Friday, October 21, 2016


Well, it is abundantly clear that I haven't been able to balance things well enough in my life to make room for writing. The summer came and went and any plans I had for more writing were gone. I am not regretful of that. I spent lots of great time with Hugh, the kids, and our extended family and friends. I actually have a post started about our time at the lake, but no guarantees that it will get published. 

In the fall, I wanted to get back into a writing routine, but it always seemed like something else was in the way, or I was too tired to do it at the end of the day. I had Parent Teacher Interviews last night and part of our morning without students today is scheduled for personal wellness. I had full intention of starting a new math 9 unit for a couple of reasons. The first being I am now teaching Math 9 second semester which I hadn't planned on, so there is some serious work involved in getting it ready. The second reason is that I THOROUGHLY enjoy planning. I know. Math. Teacher. Geek.

When I got to school this morning there were numerous emails in my inbox. . . Invitations to play board games, sports in the gym and color. I liked the idea of volleyball in the gym, but didn't bring shoes, so I began to think of what would make me feel good and I immediately thought of writing. In fact, for my birthday I actually asked Hugh for a day at home by myself. All I wanted was time to write, create videos and organize photos. This stuff fills my bucket. I hate that I don't make more time for it. . . . But hating that I don't make time, only makes it worse.

I am seeing Deena tonight. I haven't even read her blog in probably 6 weeks. When I read her blog I feel bad I'm not writing my own :-(.  I need to pick Deena's brain on how she does it all. My bar won't be where Deena's is, but I need to lift mine higher for my own personal well being.

Here is the thing, though. I really like my life. I love the time spent organizing our lives and getting the kids to and from activities. I also love my down time in the evenings at home vegging in front of the t.v. What I really need are a few extra hours in the day where I'm not exhausted to sit at my computer. Actually, not even a few. I would take 1/2 an hour. When I write that it seems like that should be a doable thing. Even a couple evenings a week. . . .

Here goes.

Thursday, July 14, 2016


All of Hugh's hockey buddies call him "Hammy".

Hugh has been calling Calder "Ham" for a long time. I can't even remember when it started.

Calder started calling Boone "Bean" when he first came home from the hospital. That evolved into "Boone Dog", "The Dog", and just simply, "Dog".  Boone is not a fan of nicknames. Often after we use one of his he will say, "I not Da Dog, I just Boone." Hilarious.

Boone has called Lawson "Dawsie" from about month two. (He called her "baby" for the first two months.) Last week Boone called her Lawson for the first time ever. It took a long time for him to put the "L" on Lawson. He would repeat after us "La La La La, Dawsie". He has said "Lawson" twice since the momentous occasion last week, but I think he got too much attention for using it and has moved back to "Dawsie". "Dawsie" likely isn't going anywhere as many other people in Lawson's life affectionately call her that.

I also call all the kids by their initial, "C", "B", and "L" on occasion. Boone gets less "B" and more "Boone Bear".

As for me, I had a few friends at university who called me "Fritsy". My brother, Luke, wasn't overly impressed as this was his nickname (and he had the license plates to prove it). Hugh started calling me "Jord" not long after we got together. Luke and Hugh's brother, Billy, also call me "Jord", so I would say this is my nickname, but they are the only three who call me that. My Grandpa Fritshaw often called me "Jordy". I always loved that he called me something special, so I feel like Hugh, Luke, and Billy is an extension of this.

Last week I was asking Boone to go upstairs and get dressed before he pulled the mega blocks out. He looked me straight in the eye, put his hand to his forehead, and announced "Aye, Aye, Captain". Since then he has used this phrase a number of times. I have yet to figure out where he picked it. Yesterday Boone told me that "Captain" is my nickname.  I'll take it.

Monday, June 20, 2016

I wouldn't want to live without . . .

Our Children's Map of the World.

This map has been hanging on our wall for close to a year. Hugh had wanted a map for Calder and he spotted this one at Costco a while back. I personally liked the plain map of the world with countries that was also at Costco, but having seen how much our kids use this version of the map, I definitely think Hugh hit this one out of the park. Similar one HERE.

As you can see there are all sorts of animals, buildings, and people on the map. They are all named and have started MANY conversations at our house around sharks, ships, churches, and even vampires! I would say Boone looks at this map on a daily basis. This feels like a pretty good estimation because I have to tell him to stop standing on that wicker basket on at least half of those occasions. Lawson is playing with her snot here. Please ignore. 
Calder has used the map to find Syria when we were talking about refugees, locate China and Ireland when classmates took trips there, and even estimated the distance from Calgary to Saskatoon when we drove there this spring for hockey. 

Lawson has even enjoyed the map. . . She pulls at the corners and even substituted the fun tack for a stick of gum and got some serious chewing in. 

I advise you to keep your eye open for this at Costco or skip the waiting and order one from Amazon. It is great.

Happy Monday!

Friday, June 17, 2016

Five on Friday

  1. Calder is getting so excited for the end of school. He happily told us the other day that they were done reading at school for the year. This is his perception since they having the leveled readers sent home anymore!  Calder is counting down the days to summer (not surprisingly of course and the number is 8 including today). Calder was incredibly excited last week when one of his favs hoisted the Stanley Cup. We recorded it so Calder could soak in every moment when he got up the morning after. He is going to be in TV withdrawal the next few weeks. We don't have a lot of time for TV in the evenings typically, but we were letting Calder stay up later to watch the playoffs! Late = 8 pm. Hugh was SO pumped that Calder got obsessed with the playoffs!  Calder was recently speculating how great it would be to be a bird. "I could fly wherever I wanted. . . I would mostly want to just fly home or to the lake, though." In other bragging news, Calder can add and subtract integers. This math-teaching-mom couldn't be more pumped!
  2. Boone has tamed down on the lying. This isn't to say he doesn't do it anymore. He now just tells the truth on occasion.  Boone has been crying more than usual as of late. We have been telling him to be tough, because can come to us with barely a scrape and be bawling. His response every time is, "But I not tough." LOL  Boone continues to be the slowest eater alive, the only consolation is that he eats anything we put on his plate. Calder and Boone are VERY competitive. They take after Hugh. Lately the competitiveness has been bringing Boone to tears, because Calder will announce after any little thing, "I win!" These two little words immediately send Boone into hysterics. To try to eliminate the meltdowns we have made it a Hamilton rule that "EVERYBODY WINS". Now, any time Calder announces he has won, Boone simply responds, "No Calder. Everybody wins."
  3. Lawson has added a couple of words to her repertoire. She says, "yah", "dah"(dog), and "up". Add that to "Dada", "Mama" and "Buh" (Boone) and she has doubled her list!  She does equally well with signing. "Dog", "please", "more", "all done", "milk", "cat", and "thank-you" are basically the comprehensive list.  She has a ways to go before the 18 month milestone of 20 words! LOL  Lawson has started identifying and pointing to body parts and does a pretty decent job listening to directions, "Go find Daddy", "Give everyone kisses goodnight" "Find your shoes", and "Clean-up your books."  She loves to read and her current favorites are That's Not My Truck, That's not my train, and If I were a dinosaur.  I do not recommend the last. The final line talks about having wings and flying across the sky. Dinosaurs do not fly. Pterosaurs do. This bugs me every. Single. Time. 
  4. Chris Stapleton. My neighbor across the hall at school gave me a formal introduction to him and I can't get enough. Check out a couple of my favorites. Fire Away and Traveller
  5. High school is winding down (while elementary school winds up!). Today is the last day of classes. I am so excited!  I honestly can't wait for the next week of marking, organizing, and planning for the fall. #loser
Have a great weekend, everyone!  I plan to spend some time tending to my garden, reading The Walking Dead graphic novels, and simply not leaving my house. #loser may also apply here and quite frankly, I don't care one bit!

Happy Friday!

Update #1:  I just had the most amazing supper last night. Calder had one of his best buds over for supper. We were talking about numbers (Dylan initiated it) and Dylan said, "I know what 20 - 21 is." He then took a slight pause for affect and said "negative 1". I just fell out of my chair with happiness. We then spent the rest of the meal talking and working with integers. I was seriously in heaven.

Update #2: I was paying closer attention to Lawson yesterday and she also signs "help" and "bath" and says, "done".  She also hollers and points a lot!

Monday, May 16, 2016

What I'm wearing

After my Simons' flop, I recently picked up three pairs of jegging capris at Costco. I think they were about $16 each. I got them in grey (above), teal (also above), and white. I absolutely love them and have been wearing them like crazy. My favorite of the two outfits is the bottom one. The jean jacket is Mavi and I HIGHLY recommend it. In fact, I recently bought another. Exact same style, different wash. This jacket was recommended by both Deena and Christy, so you really can't go wrong. The scarf is one I picked up this spring (Gap). I heart orange and teal. Last week I mentioned trying to define my signature look and that bottom one pretty much encapsulates it. . .
And here it is again. LOVE this one too. Cardigan and scarf are recent purchases along with the grey tee (Old Navy). Jeans are old (American Eagle) and shoes are old (Nine West). I can't wait to recreate this one!

These. Jeans. (Gap). I can't get enough of them. I wore them to professional development on a Friday and wore them both days on the weekend. I love them dressed up or down. I love my Chuck Taylors, but really want THESE.

Have a great Monday!

Friday, May 13, 2016

Five on Friday

1.  I am watching things grow with the kids these days. Hugh's Aunt Judy got me started growing romaine lettuce. You just stick the end in some water and watch. I will eventually transplant it to the garden when it has roots. It is amazing how much it has already sprouted up in the week we have had it in water. Calder also brought some beans home that will go in the garden. Two weeks ago the kids and I started beans, pumpkins, and butternut squash. They are growing like mad as well (forgot to get a picture!). 

2.  It has been cold and rainy this week. I am not going to complain about the rain. We desperately needed it, but seriously, did it have to be this cold?  The incessantly cold weather did give me a chance to make some soup. I think soup might be one of my favorite meals to cook from scratch. Night one I made the broth. I always freeze any chicken or turkey bones so I typically have a store for rainy weather. I also had some celery from my mom and dad's garden, which made it especially easy to whip up.  Night two I turned the broth it into broccoli chicken cheese soup

 3.  I wanted "Tims" not to need an apostrophe here, but alas, I think it does. On a happier note, Martensville has the quickest Tim's drive through I have ever been to!

4.  We pulled Lawson out of the van from the lake on Sunday and she had all these "bites" on her head. They have slowly been going away all week, but when my sister saw them last night she thought they might be bed bug bites. We can't for the life of us figure out where we would have picked them up (if that is it). The playpen has been at the lake all winter and she didn't get any bites last summer (we had the playpen in hotels at the start of July, but it has been at the lake since). Needless to say, I am freaked. My friend Jay looked at them and thought it might be impetigo. She texted a picture to a friend who is a Peds doctor who agreed that it is what it looked like. I am just a bit worried because all the marks came at once and they are all getting better quite quickly. We haven't had any additional spots since Sunday. I am petrified of it being bed bugs, but again, I have no clue how we would have ever got them at the lake. 

5. Boone told me Lawson always colors at daycare. I believed him. What was I thinking. Liar, liar, pants on fire. . . . The first thing she did was eat the marker.

The weather is looking up this weekend. Can't wait to plant my garden boxes!

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Calder Update

Has Calder ever gotten into sports the last couple of months!?! Below he is at a Rush lacrosse game with Hugh and his buddy Kohen. Calder has been watching baseball, lacrosse, and now the hockey playoffs like crazy. In fact, he has stopped asking to watch any of his "shows". He just wants to watch sports. Oh. . . and add NASCAR to that list. Our boy loves his cars. I don't think that will ever change!

Here is Calder's funniest shark tooth yet. His permanent tooth pushed through in front of his baby tooth!  It was like this for weeks. No gap toothed grin for this boy! Below is the day it fell out!
Calder is doing so well in school. His teacher speaks of what a great student he is. Hearing her say these things actually makes me wish he used a few more manners and a bit more kindness at home! LOL. But, if he is going to be on his best behavior somewhere, I want it to be when we aren't around. Although it was great to hear about Calder's learning successes at parent teacher interviews, the best things we heard were about how he is behaving. Fingers crossed this trend continues.

Hugh went away at the end of Easter break to a conference. Before he left, Hugh talked to Calder about being my helper and he really took it to heart. It is amazing now when I am home, single parenting, how good Calder is about helping with Boone and Lawson. Last week he actually ran a tub and got in it with Lawson while I was at the table with Boone (who shockingly wasn't done his supper). I have seen a real maturity in the last few weeks. He is definitely still 7, though . . Last week while wearing my heels I told him that he had to brush his hair before he went outside and he starting having a meltdown and threw my shoe across the room!
Calder is playing spring hockey.

I am eating my own words as I type that.

Four months ago I would have told you that kids need a break from hockey and at 7 there was absolutely no need to extend the hockey season. And then the phone started ringing.  And all of a sudden I was wavering in my conviction.

In late January, I was quite confident that Calder wouldn't go for spring hockey. During the regular season when Calder would have hockey more than twice a week he would FREQUENTLY have meltdowns when we told him he had to go to the rink. He would cry and say he just wanted to stay home (our true blue introvert). Once he was at the rink, he would have a blast, but some days it was an actual fight to get him there.

The two guys running the 2009 Huskie Prospects are hockey buddies of Hugh's. When we were first presented with it, we thought in the very least we should see what it was all about. In order for us to do this we had to snag Calder's buddy, Kohen. Hugh and I knew we wouldn't even get Calder to go for a skate with this group on his own. Shockingly, to both Hugh and I's surprise, Calder never looked back after that first skate (our competitive boy). We had some serious talks with him about what the team was about and what we expected from him. Calder skates 3 times a week with his Huskie Prospects team and not once has he complained. It doesn't hurt that Kohen is playing as well. Two pretty happy guys at their first game in the photo above. 

One of the things that convinced us to do summer hockey was the coaching he would get. You don't need to hear their resumes. All 5 of the men know their stuff and one actually does hockey camps for a living.  For me the big selling factor of this was that the focus was going to be skill development. These coaches recognize that if they want to have strong Bantam and Midget players, they need to develop skating and puck skills now. There is plenty of time for positioning and systems when they are older. Calder does not totally extend his legs when he skates and Hugh and I were seriously considering putting him in some power skating in the spring or summer to work on this. Because of the Huskie Prospects' coaching, we knew he would have the opportunity to work on his stride during the spring season. On top of this, Hugh was never able to be at Calder's practices during the winter season because they were at 4 pm and it was impossible for Hugh to make it. I'm not going to lie it was pretty exciting for Calder and for Hugh to be able to work together at a practice.

Secondly, we were excited for Calder to play with ability alike players. Calder's coaches this winter did an AMAZING job with the extremely diverse group they had. They did things that benefited all kids. It was an unbelievable challenge and Calder was lucky to have the group of coaches he had, because they were up for it. In my opinion, you can make greater gains with a group of kids if you don't have to scaffold the learning or activities. With the Huskie Prospects, Calder would have the opportunity to have all the drills focus on the ability level he was at. We also liked the idea of Calder being challenged by a group of kids who were all at his playing level and even better yet, the potential for some to be above his ability.

Thirdly, making new friends and doing new things is hard for Calder. I thought I blogged about the disaster that was gymnastics last year. I kid you not, I BARELY got him in the door the first time. Actually, I barely got him out of the house. He ended up loving gymnastics, but new things are really hard for him. We know our son and we know that the more new things we expose him to, the more he will start to learn that the nervousness and fear he feels are normal. We want him to learn how to deal with those emotions and in order to do that he has to be introduced to new things on occasion. Playing on this team would be an opportunity for Calder to have a new experience and meet some new friends. These are life skill things that he needs to work on. (Boone on the other hand, may need to be reined in!)

Lastly, and I think the tipping point for us was the socialization we were going to have. Hugh and I were both looking forward to reconnecting with his hockey friends and having spent the last two winter hockey seasons with Kohen's parents were really excited to hang out with them more.

This is the Calder update that turned into the spring hockey post. Oops. 

Calder is also playing ball this spring. Making it to ball will take priority over hockey, in case you were wondering! Hugh and I were so excited Calder chose to play ball over soccer this year. Don't get me wrong. Some of my favorite family members are fanatical about soccer. It is a GREAT game. It's just that ball is better our favorite.  Calder asks almost every night to play catch or go to the park to hit some balls. It is pretty awesome. You always hear complaints about kids standing around in ball, but the pitching machine is incredible. I believe every kid got a hit during our first game and there were only a handful of strikeouts. Lots of balls in play to keep kids moving. It is great.

Calder is incredibly excited to go to the lake. We can't wait to see him jumping off the boat in a few weeks!

Happy Wednesday!