Sunday, June 27, 2010

Birthday Boy

This little boy turned 8 on Saturday. We started his special day with birthday pancakes, shaped as 8's. It was something I started doing when he was a baby, and the kids LOVE it. They both know they get pancakes on their birthday (even if it falls on a weekday) Yesterday Mason told me that once he turns 10, I no longer have to do number pancakes. He figures it'll just get too tricky then I guess.

His one birthday request was an 'itouch'. We said fat chance to that, but decided to get him an ipod shuffle (with quite a number of stipulations I might add). This kid LOVES music. He didn't really have much choice, seeing as he lives with his Dad and I, a couple of music lovers. [Let's just hope he doesn't get stuck in the 70's and 80's like his Dad] He is thrilled, but now we have to figure out how to load songs onto it. [gulp] You can load 500 songs onto this thing, and it's the size of a house key. My ipod is ancient in comparison, it's only 3 years old and it only holds 185 songs. Then it was onto the 'photo shoot'. These kids are so patient with me and my camera. Because it was his birthday, he got to choose where he wanted to go for supper. He picked Vietnamese... Oh, yummy, yum- yum, it was delicious.

Then, yesterday I read about this on Ali Edwards blog. Full Moon Walks. I thought it sounded really neat, something that we could do together as family. A family date night once a month. I told the kids about it, and they said it sounded neat. When I tried to get them ready to go last night, they were deep in play [Pokemon, of course] When I said it was time to go Mason said,
"That doesn't sound very fun... On second thought I think I'll just stay home." I was disappointed, but one thing about having children, it`s made me realize that I just can't fight with them about everything. Trying to reason with them, that the reason I want to do this is to try and create memories for the family, yadda, yadda, yadda, does nothing but make their eyes get glazed over. So I said, "That's fine, time for bed then"and suddenly the moon walk seemed like an AWESOME idea. So last night at 9:50 we trudged out to the car (kids in the jammies) and drove to Nose Hill to watch the moon rise. We did not actually do a walk, because the mosquito's were so bad. Hopefully that won`t be the case in July. We sketched the moon, we jotted down some notes, we had granola bars... Everyone participated, even Barry (thanks Hun) and we have our first month of memories recorded. Both kids expressed how much fun they had, it was cool.

And today, Barry was gone all day, helping put together a couple of the community playgrounds. He started at 9 in the morning, and did not get home tonight until after 7 pm. We took him a sandwich, drinks and snacks around noon, and then went and watched again as the concrete was poured. Our kids are going to benefit from this park, half a block away from our house, for many years to come. We appreciate all the people who volunteered their time today. It makes out community a better place to be for sure!

Friday, June 25, 2010

School's Out for Summer...

School's out forever! Can't you just hear Alice Cooper singing that song? For many years that song signaled the end of junior high and high school for me. There was ALWAYS someone with their ghetto blaster [yeah, that's right, I said ghetto blaster] cranked. [By the way - if you don't know what a ghetto blaster is, you're far too young to be reading this blog]

Any way, that song is still embedded in my brain, and now, with the end of the school year right here, I've found myself humming it on more than one occasion.

Maddy has been home with me all week. She had her 'graduation' on Monday, and was finished with preschool. The weather has turned around... We've been able to wear shorts and sandals this week, finally. Mad and I got to the park a few times, and I have a bit of a guilty pleasure... It's taken me 8 years, but I'm now there. This is what the park looked like for Maddy:

She climbed, she swung on the swing [which she can pump herself] she slides, she just in general has a great time.

This is what the park looks like for me now:

[squealing in delight here] Because I'm not kidding. It's taken a long time to get to the point, where I can go to the park, and do nothing but supervise. Starting tomorrow, the 2 of them will have each other, for the whole summer... Just imagine the reading I can get in! ;-) I'm happy, they're happy... It's a total win/win situation.

Little park diva, right here: Love the shades, babe.

This little dude finished grade 2 today. He even said to me this morning, "take my picture outside Mum, it's the last day of school!" Alrighty then, it doesn't usually take too much prodding to get my camera out. He says he's sad it's summer, he's going to miss school and miss his friends. I say Pfffft... Give it a few days.

We handed these little treats out to the class. From what I hear, they were a hit. They were freezies, and the little note says: Remember to stay COOL this summer. I came up with this idea all by myself!

Tomorrow is Mason's actual birthday. He'll be 8. [sigh]. Tomorrow we're going to celebrate his day quietly, go for dinner [his choice] and just have a relaxing day at home. As of tomorrow morning, we start summer vacation! Whoop, whoop! And I'm SO excited about the break in our every day routine.

The next few months, with no schedules or time tables, is what being a kid is all about. I'm glad I get to be home with them! Our first thing to do, is to make a list of things to do!

Monday, June 21, 2010

One Finished School - One to go...

Today, this little girl had her last day of Preschool. Her Dad and I watched as she 'graduated' somewhat in denial. [I'm sure EVERYONE is tired of me talking about how fast time IS going by] I'll try to stop that. But just a quick heads up, that won't be happening this week, I'll have to try and tone it down a bit in the coming weeks.

Here's a picture of Madelyn with her Dad and I. Proud parents, and as we're having our picture taken, Madelyn is sticking her tongue out at the camera. And THAT my friends, is Madelyn in a nutshell... I don't know if I should send a warning along to the teacher... Staple it to her sleeve on the first day of Kindergarten? Or do I just let the teacher figure out what she's in for herself? I have a couple of months to ponder that one.

Maddy handed out these bubbles today, for the kids in her class. She drew the picture, then I scanned it, shrunk it down, and fit it onto an Avery label. It looked cute, and it says: Take time to blow bubbles! Have a wonderful summer. She was pretty pleased with herself.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

For Today - June 20th 2010

Outside my window... The most beautiful sunset. LOVE that golden light. And it's late, 9:37 pm, love this time of year, when the days are long... And the windows are open. And the birds are singing. And you can hear kids outside playing. And you can smell the flowers... Love it, love it, love it.

I am thinking... This next week is going to go by so fast. It's the last week of school, and the kids are both completely wound up.

I am thankful for... the fact that we're able to get away for a few weeks on a family vacation this summer.

I am wearing... Shorts and a blouse! The weekend was nice if you can believe it!

I am remembering... That I have to get Madelyn's class gifts ready to give out tomorrow afternoon.

I am going... to Madelyn's Preschool Graduation tomorrow...

I am currently reading... nothing, I'm in between books. I have one ready to go by Katherine Center, Get Lucky. Her last one was great, so I'm looking forward to it.

I am hoping... That we have seen the last of the week-long rains.

On my mind... How much I have to get organized before my kids are both home full time and looking at me for things to do.

Noticing that... The garden is coming along quite nicely, and my herbs are growing like crazy! Can't wait to use them in something!

Pondering these words... May the force be with you... [Star Wars] Mason got more Star War's Lego for his birthday. That kid STILL loves Star Wars, and we're a good 2 1/2 years into the love affair!

From the kitchen... Had a wonderful dinner tonight, had family over to celebrate Mason's 8th birthday. Lots of left overs for the next few days, means a very skimpy menu plan [yippee!] Not too much work on my end!

Around the house... The list is never-ending. Always something to do. I have all the usual things to do, plus the yard was neglected this weekend, and the lawn is in dire need of a cut [totally a blue job] I hate leaving all the yard work for weekends, but with soccer 4 nights a week, we don't have much time to spare.

One of my favorite things: Tomorrow is the summer solstice... Longest day of the year. LOVE the long days, and light nights. I think I'm solar powered.

From my picture journal...

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Last Week of School

Can you believe we're heading into the last week of school for the 2009/2010 season? I can't. Right now I have a child in grade two and a little one in preschool... In the fall, I'll have a child in grade three and my baby will be starting kindergarten...

When we were having these kids, education was the furthest thing from our minds. When we were having these kids, school was a long way down the road... When we were having these kids, I had no idea time would slip away this quickly. When we were having these kids, the days of fussy babies seemed all encompassing, and never ending. When we were having these kids I had no idea what having them flex their independence, would feel like. When we were having these kids, I never knew how fleeting the time of their 'littleness' would be...

It's both exciting and heartbreaking, at the same time. I can't ever go back, but at the same time, I have so much to look forward to. I can't believe that Mason will be 8 years old, in just under a week, and Miss Madelyn just turned 5. What sticks out in my head the most? This...

Why this image? I don't know. Maybe because it was such a HUGE transition to add another person to our family. To go from a family of 3, to a family of 4. Perhaps I was that nervous about how Mason would handle a new baby [though I didn't have to be, it turned out he is a phenomenal big brother.] We had moved to a NEW house, something so different and foreign for me... I don't know why, but THIS image, is what I remember most of my kids little baby years, and I do mourn it (in a good way)

This is what today looks like. It still shocks me to see these two looking so grown up. A handsome boy, a beautiful girl, and an Ama that loves them both ever so much. It seems like in a nano-second we're here. I honestly don't know where the time has gone. [Not that we haven't gotten here without any frustrations, there are plenty of those indeed]. But here we are, in any case, and looking at the first picture of a 3 year old Mason and a few week old Madelyn, it seems like only yesterday.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

More of the Same

This is still the view out my window. Two days of sunshine, 4 days ago, has sadly been erased.

I'm finding it a tad depressing. We've had cancelled soccer games 2 weeks in a row. (Not that I'm complaining about the ones that are cancelled, that means I'm not sitting out in the cold/rain) Because believe me, 7 weeks in we've sat out in the rain our fair share of games too.

This is what the majority of our games have looked like. This is Mason looking chuffy... [his word, not mine] He was furious with me for insisting he wear a toque and making him wear a hoodie under his soccer jersey. This was our conversation:

Mace: "I'm not wearing this, it makes me look chuffy!" [talking about the hoodie in question]

Me: You ARE wearing this, it's freezing out.

Mace: "But it makes me look chuffy!"

Me: "Wouldn't you rather be warmer than worry about being chuffy?"

Mace: "I won't even be able to run with this on, and I'm NOT wearing that toque."

Me: "Yes you are." And then, I had to ask the question... "Mason, what does chuffy mean?"

Mace: "You know Mum, big and puffy. Chuffy."

Alas, here's a picture of my little 'chuffy' boy himself... And look at that, the toque on AND the hoodie up. Incidentally, after we left the soccer game, I said to him "Bet you're sure glad you had a toque and your hoodie on" He begrudgingly said "Yes... But I was chuffiest one there."
To which I replied, "Well, maybe so, but you were also the warmest!"

[Sorry Mum, doesn't look like the hoodie is a favorite...]
On my camera, I used my knew found knowledge of 'white balance' settings. I selected 'cloudy' which it was. But in this picture above, the clouds were DARK and GRAY. And that isn't conveyed in this picture.

And here's little Miss thing... She's dressed from head to toe for winter, including her Uggs.

Yup, that's me. I'm not trying to make a fashion statement [obviously]. It's called keeping warm. Polar fleece and 3/4 length winter parkas are where it's at in this fair city.
Even Barry sported a toque. That's gotta say something.

Please, someone remind me of this, when I start to talk about soccer registration next year. The weather seems nicer in February and March than May and June.

Monday, June 14, 2010

How Can it Be?

We had an AWESOME weekend. Seriously... It was fantastic! The weather was perfect, and it was SEASONABLE... [What we have been experiencing lately has been WELL BELOW seasonable, temperature-wise.] I don't want my blog to be ALL ABOUT THE WEATHER. And I certainly don't want it to be always COMPLAINING about the weather, but it seems I am.

Here's the scoop... Last week was cold. It rained for the better part of the week. I am embarrassed to admit how many times I actually used the seat warmer in my car. That's right, it's mid-June, and I'm still using my seat warmer... And I'm wearing polar fleece. And slippers.

This does not paint a pretty picture does it? So, I woke up on Saturday morning, early, and there was this blinding, bright light shining into my room, I was caught off guard. It was the sun... And it continued to shine not only ALL DAY and evening on Saturday, but then again, ALL DAY and evening on Sunday. It was bliss. The temperatures soared into the high 20's°. It was finally warm enough for shorts, and [gasp] bathing suits... The kids finally got to run through the sprinkler on Sunday. Madelyn has been asking and waiting so patiently, and it finally worked out for her!

It was short lived however, because we woke up this morning to those dreadful cloudy skies again... We sat at soccer, shivering again...We had to warm up with hot chocolate after soccer again. I put on my electric seat warmer, again. But I have some great pictures to remember the fantastic weekend that just passed. I hope this isn't a glimpse of how the summer is going to play out.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

10 on the 10th - June 10th, 2010

1. Wow. It's June. We're officially 6 months into the year. How does that happen? Where does the time go? And the only reason we know it's June around here, is because the calendar says so. It feels more like February outside (minus the windchill of course)

2. Last night I went to Kindergarten Orientation for Madelyn. She's starting school in the fall. Where did those 5 years go? When she was born, and a wee little baby, the thought of starting school was so far away. And now, it's right around the corner.

3. We woke up to rain again today. It's cloudy, rainy and cold. I'm trying not to let this push my mood into a particular direction, but I'm having a hard time with it. Is it too much to ask for a string of nice days in a row?

4. Mason has 11 more days of school before he starts summer vacation. I'm so looking forward to the break of our daily routine. It gives us a chance to be a bit more lazy, to be a bit more lounge-y. We don't have to rush, and I'm sure the kids are tired of hearing me say "We're going to be late" [said with THAT tone] on a fairly regular basis. And by regular, at least once a day I'm sure.

5. We've got 2 more weeks of soccer to go... 6 wks down, 2 to go. I'm pretty pleased with msyelf for having pushed through 4 nights/week of soccer. [Once soccer is finally finished, they won't have to hear me screech about getting changed into their soccer gear, shoes on, shin pads on. I won't be yelling "C'mon, we're gonna be late..."]

6. What summer vacation means for me, is later nights... Because I'll be able to sleep in a bit. Nothing crazy, but I'm most productive (scrapbooking, for example) in the evening. Right now I force myself to go to bed, which is hard if I'm in the zone. [I tend not to be at my friendliest in the morning, and it's even worse with lack of sleep.] During summer, the kids can get up, and do their thing, while I have an extra hour of sleep each morning. That one hour, does wonders people...

7. Have I mentioned that I went to Kindergarten Orientation last night? And I actually sat there and teared up... Whoa, some of you are thinking, she teared up? I know. Weird but true. [I'm obviously pre-menstral]

8. I made cookies. Chocolate Chip Cookies. And they were good. I made them for Barry, whom often complains that I never make just plain chocolate chip cookies. I got the recipe from this book. The actual recipe name is Hunka Chunka Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies... How could you possibly resist a name like that? I made them, and the recipe made about 5 1/2 dozen cookies [eat to your hearts content Bar] The recipe said it makes about 18 large cookies... How large would they be? I can't quit thinking about it, because I made 60+ regular size cookies...

9. There is no way Madelyn is going to be able to wear all the cute summer clothes she has. If you noticed my gripe in #3, it's been cold. I like to say Arctic cold, though many disagree. But we have cute dresses, sundresses, shorts, capris, tank tops, sandals... And right now we're wearing anything that has polar fleece on it somewhere.

10. I need to make a trip to Ikea. I need to get there early. My kids are totally pumped about staying in the child-care portion. I wonder how often you can drop them off for an hour, before they say, "Excuse me, Candy... You can't come here every day..." Tee,hee,hee.

Monday, June 7, 2010

We Planted!

This past weekend, we picked out, purchased and planted our plants. The three p's... Some of you, that don't reside in this lovely city we call Calgary are thinking WHAT? Now? The first week into June and you're ONLY just finished planting? Indeed, that is one advantage (said with tongue in cheek) to living here. And to be honest, it could still snow and kill everything. But once we're into June, it's a chance we're willing to take.

Here's a picture of Hubsy, hard at work, planting away...

Do you see anything interesting on this picture? Huh? Do ya? It's called a watermark. I'm so pleased with myself. And it makes me feel pretty important. I thought I might just add them to all my photos... Why not. Makes them look darn fancy if you ask me.

Any way, we spent the weekend doing yard work and planting. I helped on Saturday, and on Sunday I wandered around as 'photographer' whilst my darling husband finished up. [Thanks Hun!]. I feel like I ran a marathon, with all that bending and stretching and squatting... But gosh darn it, our yard is going to look fabulous!

So here are a few of the shots I got:

And lastly... When two worlds collide... Lego and Dinosaurs. Watch out.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

On Strike...

This is what my laundry room looks like right now....

Enough said...

I thought I'd try a little experiment. The experiment was this: What if I stop doing laundry? What would happen? Well here's the answer. Nothing. It just makes more. And more. And more. And it would seem I'm the only one able to use and understand those clothes cleaning machines...

I haven't tried a picket line yet. I wonder if that would make all the difference? Or perhaps I should hide all the clean undies... Then I'll bet the pile of laundry would be noticed. But would anything be done about it?

Remember my word for 2010 was document? Remember that? Well I've been trying to document things the best I can. I started off thinking I'd document the following things: How many times I got groceries. How many meals out we eat. With what regularity we ate fast food (which is almost nil I'm pleased to announce) How many loads of laundry. How many times on the treadmill. How many movies we watched. Yadda, yadda, yadda. But it's a lot of work, all that keeping track of stuff. And I'll be honest, if it was for a month, easy-peasy. But for the whole year, well, I just don't have it in me. The one thing I've kept track of however, is laundry. And, to the end of May (NEARLY half way through the year) I've done.....[drum roll please]

115 Loads of Laundry from January 1st - May 31st, 2010.

That's 115 loads of sorting, washing, drying, folding and putting away... Yes, I certainly would appreciate some recognition. Is that so bad? Considering that to the end of May is a total of 151 days, I think 115 loads of laundry is pretty impressive.

As I type this blog, the washing machine is washing like crazy. The dryer is drying, and the pile of clothes is beginning to diminish. Sometimes you want to make a stand, and then you realized, it's just easier to keep quiet, and keep up with the laundry.