Thursday, February 26, 2009

Spring, please come!

What do you think of my new blog look? I am thinking that it is quite spring-like. Looking outside right now, you'd never know that we're closer to spring than winter. The temps have dipped down again into the -20°'s, not including the lovely windchill, that makes it seem more like -30°. Again with the boots, parka, mitts, toques, scarves, and allowing no skin to show... I don't love this weather, not one bit.

Having said that, when the sun is shining, it does look beautiful outside. The snow twinkles like little diamonds. And I don't have to be outside for too long, and thankfully, I'm not a mail carrier.

Maddy and I get to send Mace off to school, then hunker down and make muffins, or loaves, or cookies, and just be inside. Thankfully we can be dressed up in warm cozy sweats and slippers, and not have to make our way out there. It's not all bad. But I am looking forward to spring/summer. The kids spent 1/2 hour outside yesterday afternoon, and both came in with rosy red, healthy looking cheeks. They love the snow, cold or not. I remember those days too. They actually don't seem that long ago...

February for the most part, has been pretty decent, weather wise. Most of our early Nov/Dec snow slowly melted away. It does amaze me, that after one night of snowfall, we can go back to looking like this again. But, at least it makes the city look clean.

Friday, February 20, 2009

The Flea Bug...

Last night, in the very wee hours, I was awakened by one single word. "Mummy!" It's the call that sends shivers down your spine at 4 am. As Barry dashed out of our room, yelling, "I think we've got a puker" behind him. I tried to decipher whether or not, I'd heard someone call my name, or dreamed it. As I struggled out of bed, and made my way down the hall, the smell hit me, and I realized, I hadn't dreamed it at all. As Bar diligently tried to get the stain out of the carpet, I stood there, not really knowing what to do in my sleep-dazed state. It will be great once the kids get to a point that they can either a) make it into a bucket, or b) make it into the bathroom, without leaving this wake of utter chaos behind. Nothing like removing sheets, undressing, and moping up puke in the middle of the night. What parent hasn't spent their weekend renting a steam cleaner, and hoping that it won't make a worse mess than you started with. Ahhhh, the true call of parenthood.

Poor Mason threw up every half an hour, all day. It was a very long day for all of us, and Madelyn is so concerned about her brother having the 'flea bug'. I think I can count on one hand the times that Mason has been side-lined on the couch, not wanting to get up for anything. It's so hard to watch, and be so completely helpless, when there's nothing you can do but pat backs, stroke heads, and mop brows. I was hopeful this would only go on for a while, but it's been 16 hours now. Here's hoping that it only lasts 24 hours. And I pray he will be the only one that will succumb to it.

As he lay on the couch this morning, I came around with the camera, and he so pitifully said, "Please Mum, don't take a picture of me when I'm sick" I had to put my camera away, until he fell asleep. There's a scrapbooker for you, with not a lot of compassion. But at the same time, I thought, hey, this is our every day. And getting sick is a part of life, like it or not.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Happy Heart Day!

This is what Valentine’s Day looked like at our house this year. I started the morning off with heart shaped pancakes and strawberries. The kids didn’t co-operate though, because they didn’t want ‘strawberries to touch their pancakes’. By the time it was my and Barry’s turn to eat, I was too hungry to pause long enough for picture taking. I made the pancakes from scratch… Pretty Suzy Homemaker of me, I'm thinking. I got the recipe off of Good ole Martha’s website… Were they easy to do, well the batter was simple, but was it easy creating hearts? No. Pancake batter is pretty close to liquid. It’s pretty hard to get liquid to do what you want. Did they look like Martha’s? Not quite, but I didn't really expect them to. They looked like mine, and the kids were ecstatic, enough said.

After breakfast, I gave the kids and Barry the few little crafty Valentine’s things I’d done for them. Cards for everyone, little fruit cups filled w/goodies, (I found the idea on a stamping blog somewhere) a frame for Barry and a little Love book. Madelyn looked up at me and said, “This is a lovely surprise Mummy”.

We then got dressed to deliver a few Valentine’s. Maddy got dressed up for a bit of a photo shoot in the new boots, hat, coat and mitts Auntie Pat got her. I LOVE Joe stuff… Isn't she the sweetest little Valentine girl?

On the way to the neighbors house to deliver a Valentine...

The kids helped Barry with some shoveling, so after they came in from the cold, I made them hot chocolate with heart shaped marshmallows. Much excitement from them about that! The mugs used to by my Grandma’s. She used to make me my very own cup of tea using these little mugs… They make me smile every time I see them.

I got this lovely bouquet from Barry and the kids. And a box of Ferrero Rocher chocolates… (I wonder are how many points each chocolate is...) It was a delightful day. It’s so great to make these wonderful memories for my kids. I don’t know who gets more excited about things like this, me or them…

Finally, after waiting, and waiting, and much anticipation, we went to Boston Pizza for our heart shaped pizza. This year, Uncle Chris joined us again, and we have a couple of newbie’s… Ama & Baba joined us too. In the past, they’ve always been in Mesa, AZ during Valentine’s Day, so we were glad to share our ritual with them too. Great fun was had by all, and not even that much chocolate was consumed. I deem it a success!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Did someone say Teacher's Convention?

You know, before I had kids in school full-time, I was a bit shocked when Mom friends of mine were distressed about things like SUMMER VACATION, and Christmas Break, Teachers Convention and SPRING BREAK and then I had a child in grade one... Suddenly I too am mortified about how much louder it is in my house with my grade school child home... I really can't believe that one extra child, can create THAT much more noise.

This is what the past few days have looked like at our house...

Against being logical... We bought another Leapster after Christmas. We found it by chance, and it was a good deal, so we picked it up. I thought perhaps, it would be a great 4th bday present for Mad, but they kept fighting over Mason's. So one day, we gave in, and presented her with her very own pink Leapster. Well... If you can imagine, it's the Leapster of choice. Mason likes it more than his own. Madelyn likes it, now they fight over it. This was them the other day, taking turns, and sitting so sweetly on the couch, watching one another, in this pic, it's his turn...

This was a break from Spiderman, and his assistant, Spidergirl. Something on Treehouse caught their attention, and they stopped playing and parked themselves on the couch. It wasn't very short-lived, it never is...

This was a battle between some type of Star Wars figures... Not the kids, the stuffies... If I could have video-taped this, it couldn't have been cuter.

You guessed it, it's her turn on her pink Leapster, and they sit together on the couch. I can't tell you how many pics I've taken of them sitting together on the couch. Sweet...
We've had 2 days off, and now it's the weekend. I have their Dad home as a buffer, THANK GOODNESS. Tomorrow is Valentine's Day, the kids are all jacked up about a heart-shaped pizza at Boston Pizza. We're planning on going, we hope it's not too much of a gong show. Only time will tell!

Happy Valentine's Day to everyone!

Monday, February 9, 2009

He LIKES IT, Hey Mikey!

For those of you old enough to remember, that tag line came from the LIFE cereal commercial that was run circa 1970's. The kids crowd around the cereal, and they want Mikey to try it, because he'll try anything. Lo and behold, Mikey-likey, much to every one's amazement.
Well, tonight Macy-likey!! I made crock-pot sweet and sour ribs for supper, which turned out AMAZING if I do say so myself. I knew things were going to go relatively well, when Mace slurped and licked his lips and said, "I LOVE RIBS" when I told him ribs were on the menu for dinner. He had seconds, he oohed and aahed, and continuously told Madelyn she was really missing out. He totally cleaned off his plate, and THAT in itself is worthy of a blog post. Little Miss Maddy, ate 6 slices of yellow pepper, and drank half a glass of milk. After that of course she was so full, she couldn't eat another bite. We've certainly got our work cut out for ourselves, when it comes to feeding our kids. But tonight, we had success. That alone might carry me for an entire month! As for the girl, thank goodness for Vector, mini-go's and nuts.
Maybe I'll become a foodie after all!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

You KNOW You're in for a Treat When...

You make delicious pancakes for breakfast on Sunday morning, and the reaction from the kids is: "Oh, do we have to have pancakes..." I think this is one of the only food items, around our house, which is normally always greeted with excitement. But when both your kids are coughing non-stop, and snot is running down their faces, I guess pancakes just don't do the trick. That's what we woke up to this morning. I feel so bad when they're like this, because there is nothing I can really do to help. At the same time, the constant sniffling, coughing and crying, is a lot to take. And dear sweet Maddy, doesn't want anyone but her Mummy. And her Mummy wants to be anywhere but in the house... Let's hope this runs its course quickly.

Another thing we worked on this weekend were Valentines for the kids to give out to their friends. (I think I already griped and told you the school doesn't want them handed out this year).

Here's the inside, they hold a little box of smarties. Aren't they cute?

Whenever I do craft-type things with my kids, I learn such valuable lessons about myself. I could NEVER home school my children. I just don't know how people do it. I get too frustrated, and my kids lose interest in our project/s. Take these valentine's for instance. I brought out a bunch of heart-day appropriate stamps, and which stamps did they want? Not the ones I had out. And the girl is the WORST. After doing only 2 cards, Mason said, "How many more do I have to do..." He lost interest almost immediately. And then, the moment Mad realized I was putting a box of smarties into the cards, her whole personality changed. Suddenly SHE wants smarties, she likes them, they should be for HER. Now we're battling about why she can't have them. There's a mixture of tears and tantrums and "can't we finish this later"... The table is covered with inks and stamps, pieces of paper that Mace INSISTED on cutting with the cutter. Someone dropped an ink pad on the floor (no, they SHOULDN'T have been picking it up) some one is upset because the stamp didn't go on properly (yes I explained you shouldn't 'rock the stamp') someone is covered in glue from the glue stick (yes I have a cloth to wipe off hands) and all the while, I'm silently wishing I'd picked up some Princess and Diego Valentine's at Super Store, as well as a 750 ml bottle of wine... (and that it didn't count towards my points of course)
Because I've also successfully completed week one of Weight Watchers. And it wasn't too bad. I tracked everything I ate, and actually went down a few pounds this past week. Yay for me. It makes a difference when you realize exactly where on the totem pole everything you put into your mouth sits. This week my goal is to include exercise into my life. Just some walking to start. That's a goal I've had for a long time, but it seems so very unattainable to me.
Right now I'm hoping that Mace wakes up tomorrow feeling well enough to go to school. He's off on thur/fri for teachers convention, and then monday is Family Day. It would be nice to get a few things done around the house while he's at school.

I promised Madelyn we'd make Carrot Muffins tomorrow. She's got a bee in her bonnet about that right now. So I bought some carrots today, and tomorrow we'll do some grating!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

I'm happy to report, that I have taken my blog surfing, very seriously, and as a result have done hardly any surfing. And do you know what... It's boring... I really want to know what's going on out there!

Madelyn is at story time at the library with Ama, right now! As we speak. And I'm supposed to be doing some work for a client, but I am so totally un-inspired right now. Which, really makes doing anything crafty, hard to take. I seem to go through these stages, which I suppose is very normal, but it makes getting anything accomplished, kind of a joke. I'll push on even though I'm not having fun. After all, it's a 'job' I've been hired to do, and we don't always like our jobs do we?

I am also spending way too much time, trying to get some fun Valentine's ideas for my family. I had a great idea for the kids in Mason's class, but a note was sent home, that they don't want valentines at school. This really bums me out. And I thought to myself, "surely they don't mean, ME, I'm going to go ahead with my smartie boxes any way". But Mason said, "Mum, you CAN'T" To which I said, "Well, we could any way, if we wanted to" And he looked horror-stricken and again said, "Mum, you just CAN'T", much more emphatically. So there, he's a rule follower. He follows the rules. Let's hope he's a rule follower in 10 years from now...

So now, I'm trying to plan some special things for my family, after all, Valentine's Day falls on a Saturday this year. Heart shaped pancakes perhaps, or heart shaped eggs nestled in toast... Good ole Martha Stewart has some great ideas, check them out for yourself. I especially love this idea, heart-shaped marshmallows to float in hot cocoa.

I have a bad habit of over-researching things, then realizing that I've run out of time. So, I'm going to try and not do that for this occasion. The kids and I will do some heart day crafts this weekend, maybe we'll even do up some sugar cookies, but I'm not going to get carried away with unrealistic expectations. In fact, I'm going to head back into my little scrapbook room, and continue working until I need to go and pick up Mason from the bus!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Pumpkins and Sunrises

This costume, from Old Navy, in 2003 was the best money EVER spent. Mason went as a pumpkin in '03 and '04, then Madelyn went as this very same pumpkin, last Halloween, as in '07, (this Halloween just passed, she went as a sinister spider) It resides in our 'dress up trunk' and the kids play dress up in it ALL THE TIME. This is what I walked around the corner to the other day. My little pumpkin girl, all dressed up with no where to trick or treat! This costume is actually 18 mos-24 mos in size, and yet she still parades around in it. Not occasionally, but often. Even the hat, which is perched atop her little head. Yes indeed, it was worth every penny we paid for it. Now it doesn't go down as far as it once did, and doesn't cover up her little behind any more, but it sure it cute to see her still wearing it. I think it's finally too small for Mason to get on, but it was certainly one his favorites too.

Can you believe this is what I see nearly every morning? Don't get me wrong, I've seen a sunrise before. I saw the sunrise during my 14 years of working. But the last 4 years, I haven't seen much of it. (The last 4 years of course, coincides w/my role as SAHM) What a lucky girl I am, with two children that sleep in. Some of you might want to groan and start name calling, but it's late right now. Quite late. Far too late for children to be up and talking. Especially when one said child has to get up early in the morning for school. It's after 10 o'clock, pm, and they are still discussing things amongst one another... She wants him to sleep in her room, he wants her to stop talking, she wants him to find her flashlight; he wants her to stop talking; she wants him to read her a book, he doesn't want to read to her, he wants to read to himself... On and on an on...
The baby monitor, such a handy thing, this might get me through teenage years, as it's become such a fixture, something they don't think twice about. I get to hear the chatter between them, and the astonished "HOW DOES SHE KNOW I'M IN YOUR ROOM?" When I call up for them to break it up. The "I have eyes in the back of my head card", also known as The Mummy card. When they're at this age, and logic and reason aren't within their grasp quite yet, it's pretty fun.
So - to get back to my sleep in bit, I deserve my sleep-ins, when I fight with my kids to fall asleep each and every night. The tough part is, now we have to get up first thing in the morning. We've got to get ready for school. Our mornings consists of: Wake-uping, breakfast eating, lunch packing, dressing, teeth-brushing, and an iota of cartoon watching to do, AND make it to the bus on time. For a house full of night people, this has come as a shock to a certain someone. We're doing our best, and at the same time, I'm trying to enjoy and love the beauty of seeing this every morning.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Time well wasted, err not...

My goodness, have you ever realized how much time can be wasted blogging?

Seriously, 4 years ago, when I was in the work-force, pre-SAHM, a blog or ‘web blog’ was kind of ‘out there’. Who on EARTH would do that? And now, WHO doesn’t? (In fact, it’s a good thing that blogs were not common when I was working, or I know EXACTLY what my termination papers would have said)
It’s so very easy to get caught up in reading up, catching up and getting up-to-date on the on-goings of other peoples lives… I have numerous (and I won’t put the specific number, because it’s demented) blogs that I like to check out on a regular basis. And yes, by regular, I do mean daily. I feel like these bloggers are my close personal friends, after all, I know so much about them! But truthfully, they are still just strangers that I love from afar. And it’s SO darn time consuming. Most of the time, I can read my few blogs, check my email, and carry on with my day. But on occasion, I read a blog, and find a link to something that blogger thinks is neat, check it out, find a link that, THAT blogger thinks is neat, and check it out, and so on and so on. Sometimes I’m sure I’ve jumped through 25 blogs, and wonder how the heck I found myself on this blog, and where the heck has the past hour gone?

The last few days for me have been like that. The countless hours I’ve wasted, is utterly shameful. And yet, I found a WHOLE NEW WORLD out there! My favorite blogs are scrapbook, card and stamping related for the most part but this week, I found this… and can you believe it, THIS!

Foodies! Isn’t it great?! And part of me wants to get involved with them too! To leave my two cents, try out some recipes. Take pictures! I can hardly keep up with the things I’m SUPPOSED to be doing on a regular basis, let alone try to add to that.

I find when I spend so much time on the computer, I get great ideas, all saved in different categories of course. The problem is the ideas build and build and build until working on anything seems daunting, because there are so many things I want to work on! And I just don’t know where to start.

The main reason I started my own blog was for this: to have my on-line type journal, to go back to a time from now and remember with fondness some of the things that have transpired. It’s about our ‘every day’ which does seem so very mundane at the time, but we hold onto those cherished thoughts and memories after they’re gone. It's tough work growing a 3 ½ and a 6 ½ yr old, but one day I’ll look back at the fact they didn’t eat, as being our biggest worry, and I’m sure I’ll wish that was my biggest worry again. So what I need to do, is focus on MY blog, for me. Perhaps I really need to spend some time thinking about how much time I invest into other people’s lives, that I should be investing in my own. Hmmmm, that got much deeper than I meant to, I think I've had a revelation. I've suddenly realized where one of my major time wasters is...

The moral of my story, I’m not going to become a foodie, though I DO want to try out these... And I'm really going to attempt to NOT get so pulled into other peoples perfect ideas for memory keeping. No matter how many memories you've captured, it just sometimes doesn't feel like enough. And I AM good at capturing our own families memories, at least I think so. No more blog surfing for awhile, I'm going to try and keep on track of the things that actually matter.