Thursday, September 24, 2009

Perfect Timing.....

I had the great pleasure of attending a talk that Ann Douglas, renowned author, parenting guru and really wonderful gal gave last night titled "The Dirt on Discipline and Other Secrets of Successful Parenting' ..... It could not have come at a better time.

This was Abby's first week of JK - up to this point she had only attended twice - once to meet her teacher and then one full day last week .. they call this staggered start - I mean, I can't understand why her teacher wouldn't want to be bombarded with 20-some 'Abby's' all at once???!! So this week life as I now know it started .. Monday, Wednesday and alternating Friday's I pack her lunch and the twinnies and I walk her to and pick her up from school. I suppose I should say that I will be having Wednesday's 'to myself' .. ahh, I love the sound of that....

I mean, how sad for me that I will have a day to myself that I can go to Starbucks alone and not have to struggle to open the door myself to 'just' get my Stroller through, holding Abby's hand - while everyone else just sits there blissfully ignoring me and my struggles... maybe browse the shoppes, run some errands ... or sit in my creative area (that would be the scrapbook room in my basement...) and perhaps the best of all - - do nothing! Because this is the day that Brent takes Ashlan and Reid to Kimmies (who I am eternally grateful for - she is THE BEST day care lady on the planet.... 'day care lady' does not do her justice..she is an extension of our family...) and Abby is in school all day ... life is good on Wednesday's!!

Well it was until the bell rang at 3:30pm yesterday and there I stood with a smile on my face waiting for my happy, wonderful, {{good}} Abby to come bounding out to tell me all about her day!! Yes... there I stood .. waiting ... waiting... still waiting ... all the other smiling kids came bouncing out to their smiling parents ... then appeared Abby .. and Mrs. F ... waving me over ... 'Great!' I thought - she wants to tell me how awesome Abby is and what a pleasure she is to have in class!! right? - I mean, this is ABBY we are talking about .. had this been Ashlan's first day of JK .. well ... hmmm .. I think I might have some one else do the picking up!! Up the steps I go - smiling - because this is ABBY we are talking about! To hear 'Mrs K .. we've had a few issues with Abby today.........' - Issues? No, not with MY Abby! 'issues? really? what kind of issues?' .. 'well she had a few (A FEW??!) time out's today because she was pushing other children in the dress up area' .... okay - I will give you all a minute to clean your monitor's off as I am sure you've spit out what it was you were drinking....

I can say that before this moment I can't remember a time that I have ever been as embarrassed..read: mortified .. then I was right then. There have been very few times in my life that I have been speechless (yes, hard to believe - me, speechless....) but there I stood, tears welling up in my eyes - and feeling a thousand eyes on the back of my head (all the other parents with their perfect, happy {{good}} children trying not to listen but silently thanking god it was me and not them no doubt!...) staring at me ... 'pushing??? Abby?? oh....umm..ok... well no not okay..butyouknowwhatimean...stumbling out of my mouth .. I will ..umm .. talk to her ... '

Mrs F is a really great person ... I've been fortunate enough to have several people from different areas in my life speak very highly of her - so when she said to me 'I found that telling Abby if she can't play nice she will not be able to play in the dress up area worked..her face fell and her lips trembled...so let's hope she had the last of her time outs now that we found her soft spot........' yes.. her soft spot ... like my heart that is now in my stomach... thinking 'great, this is a great, fantastic, superb! start to the year.....'

With reassurances that I would in fact reiterate that this type of behaviour is not acceptable, I turned, put a smile on and faced the sea of judging faces ...

The walk home which really isn't that far - seemed like we were walking uphill - in bare feet or worse high heel shoes, me on the verge of tears. Abby happily running ahead with her little friend, me walking beside mine - I was glad to have her say to me 'well..don't sweat it, she is used to ruling the roost at home, so now she just needs to establish pecking order at school' .... Right .. makes sense .. except for the fact that this is MY ABBY!!!

I began to 'tweet' with Ann on Twitter about 2 months ago - and find all she has to say very funny as well as informative - so when Brent told me about an article in yesterday's Spectator about her being in Dundas giving a talk at the Ontario Early Year's Center, I jumped at the chance to go!!! Imagine - this was before my dreadful 3:30pm bomb went off.... walking home my thoughts all over the place, thinking 'god help me .. oh wait - ANN help me!!!.....'

"The Dirt on Discipline and Other Secrets of Successful Parenting" .. a lot of words that translate into: how to get your happy, wonderful {{good}} Abby back again! Her talk was filled with lots of really great, practical, common-sense tips and techniques...and best of all, listening to her share her life experiences - and those of a room filled with about 100 other parents of perfect children like my Abby, I know that life as I know it - is just about to get a whole lot better.... Right?


Amanda

www.inspiremarketing.ca

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Relationships...There are all kinds - and the importance of them..

I've been thinking about Relationships - the many different kinds of them - a lot recently ... and the importance of them in our lives. I'm not just talking about the one that Brent and I have, although I do have to admit we are pretty lucky in what we do share. He is my soul mate - I truly believe that .. I mean, really - who else would actually WANT to be married to someone who happily professes that 'she is the kind of woman that, when her feet hit the floor each morning the devil says: 'Oh Crap... She's Up' ;o) .... but of ALL the relationships that are part of my life.

I'm sitting in my chair on the second floor of our home looking out the window at my neighbour's rose garden...she takes such pride in her gardens - yet when my oldest daughter Abby asks her if she can have one - she gladly cuts one off for her; in fact, most (sadly not all...) my neighbours are really awesome people - and they are more then just 'neighbours' they are friends...that kind of relationship can't be bought...

Recenly I've partnered up with The Waterfront Banquet Centre to do custom gift baskets...so if you have an event coming up, Mike Georgakopoulos has something special for you! I believe in the importance of growing these kinds of relationships; it started with a conversation he and I had at a Chamber event last year ... and while it's taken some time to reach this point, (I was a little busy forming a 'relationship' with my twins Ashlan and Reid....!) it was worth the patience - on his part! - and the follow up on mine...

Twitter has become a really great resource for me .. I've stumbled across some really entertaining and aspring blogs (who knew that Perz Hilton really doesn't look good in Green??!! ha!.. although I suppose I should say >> who cares?! ) , and have started to form relationships with some truly awesome people - which I hope to grow my network over the next few months and form more mutually beneficial partnerships, as I have with Mike at The Waterfront Banquet Centre.

Yesterday was a pretty important day for our household...it was Abby's 'meet the teacher' day.. and she could hardly wait to go....again, another relationship being formed; not only between her and Mrs. F; but also between us, the other parents and their children... exciting times ahead no doubt.

After this 1 hour meeting, Abby and I had a Mommy-Abby day .. we went for lunch at what I think is Abby's favourite restaurant (Ray's Boathouse) then headed out for a whirlwind shopping afternoon .. I love that Abby is as much in awe of Chapters, Carters and Michaels craft store as I am (lots of new stamps and inks were purchased....Hallowe'en is just around the corner you know!) then back down to Locke Street where we actually got to go into all the chi chi stores that I normally have my nose pressed up against their windows (amazing what one can do with just ONE child who walks, talks (a lot..I wonder where she gets THAT from??) and isn't in a double B.O.B stroller!) ....

Our mission was to get a lunch bag for Abby and to visit the new CHOCOLATE STORE: La Chocolaterie Forrat - that recently opened up (see this article in the Hamilton Spectator).... I'm happy to announce it was a complete success .. One Electric Blue LUG lunch bag purchased - thank you LULU & LAVIGNE Home Studio and some very delicious and decadent chocolates purchased - and some consumed - from La Chocolaterie Forrat... Abby chose the one she wanted, and when it was handed to her she smiled proudly and announced to all "I looooove you truffle" and gave it a kiss .. yes, most definitely the relationship I have with this child of mine is built on our love of shopping, the finer things in life - and chocolates! Since we already had our Starbucks fix whilst at Chapters earlier in the day, I thought it would be a bit much if we visited the one on Locke (sorry guys..) .. that, and I am on a Starbucks budget remember!!!!


I know this entry has become somewhat long-winded .. (I know .. you're thinking - somewhat??!!!..geesh, come up for air, please!) but I really wanted to stress the importance of relationships in our lives; Making new ones or perhaps ending old ones - because to be happy in life - and you only have this one, so make it a happy one - you need to surround yourself with positive and healthy Relationships. As well, I wanted to acknowledge the many very different but equally important ones that make up all that is my life.

I am grateful to Brent - this relationship is my most cherished; and to my children - for they are the reason I am doing what I am doing; my Parents because without their unconditional love, support and enouragement - always - I would not be where I am at... And my girlfriends - with out them I would be writing from a nice, quiet room.....probably painted white.....and there would be no sharp objects >> and really, what fun would THAT be?!!! although.. I would be forming NEW relationships there too right?!!!

With that in mind, a shout is going out to everyone that I have a relationship with - past or present - because like an elephant I remember everything, so you've undoubtedly impacted me in some shape or form; and to all the new ones I hope to make - how exciting that will be!

Wow .. just think of what this scrapbook album will look like!

Amanda
www.inspiremarketing.ca

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted... Aesop

We have inventory!

We are making progress towards solidifying our programs for Read to Succeed; a used childrens book distribution network - to benefit those in the community without the means to stock a library for the children in their lives. Brent and I are very fortunate to take our kids up to Chapters regularly and let them buy books for their growing libraries .. not everyone is that fortunate.

"No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted" : Aesop .... A very special thanks to Jill Genno: Rogers TV Listings and also the Hamilton Chamber Ambassador's Committee Chair; Jill has generously donated two boxes of children's books to begin our inventory!!! We are working on building relationships with a distributing agency: Big Launch Event and other initatives rolling out soon!

I've recently joined the ranks of tweeting - and with that a whole new world has opened up!! Fellow Mommies (and Daddies too!) check out www.WonderMoms.ca and www.opti-mom.com - they are just a couple of the many great websites I've come across on this new journey!

Another shout out goes to Little Bird Hamilton - a little Gem on Ottawa Street here in Hamilton that has just recently 'hatched' - they celebrated their GRAND OPENING this past Saturday and if you missed it, be sure to stop by and check them out!!!

I had some trouble getting this post - well .. posted! .. and had to call on the expertise of a friend - without his assistance - my blog would have ended with just 2 entries - how sad that would have been.. so very kind, and I thank you Ross!!

Thanks again to Jill; your contribution has jump-started our program, for that we are grateful... If anyone else has books they would like to donate, we will gladly accept them! And if you know of student in high school that needs some volunteer hours, send them our way - while they need this to graduate, I still firmly believe that helping others is the best act of kindness!

Amanda
www.inspiremarketing.ca