Keeping Up Momentum

keeping up momentum

My dream basement

When I get excited about something, it’s remarkably easy to focus and make great forward progress. I can work so efficiently I surprise myself, and things really get done. But then…then…how do you keep that spark alive? Keeping up momentum is one of the greatest challenges I face.

The result of that fizzle is a string of uncompleted projects, jobs that are half done, drawers that are half organized. I look around and I’m adrift in a sea of disarray. I feel overwhelmed by all that is left to do, and I just can’t seem to get on top of anything. Where was the fire that ignited each project in the first place?

Does this happen to you?

Last week we launched our new family business – a blog geared specifically towards people with kids in their lives, and a resource guide for families living in and visiting the Niagara Region. You can check it out at I’m really proud of it, and I think we will do well. When we first moved to the area, we noticed there isn’t anything like it, and so we created our own one-stop source for family fun. Today I sat down to write for the site, and it took literally FOREVER to churn out one post.

I get side tracked with this blog all the time too. I’d LOVE to be able to post once a day, like so many other bloggers that I admire. Maybe I worry too much about having something to say, but I find it impossible to keep up the writing momentum.

Perhaps I’m a little overextended, what with kids and homeschool? I thought homeschool was supposed to buy more freedom and flexibility?

My basement is a perfect microcosm for my life at large. First of all, it’s not my basement. It belongs to my in-laws who we are currently living with. Right now I’d describe that space as vast, under-used, overly cluttered, in need of serious organization, not functioning to its full capacity, and overflowing with treasure and possibility. Maybe I’m crazy, but I believe in my core that organizing that basement to the point where any one of our kids could wander there with sturdy shoes and a little supervision (never mind the fire marshal) would solve all of the problems that we have getting organized and motivated elsewhere. It would symbolize our life, in order. Each facet neatly labeled and easy to access. Each corner tidy and ready to be discovered and be useful.

There is one area of the basement that I most despise; the shelves that hold all of the items we are going to sell online. Not inventory items, but personal belongings that are no longer useful, that Nekky has deemed worthy of resale. The problem is, not a one of us has a moment to spare to get these items listed and out the door. It’s painful to look at things that we’ve moved from two separate residences sitting on those shelves, mocking me. If they were gone, there would be a fresh, empty wall of shelves for…something new. Something useful. Inventory that we could really sell, perhaps?

Are there studies that link your physical space with your functioning capacity? Is there a psychic/spiritual link to the neatness and order that exists in your foundation? There must be!

How the hell do I get started with organizing this basement disaster? How do I fill a new website with fun and interesting content this week?

It’s almost 2pm. I can only work until about 6pm. Panic is rising. I’m going to make a cup of tea, have a little piece of homemade brownie and turn to my 100 unopened emails from other blogs I follow for inspiration.

How do any of you keep motivated?


Mommy’s To-Do List – Week of August 12th


Photo by Josh Hind

Weekend Highlights

On Friday night, we drove nearly two and a half hours in rush hour traffic to take the kids and their 11-year-old English cousin to the Legoland Discovery Centre. In my opinion, it was a total waste of money and a ridiculous distance travelled to share the hand germs of hundreds of hyper munchkins, but the kids seemed to have fun, so I suppose that’s all that matters. We tried to have dinner with extended family at a restaurant in the mall, but construction traffic and awkward timing made it more of a staggered, drop-in affair featuring a tired and incredibly loud Noodle and we didn’t end up getting home until well past midnight, which is never great when you’ve got kids. They were troopers though, to their great credit.

This set the tone for a very lazy Saturday that included a drive to the walk-in clinic for poor Hannu who has strep throat. Thank you public pool and swimming lessons with other kids. By Wednesday we should know whether any of the rest of us will get it. She’s recovering well, so fingers are crossed that the whole family doesn’t get sick, especially the poor baby. Mama S and Daddy had a date night to celebrate their 12th wedding anniversary. Date night in St. Catharine’s is very different than date night in Toronto it seems. I think they had fun though. I got an early bed time, and woke up feeling a bit more human.

On Sunday Daddy took me to Toronto for a meeting while Mama S minded the girls and Noodle. We had dinner at Taste of the Danforth, which is an outdoor food festival held by the city’s Greek district. I’ve lived in the city for about fifteen years, and it’s the first time I’d ever been. It was fun, despite the crowds, and everything we sampled was delicious. The meeting went late into the evening, and with the long ride home this made for another late night, and a late start this morning. I’m feeling grumpy, negative and sensitive. Is it PMS, or sleep-deprivation, or strep throat onset or all of the above?

VIP Tasks this Week


I rallied Mama S and Daddy on Saturday to help me clear out more of the things that don’t belong in the classroom. This week I’d like to take down the remaining art, the curtains, and move the last few things out of there that don’t belong. Next step is priming and painting. The room is currently a deep burgundy. I’ll post before pictures.

Homeschool Prep

How did we arrive at mid August?? I need to cram now to make sure I’m ready to start homeschooling in early September. I’m taking at least one day out at Mom’s this week. Perhaps I’ll take two, just to be extra effective. I’m looking at the calendar and starting to worry a bit.

My Body

I’m not happy with myself. Since we’ve moved, I’ve been very bad at my daily exercise practice, it is basically non-existent. In Toronto I was walking for upwards of two hours every day with the baby and now I’m doing nothing. Our hiking only happened once, and I feel tired, lazy and ungainly. Looking at photos of myself is depressing me. Kicking gluten hasn’t cut it, I need to take action. I’m starting the Four Hour Body again today and I will post about that process. I hate feeling negative about my self, but I’m in a cloud that just won’t lift and I know some physical attention will improve things greatly.

Personal Goals

I’m in a funk. We all go there, don’t we? I’m feeling negative about writing, negative about my body image, sad, tired. I can feel that it’s cyclical, so that gives me hope that these yucky feelings will lift soon, but I know a good dose of gratitude will also help, so I’m going to work on shifting my mind to more positive things, and meditate on all of the things I’m thankful for.

Things to Look Forward To

Daddy has been very brave and has taken me out to drive several times now. I love it, but it’s still really kind of nerve-wracking. I have to get more comfortable when there’s lots of traffic, and I really need to improve my lane changes. I need LOTS of practice, so I really hope we can get some time in this week.

Summer Reading Club!
I finally have my act together and can start the summer reading club I wanted to create for the girls. I found these adorable printables from Pinterest and I think it will really motivate them to enjoy some more of their rather extensive library. I also think it will be great reading-out-loud practice for Ayla who is coming along so well with her reading.

On Saturday it will be four years since my partners and I decided to try to re-invent the relationship wheel. I’m hoping we can have an evening without the kidlets to go out and celebrate how far we’ve come in our relationship. They are my best friends and they make every day better because I get to share each one with them.

There’s my week for you. What does yours look like?

Mommy’s To-Do List – Week of July 29th


Weekend Highlights

On Friday night the grown ups went to catch my theatre company Les Coquettes at the first show of the Toronto Burlesque Festival. My troupe closed the show with a powerhouse number by the ladies, featuring a very pregnant babe who blew everyone’s minds by climbing up and doing a stunning silks routine. Yeah, I know, my girlfriends ROCK. We got to grab a bite after with almost everyone, and I may have had just a teensy bit too much to drink. It was delightful. Please pardon the grainy iPhone photos, we snapped them on the down low.


Saturday we returned to the city for a birthday party for the girls. Ayla is seriously missing her Toronto friends, and she was off the charts excited to be there. This gave us an opportunity to pick up a massive stack of mail from the old house, and visit with my auntie.

On Sunday Uncle Kyle came over and helped the grown-ups build our play structure. I was out of commission with a horribly stiff neck, but I was able to help prep lunch, which Khadija Mum made for my mom and brother. It was delicious and the weather was perfect yesterday. I had one of those days where I couldn’t believe I was in my own beautiful back yard.


VIP Tasks This Week

Swimming Lessons

All three of the monkeys are in swim lessons this week. I think I’ll have to rise early and get Noah fed and off for a nap before we head out, otherwise his nap falls right during class time. BAD IDEA. The girls are excited for any reason to be in the water. What’s with kids and pools?

Clear More Clutter

We need to bulldoze the garage and clear up some more space at home to get ready for the weekend barbeque and the arrival next week of our beloved English auntie and cousin. Besides, it’s almost been a month since we moved. I think it’s time to finally be settled.

What I didn’t get to last week:


I need to hit the Ministry of Transportation office and write my exam. I can’t enjoy any of my in-car lessons until I have my learner’s permit, and after subjecting myself to a classroom filled with sixteen-year-olds I need to reap the benefits of my ordeal!

Personal Goals

I’ve been kind of lazy about keeping my room tidy, and I’d like to get back on track with this, especially because we have guests this weekend. In fact, I think I need to get back on track with all manner of housekeeping. Being out of the house all week has really thrown me off.

My personal reading time hasn’t really happened. At all. I’m going to try harder to carve out some more time for this.

Things to Look Forward To

Pool Time!
I love being in the water with the baby, and I’m so glad to be able to do this every day this week. We have such a lovely local pool and community centre, it’s so nice to take advantage of.

The Library!
I had a small revelation last week. I love fashion magazines, but after looking at them once, they are usually in the recycling pile. What a waste! My solution – the library! I can get the current issue of most magazines, and return it for someone else to enjoy when I’m finished. I’m going to grab a stack one of these days while we’re at the pool, because the library is in the same building.

Birthday Fun Continues!
We couldn’t find a well-rated Mexican place that was within striking distance, but Uncle Kyle tipped us off about a place in the middle of nowhere (Winona) for my birthday feast, and it’s been causing a big stir. It’s called the Memphis Fire Barbeque Company and it was seriously, seriously delicious. I feel like it’s my duty now to take any visitors to this place.

Speaking of which, on Sunday the Toronto crew arrives for a birthday camp out on our property. I’m really looking forward to hosting most of my peeps, and their little ones.

Mommy’s To-Do List – Week of July 22nd


Weekend Highlights

After surviving a night of crazy thunderstorms and tornado warnings, we piled the children into the van and made the trek to Barrie for a reunion hosted by Mama S’ clan in honour of my sister-in-love’s upcoming 30th birthday. The weather was spectacular – sunny, but so much cooler than it has been, which was perfect for the kids to play outside. It was so nice seeing all of the cousins together. It made me wistful for my own cousins, who I grew up so close to. Watching the little band of monkeys romp around was easily my weekend highlight. They were all so sweet and careful with the babies. I als had a beautiful moment of quiet with Noah asleep on my hip in his sling while we lounged by the pond and the waterfall that Poppa and Nana so painstakingly built. We slept in luxury in their motor home that sleeps eight! Now I have a family RV trip fantasy that I am determined to fulfill before October.

VIP Tasks This Week

Idle Little Devils

I’m away every morning from nine until three at a course. I need to leave Hannah and Ayla with some activities so they don’t get bored, because when kids get bored it’s scary. When really smart kids get bored it’s really scary!

Create a Menu

I’m hosting some friends for an early August barbeque and camp out to celebrate my birthday, which is on Wednesday. This week I’ll work with Daddy on creating the low-carb, gluten-free menu. The party is called ‘Pitch A Tent, It’s My Birthday’. Tee Hee.


I need to hit the Ministry of Transportation office and write my exam so I can get my G1 learner’s permit. Can you believe I’m almost thirty-something years old and I don’t have a driver’s license yet? Moving to the middle of nowhere has been incredible incentive.


This has never been a VIP task in my life, but I’m making it one now. I’ve always envied those women who can justify taking the time and money to indulge in regular pedicures, and so now I will just be one. My course is across from the big shopping mall in town, so there is bound to be somewhere I can pop into after class one day.

What I didn’t get to last week:


Personal Goals

I really want to be bright and alert each day in class so I can make the most of my time there. It’s been a long, long time since I’ve been in a classroom and I feel a little nervous!

I also want to reserve some energy to spend with the girls and Noah each day after class. I know they’ll feel me being out of the house, and I think I’m really going to miss them too.


Things to Look Forward To

Learning to Drive!

True we’ll probably only cover the basic rules and such in class, but I’m one step closer to getting the driver’s license I’ve been promising myself for ages. I’m so glad that I’m not learning to drive in the big city.

Exploring the Mall!

I’m going to request a later pick up on one of the days I’m at Driver’s Ed. I’d like to have a look around the big local mall. Even though I hate the mall, it’s nice to know what’s available should I ever require some very extensive retail therapy. Also, everyone loves air conditioning, right?

Taking a Break!

I love my kids, and I love my partners, but I’m REALLY looking forward to getting out of the house for a whole week, even if that means I’ll be in a semi-boring classroom setting. I think it will be a nice way to shift focus so I can miss everyone a little. That absence cliché is a good one.

Happy Birthday!

It’s my birthday on Wednesday, and I want to spend the whole day spoiling myself and feeling oh-so-grateful for all of the blessings in my life. I wonder if St. Catharine’s has a kick ass Mexican place for dinner that night? Ahem.



Mommy’s To-Do List – Week of July 8th

Mama S shot this amazing photo of Noodle and Hannah.

Mama S shot this amazing photo of Noodle and Hannah.

Another busy week begins! Our weekend fun continues with a Monday jam-packed with kid energy, and there’s lots of fun to be had this week.

Weekend Highlights

This weekend was a whirlwind of family fun. On Saturday we hosted some of Nekky’s family for a barbecue and a round of a game called “The Word Game”. The premise of this game is to take a large word and find as many other words from the letters of this word before the 15-minute timer goes off. Sounds like fun, right? Well it was, mostly, but it also turns out that a highlight of the game is watching Mama S and Bapa (Nekky’s dad) argue over the rules. They cleared the room after only the second round, but fortunately there was a lot of delicious food to distract everyone. We were celebrating Ia Fui’s (Nekky’s sister Nadia) birthday, and I’ll share more on that later this week, including menu highlights and family recipes.

As I’m typing the main floor of the house is alive with sound. That’s because Mama S’ sister Crystal arrived yesterday afternoon. She drove here from Texas with her three boys who are all under the age of five. It’s like a hurricane of cute and crazy in our home! The crew is staying until later today and then they are off to Barrie to see Mama S’ folks. I’ll be posting Crystal’s secrets for staying sane later this week, because I know there’s no way I could hold it all together as beautifully as she does.


VIP Tasks This Week

The Classroom

I’d say most of the house is in good shape now, and everything looks very settled in. Our classroom is piled high with boxes and it’s a bit of a minefield. I’d like to begin organizing and purging in there, and get the space ready for painting. I think we could use the classroom for some summer fun activities before we even begin our curriculum for the fall.

Summer Camp At Home

One of my favorite blogs, Simple Kids, featured an at-home nature camp curriculum. I think I’ll give it a whirl and plan some fun activities for the kids for the rest of the summer. We now have swimming lessons to look forward to at the end of this month, but it’s really nice to have some tricks up my sleeve when they run out of their own ideas for fun.

Work Day

I found a bus that runs from the nearby plaza to a stop that is a five-minute drive from my mother’s house! It’s a short trip – only twenty minutes – so now all we have to do is choose a day this week that works for us. I’ll spend half the day writing, and half the day working on home school curriculum and finishing those thank you cards from Noah’s baby shower and Bayah that need to get sent out!

Gluten Free Baking

I plan to hit the local Bulk Barn and see how many of the ingredients I can find for the Gluten Free all-purpose flour I’d like to try. My experiments in gluten-free baking should make for some hilarious writing. How many of you reading these posts eat gluten-free? Do you have any great recipes to share? Please do!

Personal Goals

This week I want to be mindful of spending quality time with the kids. They seem to really thrive when I’m conscious of spending some focused time with them each day. We start our hiking club on Tuesday, so that’s one really fun thing we can count on.

I’d also like to start shifting my focus back to my theatre company. In the whirlwind of moving and getting settled, it seems like a far-away memory, but we have a Halloween show to plan and get working on! I hope that inspiration will come once I turn my mind to the show because I’m feeling a little tapped now.


Things to Look Forward To


I haven’t been on a proper hike in years, and I can’t wait to go out with the kids on Tuesday. Hiking was such a huge part of my childhood. The hiking club has been arranged by one of the moms in our local homeschool group, and I really hope we have the chance to meet some of the other families. The girls want to go rain or shine, so I guess we’ll know who the real nature people are. I’ve got a kick-ass pack for Noodle, and I’ve been practice walking with it this week. It’s very comfortable and he usually settles in for a good nap.

City Time!

I’ve got to head back into town for an errand at the end of the week. I’m really hoping to connect with some of my city peeps. I’ve been craving a meal at Fresh, which is probably the best vegetarian restaurant I’ve ever eaten at. It will be nice to get back there and feel that crazy city energy again.


I plan to hit the local thrift store this week because we have a large pile of stuff to donate. I think it will best for me to have a couple of hours there alone because I like to be so thorough in my searching for stuff that most people find it annoying to shop with me.

I have a feeling this will be one of the weeks that goes by in a flash, which can be fun, but also leave me feeling really tired if I’m not careful to take some down time too. How is your week shaping up? What’s the one thing you’re most looking forward to this week?