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While I was Gone, Chicken Noodle Soup and The Cold From Hell


Animal lover that I am, 
a cougar I am not.


Betty White

I'm back! 

Kinda 
๐Ÿ™„.

I am physically here but mentally???? Not so much.



You see I have a problem. First there was SBean's birthday. Then HBear's birthday. Then Xmas holidays. Then New Year's. Then back to school and then I left for 10 days.

I am totally and completely out of routine.

PLUS...

The cold of all colds hit our house this week 
๐Ÿ˜ท! Actually it could have been worse but Ninja and I both had it. 2 parents down is bad news! 

PLUS...

SBean got it. She is like the Tasmanian Snot Devil when she is sick 
๐Ÿ‘น. Boogers are everywhere and the whining and crying is taken to a level of EPIC proportions. No fun.

Here are some realities of the week:

1. Cougars. OK so here's what happened... while I was gone to Cochrane for the birth of my beautiful Niece (who I miss soooooo much already) it came to the attention of our School that a Mother Cougar and her 2 cubs were "living" under a deck of a close by house. They had a large kill under there and even with urging from the Conservation Officer, seemed pretty set on staying in their warm hideout.


Our school is up the side of a "mountain". We live very close to nature and all of the wildlife associated with this type of landscape. As we build further up the mountain, we have to expect that wildlife will begin coming into out city. Also, this has been a very cold winter, we have a deer problem in town and the water up the mountain is frozen. All of these things will lead to wildlife searching for their next meal, fresh water and warmth. We know this.

However, the school knew about the issue and didn't email the parents until Friday evening. The school also allowed the children out for recess and lunch. Do I think 3 reclusive cats are going to attack a playground full of loud children?

No.

Do I think the parents should have been notified? Yes. Do I think the school should have had an assembly to teach the kids what to do if they see a large predator in their community? Yes. Do I think parents have the right to know what is going on so they could choose whether or not they want their children walking home alone? Yes.

By the middle of the next week of school, the 4 (they ended up finding another one as well) cougars had been euthanized. It was a very sad situation. This is not the outcome I would have liked. 

However, the Conservation Officer was VERY clear in explaining that the Mother Cougar had begun urbanizing her cubs. They weren't afraid of people and weren't displaying typical reclusive behaviour. The Officer tried relocating them but knew they would go back to an urban setting before long, possibly hurting a child or small animal. She had already stalked a nearby dog. It was super sad but unfortunately it had to happen.

NOW... the absolute worst thing about this whole story is the behaviour of the citizens of this city. It was out of control! The name calling, the threats, the terrible words said to each other. I was in Alberta watching this all go down on Facebook and I have to say, I was relieved NOT to be here. I mean, it was scary being that far away and knowing that my kids might be in some small way in danger. But on the other hand, I am so happy that I missed all the drama! At first the 3 cubs were euthanized. People went OFF! People wrote things like,

I hope that Mama comes for YOUR kids! Your kids should be next! You murders! Watch your back! Karma, what goes around comes around and I hope your children are murdered next!

Seriously? 

There is so much fear in the world right now. So much hatred. I would never wish that kind of hate upon anyone! Some of my friends were vocal during the whole CourgarGate and they were personally attacked, called horrible names and threatened! No no no ๐Ÿ˜ก. These Moms were just concerned for their children's safety and I think with more communication and less mass hysteria things may have turned out differently... but I truly don't think so. Like I said, I am relieved that I wasn't here to deal with it!

Ninja was though.

2. Ninja was home for 10 days with the Girls ๐Ÿ˜ณ! He was Mr. Mom. I came home and the house was cleanish, the kids were alive (he was totally freaked that the excuse "but a cougar got them" wouldn't fly with me), and he even put clean sheets on the bed!

I really wasn't worried about him. He is a great partner so I knew he could handle it. When I asked him how it went he said the 2 most surprising things he learned was, 1. how much time I spend in the van and 2. he never really thought about cleaning things like... the towel rack. Apparently he thought things like that cleaned themselves. He noticed dust in places and thought, "shit! I guess I gotta clean that too?!" ๐Ÿ˜‚

3. I have been lazy. No like L-A-Z-Y! No yoga, barely did cardio in Cochrane and I ate lots of bagels and chips. That's not good. How can I get motivated after the holidays, a trip a cold AND when I have been in an exercise slump?

My Fitbit! I have put the challenge out there! I have challenged my friends, strangers and my SIL. This week I had 2 awesome days where the screen lit up in go time green! That means that I accomplished all my goals for the day! This week I hope to do that even more and kick this January slump to the curb!


4. Ninja and I don't really do date nights. It is hard because by the end of the week we are tired. Also, it sucks to rely on our parents to watch the Girls and babysitters are expensive. We try to go out for special occassions like VDay, our anniversary, and our birthdays but that's usually it. We end up watching TV in the evenings and we don't... talk. We decided to change all of that! We started our very own podcast! We called it,

How Was Your Week, Honey?

It is a weekly conversational podcast between middle aged parents that used to be cool... but now drive a minivan ๐Ÿ˜œ.

We had our very 1st episode last week and it was so much fun! We sat there and chatted for just a little over an hour, had a beer (or 2), and laughed! It is cool that we have found a hobby that we can do together that doesn't cost anything and is totally about the 2 of us connecting to each other and anyone who listens. We are now on iTunes so check us out! Please listen, subscribe, share, like, and review! If you have a Samsung you can listen to us HERE

Click the picture to listen to Episode #1 on iTunes!!!


5. HBear has not been sick. This is great! However, that means she has been go go go and we have been no no no. She had a full week of swimming. She had a Mini Meet, a team practice, a team pizza party and a Jamboree. I was asked to help marshal at the Jamboree. I am by no means a Swim Mom... yet. I barely know what stroke she is doing lol but I am always up for a challenge so I agreed (plus they ding you with a $25 fee for NOT volunteering). When we got there I was shown the ropes and ended up being teamed up with a Mom from HBear's school and the HotLunch lady from another school, so we had lots to talk about ๐Ÿ˜‰.  Not that we had time to talk! OMG marshalling is hectic! The 3 of us stood at the end of the pool getting 3 flights of heats ready. I would yell, "Event #3 Heat #11" and kids would go sit in the chair that was designated their lane. Now of course it wasn't that easy LOL Sometimes I had 30 kids standing in front of me all yelling at once. Sometimes kids didn't know which heat they were in and I had to look through pages of names to find out. Sometimes over eager parents wanted to stand in front of me so they could take pictures instead. I got to know LOTS of kids from Vernon, Kelowna, Summerland and our own club. 1 child was very little and very quiet. Every event she would come up and ask where to go. Her SwimMom, who rivaled ANY DanceMom I have ever met, was always right behind her pushing her towards me saying, "go ask her where you go." I looked directly at her and said, "you need to write these things down so when she gets to marshalling I know which heat she is in to make sure she makes her event." The Mom told me to stop giving her attitude.

Later on, after I had to put 3 LOUD "farting" boys in their places by threatening to talk to their coaches, the little girl came up again. I said, "in the future you really need to know what is going on so you can learn to do this yourself."

The next event started and I was surrounded by tons of kids screaming, "what heat are we in? Where is my heat? What stroke are we doing?" "Did I miss my heat?" "I'm in heat 9 are you marshalling heat 9 yet?" when the SwimMom comes up to me and grabbed my arm spinning me around screaming, "HOW DARE YOU SAY THAT TO MY DAUGHTER?"

I got right down to the pool deck and asked her daughter, "what did I say to you that upset you?" She whispered in my ear, "you said here comes that little girl that doesn't know what she is doing."

I stood up and the SwimMom was still yelling at me. I took her paper, wrote my name down and said, "I didn't say that. Here's my name, the person running this event's name is Jackie. Go tell her your complaint I'm busy." She continued screaming at me and saying I was a liar. It was so embarrassing ๐Ÿ˜ž. Jackie came up soon after and gave me hug. After the event the coach of SwimMom came up to me and hugged me and apologized for her behaviour. She knew exactly who it was because she is very difficult.

The point is, who treats people that way? No wonder people don't want to volunteer their time when they have to deal with Crazies like that?

Fuck.

6. Ninja and I are leaving in 12 days!!!!! That's right, see ya! No really we are taking a 3 day vacation with SBesty and her Hubby to... Las Vegas! I will be talking more about this next week but I just wanted to put it out there... 3 day vacation ๐Ÿค—!!!! Woot Woot!

While we were sick I made a crockpot Chicken Noodle Soup. It was ah-mazing! HBear's KISUBesty's Mom came to pick her up from a playdate and opened the door and said, "Mmmmmmmm something smells delicious!" She was right! The smell was intoxicating and the soup was delicious! We ate it all! HBear even begged to take some for lunch the next day.

Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup
Adapted from Cooking Classy


3 chicken breasts
5 medium carrots, peeled and thinly chopped
1 1/2 cups onion, finely chopped
1 1/4 cups celery, chopped
4 cloves garlic, pressed
3 tablespoons olive oil
6 cups chicken broth
1 cup water
3/4 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
1/2 tsp dried sage
1/4 tsp celery salt
2 bay leaves
2 cups uncooked wide egg noodles
1/4 cup parsley, 
chopped
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

To a slow cooker, add chicken (un-cut), diced carrots, onion, celery, and garlic. Drizzle olive oil over top then add in chicken broth, water, thyme, rosemary, celery seed, bay leaves and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and cook on low heat 6 - 7 hours.




Remove cooked chicken and shred with 2 forks.


Meanwhile, add egg noodles and parsley to slow cooker. Increase temperature to high, cover and cook 10 minutes longer. Stir in lemon juice and toss back in the shredded chicken.




 



While I was gone Ninja made sure to text me pictures. While HBear was in KISU he took SBean swimming. Best. Daddy. Ever. ๐Ÿ’›


On New Year's Eve we went to Bogners. Our server gave us a GC for our next visit. Ninja asked his parents and Dad to go with him and the Girls and have a "fancy" dinner. The Girls were so excited! They got all dressed up and had a 3 course dinner. Apparently they were very well behaved.





 

Christmas came a bit late at our house as my Bro sent his presents by Greyhound and I got the message late. I thought the message was a telemarketer so I didn't listen... turns out it was a big box of presents waiting for us at the bus depot. Like usual they spoiled the Girls with super cool gifts. They really enjoyed making a fort with their new fort kit!




The Girls spent some time at Grandma and Grandpa's playing cards and doing puzzles.



HBear's class worked on their weekly challenge and her teacher sent me pictures. This was group work with KISUBesty and PSBesty.



SBean practiced her "talents"



and her skating!



Then there was that time Ninja took SBean to the pool but it was closed due to fouling...



And then I was home!


 

I had an appointment in Kelowna the day after I got back so while I was doing that Ninja took SBean for a haircut. It is tough work being a Princess.



First thing Saturday morning HBear and I were at the pool for her Mini Meet. I was timekeeping so I barely got to see her but every time she came up to me with a ribbon she was gaining ear to ear so I guess it was a good time!


 

SBean was back on the ice for her next lesson and she was super happy to see HBear and I make an appearance after the mini meet.



While SBean was sick we worked on her numbers, shapes and letters. She has been going hard with her letters lately... I think she is getting sick of asking everybody what things say lol she will be reading in no time! 


After 4 days of a fever and cold, she finally started feeling better and the fever broke. I took this as a good sign and agreed to kindergarten orientation AKA Ready, Set, Learn. First of all, there was 35 kids there and only 5 of them were girls ๐Ÿ˜ณ! Yikes, SBean is in for an interesting elementary school experience. Also, she had the BIGGEST green boog hanging out of her nose. The other Moms were looking at me like I was the Devil ๐Ÿ‘น! I could see it in their eyes, the question, "why did you bring your sick kid? Keep her away!"


No problem because half way through and she was screaming that her ear hurt and tugging on her lobe. SBesty gave me some advice and then I whisked her out of there. She was screaming so much I decided to call the Dr. They told me to come in right away. She had an ear infection. I felt terrible! How did I not know? She didn't pull at her ear or complain about her ear once! After I filled her prescriptions and got HBear to Gifted, we went home for some cuddles.


Within 2 days she was back to her old self.


I was at the school on Friday for HotLunch. I walked past HBear's classroom and this was on the door. I freaking love her teacher!!!!


The Kids made stir fry to celebrate Chinese New Year.


After HotLunch was the BIG Spelling Bee. OK so a few things on this... Not gonna lie, I wasn't too keen on this Spelling Bee when HBear first told me about it. For the past 3 weeks it has kept her up at night worrying. I am happy she wanted to try but I believe spelling cannot be taught it is just memorization and attention to detail. You work so hard to protect your Kids and then they go and sign up to get up in front of the whole school and spell ridiculous words like abolitionist! WTF? She is 8! She signed up with her 3 Besties and another good friend. 

At least she is in the group of Girls that are interested in things like Spelling Bees ๐Ÿ˜‰.

SBean hung out with her MusicBesty while their Sisters kicked some spelling ass!






HBear's biggest fear was getting knocked out first. She didn't! She made it to round 9! In her round her and 3 others (grade 5's) got knocked out. She went out on the word, medallion. I bet she will remember 2 ll's for the rest of her life! LOL She was the 2nd last grade 3 student left in the competition and she came in 7th overall! So proud of her! It takes so much courage to get up in front of all those people and spell! I was also super proud of the sportsmanship she displayed. Those Girls cheered for each other right until the end! Her KBesty came in second and believe me I couldn't have spelled half of those words without spellcheck!! 

Now what I wasn't proud of was the way HBear carried herself in front of the crowd. You could clearly see she was trying to be "cool". She was sprawled out in her chair. She was making faces at her friends in the audience. She pretended to be bored and laid her head down. She even sat with her legs spread wide open!


Later on I gave her a Mom sandwich. It went like this...

Good: I was very proud of you today! It took a lot of courage to get up in front of the whole school like that!

Bad: I was not proud of how you behaved while sitting up front waiting for your turn. You need to listen to the other kids and give them the same respect that is given to you.

Good: I was also very proud of how you cheered for your friends and you all encouraged each other until the very end.

She bawled. Worst. Mom. Ever. ๐Ÿ˜ž She just did this amazingly scary event and I find something to criticize. I just had to say something. If I left it I would have regretted it, she needs to know that the way she carries herself is how people are going to remember her.

After the Mom sandwich I bought her a real cupcake to end the conversation on a sweet note.

After the Spelling Bee I went for a quick run because the sun was shining and I could feel Spring in the air!


Ninja and HBear finished the Millennium Falcon,



The Girl's played an intense game of Jenga,



and we celebrated Chinese New Year with a picnic of Hoison Garlic Pork Noodles and The NHL All Star Skills Competition!



I told you about my experience at HBear's Jamboree but HBear's experience was completely different. She had a fabulous time! This was her 2nd meet and the first was rough. I was super happy when she asked me to sign her up for this one and she really enjoyed it now that she knew what to expect.




She did so great! She was in 5 events, 25m Freestyle, 25m Backstroke, 25m Butterfly, 25m Breaststroke and the 200m Relay.

She came in 2nd overall in the Backstroke and 5th overall in the Butterfly ๐Ÿค—!! 



So impressed with her. The best part was that she improved every single event, some by more than 10 seconds! Her confidence is high and she is having fun, what more could I ask for?

๐Ÿ’›

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