NEW BLOG ADDRESS!!!

If you are checking this blog posting and finding this message it is because you haven’t been on my mailing list…I have moved the blog to an easier address to remember. WWW.PEANUTBUTTERSMUDGES.WORDPRESS.COM …now the URL coincides with the name of my blog.

If you want to receive automatic email updates of my new blog postings, please go the the new blog location and enter your email address in the “Subscribe to Smudges” box in the top right hand corner and wordpress will send you an update whenever I write anything in the blog. There will be no more updates on this site…. so please go to www.PeanutButterSmudges.wordpress.com for all my ramblings!

Thanks for being interested in my writing,

Lola Saldia:)

The Pen is Truly Mightier than the Sword

http://www.insidehalton.com/opinion/letters/article/894326–double-standard-for-picking-up-after-pets

Double standard for picking up after pets

Dear Editor:  On Friday, I was greeted by a huge pile of dog feces on my front step.

I seems someone thought my dog had been loose and pooped on their lawn. This person, seemingly lacking in class or understanding of constructive adult problem-solving, apparently felt the only option was to childishly throw it at the home of a resident who may or may not have been responsible.

In this particular instance, my dog wasn’t the offending perpetrator, although I will stipulate that occasionally my puppy has been off the leash, as we have children who are still learning to keep doors and gates closed.

My issue isn’t with this person, it’s with the general culture of dislike for dogs and their owners who intentionally or accidentally leave dog poop behind, while allowing more acceptance of outdoor cats.

Why do I have to be diligent about picking up after my dog — which I do regularly — while cat owners seem to feel free to open their back doors and let the community serve as their litter box?

Why do dog owners obey the municipal bylaw about picking up after their dogs while many cat owners let their cats roam free, for what seems to be the express purpose of pooping in my yard?

Lola Saldia

Back-to-School

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year”…usually this song pops into your head when you think of Christmas shopping and family visiting for the holidays, but now Staples has claimed this popular song as part of it’s commercial campaign to celebrate the Back-to-School season. 

I watched the commercial the other day and it got me thinking, “Is this the most wonderful time of the year for me?” ironically, despite my children having spent the last 12 days of August bickering over whose turn it was to choose the cereal, or who gets stuck with the earphones that don’t work as well, I am going to miss them when they are back in school full time. There I said it. Sue me. I know that most people are thinking that I must be crazy to be sad that they are going back to school; and don’t get me wrong, I’m going to enjoy a little bit of free time each day and enjoying a full cup of coffee while it’s hot or an uninterupted shower. But I will also miss the lazing around on the sofa taking turns snuggling the dog or reading a book. I will miss playing Wii with the kids who marvel at my athletic ability because they haven’t realized the playing Wii games doesn’t really involve full body interaction, really only a little flick of the wrist is needed. I will miss the hours spent at the splash pad and how the icky things discovered at the Lowville park creek mysteriously finding their way into my car.

Back-to-school is great because it brings routine and consistency to our home, schedule and family. But it also means that my babies are out in the world marveling and learning with other people besides Mommy. For 6 and a half hours a day, someone else gets to hear their incessant questions and wipe their tears when they fall off the monkey bars. I miss that. I guess the only consolation is that rather than being ready to lock them in separate towers to keep them from fighting by 3:10pm, I am actually anxious to see them and hug them and hear all about their day!

More Funny Words

Perhaps because it’s summertime so I am bored or perhaps because I am finding some more time to read; whatever the reason, I have words on my mind. So I have decided to release a second edition of Funny Words That I Love….hope there are some here you enjoy as well, or maybe you’ve never heard before and you can start using them too!

Impervious -incapable of being influenced, persuaded, or affected. That’s right, when they are fighting, my children are “impervious” to the sound of my voice shouting at them to stop!

Lascivious – inclined to lustfulness; wanton; lewd. It sounds so bad, perhaps people would be less inclined to behave Lasciviouosly if we used that word more often.

Chortle – to chuckle gleefully. You can almost envision the laughing person actually snorting from the pure glee.

Quixotic – extravagantly chivalrous or romantic; visionary, impractical, or impracticable. Visions of Don Quixote dancing in my head!

Guffaw – to laugh loudly and boisterously. This word just makes me want to burst out laughing just so I can use it, why don’t we use “guffaw” any more??

Cacophony -a discordant and meaningless mixture of sounds:  eg. “the cacophony produced by city traffic at midday.” I like using this word, it sounds so much more dramatic than “lots of noise”

Superfluous – being more than is sufficient or required; excessive. As in, any more “letter u’s” in this word would simply be “superfluous”.

Eviscerate – to remove the entrails from; Yep, exactly what it sounds like!

Obstreperous -resisting control or restraint in a difficult manner; unruly, boisterous, clamorous, as in opstreperous children. I happen to be an expert in dealing with obstreperous behaviour.

Steatopygia – extreme accumulation of fat on and about the buttocks, esp. of women. Honestly, this is a real condition…of course I don’t know what it looks like or anything, you’ll have to look it up.

Loquacious – talking or tending to talk too much or freely; talkative. I have no idea what THIS word means. Really.

 

Lovin’ Miller Lake

Our family just got back from our annual family vacation up near Tobermory, Ontario. This is the fourth year we have gone with about 15 families we know, to a campground on Miller Lake where we spend the week in the sun and the sand, swimming, fishing, playing games, fellowshipping and relaxing. It is the highlight of my year and I know that my children absolutely love it, in fact they have started talking about what they want to take next year and what we should do to prepare for Miller Lake 2011!

As family vacations go, our Miller Lake trip is not very flashy or exotic, and it might not rate on everyone’s list as the best way to spend a relaxing week. However, I happen to find the whole experience to be a fantastic way for our family to get away and spend some quality time together…and apart! Why do I love Miller Lake? Let me count the ways….

1. Less hair-brushing and laundry…most of the time I put my kids in clean clothes and brush their hair, but for one week out of the year they get to have messy hair and sand in their clothes and toes!

2. Staying up with other grown ups, my favourite part of the whole week is putting the kids to bed safely and getting to sit around and chat with our friends (old and new), play games and eat snacks that the kids can’t have!

3. Ear phones for the van dvd player, so the kids can watch movies on the way…4 hours of peace and quiet!

4. Other people cooking alongside me in the kitchen. At home it’s usually just me preparing breakfast, lunch and dinner. When we go away I really like that other mom’s and dad’s are getting meals ready for their families too!

5. No plans. I really enjoy the spontaneous nature of the vacation day. It’s great to just get up, eat breakfast and have nothing major on tap for the day.

6. Fun time with my amazing kids! As a SAHM, I usually get to spend lots of time with them, but throughout our week I have laundry and dishes to do, house cleaning, errands to run, the phone rings a couple of times a day, the dog needs walked, dinner gets cooked, there are Soccer or Tae Kwon Do schedules etc…on vacation, I LOVE that I get time to just hang out with them, play in the lake or watch them catch frogs!

7. Sleeping In! It’s nice when there’s nowhere to be and nothing specific on tap for the day, and even more wonderful when the children miraculously allow us to sleep in on our vacation days…love it!

8. The Offspring fight much less than normal. It’s wonderful to have so many other kids around for mine to play with because it means that they are more easily entertained and there is less pressure on them to play together, which means less brother/sister conflict. Not to mention it gives me a sense of what it would be like to have more children and I remember now why I only need two!

9. It’s just like Summer Camp; roasting marshmallows, kayaking, swimming in the cool crisp lake, bunk beds, the dinner bell, capture the flag and pranks. Spending a week with all sorts of different people in a camp atmosphere takes me back to my years spent at Summer camp. (although significantly less heartbreaking, because I have married the love of my life, so there are no summer crushes for this girl!)

10. Coming home to my bed…it’s great to get away, but nothing makes me appreciate my own little house and big bed more, than going away on vacation and then coming home to a good night’s rest in my OWN BED! Wonderful…..

The Luxurious Stay-At-Home-Mom

As a Stay-at-Home-Mother (SAHM) I often find myself faced with various questions regarding my choice to make Mothering my only full-time job. Any woman who chooses to have children will inevitably face the issue of whether to stay at home with them, work full-time and put them in some form of daycare, or try to work out some manner of part-time work as well as staying at home. It’s a difficult and delicate struggle, individual to every woman and every family.

Although I believe that God has entrusted me with amazing children and I believe that I have been called to make raising them my first and foremost priority, at the same time I believe that it is up to each couple to determine what is best for them. It is not my place to judge any parent for the choices they make in child-rearing; be it potty training, discipline, schooling or working outside the home.

Unfortunately despite my efforts to live and let live, I am periodically subjected to the insensitive commentary of working Mom’s, forcing me to defend my personal choice. One such instance occured just the other day when I was at the store shopping with my 5 year old daughter. The lady asked me about whether G was in kindergarten yet and in the course of regular conversation the topic of me staying home came to light. The woman said “Wow, you are SO fortunate…I wish I had the luxury of staying home….” See?? Now that’s my problem, I’m sure you heard it too, the inference that I am sitting around all day basking in the glow of Stay-at-Home-Mommyhood; lounging on the patio all day with a fruity drink and servants fanning me with palm branches while my children raise themselves.

The truth is that my luxurious choice comes at a price; not working outside the home means that I am not bringing in a second income, which drastically alters our family lifestyle. I don’t want you to misunderstand me, God has more than provided everything our family could need and more, but staying home with the children has definitely meant a pay cut! Fortunately the positives definitely outweigh the negatives.

The discussion with the store clerk, although disturbing, was in no way unique. I have been subjected to any number of comments referring to the perceived luxury of being a SAHM. Let me share some of my favourites with you…

  • “Must be nice! I CAN’T go on all the school trips because I have to work…”
  • “Yeah I would LOVE to stay home with the kids, but I have a mortgage and can’t afford to have it ALL!”
  • “Wow, you’re SO LUCKY that you GET to stay home and not work.”
  • “Boy, I’d love to NOT work, but you know…”

The truth is, both sides think they have it rough. I am not going to lie, I love that I can “go to work” in my pyjamas and not wear make up, I love that I can chat with friends on the phone while I watch the kids play outside, I certainly couldn’t do either if I was working outside the home. However, there are several drawbacks that come along with the choice to Mother-Full-Time.  For example, I don’t get a break from my children throughout the average day; which means I have company while I eat a meal, drink a cup of coffee, go to the bathroom, talk on the phone and every other little task that I attend to throughout the day. I have to be constantly “On”, I can’t let my mind wander while the kids are in the pool or while the little ones are even chewing their food! I am constantly aware that every word out of my mouth is being monitored (whether they appear to be paying attention or NOT), every grown up conversation I have on the phone, in the store or with the neighbour is peppered with interruptions from little voices wanting to have a snack or do a craft or play a game. Or voices that simply want to be heard for a minute and need me to drop what I am doing to watch them complete whatever feat they have been working on.

And don’t even get me started on what I teach my children on a daily basis; there is no daycare provider or ECE teaching my kids to count and tie their shoes, play nicely or share, helping them colour and paste pom poms on construction paper. I am the one who teaches them how to pump their legs on the swing and chew grapes properly so they don’t choke. I spend time daily pouring information into them about character and answering the million questions about the world around them. I believe that they are better for it, regardless of the fact that I may not always know the answer to every question.

My beef here is not with the fact that I am a SAHM or the fact that I have to do all these things, I LOVE my job, and I wouldn’t change it for anything in the world (most days). My irritation comes from people who have made a different career choice, belittling me or insinuating that somehow I have taken the easy way out.

I dare say that Full-Time Mothering is anything but the easy way out, in fact I think that the next time someone gives me a hard time, I will just invite them to sell their big house and cottage and come live where I do, anyone can learn to sacrifice the finer things in life to spend time with the finest people in life and I’d be more than happy to share my secrets!  Now, where did I put those bon bons??

The “Icky” Side of Parenting

There’s a show on t.v called “Dirty Jobs”, it’s a fascinating look into some of the ickiest, messies, stinkiest jobs that are performed on a daily basis by people all over the world. Not surprisingly, my husband and children find this show utterly fascinating. I find it interesting but some episodes are a little hard to stomach! The other day I saw the commercial and it got me to thinking that as parents we have a “Dirty Job” too, in fact I think that raising children can be one of the ickiest jobs around. Of course I wouldn’t switch careers for anything in the world, my benefit package is far too rewarding!

Noses– they are almost always snotty, runny, drippy, crusty or worse….being picked!

Bathroom Issues – this is an all-encompassing term that includes everything starting with meconium in-utero, followed by explosive newborn diapers, orange and green baby food tinted diapers, solid no-longer-baby-big-kid-poop diapers, potty training, accidents in the grocery store, peeing the bed, “I-can-wipe-myself-messes”…boy does it ever feel good to be past most of those issues now!

Owie’s – children will incur every manner of scrape, bump, cut, goose egg, broken bones and stitches. If you’re lucky the Dr. will do the stitches for you!

Illness – the most harrowing part of this childhood problem is the vomit, but there’s diarrhea, administering medicine and suppositories, applying cream, oral and rectal thermometers and of course, the terrible feeling of being helpless to put an end to their suffering, or even keep their vomit out of your bed.

Potty Humour – from 3 year old who likes to pee anywhere outside and in front of anyone who might be passing by, to the 5 year old who thinks “poop” is hilarious, to the 8 year old making “farting” sounds in church, to the 11 year old “belching” the alphabet, to the 17 year old making “farting” sounds in the grocery store, to the 20-35 year old who bursts out laughing everytime someone in the room passes gas! Children always seem to find the most embarrassing time to share their most disgusting bodily functions!

Lice – not much else to say.

Emotions – from the moment they are ripping us open from the inside out in the delivery room, to the day we watch them walk down the aisle, children will cause us to feel some of the most powerful, wonderful and often messy emotions within the realm of possibility. They will irritate us, infuriate us, bowl us over with their kindness and cuteness. Most of the time they will bring us indescribably joy but once in a while they will cause us indescribably pain and yet, we wouldn’t give them up for all the peaceful days in the world.

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