Christmas eve is 24 days away. Some people have already had their festive decorations up for a month and have already or nearly finished all their holiday shopping. That's incredible and I give total credit to anybody who is able to establish this long before everyone else is even writing a list.

This family however, begins the Christmas festivities closer to the actual holiday. Being it the last weekend before December, this past Sunday was Christmas tree decorating day in our house.

Real trees are beautiful, when they are outside. I don't really feel the need to waste a perfectly good tree for ONE special day so here we use our wonderful (and just as beautiful when decorated) artificial tree. It's a simple tree, it's a fragile tree but it's a tree nonetheless.

Hubby dug out the boxes of decorations we have stored in the basement and brought up what we needed.

It took a couple of tries to get the lights straight, we ran out of both lights and garland...but the final product is something to be proud of.

Dd got to place the angel on top of the tree. The first thing she did this morning was admire the family Christmas tree. It's the lit up smiles that make it all worth it.

Next event - christmas gift shopping!!

-- Until next time...Keep Dreaming Always, @iDream1


Ever notice when you buy (what you think at the time is) an amazing electronic device or appliance only to find after a short life, it breaks down. Not only does it break down but it breaks down at the worst possible moment? That's me this past week.

First thing to go, an appliance well loved by both dh and myself, our 12 cup oster coffee maker. Less than two years old, Wednesday morning it worked. Wednesday afternoon it worked. Wednesday evening it decided it's time had passed.

Some of you are probably reading this saying "who cares? You have a tassimo!". I love my tassimo and it's brilliance in coffee/hot drink brewing. I enjoy it so much it's my "specialty coffee brewer" - wouldn't want to use it constantly and have it see the same fate as the oster just did. Not to mention I'm running out of t-discs except espresso, Colombian, decaf, starbucks and green tea. Need to stock up before Christmas!

Either way we were hit hard with an unexpected large lump sum deposit fee from the gas company, totally out of our planned monthly/Christmas budget. So a new coffee maker is out of the picture right away. A friend offered her spare until we get a new one, "the loaner".

Second thing to break down this week was a beloved electronic of both kids. The livingroom tv began flickering, the screen goes wavey and eventually shuts off on it's own. Nice, we are still paying it off so luckily it's under warranty.

Today two delivery guys came in, saw the tvs funky waves and gave us a smaller "loaner" until the technitian comes Monday or Tuesday to either fix it or take it away for repairs. So my livingroom has two tvs in it, looks terrible what a hassle!

I'm happy for the loaners don't get me wrong it could be much worst. No tv no coffee make mommy something something...(little humour) it's just such a hassle at the most stressful time of the year.

Maybe putting our tree up tomorrow will change my mood and get me more into the Christmas spirit.

-- Until next time...Keep Dreaming Always, @iDream1


Flu season, it comes hand in hand with the colder seasons of fall and winter coming in. This year we have another bothersome worry with the threat of the dreaded H1N1 or swine flu lurking around what seems lately, every corner.

My family and I endured a long tough two weeks with everybody being sick one after another. It's incredible how quickly this virus can spread but with the help of bedrest, a little TLC and some great online resources about the flu we made it through and recovered.

As we all know the government has released a H1N1 vaccine which has it's benefits but also brings worry to others so whether you decide to vaccinate against this illness is completely up to you. The same choice we have to vaccinate against seasonal flu or not as well.

Although the vaccine is available there are still chances you or worse your children could contract the virus and bring it into your once healthy home.

The first thing you should do when you see your little one isn't themselves is NOT panick.

H1N1 can really only be detected through testing however symptoms are close to that of a regular seasonal flu.

Check for the following symptoms:

•Sore Throat
•Respiratory Problems
•Body Aches

For more information about H1N1 symptoms visit http://www.h1n1-symptoms.org.

The best thing to do when your child is sick is to keep them home from public places like schools, malls, even buses and quarrentined to one room of the house if possible.

Have them wear a face mask if they have to be around anyone who is not sick and make hand washing essential.

Keep the sick one as comfortable as possible with plenty if fluid to prevent dehydration. Let them get the rest they need.

For more detailed information about how to care for someone while sick please visit:

There have been quite a few emergency cases of the flu this year which required medical attention. If any of the following symptoms occur please visit your local emergency room as soon as possible to be tested for h1n1.

•fast breathing or trouble breathing
•bluish skin color
•not drinking enough fluids
•very sleepy or lethargic
•in babies, being so irritable they don't want to be held
•fever with a rash
•flu-like symptoms that improve, then return with fever and a worse cough

There is nothing worse than having a family member sick, especially a young child so please take precautions by influencing hand washing and keeping disinfectant cleaning products on hand at all times. You can't be too safe when dealing with your health and the health of your family.

For a great parents guide to H1N1 and prevention please visit http://kidshealth.org/parent/infections/bacterial_viral/h1n1_guide.htm

-- Until next time...Keep Dreaming Always, @iDream1


November has about a week or so left and the real fun begins. December 1st marks the Christmas count down - 25 days until the big guy gets in his sleigh.

As every year lately this santas bag might be a little slim. Things haven't been going as financially well as we'd hoped - stuff happens what can you do but make the best of it.

That's exactly what we plan to do. Christmas shouldn't be about material items, not the image I want my children seeing it as - accumulating the "gimmy gimmy" syndrome.

Dd asked me an interesting question this morning while I brushed her hair for school - Whats the point of Christmas?

Being catholic I reminded her about learning about baby Jesus in school and explained it was a day to celebrate the people you love by sharing thoughtful gifts. She then went on about things she would like her little brother to have.

Now here's the fun part I just thought about - how the heck does Santa fit in to this scenerio? She hasn't asked yet but she could. The joys of a curious five year old, almost feel bad about lying with the whole Santa deal but it's the lit up faces when they see that big jolly old man every year that continues the Santa saga.

I guess I'll figure that one out if the question ever rises.

I'm starting to get more into the Christmas mood despite the financial stress of it all. Hubby has the lights out to start the exterior decorating of the house :-)

As I said, we'll make the best of it - after all Christmas only comes once a year.


Puzzles have always been in households for as far as most of us can remember. A way to keep your child entertained while they learn and exercise their memories putting together anywhere from 5 to 500+ pieces.

As a child growing up I always received a puzzle at Christmas. Whether it was a stocking stuffer or a gift from a relative who had no idea what to get kids, I had them. But I had no interest. I had no patients to sit and peice everything together. Most of the puzzles became lost over time and eventually garbage, what a waste!

My mother bought dd a Disney/Pixar Finding Nemo puzzle book, dd was too young to use it so we put it away until recently.

Playing in the basement dd came across her nemo puzzle. Now, everyday it's "mom can I take out my puzzles?" and instead of pieces everywhere after about ten minutes, she actually sits and puts them together - quickly.

I'm really proud she enjoys using educational toys and games like puzzles and books. My little brain ;-)

-- Until next time...Keep Dreaming Always, @iDream1


Apologies for the several day gap between my posts lately. Unfortunately I was very sick with a virus for a few days. That terrible virus that has been entering homes and contaminating every member. Some cases H1N1 while others just viral infections or whatever else is going around this time of year.

Usually I am the last one to get sick out of the four of us but not this time. Dh did a great job and handled everything while I shivered and whined like a baby in bed until he too caught what I had. So, one parent really sick and the other trying to recooperate both trying not to breathe on the kids. Oh boy that was crazy.

On top of it nothing (except disinfecting my house) got done - laundry piled up and the place got messy.
No writing was done on my behalf for my blog or any other projects.

Feeling a little better today but very sleep deprived thanks to the sweats and chills all night long plus the coughing.

Today I took a walk with dh and ds to get some fresh air. When we got home I started cleaning up, changed my bed and became a bit overwhelmed with the size of my laundry pile - early morning tomorrow I guess.

It's really hard when both parents are sick with no outside help but we made it, now it's time to start cleaning up the aftermath.

-- Until next time...Keep Dreaming Always, @iDream1


This is Hazel -

A 3 year old indoor shelter cat a friend of mine had to give away due to having to constantly break up fights betwen Hazel & her own cats. She contacted me last week with the offer to take her in.

This was a decision I have been bouncing back and forth in my head since dd started begging for a kitty about two years ago. Kittens are too much work with shots and messes etc, older cats can be set in their ways sometimes not very good when you have young kids. Hazel however is only 3 and has lived in large households including other pets but Zeus is not just an ordinary dog...he's BIG.

My main concern about bringing hazel into our home was not about her harming my kids but rather how would she handle my kids and giant monster of a dog.

I haven't owned a cat since I moved on my own and started my own family nearly 7/8 years ago...Living with my mother she had three of her own. She still has three cats but the eldest of the original three passed away last year and my mother adopted my brothers cat when he moved and couldn't keep her. My kids have never owned a cat and my dog has never lived with other animals in fact typically he can become agressive so that concerned me a bit.

So after talking it over with dh and asking my friend a million things about her now, Hazel is my new cat. So far she's wonderful. She's friendly and really gentle. Zeus thinks she's great and wants to play but his size scares the crap out if her so she'll hide. Which is a lot better than the scenerio in the summer of Zeus cornering the neihbours cat and freaking out on it. Hazel, consider yourself on his good side! ;-)

Dd is happy she finally has a pet kitty in the family. Only problem is dd tries to pet her, backwards and when Hazels had enough she runs away. Well dd although told over and over not to, chases her. Not in a mean kid kind of way, just because she wants to pet the cat!

Ds has no interest in the cat so far. I think this wi be good for everyone, something different. Dh is even taking a liking to our new furry friend...

-- Until next time...Keep Dreaming Always, @iDream1


A couple of weeks ago dd came frantically declairing that her "little tiny tooth in the front was wiggly!". I explained to her how as she gets bigger her small or "baby" teeth will get loose, fall out and make room for her "big girl" teeth.

Just about every day since she had asked if her teeth would fall out soon. And every day the gap between the loose tooth and the rest got bigger.

Tonight after playing in her room for a bit dd came rushing down from her room in excitement, "Mommy! My littlest tooth fell out! There was blood but that's ok!" the honesty of a five year old.

We tried the "tooth fairy" deal and her question was "why does the tooth fairy buy my teeth?" lol scratch that - we told her the tooth fairy collects them and rewards kids for losing a baby tooth - nice recovery!

So, after wrinsing her mouth and placing the tooth in a little jewlry gift box I had in my drawer (packrat), we discovered the tooth next to the now hole is ready to fall out itself any time. Looks like the "tooth fairy" will be busy in this household as my little girl transitions to big girl.

A picture of her new smile :-)) er kind of lol

-- Until next time...Keep Dreaming Always, @iDream1
After considerable attempts at trying to sell my used kids stuff via an online gallery I decided to close up shop and stick to advertising the important in season items like the snowsuits for cheap on used ad sites. I feel silly but at least I tried and didn't lose out much except a few hours of time preparing everything. Oh well on to plan B! I think I rushed into thingswith high spirits again. Between my family, writing and every day mom stuff I don't really have time to run my own online shop. Thanks to all who supported my idea just the same.

It has been hectic around here with dd being sick, Halloween and a family feud to top of the stress levels of both dh and I. We need a vacation. Yeah, and maybe a miracle to be able to even attempt to afford a vacation.....

-- Until next time...Keep Dreaming Always, @iDream1
Halloween 2009 has come & gone, we almost missed it but fortunately everything turned out ok!

Friday afternoon dd came down with a serious fever, we almost had to make a trip to the hospital but fortunately her fever broke overnight with the help of childrens motrin and she was feeling better by Saturday morning.

Although not 100% she spent the day resting, hoping she'd feel better in time for trick or treating.

I felt terrible, she was so excited about Halloween like any 5 year old & had been talking about it for weeks.

After dinner she was feeling much better. We put her devil costume together while dh and ds went to the store. Ds was supposed to be pooh bear but the costume was too small so he was an elephant. Someone called him horton from the movie horton hears a who.

For a little girl she got a lot of candy. To the point her felt bag ripped by the end and she had to finish off with a plastic shopping bag we had on hand.

Exhausted after dd only ate two candies and fell asleep on the couch. Little brother had been munching on cheetos while sister gathered the loot. When we got home he was good for bed too.

It was nice to go out & spend the event as a family. The kids had fun and that's what matters most.

Until next time...keep dreaming...