Archive for May, 2012

flight of love

Sometimes what I need is a good swift kick in my parenting behind; a new perspective.

Today, I got one.

And the giver of that kick has no idea what he’s given, because as much as he deserves to have a poor me approach to life, he never does. Telling a story about his childhood is never meant to be a comparison or a lesson, but somehow it always is.

First, a confession. I don’t particularly enjoy the process of teaching my kids to ride a two-wheeler. I’ve always found it tedious and frustrating. And though I do my best to apply patience, I often fail.

My dad was raised with the support of extended family members. But the constant and unconditional love of a parent? That’s something he has never known. Due in part to their youth, the two people who held that role left before it even started: a hurt for my dad I cannot begin to imagine.

When I met him over a cup of tea this morning, he asked about our plans for the sunny afternoon ahead. I said we were going to work on two-wheeled bike riding with our son.

He told me the story of learning to ride the bicycle he found on his aunt’s farm when he was a young boy. He spent his summers there. There wasn’t anyone to teach him, so he set out on his own. He folded up a burlap sack from the barn and fashioned a seat on one of the lower crossbars of the adult-sized bike. His feet straddled and ran alongside the wheels hour upon hour until he felt like he could balance.

And then, like so many other times in his childhood, he pulled himself up to the place where only grown ups should be and he rode all on his own.

“It was the most amazing thing, realizing I could fly,” he told me.

Not a trace of bitterness in his voice, even though there wasn’t anyone there to clap and shout for him as he sped towards the horizon. I drove away from our morning chat remembering the feeling of my dad’s hand on the back of my bike as he ran up and down our street until I felt ready to fly.

And this afternoon, I’ll remember it again as I run alongside my son. And I will take in the sight of my husband and daughters as we cheer him on. And when he finally succeeds in taking flight, I’ll try and capture the moment to give to my dad.

Because the smile that will break across my little boy’s face when he feels like he’s flying?

It should be seen.

And I want my dad to know it belongs to him, too.


Louise Gleeson is a freelance journalist and mother of four. Her professional portfolio can be viewed at and you can follow along as she shares stories from everyday life on her blog at  You can also find her on twitter @louisegleeson


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Almond Joy Cookies

Almond Joy Cookies.

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Hurray for a park day!!

I moved to this town, this time last year and met a two moms that I instantly clicked with. We decided to do almost daily trips to the park and a bit later in the season to the beach. We share parenting tips (and problems) and there is always lots of juicy gossip. This year we have expanded our circle and I expect our almost daily trips to the beach and park will be that much more fun for all the kids. It great for us moms as well, the play dates benefit us just as much as the kids.

I always have a first aid kit with me because my philosophy is, if I have it with me I will not need it. If I forget the first aid kit I will need it. My essentials are: tons of band aids, polysporen for kids, baby wipes, a few bottles of water, medicine dropper, a big bottle of benydril, a stick of after bite (all natural)and an exema stick. I also recently found out that to neutralize the bee venom, tape a copper penny to the bee sting. I have not had the pleasure (thank God) of having to test that theory. I also have the baby sunblock, the sports sun block and the waterproof sunblock.

Being a stay at home mom doesn’t mean that I actually spend my entire day at home, in fact, I spend very little time during the warm weather months cooped up in the house. Generally once I get the kids off to school, my youngest and I venture off to the park or the beach for the majority of the day.

Today was a park and picnic day. We went with 4 other moms and their children and let them play till the kids were hungry and then sat down on blankets to have a snack. I am always Leary of the people around us at the park. I always look around and make sure I can see or hear my daughter at all times. With all the reports of attempted child abductions that have surfaced in our town and towns close by to ours, I am just a bit more cautious with all of my children. We go over safety rules on a weekly basis.

I am eager to get a chance to finally spend time at the beach and the new water park. I know my daughter will be elated to see that. from a distance it looks incredible. Gone are the days of hearing “I’m bored!!” between the water park, the beach and the park, I should be über busy this summer with all 4 of my kids. Ok yes I  am not including the days that will be filled with rain and thunderstorms but I am sure I will be able to find something to do with them.

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A Mom who love’s coupons & saving money!

I have been thinking of ways to save money. Before my two boys came into our life I used to use coupons. Not like I do now but I still used them when I could.

Now I have entered a new whole world of couponing. It’s crazy how this all really works. I was in disbelief that this process would ever work. I was at the point where I was thinking of paying someone to find the deals for me and shop. When I came to this point I thought how hard can this really be? I joined a few local groups in my area and received a wealth of knowledge from where to price match, where to shop, where to find deals, coupons and so much more. I won’t go into the full details of everything. Just to let  you know once you start it’s so addicting to see how much money your really saving in the end. You think it’s cheaper to buy “no name” yes I was like that. We will buy “no name” brands for the cheaper price. In the long run guess what the brand name  works out to be the same price or free with coupons and just knowing the “cycle” of a sale and really watching your flyers.

This is my routine every Thursday we get our flyers delivered to our door. Now I’m a kid in a candy store when they arrive. I get them all. I take out all the ones I don’t need like furniture ones .. I only check out the sales on food. Here is a photo of what my Thursday night looks like. I wait till both my boys are in bed before doing this tackle of it all. I have my spread sheet, coupons that I need to use that will expire soon along with local flyers

This was the start to now “my love of couponing” I will post all of the links that have been helpful for me. I’m still no “pro” but I do have the passion to keep doing it. And I’m not sure why I never started sooner. As the old saying goes “better late than never.  I have taken a few photos of things I got for a deal. I stay it’s my steal deal.

So here are a few of my steel deals. Below the photo I will mark what the true cost would be vs sale cost then the cost with coupon and the money I spent out-of-pocket. I only have 2 photos to share as I’ve been doing this for a month and a half.

Steal Deal #1

Before sale price:

~2 pkg of Easy Ups reg: $14.47 x 2 =  $28.94
~2 pkgs of Greek yogurt reg: $2.47 x 2 = $4.94
~2 dove body wash reg: $6.30 x 2 =$12. 60
~4 crest tooth paste reg: $3.99 x 4 = $15.96
~1 irish spring reg: $2.99
total: $65.43

Sale price with coupons:

~2 pkg of Easy Ups sale: $9.99 x2 = $19.98 – $4.00 coupon = $15.98
~2 pkg of Greek Yogurt: $1.47 x 2 =  $2.49
~ 2 dove body wash sale: $3.99 x 2 –  $7.98 – $2.50 = $5.48
~4 crest tooth paste $2.00 x 4 = $8.00
~1 irish spring $1.99 – $1.00 coupon = .99
total: $32.94
saved: $32.49

My other photo has a lot more but I will just give you retail: vs sale/coupon price!

Before sale retail cost would be $117.00
With sale and coupons spent: $64.00
total saved: $52.00

Here are some great sites if you want to learn more about Saving & using coupons. If you have any questions you can also ask me and I will provide you with info that I think would help you.

Enjoy the links below:

Mrs. January has lots of info ~
Ottawa Coupon Swap group  with loads of info & help for beginners ~!/groups/ottawacouponswap/
Frugal Me Frugal You a great local blog post ~
Flyer On Fire want to know the deals in this weeks flyers check out ~

Any questions feel free to e-mail

Happy Saving!!

If there are any great websites that you use please leave a comment below and share with use your  fave website for deals!

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