Monday, August 31, 2009

3 Days In

Mason has been back to school for three short days, and already today the first wave of fundraising stuff came home. I certainly don't miss that over the summer holidays. There have been a lot of fundraisers before my kids ever started school, that I've handed money over for.
Some of the best ones being frozen cookie dough and of course the scouts popcorn (and yes, that one will be coming around again some time in late Oct/early Nov)

Over the years, I have bought magazine subscriptions, I've bought crap, pardon me, I mean things from Regal. I've purchased frozen pizzas (ewwwww). We've had Tim Bit Day at school, sold Cinnamon Buns for fundraising. I've bought wreaths for my front door at Christmas time.

The kids are encouraged to bring a loonie/twoonie to contribute to causes at school. One cause I remember specifically was putting money toward fresh water for a school not in Canada. There is a call for the food bank, each child is asked to bring in a non-perishable food item, mitts, hats, blankets etc. There is the adopted family at Christmas. Each and every month we receive Scholastic book order forms, with a portion of the money going toward the school. (After all that fundraising, we're asked to send in our own box of kleenex for each child in the class)

And now 3 days into a new school year, we begin to bombard our friends and family with buying stuff from us. And I hate it. Mostly because, all my friends and their kids are in the exact same predicament.

I am shocked by the cheques being written and handed over on a regular basis. In fact, before I had a child in school, the writing of cheques in my life was obsolete. What with debit and credit etc, WHO needs a cheque book? In Kindergarten and Gr. 1, I think I went through 2 entire cheque books. And here we are, Gr. 2, and we're well on our way to writing more cheques. I am thankful at least, that he's not into hockey (yet) Then we'd be obligated to do those hockey Bingo/ Casino night (how appealing does that sound) I shouldn't laugh though, because Beaver's is an eye opener as well. With bottle drives, and popcorn sales, the pressure is on. I have a serious respect for the crap that my parents had to put up with.

So - if ANYONE is interested in purchasing a Student Union Ticket Pack, they're going for $20, and I'd be MORE THAN HAPPY to sell one to you. ;-)

Completely off topic, I don't think I blogged about finishing Madelyn's little girl room. I have a couple pictures to post. I'm so pleased with how her room turned out. And she's so happy with it to. The first time she saw it she said "Mummy, I just LOVE it..." That was awhile ago now, in July, it's old hat. She's stopped falling out of bed. All is good. And my favorite addition, is the groovy girl dolls that sit on her bed. Of course I LOVE THEM, not her. But that's ok, she still let's them sit on her bed.

These are some little canvasses I did, they are on the opposite wall. And I found the wall decals at Winners. Talk about lucking out with the color scheme. I just happened to stumble across them after my canvasses were done. I'd seen the Be.... thing on someone else's blog. I loved the idea, came up with some of my own words, and have been wanting to do this for quite sometime. I love it when a plan comes together.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

1st Day of Grade Two

We did it. We had our first day of grade two. Being at the school this morning was so exciting. A sea of kids, all dressed in their best clothes, with new shoes and back packs and parents. On the first day of school, it's not hard to distinguish the working mom's and the stay at home moms. There is the 'dress' clothes, and the casual clothes.

The class lists were posted on a window, and getting to them was a bit of an ordeal. Mason didn't really seem to care, he was to busy scouting out friends.

The bell rang, and one of the teachers said "Say good bye to your Mom's and Dad's." And they did, and off they went through the doors... And it all happened so fast, I didn't even get a picture of it!

Thankfully I took the 'First Day of Grade Two' pose, outside our house.
[ And no, he doesn't have a new back pack, OR new shoes, OR new clothes... But he is such a cutie patootie!] We're waiting for the mall madness to die down, before we even venture into one. Besides, it was HOT today, so shorts were perfect. His school is all about the three R's, reduce, re-use and recycle. So he told me he wanted to re-use last years back pack and lunch box. Talk about efficient.

Here's a picture of Mason and Barry, walking up to the school. We had to park a ways away, parking is always at a premium on the first day. [Mason insists on wearing a ball cap to school, and these two boys looks so cute in their matching caps]

And little Miss Maddy G, was insistent that "Mason was getting all the attention, and why don't you take MY picture". So I did... And man, I LOVE those long legs of mine! All kidding aside, it was Mason's special day of going back to school. She starts preschool in September, and I assured her, there would be PLENTY of pictures of her then. That seemed to be a good enough answer.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

We're Having Summer!

And can you believe the poor little kiddies head back to school? I mean it was HOT today. Summer time hot... Heart-breaking. But the fact that I have done absolutely NO back to school shopping is a bonus. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we'll get another few weeks out of shorts and sandals. I'm always hopeful. A glass is half-full kind of girl. Know what? That drives my husband insane. He's never actually come out and said, I HATE THAT QUALITY OF YOURS, but it's one of those things, that remains unspoken between us... I remain optimistic and believing, trying to see the best in things, and he silently fumes. (Sorry dear, but they do say opposites attract)

Speaking of opposites, get a load of the picture below, LONG and SHORT. Here's my guy with his spank'in new hair cut! Ready for grade 2! Teeth a bit reddish from the sucker he got, but no harm done! He must be a lot cooler too!

Today I did DAY 1 of an online class, through Simplify 101, called "Help, I Don't Know Where to Begin". It's about de-cluttering your house/life.

As fall arrives, and the kids head back to school, I'm trying to wrap my head around a few things I want to accomplish. Summers in our house is a time that all routines seem to fly right out the window. Around here, vacation means, bedtimes are more flexible. Meal times are more flexible. What we're going to do on a daily basis is more flexible. We planned a few things each week, and on the other days, we just flew by the seat of our pants. And it's so dreamy to do that. After a full school year of routines and set times, bus pick ups and drop offs, it's just nice to take the summer to breath a sigh of relief. Ahhhhhh.... And we've done that, and personally, I think we did it rather well.

Now, after that just-long-enough break, I'm ready to get back into a routine again. I'm ready to get up in the mornings and get Mace off to the bus. I'm ready to pack lunches again, and make sure I have snacks/juice boxes and muffins etc., readily available. I'm ready for bedtimes to roll around at 8:30. And I'm ready to get myself into a bit of a routine as well.

For the month of September any way, I'm looking at de-cluttering my house. Can you believe I still have baby toys and clothes lurking around? And my kids are 4 and 7. It's time. And the idea of getting rid of stuff, has me breathing easier... I don't want you to think that my house is a clutter zone. Like you would come in and not see anywhere, and I mean ANYWHERE to sit. No. That's not me at all. But I tend to hoard. What I'm saying is, please don't open my closets/cupboards/drawers... I'd be embarrassed by that. Now, having said that, you're more than welcome to come at the end of September, because by then, there'll be NO reason to be embarrassed. [You see that, I just gave myself and goal AND a challenge] Sweet. Here's to de-cluttering, September, and getting back into glorious routines.

This was what my 15 minute kitchen de-clutter looked like. Note to self, next time use a black garbage bag. There were a number of things that got pulled out my all THREE of the people that live with me! Crazy! So long mis-matched Tupperware and Rubbermaid. See you later disposable Glad crap. Adios old travel mugs (much to Barry's horror). Goodbye piece of crap butterfly cupcake mould...
Liberating indeed...

Monday, August 24, 2009

The Last Monday Before School Starts

I feel a bit melancholy... Part of me is looking forward to the start of a new school year, and part of me is mourning the end of summer. I read a book this weekend (which I thought was utterly ridiculous) Wait a minute, does that imply that I think reading is ridiculous? Or the book? Because I meant the book was ridiculous...

Any way, there was this excerpt in the book that describes EXACTLY how I feel about fall. Here goes: "The calendar clung to September, but Becky was still in mourning for the wide open weeks of summer. A full noisy house, outings to the zoo and pools and canyons. Becky didn't see autumn as a glorious and exciting time of change, wind peeling layers, alternately breathing chill on your neck and cuddling you in the bright bursts of warmth. No. She saw autumn as Not summer." From the book The Actor and the Housewife by Shannon Hale.
So re-read that and change the name from Becky to Candy, and that sums up precisely how I feel. Well, except for the noisy house part. I've had kids in my life for 7 years now, and I still don't do well with too much noise...

So today we're off to get Mason's hair cut before Grade Two starts. (I suppose if I were to keep him home, I could be in denial that I have a child heading into grade two) However, home schooled or not (just kidding) he'd still be doing a grade two curriculum. If I were honest with myself, I think A LOT of my posts are about the kids, who are growing up so rapidly. I sometimes feel like I'm on the sidelines watching from afar. I keep asking myself how/when did that happen? Where did the time go? I'm just trying to enjoy each day.

Did I mention that Mace hasn't had a haircut since the end of June? This is a kid who gets his hair cut every 4 wks, so let me assure you, we're in need. I'll have to do a before and after picture. I doubt we'll ever have this long a stint again. Also, the kids were up SUPER early this morning, playing Pokemon. I mean, playing as in pretending to be the characters. I still don't really understand the whole Pokemon thing. Any way, to make a long story short, we were up around 7:40 this morning, so we're getting in gear for Thursday. Though I know on Thursday I'll have to wrestle him out of bed, and that will be the one day, he'd like to sleep in. Too funny. He's become a bit of a morning person over the past 6 months. (Much to his mother and father's horror).

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Start of our Busy Week

As promised to my kiddies, we're going to try and cram as much fun into this week, as possible. The cloudy skies have FINALLY cleared up, and we actually got to see that giant yellow ball in the sky, we lovingly refer to as the sun... Ahhhhh, thank goodness. I just don't do great with grey dismal days.

And not because I long to remember, but because I HAVE to show someone, anyone, here is exactly what last Fridays, last day of swimming lessons looked like... Seriously, can you believe it?
That's right, that is indeed STEAM coming up from the pool... And no, it's NOT a hot pool. Just a regular old outdoor swimming pool in Calgary. Crikey...

Now onto something more palatable:

Yesterday's zoo trip. The day turned out much warmer than I'd anticipated, so my poor kids were in jeans, and Maddy, in a long sleeved tee. Yikes. It's just so hard to figure things out day by day in this crazy city!

And today, our adventure to Calaway Park, with the Wick's. It was a great day. We got sprinkled with a few showers a couple of times, but a stop to buy mini melts (Thanks Auntie Cole) and a trip into the candy store, and all you could hear was rain-schmain!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

All is Quiet

My house is quiet. Really quiet. It's the middle of the afternoon, and I'm home alone quiet... Sweet Ama has taken the kids to see the movie UP and then for dinner. How lucky are they? Or, how lucky am I? So being here alone has me reflecting a little bit on what the next year will bring. Mason will be heading into grade two, and Miss Maddy G will be on her way to preschool three afternoons a week. Sheesh, what am I going to do with myself?

Summer is wrapping up. It's gone too fast. And to be honest, it's been mediocre at best. At the end of June, the idea of summer holidays stretches out before you, two glorious sun-filled, months, July and August. Oh how we all wait and wait and wait for those two months to come. All you can envision are the long and lazy days of summer.

As you may recall, our annual trip to the lake this year was a bit of a let down, with the norwalk virus week one, and the crapola weather week two. Zoo camp was great, the weather oh-so hot. The kids were so darn lucky. It seems to me, that the weather has been so-so ever since. (It was, for the most part, great for the first set of swim lessons, in the morning any way)We get a nice day here and there but for the most part, it's been cold and dreadful. This week the kids were in swim lessons again, but we haven't been so lucky. This morning I sat at the edge of the pool and watched the steam rise... Seriously, when the water is warmer than the air on the 13th of August, that's a darn sad state.

Plus, we've all (and I do indeed mean, all 4 of us) caught a cold. So there is crabbiness, coughing, crying, nose blowing, snot... did I mention coughing? And it's all a bit much.

So, next week is our last week. (School starts back the next Thursday). We've got so much we want to do and see. How does that happen? How does time get away from us like this? But it does. So next week will be a busy one, trying to get all the last minute things in.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Our Little Bow Adventure

I just wanted to add a few pictures, to compliment last weeks trip to Little Bow. So here is a lovely little collage I whipped up.

It's pretty self explanatory. Mason water skiing. Mason getting ready to water ski. Mason and Madelyn doing some dry land training. My brother. The canola field and horrendous storm we were driving into (the picture doesn't do it justice at all). And, those two little cherubs, my beautiful kids... How lucky am I? They just really like each other! Sorry Mum, I know you wished I'd have a few just like me... I super-duper lucked out!
Not up to an awful lot this week. Have the kids back into swim lessons again. Hope the weather is nice in the mornings at least. I'm making pickles this week, so that will be kind of fun. Last week I even made Strawberry/Rhubarb jam. Constant rain does indeed get you a bit more creative in the house!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Just for Fun!

Any one who knows me, knows I LOVE these crazy things. And this one is quite different from any I've seen in a long time. So of course, I had to get involved. Instead of sending this email out to all I know, I'm putting it here on my blog. If you want to play along, do so. And send me your answers! I'm always looking for more info on my peeps!

What is your salad dressing of choice?
Oil and Vinegar, thank you Nola, for the confidence that even I can do it!!!

What is your favorite sit-down restaurant?
I love to go to the Keg. It’s been a long time.

What food could you eat for 2 weeks straight and not get sick of it?
Vietnamese… I think any way. I should try that one for fun.

What are your pizza toppings of choice?
Love olives and onions and feta… So rarely happens in a house full of pepperoni lovers…

What do you like to put on your toast?
I LOVE marmalade, but I never buy it. If we go out for breakfast, I often choose that from the little mini jam containers.

How many televisions are in your house?
I’m embarrassed to say…5. (this coming from someone who didn’t have cable for the first 4 ½ years of marriage)

What color cell phone do you have?

Are you right-handed or left-handed?

Have you ever had anything removed from your body?
Well… when you say ‘removed’… Does that include kids?

What is the last heavy item you lifted?
Two 4 litre jugs of milk (at the SAME time) I’m like, she-man…

Have you ever been knocked unconscious?
I don’t suppose fainting counts? No? Fine. Then I guess not.

If it were possible, would you want to know the day you were going to die?
I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t handle that one too well… So no.

If you could change your name, what would you change it to?
Always loved the name Lindsay… It was totally a bionic woman thing. Oops… did I just date myself?

Would you drink an entire bottle of hot sauce for $1000?
I would, and I’m pretty sure it’s something I’d regret shortly afterward.

Last run-in with a cop?
When I pulled over to the shoulder, to get to the turning lane faster. Should have spotted the cop a few cars back, I suppose the lights on the roof should have given it away… However, I only noticed the lights once they were turned on and directing me to stop… [stupid]

Last person you talked to?

Last person you hugged?
My kids as I snuggled them into bed.

Favorite Season?

I love the pre-Christmas hustle and bustle. The getting ready, and decorating. The anticipation of it. I love to watch the kids get so excited.

Day of the week?
Still love Friday, even after 4 years of SAHM status.

May (typically it's the beginning of spring) We get green grass, and things begin to bloom.

First place you went this morning?
The kitchen for coffee (THIS moring and EVERY morning btw)

What's the last movie you saw?
Ice Age 3 – Dawn of the Dinosaurs

Do you smile often?
Yes, I think so, though I wonder if Barry would agree... I'm going to start smiling more!

Do you always answer your phone?
Not any more, I have call display!

It's four in the morning and you get a text message who is it?
Barry won’t let me have texting on my phone…

If you could change your eye color what would it be?
Light blue, ice blue.

What flavor drink do you get at Peter’s Drive In?
Vanilla Shake

Do you own a digital camera?

Have you ever had a pet fish?
Indeed. Finnigan the fish, he lasted for nearly 3 years.

Favorite Christmas song?
O Holy Night. (though it was a tough call to pick just one song)

What's on your wish list for your birthday?
I can’t think that far in advance. A big 4-0 celebration will be in order.

Can you do push ups?
Yes, but not very many.

Can you do a chin up?

Does the future make you more nervous or excited?

Do you have any saved texts?
Ummmm, did I mention I don't receive texts?

Ever been in a car wreck?
yes, very mild

Do you have an accent?No.

What is the last song to make you cry?
Revelation by third day

Plans tonight?
Just going to head up to bed.

Have you ever felt like you hit rock bottom?
Yes, but in retrospect no.

Name 3 things you bought yesterday?
An awesome little 6x6 scrapbook kit for $6.99 at Winners
A little map pack called “walks to do with your kids in NYC”
A slow cooker recipe book

Have you ever been given roses?yes

Current worry?
The health of one of my very good friends.

Current hate right now?
The violence in our city. It just doesn't seem as safe any more, and I hate the feeling of not feeling safe.

Met someone who changed your life?

How did you bring in the New Year?
There were martinis, a chocolate fountain and a broken couch involved…

What were you doing 12 AM last night?
Watching TV, and scrapbooking.

What was the first thing you thought when you woke up?
Crap… Already? It CAN’T be time to get up!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

A Busy Week

Wow... It's been over a week since I posted something! Where has the time gone? Oh! I know, I've been madly working on last years Greece Album. Using.....wait for it.... [ta-daaaaa] my new- found digital talent, and SBE free templates!! Wooohoooo!

It's been nearly a year already, since our big 10 year anniversary trip. (Which also means, we're nearing 11 years married) Holy cow. It has been so fun to go back through these pictures in such detail, along with the little journal I kept. I feel like I've relived the entire experience. Day by day, what we saw and did, it was really nice to reminisce. It also makes me feel like we just got back. I had wanted to do some sort of a collage album, but until now, wasn't sure how to do that. Much to Barry's dismay, all my spare evening time has been working on this project. I'm pleased to say, it's all finished. I plan to send them to Costco to be printed, then I'll put together an album. I can't wait to see how it's all going to come together!

Last weeks swim lessons were awesome. The weather was great. The kids enjoyed themselves immensely. Madelyn moved up and will be taking Sun Fish, and Mason is in Swim Kids 4. Both of them are like fish in the water. It's important that they know how to swim! I ended up re-registering them for another set of lessons next week. I hope we'll be as lucky weather-wise.

Speaking of weather... Wow. I'll back up to Saturday. We decided to go boating to Little Bow Provincial Park on Saturday, we pulled the boat, packed a picnic lunch and dinner. We went, Chris came, and of course, Ama & Baba. The day was phenomenal. It was easy 30°, the only saving grace was the wind that blew all day. (Unfortunately, that made the water skiing a bit tough, but at least we didn't fry). Any way, driving back home to Calgary that night was something else. It started out bright and sunny, you could see clouds accumulating, but it was one of those times when it's hard to differentiate the clouds and the sky... Any way, within 1/2 hour of leaving Little Bow, we were in the middle of this crazy scary storm. The sky was BLACK, it was raining so hard you couldn't see, the lightening and thunder were intense. (Oddly though, one of the ONLY places I feel somewhat safe in a lightening storm is my vehicle) All the way home we passed through little storms and cells, we were finally grateful to be home. We learned on the news that night, that storm was very fast moving, had started around the Edmonton area and headed south. Leaving destruction all along the way.

Sunday we woke up to another HOT day. I ended up taking the kids to the outdoor pool, what a fantastic way to spend a hot afternoon. That night, we were woken up, at 1:15 am, by the most horrific windstorm, rain PELTING against the side of the house, lightening and sheet lightening. We need to close up windows in a hurry. The kids were both crying, and we all ended up taking refuge in the basement where Madelyn finally said "It's not so loud and scary down here Mummy". It lasted about 1/2 an hour. But I was sure there was something more sinister brewing, like a tornado. It was wicked. It was scary. There was so much lightening, mostly sheet lightening, but there was terrible loud cracks of thunder as well. Man oh man, mother nature scares me, with the level of destruction. We eventually went back up to our rooms. The kids EVENTUALLY fell back to sleep (as did I). Monday morning was cold and dreary. There was damage around the city, and the storm seemed to take everyone by surprise. Especially the intensity and the velocity at which it hit with.

Our forecast for the next week is dreadful. Monday through Friday, a daytime high of 14°, with rain. Lots of rain it looks like. It rained all last night and it's still raining now! Ewwww. We'll be doing some inside things this week it looks like!