Always Go Back to the Bus Stop. Always.

Last week I attended a workshop about the effects of social media on our parenting styles and how competitive parenting is a real problem.

I agreed with a lot of the points the speaker made until we started discussing “The Pinterest Mom”. I was suddenly feeling guilty for my 2500 pins. I use Pinterest all the time but not because I want to portray to the world that I have my shit together…because I don’t. I use Pinterest as a tool to connect with my children.

I am fully aware that my kids will not remember the elaborate birthday parties or carefully planned scavenger hunts we had, but I will. They will not remember the cute seasonal crafts or the hours Bumble spent hiding at Christmas time, but I absolutely will.

I hope that when my teenagers look at their baby pictures, they will smile and know that we tried. Days when they hate us and don’t understand the rules we have for our home, I hope they know that our intentions were pure and our love for them has never faltered. Having happy memories of a few Pinterest success, but mostly fails, will be nostalgic and memories we can laugh about. I will remember those days and be grateful that we made it through the tough times.

Parenting is hard. So many days I want to quit this thankless gig but I can’t. It is my responsibility to always find a reason to persevere and sometimes, making ridiculous crafts we saw on Pinterest will help to avoid a meltdown. The crayons may not melt properly or the glue didn’t hold, but I spent an hour away from all my daily distractions and played with my children. We shared quality time together probably teaching them that it is okay to fail. It is okay not to be good at everything. It is fun to be resourceful and easy to find inspiration from others that we can bring into our home. These are the moments that matter. Being present and making an effort will assure them that our wells will never run dry and our arms are always open…reaching for more.

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My good friend once said to me “some days you walk your kids to the bus stop and think about how great it would be to not pick them up” and it’s true.  There are days when we want to kick those little monsters out on the curb and never look back, but we have to turn around.  We can’t throw in the towel because others are judging us. We can’t walk away because life is hard. It doesn’t matter what our clothes look like, how messy our hair is, or what kind of car we drive.  What matters is that despite every obstacle, we keep going back.  Every single time, go back to the bus stop and bring your kids home.

The Best of 2015!

My blogging virginity is gone and what a year it has been!  My tiny little corner of the internet has been growing steadily.  I so appreciate everyone who stops by on purpose or because their google search has failed them. However you found yourself on Way Off Script this year, thank you.  I look forward to 2016 and all the content these little twinadoes are sure to provide 🙂

Here are the posts you loved the most in 2015!

It comes in waves, but it will get better. – It almost makes me sad that my most popular post came from such pain. This is tribute piece for my cousin Bobby.

#fmlthursday.  Its a thing now. – A hilarious, real life account of life with twins.

Women are Unicorns. – My version of the stages of pregnancy that no one tells you about!

Our Journey to 7pm Bedtime – The struggle is real! It was the hardest thing we ever went through, but the best gift for our children.

If We Were Having Coffee…Vol 2 – A little heart to heart for my dearest friends.

Love you all!  Your support and encouragement means more than you can ever know. ♥♥

~Danielle.

 

 

My 2016 Word Of The Year is…

2015 kicked our butts…hardcore…and yet, in so many ways it was a pretty great year.  It’s been a very painful one for my heart though; I’ve had my dreams crushed, felt the loss of loved ones deeper than I could ever have imagined and struggled through some pretty thick mommy guilty and depression. I can’t believe that Al and I seem to be stronger than ever. What an annoying god send that man is!  On the flip side, an enormous financial burden has been lifted from our shoulders, I am finally starting to build a tribe of incredible friends that are in the same city and the kids made it through the “terrible two’s” with very few blow ups.  I know, I know, treacherous three’s are just around the corner!

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Bumble’s Last Week

Holy moly, I never thought I’d finish these updates!  But alas, our little Bumble is gone back to the North Pole and life has returned to mediocre dysfunction once again. Here are the last few days of our Elf on the Shelf’s antics.

Day 16 – Bumble caught a cold from the kids. It was bound to happen eventually with all the plaque monkeys running around here.

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Day 17 – Bumble helps Santa pack the sleigh!  Can’t go anywhere without good winter skis and a tonne of presents.

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Day 18 – Bumble brings a tree to the kids.  I love the idea of this felt tree and how simple it was to make, but it sure didn’t last very long.  Within hours, every ornament and candy cane became a magnet for dirt and pet hair. The kids were frustrated trying to make them stick on the tree and quickly moved on to throwing the toilet paper. #fail

Day 19 – Bumble goes camping!!  I was out of town for the night so Alain was left to figure out this one.  Good job Daddy 🙂

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Day 20 – Bumble delivers the “Golden Ticket”.  I had seen this idea many times and fell in love.  The golden ticket is similar to the one received by the children in the movie The Polar Bear Express except ours was a ticket onto the MiniVan Express.  After dinner, we put the kids in their jammies, filled sippy cups with hot chocolate (warm milk for this year), a bowl of popcorn and tucked them into their car seats with festive blankets. We drove around the city scoping out all the best christmas light displays.  We really enjoyed the tour and the kids stayed awake to the bitter end. We will continue this lights tour tradition for as long as the kids will put up with it 🙂

Day 21 – Bumble builds a train.  I had planned on him having a tea party with all of Brooke’s dolls in her big doll house, but I forgot to turn the house off before she went to bed.  Every time you touch the darn thing, bells and whistles go off like crazy.  I was not willing to risk waking her after the long day we had.  Luckily, the train set was in Linc’s room and he sleeps through anything.

Day 22 – Bumble plans our next vacation. This little dude sure knows the way to my heart. Hot sandy beaches, icy cold drinks and a week of no responsibility…I can’t wait to see where we go this year!

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Day 23 – Bumble’s last day. Dave and I have been watching the Grinch on Christmas Eve for nearly 30 years and now we can pass the tradition onto the kids. We have finger foods for dinner and play games in evening while while Christmas music plays in the background.  Being serenaded by Michael Bublé and sipping egg nog from a plastic wine glasse brings such joy to my heart 🙂  Grandpa and Gramma recorded themselves reading “The Night Before Christmas” for the kids, but they were so tired that we forgot to read it with them.  Ah well, there’s always next year.

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I really enjoyed our first year with Bumble.  I can certainly see how it is difficult to find new adventures from him every night as the years pass, but we will keep trying!  I love the idea of the kindness elf or the toy elf, so we may incorporate those one year too.

I hope you had fun following Bumble’s antics. Feel free to share or recreate any ideas you have seen 🙂

More Elf On The Self Posts:

Bumbles Second Week

Bumble’s First Week

Elfie Arrives!

 

 

Bumble’s Second Week

Day 8 – Bumble Plays Hockey!  I received several messages after this one was posted telling me that Bumble was sure to win this game haha. But with a super hero team, I can assure you, that my Leafs Bear won 🙂

Day 9 – Ice Fishing at the North Pole.  We had a hectic day and a change of plans that meant we had to scramble last minute for this one. But I am super happy with his adventure 🙂

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Day 10 – Weeeeee!  We don’t have any snow yet, so we thought a little blizzard in the living room would be fun. It only took 4 tries before we finally remembered how to cut a darn snowflake though. Al pouted at first when I asked for his help, but as you can see by all the intricate flakes, his mood changed and he has a lot of fun!

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Day 11 – Bumbles helps Mommy bake!  Brooklynn loved this one and kept asking to make “elf tookies”.  After 6 hours in the kitchen and 5 ridiculously time consuming recipes, our baking was finished.

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Day 12 – Bumble goes potty.  This one would have been more successful if the dog hadn’t drank all the apple juice “pee” and ate the chocolate chip “poops” that Bumble left us. I expected this day to be a little more exciting for Brooklynn since she been doing so well with her potty training, but apparently the holidays mean a break from EVERYTHING. She is back to diapers again, but hopefully we can try in the new year with better results.

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Day 13 – Bumble has milk and cookies for breakfast.  This was a simple one to throw together last minute as well.  We went to the aquarium that morning, so a handful of cookies and a sippy cup of milk was the perfect breakfast for the kids too 🙂

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Day 14 – Candy Cane Hunt! Bumble left a note for the kids letting them know that 10 candy canes were hidden in the house.  If they could find them all, Mommy would give them a special surprise; a gingerbread house to build.  They both loved the candy cane hunt.  Lincoln kept asking to hide them again and again. I think Easter is going to be his favorite holiday!

Day 15 – Bumble makes a fort!  The kids love to rip apart my couch and make forts, so that was the idea behind this one.  Instead of making their own fort, they built a mega block city surrounding Bumble. Guess that works too!

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If you missed last week’s adventures with Bumble, check them out here.

 

 

Bumble’s First Week

I must say, this Elf on the Shelf tradition is all for me; for now anyway. The kids have enjoyed coming out each morning and looking for him, but they vastly under appreciate the time and effort Mommy has devoted to our little Bumble.  I am sure Alain thinks I’m nut when he sees me crafting at midnight for an 8 second surprise for the kids, but I’ve been loving it so far.  Here’s what our first week looked like:

Day 1 – North Pole Breakfast!  I am sure this has been the most fun for the kids.  As Grandma and Grandpa know all too well, we don’t often give the kids very much sugar.  A pudding cup can often send them over the edge, but as the grow and can burn off their energy a bit more, we have relaxed a little…just a little!  However, for our North Pole Breakfast, they were spoiled.   I stared out good with banana and raspberry candy canes and then things went south.  Green Christmas pancakes with festive M&M’s and syrup, “snow” donuts and a big ol’ glass of chocolate milk. I won’t regret this right??

Day 2 – Bumble reads a story to his friends, Newfie style 🙂

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Day 3 – Bumble made me a birthday card 🙂  What a sweet little dude. The kids were supposed to make Christmas cards for their grandparents that day too, but we went to playgroup instead.  Better luck next year Nanny 🙂

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Day 4 – Spidy Bumble was up to no good!  He used dry erase markers to give Brooklynn glasses like mommy and tattooed fingers like her Uncle Dave while Lincoln got a glimpse into his future with a beard.  I still think he looks more like Dave though, not Alain ha!

Day 5 – Bumble got a little vain and took S”Elf”ies with the kids while they slept!  This one would have been much better if I had put the wires in his arms like other suggested.  The hardest part was holding in my laughter and not waking the kids.

Day 6 – Bumble makes a puzzle with his friends.  Lincoln can be protective of his puzzles, so I wasn’t too sure how this one would go.  Turns out, Brooklynn was the one I should have been worried about.  She barreled right over the Elf to reach her real Bumble and knocked poor Elfie over. Knowing he wasn’t to be touched or he would lose his magic, Lincoln slowly lifted Bumble and brought him to me. “Bumble fall down mommy, he need fix in mommy bed”. It was adorable!

Day 7 – Bumble hangs with his peeps.  This kids thought this was hilarious and kept saying “Elf in Yucky Charms!”  Clearly I need to make better cereal choices when they call everything Lucky Charms. They got to help make rice crispie squares and made quite the mess on the kitchen floor, but at least the dogs were happy to clean up.

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I thought I would lose momentum by now, but I am really having fun with Bumble.  Can’t wait for next week 🙂

I am totally gonna regret this next year, aren’t I?

Preparing for Elf on The Shelf

Week 2 adventures!

 

Elfie Arrives!

I have ALWAYS loved the holidays. My mom can tell you that I used to put up my Christmas window clings as soon as school started…in September! Obnoxious right?  Well now that we have kids, I’m stepping up my game.

This year, the Elf on The Shelf will be making his grand entrance into the Dion home.  I have some really amazing mom friends who have set the bar incredibly high for this little dude, (thanks Riley!) but I’m ready!  I’ve spent weeks on Pinterest looking for ideas that I can turn toddler friendly and even organized our schedule so that most mornings, the Elf’s antics will play out during the day. Lord help me if we get snowed in!

I started by making list of all the coolest ideas I could find and then plopped them onto a calendar.  I changed days several times until it worked with our previous commitments. Here is a more simple form as not to give too much away 🙂

Calendar

Then I began searching for a Welcome Letter template but found that most are pretty wordy and often repeat what is written in the book.  I couldn’t find anything toddler-friendly, at least for my guys, so I wrote a poem instead.  It is still longer than I had hoped, but I’ve added some actions to help keep the kids engaged while we read it.  They will be smarter next year, right? haha

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I wrapped most of the kid’s gifts the other night and thought I’d get the Elf out of the way at the same time. Well, of course I would forget to add in his adoption certificate, so I’ll have to just tuck it into the story before we read it.

Adoption Certificate

So now we’re ready for the fun to begin!  My aunt found these super cool advent calendars down in Florida that are filled with toys. Once the countdown is finished, the kids can match up the numbers on the toy with the numbered spaces on the play mat and it makes a really cute scene. If all goes well, I’ll get to eat the chocolates each day and the kids can keep the toys 🙂  Cause we all know Alain didn’t get me the Lindor advent that I beg for each year.

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