5 weeks. My friends tell me you see an immediate difference from Class 1. Darby is pretty good already. She knows sit, stay, come, down and shake a paw. She's very sociable and friendly. However, that's where she needs work. You cannot jump on everybody you meet for 10 minutes and pee on the floor in your excitement. She also tugs on the leash when you walk her and it's like a choke hold with her panting as you walk along.

I have to buy a birthday gift for my friends daughter's 3rd birthday party on Thursday night, and a "cottage warming" gift for their new place. I also have to clean the house top to bottom one night in anticipation for my Mom's arrival.

This weekend is dress rehearsal and photos on Saturday, and Sunday is the big dance recital. My Mom and I are going to then take the girls out for a celebratory dinner while my husband has to go back to work. Boo hiss.

My youngest also has a field trip, and it's the first one she's ever going on without her Dad and I tagging along. It's an hour and a half bus ride away and she's super nervous. She said on one hand she'd like to stay home, on the other she doesn't want to miss the fun. I told her that some kids NEVER have their parents on field trips and she thought that was horrific. It's just not her normal. We'll see what happens with that and what she decides!

I have menu plans to type up and print, and bums to change and beds to tuck children into for sleep. I better get back to it!

Happy Week!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Can't We Keep Them In Bubbles?

Sometimes, I wish I could keep my daughters small and sheltered, in a world full of just what I say and what I believe. I'd like to keep them innocent and joyful and worry free.

I wish they didn't have to lose that innocence that's so refreshing and beautiful to witness in it's simplicity. Days full of sunshine and rainbows and hearts, and evening dreams full of fireflies and Swedish Berries.

I wish they didn't have to eventually know about things like earthquakes and poverty and starvation.

I wish they weren't exposed to media warnings about pedophiles and kidnappers, out to harm and worse.

I wish kids today didn't grow up so fast. I'm not just saying that because I'm an old fuddy duddy, either. Kids today DO grow up faster than we did in my day. In some ways they are more sheltered. In other ways, they are more apt to see images of sexuality all around them, in the media, on billboards, on TV.

I wish some parents out there would do a better job protecting their children's innocence. Some of you know them, too. They are parents who allow whatever movies and shows and video games the kids want to see or consume. They don't keep a watchful eye and their kids get into the parents personal, or ahem, pleasurable items. They are the parents that make crude jokes and innuendos in front of their kids, or even neighbourhood kids.

I wish I didn't have to have "the talk" with my 10 year old, and realize that she knew way more than I would have ever guessed, and about things that a 10 year old has no business knowing. I wish I didn't have to see her age right before my very eyes, armed with such knowledge. I wish I could go back in time, and hold her in my arms and stare down at her wise, beautiful angel face, knowing I'd protect her and cherish her from all harm forever.

I wish this day had happened 3 or more years from now.

I'm glad, of course, that my daughter feels comfortable enough with me to chat about everything. I mean, EVERYTHING, even amid giggles. I am beyond pleased that she also went to her Dad and talked to him and asked him "for a guy's perspective." Amid giggles. I'm glad she's a grey eyed, strong willed, confident soul with a kind, artistic and gentle heart. I'm proud she's mine, though this talk has lessened my hold and cut a few apron strings. Maybe, just maybe though, they've bound them tighter together.

I still have many wishes, though. I wish that wishes grew on trees, in long elegant lines of wish trees and money trees and Swedish Berry trees.

I wish. I wish. I wish.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Long Weekend And Ghetto Slide

The long weekend has now come and gone, and here we are all back at the grind again. The weather had decided to be scorching hot, after snow a few weeks ago. Crazy. I hear it's going back down to "seasonal" levels next week, and I'm happy about that. I'm not really a "heat" girl, unless I'm by a lake or pool. Otherwise, gross.

That brings me to the past weekend. We decided to just stick around home for the Victoria Day weekend, after much debate about waterparks and such. Instead, my husband came up with the idea of creating our own version of the Slip and Slide, or Wet Banana.

We have a very big backyard, and it slopes. My husband bought vapour barrier (I think, I don't know these construction terms. Some big, white plastic sheeting thing is how I'd likely describe it.) He laid it down the slope and secured it at the top with golf tees. Next came a hose spraying directly onto it continuously, one halfway trickling down the bottom and a bottle of dishsoap.

It was seriously, the best thing ever. I don't even know how many times the kids, the adults, our family and neighbours from all corners, went down the thing. I was trying to go down a new way each time. I went backwards, on my knees, lying down like the luge, upside down lying down, standing even!

We would stop occasionally for lunch or a snack, and in the evening for dinner. We all joined food to create big street bbq's and all ate in our swimsuits on the front lawn.

We had a fabulous weekend with minimal cost. As my husband said, "That was the best 20 bucks I ever spent."


Thursday, May 20, 2010

Baby Days

Today is Day 1 of my starting to watch a little 1 year old boy for a friend. She's a teacher and has been on mat leave for the year, but has to go back next Tuesday til the end of school in June. So, I've agreed to take care of him for the next month.

It's been, oh, probably about 5 years at least since I've done daycare for a baby. When I had my youngest, she and her cousin are a month apart, I had the two of them in my care. At that time, I also started watching a 6 month old baby when her Mom went back to work early. Let me repeat that, over 5 years ago now! That seems crazy to me. Where does time go, again?

It's been a long time since I had bottles and tiny food morsels and Cheerios for snacking. I was giving him his bottle before naptime, and he was squirming in my arms, clearly frustrated with me. I know it's cause it's all new to him and feels different to him, just as it does to me. He's also getting used to a new set of rules, a new set of arms and a new way of doing things.

Next week, he starts full time. Luckily for me, I only have the two three year olds I take care of on the Friday, so it'll be he and I from Tuesday til then. Hopefully in that time, we can get a little more acquainted and used to each others noises and likes and dislikes and expectations.

It's good practice, considering both Moms of the three year old girls are on mat leave. Yep, come November, I'll be watching two one year olds and two three year olds fulltime. This is a nice way to break myself in as well.

That is-if we still live here. I'll update on THAT as it transpires!

For now, back to cooing and Baby Mums and soothers and bottles. Oh, and singing and snuggling and inhaling that intoxicating baby scent. Nothing like it.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Survivor And The Homecoming Queen

I watched the finale of Survivor on Sunday night and once again was interested in the outcome.
As like last season, Russell made it to the end, and once again, didn't win. He plays with such strategy and scheming, it's hard to argue that he largely controlled the game from Day 1. So, why does a win keep alluding him?

Here's my take, and something Russell doesn't seem to understand.

While the game may be "outlast, outwit, outplay," things he does very well, in the end it comes down to a popularity contest. Russell just doesn't seem to get the whole social aspect of the game, and he makes no apologies for that fact. The problem is that without that concept in your mind while playing the game, winning will constantly allude.

We all know that in life, it's not the smartest or even the kindest that always takes home the prize. If you look at the American "Homecoming Queen" contest, as an example, we can see clearly that it's not often the smartest girl that wins. It usually isn't the "nicest" girl that wins. It usually boils down to the most popular girl, and that girl could even be a downright "Mean Girl" that gets the crown. She could be most popular out of fear or manipulation, riches or looks, or she could just very well be the smartest and kindest.

The thing with Russell is that there is a way of voting people out, while keeping their ever fragile egos in place. Game players tend to go out with their humility intact when there is a little ego stroking involved too. Those of you who watch the show know what I'm talking about-the oft used, "you were just too much of a threat!" Russell, instead, makes sure they know they are going out because HE wanted them to and because HE is the the best, strongest, smartest player around. This makes those voted off feel patronized and make them see Russell with an unrivaled hatred. They certainly aren't going to write his name down on that last night.

I know that Survivor is just a reality show. I do think though that the "Survival" aspect is second to the greater social experiment that the game exposes and represents. In real life, and in Survivor, it's those with smarts, cunning, and a pervasive charm that end up on top.

A little honey goes a long way when asking someone to dole out money they think should ultimately be their own. That could also apply to time, trust, favours and more.

Survivor, to me, really is a larger version of another familiar game.
The Game of Life.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Throwin' In The Towel

There are just some days where it feels not only right, but necessary, to throw your pre-scheduled activities and plans out the window and live in the moment. I'm not always Miss Spontaneity by nature, but when I can, I like to try and seize it.

I have a usual list of things on Monday nights that I like to do or get done so that we can get on to the next activity. We eat dinner by 5pm, for example, and we get homework and stuff done right from school. On Mondays, I usually try to keep my kids inside after school, as opposed to playing out in the court with their friends, because it's a busy night for us.

But today, we threw all caution and plans to the wind.

It was a beautiful, hot, 28C here. My husband was off work and went to pick my girls up from school so they wouldn't have to take their normal 1 hour bus ride. They got home early, and got all of their stuff done. I was outside saying goodbye to my daycare charge at this point, and the girls begged to play with their friends "just for a bit." Well, my little 2 year old neighbour got out her family's hose. She started spraying her van. She started spraying the grass. She then sprayed my husband right in the face.

From there, chaos ensued. Suddenly, from every door and every home, kids in bathing suits with towels in hand came streaming into the street. My eldest got a big bucket and gave it to me. I stealthily crept up behind my husband and threw it at his head. The water, not the bucket. Tempting though.

I immediately was set upon by a legion of children with hoses, water guns, buckets and pails. I was drenched. A good note to self is to not wear terry capris when engaging in a water fight. I could barely keep my 500lb pants on!

Every single mother, child and father was attacked and drenched to the bone. There was much laughing and falling and spraying and strategy. It was an absolute blast and everyone went into their homes for dinner with plans for another court water fight.

Our plans got changed tonight. Actually, they got thrown out completely. We ate dinner at 7pm and not what was on my menu. I know, living on the edge, here!

Sometimes, the best laid plans are those that aren't planned. It was a great evening and my family is now sound asleep in their beds, sunkissed noses and shoulders, waterlogged bodies and all.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

I Like Big Butts And I Cannot Lie......

Actually that title IS a lie. I seriously don't get this new "fad" of big bootay's being an enviable quality. When did this happen?

I must have missed something along my formative years, because I don't remember ever seeing guys go nutso over the girls with a lot of junk in their trunk. It could be that I grew up in a very WASP-y environment, where big butts do not run the norm, but I'm pretty positive that even the standard set by models and celebrities at the time was not one of an apple bottom. As a kid, Christie Brinkley and the Charlie's Angels were the hotties. Nary a baby with back in that pack.

Suddenly, with J-lo's arrival, having some "jelly" was fashionable. I hear it said by guys I know now that they like a little badonkadonk. Well, some guys. Some guys I know are still old fashioned in their desire for a little less bootay.

I remember thinking when J-lo came on the scene and her butt was EVERYWHERE, that I didn't want a butt like that, nor did I want anyone to be ready for my jelly. I'm all about curves, but I couldn't understand how a big, rounded hind end (that frankly looked a little saggy to me) was "hot." I still don't get it. It could be because that's so opposite to my own build that it's so foreign to me.

That's what makes the world go 'round though right? J-lo is the typical pear shaped mama. She's got an ample bottom and is smaller on top. That works for some. Thankfully, for some others, a big chest with long legs and no butt works for others. (hi hun!) I'm all about owning what you have and being happy with who you are inside and out. What men think shouldn't even matter really, cause when it comes down to it, are they really that particular? Uh ya. No.

My post is more centered about how the times they are a 'changing. What once was "in" changes as we as a society change depending on the music, the culture and the influences of the time. It takes all kinds of beautiful women to make this world what it is today, and to teach our daughters that no matter junk in your trunk or long legs or boobs you could set a glass on, it's all good.

Not bootylicious for all, but all good.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

What Is It About Bloggin?

I have friends who have no interest in blogs. They don't write them, obviously, but they also have no interest in reading them either. They think it's "weird" to want to read the random ramblings of someone else's life.

I, on the other hand, discover new blogs every day that I then continue to follow. I think it's partly that I'm a huge nosey parker. I'm the type that likes getting a glimpse into the lives of other people behind the drawn curtains. It's probably why I also like reality (though the "reality" part of the title is questionable) tv programs.

There are blogs that are informative. I like getting tips and hints from their posts. I follow some to just get new recipe ideas. Then there are "Mom" blogs. I like those because they alleviate some of the fears I have that maybe I'm the biggest freak on the Mom block. It's nice to know there are other OCD, worry wart Moms out there. There's also the entertainment blogs. You know, just for some chuckles and giggles. Lastly, there are blogs that motivate me, inspire me and give me some desire to just keep plugging away, at the least, or to aim higher, at the most.

I've never been the type to just have a small circle of friends or to keep my interests narrow. In fact, many of my groups of friends and acquaintances are vastly different one from the other. Somehow, I can mesh with all types of groups and peoples. I think it's the same in the blogging world. My interests and curiosities are so widespread that I just want to read all about, well, everything. Again, maybe that's just an innate nosiness.

I prefer to call it an inquisitive nature. Ahem. I just know that the blogger world is fairly new to me, and there are so, so, so many more blogs to discover.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Tapeworm? Yes, PLEASE

While on my weekend away, dieting and eating seemed to come up A LOT. It's sad to me that with women, that's often the case. It seems hardly anyone I know is happy at the weight or size they are at, and everyone seems to constantly be working and trying to just get that much smaller. Now, I have to say, the women I travelled with all have babies under a year old. That time in a woman's life usually DOES mean trying to get the "baby" weight off.

All of these women breastfed, and they all lost their baby weight pretty quickly. Now, they are all losing even more weight to get to their "fighting weight." One of them has lost almost a 100 lbs in total!!! That's seriously impressive to me.

We were joking that sometimes we think it'd be nice to have a tapeworm. You know, just a small one, and just for a little while. I know tapeworms are no laughing matter-don't email me with accusations of insensitivity to tapeworm victims!! My point is that it feels necessary to get extreme sometimes in order to finally get to a happy place weight wise.

I look at people who have lost huge amounts of weight, like 100 lbs, and I wonder what the heck is wrong with me that I can't muster the willpower to lose 25 lbs! How do they get that stamina and drive? I need a little bit of that! I've been struggling with the same loss for many years now! I just can't seem to stick with any one thing and I lose and gain the same ten pounds over and over again.

I think it's also that I'm not someone who really dives into things and immerses myself completely. I've never joined a sport that I loved so much I played it for life. I've tried to be all "granola" and it's just not me. I like doing yoga and pilates but there isn't anywhere near me to do it that's half decent. I do it at home, but not fervently. I like taking classes-like I took belly dancing for three years, and aquafit, but again, time constraints and desire have grown and waned. I'm just not the zealous type I guess. Guess being lured into a cult isn't gonna happen anytime soon! I'm too blase!

I'd like to declare that once and for all that I'll do this and get it off! Yet, how many times have I said that??? It's not that I don't want to lose it, or that I am happy with my current weight, but I can't seem to harness that "stick to it-ness" that they've found. I keep telling myself to plug away and get off of the notion that it's going to happen in two to three months. It'll just take as long as it takes. I'm also not delusional enough to think that once there, I can just forget my dieting woes and be carefree. Unfortunately, this whole weight and dieting thing, that frankly bores me to tears, is going to be a lifelong conversation and struggle in my head. Darn it.

Anyone got a tapeworm they can lend me for a few weeks?

Monday, May 10, 2010

What's On My Radar?

May is a busy, busy month that seems to be just setting the stage for the months to come. It seems like every week there is "something" happening or that needs doing. Of course, I'm looking forward to a lot of great things coming up socially as well, so it's that balance of rest and chaos that seems to characterize my life.

Today, our pooch went for her last vaccination. This was the third in a series of three. Thank goodness for that because my husband is starting to call the dog, "Money Pit" instead of her name. While we were there, we had to also purchase the heartworm meds that she needs from June to November, to the tune of over a hundred dollars. Fleas, say what? Next up for the dog is spaying, which takes place next month and will leave our pockets a little less full, again. At least she's good for needles for another year. One last thing on the plate for her is Puppy Obedience classes. They start at the end of May and run for 6 weeks. You guessed it. $$ Ah well, all worth it for the companionship and unconditional love.

Other than doggy news, we have dancing classes intensifying to ready for the big recital in June. My Mom is travelling up again to see my daughters perform their numbers. My youngest is in two numbers, and my eldest in one routine. That takes place the first week in June.

I have a new little guy starting on the 25th of this month in my home daycare as well. He'll be a few days shy of 1 years old, and his Mom is a teacher. What that means for me is that I'll only have him for about a month and then she's off for the summer. The Mom is one of the ladies I went on the "Girls Weekend" with, so it's really more of a favour to her than anything else. Her son is a totally laid back kiddo too. He basically eats, sleeps and smiles. It'll still be a blast from the past to have such a little one in my care again.

June also brings birthdays, for my niece and my daughter, Father's Day, and of course my awesome, spectacular weekend "home" to visit my peeps. I can't really complain about any of that, now can I?

Speaking of Father's Day-I better give a quick shout out about my Mother's Day! My husband reads my blog, and thankfully, took the words to heart. I had one of the best Mother's Days ever. I got to sleep in as late as I wanted (and needed!) I had Eggs Benedict in bed, brought in on a tray with homemade gifts as well. I sipped my coffee reading lovely, heartfelt cards. They also bought me a blue hydrangea which I hope to plant in my flower garden once it warms up. While I lay like the Queen of Sheba in my bed, they scrubbed the fridge and stove within an inch of their electric lives. WOOHOOO. I could not have been happier to see that fresh, clean fridge. I know I'm a huge nerd, but for a neatnik like me, that was heaven. The goodness didn't stop there though! I also got a wonderful dinner made for me of Filet Mignon and Fettuccine Alfredo with asparagus. Dessert was chocolate sundaes. My diet may not have been happy with that day, but my palate (and my heart) certainly were pleased and impressed.

It's kind of sad to go back to the grind of daily drudgery. However, I truly have so much that's fun and social coming up around the bend, how can a girl complain? Well, or complain and expect sympathy, anyways. You got it, she can't.

Friday, May 7, 2010

On Mother's Day

Sometimes, I feel like a special holiday for Moms is a lot of pressure. I mean, it goes against everything Mothering is about, really. Oh sure, it's great to get to sleep in or to get gifts, but lying around being lazy is not really a normal "Mom" thing to do. Of course, me being me, I also get stressed about the gifts and making sure my expression is just right-cause my girls will call me on it! As I've said, I'd totally forgo gifts for a cleaning service for the day, cause let's face it-that's on my mind as I lie in bed sipping coffee. I know that I'm "supposed" to be relaxing, but I've got grocery lists and cleaning lists on my mind. Those tasks don't get put on hold to celebrate "me." That also makes me feel a bit guilty. My family are running around doing all of this wonderful stuff, just for little 'ol me, and here I am lazing around in bed. See? It's the anti-mother Mother's day.

One thing I DO love about Mother's Day? That's an easy one. I love my girls, and I love being a mom to two girls. I've been asked time and again if we didn't want to "try" for a boy. I've done enough daycare work to know that for me, umm, no. I'm good with the blessings in my life and the way it is supposed to be for our family. There have been little daycare boys that I absolutely loved-sweet, gentle, long lashed boys. There is my crazy, mischievous nephew. But I'm a Mom to girls. Yep, that works best for me.

I was looking nostalgically at old photos last night, kind of a retrospect of my family from my wedding on up to present day. I got a little teary eyed looking at pictures of my girls as babies and growing up together as sisters. While I may question every little thing, every day in my life, there's one thing I know without a shadow of a doubt. I'm a great Mother. That sounds like tooting my own horn. Well, toot toot. I'm by no means perfect. I yell a little too much. I have high expectations. I can be critical and dismissive. I can also assert, though, that my daughters know, without pause, that they are wholly and totally loved. They are strong, confident girls. I would think that they are also sure in the knowledge that every decision I make for myself is based on the greater good for them. There's a famous quote by Jackie Kennedy that goes, "If you bungle raising your children, I don't think whatever else you do matters very much." I totally concur. So while I often seek what "else" is out there for me, I remain constant in my striving to not bungle up this Mommy gig thing.

I'm sure, like me, there are going to be things my daughters wish I had done differently. I know there will be things that they themselves will do in the raising of their own children that will veer 360 degrees from my own teachings. I know as the teen years approach there will be scoffing and sneering. I feel a chasm will occur for a period as they seek their own way and identity. I'm okay with it.

At the base of it all, and at the core of what Mother's Day is about for me, is the rare and unique bond that holds Mother and child together. Until you've experienced it, you just can't fathom that stronghold on your heart. It's a truly unconditional and all consuming love, tempered with passion and restraint all at once. It's a tightrope act that you gladly walk without a net. It's looking into faces you created and seeing ancestors of the past and future generations to come. It's your heart bursting with pride at each achievement, and shattering with each tear. It's knowing that, should the horrendous occasion occur, you'd lay down your life without a second thought so that theirs would be spared. It's cooing at babies and fiercely buoying preteen esteem. It's guiding with a gentle hand, and releasing that hand to let them test the waters on their own. It's hoping you've raised them to go out into the world strong and capable, and praying they always come back to your shelter for comfort and rest and strength.

As I lie in bed on Sunday morning, it'll be a bit bittersweet. I'll be thinking of what I need to be doing, what I wish the day would bring and the balancing of Mommy guilt with joy. I'll be reflecting on my Mom and the gifts she gave me and continues to give. Mostly though, I'll be looking into the two beautiful faces that bring so many emotions to my life, and make each day palatable and important and contented.

Happy Mother's Day to you, and yours.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Pizza For Dinner!

Last night was the first Tuesday that we haven't had to run out the door by 6pm, which felt like total nirvana. The activity for that night ended last week, so for here on in, we are taking Tuesdays back!

I decided to make homemade pizza's and just have a simple salad on the side. Oh, and by homemade I mean I bought the crust. I just added our own toppings.

I made three different sections with different ingredients to suit all of our varied palates. For my daughter, I used cheddar cheese and pepperoni and red peppers. For my husband, I used prosciutto, red pepper and goat cheese. For me? There's where (in my opinion) it got yummy. My pizza had prosciutto, goat cheese, mushrooms, onion and artichoke. I drizzled a little olive oil on top for the final broiling as well.

They all turned out very delicious and though it took awhile assembly wise, it was a quick easy dinner. I added Caesar salads for the kids and garden salads for the hubs and I.

All that was required to add to that meal was a nice glass of red wine.

Simple and Delish!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Back To Life.....

So, I embarked on my "Girls Weekend" on Friday afternoon, with butterflies in my stomach and I dare say, tears in my eyes. Yes, I'm a complete lame-o. My friend had picked up one of the ladies and they arrived in the minivan to collect my neighbour and I.

As I threw (okay, threw might be stretching it. I could barely lift the thing) my luggage into the back of the van, I was struck by a huge assortment of booze. We had each brought a bottle of wine, or two. There was butterscotch rum and coolers and I don't even know what else. It took half of the space. Apparently this weekend was going to be a little more wild than I had thought!

As we made our way along, we stopped at outlets and shopped a little. I got some stuff for my girls, of course, but I also managed to pick up some flip flops for myself and a sun hat. We laughed and sang and took our time.

We decided Friday night to hit a sports bar type restaurant to watch the Pens/Canadiens game. My friend's brother is Mike Yeo, assistant coach on the Penguins so she hates to miss a game. We hit Jack Astor's, which was delicious and fun. I had an almond crusted cod in a coconut red curry sauce if you care to know. I was just happy I didn't have to make it, nor did I have to clean anything up. Hooray!

Back at the hotel we had a glass of wine or two, some snacks, and chatted for awhile over a "conversation starter" game for women. My stomach was starting to ache from laughing so hard, but also started to feel a little "off" and bloated. By the time everyone else was settled and fast asleep, I was rolling around in my bed trying to deal with my stomach issues. That was not a great start to the weekend but I figured it would be gone by morning.

We indulged in the hotel's yummy free breakfast (after waking up at 545am. Seriously. Our big plans to sleep in were apparently thwarted by our "mommy" time clocks. Dang it.) and hit the road. That day we went to Vaughan Mills Mall and Yorkdale Mall, with a lunch at Montana's and a dinner at Moxie's thrown in the mix. I kid you not when I say, this was some power shopping. We shopped, stopping only for those meals, from 9am to 9pm. Crazy.

I hit up the typical stores for my kids and husband and made a few beelines to La Senza and many, many shoe stores for myself. I got a cute dress at Roots as well. However, all day Saturday, my recurring theme was my stupid stomach. I just did not feel well, though I played it off. It put a total damper on the day. Sigh.

After dinner, we went back to the hotel and had some wine and laughed like crazy people. We laughed so much that security came to our room and knocked on the door. My friend yelled out, "We're SLEEPING," which of course just made us laugh more. After our "noise warning" we talked awhile longer, with Paul Blart Hotel Cop's words ringing in our ears. Thankfully, I was starting to feel much better by this point.

Sunday I felt almost my old self, and after breakfast we checked out and headed shopping yet again. This time we went to a HUGE Ikea (like 2 huge warehouse floors) and then a few places we wanted to go back to or missed. One of those places was yet another shoe store. Of course. We're 4 women, what do you expect?

Finally, we were back on the road and it felt bittersweet. We had all had a great time, but we missed our families too. My girls ran out to meet me when the van pulled up, and my husband had made a delicious dinner of chicken he had brined all day and then roasted. It felt warm and welcoming to be back in my own space, even though the tidying up nearly set my OCD radar to stun! It actually wasn't too bad, just a little less picked up than I like it. The girls made fun of my tidying habits in the hotel too, so I guess it's just a sickness.

I had a truly great time and the plans are already in the works for a girls weekend at my friends cottage. I'm counting down the days already! I needed the time to regroup and refocus, as well as to take some pressure off of all of the worries and stresses that make up schedules and future planning.

Next adventure takes me "home" and to a "Sex and the City" evening with my best friends. Did I mention that I'm counting down? Ya. I can't wait!

Maybe this "Girl Weekend" thing will become a regular habit. Now, how to also fit in a weekend somewhere with my husband? That's next on the agenda!

I don't think he'll like the 12 hour shopping trips though.