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 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 15th


Weekend Highlights

Mama S and I began our weekend with a surprise girls’ night in Toronto. Our dear friends Emily and Jordan just had their first baby, and Jordan scored the husband-of-the-year award by inviting all of Emily’s girlfriends over for a surprise girls’ night in because she was missing everyone. He even prepared a delicious table full of snacks to satisfy our many dietary restrictions. It was lovely to see all of the ladies, and the commute to Toronto on Go Transit gave me two hours of reading time. 

Noah hit the nine-month mark! Now my little baby has been out in the world for as long as he grew inside my belly. I can’t believe it’s already been nine months.

Our Bapa returns to Africa on Tuesday morning, so we spent the weekend close to home puttering around the house and eating. The easy schedule allowed me to plough through all of our laundry and tackle the classroom, freeing me up for fun through the week.

VIP Tasks This Week

The Classroom

I’ve done all that I can to organize the stuff in this room. Now I just need to get some extra muscles to help me move out the things that don’t belong there. I’m hoping daddy can make some time this week to help me! (Batting eyelashes)

Summer Camp At Home

I purchased the Summer Nature Camp at Home curriculum that I mentioned last week, and now I just need to start reading through it. With the insane heat today, it might be fun to try to bake these solar oven s’mores! Perhaps we can prepare some delicious popsicles this morning too? It’s not even 8am and I’m roasting in my room with the AC on!


The garden is tiny, but determined to grow, for the most part. We’ve got some holes to fill now where I think we have some dud seeds and bulbs, but otherwise everything is coming along. It’s time to fertilize I think, and perhaps mulch the tomatoes, but I’m saving gardening for a day later in the week when the high isn’t 32 degrees!


It’s time to zip across the border and pick up the shopping that’s accumulating in our UPS box. Plus, I need to find a new bathing suit for Hannah who has grown out of all of hers. This reminds me, I need to write a post about shopping online!

Library Card

I now have mail with my new address, so it’s time to get our library cards at both the St. Catharine’s and Niagara libraries. Meanwhile, I have a bookshelf filled with summer reading potential!

Final Touches

I’ve got to finish my room by hanging the few pictures I have to put up. I’m hoping that will help to make it a little less cluttered in here.

What I didn’t get to last week:

Gluten Free Baking

I think it would be wise to hit the Bulk Barn for some gluten-free ingredients in the next day or so. I can then order whatever else I might need online, and pick it up when we go across. I’d like to go fruit picking with the girls either this week or next, and I plan to do a baking lesson using the fruit we gather.

Personal Goals

I so enjoyed my reading time on transit last week that I want to carve out more time for reading. I’m frankly not sure how to do this with a nine-month old who is in perpetual motion. Maybe I need to take advantage of his naps and the girls’ excitement with their new room to enjoy some reading time? When I do this, I always feel guilty, but maybe the secret is to just know that on a certain day of the week, that’s what my baby-free time is for.

Things to Look Forward To

Shopping with Daddy!

I love our trips across the border, even though it’s often a bit epic. It’s nice to know that we have that time together, with a guaranteed lunch date. It’s been so busy around here that we haven’t had much one-on-one time.

Work Day!

Heading to my mom’s for some uninterrupted work time was a fantastic idea. I’m hoping to do this again this week, and I know I’ll be even more productive because I’ll be riding in with Mama S on her way to work. This way there’s no scary bus ride on the highway with the baby in my lap, and I won’t have a car seat to install.

Easy Week!

I’m looking at my calendar for other events to look forward to and there aren’t any! I know I want to take the girls on an outing this week – either another hike (huge success) or perhaps a trip to a local farm to pick some fruit – but otherwise it’s an easy-going week. I love not having every moment scheduled.


The week ends with a family reunion and open house at Mama S’ folks in Barrie. They have such a lovely home and property, and I feel like we haven’t been there in ages. It will be nice to watch the kids run around and play and it will be Noah’s first cousins photo opportunity!

Now, if I’m going to get anything accomplished, this mama needs coffee. I hope your week is off to a great start, and I hope if you’re facing the kind of heat we are, you’re finding smart, fun ways to keep cool.

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?

Mommy’s To-Do List – Week of July 2nd

Uncle and baby nephew

Chacha and the Noodle build a grill gazebo

Weekend Highlights
Saturday night was date night with Mama S, and it’s the first time we’ve been out together in a very long while. I was nervous! We drove to Toronto and loaded the last bit of stuff from our old house into the van (I removed my heels for this) and then looked for a patio. I wouldn’t recommend following the 2012 blogTO patio reviews. We picked a place on Queen West recommended for it’s good atmosphere, and apparently that means you’ll have to walk through the kitchen to use the disgusting bathroom, and all you’ll be able to smell outside is KFC. Am I getting old, or what?

After the patio experiment, we hit Insomnia for dessert (cheesecake and crème brulé) and some caffeine. Dessert was delicious, and the atmosphere much more appealing there. Next up was the Boylesque T.O. show, their first in a long while. The show offered lots of laughs, and as always, I was completely blown away by Dew Lily. What a performer! Entertainers in the burlesque world really run the risk of being very self-indulgent, because few performers have a director to work with to help shape their acts, but Dew seems to know what his audience loves, and you can really tell that he’s there for their enjoyment. Every nuance is perfect, and he’s completely connected and engaged. It’s also such a delight to see someone so stunningly beautiful be able to laugh at himself and be completely silly. His sprinkling of acts throughout the show made the drive completely worth it. The boys are all very charming and fun. I’d love to get my director hands on them some day!

On Sunday, we enjoyed our first day in our new home together. No Daddies had to drive back to the city, and no Mamas ran away from home to see naked boys on stage. We had a lovely dinner, and then attempted our first bonfire. I say attempted because the mosquitoes assaulted us not long after we were all settled with marshmallows and sticks. They are outrageous here! I think we at least got a roasted marshmallow each before we ran into the house.

VIP Tasks this Week


I don’t think I’ll feel like myself until I have unpacked and set up my room. I’m very close to being done with this, but I need a couple of hours of baby wrangling help. My in-loves are very busy with their own household tasks, so perhaps I’ll have to send out the bat signal for my mom.

My sister-in-love on Mama S’ side arrives Sunday evening with her three wee boys, and we’re having a little get-together on Saturday to celebrate Fui’s birthday, so it will be important to get the house in order before then.

Personal Goals

I’d like to carve out some time to start thinking about what my daily routine could look like here. I need to incorporate some writing time, and some time planning for homeschooling in September once we’ve completed all of this unpacking. I’d also like to make sure that I have time with the girls and the baby each day for fun.

I need to complete some basic admin tasks, like changing my address so I can get a local library membership.

I’d like to start thinking about Les Coquettes Halloween show. I have some ideas rattling around in here, but I’d like to put them on paper and share them with the troupe.

Can you believe I’m still working on Thank You cards from one of Noah’s baby showers and his Bayat? I’m so embarrassed about this, but I’ve told myself that as long as they get in the mail before he’s 9 months old, it’s not the worst thing in the world. I have eleven days. Where did the time go??

Things to Look Forward To

My cousin’s lovely partner is visiting from B.C. with her mega-cute little boys Locke and Cache. I’m trying to figure out a day to bring my munchkins for a visit so they can all play together before the boys go home again.

Checking Out the Hood!
I’m going to insist on one outing with the girls this week, and I’d also like Daddy to take me for coffee downtown. I want to check out my new stomping ground. I need to get a driver’s license ASAP because being dependant on everyone to liberate me from the house is really going to be a drag.

Family Time!
Looks like the weekend will be full of fun family time, which is always low-key and always full of delicious food. We need to break in the grilling gazebo that dad just bought, and I think a second attempt at a bonfire is in order. Perhaps you can share some mosquito repellant tips?

A Clear Calendar!
I can’t remember the last time I looked at my Google Calendar and saw it completely blank. I will decide this is a blessing instead of something to make me feel panicked. Ha! Seriously though, it’s a wonderfully easy-paced new reality, and I’m going to seriously enjoy it.

What’s the one thing you’re most looking forward to this week?

Kisses on your nose,