Saturday, March 21, 2015

The Stomach Bug

There once was a stomach bug that snuck into my place
It was stealth like and shrewd while it plotted its chase

With its keen little plan it lurked in the dark
As my daughter played Barbies, she’d become its mark

A noise from the family room that sounded not right
Which one of the three was now starting a fight?

“What’s wrong? What happened? What did you spill?”
 “I said not to much. You don’t over-fill....”

Sweet mother! Holy crap! That’s not milk, juice or kool-aid
but a pool of vomit she’s spewed and sprayed

“Oh baby! What happened? I didn’t know you felt sick”
Was this a joke or some evil, unwanted trick?

The vomit was everywhere, webbed in her toes
her hair and her bankies, then it came across my nose

That smell made me urge, I could taste it in my mouth
“Sweet mother of pear!”, I wanted to shout

I gagged and I spit, then admitted defeat
there’s nothing normal about food that’s meshed to your feet.

I took one for the team as I cleaned up the puddles
while my daughter dry-heaved in between Mommy cuddles

It’s violent and harsh, but its stay is brief
yet, with two other children it leaves little relief

This bug was now hiding, in the cracks and the walls
Smirking and snicerking as the Locke Family falls

Have pity, take mercy for I will fight til the end
as I've no interest in cleaning fluids from either end.

I bid you farewell, with a cramp in my tummy
So unfair, this really bites, cause who takes care of Mummy?

Sunday, December 2, 2012

"the Elf on the Shelf", A Christmas Tradition

If you haven’t heard of it by now, you’ve been out of the loop.  This year’s craze with Christmas is “the Elf on the Shelf”.  I had seen mumbles on Facebook, and received texts from other Mother’s, “Have you heard of “the Elf on the Shelf”, to which I would say “no” and inquire as to what this “Elf” was. 

It was here I learned of a little Elf, sent by Santa; he or she would find a perch in your home where they could watch the children noting who was being naughty and who was nice.  At night, said Elf, would then use their magic and return to the North Pole, reporting their findings to Santa.  Magically, the next morning, little Elf would re-appear, but, they’d never be in the same place. 

This little Elf had perked my interest. A sweet new tradition to start with the kids; and, if nothing else, a terrific tool to provoke a little extra good behavior before Christmas.  Surly the presence of one of Santa’s Elves would encourage my kids to bring their “A Game” in the behavior department.   I had to find “the Elf on the Shelf”.

As luck would have it, Friday past at Chapters, I came across said Elf.  Neatly presented in white box, accompanied with a hard covered book, sat little Elf.  This box contained a little girl Elf. I have to admit, I was a little surprised at the “Elf” doll itself.  Not having gone to the internet before hand, I had no idea what this little creature looked like.  However, it didn’t matter. I had “Shelf Elf” in hand and was off to the races. 

So, Friday night, after reading the “Elf” book, I had to agree that this was a cute idea.  Kids would get to name their Elf, and if so desired, you could print off an “Elf Adoption certificate” and a “Letter From Santa”.  It all seemed good to me!  My husband and I found a little spot on the mantel for Elf.  Since Saturday would be December 1st, it seemed the perfect time to introduce the kids to her.

That morning, sans Christmas decorations, Miss Elf stood out like a sore thumb.  Of course it was the little one who first spotted the Elf and asked, “Mama what is that”.  From here I read to the three of them the story of “the Elf…” and that, while we couldn’t touch her (as she’d loose her magic), they could tell her secrets and she would always report back to Santa.  My middle child looked at me, with his all to familiar look of “Are you serious? She’d better not show up in my room. That’d just be weird!”; while little Grace seemed intrigued.

Miss Elf was henceforth known as, Sparkle Elf.  For the remainder of Saturday she remained untouched, though under great scrutiny from the kids.  We hauled out the tree and other decorations, and began our Christmas Season under the careful eyes of Sparkle Elf!

Delicately placed in our tree, Sparkle had her first official perch in our house.  No sooner had I crossed her Elf legs on the tree branch, came the screaming from my daughters room.  The little trout was having a bad dream, and a bad one at that.  She never has nightmares, but this, this was a doozy.  Over the next five hours, we took turns going back and forth to her room, trying to get her to settle.  Our quiet evening by the tree, was a marathon of pillow swaps and “your turn”.  Miss G had been spooked by something!  Finally, out of desperation to sleep, we took her into our bed, assumed the family “spoon” position and prayed she’d go to sleep.  2:33am, the sound of snoring…”Thank you!”

2:41am….the pitter patter of little feet is replaced with the sound of a herd of elephants entering our room. What!?? Who??!!! Ugh???  I can barely open my eyes, between exhaustion and the mascara I didn’t take off now like glue to my eyelashes; then, I see the little guy, standing at my side of the bed, desperate to get in too!

I woke this morning I felt like I’d been hit by a truck. I was exhausted. I brushed away the mounds of Gracie hair off my face, to find the hubby had made his way back into our bed.  We looked at each other and wondered what had happened last night.  Never before had we had a night like that.  Two kids, inconsolable, yet completely unwilling to tell us why!

Gracie, crawled out of bed and then we knew… the source of the evenings demise was clear.  Sparkle Elf!  “Dad, Dad, come here, come here!”, Gracie yells.   A few minutes later, he returns, with a big smirk on his face. “What is going on?”, I ask.

“Grace is insisting that we throw Sparkle Elf in the garbage”, he tells me. “She’s creepy Daddy and I don’t like her moving around”, she said.  He had tried to explain to her that Sparkle was not scary, she was simply an Elf, sent by Santa, to help with his Naughty Nice List. He then asked Drew if Sparkle was in his dreams last night too. Drew said, “Sparkle is weird Dad! Look at those crazy eyes!  In my dream she was in my room and kept coming after me!”

Good grief! While I had to agree that the Elf did lack in the “warm and fuzzy” looking department, who knew she’d be the source of such distress!  Now what?  While the boys were at hockey, Grace and I began to decorate the tree.  She was so happy, she had all the decorations laid on the table just so, and as she placed them on the tree, she would tell me exactly where she wanted me to place mine.

As I stepped back to get a better look, once again, it hit me.  Sparkle Elf, perched in the tree, without a decoration to be seen in her direct vicinity.  “Gracie, why don’t we put some decorations next to Sparkle? She’ll be lonely sitting there by herself”, I say.
“NO!!!!!! Don’t touch her! She’ll lose her magic and we’ll all be on the naughty list! I don’t want her to show up in my room!!!.”, she hollers at me!

So there you have it.  In the spirit of Christmas, we have once again managed to scar the little ones.  Forget being late, forget the white lie you told about their blanket getting lost in the dryer, forget trying to talk your way out of “Mom, why did you have receipts for my gifts from Santa last year?”. No, this was worse.   Our heartfelt effort to start a new tradition with the kids, to help keep alive the innocence of childhood, had turned and iconic Christmas Elf into a fear-inducing, crazy eyed, stalker-Elf, named Sparkle. 

So tonight, as I glance over my shoulder, I wonder “what am I going to do with you tonight Sparkle?”.  We’ve decided that we’ll keep Sparkle around for another day or so.  However, if by the end of the week, the kid’s stress level over the “magically moving creepy Elf” hasn’t lessened…. Sparkle may find herself attached to a bottle of alcohol with a straw, earning a one-way ticket back to the North Pole (leaving behind a note stating she’d been put on the Elf Naughty List).

“the Elf on the Shelf” may find herself “the Elf in the Garbage bag" at the back of the closet!!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Hug In A Cup!

Once again September has come and gone with a blur.  School is back in full swing with lunches, homework, and rallying the troops for early mornings out the door. 

This year I decided to be proactive and ban the use of all electronic apparatus before school in the morning.  Computers, iPads, iPhones, PlayStations’ and television…no little fingers are to touch said devices until three o’clock.  With distractions gone, our mornings have taken on a much more pleasant tone; one without chest pains and racing to the car to be on time. 

A month later we have comfortably settled in to Grades Six and Four and our Little Miss off to Kindergarten.  Oddly enough, it’s been more of an adjustment that either of us had thought.  At first, it seemed my little “cling-on” was never going to putter off without hesitation. Yet, slowly but surly, she now goes off without a hitch and I actually think she’s really liking school. 

As per usual, hockey tryouts are in full throttle.  Our oldest, now in Peewee, no longer requires (or wants) our help in the locker room and putters off without a second look.  The “love you too, Mom” and “Later Dad’s”, have been substituted with a ‘simple smile and a nod’. Ouch.

As my Mother says, “He’s getting to that age you know.”; I sigh, awkwardly smile to myself, and with hesitation, lovingly agree.  Somewhere in the ten weeks of summer, our three kids leaped and bounded toward “growing up” and my husband and I are having a little trouble catching up. Right now, I’m quite grateful for the dog. Having just had our one-year anniversary, the little guy is providing some very much need extra companionship.

Like every year, hockey brings with it a new round of tryouts, team selections and a ton of, “My nerves are gone!”.  Kids wanting to be with their old teammates, parents mulling over rosters, Hockey Mom’s regrouping after a summer apart, “rink rat” siblings scurrying around the rink…honestly, it’s quite the site.  The action on the ice is equally comparable to the “action” off the ice.

Parents hold to their cell phones as if their lives depend on it; “refresh, refresh refresh”… “What? It’s still not up?”.  Yet, it’s the comradery that keeps us all glued together, and texting at 1:am in the morning, alerting the masses that the ever dreaded, ever anticipated “list” has been uploaded. (Phew)

On we go… Christmas decorations have already made their way to the shelves, pumpkin spiced lattes and seasonal teas are steadily flowing.  Just as I felt I had conquered world of “latte” this and frappuccino “that”, I have now discovered an entire new world of Tea!

Gone are the days when I would mock my Grandmother and her hot cup of Tetley; I have found “David’s Tea” and all things wonderful that come with it; LimeGelato, PomPower and my new guilty pleasure, Forever Nuts.  Oh my!

Like a good patron, I sport my travel mug, complete with built in filter, so my “Tea to Go” is steeped to perfection.  If nothing else, at the end of the day, when the house falls quiet, I find myself enjoying a warm, silky, “hug in a cup”! (without all the calories- bonus!)  It’s a tie between ‘Banana Nut Bread’ and the ‘Forever Nuts’ tea, but no other words describe them, than a ‘soothing, warm snuggle”. 

It’s here I’ll say, “Til next time” as I steep my hot cup of goodness, surf the internet while intermittently clicking, “refresh, refresh, refresh” !  

I remain....

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Summer Heat!!

I believe it is safe to say, in the weather department Mother Nature gets a solid “two thumbs up”!! What a summer we’re having!

Who would have thought, sun filled, hot summer days would stick around longer than forty-eight hours.  Splash Pad, Skate parks, Sunshine Camp, our days have been filled with non-stop outdoor activities! Activities, that for once don’t require hoodies and jackets.

It’s nice to see the jeans and dark colored apparel replaced with neon colors, shorts and with the current humidity, as little clothing as possible!  My favorite quote of the summer so far? “Temperatures will be so warm…you’ll wish your husband had shaved his back!” - @ryansnoddon . 

It’s true, Newfoundlanders are a tough bunch; we brave winter with wind burn and a lop-sided smile…these days, we tackle the unfamiliar humidity.  There’s no feeling like getting of the leather couch and hearing the peeling of your skin as it’s stuck on like glue.  That “oh so awesome” shower to cool off, only to dry your hair and sweat in crevices you didn’t know you had, forgoing a second shower in the likelihood you might pass out from heat exhaustion! Yes, this summer is awesome!

Of course, it’s also been the summer of “50 Shades of Grey”. Don’t laugh or snicker! If you haven’t read it already, you’ve thought about it.  Everywhere you look, book stores, street signs, and Facebook, all baring some snippet of the summer craze.

Me, yes, I’ve read it. And, I loved it.  It may not have been the most appropriate book to be reading on the plane; as I did get a strange look from my aisle neighbor. He he.
With three kids, a dog, my house and life, my free time is limited. So, when I do get a few minutes to sit down, if I’m going to sacrifice clean bed sheets for a book? It had better be worth it.

As my husband said, “Like twilight…with 50 Shades, I lost my wife for a week!”.  I am confident though, that any husband whose wife did or is reading this trilogy, is certainly NOT complaining!  There isn’t a person I’ve talked to, who is able to talk about Christian Grey without sporting a naughty grin and blushed cheeks.  While E.L. James hasn’t embarked on anything new with the steamy romance novel, she has managed to ignite a sultry fluster in readers everywhere!

Indeed the next logical step in any money making frenzy, make the movie! It worked for Twilight and it will work for 50 Shades!  There have been rumbles of potential actors and actresses, whether it will make the big screen or be featured on HBO. Well, all I can say is this… like the estrogen filled theatre for “Magic Mike”, be it the big screen or my television at home with a one month subscription to HBO; this Mama, along with some very enthusiastic  ladies, will be joining the masses to see this movie!

Enjoy the heat and continue having a terrific Summer!!!  Don’t forget, Mommy Jingles is on Twitter, @themommyjingles !

Thursday, May 3, 2012

I'm back Diary!!

Deary Diary,

It’s been awhile my friend, and I have no excuse other than life’s just whizzing by!  Since our hockey trip to Montreal we have also had a family hockey trip to Gander  and most recently Prince Edward Island for myself and Drew.  PEI was a great little adventure as it was just me and the little man; I have to say that I really enjoyed having some one-on-one time with the little guy. It was long overdue.  

Most trips to the rink involve me lugging along a convoy of kids, but this trip, I was able to sit back and watch him play the game.   None of the, “Mom, can I get a slushy”, “Have you got a toonie”, “Is this over yet?”; just me and the bench cheering on my little man.  We had a great time together…we survived the driving, got water-logged in the pools, did some shopping and even survived our flight being cancelled on the way home.  Travelling is always an adventure.

 Now home, it’s not hard to want to leave again.  Snow, followed by wet flurries, high winds and freezing temperatures continue to make me question the sanity that is required to live here.  It’s said “Newfoundlanders are a tough bunch”, while this is true, even we have our breaking point. 

 As per every Spring, we have the moose yearlings toddling through the city, massive pot-holes that swallow your car, and now, the extra icing on the chilly cake, coyotes!  These little darlings have been making their way into the city, perusing the downtown shopping and scouting out the local schools.  I have yet to come across one myself and quite frankly hope I don’t.  As the children play street hockey and ride their bikes, the parental conversation of “don’t talk to strangers”, “stay away from the wandering moose”, has now the added perk of, “if you see a Coyote, get home!”

 It’s great to see them outside again; their faces smiling with sun-kissed cheeks (as opposed to wind burn)  Their sweaty little heads from bike helmets, scraped knees, polysporin and bandaids like tattoos on their legs and elbows. Indeed Spring is in the air.  I’ve even seen the start of my hostas making their way through the soil and little buds on the tree branches.  Guess Mother Nature forgot to tell them she made a wrong turn off the coast and it’s still winter here!  Tank tops, shorts and flip-flops one day, winter coats and hats the next….awesome.

 We’re not asking for much, just something other than this.  Plus ten or twelve? Come on old girl, toss us a bone! We may be a tough bunch, but, even we need to feel the warmth of the sun on our skin!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Gold in Montreal!

Well, all I can say is, “Phew”.  Mommy Jingles and her two boys are back home from Montreal, where the CAPS Atom B All Star team competed in one of the Canadian Hockey Enterprises hockey tournaments.

As with any team adventure, our trip was filled with lots of excitement! We got off to a booming start in St. John’s, on the runway.  With several families travelling on the same flight the plane was buzzing with laughter.  It was here, zooming down the runway where our plane suddenly slammed on the brakes and abruptly halted to a stop; now, for those of you who love to fly this would be nothing more than a blip, however, for others (like myself) it was not.  At this point my nerves were officially gone, and the over zealous passenger next to me was not helping the situation.

“Probably something with the de-icing”, she says.  “Good thing they figured that out. You wouldn’t want the plane to drop out of the sky!”, she adds…loudly!  My younger son, who can become anxious at times, hears this and proceeds to ask a series of questions that only makes my own anxiety even worse.  As I smile and tell him it’s nothing serious and we’ll be in the sky soon, my “sidekick” continually interrupts me, adding in some hodge podge unbefitting that of a nervous nine-year old (and his mother).

Before we knew it we were in Montreal, all luggage and children accounted for and settled at the hotel.  I don’t know if the bags were dropped in the room before a full throttle game of mini-sticks roaring in the hallways.  It’s always amusing to see how long tiny rubber balls can be propelled through the air before someone complains to management.  Those first few hours in a hotel are vital in setting the tone of what’s to come. And, lucky for us, the tolerance level of the hotel staff and other patrons were quite good with regards to mini-stick marathon. As for the continual raiding of the ice machine? It turns out other people on the floor wanted ice too, yet, they were forced to plan strategic maneuvers in order to outrun our kids!

Over the next four days, there was power-shopping, eating out, interesting bus drivers, many back logs at the elevator, but most importantly, some amazing hockey.  A group of seventeen kids, came together with finesse.  They were passing, taking their time, talking to each other and working together…they, had become a team! 

Moms and Dads yelled and cheered, nails were bitten, nerves were gone, camera flashes fired, had you not a child on the ice you couldn’t help but get in on the excitement.  In the end, our CAPS Atom B team went undefeated coming home with the Gold Medal.

Like a scene from the Olympics, the players wore their medals with pride and beaming smiles.  They proudly circled the ice displaying the Newfoundland Flag and their winning trophy as parents watched with pride and joy. It was a moment we’ll all remember.

Hours later, my boys and I along with several other team members made our way down St. Catherine’s Street toward the Bell Centre.  Sporting jerseys, hats and other
paraphernalia, we were off to our first NHL Game.  The Montreal Canadians were playing the New Jersey Devils and I was taking my two boys. What better way to finish off a gold medal day!

The seating in the Bell Center reminded me of a being on top of a roller coaster and never going over the top,and of course, the food was outrageously priced. However, the looks on their little faces was well worth the nausea and indigestion.  “Mom, I can’t believe we’re at an NHL game, this is amazing!”

The opening theatrics were quite the spectacle (from my stanards at least).  As for the game itself…well, I’m sure it was an off day for both teams. Nonetheless, it was a great time with my kids!

The Gold Medal Game of Mini-sticks continued in the hotel halls until late in the night. When, finally, our little champions were put to sleep and the parents enjoyed one last evening together; as the saying goes, “All good things must come to and end”. 

Within 24 hours of landing, I had two very sick boys who then missed an entire week of school after being taken down by the flu (or something).  Stomach pains, migraines and vomiting were the finishing touches on a fantastic adventure.  Now, a week later, I think I’m fully recovered.  Yet, a little voice reminds me, “Only six weeks til Gander and then P.E.I Mom!, Woohoo!” – sigh- “Bring it on Kid!!”