Thursday, February 26, 2009

To Thong or Not To Thong

So believe it or not, this is based on a conversation from my bible study group yesterday morning - you get that many women together in one room and we are bound to rabbit-trail.

Anyhoo, this is a preemptive discussion as I haven't had to deal with it yet. But, a while ago, a friend of mine told me that her 15-year-old daughter wanted to go shopping for thong underwear. One of the reasons was probably because she as a mom also wore them. I too, wear them and am wondering how I will handle that question if/when it arises from my daughter. Why do I wear them? Because I find them more comfortable. I am not naive enough to think that is the only reason people wear them.

In our study, we are watching a video series on the book of Esther - the subtitle is "It's Tough Being a Woman". Beth Moore, who leads the series, took surveys from a group of women. The one I loved the most went something like this: "It's tough being a woman because we have to wear panties but spend our lives making it look like we don't!"

Unlike most of my junior female counterparts, I do everything I can to avoid the little triangle-attached-to-2-strings-peeking-out-the-top-of-my-pants look that seems to be so popular. May I recommend Junk Food t-shirts - I love them! They are longer and so comfy (I usually get mine from But it is for that reason that I fear the question. I have seen way too many young store clerks sporting the triangle-over-pants look. This is not something I want my daughter to participate in. I don't think I'm being a prude - I just know that that particular style isn't one that sends the message "These are just so comfy!"

So I will not fret until the day comes (maybe by then, we'll have moved onto some other weird fashion trend that pushes the envelope). Maybe we'll return to the high-waisted jeans of the early 80s! And those extra-long shaker sweaters!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Heat Wave

Okay, so I am writing this while my car is warming up. It is currently minus 30 with windchill here today. But in the midst of that the strangest thing is happening....

For any of you who know me well, you know that I am always cold. I wear thermal pjs year-round as well as socks, slippers and a sweater. One of the main reasons I drink so much coffee is because it is warm.

So I was as surprised as anyone last night when I was struck by the urge to take off my sweater because I was absolutely roasting! Troy said when he came to bed I had thrown the covers off. And yet again this morning, the windchill felt refreshing when I went outside! Did I just experience a hot flash?? It's way too early for that! I saw that Oprah where she was talking about hormone replacement therapy for women over 35. Really?? Could this be the start of pre-menopause?? I had enough trouble coping with my greys which are quickly forming an army on my scalp.

It is some consolation, however, that I am currently back in my warm hoodie (which, ironically is a hoodie from Maui - you can tell they made these for tourists...who in Maui needs a hoodie?!?) and my hands are cold. I think the car should be drivable now so I will head out into the cold and feel my age again - an age that is not ready for a heat wave.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Anal Retentive

So back in the days before children, I was a highly organized person. Seriously - it was amazing. Now, this seems to be a unique phenomenon that lasted for just a section of my adult life. If you were to look at my room when I was a child, you would find no evidence of this. I used to have goldfish as pets and once it took me three days before I found one of them who had jumped out of the tank and ended up buried in the pile of clothes on the floor. I drove my mother nuts...

But then, came the golden days of organization. Everything had a home. At work, you would never know I did anything because my desk was always immaculate and there were never more than 3-5 messages in my in-box. I liked things this way!

Then came the children. Those days disappeared. You could still see small pockets struggling to survive - my tupperware cupboard, the way I fold towels, the labeled bins for everyone to put their own mitts in...and I still go batty if there are more than 5 things in my inbox - I have lots of folders to sort messages into.

This year has seen a small resurgence in my anal retentive self. I feel the need to be organized once again and find that the piles and chaos are making me twitch more than usual. There are a few more neat pockets appearing. I am striving to attack the piles of paper sooner and looking for new ways to cut out the clutter. After this I am heading to the eco-station to drop off a box of dead electronics that has been sitting in the basement for far too long. I realize this might not be the most exciting news but for me it is a breakthrough! As the kids get older and are more able to clean up after themselves, I am finding the ability to clean a room and find that it still looks that way at the end of the day - wow!! Of course, the cats seem to find great joy in fighting on a freshly vacuumed rug.

So how do you deal with clutter? What are your main hot spots? It is definitely paper in this house...I welcome your ideas!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

In the Waiting Line

Slow down, you move too fast.
You got to make the moment last.
Just trippin' down the cobblestone.
Lookin' for fun and feeling groovy.

I got a great email today describing all the things that we as children (my generation) survived:

First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they were pregnant.
They took aspirin, ate bleu cheese dressing, tuna from a can, and didn't get tested for diabetes.
Then after that trauma, we were put to sleep on our tummies in baby cribs covered with bright colored lead-based paints.
We  had no child-proof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets, not to mention, the risks we took hitchhiking.
As infants & children, we would ride in cars with no car seats, booster seats, seat belts or air bags.
Riding in the back of a pick-up on a warm day was always a special treat.
We drank water from the garden hose and NOT from a bottle.
We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and NO ONE actually died from this.
We ate cupcakes, white bread and real butter and drank Kool-aid made with sugar, but we weren't overweight because WE WERE ALWAYS OUTSIDE PLAYING!
We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on.
No one was able to reach us all day. And we were OK.
We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then ride down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem.
We did not have Playstations, Nintendos, X-boxes, no video games at all, no 150 channels on cable, no video movies or DVDs, no surround-sound or CDs, no cell phones, no personal computers, no Internet or chatrooms.......
WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them!
We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no lawsuits from these accidents.
We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever.
We were given BB guns for our 10th birthdays, made up games with sticks and tennis balls and although we were told it would happen, we did not poke out very many eyes.
We rode bikes or walked to a friend's house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just walked in and talked to them!
Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn't had to learn to deal with disappointment. Imagine that!!
The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law!
These generations have produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers and inventors ever!
The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas.
We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned HOW TO DEAL WITH IT ALL!

When I read this, I smiled because this was my childhood! I remember all the neighborhood kids meeting at the lightpost on the corner of one of the yards and we would play hide-and-go-seek. We would hide all over the neighborhood! And yes, when it was suppertime, our mothers would stand on the front yard and holler for us to come home. I remember travelling from Manitoba to Alberta for summer holidays and my brother and I would play in the back of the van. He would often sit on a little suitcase between the two front seats with a map and track where we were.

This does actually segue (kinda) into what I had planned on writing about before I got that email. Patience. The ability to wait for something. The ability to work for an extended period of time in order to reach a goal or accomplish a task. Technology has taught us many things but one of them is a lack of patience. Now come on, admit it, you've sat there grumbling because your computer is taking too long to boot up. There are more than 3 people in our line at the grocery store and the person at the front is pulling out all her coupons while the cashier calls for a price check on an obscure item that the employee sent to find it has to call twice to the cashier before finding the right item (and then of course a manager has to be called to do an override).

And don't even get me started about traffic!

One of the things I've noticed in my business especially is the need for people to feel instantly successful. Well, I've been doing this for over 5 years and I am successful but I didn't get my first big paycheque my first month in. It took me a while to build a business. It took time to develop a new set of skills. So I guess whatever it is that you are pursuing, make sure you give it time to develop and grow. To continue the flashback to my childhood, "Rome wasn't built in a day". Whether you are working on personal development, growing a new business, learning a new instrument, becoming a parent for the first time, remember that there is a learning curve and you need to allow yourself time to grow. You need to realize that when you hit a roadblock, you have choices: you can either turn around and go home, you can sit on the roadblock and pout, or you can look for a way to get past it. Without challenges, we will not grow. Trees, when hit by a storm, push their roots into the ground, making them stronger for the next storm. They grow because of the challenges.

So, next time you see your child drinking out of the dog's dish, grab the camera first. She will survive. And next time you feel stuck and out of ideas, call someone who's been there, or look for a creative solution and step out of your comfort zone.

"Go out on a limb. That's where all the fruit is."
--W. Rogers

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Home again, home again, jiggety jog.

I don't even know where to begin! Our trip to Acapulco was so amazing from start to finish. From a business stand-point, we were treated like professionals and given so much information about the New Discovery Toys - that's right! It's going to be new! We have a new logo and will soon have new web tools, a completely new look and so much more! There were also countless opportunities to talk with the different owners (both in clothes and in swimsuits). That's one of the things I love - the opportunity to be sitting on the edge of the pool giving my input to the decision makers of this company. They were asking us for so much feedback and it was just a pleasure to be able to share with them. Also, I had some fantastic talks with the president of DT, Rich Newton. I love this man. He has such a big heart and is so willing to help people and listen to them. It gives you a really big confidence boost when both the president and VP of sales introduce you to people as a hot shot and tell you how much they believe in you. That's what this company does!!!! This is not a job. This is not a hobby. This is not me out selling a few toys to help pay the bills. This is an opportunity that has changed who I am. I am a strong, confident business woman, a great mom with confident children, a dedicated wife with a great marriage. I feel the most successful when I have helped someone else reached a goal. I have learned (for the most part!) a balance in my life and I am taking care of myself and giving myself value.

Now the personal side of the trip. I can't tell you how proud it makes me feel that the reason we were on that trip was because of me! I was able to take my family to Acapulco. I was the reason we stayed in a 5-star hotel. If you want your husband to support what you do, just earn a trip! The Fairmont Princess was so beautiful! The kids had so much fun, both at the 5 pools and at the Kids Klub. They too got Discovery Toys t-shirts and wore them proudly. Frogurt told Rich how much he liked being a part of Discovery Toys. He and Rich are now partners. Freckels was inseperable from her travel buddy Petra. They did everything together. We also got to take the kids swimming with the dolphins, a dream come true especially for Freckles.

Now the post-vacation work begins! Not only the laundry, but the dedication of myself to building my business and taking it to new heights. I am very excited for what this year will hold! It is going to be an exciting ride so get in, strap in and join me!