Monday, November 9, 2009

More ideas

I'm just back from a glorious 16 day vay-cay sans husband and children. While visiting my sister in New Zealand, Sister organized a night for her friends to listen to me give my "professions" speech to. I bet her that only 4 women would come but she is obviously a better salesperson than I, for there were 13 guests! And they were all delightful. Some of them even wrote down 11 professions to work on during the next year. . . 11? Aren't there 12 months in a year? Yes, and they had 12 professions planned, but they just didn't want to WRITE one of them down. You know. . . the female escort. Tee hee. Just write it down! So I had so much fun meeting my sister's friends and I'm happy that she's in good hands on the other side of the world.

So this was the second time that I formally presented my Professional Improver idea and it has helped me refine the idea a bit, and see what part people easily grasp (focusing on one area of life at a time) and what part people struggle with (having to let some things slide so that they have time available to focus on said area). And I heard some great ideas for professions, so I thought I'd pass them on to you.

Stylist: The idea is to sort your wardrobe, cull that which you haven't worn forever, maybe update some items, maybe go shopping with a friend for a new outfit and get a make-over to update your make up style. Also applies to children: maybe plan one outing a month with each of your children, to get a new outfit for them; or have them wear their favorite outfit and choose accessories. For a family night lessons you could teach about dressing modestly, what styles suit what body types, or if you have a boy who just started junior high, you could teach about what fashion IS. tee hee.

Political Activist: Great idea! I get emails announcing meetings that the government has organized, looking for community feedback and even if I'm interested in the subject being discussed, it just seems like one too many things to do. But if I had one month where that was my focus, I could attend one or two meetings and maybe make a difference, and at the very least, likely realize that it's not THAT tricky to get involved.

Movie Critic: This one doesn't speak to me too much, but I know that there are lots of movie lovers out there so I had to pass it on. Now, some of you feel guilty sitting to watch a movie, but if it were your JOB to watch movies, then you can forget about the guilt! Some ways to apply this one would be to watch a movie during the day. How luxurious, eh? You could put some on hold from the library - not all Hollywood movies, but get into the artsy, good stuff. If you still can't shake the guilt of watching during the day, then what about 2 a week for the month? That might still be more that you usually fit into your life. And if you STILL can't give yourself permission to indulge yourself, what if you make this month's profession a REWARD for accomplishing another month's profession? But, really, you are allowed to take time to enjoy life, so please do.

If you have come up with some professions that you think will inspire other people, then please leave them in a comment.


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Professional Improver 101

Welcome! I've created this post to support a class that I taught. It's so cool that I can just direct the women from the class to this site and provide links to everything that I referenced! So I'm going to embed the links into words here (it's not as painful as it sounds, but go ahead and be impressed that I can do it. It's really the cutting edge of technology, in my world.). Click on the colored words and they will take you to all of the places that you need to go on your journey to becoming a professional improver. "Always improving" is a wonderful mantra!

Firstly, you should read about this idea. I labelled my blog "Professional SAHM" because that's where I am in life, but it can apply much more broadly, hence the title of "Professional Improver 101". Read up on my original concept if you're in the dark.

Now that you understand the concept, you need to write down your professions. I like this "Goal Chart with Details" from Chartjungle. Check it out, and if you like it, I recommend printing out 12 so that you can plan out a full year. Then hole punch them and put them into a binder or a duotang (that's just a great word so I had to work it in because, really, now that I'm done elementary school, when do I ever have good cause to use it?). Keep your professional goals somewhere handy so that you can focus on improving.

Finally, don't get discouraged. Click here and here to go to the lectures that I based my comments on. Most of my professions are thrown together as I work on them. I'm not very accomplished at setting specific goals and keeping on track (that would be called self-discipline. . . say wha'???) but this program still has value because it keeps me improving. Some months all I do is read at the end of the month what my profession was (Oh, YAAAAaaaaaaa. . . ) and then reflect on what I did that month and record my accomplishments in the area. The value is that I'm recognizing where and how I succeeded rather than focusing all of my mental effort on where I failed. I avoid becoming discouraged. BTW, if you could earn a gold medal in negative thinking; you're THAT good, a real live method to overcome it is to wear an elastic on your wrist (well, OBVIOUSLY not a tight elastic that will cut off the circulation to your hand and then it will have to be amputated - like I didn't listen to my mom, too!) and the psychologists actually instruct that you should snap it every time you have a negative thought. And once you snap, you stop being negative and replace it with a positive thought. Not that I've ever tried that, but it'd be amusing to watch someone use that method.... But my point is that it's important to be positive, and that your mind is powerful. Maybe this month you could be a professional optimist.

Monday, September 7, 2009

A thousand words

I realized mid month that I had designated August to be a professional photographer, so even though I was doing what I always do (taking lots of pictures), I don't usually show them off too much. So it was super fun to go through the pics from August and pick my favorites. Enjoy!

Kay, the sun wouldn't co-operate; this picture looks so great with the sun shining, but we never had the sun shine when the children were smiling. . . but my fave thing is that DH is standing in a hole in the sand so that his head would be closer to the rest of us. Haha.

The Daddinator. Love that the cabin is in the background.

They are like a sand gang.

My youngest brother and his beautiful family with an applied action from The Coffeeshop (link at side of blog).

Ahhhhhhh! Such a great summer pic! My parents rented a boat for the Aug. long weekend and everyone had so much fun.

This picture captures summer at the lake: reading on the pier, the cottage, enjoying the water, bare feet, blue sky. . . love it.

K. In the grass.

Enroute to the next zip line. I mean, how cool is she?

We visited a Hutterite colony near Swift Current, Saskatchewan. Here S is walking with her second cousins, while the picture of DH is with some of his first cousins, whom he had never met.

This is what E tells us happens to him everyday at school, except there is usually also lava and cliffs.

This picture was fun because my camera had almost no batteries so I would turn it on, quickly shoot a picture and then turn it off. I think it's a pretty fun picture for not having looked as I was taking it.

They are outstanding in their field. I know that their outfits are insane but they had just picked out new t-shirts in Drumheller and we were heading back home after a weeks holiday so they were out of clean clothes. This is actually 2 pictures combined. One of just the background, then the one with the kids against the same background. But the childrenless background had so much more color that I had to combine them. I think it's pretty smooth except for some ghosting around the twins' heads. I'm still excited that DH agreed to stop the car so that I could do a little photo shoot in the prairies.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Professional artist

I see that I scheduled in a professional artist for this month. I've been doing some digi-scrapping the last 2 days, so I thought I'd include one of those. I signed the children up for camps for July, and then I've been asked to help with a camp, so I don't know if I'll need anything extra to focus on. I've packed up my sketchbook, watercolor pencils and drawing textbook to grab on my way out the door. I'll see if that helps me fit some art in.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Same amount of meat, but MORE fruit + veggies!

I can't figure out how to move that pic over but look at me: eating asparagus in Montreal! That's healthy for the mind and body!

So, I haven't tried out at single new recipe, although I have collected a few (and I tried quinoa for the first time - it's nice!). What I have done is to make a bigger effort to make sure the veggies get on the plates and that we have more fruit available. Gotta love that huge $5 bag of spinach at Superstore and mangoes are in season (yumola!). So I've been making my kids eat the salads that I serve (obviously I don't mean E when I type "my kids" - don't be CRAZY! Although he does eat plain spinach leaves since I told him that caterpillars like to eat leaves). I even started serving fruit juice again, but they only get 250 mL of it a day. And for movie night with my DH I bought Italian soda by President's Choice which has fruit juice flavoring (instead of pop), and those lime tortilla chips (rather than potato chips) and red grapes (to replace candy). I know that I'm not going to get any health awards, but it was healthier than it could have been!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

May conclusion

Well, I'm blogging from Montreal! My kind mother offered to care for the children so that I could join my DH here while he's doing his classes. Of course, I turned her down multiple times, but then I just decided to carpe diem (plus it's our 15th anniversary next week!!!).

I have a great picture of E where he's gazing lovingly at his pet caterpillar. He put it into a jam jar, his dad punched some holes in the lid and we filled it with some nummy leaves and 1 week later, the formerly hungry caterpillar had started making a cocoon. E is so proud! AGAIN I didn't make a big effort with this naturalist profession, but we did ride our bikes more, and spend more time in the "courtyard" part of our yard.

I looked up my profession for June and it's meal planning, with a focus on meatless dishes. My sister-in-law stayed for a week with us in April, and she was avoiding sugar while eating lots of vegetables and it made me very aware of what we were eating (umm. . . lots of sugar and not so many vegetables!). And then G brought home the health food guide for his age group and we saw that we need to put 2 or 3 more servings of fruit and veggies into his daily diet. AND D brought home a book published by Reader's Digest in 2007 called "Magic Foods" and it's about how to keep you blood sugar regulated. So I think I have been prepped and motivated to dedicate this month to improving my family's diet. My first tip is to put prepped veggies and fruit on the table when the kids come home for lunch, while you're preparing the main part of the meal. They're hungry, it's the only option and they'll snack on it.

Saturday, May 30, 2009


S watched some show featuring a picnic so she HAD to go on one. Yesterday was the perfect day since it was a rare hot day (24°C) and E had to go back to school for the afternoon performance of Canadian songs (it was AMAZING - a group of 3 professional musicians taught the elementary school at least 8 songs with actions and memorised intros. . . in 4.5 days. LOVED it!). So I invite the Tree Island moms and 4 of us met up at our community playground for a picnic under the leafless elms and tried to force feed our kids. I think a picnic at the playground only works if you have 4 hours to kill and you make the kids play for 3 hours before allowing them to eat or drink. THEN they'd be interested in the food you packed. Butt it was still a delightful way to pass the lunch hour.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Biking to soccer

Back to my monthly profession, I suggested that we all ride our bikes to E's soccer game. It was a calm, warm night (how novel) just perfect for a bike ride. It was great to ride through clouds of floral scents and hear the birds chirping.

Sunday, May 24, 2009


So funny to have 2 out of 7 "followers" named Shanna. What are the chances?!

So, climate change has dished out the latest, coldest spring ever. We finally got a day over 18°C and it went to 25°C!! Skipped all of my favorite temperatures in between. Bahhh! Butt the daffodils did last forever in the coolness.

This was my second Saturday of planting. We still had 3 nights of freezing temps this week, so I had to wait until the forecast was all on the positive side for the deciduous. I planted 16 shrubs over Friday eve (I worked until I couldn't see the shrubs) and continued on Saturday for 6 hours until my husband discovered me slumped under a tree, complaining of nausea (heat stroke?). I told him that I couldn't imagine doing this for a living and he said "umm. . . professional landscapers take breaks and eat lunch?" Oh, ya. Right. Then he came back with a full water bottle and 2 aspirin (haha - he knew I was gonna feel it later), and finished spreading the cedar mulch and put the tools away. He takes such good care of me. . . Can't wait to see how it looks in a few years. I planted 3 groups of 3 Skyrocket Junipers for continuity (they grow to 12' tall, and 2' wide), 1 grouping in each of the 3 areas that I was working in. So from the front street, you'll be able to see them all at the same time. In total, we planted 20 shrubs, 1 new perennial and transplanted 5 perennials (everybody helped).


AFTER. . . I don't recommend edging in the dark. . . The closest shrub is variegated dogwood, then sandcherry, peegee hydrangea, sandcherry, monstrous mock orange (it's ALIVE!), false spirea, and finally double flowering plum with the 3 junipers behind it.

THUS FAR. I need to purchase one more grass. The mounding juniper is at full height but it will spread out 6 feet to disguise the sidewalk on the right without blocking the basement window.

AFTER. A special "you're S-U-P-E-R" goes out to 11-year-old G who came up to me just as I was staring at this third and final area with 7 shrubs left to plant, and said "can I dig a REALLY big hole?" I looked at him and said "You can dig SEVEN!". I set the timer for 30 minutes and he and his brother exuberantly dug 5 holes and my DH did the last 2 while our awesome neighbour entertained us with rocket balloons and squirt guns for the kids (true story). And I'm excited about the cluster of potentillas on the left; they have flowers throughout the summer, and 1 has yellow, one is called "mango tango" and gets yellow flowers with orange centers, and the last one is called "red ace" and gets a range of yellow to red flowers. Hidden in the back is a "chocolate satin" ninebark. It's new but it's a combo of the diablo ninebark (almost black leaves) and nana ninebark (making it more compact and less black). It will have clusters of white flowers and I read a recommendation to plant it in a shaded area so that the flowers look like they are floating. CAN'T WAIT to see that! O.K. I'm done.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Snow, snow, go away.

Hello! The plants that my mom bought me for my containers (for my mom's day gift - Thanks, Mom!), and new shrubbery that I picked out are crowded around my patio doors, and have been nervously peering outside at the snow for the past couple of days. Don't worry, I won't put you guys out there in that nasty weather! And more nasty weather to come; they are forecasting -3°C for Monday and Tuesday nights next week. I was told that I had some bad luck with choosing April to be a professional gardener but it's looking like June will be our first chance at good weather. I usually love May; no bugs and weather around 18°C. Blechy.

Butt I do have my vegetable garden and flower seeds planted (sunflowers, cosmos and gaillardia - one of these times they will take). Well, except for the cucumber and squash; have to wait for warm weather for those.

Julie reminded me that my Cycling Mommas class works into my naturalist profession. It's this awesome program run out of the United Church in our neighbourhood. It's 2 mornings a week, with child care, for $30. Despite the bad weather, spring is still coming to the river valley and as the trees start to hint at green, I become hopeful. 

Sunday, May 10, 2009

River Valley with Wheels

Yesterday was lovely. Almost as nice as today. We planted the garden. I tried a new blocking layout, since the garden is small, and found it really helpful for making assignments. I marked the layout with 1x6's and the boys just picked a space, figured out what went in it and planted away. SO nice to have help (and to be able to call it help, and not "help").

After supper DH suggested a bike ride in the river valley. So he road his bike from our house, to the river valley, with S in the bike carriage. I drove down with the boys and their wheeled apparatuses and we arrived at about the same time. G took a scooter, K wore his new roller blades and S, E and I rode bikes. E just figured out how to ride a bike, so he wasn't too confident yet, but we enjoyed the trails and made it to the bridge. It was our first wheeled family excursion to the obviously close river valley and it was a success so I know that we'll be going again!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Lover of Nature

14°C. Today is the transition day from single digits to highs in the 20's. Can't wait to start complaining about how hot it is. Haha. I've looked up the definition of "naturalist" and I'm not so sure that it means what I want it to mean. I want it to mean "lover of nature". I just don't think that you can be a professional tree-hugger, or forest-path-follower so I'll stick with "naturalist". After helping DH pick out a new pair of glasses, we took the children for a little walk down in the ravine. There is still ice hanging out around the creek and nothing green on the trees but we didn't have to wear coats. Wahoo!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

I know that the "gardening implement" that I'm posing with is actually an ice pick, but I was too lazy to run to the garage for a rake. I'm not the only one to voice the fact that this April was a loser month to be a professional gardener. It snowed almost daily and temperatures rarely reached the double digits. BOOOOOOOO! Butt I did luck out and find Lois Hole's Trees and Shrubs book at the library so I have been post-it-noting the shrubbery that I like. I think that shrubs are the future of my yard; way less maintenance than perennials and less waste to clean up in the fall. NOW I'm thinkin'! I'll tell you what I'm leaning toward (and I linked the shrubs to pics): a Peegee Hydrangea in front of my bedroom window (summer flowering), or a double flowering plum and an orange or white flowering potentilla to go beside a sandcherry. And I love mock orange. . . actually, I have a mock orange but it's gnarly and hardly produces any heavenly-scented flowers, but the link that I just found says to chop it to the ground to "renew" it so I'll be doing that in the fall or next spring. Exciting!

Tomorrow I will transform into a naturalist and am looking forward to complaining about how hot it is on Sunday, when the temp. jumps to 21°C from the single digits. What does this city have against temperatures in the teens?!? I think that we'll go for a walk in the ravine!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

I've actually gardened!! I regret not having filled the cold, snowy days of the month with READING about gardening or CHOOSING the shrubs that I want to plant in the spaces that we made for them last fall (and by "we" I mean that I charmingly pointed and DH dug - we're such a TEAM!). That would have been clever but frankly, I forgot what was awaiting me under the snow. I'm rather excited now that I've been reminded that I have shrubbery to select. Shrubbery! (Monty Python fans?)

So I spent 2.5 hours tidying up the raspberry canes and spring-ified the flower beds around the "courtyard". There are daffodils and tulips about a decimeter high (I know! - butt I live in Canada and we're supposed to use metric) and my favorite plant, flax, is everywhere. YIPPEE! AND the blanket flowers (gaillardia) seem to have survived the winter, for a change. They are native to the area thus supposedly super hardy and easy to grow and I just LOVE their fiery colors. . . I have had the worst luck with them. But this is the year. I can feel it.

DH and I spent most of Saturday in the yard. He got many of the ugly, looming chores done so I'm really looking forward to getting out there (thanks, Luv!). I picked up vegetable seeds and some amendments for the soil, and new cedar mulch. I'm going to plant snap peas and sweet peas tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Do Not rototill

I had a balmy Easter long weekend 4 hours south, visiting the in-laws. My arms even got sun burnt. . . now it's snowing. Nice.

My DH picked me up a gardening magazine ("Grow; fine gardening's guide to vegetable gardening") to support my profession (he's a keeper) and I read that one shouldn't turn over the soil when preparing it for planting, because it upsets the delicate ecosystem. They recommended using a pick fork to just loosen the soil. "Remember that soil is a vibrant ecosystem that suffers if it's exposed to too much light and air. So just wiggle the fork around to make it easier for roots to penetrate."

Monday, April 6, 2009

snowbank gardener

Yippee! I can feel warmth radiating from the glowing orb in the sky! I've been a professional gardener for 6 days now but my yard has been covered in snow. . . it does pose a problem although DH and I have been cross-country skiing 3 times this month. Yesterday my soggy bottom boys spent a couple of hours racing toothpicks in the run-off streaming down the gutter toward the drain, so I'm optimistic that I will be able to get at the dirt this week.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

spirit of co-operation

The month is ending and I am thrilled with the spirit of co-operation that cheering each other on has brought into the house! Mid month I was a little worried that I had created cheer dependent monsters (S: "I dook my dishes ovoe. Chee-oe dat I am SUP-OE!), but it's all good. Last night we had a lesson on not being jealous when others get cheered when we don't, but to focus on cheering for them. And we cheered on our last child: G got his 25-random-things completed in his journal. Later, when I returned from a refreshing cross-country ski with a friend, the children were all asleep and there was an orange with its peel scored (ready for peeling) on the table with a goodnight note taped to it. I had written in G's 25-random-things list about his goodnight ritual and he took it to heart that I had noticed. The note read: "to Mom. Love G. Good night. Sweet dreams. Love you. See you tomorrow. xxx. ps Green octopi"

No need to be jealous of others, because I'm the one being cheered.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Sometimes we are cheered

It's hard to cheer when you don't feel cheerful. I've been obsessed with reading about this horrifying story about the Fritzl family in Austria. If you haven't heard, GOOD, because it's one of those stories that sticks in your mind - I was at a matinĂ©e for the symphony today, and that's what I was thinking about. I need to focus on hope; hope that God will make it all right in the end.

My DH took the children to the dollar store today (my almost 6-yr old has birthday $ burning a hole in his pocket) and S came home with a blue pom pom! That cheered me up. She wants to cheer with me. I guess the ebb and flow of life applies to cheerleaders, too. Sometimes we cheer, sometimes we are cheered.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Cheer teams

I wanted my children to recognize and, more importantly, feel the difference between discouraging words, and encouraging words, so that was the lesson for family night. I set up a little basketball hoop and they each had a turn to shoot hoops while we a) cheered them on and then b) yelled discouraging comments. They all agreed that they preferred encouraging words. Next week I'm going to teach a little more on the same subject. For fun I began the lesson by showing a cheer team video from Youtube. The boys were very captivated. While eating our treat at the end, we watched some more cheers, until DH typed in "cheerleader tackled" and took them down an entirely different avenue of entertainment.

My friend, Julie, lent me her megaphone from her glory days on a cheer team, to help my profession along. Boys should NEVER have the chance to amplify their voices inside. Of course, I didn't want them to use it, but they just couldn't resist the chance to take 'loud' to a whole new level.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Professions for 2009

Here's my schedule of professions for 2009: I printed off 12 goal charts from Chart Jungle, put them in a binder, and have been using them to identify my professional goals for the month.
  1. January: Historian (a.k.a. scrapbooker)  What a fun way to start off the year! You've got all those great pics from the holidays and you're ready to just veg. I created a tonne of digi-pages, printed some, and went to a full-day scrapbooking event.
  2. February: Home Organizer  I used my goal chart to pick an area to work on each week. My bedside table is finally functioning. It makes me giddy!
  3. March: Cheerleader
  4. April: Gardener   I'm such an optimist since it is snowing as I type this.
  5. May: Naturalist   I've never actually accomplished this one. . . butt, since it is snowing whilst I type, I am SO looking forward to taking the children for walks in the ravine.
  6. June: Meal Planner   I'm looking for a couple dozen great vegetarian meals.
  7. July: Artist
  8. August: Photographer   I got 2 new cameras in Dec. of last year and need to read those manuals!!
  9. September: Monk   You bet that's a profession! I will work on self-discipline and developing better spiritual habits.
  10. October: Interior Decorator
  11. November: Shopper/Artisan   Having Christmas wrapped by the end of November makes December so dreamy! At least I imagine it would ;)
  12. December: Events Planner

Friday, March 13, 2009

How This Works

You are welcome to try this idea for yourself! Here's what I wrote up in 2006 when I started choosing a monthly profession to focus on:

I’ve been a full-time homemaker for 9 years now and am still overwhelmed by the many tasks, and at other times, BORED by them. Which can lead to unhappiness, even depression, but I noticed that when I focus my energies on a new challenge, that I am happier. So I wrote down some of the “professions” that being a wife, mother and homemaker included and picked one to focus on every month. By focusing on one of these endless areas, I can actually devote the time needed to improve at it, while giving myself permission to not worry about the other endless areas. And then, when I moved on to the next profession, I will have increased skills from the previous month to apply. Make sense?

So I made my list:

professional home organizer
I have the storage that I need, I just need to organize it. I write down when ever I come across an area or drawer that needs to be organized. In this month I’ll be researching methods to be organized, implementing them, and de-cluttering.

This is for those areas that you wouldn’t worry about until you were going to sell the house: painting the trim, putting in a light fixture where a bare bulb hangs, etc.

professional chef
I started with this one since suppers were a DISASTER at my house. Picky eaters and poor planning. So, I baked with my preschoolers, and made homemade granola. I signed up for COOKNIK (5 supper recipes complete with tips and shopping lists emailed every Wed. eve for $17 for 6 months worth). Cousin K told me about Dinner Revolution, and BFF told me that Simple Suppers is opening soon: kitchens that supply the space and ingredients to make 12 entrees and then CLEAN up for you. It gave me focus for the month: when I was feeling down, I’d gather the troops to bake with me. If I started to feel guilty about some other pathetic area of my life, I’d tell myself “I’m a professional chef – I’ll have to talk to the house keeper about that”.

professional shopper/artisan
This was to prepare for Christmas, and validate my ebay addiction ;) I chose November, and was done with gifts before December began.

I plan to do this in the summer and share the joy of art with my children. Do a sketch a day, just like my profs taught me. Do a painting on location with the older boys (at the cottage).

early childhood developer
I am going to take time to play and craft and learn with my children. I will plan stuff from the website. I never get around to this, but once I focus on it, I will be better skilled at incorporating it more often. I've now done this for one month, and decided to toilet train Sabine. I also stopped to teach Everett to play "Go Fish" and to pronounce the letter "s". Not EXACTLY as planned, but I did develop some children, I guess.

professional house keeper
Tanya told me about which is a site where you can sign up for daily and weekly house cleaning reminders. I didn't follow the whole schedule, but I did try the "home blessing hour" and setting my timer for 10 minutes for all tasks. An improvement.

female escourt
Funny, eh? But homemakers need to keep the husband happy, too. And I’ll have to be escourted to fancy places every week, and I’d better get something new to wear to those fancy places, hadn’t I? If you’ve read the “Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands” you know about the “frump syndrome”.

When NOT having a garden is overwhelming, it’s hard to embrace the extra task of gardening, but I do love it, once I start. My yard really benefited from all of the extra attention and I really had fun.

events planner
How many times have I thought “tomorrow is ______ (insert special holiday here)” but not had anything planned? Any month of the year could benefit from a little events planning. I’ve chosen this one for December, this year, but I want to plan out the rest of the year too. I’ll look through Family Fun again, and put reminders into my calendar.

What more do I need to write? I’m hoping that I will develop some skills here, so that I address things that need to be repaired (and ironed!) more than once a year.

professional historian
Code name for SCRAPBOOKER. You can get a lot done in one month if you are a professional!

[not to be confused with naturist (nudist)] It’s studying nature. I never spend enough time outside, nor do my children – so I’ll focus on it. We could try bird watching, bug watching, hikes in the river valley, or visit a different playground every time.

Then I assigned them to the upcoming months and decided what to do as that professional. And lest you think that I have it all together, you are mistaken; that part about doing the ironing more than once a year? NOT a joke.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

G in junior high

Lest you believe that I am uber-organized, I will tell you how I worked my profession into supper last night. I didn't have a child scheduled to cheer for last night, but we were short one plate, so I pulled out the celebration plate and gave it to K. I hadn't started his 25-random-things list, so I said that we were going to work on it as a family: so that's what we dedicated our supper conversation to. That worked, too, because E came up with "He gave me his Scooby Doo Learn-to-read books" which I hadn't thought to recognize. Once we completed the list, we cheered for him and let him hand out the Trebor candy. How's that for thinking on my feet? Nice.

Then I went with my oldest to our first junior high open house. I wanted to throw up, cry and freeze time when I thought of him; my sweet, innocent, eager G; being thrown into the jaws of junior high. Breath. By the end of the evening I was feeling positive and even more committed to the importance of cheering him on!! 


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

S is for Super

I picked a day for each child to get to use the celebration plate at supper, so we can focus on them. Last night was S so she got the plate and I read the "25 Random Things About S" that I had written in her journal. We all had a good laugh (she's a funny girl) and she was proud to share her list of favorite things with us. She now says that blueberries are her favorite fruit, since blue is her favorite color. News to me! Then we did the "Super" cheer for her and she got to hand out the Trebor candy to everyone. YUM!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

professional cheerleader

My first post. I don't know how to make my blog look decent and we'll see if I can actually get this to post. The purpose of this blog is to journal my project: being a professional stay-at-home mom. Now, what I mean by that is that I pick a profession to focus on every month. This month I am a professional cheerleader. No (sorry DH), I don't have a sexy little uniform, but I do have a pom pom (yes, only one) but I found some killer cheers on the interweb:

"S-U-P-(pause) E-R. Super, that is what you are. 
SUPER! (clap. clap.) SUPER! (clap. clap.) Yaaaaaaaaaaay, (name)."

"1 cent. 2 cents. 3 cents. A dollar.
All for (full name) stand up and holler. Whoooo!"

This professional choice was inspired by my son, E, who asked me to skate behind him, cheering him on as he worked to learn how to skate. So I did. I skated around the rink, offering him words of encouragement and hooting and hollering when he regained his balance or got back to his feet after a nasty spill. And when he finally got it, we skated around the rink together and I got to share the joy that he felt in his accomplishment (and I got to share that joy for 20 laps, LONG after the rest of our family had headed home). I realized afterwards that the most devoted cheerleaders that our children will ever have, are their family. If we don't cheer them on, who will? Maybe a wonderful teacher, or an inspired coach, or an exceptional neighbour. . . or maybe no one. And it made me think about the times that I finished watching a child at their practice and the words I offered, after they worked hard for that hour, were to point out where they could work harder. CRAZY! I've got to cheer them on, and that's what I'm focusing on this month! 

Goooooooooooo Samber!