Thursday, December 31, 2009

Last Day of the Year

I just packed the kids up to head out again and I just couldn't have my last post of the year be a vent! It has been an amazing year with more love than I could ever imagine. I have been blessed with the most wonderful and supportive husband and five happy healthy kids, a job that I love. We welcomed a new niece into the family this year that is such a sweet little girl. Without my Mom I couldn't manage my business or my life. Pat's Mom and Dad keep our spirits up with their visits and phone calls and the planning of a trip of a lifetime to Disney world to celebrate their retirement.

I am one lucky lady! Until 2010..... Thanks for being a part of my day!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A Christmas Wreath Doesn't Smell Like Beef- Or does it?

The house is finally quiet. My mom's house that is. Christmas holidays are supposed to be a time to re-energize, re-connect with friends and family and spend quality time with your darling children. Right now all I can think about is how much longer until it is over.

In the past two weeks I have consumed enough calories to sustain an entire football team and I have done exactly six minutes of exercise at the local skating rink. Which will inevitably lead to New Year depression and a early January meltdown including gym memberships and Weight Watchers.

Four of the five children puked the week of Christmas, two of them at their Grandparent's house. One in the middle of Christmas Eve on the living room rug during a festive game of "telephone" where one person whispers a message and then they whisper to the next person. The special Christmas message my niece came up with was " A Christmas wreath doesn't smell like beef". She was literally mid whisper with Kelsey when in the middle of 18 people and to my complete dismay he barfed up what can only be described as a Christmas eve concoction of lasagna, birthday cake, chocolate milk and half of the goodie table. Maybe if I had the forethought to have video taped the event I would be $10 000.00 richer but unfortunately the only evidence I have is this picture of my husband steam cleaning the carpet. Somehow even when he is cleaning up puke I still think he is cute.
Their poor rug! Some day I will tell you the story about how I melted their brand new linoleum. All this and they still love me and our family! I am pretty lucky to have such great in laws.

Not only do we have the stress of packing up seven puking fighting people into two vehicles, with a dog, and a million presents the roads were also the worst I have ever had to drive on. I felt like I was in labour for most of the four hour drive. I was using my Lamaze breathing down icy hills, through drifting, swirling snow in the passing lane that was four feet deep, behind white semi trailers who wanted desperately to pass me even though I pleaded "please don't pass, please don't pass". We stopped half way for a lunch break and it took us 45 minutes just to drive through the city. I was so glad to for the break in driving but all I could think after we ate a $65 lunch was that no one better puke up that expensive of a lunch.

I am pretty sure that it was a marriage saver that we were travelling in two separate vehicles and our only means of communication was through texting. (We are lucky to have two kids old enough to spell because then we can dictate what they should text to the other.)

Here are some of the comments during the drive ( i counted there were 174 messages during our six hour trip some of which involved Levi and Olivia calling each other "baby" over and over)

C-Wow there is a lot of snow
P-Two wheel drive and cruise at 110
C-Holy Crap should we wait for the snowplows
P-No that's fine just be patient
P-Keep up please
C-Slow down it's not a race
P- I am slowing down it's going to be good and bad all day depending what direction we go Setting Cruise at 110
C- OK Captain Kirk
C- See that? (a semi in the ditch)
P- Yeah nice! I would like to get around these guys because it is dangerous. If it clears up I'm probably going to pass
C- Or we can go even slower. Don't go your gonna end up in the ditch
P Go now it's clear
C- Mom says don't boss me
P- Tell her to relax
C-Mom needs a smoke for some reason (I don't even smoke)

There are about 100 more texts like that but I realize reading them now it sounds exactly like when we are in the same vehicle, me telling him to slow down and him telling me to relax it will all be fine. He is my rock!

I am trying really hard to appreciate everything in my life. To love spending time with my nieces and nephews that seem to grow a foot between visits. To make the time to enjoy being with my children but why is it so hard? Pat's mom and dad and my mom did so much work to get ready for the holidays. The open their arms to us puke, chaos and all. When my kids look back on this Christmas will they remember the puking, bad roads, and majorly frazzled mother? I hope what they remember will be all the love they have and that "A Christmas wreath doesn't smell like Beef!"

What's your Christmas holiday experience? Does your travelling go smoothly or is it just me?

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

"Merry Pukesmas"

It is an inevitable part of Christmas. The pre holiday, overload, Mommy Meltdown. Welcome back old friend.
I promised my kids that we would be leaving town to their Grandparent’s house by 8:00 am. Instead of driving the four hours watching Christmas movies and singing carols in the van we are currently at home in the midst of a “Merry Puke-fest”. Three of the five kids have been sick and the fourth is hovering over the toilet bowl as we speak. My husband is such a planner and an amazing chef that he planned tonight’s supper around what would be easy for everyone to puke up later tonight. No cheese, tomatoes or anything sharp and poky like tacos that would scratch upon re-entry. Only my hubby would have a “barf friendly” menu!
Here is to hoping that what our “Griswold Family” will spread more “Joy” than “germs” this holiday season!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Diapers and Diplomas

I just posted this to my "Today's Parent's Blog" but wanted to share it here too! If you enjoy reading my blog you can check out my TP blog as I am writing different things for the two blogs somedays and always appreciate comments and hearing your stories!

Whoever decided to charge an admission to my son's Bantam hockey game did not realize the awkward position they were putting the parent volunteering at the gate in when they set the prices at : "Parents- $5" and "Grandparents- $2". As a sea of unfamiliar faces came towards me from the opposition's team, I realized it wasn't all that easy to determine which spectators were parents and which were Grandparents. One at a time the fans would approach and ask, " How much is it to get in?" I diplomatically gestured to the sign and replied, " Here are the rates." and then hope I gave them the right change. A few times I was quite surprised so I decided to just assume everyone was a parent and then the worst that could happen was giving someone of an advanced age a compliment!

Standing in the loby of the rink at my appointed post I had time to think over my own age. For now I guess I would be considered a young or average aged parent. My oldest is now 13 so he is graduating middle school at the end of this year! I officially will have "Diapers and Diplomas!" When Levi graduates high school, the baby Ellie will be in Kindergarten and somewhat scarier the year Ellie graduates High School, Levi will turn 30! I could very well be a grandmother with one kid still in Elementary! I wonder what memories if anyEllie will have of the time when we all lived under one roof together. There aren't too many things I remember from before I was five and even those memories I do have I wonder if they are from stories I was told or photos and videos I have seen. That makes me a bit sad to know that my kids will never be in public school full time together.

Everyone says time with your kids will go by quickly and I don't think you ever really believe when you are right in the middle of the chaos. What I need is a time machine so I can go back and forth between now and the retirement home. There are days when I would like nothing better than to sleep in, have someone pick out my clothes then make my lunch, followed by a game of Bingo or one of my "stories" , a mid afternoon nap, some cross stitch or quilting before my five o clock supper, the early news and then tuck into bed by eight for a full night sleep. Right now that kind of day sounds to me like a little piece of sanity in an otherwise crazy life. And I am sure, when someday I reach the retirement home stage in my life, I will long for nothing more than a wild and crazy day full of hugs and tickles, dance and hockey, forgotten lunches, cancelled school buses, baking cookies for class parties, five bucks for hot lunch day and falling into bed exhausted at midnight wishing I would have one spare minute to do a jumping jack or two.
Whatever stage of life you are at I hope you can remember to enjoy it. We can't go back, and we can't skip forward the best we can do is be fully present in the here and now before you know it you will be paying $2 to get in the gate!

Friday, December 11, 2009

The Gender Gap

My husband and I love each other dearly and I think the thing that makes our relationship the strongest is our differences. The things that sometimes drive me nuts about him are the things that make him unique and special and I hope the same is true of me and my quirks. For example, my husband has commented numerous times that he could teach a University level course on "how to pack a dishwasher". No matter how many times I have tried he still redoes whatever I put in there because his way is more efficient. Speaking of dishes I will do an entire sink full of dishes and will always leave the last sticky pot to soak only to find it the next day in cold greasy water which drives him crazy. He doesn't like to have his food touch on the plate, I put the jug of milk back in the fridge with one drop left in it. And the list goes on.

Lately the thing perplexing Pat the most about womankind is our need for wearing a scarf as an accessory. I am not the most fashionable person in the world and I must admit that I own one ratty grey scarf that I actually wear to keep me warm, to redirect attention away from my butt and as a giant hanky which I have used to wipe kid's noses and dry off bouquets for brides at weddings. I am wearing it right now as I sit at my computer in my ratty house coat, pj top, no pants and a pair of mismatched sports socks. It really is an accessory for any outfit! (If you think I am joking you know I could take a picture) I think Pat might burn this scarf one day along with the black sweater that I love because it is warm and covers my butt. I wore it to Greek Nite, the PPOC awards banquet, work every day for the last month, and in my latest head shot. Unfortunately, I took it off yesterday while attempting to Christmas shop with a moody thirteen year old trying on toques at the "cool store", Ellie was wandering through the store destroying displays and Carson was whipping Kelsey with a pair of pants he pulled of a near by table. I was paying for the one Christmas present at the till when Kelsey got my attention my tugging on my coat and quietly whispered, "Carson cracked a mirror in the change room". Please tell me who puts kid's toys including two golf clubs in between a row of mirrored doors? Luckily the clerks assured me that the mirror was cracked before we arrived! Needless to say that was the end of the Christmas shopping and I left the store but forgot my black sweater on one of the racks! I hope to retrieve it today!

Here is the final thing for today that I don't quite understand about my husband. I cried at our wedding, I cried when we gave birth to our children, I cry watching "The Biggest Loser" and all the while Pat doesn't shed a tear! But put on a clip of some guy winning a cup and hugging his Dad and pass the kleenex. Ray Bourque just about sent Pat into hysterics winning the cup because it had been so long and he deserved it or something like that I couldn't really make sense between the sobs ! The time we watched the Habs play in "Le Centre Bell" and he phoned his Dad from the stands and held up the phone so he could hear and told him he wished he was there with him.....Tears. Brett Hull being inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame, Tiger Woods hugging his dad in the stands on Father's day the list goes on. I guess I should have walked down the aisle or given birth in a Habs Jersey and then maybe at least something. Here is the last video Pat had to watch before going to play old timer, rec, no-hit, beer league hockey to get "reved up" as he put it............ I am not sure I am ever going to get him!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

My First Today's Parent Post

I am officially a blogger for Today's Parent! My blog is called "Give Me Five" I am not sure where this six month journey is going to take me but I am willing to give it a shot. Maybe I will end up writing a book or maybe I will be announced as Oprah's replacement in Sept. My name spelled backwards isn't nearly as interesting as hers. "Alroc Productions" . That sounds more like my father in law. Anyway I digress. If you have a chance to stop by and check out my new blog and maybe make a comment that would be great! Thanks to all of you for reading my rambles and giving me a place to share my stories. Blogging is something I really look forward to each day.

I took a head shot of myself today at the studio. I wanted to put a picture of Charlize Theron up and say the role of Corla Rokochy is being played by Charlize Theron like they used to do on the soap opreas when a longstanding character was just randomly replaced by a new actress and no one ever noticed. I figured Charlize would be the reasonable choice as my older brother once told me, "You know Corla you look a lot like Charlize Theron." I nearly fell over as we don't really have a mushy relationship. He then followed that comment with something more expected, "When she played that crazy lady in the movie Monster"

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Christmas Preparations

Driving to our first of three Christmas concerts this week, I found myself staring out the foggy window of the van at Christmas lights and decorations. Instead of enjoying the displays I felt guilty about the extreme lack of Christmas preparations I have done this year. It seems in the past I have been pregnant leading up to Christmas and was forced to get not only my work done early but also Christmas shopping, baking, decorating and the annual Rokochy family Christmas letter and picture. Here is the status of the Rokochy Holiday Preparations so far.

Two giant tubs of ramshambled decorations, tangled half lit lights, old Christmas cards and various Christmas rif raf has been dragged into the house from the garage. When Pat got home that evening he thought the house had been robbed.

Three overly ambitious, four foot tall, unskilled tree decorators took after the fake Christmas tree so now it looks like drunken elves stood ten feet back and threw decorations at the tree. Said Christmas tree looked awesome in the dark until the weather turned to forty below and my husband stole the extension cord to plug in the van.

The extent of our family Christmas shopping took place between the second and third period of the Bronco game where we crossed off every male name on our list. The presents remain unwrapped beside the tree and the kids haven't even thought to look in the bag.

The kids put out the Count down callendar that you are supposed to fill with little treats and they took it upon themselves to fill each day with a single "mini wheat"

I am frantically attempting to get everyone their pictures back in time for Christmas and have not yet taken a picture of my own family!

One thing we have managed to chose a date for our fifth annual Christmas Caroling Fiasco. This is a tradition we were inspired to start with our friends in Swift Current after years of cookies and soup with Pat's family friends. We have approximately 75 friends of all ages over to the house for homemade soup, and cookies and then Christmas Caroling. The kids get a visit from Santa and the adults take part in a traditional White Elephant gift exchange.

So if you feel yourself getting a little stressed out and time is running short let me take one thing off the list for you busy moms and dads. Here is a "Fill in the Blank" Christmas letter that you can send to your family and friends.

Dear _____________________________

I can't believe another year has passed! How is everything at your house? I hope the holidays are finding everyone there happy and healthy!

The past 12 months have been some of the ___________ (best/ worst) months of our lives! The highlight of this year was our trip to ________________ ( the hospital/Las Vegas/Oprah's favorite things show/the rink for another hockey game). ________________ is really ___________________ (loving/hating) work right now but we are excited about the possibility of our own reality show on CBC. The title of the show would be _______________. So unless the tv deal goes through or we win the lottery I guess in 2010 you will still find our family hanging out at the ___________________ ( rink/ ski hill/ soccer field/ therapist).

The kids are _____________________________ years old and keep busy with friends and activities. Their marks in school are much like their parents marks back in the day all ___________ (A, A+ or A++).

Our New Years Resolutions include _______________________ ( getting back to the weight we were when we met/ sleeping through the night/ going one year without being pregnant).

We would love to come and stay at your place for ________________ ( a week/ a month during summer vacation/ 2010). Please let us know if you have space in your drive way for ( mobile home/ 6 dogs and a pet pig/ five kids and a dog/ the travelling circus)

Happy Holidays from Our Home to Yours

Love the _________________Family 2009

Friday, December 4, 2009

You know you're a Mom when....

I am embarking on a new project to collect stories and quotes that start with...

You know you are a mom when... ( subcategories of "you know you are a breastfeeding mom when" "you know you are a new mom when" "you know you are a toddler mom when" and "you know you are a teenagers mom when"

Please email me if you have a good story. Little do you know I have stolen ideas from you already.

Here goes...

You Know You are a Mom When:
You run a nice hot tub sink down under the bubbles, relax and there is a knock at the door followed by, "I have to poop" (Thanks Miss H)

You are in the middle of a evening out, in the middle row of a live show and you let your seven year old son puke in your purse (Thanks Miss S)

Your two year old is peeing on the magazines at the checkout of the grocery store. (Thanks Miss B)

You eat your lunch standing up or your lunch is leftovers from the high chair.

You are in line to pay at the grocery store and when you pull out your wallet a tampon drops out onto the floor and you are not the least bit embarrassed because that is the least of your problems at the grocery store.

There's just a few to get you started.

I would love to hear from you....

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Rider Pride is alive!

It was a heartbreaker that's for sure, but in the end the old green and white had a great season and gave us a lot to cheer about!
Our great friends invited us over to their house for a Grey Cup Party. The guys had a briliant idea at breakfast to show up at noon and throw a tailgate party in front of our hosts' house with a barbque, deepfryer, picnic tables and the works. We had such a good time with honks from cars passing by, the neighbors dropped by for a visit and a game of catch broke out on the street.

Do Not adjust your monitor. It is a green stash!
Back off Ladies...He's all mine!
We were thinking of doing a Christmas card with just the kids. Maybe this one will be from Pat and Corla!

Discussing playoff beards.

Take my advice don't take red wine to a tailgate party in November it doesn't stay room temperature and everyone will just make fun of you.
Nice form.

You will never have a lack of friends if you own a travelling deep fryer and bring along a million wings. That's why we love you.

Hard Core Fan

The littlest rider fan. Uncle Peck gave her this for her birthday!

The whole gang. (BTW Pat is rubbing his green mustache not picking his nose!) Wanna play "where's Gainer? I have one friend who wants to be annonymous and she was eating a bun in this picture"

All the boys had a bottle
Kids love the food.
This was day four of Pat's five day birthday celebration.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Oh Christmas tree

We are all about traditions in our family and one is attending the annual lighting of the Christmas tree downtown. This year the weather was amazing and we took advantage of the time to visit friends and drink some hot chocolate.

Nothing says Christmas more than Fat Cat under the tree.

Ellie did not move from this position for two hours!
One of Fat Cat's Elves.

Some wise men and a wise lady.
Yummy hot chocolate.
Hugs from Mrs. Clause.
The lean on the stroller....Classic.
Awwww. As you can see Levi was way to cool for this scene.
Treat bag.
This wasn't our first rodeo. We have the system down. You show up and mingle. Drink hot chocolate and while you visit the line for Santa goes from a full block one hour wait to a walk right up if you wait the line out! See you there next year!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Our Canada!

The November/December Issue of "Our Canada" Magazine just came out and I am excited to have written and article and my photography is also featured from a Photo Essay I did at Herbert minor hockey day. I even have a bio in the front of the magazine. I put a picture in from a couple of years and a few pounds ago! I also put in there that I was a motivational speaker so maybe I will be getting calls to take the "Circus House"on the road!
This magazine publishes reader submissions so those of you who do amazing Canadian Photography why not send something in to be published it is a great feeling. (you know who you are Devona and Catherine.....anyone who has a beautiful image should send it in)

Contribute to Our Canada


Here is the story I wrote for the magazine!

was raised in small town Davidson, Saskatchewan where the heart of the community was the local arena. That was the place where everyone came together not only to cheer for the local team but also to celebrate the birth of a baby, an engagement, a good year in the field, and catch up on the latest local news. The rink was a place for spending some quality time with your mom or dad at those early morning practices. Dreams of becoming a player in the NHL or Canada’s next figure skating star were all a possibility. The game being played on the ice was important for sure, but so many of the memories I have from the rink have nothing to do with hockey or figure skating at all.
When I stepped into the building in Herbert Saskatchewan on Minor hockey day to photograph the team pictures my eyes had to adjust from the bright sun in the parking lot to the dim florescent lights of the lobby.When everything came into focus, I felt as if I had been transported back in time to when I was a young girl coming along to my brothers’ games. The first thing I noticed was the smell of burgers cooking on the grill. I made my way over to the booth and saw the little kids perched atop a wooden stool excitedly picking out their five cent candy. There were home baked goodies, pies and soup. The game is much more enjoyable on a full stomach.
There were fantastic parent volunteers taking money at the door, selling 50/50 tickets, coaching the teams, running the penalty box and score clock. It takes an entire community to run a small town rink and everyone had come out to support the local teams. Some of the older kids were involved by reffing and helping move nets during intermission. There were moms pushing babies in their strollers and visiting over a hot cup of coffee. The kids were playing mini sticks in the lobby with a big ball of hockey tape. Older siblings and parents were hauling over sized bags of equipment and sticks in through the lobby making their way to the dressing rooms to warm up the cold gear.
The highlight for me was during the intermission when the old tractor and Zamboni, came out and cleaned the ice for the next period sporting a bright orange toque as the hood ornament. I am not sure if it was merely for decoration to match the orange tank of the Zamboni. Much like the rink itself the Zamboni was not new and slick but it still got the job done and held many memories. If that old tractor could talk I am sure it would have some tales to tell about the sights, sounds and goings on at the local arena.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

This week my mom and I travelled to Humboldt Sask to attend the PPOC ( Professional Photographers of Canada) Saskatchewan Branch Annual Awards Banquet. I have been a member for just over 13 years and in that time I have managed to win three Print Show awards and was nominated once for Photographer of the Year. Well this year I doubled my awards by winning three in one night! Here are the winners. Thanks again to my fabulous models.

This image "Don't Yank My Chain" Won Best in Fashion Class The model is my awesome next door neighbor who I just found out was signed by a major modelling agency!

This image "Human Nature" Won Best in Editorial Class My sweetheart Olivia who was such a willing model to roll in the mud.

This image "Kids Fly Free" Won Best Child Portrait The two girls are actually one girl. My niece.

This image "Lucky # 7" was not lucky after all and did not hang in the show. Can't win em all I guess!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Kelsey- You the Man!

Kelsey was drawn to be the Swift Current Bronco's 7th Man. He was lucky enough to get to share the honor with his friend and fellow team mate. The boys got dressed in their Bronco gear and headed out on the ice before the game. The lights were off in the rink, the fans cheering and the music blaring. They skated into the middle of the huddle at the net for a pregame cheer. Then the boys joined the starting lineup for O Canada. The Broncos remove their helmets and shift from side to side to keep warm during the anthem so just like the players they look up to so did the boys. Kelsey got a little help to get his helmet on and off and he shifted from side to side rolling his neck and shaking his hands to "keep warm" It was priceless!

Dad was in charge of getting Kelsey dressed so he had to look his best. The coach even stopped and told Kelsey he was the best dressed guy to ever be the 7th man! Possibly a future Don Cherry.

The big Broncos. Gotta love "Movember"
The little Broncos.

The huddle. The boys may have learned some new words.

Help a brother out would you?