Tag Archives: kids

NFred: Totally Bananas.

Holy crap on a cracker, how the heck are you?

I know, it’s been forever since I’ve written ANYTHING and I appologize. To say that my life has been totally bananas since the end of January would be an understatement.

Here’s a run down of what’s been going down with NFred;


  1. The Toy Shop where I worked for over twelve years closed its doors at the end of January. It’s sad and I miss my work family dearly. I knew my location was closing since September, so it wasn’t a shock, but it was a long drawn out process of repeatedly telling customers the sad news. It was also exhausting trying to keep my rage in check when asshats asked strangely personal questions about my future and demanded to know what was on sale. One asshat in particular singled me out to explain to his five year old grandson why I was closing his favourite store. I explained to the little guy as best I could through clenched teeth while wanting nothing more than to yell at Asshat Grandpa that it wasn’t MY decision. The high point of having the store close occurred when I got to fulfil my life long dream of cracking a beer IN THE SHOP once we closed the door for the last time. Dreams do come true, kids!


  2. I took a few days off after the store closed and then returned to start work at a different Toy Shop location downtown. A thriving store in a distinguished neighbourhood with full shelves and zero asshats asking about the closing of my former location. The staff was lovely and I fell in love with a hipster tea shop on the same street that converted me into an obnoxious tea snob. I was happy to work there. Sure the commute sucked and I was nervous about being far from my diabetic son, but I was cautiously optimistic. Until…


  3. On February sixth, my son made the switch from injections to an insulin pump to help better manage his diabetes. The first couple of days were a total gong show. Soaring high blood sugars followed by random lows. I had taken the week off work to help my son adjust to his new life and I’m so glad that I did. I wasn’t prepared for how much work the switch would entail. Waking up every two hours at night to test his blood sugar, weighing every single piece of food that he was going to put in his mouth, doing more math than I’ve ever done in my entire life to figure out carb counts , writing countless emails to his school to make sure they knew how to keep him alive. Exhausting. Things are slowly starting to fall into place, but I quickly realized that I needed to be closer to my son. My old Toy Shop was a five minute drive from my son’s school. In an emergency, I could get there quickly. The downtown Toy Shop was far, too far for me. Call me a Helicopter Mom or a Worry Wart or a Nervous Nelly if you please, but when it comes to my son’s health, I put him first. Always. So I made the agonising decision to resign from the Toy Shop so that I could be closer to my boy. It sucks. I’m sad. The Toy Shop was a huge part of my life, but in the end, I know I made the right decision.


  4. In my sleep deprived delirium, I accepted an offer to work at a ridiculously adorable preschool in my neighbourhood. I am officially a Teacher’s Aid and have found myself the ever elusive Monday to Friday, nine to five job that is the unicorn of the retail world as those hours just don’t exist! I work with kids aged fifteen months to three years old and feel that a more fitting job title would be Professional Snot Wiper, Bum Changer and Toddler Herder. I had my first day last week and survived. A child even told me that I was beautiful. Will this be my forever career? I have no idea, but for now it works and I’m happy.

Holy Hell! I sure can ramble on about myself. If any of you are still reading and haven’t lapsed into a coma, this is the part where I talk about the future of What NFred Said.

nfred you need to write

I love this blog with all my heart. It’s like my fourth child. Fingers crossed, now that life is settling down a smidge and I have snagged myself regular working hours, I can FINALLY devote more time to writing. My problem has always been that I have more ideas than time. I hope to get on a permanent writing schedule soon. I’d also like to clean my disgusting home, get into shape, win a million dollars and find a cure for diabetes, but I’m taking it one day at a time.

Thanks everyone for reading. I hope all of you are having a splendid 2017. I promise I won’t be a stranger. Let’s chat soon, okay?

Until next time,




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Trick or Carrot Stick! Our First Diabetic Halloween.

Santa filled his stocking with socks, underwear and Pokemon cards.

The Easter Bunny left Lego around the house instead of chocolate.

Sugar Free Jell-O has become his staple dessert at birthday parties.

But what do you do with your diabetic child on Halloween? A holiday that revolves around candy?

My boy is excited to go Trick or Treating in his new Storm Trooper costume. He’s pumped to run around in the dark with his brother, sister and friends. But he keeps asking me what we’re going to do about the candy and my only answer so far has been “we’ll worry about it on Halloween”.


Clearly I need some help…and fast!

Sam’s one year diabetes anniversary is on November twenty-fourth. This will be our first rodeo having a diabetic child on Halloween. Because he’s on injections of both slow and fast acting insulin twice daily, he needs to eat a regimented amount of carbohydrates at certain times throughout the day. So what does that have to do with Halloween?


Halloween is all about running wildly from door to door while pigging out on candy. It’s about staying up late and bending the rules when it comes to bedtimes and proper nutrition.


Maybe I could go around to all of the houses in my neighbourhood and ask them to offer carb free, diabetic friendly foods like veggies, meat or cheese to the Trick or Treaters instead of candy? And while I’m at it, I’ll ask all of the kids to say “Trick or Carrot Stick” instead of Trick or Treat?

Clearly I’m delirious.

As I sit here and stress about ways to include my son in all of the Halloween fun, my husband comes up with a plan.

“Sam, how about Mom and Dad buy your Halloween candy from you and then you can use the money to get yourself something special? Like a new Lego set?”

“Really? So I can still Trick or Treat?”

“Of course,” my husband replies with a smile.

What just happened here? Did my husband just solve our Halloween dilemma?

“Sam, you’re sure you’re okay with not eating candy with your brother and sister?” I ask to make sure he fully understands.

“Yeah, I’m fine. Oh and maybe I could donate the money to the JDRF instead of getting Lego?”

What? Who is this kid?

“That’s a terrific idea” I say as my heart swells with pride.

As a parent of a diabetic child, all I want for my son is to be included. Whether it be soccer, hockey, class potlucks or Trick or Treating, I simply want him to know that having diabetes won’t stop him from doing anything that he did before his diagnosis. Sure, we might have to get a little creative, but nothing is impossible. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in the last year it’s that my son is ridiculously resilient.

I’m still relatively new to the complex world of parenting a diabetic child and I would gladly welcome Halloween tips from any Type 1 parents out there! I’d love to know how  you make holidays and other special events inclusive for your kids. Feel free to let your suggestions fly in the comments! I think that my “Trick or Carrot Stick” idea is a pretty clear indication that I need all of the help that I can get!

Thanks for reading and Happy Halloween!

Your friend,











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The Great Diet Dr. Pepper Incident of 2016.

Seven months ago today my youngest son was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. Throughout this time he’s been showered with love and support from his family, friends, school and community. Diabetes is a shit deal, but my boy takes it all in a stride and makes me proud every day.

Today started off a little rocky. My boy was on edge, grumpy, not his usual bubbly self. When my daughter asked if she could have a loonie for Freezie Friday at school, my son exploded in a rage filled rant about how it’s “not fair” that he can’t have a freezie and that “diabetes is stupid” and that he “doesn’t want it any more”. Every time he has one of these breakdowns I find the only thing I can do is agree with him, because he’s right.

Once he calmed down, I asked him if he’d like me to bring him something special to have when the kids were having their freezies. Last week I surprised him with some diet iced tea and that blew his little mind. On my way to work, I stopped at the corner store and decided to totally freak his freak by buying him a diet Dr. Pepper. Yes it’s full of aspartame and is obviously not the healthiest choice, but come on! The boy deserved a treat after the crappy morning he had. I happily dropped off the pop at his school and laughed with the secretary about how odd it was that a diet pop was better for my kid than a “100% fruit juice” freezie.

Freezie Friday takes place during second recess, which is at two o’clock in the afternoon. At three o’clock I got a text from my husband asking me to call him. I wasn’t busy at work so I called him right away. The first thing he said was “everything is fine” followed by “but there was an incident at school”. My heart sank thinking that my son had gotten sick due to high or low blood sugar. My husband was quick to say that our son was “just fine” but that he had been very upset.

Here’s what happened…

My son was ecstatic about his diet Dr. Pepper surprise! He took a few sips at the start of recess then set his pop down on the ground next the school wall so that he could go off into the yard and play. A few minutes later he went back to have some more and was horrified when he discovered four boys drinking his coveted diet Dr. Pepper! When my son confronted the boys they dropped the bottle on the ground an ran away. With tears flowing down his cheeks, my son and some of his friends found the teacher on recess duty and told her what happened. Together they found the four boys out in the yard and those jerks were promptly sent to the principle’s office.




First off, what kind of kids see a random drink on the ground and think drinking it ALL is a good idea???

Secondly, my son’s school is tiny and everyone knows about his diabetes. WHY WOULD THOSE JERK KIDS STEAL MY DIABETIC KID’S FREAK’N TREAT???  WHY???

Knowing that this happened to my son filled me with a myriad of emotions. Rage, anger, sadness. I mostly wanted to find the parents of the four boys and ask them why their children were such inconsiderate assholes.

On my way home from work, I stopped by the same corner store that I had been to in the morning and I bought my son his second diet Dr. Pepper of the day. When I got home he was playing in the basement with his brother. I called him upstairs and hugged him a little  tighter than normal. I gave him his replacement diet Dr. Pepper and his eyes lit up as he thanked me. We had a quick chat and he said that some of the boys had apologized and that he had forgiven them.

I’ve had a few hours to cool down (and swear) about The Great Diet Dr. Pepper Incident of 2016. I’m still angry, but if my kid can get over it so quickly then maybe I should follow his lead and let it go.

Thanks for reading my rant and we’ll chat soon,













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Paragraph #25: Suck it, Snow Day.

snow day


I had high hopes for today.

A day off work and eight glorious hours to myself.

I didn’t have any big plans. Just writing, sitting on my couch, watching some Netflix and eating a chocolate bar.

But all of that was thrown out the window when today was declared a Snow Day.


Okay fine, there’s some freezing rain action and the roads are slick but don’t fucking call it a Snow Day when there’s no snow falling from the goddam sky.

And it’s all my fault.

I should have driven my kids to school.

I deeply regret the decision I made when I was semi conscious at six thirty this morning.

At the time, the idea of staying in bed for a glorious extra half hour impaired my judgement.

I should have gotten my fat ass out of bed and taken them to school.

But it’s too late for “should haves.”

Now I have to live with the consequences of my sleep deprived actions.

And by “live” I mean I have to sit here on my couch, drinking coffee and writing while my kids alternate between playing video games and making me loaves of bread out of Playdoh.

Wait a second…

I’m sitting on my couch, writing. That’s half of what I wanted to accomplish today and it’s not even noon!

If I can sneak in some Netflix programming that isn’t animated and scarf down that chocolate bar without getting busted by the kids, then I’ll triumph over this stupid Snow Day!

Did you hear that Snow Day?

I’m half way to owning you!


So, why don’t you take your freezing rain and your ice and your cancelled school buses and SUCK IT!

I’m going to be right here on my couch chillaxing like you never even existed.

Thanks for reading and I’ll see you tomorrow,



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Paragraph # 22: Get Your Shit Together, Hockey Mom!

hockey mom


Dear Hockey Mom,

PLEASE get your shit together.

No, it’s not the coach’s job to tell your son that the six-thirty in the morning practices are cancelled because you think it’s too early. You ask him EVERY time to lie to your son in a voice so loud that EVERYONE in the dressing room hears you. It’s obnoxious and you come off as a total asshat.

Why did you even sign your kid up for hockey? You knew what you were getting yourself into. I know this because you talk about your other sons ALL THE TIME to anyone within earshot.

I’ve heard it countless times. They play competitive hockey and they’re super talented and they poop solid gold. Your life is busy. You work full time, you go to school, you have three kids. You love the sound of your own voice more than I love drinking beer. And everything that comes out of your mouth is negative. You should really think about buying the rights to the phrase “it’s not fair”.

I hate when you sit near me at hockey. Listening to the way you talk about your youngest son makes me sick. You constantly put him down. Maybe you think it’s funny but I think it’s disgusting.

You give all the supportive, nurturing, sane hockey moms out there a bad name.

It’s getting increasingly more difficult to keep my lips zipped when you’re running your mouth. I go to hockey to watch my kid and cheer on his team, not to listen to your crap. I feel like you’re taking  some of the fun away from the parents who actually WANT to be in an arena at six-thirty in the morning, watching their kids do what they love.


Yours truly,




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Paragraph #21: Stupid Fucking Diabetes.



Today I had to tell my eight year old son that he couldn’t be the goalie.

It broke his little heart.

He started hockey in September and has been chomping at the bit to have his shot in the net.

This morning, he finally got his chance.

And he fell in love.

He got off the ice full of joy, flushed cheeks, beaming smile.

He asked if he could be the goalie in tomorrow’s game and I had to say no.

Not because he wasn’t good enough, but because of his stupid fucking diabetes.

Are we being overly protective? Probably. Will he get to be the goalie later in life when he’s got a better handle on his disease? I’m hopeful. But when I explained this to him, it fell on deaf ears.

He just wants to be the goalie NOW.

We’re new to the diabetes game. My son was diagnosed on November twenty-fourth. It’s been an intense two months of ups and downs and math.


During any kind of activity, including hockey, we have to monitor my son closely to make sure that his blood sugar levels don’t drop too low. That means, we have to haul him off the ice halfway through every game and practice to test his blood. Obviously, the goalie can’t leave the net unattended for five minutes during a game while he manages his glucose levels.

And that really fucking sucks.

Yes, I try to stay positive. I look at my boy who is feeling so much better since his diagnosis and I’m beyond grateful.

But sometimes I can’t help but be angry.

Today I’m angry.

Today I just want my kid to be happy, to be the goalie, to have no limitations put on him because of his stupid fucking diabetes.

The future will bring more challenges, of this I am sure. This disease has taught me to take life one day at a time and acknowledge the stupid fucking parts of it but also the upside.

There’s always an upside.

The way the sparkle came back to his face after his first dose of insulin, the amazing support we’ve received from family, friends and even strangers, the joy he gets from tucking into a cup of sugar free Jell-O.

Even with that said, sometimes if just really fucking sucks.

Today it sucks.

Today I just want my kid to be the goalie.

Thanks for reading and I’ll see you tomorrow,


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Paragraph #18: Bad Words.

bad words


I had a friend growing up that hated swearing. She used to say that people swore because they had nothing better to say. Because I’ve always been an asshole, I prided myself on cursing as much as possible when I was in her presence.

I developed a love affair with crass language at an early age. I remember writing the horrible “s” and “f” words over and over in my childhood diaries and feeling like a total badass.

I also remember the first time I got caught swearing…

I was in grade two. It was sunny outside and my friends and I were playing during recess. I don’t remember exactly what we were playing but I know there was a great deal of running involved. Tag maybe? Anyway, some boy decided to chase me around the soccer field and I was not amused. Instead of asking him politely to stop, I yelled “FUUUUUCKKKKK OFFFFF” at the top of my lungs. Just as those bad words left my lips, the teacher on yard duty stopped me in my tracks. She passionately expressed her displeasure for my choice of vocabulary and sentenced me to spend the rest of recess with my nose pressed firmly against the school wall.

So badass!

Listen, I know that there’s a time and a place for using strong language. No, I don’t drop “f bombs” in front of my kids or customers or when visiting my Grandma. But I will never cease to throw in an appropriately timed cuss word where I see fit.

Obviously my childhood friend was wrong in her belief that people swear because they have nothing better to say. Hello, I have a fuck load to say and I’ll continue to say that shit in my “colourful” NFred style.

Thanks for reading and I’ll see you tomorrow,


Fuck Yeah!

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Paragraph #15: Weird Childhood Memory.

real gun

I was having a hard time coming up with something to write about today. So I sat on my couch, drank a cup of tea and for some inexplicable reason, I started thinking about one of my weirdest childhood memories. There are so many unanswered questions about this memory. It’s so random and makes zero sense, but I remember it clearly. I hope you enjoy this little anecdote about the time I found a gun. Thanks for reading and see you tomorrow! NFred. xo

When I was around eight years old, I found a gun under the front seat of a rental car.

True story.

I remember my Mom was driving me and one of my friends to skating lessons in a white car that wasn’t ours. I was goofing around in the back seat and I dropped something on the floor. When I bent over to pick it up, I saw a gun sitting under the front passenger seat.

“Mom, there’s a gun under the seat”

“A gun? What are you talking about?”

“I don’t know, it’s just a gun.”

“Well don’t touch it.”

When we got to the arena, my Mom checked under the seat of the car and I remember her face changing. She looked shocked, scared. When I asked her if the gun was real, she said nothing and quickly ushered my friend and I into the arena. During my entire skating lesson, all I could think about was that gun and my mom’s face.

My friend’s Dad picked us up after skating lessons. When we pulled up to my house there was a police car parked in my driveway. I got out of my friend’s car and when I walked past the police car, my dad was sitting in the front seat. He waved and rolled down the window and said that everything was okay. He then introduced me to the police officer who was sitting in the front seat. The police officer said I was very brave and very smart because I didn’t touch the gun. My Dad told me to go inside and that he’d only be a few more minutes.

Once inside, my Mom confirmed that the gun was indeed real. I started to cry. I’m pretty sure that I thought my Dad was being arrested. I remember hugging my Mom and that’s where the memory fades.

So many unanswered questions!

Why did we have a rental car?

Who put the gun there?

Was it used in a crime?

How did the car rental place not notice a freak’n GUN in the car before renting it out to the next person?

Did the police ever catch the person who owned the gun?

GAHHHHH!!! Such a mystery!

I’m thinking of getting in touch with the people behind “Making A Murderer” to see if they can crack this case.

I need answers, dammit!



***My Dad wasn’t arrested and has never had any trouble with the law…that I’m aware of…DUN DUN DUNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN… The plot thickens…


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Paragraph # 12: SEQUOIA.

farts poop

This short little slice of dialogue jumped into my head when I was thinking about a woman at the store today who told me she never buys Christmas presents. NEVER. Although inspired by the Christmas hating customer, this is a totally fictional piece of writing. Enjoy and thanks for reading!!! XO NFred.

“Not so busy in here today”.

“Nope. January ‘s a slow month in retail”.

“I bet. Everyone’s emotionally bankrupt after Christmas.”

“Or just broke.”

“Not me. I don’t buy Christmas gifts”.


“Nope. Not for years. My partner and I don’t agree with any form of commercialism.”

“I see.”

“It makes life so much more meaningful when you’re not focused on the instant gratification of getting “stuff”. It’s something we’ve instilled in our son since he was an infant. And now he places experiences above “things”, don’t you Sequoia?”


“Sequoia! You silly billy. He’s currently experiencing his bathroom phase. What a trip!”


“That special boy of mine! I’m sorry if his language makes you uncomfortable. I don’t want to intervene while he’s on this new path of self discovery.”

“It’s fine.”


“Yes you do and it’s beautiful like your soul.”


“Excellent, Sequoia!”

“Is there anything I can help you find today?”

“Oh no. We’re just taking a walk around the mall, soaking in the beauty of this experience.”

“Okay, well if you need anything, just yell.”

“Sure, sure. Actually, while I have you, do you know if there’s somewhere in this mall where I can buy some locally sourced spelt?”

“Um, there’s a grocery store across the street.”

“Is it locally owned? I only shop local.”

“It’s a Loblaws.”

“Oh darn. I was hoping to bake Sequoia his favourite spelt muffins. I put beet juice and loose leaf earl grey tea in them and that boy of mine just gobbles them up, don’t you Sequoia?”


“You funny little monkey! I can drop off the recipe for you if you’d like?”

“Um, no thanks.”

“Oh please, it’s no bother. Sequoia and I will stop in next week. It would be our absolute pleasure, won’t it Sequoia?”


“Oh, silly Sequoia! What do you say we go recharge ourselves with some of the homemade organic soy milk that Mommy brought from home? Who wants organic soy milk?”


“Well then my sweet boy, say good bye to the nice lady and we’ll go have our treat.”


 “Great connecting with you! Have a most blessed day!”









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Paragraph # 8: Dream Career, Fantasy Life.

dream life fantasy life

Have you ever taken a career aptitude test?

I remember taking one in my last year of high school and it determined that my ideal career would be as a sports broadcaster. I’m not sure how out of the hundreds of choices available, that one was flagged for me. I’ve never been on a sports team and I’d rather get a bikini wax than watch sports on TV.

I’ve never had a career. I’ve had a plethora of jobs, but nothing that required a degree or a power suit. I’m currently classified as a grown up human but I totally don’t have my shit together when in comes to having a serious, grown up career. If I didn’t work at the toy shop, I have no idea what I’d do to earn an income.


I can figure out a way to make my dream career a reality…

Please, hop inside my head and let me give you a tour of my ultimate dream career in my fantasy life…

I wake up and spend the morning getting my kids ready for school. I do this already in my everyday life, but in my fantasy life they get dressed on time and nobody has a meltdown about wearing a winter coat in January.

After getting the kids on the school bus, I walk home in my light green tunic and wide legged pants. My outfit is comfortable, yet stylish and is best described an updated version of Dorothy’s signature look on the Golden Girls.

Once I return home, I poor myself a cup of coffee and retreat to my office. It’s a beautiful space in the basement of my four bedroom house. The walls are painted bright yellow and adorned with funky art and framed pictures of my family and friends. There’s a big wooden desk against the wall, right below a large window. My desk chair is red and plush and so comfy that I could sit on it for days. And who’s that purring under my desk? It’s the cat! In my fantasy life my kids aren’t allergic and we have the cutest, smartest cat ever with a whimsical name like Muffin or Steve.

Sitting on top of my desk is my computer and three to five house plants that I’ve managed to keep alive for more than a week. I admire them as I sit down on my comfy chair, fire up the computer and get to work.

The first thing I do is check my email. There are usually dozens from publishers and editors and film makers who all want to exchange my quirky stories for disgusting amounts of cash. I sift through their requests and pick the ones I like best. Then, I get into the zone and I write. Hours pass and I only take breaks to eat and pet the cat. The ideas flow like draft beer being pored from the tap. Every word I write is genius.

After an exciting day of writing for money, I pick up the kids at the bus stop and we hang out while I make a nutritious yet delicious dinner that they all devour without complaining. Once the kids go to bed, my husband and I enjoy watching the exact same shows together on TV. We go to bed at a reasonable hour and have a solid eight hours of uninterrupted sleep. The next day follows the same schedule as the last; Kids, write for money, kids, TV, bed.

And that my friends is my dream career, in my fantasy life. If any of you beautiful readers have any tips on how to make this a reality, I would LOVE to hear your thoughts.


If you want to give me money to write stuff, I’m like totally down.


If you need someone to broadcast your sporting events, I could be persuaded… if the price is right.

I hope you enjoyed your tour of my dream career in my fantasy life. Thanks for reading and I’ll see you tomorrow.

Yours truly,







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