Mission Impossible: Shopping With Kids

I'm An Evil Genius

Mission Impossible: Shopping With Kids

We did our spring cleaning today. The kids weren’t happy about it, but we cleaned ALL DAY.

So, we rewarded the kids with a trip to Walmart. Now, you may be thinking it’s not cool to bribe your kids or to reward them for things that they should do anyway, but think of the genius in this: We rewarded them with $25 gift cards for Walmart that they got for Christmas.

It was their gift card, they were just rewarded with being able to spend it... I know, evil genius.

Well, it seemed like a genius idea until we realized we were going to Walmart with four kids.

So, there we were in the parking lot giving the kids the “zero tolerance for bad behavior” speech and praying we would make it out alive.

We were in that store for almost two hours, and we have never been more proud. There was not one tear, not one whine, not one fight and did I mention four kids?

So we called Guinness because we are pretty sure that is some kind of record.

At the end of the day we had happy parents and happy children.


Self Portraits

If You Want It Done Right Do It Yourself

Self Portraits

I absolutely love to take pictures; I am my kids’ personal paparazzi.

When Rebecca was 3, she actually told me “No more Pictures” at a birthday party... I still snuck in a few.

Maybe it has something to do with being the 4th child and having very few pictures to document my childhood, but I think pictures make the best memories. That said, I find that as a mom, I am always the one behind the camera. I have to ask someone else to take a picture with me in it if I want to have one. So, once again, there are never very many pictures of me.

I don’t want you to think I am narcissistic; I just have a fascination with photographs. I love to look through my mom’s old wedding album, and the pictures of her as a child. I think it’s cool to see what people looked like when they were younger, and I think it will be cool for my kids to see me that way as well.

So, how could I be sure there would be photographic evidence of a young Moe? I do make sure to ask Tom to take a picture of me at most events we go to, but I have taken things into my hands as well.

You see, a few years ago, I joined a Facebook group that had a weekly photo contest. One week, the theme was “self-portrait”. I wondered how I could possibly take a good photo of myself without it looking like I took a photo of myself. Obviously, I could set a timer and do it that way, but I thought that would look too staged.

I started trying to take nice shots of myself. Here is the photo I entered in the contest:

After getting, what I consider, to be a pretty good shot, I started taking more. Whenever I felt particularly good about how I looked, I would snap a picture.

Perhaps it’s a little weird, but with all the social media sites that require an avatar, I wanted to have pics that I liked representing me.

Wishing you had a profile pic you liked? I find if I hold the camera, up and to the side, I get the best shot. I always try to crop out the arm holding the camera. Sometimes, lying down is a good way to go. I was actually lying down in the pic I submitted to the contest.

It takes a few tries, because getting yourself centred in the shot isn’t easy. I have taken more than my fair share of pictures of my ear or my chin.

Maybe you think it’s not cool to take pictures of yourself, but you know the old saying... If you want it done right, do it yourself. I’m a believer.


Winterlude Getaway

Honda's TV Room on Wheels

Winterlude Getaway

I just spent an awesome weekend at Winterlude with my daughter Rebecca.  Thankfully Honda let me test drive the Honda Odyssey for our drive to Ottawa and back – a total of ten hours. And let me tell you, a long drive is made much shorter if you are driving a super comfy, fully loaded vehicle! It’s even shorter if said vehicle has a wide screen entertainment system for your little passenger.

Working in sports television for 15 years, one thing I’ve learned is you can take a game that lasts 3 hours and pare it down to just a few minutes by featuring the highlights. So here are a few of the highlights from my Winterlude trip:

Alone Time
I had an entire weekend to spend with just Rebecca. With four kids, one-on-one time is at a premium. It was nice to just hang out and not have to think about whether the baby would wake up or need feeding. Being away from home also meant no getting distracted by house work. It was an entire weekend dedicated to just plain hanging with my girly.

The YMC Winterlude Kick-Off Party
We all convened at the Hard Rock Cafe in down town Ottawa. It was great hanging out and meeting some on-line friends in real life. Plus it was a chance to hang out with the Yummy Mummies (and there were some delicious daddies there too). Rebecca’s favourite part of the evening was after we left The Hard Rock. We headed over to Sugar Mountain where she spent about $20 on candy!


Handing Out Cupcakes For Ottawa’s Kindness Week
Saturday morning, Rebecca and I headed to the ByWard Market to hand out mini cupcakes for Kindness week. It was bitterly cold, but we were warming people’s hearts, right? Maybe not, apparently people are a little sceptical of strangers who try to hand them free food on the street... even if it is for Kindness week. We finally managed to convince 50 people we weren’t trying to kill them, and then we went in to warm up with a little hot chocolate and lunch.

Mini Makeovers at Daya Spa
After handing out cupcakes, Rebecca and I headed to Daya Spa where Daniel Thompson was doing mini make-overs for Yummy Mummies. The atmosphere at Daya was warm and relaxing. We started of by lying down for a fantastic facial with Indian Rose water, they even gave Rebecca a little spritz. The warm towel on my face was enough to put me to sleep, and the scents in the room seemed to tell all my muscles to relax.

Then, it was time for Dan to make us over. He explained each step as applied my make up and in the end I looked like a well rested, young mom... emphasis on the young. Well rested and young are two things that rarely describe a 37 year old mother to a nine-month old! I wish Dan could come to my house every morning and make me look good.

Rebecca got the princess treatment and walked away very sparkly with Dan’s Diamond Dust not just on her face but in her hair as well, she was in heaven.

Those may have been the highlights of my trip but there are hundreds of memories from Winterlude I’ll cherish forever. 

And the trip wouldn’t have gone quite as smoothly without my amazing test drive vehicle so here are my top five highlights of driving the Odyssey.

The Wide Screen Entertainment System
It’s five hours from our house to Ottawa, but we were comfortable and Rebecca was captivated by the wide-screen entertainment system. When I looked back at her, she looked like she was sitting in a lazy boy watching a movie. I didn’t hear my first “Are we there yet?” until three hours into the trip... that’s impressive!

The Cool Box
At the bottom of the dash, there is a “cool box”, and I don’t mean cool like hip, I mean cool like cold... although it is quite cool. So, there is a cool, cool box where you can put water for your journey... how great is that?

The Navigation System
The Odyssey has an in-dash GPS that uses a dial instead of buttons. Although it looked intimidating at first, it was actually easy to use. It also has a picture in picture feature that I thought was brilliant. You know when you are approaching one of those difficult forks in the highway and you are unsure which lane your GPS is telling you to get into? Well, the Odyssey’s picture in picture shows a close up of the lanes and which one you should choose. I found it really helpful.

The Dash Layout
I absolutely love the layout and colour scheme of the dash. I am not a fan of those white dials that car manufacturers insist on putting in every new car, so I was pleased to see the grey and black dash of the Odyssey.

The Seats
I found the seats extremely roomy and the front seats can be adjusted in any direction making it super easy to find a position that works for you. You can also save two personalized settings so you don’t ever have to fiddle with it again.

The Odyssey is a minivan you can feel cool in. So in keeping with the highlight theme of my blog, I think it’s time I covered my grey hairs with a few highlights of a different colour -  they’re ruining my new “young mom” look.