Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Clutter Discussion and Blog Moving

With the advent of summer and five weeks off approaching, I think it's a great time to talk about clutter.  We all have it, we all hate it and we all struggle over it. Whether it be stuff, relationships, thoughts in our head - clutter distracts us.   I'll be discussing this on my new blog Savvy Suburban Mama this week.

If you are an email subscriber, I encourage you to hop on over to the new blog and sign up for the emails there so you don't miss a thing!  The new blog will have the same flavour as this one, but will be more active, so I think you'll enjoy it even more than you do this one!

I look forward to seeing you there!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Biannual Blogathon Bash Completed

It was a crazy weekend, but I made it through.  I blogged for over 34 hours!  Well, actually I worked on my blog for that long, only some of it was actual writing.  And now... drumroll please... I am so happy to announce that Savvy Suburban Mama is up and running!!   I am just over the moon about it.  It was hard work, as I was learning how to do a few things that I'd no clue about before - but I did it and I'm so proud.   I invite you to come on over there and follow me.  I'll be moving all my writing time to the new blog over the next little while, and I'd love to have you with me.

I'll write more later, but I wanted to put an update here since I'd started the weekend kickoff over on this site. 

Have a fabulous day!!!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Biannual Blogathon Bash!

Today is the start of the Biannual Blogathon Bash and I've signed up to spend the next 72 hours (ok.  what I can wrangle out of the next 72 hours) to get a lot of work done on my blog.  In fact, I'm starting a new blog - Savvy Suburban Mama which I hope to have up an running by Monday! Nothing like being a wee bit ambitious, eh?

As you may know, today will be a very tough day in our house as we share our last moments with our beloved dog, Kobe.  We have a vet appointment at 2pm.  I'm not sure how much I'll get done today, but I decided to stick with it since, for me, the best way to work through things is to get busy.  Writing helps me gain perspective, so I expect I'll do a few blog posts along the way about all of this.  I do plan to write one all about Kobe - from the moment we found her to the end. 

On a lighter note, I have spent the last couple of weeks making lists of whatever I thought might be useful. So here are  my goals:

  • Blog schedule - what and when do I want to post on my blog
  • Layout - figure out what works best for me
  • Pre-write some posts
  • Learn more about google+ and circles
  • read some of the articles I've bookmarked about blogging
  • look for ways to connect with other bloggers (and lo and behold that's a mini-challenge!! how perfect!)
  • sponsor ideas
  • write up a sponsorship pitch for a review/giveaway idea I have in mind with a local company
  • set up a facebook account to accompany my blogging
  • clean up my email and create files/rules to keep it running more smoothly
  • Make a bit list of potential blogging topics for those days nothing comes to mind
  • Look into CRA policies.  I'm a writer -both blogging and fiction and I need to get into the mindset of writing as a business and learn what records to keep etc as I'm slowly getting some compensation this year and need to account for that as well as my expenses.
  • Pinterest - explore a little further.  I had meant to sign up this weekend but um.. I got excited and went ahead early.
  • Ensure I have a post for the Great Canadian Blog Bash on Tuesday

It's a big list, I know, but I have faith I can get A LOT done.  I've got help - my husband is handling the birthday party the boys are going to on Sunday so I've got a lovely stretch of alone time there. And my two little guys know I'm working this weekend and we've picked out a couple of movies for them to watch and they are excited about them.  A few more hours of quiet time!  And because of Kobe, my Mom and Dad are taking the boys overnight tomorrow to make it a happier day for them.  We do have dinner at my parents on Saturday - but that leaves me a day alone since my husband will go some alone time for himself, too. 

I plan to turn this sad weekend into a positive and to think about happy thoughts and great things.  My boys need that - to know it's just part of life to move on, and to know that everything will be ok.  There will also be much snuggling and cuddling while they are awake since I like to stay up late.  

I don't expect much to be done this morning - but you will find me at my desk all night!  The keys might get a little wet, but I'll work through it. :-)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Saying Goodbye - Pet Loss, You and Your Children

Our Dog, Kobe, is dying.  She has cancer and it’s spread. Our plan was to keep her comfortable for the time she had left with us – and we’ve done that.  But now things are changing for her and we’ve made the choice to say goodbye.

Making this choice is probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done.  There is definitely a lot of guilt.  Right now she’s happy and even though her body is failing she’s still got spring in her step.  But I also know that at any moment she could suffer a catastrophic event and then I’d feel guilty for not preventing that from happening.  I’ve reasoned this out a hundred times over, and then some.  But the fact remains she’s 15 years old, is not eating, the cancer is spreading and when she ended up with an ulcerated lesion on her leg, I knew that while we could manage that for a week or so, if anything else happened I’d have to do it sooner.  Last night her hair started to fall out.  Just a small spot, but it’s spreading.  We called the vet today and on Friday, we say goodbye. 

While I’m having a hard time preparing myself for this (they call it anticipatory grief, and that title explains a lot about how I’ve been feeling this last month or so)  I have two small boys aged 3 & 5 who love her dearly.  Preparing them is even harder.

Both our cats were put down last year due to old age related events. Both unplanned and I struggled to explain that to the boys.  I decided to go with the Rainbow Bridge story.  If you’ve never read the poem, I’ll include it at the end of this post.  (Grab a Kleenex before you read it)  We told them that over the rainbow is the place where our pets go when they die.  That our cats were old and very sick and couldn’t get better and that by crossing over the rainbow, they were happy and healthy and could play and enjoy themselves again. And that they would wait there for us one day far far away.

I’ve been sharing about that and how Kobe wants to go, too.  That she misses William and Boomer and that she’s sick and very very tired.  That she wants to go over there so she can be happy and play like a puppy.  They know that she’s going to die. That she’s not coming back.

We’ve made plans to do nice things for Kobe.  Tonight we took her for a short walk in the sunshine, fed her hot dogs, roast beef and cheese slices.  She’s sleeping next to me instead of in the back room where they usually sleep.  Tomorrow I’ll spend the day with her, and the boys and I will spoil her rotten. On Friday, we’ll take her to McDonalds for lunch before the boys say goodbye and go to their Nana’s so Mommy and Daddy can help Kobe on her way.

I’ve come across some good tips for kids dealing with pet loss that I thought I’d share.

  • Let them know what’s happening in age appropriate language.  They need a chance to say goodbye.  Pretty much the number one thing people talk about is how their family pet just disappeared only for them to find out it had died or was put down and the most common thread is they wished they’d had a chance to say goodbye rather than be protected from the experience.

  • Never say the dog is being put to sleep or associate death with sleeping. Younger children cannot understand the analogy.  It can cause tremendous fear that if they fall asleep, they will die, too.

  • Share your grief – but do not overwhelm them with it.  It’s ok to cry, to acknowledge your sadness.  This allows them to express their feelings as well and to feel empathy. 

  • Acknowledge their feeling and fears.  Discuss things in ways they can understand.  Keep your language simple and clarify what their fears are.  Address their points, while being careful not to give some much information they get confused.

  • It can be helpful to make a small album with them filled with pictures, drawings and memories of a beloved pet.  This can be a good way to work through those feelings and leave them with a cherished memento.

  • Pets are very much a part of a family and the process of grieving is pretty much the same as losing any other loved one.  Allow everyone time to come to terms with what has happened.

  • Don’t rush out a buy a new pet.  Allow some time to pass – you’ll be the best judge of how much is right – so that you can choose your next pet with great thought and care.  It is, after all, a lifelong commitment.

Rainbow Bridge

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge.
There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together.
There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by.
The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together....

Author unknown...

Walker Edison Bunk Bed Giveaway!! (US only)



Do your kids long for a bunk bed?  Is their room so small a bunk bed would double their space?  Do you secretly long to sleep in the top bunk?  If you answered yes to any of these you can't miss this awesome giveaway!!!

Children Teaching Mama is hosting an incredible giveaway sponsored by BunkBedsAtoZ.  One incredibly lucky person is going to win a Walker Edison Bunk Bed .  This is a twin over twin bed in an expresso finish - just gorgeous! This contest runs from June 20 to July 10th.  

I know my boys would LOVE to be win this and if you have kids who share a room, I'll bet yours would too. 

For your chance to win, fill out the rafflecopter form below.  Say that Finding Me the journey sent you.  Good Luck!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, June 18, 2012

Summer Patio Retreat Giveaway

Summer is nearly here and I can't think of a better way to relax in the sun (or shade) than with this awesome prize! Imagine a pitcher of lemonade on the table, a good book in your hand... the kids at grandma's... ahhhh perfect! I'm so happy to be able to share this fabulous giveaway with my readers!

Put yourself into the picture when you win this one. And really... who deserves it more than you? (OK... You're right... I was thinking me - but seriously, I mean YOU!!  So be sure to fill out all the possible entries so that you have the best ever chance of being the winner!)

Get ready summer - someone's going to need you to serve up some perfect weather for them to enjoy their new retreat! 

Welcome to the Summer Patio Retreat Giveaway Event brought to you by Mom to Bed by 8 the ‘Iowa-Mom’, Powered By Mom and Mommy and Baby Reviews and Giveaways!
We would like to thank our special co-hosts Another Cent Saved , Giveaway Bandit, To Sew With Love and Opinions of a Moody Mama for joining us for this special event.

Gather friends, family, and refreshments and a enjoy a little patio retreat fully furnished with this four-piece set from Strathwood. The Brentwood collection includes two arm chairs, a coffee table, and a loveseat. Designed to withstand the elements, the furniture's frames are constructed of powder-coated steel in an attractive black with bronze flecks. Powder coating gives the furniture great protection against rust. Comfortable, durable seat cushions are upholstered in a polyester fabric designed for outdoors.
Cushion Care and Cleaning: Gently brush off dirt before it becomes embedded in the fabric and wipe up any spills as soon as they occur. Gently spot clean only with mild soap and cool water using a sponge or soft brush, then air dry cushions in a sunny location. Bring cushions indoors during inclement weather and store in a dry place when not in use.
Strathwood furniture has quality, ease of use, and casual elegance at its core. Each piece is rigorously tested for durability, and assembly instructions have been standardized for simplicity from start to finish. Strathwood furniture is sleekly designed, handsomely finished, and built to last. This classic style and reliable craftsmanship will weather ever-changing trends and regular use for years to come.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Minimize Monday June 11th, 2012

It's Monday again.  I know most people don't like Mondays, but for me it's my day off and I love them!  I also love that on Monday I purge stuff out of my house.  I look forward to Monday!   I went on a hunt for stuff in my office.  I honestly didn't think I'd find much, but there were a few things.   I also took a spin through the house to see if I could find more- and I did.

Today I'm letting go of a sweater and a pair of pants, a camera bag, a little blue bin that should be in the kids' room,  a big paper bag (hey, it might have come in handy!) a bag full of plastic bags, a couple of magazines, a promo calendar, a suction cup hook, lots of paper, a stack of flyers (not in the picture) the box from my phone, another paper towel roll that I had saved for crafts, and a bag of invoice slips you put on packages that I've been saving in case I sell anything on eBay (it's been over a year since I've even looked there).  

I have to say - the paper bag DID come in handy just like I knew it would.   It's holding all the stuff I'll share at the thrift store. The rest has been recycled.   I'm going to grab the other bags I've got waiting in my garage and I'll drop off my thrift store donations tomorrow, along with a bag of styrofoam that I can take to the plastics plant when I drive by.

And this week I'm finishing up my I SPY bags for a friend and hopefully my little lap quilt, so two projects that, once done, will clear a little space, add some love to my room and make some one's kids happy.  But that's for next week's installment.

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