Monday, April 13, 2009

Follow Me...

As of Monday, April 13th, my new blog posts will appear on The BlackBerry Diaries.

You can read all about the release, launch and (hopefully) sales and reviews of my latest book, "The BlackBerry Diaries: Adventures In Modern Motherhood".

PLUS all the usual stuff about trying to keep sane with four kids in a manner which doesn't presuppose the extensive use of duct tape and contributions to a future therapy account.

Come with me to the new world...

Friday, April 3, 2009

Age Is Just a (BIG) Number

It's my birthday tomorrow, and my 17 year-old daughter was reflecting on this the other day as she contemplated whether she could get away with making me something versus dipping into her prom dress account.

She looked up and she said "Wow. Mom. You're old, eh?"

No kidding.

I said "Not really. Look at Grandma"

She said, "No. Yo. Seriously. You're old, eh?"

All right already. This is my oldest child. My youngest is 11 years younger and there are two other in-between.

When we went to her high school orientation four years ago, I turned to my husband and said "Just think - we'll be doing this in another two years, another six years, and another 11 years. We're the youngest parents we're going to be at one of these things. We're going to be old at Nicholas' session."

This same lovely daughter leaned over and said "Oh my God Mom. You'll be dead by then."

So at least we have progress. I have gone from being six feet under, to being just very, very old.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Indoor "Play" Ground

On a rainy day this weekend, I decided to take my two youngest kids (aged six and ten), and a little friend of theirs to an indoor playground. A great big indoor playground with miles of jumping, climbing, sliding and otherwise tumbling about fun.

Next time I decide to do this, someone needs to pop me on the forehead a la the V8 ads.

"Oh right! I forgot I hate indoor playgrounds!"

It was packed. It was hot. It was loud.

I naively took along my laptop, my book, and a magazine. I think I read two articles, and didn't touch the rest. The articles were from a parenting magazine and I'll admit I was looking for help.

$25 in admission, a plate of greasy fries, three slushies and a lost hat later, we were on our way.

I got the "indoor" part of this. I'm still looking for the "play".

Monday, March 23, 2009

Vini Vidi Vaca

We came (after 12 hours of airport, airplane, and bus transfers)

We saw (how fabulous Gravol can truly be)

We vacationed (Yes Nicholas, we have to go to the pool AGAIN!)

March break is officially over in my house, and maybe I'm just a tiny bit glad to get back to the routine.

Don't get me wrong: I loved the lack of routine and the throwing away of rules (particularly those which involved having to eat healthy, swim up bars which opened at 10:00 a.m., and the chocolate fountain as a lunch substitute.)

My kids learned charming phrases like "Speedo Alert!" and "Virgin Pina Colada Please"

But I also love what I do in my real world.

And of course, every trip with my family provides me with pages and pages of material.

I'm thinking of calling my next book "Clean Underwear Never Takes A Holiday, Buddy"

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Two More Sleeps...

Only two more sleeps until it's officially March break.

I'm being interviewed today by AOL Travel for tips on travelling with kids - by car, plane, train, boat - so I thought I'd go to an expert (in this case my son, 6-year-old Nicholas) and ask him what advice he would give parents.

1) Bring lots of granola bars and pop.

2) New toys from the dollar store.

3) Don't make me sit next to my brother.

All good, sound pieces of advice. Especially the seating plan. Don't overlook the seating plan.

In my house, with four kids, more often than not, a spreadsheet is required in order to track time, distance, mood, and volatility.

But it's all worth it.

It's a "break", remember?


Sunday, March 8, 2009

Even Better Than Mother's Day

Today is International Women's Day.

Make sure you try to find five minutes to celebrate by doing something girly.

Here are my favourites:

Reading a trashy magazine. The "Worst Beach Bodies" issue is out. Seriously.

Eating popcorn and diet coke for dinner. And maybe a KitKat.

Wearing too much make up for a morning brunch.

Visiting Gwyneth Paltrow's patronizing and oozing website, Goop, just to ridicule.

Twittering with my fellow Tweeters.

Skipping that annoying 8:30 Body Pump class. Just this once.

Have a great day.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Laugh & Learn

Yesterday I was invited to join the TVO parenting show, "Your Voice", hosted by Cheryl Jackson.

Our topic was "Learning Through Humour" and along with myself, Cheryl had invited in-studio Steve Brinder (substitute teacher AND stand up comedian), Mary Kay Morrison (author, "Using Humor to Maximize Learning"), who came to us via webcam in the U.S.

I was fascinated by the research and findings Mary Kay presented, including the fact that parts of our brains actually do "light up" more when we find something humorous, thus increasing the ability to learn and engage, clearly a key requirement when teaching children. We discussed the appropriate use of humour in the classroom, and shared some personal stories as well.

The show will be aired on TVO on Sunday, March 15th at 6:00 p.m., and will be available on their website from March 13th onwards.

Mary Kay and I connected via email after the show, and she invited me to attend a Humor Conference in Las Vegas. I wish! She also introduced me to an organization called AATH - the Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor. Check it out here

Now, my kids DO NOT find me funny at all (and I'm sure they're not the only ones), but I do try. I often sit down to dinner with our family and lead things off with "Who's got a good joke?"

It helps to cover up the fact that they think my cooking is a joke.