A whirlwind weekend away

Last weekend Matt and I popped up to Ottawa for a quick weekend away to join in the festivities celebrating my brother’s retirement from the military. No, I am not old enough to have a brother who is retired but he is the oldest sibling and I am by far the youngest, with 15 years (and two sisters) between us (surprise!). He served 33 years in the Canadian Armed Forces and will now transition to new adventures as a civilian.  

My mom and dad drove via the outlets in the states with my sisters in the backseat. I opted out of the middle seat (though an old school family road trip would have been… interesting) and enjoyed a luxurious kid-free flight complete with wine (yay, Porter!). We absolutely love travelling with our kids. Between the two, they’ve been down south, to Toronto multiple times, Ottawa, California, Florida and as far as Italy and it’s all gone well so we plan to keep going. But travelling sans kids is really a treat. Suddenly I don’t mind the lines and the wait times, especially with a hot coffee (or glass of wine) and a magazine or good book in hand. Or some uninterrupted conversations with my husband. Can you imagine?!  But still. It is so much work to get away.

I had to felt the need to make sure the house was tidy and organized for my in-laws to stay a night with the kids (which included having all the laundry not just washed but also put away), pack a bag for the kids to then spend the weekend chez the in-laws, pack ourselves, and also coordinate the dog for a weekend of being boarded out of town. Phew. Long gone are the days of throwing my stuff in a bag and being ready to go. With kids in tow or not, all of the things still need to be done.

Of course it was worth it. A lot of drinks, late nights and fun. We missed the girls the entire time and came home exhausted. I thought I was coming home for a rest, ha ha! We are a bit slow on the uptake this week but the bags have all been unpacked. The laundry's been redone. The dog is home. Without a blink we’re back in the thick of our new weekly school routines.

Maybe our next kid-free weekend away should be spent at a spa...but of course there are still all of those things to be done. For now, the wheels keep on churning and the coffee keeps on brewing!

A Monday musing

An amazing plain-old-for-no-good-reason Monday Margarita!

An amazing plain-old-for-no-good-reason Monday Margarita!

I will always eat the damn cupcake. Indulge in a glass of wine. Scream for ice cream. I also love green smoothies, roasted veggies and avocado-anything. Life for me is really all about moderation. Everything in moderation, including moderation. Life is short. No one’s getting out alive and yes while we should all strive to be our best selves and manage a balanced healthy lifestyle and live our best life it also has to be a life that we enjoy. That’s the key here. Our own best life. Not the best life. Not a life of comparisons. My best life happens to be one that includes cupcakes, wine and ice cream, among other indulgences. If cupcakes, wine and ice cream aren’t your jam, that’s fine! But if treating yourself makes you happy, don’t deprive yourself. Be sensible, know when to rein it in, balance it out but say yes to the things that makes you happy.

If steering clear of all of life’s wonderful temptations brings you joy, I don’t believe you. If you’re over-indulging all the time without that moderation, it’s safe to say you probably aren’t going to feel very well.

You see, for me it’s entirely plausible that at any given moment I can wind up really sick. In a hospital bed attached to IV’s and nasal gastric bypass tubes and doctor mandated ‘No solid food or fluids by mouth’ orders for days on end and that is entirely out of my control, whether I’ve over-indulged, under-indulged or nailed the moderation just right. I live my life with this notion at the back of my mind. This very day two years ago I was in the midst of a hospital admission with a bowel obstruction. I genuinely thought it was just the same stomach flu my husband had, which it probably was and spun into a full blown Crohn’s flare. I missed my daughter’s third birthday (still feel extreme mom-guilt) and an extended family vacation to New England for my parents’ 50th Wedding Anniversary (after I made their own exclusive newsletter and everything. We had personalized t-shirts. Train ride tickets. A hotel we couldn’t get refunded, jerks. I’m not bitter. Nope. Not at all.)  Those who know me well know I suffer from strong FOMO. That was a hard one to handle, that round. It’s why I rarely decline an invite. Because who knows, maybe next time it won’t be my choice to decline, but my health’s.

All this to say you just never know how it’s all going to play out. No needless suffering over here. If I want it, Imma gonna have it. Live for the moment, just do it, enjoy it, no regrets, insert all the cliches.

And it’s totally how I am justifying this amazing plain-old-for-no-good-reason Monday Margarita!

A tale of time, part 2

I came across this meme the other day and it really spoke to me. Because it is SO true.


What did I do with all of my time pre-kids? No, seriously. I should have been accomplishing a lot of really grand and really great things. I was working a lot more I suppose. Volunteering. Fundraising. Television-watching. Drinking. Well, I still do the television and drinking things (less TV, more drinking).  

But this saying also goes to pre-two-kids me. Based on my last, oh-so-long-ago post, I thought I was so busy with one kid and an older dog and baking cupcakes and party planning and writing. ‘Oh, I have NO time’ was my complaint. But when I look at life now, and the speed it’s been hurtling the last two years, and compare it to back then, I had SO much time.

Or so I think now. Perspective is a funny thing. I thought I had no time at all and yet I’ve added so much more to my plate. While what I want to say is “ok, now I really have no time…”  Guess what. No more “no time” excuses. It’s become clear to me that I will make time for what I want to make time for. Things will shift, space will expand and shrink to naturally make room for what we need or want (or don’t need or want) to accomplish. In a couple years I bet I will take stock of what I’m doing, look back and think, “Why did I think I was so busy? I had TONS of time back then!” And so it goes.

My commitment now is to make productive use of what time I do have. And to make an effort to make time for all I want to achieve, and I have few things up my sleeves. The fact it’s been two years since my last post is terrifying, but to be fair, I have been very busy! I’ll give myself credit for that.  But I do feel like I’m coming out of the other side of a very busy season of my life. A hands-on, don’t-have-time-to-sit-down-and-can’t-get-away kind of busy. Now it’s time to refocus and accomplish some goals. Hope you’ll join me for the ride!

Life update! Since my last post we... 

  • -had another baby!
  • -staged our home & put it on the market
  • -moved out for three months
  • -sold our house and bought a new one
  • -moved to the new house 
  • -embarked on a complete kitchen reno and installed a second bathroom
  • -traveled to California, Italy, Toronto (twice!), Florida, NYC (twice!), North Conway, Ottawa, Quebec City
  • -endured 3 (!) week-long hospital admissions (not counting the c-section for baby #2)
  • -the epic summer of 2017
  • -got a new puppy

A tale of time

Once upon a time I started a blog and I was very excited about all of the things I could write about. I have a list of many ideas, topics, and anecdotes. There have been trips and projects and problems and opportunities but the problem is that when all of these things are happening, I’m too busy with them happening to find time to sit down and write about it! I often think back and wish I’d found the time. Made the time. Whatever. I just wish I’d done it!

I don’t sit around beating myself up for it, that would be silly. There are no consequences when the blog doesn’t happen. Apart from you know, a dream and vision not coming to fruition. The upside is that I know there is still time for that to happen down the road. And it’s not like I’m sitting around with my feet up relaxing instead of working away at it.

Baby Fegan 2.0 due October 2015.

Baby Fegan 2.0 due October 2015.

For instance. Last week I was planning and prepping for Bear’s second birthday party on Saturday (hosted 20 guests all afternoon and evening). On Monday we hosted 20 more for a family dinner. I baked and decorated two dozen sugar cookies from scratch. I made two dozen cupcakes (not from scratch but I decorated them). I made a 4-layer purple ombre birthday cake. I had a magazine deadline. I’m home full-time with a toddler. And I’m 26 weeks pregnant! (SURPRISE! Yet another life event not featured on the blog). So I’ve been busy and tired and yes, if I added up all the minutes I spend scrolling the facebook-instagram-twitter circuit I’d have lots of minutes for blogging. But it would be hard to blog in three-minute intervals!

So the point of all this is to say that there’s no day like today! There is always tomorrow! Try, try, again! Don’t give up! While my posts may be few and far between, I am here. Things are happening. And eventually I will write about them.

No-Fail Ant Solution

With the awesome warmer weather has come the annual ant invasion. I can’t stand having ants in the house, especially in the kitchen. Those tiny, little black bugs running amok over the countertops and clean dishes, in the sink, the dishwasher and all over the floor. This year, they’re even trying to take over the high chair. I became ruthless, taking them all out with one swipe of a paper towel but was quickly reminded this does not work. There are always more where those ones came from.

I don’t like the idea of having ant poison in the house with Bear and the dog running around getting into everything. We’ve tried child and pet-friendly ant traps but they  don’t work. Last year, my mom shared a recipe she found for an all-natural ant killer with me, and it works. It really, really works. And it’s too easy. Here it is:

  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 6 tablespoons active dry yeast

Stir up this sticky concoction and spread it on narrow strips of cardboard or in bottle caps and lids from your recycling bin. Set them out – while it won’t hurt a child or pet if they happen to get into them, it would be a very messy situation, so you’ll still want them out of arms reach of little ones. The molasses and sugar will attract the ants to eat it, and the yeast will expand in their stomachs, taking them out.

Three weeks ago I set out my homemade traps and the next day the number of the little buggers creeping around had drastically reduced. The next day I saw one or two straying around and then that was it – no more ants. The key is to NOT kill them once you’ve put out your poison. You want the ants to take the ‘food’ back to their anthills to share with all their friends. After their feast, they’re toast.

This week I started to notice a few hanging around and all of a sudden it was a mini-invasion all over again. I noticed the poison in my traps had hardened and apparently become ineffective. So I replaced them with a fresh batch. Again, the next day there were one or two hanging around and now there are none to be seen. Hopefully, I got the entire colony this time.