Wednesday, November 30, 2011
So, I will continue to write more often. I like it as a way to stay connected to people I know and those I get to meet through their writing. It's great to feel that this little blog has a place for me and I feel at home here. Thanks for reading and bye for now!
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
That would seem to be the national phrase and philosophy. How can you argue against that?! LOVED Australia. We even felt worry-free in the rain. The sun did decide to make an appearance for our days at the beach in Manly and for the wedding of wonderful friends. Gorgeous is an understatement. Even though it is a ridiculously long flight and we missed our little monkeys lots, it was well worth the speedy trip to Oz.
A taste of our pics. More to
bore you with come later. Cheers Mate!
Thursday, November 24, 2011
So, the big trip to Australia is wonderful. Here are some random thoughts:
Apparently the sun doesn't always shine in Australaia. However a wine tour with Mic and a bus of fun tourists is a great way to ignore localized flooding. The wine still tastes yummy.
The best friends are those you can catch up with 15 years later and feel like it was yesterday. Our time with our mate Anthony and Pip has been awesome. Well worth the trek.
I could totally get used to living by the ocean. Gorgeous!
I could totally not get used to driving on the left and driving at all in Austalia.
It is now the 26th of November here. Today we celebrate Anthony and Pip's wedding. Today we remember our first son on what would have been his 12th birthday. It is strange but nice to have the date share with events with such different meaning and emotion. I am blessed to have both and pleased to have new memories for the date.
Alas, I am not able to complete NaBloPoMo posts daily as I'd hoped. This travelling thing is throwing me off. Well, as the locals say, No worries, mate! I look forward to catching up when I can.
Laura is a natural nurturer. She absolutely had to be snuggled from the day she was born. I wore her in a sling through most of those colicky months as a baby and squeeze her close as we read in the evenings now. She loves to pass on all her caring to her HUGE collection of stuffies, webkins and dolls. Parties are held for creature birthdays and everyone is included. There are a couple of friends who she is extra close to. This is one.
Her special doll is Taryn, a Maplelea Girl that we got for her last Christmas. It's an investment to have one of these dolls so you have to be pretty sure she will be valued for more than a week. Laura has definitely exceeded my expectations.
Taryn is like a little sister and Laura adores her. I hear them chatting in her room, making crafts together, getting dressed for outings or helping to cook in the kitchen. Laura made her friend her own epi-pen to wear for a shellfish allergy. She has her own cardboard box closet for her clothes (which is much neater than Laura's closet by far!) For the past week they have been camping at "Maplelea National Park", a created land that is like a summer camp. Owen has been in on this too as his room is their cabin where they all bunk out and sing campfire songs. It is such fun to watch my 8 year-old immerse herself in her imagination.
Here are the girls as they have their fun. A lifetime of adoration. Love it.
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
DH, though not exactly allergic to eggs, simply can't be near eggs being cooked or eat any breakfast food containing eggs. Sounds like allergy to me but I ain't no doctor. Anyway, he was lamenting the other day that he wishes he could have french toast. He'd ordered it on his travels recently but he couldn't eat it because it had, you know, eggs on it. (Well, why did you order it?!)
Being all kinds of awesome, I "Googled" egg-less french toast recipes and came up with some cool ideas. This one looked good but we don't do bananas in this house so some adapting would be necessary. Laura loves to cook and create in the kitchen so she "helped".
The recipe called for coconut milk. Hmmm, no coconut milk to be found but condensed milk starts with "c" so it should do just fine, don't you think? The first can of sweetened condensed milk looked odd and the expiry date was in 2008 so, after much consideration, I tossed it. We opened another can. Thicker than I thought but no matter, we'll just thin the thing with milk and carry on. Laura wants to add a tablespoon of cinnamon. I talk her down to a half-teaspoon and whip up the mixture.
Bread tossed and flipped into a pan. Looks almost real! It burned a bit (probably due to the high sugar content) but it actually came out alright.
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
These are useless: I have no idea why I still have them. They either leak, the straw falls out regularly or the top is too big to drink from without drooling all over the place.
These are the kids' favourites for school. Laura's is too big and adds about 3 kg to her daily haul to school if I fill it up to the top. However, it seals well and locks to avoid soggy papers. Owen's is stainless steel and boy-proof. He is very attached to it and I had to buy two to avoid meltdowns if it should dare go missing. A bit of a leaker if he doesn't body-slam it shut, but largely acceptable.
This is my bottle. Oops, wrong photo....
Do you have a must-have water bottle? Is there a mug that is your favourite for your morning cup of coffee? Do share.
Sunday, November 20, 2011
Saturday, November 19, 2011
So I was thinking about things we make for love. Usually this happens in the early stages of relationships, when you are short on money and high on time and amorous ambition. I rarely was organized enough to make a mixed tape but I remember making some awesome cookies for my guy. How about you? Any amazing love-made things?
Now my contribution is morning coffee. I bring it to my guy while he shaves in the morning. We chat, take some time at the start of the day. On weekends we get coffee and newspaper time while the kids watch useless TV stuff in the other room. The day doesn't start quite right without this ritual. It ain't no mixed tape but there is a whole lot of love in there.
Friday, November 18, 2011
Here's the thing. I don't really get it. I don't know why I am there yet. I am baffled by lingo, unsure of the etiquette and not following things often enough to be really following the conversations. It took my two weeks to realize that "RT" meant "retweet" and was not some popular tweeter's initials. And what am I supposed to post? My life is pretty dull at any particular moment. Maybe it is more effective for those who use it for business. Sure it's fun to see what people are up to and what is going on locally but maybe I just don't know what to do with the information. I'm apparently Easily Confused.
The whole hatch-tag thing is still strange to me. Do people just invent them? From today in my feed there are tags of #complicated which leads to about 1000 interpretations of complicated. Going WAY off on a tangent there. It is obviously important to add #GoodNight so you can wish everyone else who is going to bed "sweet dreams".
I know, there is probably someone out there who does get it and can enlighten me. Please do! Using HootSuite is helpful at least at giving it some order. I'd like to know what your experience is with Twitter and what works best for you. I'd love this geeky part of my life to click a little better.
Thursday, November 17, 2011
- Clean bedrooms
You see, DH and I are off to Australia for a week, leaving on Sunday. Our most wonderful families are taking care of the home stuff, kids and cat thus making it all possible. We are heading to a wedding near Sydney, taking a wine tour and get to enjoy touristy stuff too. Trip of a lifetime, really. But I am overwhelmed into inaction on the packing thing.
I've got the packing list to help. Except it doesn't cover why I can't put the things into the suitcase before the panicky day of travel! All these important thoughts keep going through my mind:
What to wear? What does one wear to a spring wedding in Australia anyway? I bought an awesome dress.... I think.... is it too casual? too colourful? too not a good fit? Ack! And what about shoes? Should I wear healed sandals or is that not appropriate? How many shoes can a I really bring before exceeding the weight restrictions? The weather is all over the place so what do I wear if it rains? Will people laugh and point if they see me in my swim suit? Will there be kangaroos? Can I bring home a kangaroo or will that exceed the weigh restrictions? Can I leave all my clothes behind and bring back a suitcase of wine? Oh the dilemmas!
I am also obsessing about how I am going to survive a 18 hour flight squished in an airplane seat. What will I do if my on board entertainment fails and I can only watch shows in German? Will this damn cold be done before I take off? There may be whining and it may not be the baby with the ear infection that they seat next to me. Adding to list - sedatives - extra-strength, eye mask, ear plugs, nose plugs, snuggie.
Of course it will be all worth it. Whatever I have forgotten, I can buy. I get to go to freaking Australia so shut-up! Time to pack away my inner procrastinator and just do it.
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Yesterday, being the amazingly good person that I am, I ran errands, grocery shopped, whipped home to drop off the groceries (even remembering to put frozen stuff away) then drove back to the school to nab a perfect parking spot before going in to volunteer for the book fair. I didn't cheat too many kids at the cash, though I admit by the end I was saying things like "That will be $12.50, er, $12.75, I mean, hell, just give me your $20 and we'll call it even!". (I don't think they will be asking me back to do cash anytime soon.) Then we got chatting about a new business in Westboro that one of the volunteers is starting - One Tooth Activewear. (The stuff looks amazing, not over priced and they are having a grand opening on Saturday.)
Anyway, I was distracted. Bell rings, zip out to grab kids, walk home and trick them into doing their homework while I conjure up an amazing dinner (well, better than KD dinner anyway.) Then DH walks in and says "Um, why is your car parked at the school?" It takes me a minute to process this. Oh, that car. I had not even noticed it was gone. I am a lousy witness and should not be trusted with anything. We piled into the other car and picked up the lonely one waiting in it's perfect spot.
The good thing is that my husband's first reaction was one of guilt. He thought he was late for some event I had at the school and came in all ready to say how sorry he was. The training is paying off! And, being sick, I don't have the energy to correct him.
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Then there are times when you grow suddenly. It's like someone flicked a switch and a new room of your life is revealed. I remember one such moment in my teen years.
I was 16 and working at a summer camp on Georgian Bay. It was a beautiful and I was thrilled to be away on my own, making new relationships with peers without constant grown-ups present. We'd work a camp session then have a few days off before the next group. Before we had headed out, the staff planned on coming back a day early to party together. Awesome!
... Except I didn't get the memo. I guess I'd left before the final plans and they weren't coming back early. My dad dropped me back at camp that afternoon and I was alone. Completely alone. The main cabin with the phone and kitchen was locked but my cabin was open.
So I made a choice. I could have hiked down the road to a cottage and called home. But I didn't. I spent the night alone at camp. I have never been more glad that I don't watch horror movies! Music kept me company and I got to enjoy the simplicity of being by myself. *click!* A piece of me became an adult that night. I was free from distraction and my confidence in myself grew.
The next morning I was floating in an inner tube on the bay when the crew arrived. I was happy to see them but it wasn't as big a deal as I thought it might be. I liked the person I saw in the mirror that next day. She didn't need to be a piece of someone else's plan, she had plans of her own. It is the best foundation I could have given myself.
Do you recall a milestone moment? Do share!
Monday, November 14, 2011
Purple embodies the balance of red's stimulation and blue's calm. This dichotomy can cause unrest or uneasiness unless the undertone is clearly defined, at which point the purple takes on the characteristics of its undertone. With a sense of mystic and royal qualities, purple is a color often well liked by very creative or eccentric types and is the favorite color of adolescent girls.Who knew? I thought I was regressing to my adolescence again yet feeling regal!
Whatever! It is making choosing clothing totally easier - just pick a purple shirt and I'm set. I'll be dawning my purple boots with pride this winter, cleaning up with my purple vacuum and whipping up a purple smoothie on the side. I know you may be jealous, but that's green and there is no room for that in my happy purple kingdom with me and my adolescent dude Prince.
Sunday, November 13, 2011
The internet has been wonderful for this relationship building thing. I am much more chatty on the 'net than I am in the real world. I am also more opinionated, smarter and perhaps better looking. The internet filter can do that for you. My opinions are, I hope, largely honest and reflective of how I really feel. There is little concern for being the person that others expect you to be nor worrying about how you fit into things. It works for me. I can take my time to present words with editing if needed. No quick come-back is needed and I can chat in the comfort of my jammies if I want.
I have had the pleasure of meeting some people who blog after "knowing" them online. The results are mixed. The person I see is not always the one I perceived through their writing. I wonder who is more their true self? Some are exactly the way I thought they would be in three dimensions. All are a pleasure to meet.
Being 42 means that I remember building relationships without the e-world involved but also have grown many with the keyboard as my communication tool. About a dozen years ago this became very apparent. I desperately needed to find others who understood the difficult time I was going through. The answer was an online support group. It was in bulletin board form and many people who posted expressed themselves more honestly than they could have face to face. Global friendships formed with the common need. But the person they knew in me has grown and changed over time. Some I am still in touch with while others have gone different directions.
Now I spend several hours almost daily on e-mail, facebook, blogs and most recently twitter. I wonder with these communications if I come across as the person I am in the real world? I am a terrible liar and don't feel the need to hide my life from others. Just the same, the more e-public your life becomes and out of your control, I feel more of a need to protect myself. I'm trying to find the balance here.
So I'm going out on an honesty limb here. If you know me, am I what I seem to be in my writing? Do you wish you didn't actually know me? Should I be saying more or less out loud? If we haven't met, what are a couple of characteristics you think I have? Just curious. Thanks!
Saturday, November 12, 2011
Friday, November 11, 2011
I often have good intentions to make more stuff at Christmas. I love to pour over the magazines with their make-a-zillion-things-in -a-jar ideas or DIY fused-glass frames an the like. Unfortunately, not only do I lack any real artistic talent, but I am awesome at leaving things until the last minute. Creativity needs time (to allow for the multitude of mega-mistakes I make) and to let the project work into something worthwhile. I am a more non-perfectionist-off-the-cuff type personality. That doesn't make most things look worthy of wrapping and sharing. I am working on that.
There are 43 days until Christmas. My goal: to make something worth sharing with someone I care about for Christmas. I want to have more than commercial things under the tree. Will it work? I hope so. Ask me on December 24th while I frantically set fire to a scupture in the garage. The tea wreath is looking better and better. Could I alter it to hold mini-bar bottles of spirits? Hmmmm.
What do you create for your holiday? Are you trying something new? Do share, I'd love to hear (and be jealous) of your creations.
Thursday, November 10, 2011
This year, Remembrance Day is causing great problems for Owen. He is at a stage of maturity now that he is able to take in more of the world around him. It is troubling. The "right" thing for him is peace, total peace with no fighting, ever. He can't stand seeing any fighting in sports or life, let alone trying to comprehend people trying to kill each other to win for their cause. It is absolute for him and he cannot wrap his head around the idea that soldiers may fight for a greater good, even though some may die in the process.
At school, they do many activities for Remembrance day including an assembly. Owen is supposed to sing in the choir. As you might imagine, he is highly stressed about all this. He is proud to be a member of the choir and wants to do everything with them. He is also melting down every time they talk about war. There is no reasoning through this right now. Believe me, we've tried!
So tomorrow I am going to school to help. Hopefully he can pull it together and be respectful. I know there is the option of pulling him from the assembly or school that day. But I don't want to start that precedent. It would mean many future battles over running away from anything that causes distress. I don't think he can handle the choir thing tomorrow but it is a choice for him and his teacher to work out. I'm thinking I will sit near him with quiet distractions in-hand. We will be ready to leave if we must. With any luck, he will persevere and have learned something positive from this experience.
Owen tells me in "Owenland" there is never war or fighting. People work together to help and there is a lot of pizza for everyone. I like Owenland. But I also understand and appreciated those who have lived through the dark grey times, working for brighter times. Tomorrow I will be wearing my red poppy with pride and many thoughts of peace for all.
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
A work of art. Well, not really. But I did have a moment today when I noticed it was frickin' November and I was wearing sandals and no jacket. I wanted to get photo proof and it works for WW. A bit lame.
In case mother nature is watching my frolicking, I got snow tires installed and bought a shovel today too. So there.
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
I'm losing things. This in not good. First it was my Starbucks card. Both convenient and gets me free stuff, losing this little thing has caused me way too much pocket digging and espresso angst. Luckily they still take cash and greet me with a super-sized "What can we get started for you today!?!", so I still feel the love.
More seriously, I have misplaced the tickets for "Mamma Mia" next week. ACK!!! This is very, very bad. Yes, I am about 90% sure I could get those puppies reissued and pick 'm up at the box office. I doubt I'm the first to lose these things. But still, I feel like a great big dumb dork losing those tickets. I remember seeing the envelope (and squealing) and thinking "I really should put those somewhere safe."
a) I did put them somewhere so safe that I can't find them,
b) I am hallucinating or
c) (my favourite option) my husband, in his cleaning frenzy, tossed them in the recycling that was picked up yesterday.
None of these options mean I have the damn tickets.
Yesterday, after the recycling truck probably stole them, I spent way too much time indoors sorting papers. Sure I found several bits of paperwork that had to be dealt with and sent back to the school as well as missing medical reports, lost addresses and money. Ya, whatever. They are not the tickets! I suppose it is a good thing to find a little bit more order around here. *sigh* Time to give up, admit defeat and call the box office.
I am going to continue to work on the spell though. It would be rather handy as would "Scourigify" , "Reparo"and I'll throw in a "Wingardium Leviosa" as well. You never know when it will come in handy.
Monday, November 7, 2011
I was getting tired of the tons of papers and requests for buying things through the school when the Scholastic book order came in. All those colourful books laid out for kids to pick leads to long discussions of choices and questions on whether they really do want a series on slime on their bookshelves or do you actually need another formula Daisy Meadows Fairy book? Still, books are awesome and I love my kids reading.
|Crappy photo of our the book budget.|
So, we've made a yearly book budget. For each kid there is a $10 per month budget until June for a $90 total. They can spend it all now, later, or spread it out. They can choose Scholastic books or choose to buy things from other book stores. Amazingly, it is working!
Laura loves shopping and will usually buy things without hesitation if she thinks she may want it. At first she was pushing her credit to the limit, overwhelmed by all the possibilities out there. However, seeing her declining balance has made her more choosy. She can get what she wants and is more aware of limits. Having the budget just for books narrows what she has to choose from to a category. This keeps her from being overwhelmed and there are no more arguments about it. Win-win.
Owen spent his first book money yesterday. He is my natural-born miser and really has to be encouraged to spend what is his. He sees that the money is there and it his for the spending without it digging in to his personal stash. The system is working for him.
The kids are also aware that some things are more worth investing in than others. Books that they will devour cover-to-cover or use as an ongoing reference are great to keep. If the book looks "cheap", too expensive, only mildly interesting or you just aren't sure - you make give it a pass. They have other options too. We go to the library weekly so there are tons of choices there too for books they may not want to buy. Christmas lists can be made for some of the other books they like.
It's nice to think that things sometimes work out even better than you plan. Now all I have to do is trick myself into budgeting properly on my own impulse purchases. Maybe the kids can give me a hand.
Sunday, November 6, 2011
My kids, who are early risers at the best of times, were up at quarter past ridiculous acting like bloody roosters on corn crack. Apparently daddy smells and I am the chosen
Saturday, November 5, 2011
I am definitely ON all weekend long. My duties start after school on Friday and end with school drop off on Monday. No wonder I drink too much coffee. I foolishly thought I would be letting go more by now. However, the demands, though evolving, are still resting on my very achy shoulders. I need to know all, be all and do all. And I am tired of it. Sure I get the odd moment and yes, my husband can cook and do some chores. All kid related crap still rests on me. And what isn't kid related crap? Apparently nothing.
So today I went on strike.... for maybe 15 minutes ... then DD came and cuddled with me and showed me her cute craft and I immediately caved. Then I ate some chocolate, played some "Angry Birds" and went back to it. So I guess I like this job. All thoughtful blog-writing will occur weekdays after kids are at school and my 2nd cup of coffee.
|Being the shameful, unoriginal mom that I am, I "borrowed this cartoon from here.|
Friday, November 4, 2011
1. What keeps you up late at night?
Usually, when my DH is travelling, I stay up way too late doing useless things like channel-surfing (like I really need to watch movies from the 90s) or Facebook-ing. Then I get all grumpy the next morning at my uselessness. I really do need my 7+ hours of sleep.
2. Do you collect anything?
Not really. Unless you consider hoarding "collecting". Well not so much hoarding as just not dealing with the various things that pile up on the counters. Are mismatched socks considered a collectible?
3. Are you addicted to Angry Birds?
A little bit. I blogged about it. 'Tis a strangely addicting game which, I'm sure, has something educational about it for the kids and me. Quality time together spent flinging birds. It should be on a Hallmark card soon.
4. What's your idea of a perfect evening?
That depends entirely on my mood. As the weather chills, I tend to crave the comforts of fireplaces, comedy or adventure shows with a glass of red wine in hand. There would be no dishes to do and contented kids. If I'm feeling social, I love a great evening out with friends, eating at a restaurant or going out someplace fun.
5. Are you looking forward to winter?
After I get the snow tires on and after the mitts and other winter gear has been sorted, then yes, I do like winter. I try to get into some kind of outdoor winter activity to make the season more fun. When you are dressed for it, the kids winter excitement can be contagious. Comfort foods and Christmas are a couple of big winter pluses too.
Wanna play KMKY too? Go for it! Link back to Shannon's site and check out the other answers.
Thursday, November 3, 2011
- Why, why, WHY do I always seem to volunteer for field trips on cold drizzly days with loud boys whacking each other and why did my son insist on us sitting at the very back of the bus? Seriously!
- My daughter loves to argue with me about math facts. Does she really think that the more she uses her tone, the math will be more right? Good luck baby!
- Chocolate really does cure a lot of woes. Especially chocolate consumed after being on a bus of 10 year olds, post field trip in the rain.
- I need more time with grown ups.
- I NEED to go to the craft show thingy tomorrow, without children and with a big wad of cash. Who cares if there is nothing I really need to buy, I will pretend I am Christmas shopping... and it will be something to blog about later.
- Why do I think putting words in italics will really make these random thoughts make more sense?
- Should it be italics or italic? I don't really know. Nor do I care. Am I worried someone will be grading this thing?
- I'm tired and really should be going to bed.
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
And then it was Wednesday again and I was saved by pulling images from the camera and using very few words to blog.
|My witch and mad scientist|
|Minnie mouse pumpkin, a lame attempt at Spartycat and Luau pumpkin|
|The gang showing off their amazing costumes.|
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
But not this time. This year is different. We have travel plans in a few weeks - Australia for a friend's wedding! I am looking forward to the great travel adventure with no kids in tow.
I will also be attempting to do the fun and challenging NaBloPoMo November challenge. I liked doing it last year and hopefully it will encourage me to spend my time not burrowing and eating chocolate.
So Welcome November. Bring it on.