Lessons to my children…..How to survive life, and the tools you need to do it.

A smiley by Pumbaa, drawn using a text editor.

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     You are 10 times better looking than you think you are. Don’t let anyone alter your perception of yourself. You are perfect just the way you are.

     If you don’t have the confidence, fake it! It will become real in time.

     Don’t be afraid to try new things. If you never try you will never know.

     Education IS your number one tool to successful living. Don’t stop learning.

     The first person you love will probably break your heart, but there will be others even better than the first. Though it may seem that your world is ending, it is only just the beginning or things to come. This holds true for every heartbreak, if it is ending it was never meant to last and no matter what you do it won’t.

     High school parties are nothing special and being popular is not important in the real world. Being homecoming queen or having the most friends is not going to matter as soon as you enter the real world. Focus on study, and keep close a few true friends instead of many false ones.

     Sex is not all it’s cracked out to be. Share it for love, not lust. Enjoy the pleasure with passion, not for comfort or curiosity.

     You can’t change other people, and trying is a waste of time. You can only control yourself, if others do things you disapprove of control your reaction, or situation not theirs. You will only fuel their fire and tire yourself out.

     Every person who enters your life has something to teach you, take the time to listen and learn. People come into your life for a reason, even negative people. If someone is not good for you it is best to discover that lesson quickly and move on.

     Yelling ALWAYS makes things worse. If you are screaming you are going to get nothing but a sore throat.

     What others think of you is irrelevant. All that matters is that what you are doing makes YOU happy, seriously…this is life changing advice.

     No one knows everything. Though you may think they do, they don’t. Just because someone is talented at many things does not mean they are great at everything. Follow what you know and simply learn what you can.

     Every person has a story, don’t judge who they are based on how the appear. Just because a person is suffering now does not mean they always were, life takes us many places and we cross many paths. If you can help do, but don’t judge every human has a soul, they live, breathe, and hurt just like you.

     Anger is weakness, violence even more so. Again you can only control yourself.

     Those who complain the most accomplish the least. Don’t complain about it just do it, the more time you send avoiding something the longer it takes to do it. You will have to do many things you don’t like to do, it is best to get them out of the way and move on quickly.

     Debt devours you. Keep on top of debt or it will swallow you whole.

     Be who you are, and say what you feel. Because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind!

     Anyone can stay in a safe, comfortable situation; the key to living is to take risks. If it feels easy, it is too easy; you must constantly challenge yourself if you want to grow.  

     Revenge is for the angry and irresponsible. And anger is weakness, forgive and live. Besides happiness is always the best revenge.

     People will put you down because they dislike themselves. If someone is mean to you it is simply a reflection of how they view themselves. Have compassion first, not anger, pity the soul who can not find happiness like you.

     If you are not happy alone, you will never be happy with another. You must make yourself happy, no one else can do it for you, and the sad truth is they won’t even try.

     Follow you “gut” it will never lead you astray. Your head may cause you to consider, your heart may lead you into trouble, but your gut will always tell you when something is wrong or right. Listen to it carefully.

     The only thing worse than having no friends, is having too many that aren’t really friends.

     Swearing only makes you sound dumb. It is not “cool” and it is a bad habit to break, avoid it!

     Words are powerful, use them with care. One cruel remark can scar for a lifetime.

     Problems always seem bigger than they are.

     Nothing ever goes as planned. Learn to live in the moment and you will be adaptable to any situation. Stressing over a change is only going to hurt you.

     Sometimes you have to let go of people in your life, even when you don’t want to. If someone causes you pain, or makes you cry. It may hurt to let them go, but it will hurt less than letting them stay.

     The few possessions you have, the more they do for you. Quality over quantity is always the best choice.

     You can never change the past, but you can easily change the future. Live for NOW, dwelling on the past and living with regrets is an easy way to torture yourself. Focus on the future and change that instead.

     Positive thinking will change your life. Positive thinking will bring positive results. 100% guaranteed.

     The ability to be happy is nothing more than a simple choice to be happy. Happiness is not a situation; it is a state of mind. Choose it and it’s yours.

     Always follow your dreams. No matter how unattainable they may seem every dream is achievable, make the choice to try and you will succeed. Don’t let others opinions become your reality

      Smile and laugh as much as you can. Life is too short to be miserable.

     Life is not fair, but it is good.

     Always ask yourself “in a year will this matter?” Chances are if it’s a problem it won’t, if it’s an opportunity it will.

     Always remember to be thankful for what you have. Envy of others is a waste of time; you already have everything you need.

     A person who is rude to a waiter is not a good person. Watch closely to those around you, little signs speak loud words.

     Make mistakes. Making mistakes is the only way to learn, make them, take the lesson, and move on.

     Always ask questions. Learn, learn, learn……learn!

     Remember that you only live once. What seems important right now will probably not matter down the road. Gossip will kill your soul and other people can not make you happy. Live the life you want and enjoy it to the fullest.


straight jacket

Image by funkypancake via Flickr

Well life has been pretty uneventful lately. Although my little devil angel is crawling all over the house now and causing quite a ruckus. Every time I turn around something is pulled out, pushed over, or in her mouth. Granted it keeps me on my toes…Note to all those people who are looking to lose weight, chasing a crazy beautiful baby around might work for you, I barely have time to scarf down a snack let alone a whole meal. 

But I am having fun, she is starting to really get around, and the house is safe enough for her at the moment…though I did learn a few things about baby proofing this time around; 

  1. If it has a hole, fill it – This is especially important for electrical outlets. If they can stick their fingers in it, they will!
  2. If it opens, shut it – Drawers, doors, and cupboards are no longer suitable hiding places for dangerous or harmful items such as cleaners, scissors, or your crystal bowl for great aunt Gilda.
  3. If you can climb it, move it – Any and every piece of furniture will suddenly become a jungle-gym. If they can climb it to dizzying heights it may be better just to move it.
  4. If it moves, secure it – If it can be pushed over or around, it will be.
  5. If it needs to stay where it is, cover it – If all else fails place something in front of it. I had to rearrange my furniture so that all the plugs were covered. My perfect little devil angel was pulling the plugs out of the walls every time I turned around. I kept wondering WTF was going on with the television….  

With my son I was a firm believer that you should not remove anything, you should just simply teach your child not to touch. Granted I was younger then, had more time and energy, and the desire to follow my little devil angel everywhere. Now…NOT SO MUCH!! I would rather cover, close, or move it than have to stress, chase, and advise my baby all day long. 

The truth of the matter is I am exhausted, I keep waiting for the parents to walk in and claim their little devil angel, but no one has shown yet! I am starting to feel like I’m the one who should be in a padded room safe and protected!!!

Operation Beautiful

A small pad of Post-It notes.

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I recently came across one of the most amazing websites for women, Operation Beautiful is a site that encourages women to stop “fat talking” or “bad talking” themselves. It is designed as a challenge to remind women everywhere that they are beautiful just the way they are. 

This is not the first site that does this, but what makes it unique is the challenge itself and the amount of positivity it is creating, the concept is simple; write a positive message on a piece of paper or a post-it note and stick it in a public place. The site offers daily note ideas or you can create your own. The only rule is that it is a positive thought. Simple…..yes! Effective….for sure. 

The Operation Beautiful site contains many comments and stories from participants that have been touched by this challenge. There are photo uploads of posted, and found, notes and a plethora of articles on positive self-image. There are great reminders that we are all unique and beautiful just the way we are. 

I for one know how easily we as women can talk/think negatively about ourselves without even realising we are doing so, this movement is quickly becoming wide-spread and will hopefully make a huge difference in the lives of women everywhere. I thin the idea is simply amazing, especially for young women (think back to high school) who are constantly comparing themselves to others. 

I can not praise Caitlin (the Operation Beautiful Creator) enough; one simple idea now has the possibility to change the world. Way to go!!! 

Check out the site at; http://www.operationbeautiful.com/ and start challenging yourself to participate. Even if you do it only on your bedroom wall or bathroom mirror, every little act changes the world.

Don’t allow others opinions of you to become your reality.

Kitchen Contraptions….

Avocado, milk, condensed milk and ice smoothie...

Image by avlxyz via Flickr

For me it has never been about the need for fancy, expensive, or un-invented kitchen contraptions, see I have owned every imaginable kitchen gadget you can think of, it is more the issue of convenience for me. I am somewhat domesticated, much to my disbelief, I enjoy cooking, cleaning, and most household functions. I enjoy having good family meals, and a generally tidy home, but I am not known for being highly organized! 

This is no different when it comes to working in the kitchen, I rarely use recipes as I am not great with following directions, I usually forget at least one of the main ingredients, and often the required preparation time does not suit my ever-changing schedule. Kitchen contraptions hold the same problems for me, although they may cut my cooking time, prep time, or whatever other incredible claims these items offer, for me it comes down to the convenience of the actual contraption itself. If I have to get it out of its storage area in the cupboard, put it together, or find pieces that are god-knows-where in my kitchen, then it will not get used, period! 

This contraption that claims to self-prepare, cook, or magically create whatever it chooses… will in fact sit in the back of a cupboard, closet, or closed-in space and collect dust. I will not make the effort to dig it out, put it together, figure out how it works, curse when it doesn’t work, dismantle, clean, and re-store the said contraption, just for the reward of “saved” time. 

Even the simplest of gadgets goes unused in my kitchen, I remember how badly I wanted the famous “slap chop” it claimed to chop, dice and mince with ease, life would be so simple if I only had this gadget. Breakfast would no longer be a chore, I wouldn’t shed another tear over chopping onions, I could create amazingly tasty treats with simplicity. I think I used it ONCE… it is sitting in my “container” cupboard, where it has resided for the last 8 months collecting dirt, dust, and other questionable particles. Sure it’s small, it works just fine, but is it convenient for me to remember to pull it out when I need it? No! 

The same story goes for my “as seen on T.V. rotisserie.” I used this item at first, I used it a lot, in fact I used the hell out of it… I had a bigger kitchen then, more counter space, and it had a “home” on that counter….now? this poor, rather useful item sits up in a storage space gathering grime, thought of in passing as I cook a roast in the oven, but probably never to be seen again. Why? Because it is big, heavy and inconvenient to take out when needed. 

Call me lazy, I might agree, but after chasing two children around all day, cleaning, working, and whatever else may appear on my ever-growing To-do list I have a right to be lazy, I have the right to desire handiness in my kitchen… if that means I cook with an “oven” then I guess that’s how it has to be…Oh the dilemmas of the domesticated.  

One of "those" days…..

Long time missed school

Image by Kenoir via Flickr

Well today was one of “those” days…..it started way too early, when last night ended way too late. I was unorganized, unmindful, and unable to function correctly at even the simplest of tasks. But even still I plastered a smile on my face when my son awoke at 6:22 a.m. and my daughter at 7:00….I even gathered enough energy to get them dressed swiftly and cart them off to Tim Hortons for a “specialbreakfast, and a MUCH needed coffee!! All was well, it was a beautiful morning, one of those mornings that are the perfect temperature, a fresh rain had just ended and everything was glistening in the first hints of the morning light. It was a great morning…. We talked as we walked to get coffee and bagels, we sang silly songs and I managed to have a good time, something I have been lacking lately. 

We got our breakfast, and headed back home. We managed to get everything ready for school without a hitch and we were out the door with plenty of time to spare. We leisurely wandered down the road to school, chatting along the way…. I even stopped for another coffee. It truly was a good morning for us….. 

We arrived at school with ten minutes to waste before the bell rang, that’s when I got an eerie feeling…. The school yard was unusually empty, lacking the familiar sounds of children playing in the school yard, the squeals of boys and girls fresh from sugary breakfasts releasing the energy of a good nights sleep before they enter and begin to exercise their ever-developing brains. No, nothing…instead there was silence!! Never a good sign on a school yard particularly in the early morning hours, at lunch, or around 3 p.m. Confused I looked to my neighbour, who has been walking right along with us on this beautiful day….”you know,” she said “my son said something about there not being school Monday….” 

Yeah you figured it out…..IT WAS A P.A. DAY!!! 

 I walked my child all the way to school…. And there was no school to be had….. 

I couldn’t help but laugh, and I felt better knowing I was not the only scatter brain out there, a few other parents walked up to find us laughing hysterically, and through our insane giggles we managed to inform them what we had just discovered…. We may have looked insane to passers-by, especially if they were AWARE of this P.A. Day, but hey like I said, it was one of “those” days, and it could have been worse, at least it was a beautiful day and I got to have time enjoying my beautiful children.

My Tip Of The Day: Always check your child’s school calendar…. You never know when an “off” day might pop up!!!

Creepy "Crawlies"

Baby hat

Image by MichaelEClarke via Flickr

Well today marked the first “real” day that my beautiful little devil angel started “really” crawling! Sure she has been scooting around for a while now, she gets from here to there, but today, seemingly out of nowhere, this beautiful little chubby, messy, crying, crazy monster started to actually crawl! Let the fun begin. 

Well it started like any normal day in my life…doing laundry with two children in tote…I don’t have the luxury of a washer and dryer in my shoebox apartment, so it is off to the laundry mat…which thankfully is just around the corner, see I don’t drive, so imagine the difficulty of getting a 7 year-old, a 7 month-old and 7 loads of laundry to the laundry mat…even if it is “just around the corner.” So I opted to just pick out the items that “really need washed.” And save the rest for another time. I am a procrastinator. I am aware; I will deal with that later. 

 While at the laundry mat, my beautiful little devil angel decided that sitting in her stroller patiently while mommy washed, dried, and folded was not and option…am I shocked really? No. But mothers are allowed to have dreams too dammit. So despite what I am sure was a look of disgusted from a more “conventional” mother, I lifted the screaming, squealing little monkey from the confines of this contraption, which might I add are designed to confine a child in the place you wish to keep them confined, and placed her on the floor. 

Yes, I know how motherly of me. Though it may not have been the most hygienic choice, I was not faced with many other options at that point…. The only man in the place was fixing to steal my dryer…I could sense it. There was a mad dash for the dryer, a slight struggle as I pushed him out-of-the-way…. and before I knew it I turned around to find my precious, if not a little dirty, baby at my heels! (OK I am also prone to exaggeration along with procrastination!) Anyway….. “there she was” I was speechless, that doesn’t happen to me often…but I truly was! 

When I managed to get myself together my first thought was that my loving son, who likes to believe that he can carry his little sister everywhere, had moved her closer to her mommy… but this was not the case. I know this because my son was engrossed in some silly children’s show on the laundry mat television, and had no clue that his little sister had even moved from his feet. Yeah, yeah…responsibility, that’s why we don’t have a dog!!! 

The point is that once I was standing there watching I saw that this perfect, helpless little baby had discovered that she was now more than able enough to get around on her own, and not nearly so helpless…The first feeling that passed over me was pride, but that was quickly replaced with panic…now that she can actually move how am I ever going to keep her contained? How will there ever be peace? How? How? How? 

This panic has not yet subsided. I came home and secured the baby gate across the very steep stairs into our apartment, scanned for dangerous items that would now be within reach, and prepared for the worst. As I type this blog post she is in the midst of climbing the back of my chair, the wall unit, and her older brothers legs…..As I said “let the fun begin!”

Happy Halloween

It's that time of year once again, Halloween u...

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With another insanely over commercialized holiday upon us I figured I would rant about Halloween!  And what better way to start then with a brief outline of this ghoulish date; 

The origins of Halloween date back to a Celtic festival. The Celtics celebrated the New Year on November 1st and believed that the ghosts of the dead would return to earth on the last day of the year to damage crops and wreak havoc on the town’s people in search of human bodies to possess. So on October 31st of each year the people would dress up as ghouls and ghosts to avoid being possessed by said demons.  

The trick-or-treat element of this holiday is thought to have originated through the catholic religions declaration that November 1st be All-saints day, and November 2nd All-souls day. People would travel village to village begging for “soul cakes,” the more cakes they received, the more prayers they would offer, hence the request for treats on this date. 

Now vastly commercialized, this event is a big money-maker for big box stores, and candy companies. Each year we ask our children what they want “to be,” and race around trying to find the perfect costume; this inevitably leads to travels to ten different stores, looking at ten different princess costumes, fighting with ten different mothers, who have ten different daughters, who all want the same dam costume as “your” little princess….who would of course make a WAY more believable Cinderella than the little brunette girl at Walmart

Each year we spend excessive amounts of money, on excessive amounts of candy, with the expectation that hundreds of little ghosts, goblins, ballerinas, and Barbie’s are going to come knocking at our door asking that expected question…”trick-or-treat!” and you would NEVER want to be caught without candy on hand, or the “trick” is on you! Each year we end up with a lot of extra candy, and a few very tired, yet very over-sugared children of our own! 

So why do we do it? Because we are parents…. Despite what we mumble in moments of weakness, we love our children. We enjoy seeing them have fun, and even though dental bills are expensive, we enjoy spoiling them with goodies and treats. 

Luckily for me this year my son has decided to be a Zombie Army Man, and my daughter (who is too young to actually trick-or-treat, but heaven forbid should miss out on the excitement of the event!) will be a ladybug. Her costume is being handed down from a friend, and my son’s cost a total of $1.00 for face paint! I guess I have the extra cash to spend on candy now, for the hundreds of ghosts, goblins, ballerinas, and Barbie’s that may, or may not, show up at my door!!

Something to “Bitch” about…

Now I'm That Bitch

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Bitch; another word that I believe is misused, and misinterpreted. Trust me I have been called a Bitch on many occasions, but I am far from tears. Let’s break it down…. 

The “Urban Dictionary” defines the word “bitch”:

  • Annoying and whining female
  • A woman who doesn’t give a flying F**K anymore and can/will be cruel to men
  • A woman with a bad attitude 

Now for MY definition of a “bitch”;

  • A woman who is independent, strong and able to speak her mind.
  • A woman, who won’t do what “you” want her to, will do what “she” wants.
  • A woman who is not afraid to stand up for her self to get what she wants. 

Now what’s wrong with being a “Bitch?” 

This thought is pretty straightforward and simple. If being a “bitch” means standing up for yourself, getting what you want, and not conforming to other people’s opinions of what you should be, then there is nothing wrong with being a “bitch.” In fact, quite the opposite! If “bitch” is being defined in this way, should we not all aspire to be a little more “bitchy?” 

The fact of the matter is, woman have always been looked down upon as the “lesser” sex, don’t fool yourself, though times have changed there are still many people with this view. Perhaps it is a little milder than it once was, but it is still present in society today. We live and experience this type of perception on a daily basis, whether we choose to acknowledge it or not, woman are, and will always be, seen as helpless in some ways, to some people. We are often depicted this way in movies, television shows, and marketing campaigns. Yes, we are lucky we now have rights, and role models that prove otherwise, but there will always be those that see us as a “lesser” being. You need only look at government statistics for rate of pay to see that this outlook is still present in society today. 

With that little “rant” out-of-the-way, the point I am making is this…. 

If we as women are not going to stand up for ourselves, make our own choices, and fight against the image others conceive for us, who will? Being a “bitch” is not about complaining, whining, or being mean. It is about strength, independence, and ambition. It is about showing our daughters and their daughters, that we have the power to be anything, and everything that we desire; we have the ability and the right to make our own choices. That we are not cruel, ignorant, or difficult; we are simply goal oriented and willing to do what it takes to achieve those goals. 

So I will state loud and clear for the world to hear…. “YES I AM A BITCH…THANK YOU VERY MUCH!! I AM A BITCH, AND I AM PROUD TO BE ONE!”

The Welfare Debate!!!!

Money (reais)

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OK this is a somewhat touchy subject and I will try my best not to offend anyone, but I have been known to voice my opinion in a somewhat offensive way, and this is an issue I feel VERY passionate about….. so I will not be holding back. 

I have a SERIOUS problem with Canada’s Welfare system and the way it deals with single, childless people. I am not talking about the single mother, father, or single childless person who has issues that prevent them from working, I am talking about the “capable” single individual that could work, but doesn’t

I know a number of individuals who although are “capable” of gaining employment, come up with numerous excuses not to, and remain on Welfare instead. My real issue lies in the amount of time these people are “allowed” to milk the system. I have no issues with the “initial” need for assistance; it is the length of time that laziness is allowed to cultivate that is my problem with the system. 

Here is MY idea; 

I think any single, childless (or not sole-supporter) individual that is “capable” of working and is applying for government assistance should be allotted 6 months of unquestioned assistance at the maximum. In that 6 month period this person should be able to either maintain employment, education, or training that will allow them to discontinue the assistance, or help them to further their needs to be able to do so in a reasonable amount of time. I know this is the basic plan for Welfare and single persons, but it is not implemented by the system for whatever reason. Perhaps it is just a matter of excessive case loads for each social worker, but I truly think that if the system went and weaned out all the clients that truly did not “require” funding the jobs of the workers would quickly become more manageable. Hell, hire me I will gladly take a cushy government job for half the pay, and help get people to pull-up and get a life. 

Now, if in that initial 6 months a single person, with no dependents, can not find employment, education, or training that will help them gain employment, then too bad, they’re done! Harsh? Perhaps, but its reality. This should also apply to clients that have children who are at a sufficient age to care for themselves during regular working hours. If you have a 15 year-old child and you are sitting on Welfare, you should be forced to seek employment, period. Like I said NO OFFENCE TO ANYONE, but honestly it’s true. 

I have heard of many excuses for not getting off the system, the biggest one is that “the client does not want to go work for a low rate of pay.” Let’s evaluate here for a minute, you are on Welfare, you don’t want to go work for minimum wage (which is now $10.25 per hour) because it is not enough to survive….????? Well it’s more than the average $600 a month you are receiving from Welfare as a single childless individual, so suck it up! 

Another common excuse is that there are “no jobs”, I agree it can be difficult to find employment, but here in the city I live there are numerous “temp” agencies that are constantly looking for workers, and there are numerous job postings. They may not be the ideal careers, but again, I am sure it will be more sufficient than the amount you receive from Welfare each month, and it is easier to find a job when you have a job. 

I am aware that there are extenuating circumstances, each case is different, but I also believe that a drug problem is not one of those excuses. Many individuals who are single and on welfare claim to have drug addictions, so hmmm… lets just hand this person 5 or 6 hundred dollars a month instead of helping (or forcing) them to take responsibility for their lives. ??? Doesn’t make much sense if you ask me, even if you don’t ask me I am telling you it is ridiculous. OK you have a problem with drugs, yes addiction is a disease, but you know what? It’s also a choice, I have chosen not to do drugs, I am sure you could too! It’s just not a good enough excuse as far as I am concerned, and if it is your excuse I would give you an option, go get help or get out of the system, period! 

Maybe I am being cruel, unsympathetic, or outright nasty. Perhaps I am not looking at the needs of each individual, but the reality of it is that allowing these people to “use” the system and their excuses for so long is what has fucked up the system in the first place! 

After the 6 months if you have gained employment, education or training and are actively working, or preparing yourself to work then I propose that the system helps provide you with the things you require. For many people this includes drug benefits or supplemental income, fine that I have no qualms about, but if you are doing nothing after 6 months then clearly you are just doing nothing, and deserve the same in return. 

As I said this rant is not meant to offend anyone, it is not meant to belittle, or hurt. It is simply my thoughts on the basic facts. Life is hard, but only as hard as you make it. Welfare was not designed to be a “way of life”, yes the system has major flaws that sometimes make things more difficult than what I have stated above, by no means do I think I can fix all the worlds issues, or the system with this simple thought. But I do think that with a stricter policy for single, capable people on Welfare there would be fewer issues for those that truly do require the help, and there would be far less laziness and excuses on the part of those who could manage without it.

Today was Poop!

Juice Undone

Image by las - initially via Flickr

Today I got to experience (for the first time ever) the joy of a VERY constipated infant. I aplogize for the “poop” talk…lol, but this situation was honestly tramatic for me. My little devil angel had a terrible time pooping today, and made it well-known that she disliked this discomfort. I learned a very important lesson; if your child can not poop they will scream at the top of their lungs for hours on end, all the while coiling up in a fetal position, thus causing you feel like a helpless heap, usually accompanied by a large amount of tears on your part, and theirs, OH… and Prune Juice is amazing

Prune juice is one of those wonders that every mother should keep on hand at all times, which should not be difficult as I was only able to find one size…GIANT. But a few ounces of this magical nectar and my little sugar-plum was back to her bouncy, bubbly, if somewhat tired, self!! Thank God because another few minutes of the grunting, screaming, sobbing mess that she was and I would have had to check into the loony bin! 

I found a few remedies online though before setting out on my search for prune juice, which is a highly recommended treatment apparently, among the suggestions I found; 

Suppositories – I think this would have been my LAST resort, personally the thought of shoving anything up any ones butt kinda creeps me out. I was definitely not meant to be a proctologist

Apple juice – I tried this suggestion but it did not seem to help my little devil angel at all, maybe for some other babies it would, but the prune juice…now that’s where it’s at! Others also suggested pear juice, and warm water in a bottle with sugar or syrup.

Karo Syrup – I have no idea what it is, or where to find it, but apparently a few people use it so???? 

Mira-lax – this is one of those things you have to check with your doctor about first, and I personally did not have time to wait!!! 

Q-Tip with Vaseline – Another one of those uncomfortable stick it in the bum moments, but a large number of people say this trick works…??? 

The most basic suggestions were “bicycle” legs and tummy exercises, any fruit juice or baby food high in fibre, (apricots, prunes, spinach, etc) and a warm bath. All very good suggestions, but I think I will stick to my prune juice. I have my “family size” bottle on hand for the next crappy day!