Monday, February 22, 2016

The ABCs of Getting my Boys Ready for School

Alright, let's get out of bed
Breakfast is ready; let's go
Cookies are not breakfast
Don't even think about getting in to those cookies; you can have one in your lunch
Every morning you ask me where your shoes are; every single morning
Front door; your hoodie is at the front door
Go brush your teeth.  No you didn't do it already; I can smell the brimstone on your breath
Hair brush is where?  How did it end up in the toilet?
I cannot deal with this right now
Just go get your lunch kit
Kittens are adorable, but I don't have time to watch them on Youtube right now
Listen to me!  We are leaving in 5 minutes
Maybe if you went to bed when I say so, you wouldn't be so tired in the morning
No, you can NOT bring your hoverboard to school
Of course you can have a piece of gum
People are not going to care if your hair isn't spiked perfectly
Quit antagonizing your brother
Really?!?  You have to go to the bathroom now?
Saying "I'm sorry" and meaning it are two different things
Try not to be late to any of your classes today, ok?
Unfortunately, I don't have the money to take you guys to SportChek after work today
Very soon....summer vacation will be here very soon
Why are you walking out the door without your backpack
Xaviar is waving at you.  Can you acknowledge him please
Yes, I will be able to drive you to practice tonight
*Zealously gets into my car and head to Tim Horton's before work

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Devil in Disguise


Maybe it's the fact that I've been binge watching the new TV series, "Lucifer" this weekend, but I was thinking about things that irritate me, that I have decided to dub the devil in disguise.  Do any of these things grind your gears?

- Tangled necklaces
- Shopping carts with shitty wheels
- People who play games, videos, music from their phones in public without using headphones
- Under the skin painful pimples
- Personal space invaders
- Black ice
- Ignorance
- Shoes that rub and blister your pinky toe
- People who say "just kidding" after realizing that everyone else is pissed off by what they said
- Oil stains in clothes that you don't notice until after you've washed and/or dried them
- Funny memes that you want to share but can because of grammar or spelling errors
- That itch on your back that you can't reach no matter how hard you try
-  Self-sabotaging behaviour

What things would you add to my list?

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Life Lessons for my Children

Every parent, regardless of their status, standing, or lot in life, hope to instill some basic truths to their children.  Here are some things I hope my boys have and will learn from me:

* Accept others regardless of gender, ethnicity, religion, financial background,etc.....  Show kindness and respect everyone from the janitor to the CEO.


*  Accept yourself and be proud of your accomplishments and who you are.  Don't worry about what other people think about you.


*  Do your best to be financially independent.  Do not share your financial situation with anyone (except your partner).  Always have cash in the house somewhere, and don't ever expect someone else to support you.




*  Always practice good manners.  My grandmother instilled this one in me from an early age.  She would always say,"Good manners and a clean set of clothes will take you a long way".


*  Choose your friends wisely.  I had a bad habit of being too trusting too soon when I was younger.  I'd pick a best friend or 3 and tell them my whole life story and all my secrets without a second thought.  I learned after being stabbed in the back a few times that it's better to have 4 quarters than 100 pennies any day.  


*  It's okay NOT to be perfect.  No one expects perfection.  Just do your best and learn from your mistakes.  If you don't learn from it, you're doomed to repeat it.  


*  Go in to work early.  Stay late and work hard to get the job done.  No one likes a slacker.


*  And of course.....




  


  


Thursday, February 18, 2016

Idol Chatter --- Top 12 Showcase #2

There were a couple of these contestants that I was really looking forward to hearing from tonight.  Some disappointed, others did not.  Let's get right into the action.

1.  Shelbie -- "Work Hard, Play Harder" : She has great showmanship; she works the stage really well.  She was flat in a couple of places, but the girl has some pretty powerful pipes.  I think, however, that she started off too low and wasn't able to really show off her range.

2.  Manny -- "Adventure of a Lifetime" : This wasn't a horrible performance, but it was kind of boring and forgettable.....and what he Hell was he wearing.

3.  Kory -- "Let it Go" : He's got a nice voice, but I think he focussed too much on the piano and not enough on the vocals.  It was a little disconnected.

*Side note --  I'm feeling a little disconnected myself.  Here we are 3 songs in and I have have never heard a single one of these.  Me!!!  Of all people; the girl who knows every song ever made....well, not quite, but you get what I'm saying.

4.  Amelia --  "Wake me Up" : I don't like this song slowed down.  I think her choreography was too rehearsed.  The pitch was too low, and she was nasally.  This was just another "meh" performance for me.

5.  Jenn -- "Sorry" : Sadly, the novelty of this girl has worn off for me.l  I didn't like a single thing about this performance.  She was out of tune the whole time and it was just weird.

*Side note #2 -- why is Harry is such a cranky mood tonight? He's being a total hard ass. And why is everyone making such bizarre song choices?  This night is just odd.

6.  CJ -- "I'll Be" : OK, so I liked the beginning of this song, but then the rest just kind of fell off for me.  The vibrato at the end was just too much, and it seemed like a karaoke bar rendition; there was no originality to it at all.  Also, why does someone have to choose this song EVERY. SINGLE. SEASON?!?  I'm over it.

7.  Lee - "Runaway" : I wasn't sure about this kid; and while I found it a little boring, I think he's definitely improved over Hollywood week.

8.  Trent -- "What Are You Listening To" : I really like this guy.  He's just so sweet and humble.  I think he had a great connection to the song, and the vocal was good.

9.  Tristan -- "Good Girl" : This is another contestant that I really like.  This performance wasn't fantastic, but I still really like her.  I think she will likely stick around.

10.  Adam -- "Black & Gold" : This was another good, not great performance.  I admit, I don't remember this guy from the auditions or Hollywood weeks.  But he's a good singer, even though his song choice sucked (much like everyone tonight).

11.  Dalton -- "Rebel Yell" : This was the performance I was waiting all night for, and I was not disappointed.  The things he does with songs is amazing, and I've loved every things he's done so far this season.  My #1 front runner since the first audition.

12.  Olivia -- "Confident" : She had great power right from the beginning.  It was not a super way to end the night, but it was a good performance.  She'll stick around, too.


Sunday, February 14, 2016

Starfish

I adjust myself in bed, attempting to sleep; wishing for a night of uninterrupted slumber, but I know the truth.

The pat of little feet.  The voice, not as squeaky as it used to be when he was little.

"Momma, I can't sleep".

He crawls up into my bed, nuzzles into the curve of my body......then he sprawls out.

Within moments, he's drifted off.

His arms and legs extend out, mimicking a starfish.  His placement in the bed is annoyingly adorable. With him positioned like this, sleep for me is very unlikely.  But I cherish these bed takeovers, because they will soon be gone.

I adjust his legs together and roll him on his side.  He snores and throws his right leg out like a soccer player, landing square on my back.

I wait.  Then I wait some more.

I move his arms in toward his body, oh so gently.  He rolls inward and puts the heel of his hand upward into my chin.  I may have a dimple there now.

Obviously I have moved him too soon.

I roll over and close my eyes, while he tosses around.  He headbutts me off the pillow, then the edge of the bed.  Our familiar tango continues.

In a final attempt to get some sleep, I pick him up torso first and maneuver him to the other side of the bed.  This is no easy feat.  At almost 12 years old, he is nearly as tall as me.  He is a starfish floating through the air, and his limbs will remain as he forms a star; an 11-year old, bed-hogging star.  Smiling to myself, I accept defeat.  I struggle, carrying the little ocean dweller out of my bedroom.

That's it, my little starfish.  Back to your own bed.



Saturday, February 13, 2016

Tips For Staying Positive When The World Gets You Down


Life isn't always sunshine and rainbows.  We all know this, but sometimes life can really get us down.

I tend to be a pretty positive person.  But sometimes, even the eternal optimist can go through some hard days.

Here are a couple of strategies for when you are felling down in the dumps:

1.  Pick something positive in the future to focus on.  Do you have a trip coming up?  A girls night?  A birthday or special holiday you are looking forward to?  Pick one thing that you are excited about and focus all your energy on that.  It helps take up space in your head that is worrying or upset.

2.  Treat yourself.  I hope everyone has this one in their bad day arsenal.  When you are feeling down, get something that makes you happy.  A new outfit or book, some flowers or candy.  Get your nails done or go for a massage.  For me, this can sometimes be as simple as a diet Dr. Pepper and a chocolate bar.

3.  Count your blessings,  No matter how hard life can get, you probably still have a lot of great things going for you.  Family, friends, a warm bed and roof over head, a job, food in your fridge. When you focus on the haves instead of the have nots, things don't seem so bad.  It always works to warm my heart a little bit.

4.  Fake it 'til you make it.  Sometimes you have to just put a smile on your face and pretend everything is alright.  The great thing is that, often when you do that, you can convince yourself that it's true.  Putting on a positive front, even if you don't have the backup inside you, can really help you get through some tough things.

5.  Let it out.  There are times that #4 just might not work.  These are the times when you just may have to let it all go.  Let it out; have a good cry, or scream, or go for a run, hit a heavy bag.  Get it out of your system.  Talk to someone.  You'll really feel better; not like you're going to internally explode.  (I'm really glad I have my husband for this one).

6.  When all else fails, go to bed.  Take a nap or go to bed early.  You don't HAVE to make dinner, or do the laundry.  Cancel your plans, unplug, and go to your safe place.  Turn off your mind, and just let yourself drift away for a while.  When things get too hard, sleep it off.  I know I always have a better outlook on life when I face it with a fresh perspective.  

Friday, February 12, 2016

Idol Chatter -- Idol Star Duets

Well, you can certainly tell that the Idol alum who have made it big, don't have the time to do things like this anymore.  Which is sad, because why would I want to see Lauren Alaina or Nick Fraddiano, when what I would really like to see is Carrie Underwood or Kelly Clarkson??  Disappointing for sure.

So, let's get right to the action:

1.  Emily & Lauren -- "Flat on the Floor":  So Emily's performance was definitely better than the night before, but Lauren absolutely overshadowed her during the performance.  Emily still can't hit her lower register, but still better than the night before.

2.  Thomas & Nick -- "Man in the Mirror":  Again better than the night before.  I actually thought that Thomas sang this one better than Nick.  It wasn't mind blowing, but I enjoyed it.

3.  Stephany & Ruben -- "Superstar":  So, once again Stephany sang very pretty; but once again I found her performance quite boring.  Ruben was fantastic and while her performance was pretty, it completely lacked emotion.

4.  Sonika & Caleb -- "Skyfall":  I LOVE Adele...like seriously, I want to be her when I grow up.  I thought Sonika did a good job, but I wish she would have taken the top sustained note over Caleb at the end.  She did well, but he was brilliant.

5.  Jenna & Scotty -- "See You Tonight":  Boring;  from top to bottom it was boring.  She sounded flat through the entire thing.  I literally hated everything about this performance.

6.  La'Portia & Fantasia -- "Summertime":  Oh Em Gee!!!  That was INSANE!  Both women completely killed it.  It was beautifully and masterfully done.  La'Portia could run away with this entire season.

7.  Mackenzie & Laurena -- "I Hope You Dance":  I like this a lot.  It was well done, and even though she took the top note, I really think she let him shine in this performance.

8.  Gianna & Nick -- "Beautiful Life":  She started strong, but then ran into some pitch problems.  This isn't a song I would have chosen for her, but overall she did well.  She's fun and quirky and I like her.  (I'm still not a fan of Nick at all).

9.  Avalon & Ruben -- "Flying Without Wings":  Another boring performance.  This song did not suit her at all.  It completely swallowed her up.  I like her, but the song choice was a big mistake.  Sadly, I didn't like Ruben on this one either.  Snoozefest.

10.  James VIII & Caleb -- "Gimme Shelter":  They seemed to have a lot of fun with this and it sounded pretty solid.  The guy can shred on a guitar!  I agree with Keith; this guy is a good performer.

11.  Jeneve & Scotty -- "Gone":  This was a horrible song choice for her.  She seemed like a Scotty back up singer who got hopped up on drugs and was trying to steal the spotlight.

12.  Jordan & Fantasia -- "I Believe":  Except for the bridge, he was pitchy through the entire song.  I don't like him as a performer; I find him way too theatrical.  Fantasia was brilliant!

My picks to go home: Emily, Stephany, Avalon, Jeneve, Jordan

Who actually went home: Emily, Stephany, Jordan, James VIII, Jenna

I'm a little upset that James didn't stick around a bit longer.  I would have actually probably kept him over Avalon or Jeneve.

Thoughts??

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Idol Chatter is BACK




Hello, blog friends.  With this being the final season of American Idol, I have decided to, for one last time, bring back my Idol Chatter segment.  I know many of you have enjoyed it, and I hope I can do it justice one last time.

Typically, I don't like giving my critiques until the live show, but I was honestly a little stumped for a post, so we're starting this week with the Showcase round.  So, without further ado, here's my take on the first 12 contestants.

1.  Stephany Negrete -- "Mama Knows Best" -  It wasn't a horrible performance.  I'm not sure what it is about this chick that rubs me the wrong way, but I really just don't like her.  She could get better, but I found her a bit nasally and shouty.  She had some good power in her long sustained notes, though.

2.  Mackenzie Bourg -- "Say Something" - The kid has an okay voice.  I wish he would have powered out a bit more on this though.  I found it a little boring.  When you're going to sing a song that is in anyway connected to Christina Aguilara, you need to have a bit of power.  I also wasn't sure about the change of melody.  Something was just ........ missing.

3.  Jeneve Mitchell  -- "Angel" -  This song has a special place in my heart, and I was thoroughly disappointed with the way she sang this.  I don't really care for the way she sounds, and the rhythm was off for me.  I found her vocals a little harsh, but her falsetto really weak.  (On a side note, how does a girl who lives off the grid with no tv or radio know all these pop songs?  Her story smells a bit fishy to me).

4.  Jenna Renae -- "My Church" - The beginning was a little low for her, but she started getting a little better.  Then she got bad again at the end and it sounded like he background singers were picking up power to bail her out.  I agree with Harry on the pitch issues.  But she looked fantastic and worked the stage like a pro. 

5.  James XIII -- "Love Lockdown" - So, it's not a secret that I am not a Kanye West fan.  That may be why I didn't really like this performance.  You can tell this guy is a guitar player before he's a singer.  He did great on guitar, but his song choice as far as showing range and ability fell flat.  It sounded really safe.  His last note was pretty good, though.

6.  Sonika -- "Safe and Sound" - Pretty voice, but boring song.  Her ball gown was out of place and all her hand gestures were distracting.......but she has a pretty voice.

7.  Gianna -- "I Put a Spell on You" - She had a pretty good performance, except for the last note.  It's no surprise that she should go far in this competition considering she's something of a pop child legacy.

8.  Emily -- "I am Invincible" - This song started out WAY too low for her and didn't really improve.  The vibrato was irritating. I don't like this girl at all.  I don't think she should have made it past Hollywood week.  This was a bad song choice for her, and could cost her a spot in the live show.

9.  Avalon -- "Love Yourself" - I really like this girl, and for the most part this was a solid performance.  However, it did tend to get a bit boring near the end.  Again, I find myself agreeing with Harry that she should have mixed it up just a little to keep it interesting.  I hope she sticks around.....it's nice to see a performer who doesn't conform to the Hollywood machine.

10.  Jordan -- "All By Myself" - When you're going to do a song like this that has been around forever, and done in a BIG way by a set of pipes like Celine Dion, you're better make sure you can deliver a killer performance.  I didn't get that from Jordan. It was theatrical, and indulgent.  This is another contestant I don't really care for.  He's annoying, and not that strong of a singer.

11.  Thomas - "Creep" - I was HUGELY disappointed in this performance.  I normally like this kid, and I love this song, but it just didn't connect for me at all.  He seemed anxious, or nervous; I'm not sure.  He was veering in and out of pitch; it was just a hot mess.

12.  La'Portia -- "Proud Mary" -- Finally!  Here is a contestant that has come to win.  Her performance was brilliant, her stage presence is undeniable, and she's just a fantastic showman. I'm not even mad that she did a carbon copy performance a la Tina Turner.  She's amazeballs!!  (I would like someone to tame her hair, though.  It looks like someone sheared a dirty sheep and dumped he wool on her head.

So, there you have it.  I'm interested to hear what you have to say, and what the judges will decide to do before the control is no longer in their hands.