Hopped Up on Goof Balls

Monday, June 30, 2008

I dropped my dad off at the hospital this morning for his knee replacement surgery. He was anxious about the whole thing, and rightly so. I've never had any surgery more serious than my wisdom tooth removal and I don't really like the idea of any of my flesh being cut open.

My brother and I went together to save on parking and gas, and we stayed for about 2 hours. My dad was receiving narcotics and he was kind of funny. It was a little like being at a party and someone has had a little too much to drink. His conversation bounced around and he also told us that he found it painful when there were gaps in our conversation . The best part was when the 20-something nurse left the room and I commented on her suitability as a date (for my brother!) and my dad said he was thinking the same thing (for himself!)

I can't wait to tell him the things he said once he gets out of the narcotic fog.

While I was gone, the kids watched Muppet Treasure Island which we had borrowed from the library. Precious has been fighting her naps the last month or so and she was really worn out with a 2-hour therapy session this morning, so apparently she fell asleep while watching the movie. DH took the time to take a picture of her sweet face and you can really see her gorgeous skin in this photo.
Tomorrow is Canada Day and we're invited to a pool party. Sadly, we'll miss my mom's party, but we'll have a great time, I'm sure. I can't wait to take a million pictures.

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Basement clean-up has begun

Sunday, June 29, 2008

DH was downstairs for hours this morning, taking pictures of stuff from our basement to give away, moving it to the garage, and organizing what is going to be left downstairs during the renovation. We even took some time to draw up a rough plan of what is going down there. We've got the plan for the next 5 - 10 years, which involves lots of kids stuff, and having a spare bedroom downstairs. We're also trying to plan for having a houseful of teenagers and their friends using the space. It's a pretty big basement, but we're going to be asking a lot of it.

We're thinking of having a t.v. watching area, a bar, a powder room, and a kid's play area, as well as the furnace/storage area, a place for the chest freezer, and a spare/teenager's room. I can't wait to get my hands on the decorating part!

We also want it to be dry, warm, and bright; three things a basement can struggle to be.

I've taken these photos to show the horrid condition of the basement now. One day, I'll look at these photos and have a hard time remembering how bad it was. I hope.

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Farmer's Market and card games

Saturday, June 28, 2008

We were invited to a pool party today but thought we'd sneak out to the local farmer's market before heading over. It started raining and it was overcast and dreary so we figured the party would be canceled. We stayed a while longer at the market. We got some produce - the strawberries are finally ready! - and tomatoes, and also bought some grass-fed organic hamburger, a sun hat, organic lamb sausage, homemade tea, bumbleberry pie (the best I have ever tasted) and the list goes on and on. We were having a great time and the kids had fun at the kids' club. Mr. Boy did the obstacle race with Daddy and Sweet Pea got face painting. They got to enjoy a chocolate chip cookie while we were at the market, and they didn't seem to care at all about the rain.

Daddy and Mr. Boy tied together.
You had to eat a donut hanging from a string, without using your hands.
Sweet Pea getting a rainbow on her cheek.
The girls brought their Dora dolls.

We were invited to Geoff and Mindy's in the afternoon and the kids had a blast. There were so many toys in the playroom. We had snack and supper there! We played cards and chatted and just had a great time. Precious was asleep before we got out of their driveway because we were stayed past her bed time.

BTW, have I mentioned that I LOVE my new camera?

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It's definitely the herbs and other things I learned at 2 a.m.

Friday, June 27, 2008

More on the title in a sec, but first to tell you I have been in a bit of a dry spell with scrapbooking lately. I haven't made a page from scratch in a month. About how long I've had my blog. Hmmm.

I've spend a huge amount of time doing scrapbook-related things like researching my new camera, participating in chats over at DD, looking at the gallery and talking to Christine about scrapbooking. The problem is I hadn't actually done a page, other than filling out a template, in a coon's age! Come to think of it, I've been spending a lot of time reading other people's blogs as well as writing my own.

So tonight, after I had postpone my belated-birthday dinner with longtime friend Sylvie, at the last minute no less, I decided to sit my butt down and get serious about scrapbooking. I was over at Jessica Sprague's blog to look at her Photoshop Friday tutorials. I have yet to complete all of them, so there were still lots to choose from. I have been inspired nearly every time I have ever gone to her blog or picked up one of her books. I chose - Create a Dreamy/Handtinted Look on a Photo. PSF '06 #5. I was happy with how the photo turned out and I even scraplifted one of Christine's pages. Success!
As for my tummy, it has seen better days. I will not be taking my herbs anymore until I can speak to the naturopath about the gastro effects they are having. In fact, I'm not sure I can take them at all as they have me down and out and unable to participate in real life!

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Rub and Dub Dub, three kids in the tub

Thursday, June 26, 2008

We enjoyed the first day of summer vacation. Mr. Boy and Sweet Pea were off playing in their room for a couple of hours this morning and may as well have been at school. Mr. Boy went for a playdate later in the morning and the girls and I walked to the library with SAHD Geoff and his two daughters. It was a hot and muggy day, which we're kind of known for around here. The girls picked out books and videos and I got the Hooked on Phonics I've been waiting for for several months. I always borrow back issues of my favourite magazines when I'm there. I always look for Canadian House and Home, Shape, Yoga Journal, In Style and Canadian Family. I was pretty lucky to find three today.

I did some weeding, 'whipper-snipping', and mowing the lawn today while Precious was sleeping. My mom had come for Sweet Pea at lunch and had taken her out shopping for a couple of hours. Mr. Boy came home mid-afternoon and then we went to his last hockey for the year. He had been in a 5-week preschool hockey for beginners. He seemed to have fun, but wasn't so hot on it that he wanted to do it anymore. I signed him up for the 5-week session before committing to a whole year of minor hockey (50 ice times!) and I'm glad I did. I guess we'll be doing downhill ski lessons this winter instead. Mr. Boy with his bubble beard. Sweet Pea's cute grin (above)
Precious in the tub (below)
I am having SO much fun with my new camera. I even had dreams about it last night! I bathed the kids after hockey, and supper at DQ. I took advantage of the skylight in the bathroom to take some pics in the tub. I want to bring my camera with me everywhere I go!

BTW, I finally talked to one of the references for the window company and I'm finally ready to call to order my new windows. I just need to choose the colour from their colour samples. It's hard because the perfect colour isn't in there and I'm not willing to pay the fee for a custom colour. Actually, I wonder how much it is for that?

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O.K. Just One

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

O.K. I got one nice photo. Not retouched at all.

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I'm a Rebel!

I was undecided about which digital SLR camera to get. I read the reviews at DPReview and had been to Jessica Sprague and Ali Edwards' sites to see which cameras they had. Jessica had the Nikon and Ali had a Canon Xti. They were split, as was I.

I showed up at the local camera specialty shop still unsure of what to get but pretty sure I was ready to buy something. The clerk put the Nikon D60 and the Canon Rebel Xti in front of me and I picked them both up. The Nikon was as heavy as a brick, so I rejected it immediately. The clerk also believed that the CCG card was inferior to the CMOS of the Canon. That was one decision out of the way. The harder choice was between the older Canon Xti and the newer, bigger (12 megapixels instead of 10), faster, more expensive Xsi.

The very knowledgeable staff member walked me through all the improvements of the Xsi over the Xti, which weren't really worth the more than $200 price difference. She assessed my needs and skill and told me it wasn't likely I would outgrow the Xti anytime soon. That tells you something about my skill level! I told her my concerns about the Xti being obsolete as soon as I left the store. She told me that the camera wouldn't be sold much longer, but that didn't mean it would be obsolete. All of the components, including the battery, compact flash, lenses, etc. were standard items that would be available for a long time to come, and with 10 megapixels, I would be able to enlarge the photos to the largest size I was likely to use - 12X12.

I got the camera home but had no time to admire my purchase and only 10 minutes to get ready for yoga with Justine. For once, she took it easy on us. I assembled the camera with the 50mm 1.8 lens that was recommended by two different photographers, and tried it out. I have yet to get a good photo out of the camera but I'm sure that's my problem, not the camera's!

As for the Rimmel Vinyl Lip gloss that I bought, I am happy with it. It is similar to the CG Wetslicks, although the former is shinier and slightly more opaque. I got a darker-than-usual colour and I notice it wears off on the lower lip is a slightly unflattering way. I will definitely buy this lipgloss again, but in a lighter colour, of which there are many. It doesn't feel sticky and my hair doesn't get stuck in it! The applicator wand is quite short, which also makes it good for applying without a mirror.

Happy last day of school! Summer vacation is here!

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Trip Chaining

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

One chore I don't really love doing is running errands. I love when they're done, but I don't enjoy the act of going out and driving around and getting things and coming home. When possible, I always like to combine trips and I'd never drive across town without at least two errands to run, so at least it would be worth the trip.

Today we're off to pick up DH's motorcycle from the shop. It's been in there an obscenely long amount of time, but it's rained almost every day for about 2 weeks, so I guess it was no big loss for him. He probably couldn't have ridden it anyway. When we're at the motorcycle shop, we'll be in the vicinity of the fibreglass window supplier, so I'll see if DH would like to stop in for a look. We'll have the kids so it gives us an excuse to get in and out, and we need to beat rush hour too.

According to the book I'm reading right now, Green for Life, by Gillian Deacon, trip chaining is the way to go. It's one of the "200 Simple Eco-Ideas for Every Day". Some of the other ideas are a bit of a stretch for me still, but I'll try some of the simpler ones and work my way up. Ms. Deacon has been a vegetarian since 1987 and has never owned a microwave, but she's not ashamed to say she drives a fast car. I guess everything in moderation.

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Getting Better, and better and better?

Monday, June 23, 2008

As you know, I started seeing the naturopath a couple of weeks ago. I liked the fact that she asked all kinds of questions and I got to vent a little. It was therapeutic. The second appointment was no different, as we had a full hour and we reviewed my philosophy in life, major events, and my significant relationships. The doctor believes that unexpressed emotions cause pain in our bodies. I'm not sure I'm quite ready for that leap of faith yet, but I can understand how stress can lead to problems.

I started taking two new herbs last Wednesday and by Thursday night, I was really sick with some kind of stomach thing. My original 'diagnosis' of it being the bad feta cheese may have been off because Mr. Boy has now come down with it and Precious has had a fever for three days. We still managed to get to the cottage, but it was a matter of me getting out of bed and walking straight to the car and lying back a little for the hour-long drive. I thought I'd be perfect the next day, but no luck and even Sunday was iffy. I still preferred lying down to sitting and sitting to standing.

We had a great time at the cottage and the weather on Saturday was picture perfect.



Speaking of pictures, I am just finalizing my plans to get my new camera. My cheapo point and shoot is great and portable, so I can take it everywhere, sometimes in my pocket(!), but I just yearn for the quality photos I see on all the scrapbooking sites I visit, and on the pages of my friends.

I thought I had decided on the Canon Rebel Xti and it was even on sale, but my neighbour came over with the newer, slightly better Canon Rebel Xsi. It has a bigger screen, a few feature upgrades and 2 megapixels more than the Xti. Once I opened that can of worms, I started looking more closely at the Nikon D60 too. The Xti is a real bargain, but one of the main problems with buying technology is how fast it gets obsolete, so I'm debating whether it is worth spending hundreds more for the newer model. I'm off to research what my favourite scrapbookers use and that will likely influence my decision.

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Don't Eat the Bad Cheese, and other wisdom your mother didn't need to tell you

Friday, June 20, 2008

I wasn't feeling too hungry last night at dinner so I just roasted up some veggies with olive oil and then sprinkled a bit of feta on top. It was one of those huge Costco feta containers that I have been very careful with - ie. I always use a clean fork to get some out and keep the container in the coldest part of the fridge. Well, none of that matters when the cheese is 4 months past the expiry date.

Needless to say, I am flat on my back and have been in the bathroom more times than I care to mention. I am so tired and nauseated. Drinking water sends my stomach into spasms. I missed Precious' 'graduation' from preschool this morning because I couldn't get out of bed.

DH had to take the day off work and do everything, which included packing up for the cottage. I say 'the cottage' as though it's mine, but it's actually the cottage of a friend who will not be using it this weekend and they have graciously offered it to us to borrow. As we speak, DH is out with the three kids grocery shopping - something I have not attempted in about 8 months. It's just so much easier when I'm down a kid or two.

So where was I? My mom never bothered to tell me not to eat bad cheese, and I honestly never thought it would happen to me. Some of the gems she has told me is that if I sit too close to the t.v., it will ruin my eyes. Going outside in the winter with wet hair will give you a cold. It's important not to be too skinny in case you get sick because you'll never have anything to fight with. If you have felt liners in your boots, you won't get a cold. You should always turn the lights out when you leave the room. Funny thing is that many of these things are actually turning out to be true! Mom, if only you had told me to check the expiry date on the feta.

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Snoopers Anonymous

Thursday, June 19, 2008

As part of the process of choosing new windows for our home, I have been driving around looking at the windows installed by the company we are considering. The addresses were provided by the salesman. I try to be discreet and not linger too long in front of the houses, but I am curious and need to know if the quality of my windows will be high enough to warrant the cost. I'm a bit of a snooper at the best of times, and now I am a snooper on a mission.

I enjoy looking at all of the real estate listings in my area. I've become something of an expert on prices, desirability of certain streets, school districts, etc. My favourite part is looking at the photos of the interiors of the houses, especially if it is the same model as mine. I notice the roof shingles, the landscaping, the windows, and I'm obsessed with the kitchens. I also love Google satellite maps so I can see how close houses are to back neighbours or paths. I can tell when a house will move quickly or when it will linger. And I usually make a point of running past all the houses that are for sale on my semi-regular morning runs, just so I can see them in person.

Why am I spending so much time on the real estate listings? Is it because we're thinking of selling? Is it because we have someone looking to move to our neighbourhood? No, it's pure curiosity. I think I was just born and raised a snooper.

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Rain, rain, go away

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Do you have any 'facebook friends' that aren't the friends you see on a regular basis? How many 'friends' can a person have?

I have a few facebook friends that are people I haven't seen since high school. It is so nice to reconnect with them and see what they're up to. The strange part is either running into them or making plans with them when you might not have seen them in (ahem) 20 years.

Is it awkward to see them? Do you wish they didn't know all of your facebook secrets?

It's a bit like having a pen pal. I remember as a teen, with Tiger Beat or 16 magazine, or even Owl, there were pen pals in the back. I always wanted to do write to one, but I never did. Once the internet age came around, I finally took advantage of the opportunity to connect with a stranger.

My first internet 'pen pal', if you can call her that, was Joy Hamilton. I chose her from a list of other expectant mom on www.epregnancy.com. We had the same due date and we hit it off right away. Back, then with no kids, we sent each other long emails every day and sometimes more than once a day. When we had concerns about the pregnancy, we asked each other for support. It was so nice to have her as a friend.

The second kids came hard and fast. Her son had a few problems that were detected in utero and I couldn't imagine dealing with all that. I wanted to be supportive, but I didn't know how. When I got pregnant with Precious, I had problems too but we just didn't have the time to keep in touch as much.

We still haven't met in person, but you never know! Maybe one day I'll be invited to her Christmas tree burning party!
This photo is from May but it has been raining for almost a week with another week of rain expected, so I thought I'd post a photo of when the sun was shining, just to remind me what it looks like!

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Happy Father's Day, Part Two

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Yesterday passed so quickly, I didn't even have time to blog!

My dad came over in the afternoon. He lives about 2 hours away. He's a vegetarian and has been for probably 20 years, so I have to make sure what I'm serving for supper is o.k. for him. We've been having a lot of salmon and rice lately when he's over (he eats fish) but I was sick of always serving that. I got out my old standby, The Joy of Cooking, and looked up "vegetarian" and found a recipe for roasted vegetable lasagna. It was quite a bit of work, hence no time to blog, but it was delicious and Dad went back for a second helping. After the kids had their bath and went to bed, we played euchre as my brother was here too.

I was over at the mall in the morning exchanging some shortie pajamas I had bought for the girls. The size 4 fits Precious (who is 2 1/2) and I needed size 5 for Sweet Pea. That was the biggest size they had and it fits her well. Altogether, I got four pairs, two for each. I got them the butterfly, whale, seashell and blowfish.

I also picked up the Vinyl Lip gloss from Rimmel. It was recommended by Paula Begoun and she hasn't steered me wrong yet. I'll let you know how it is.

DH and I had a bit worse than usual sleep as my dad was up with his smoker's cough from about 4 a.m. He spent the night because he has a doctor's appointment in town at 9 this morning. He's outside with two of the kids, poking around the garden.

Not much is on the agenda for today. School, my yoga class with Justine tonight at 7 and all of the regular errands and jobs I do around the house. I'm also trying to finish the titillating Consumer's Guide to buying High-Efficiency Windows and Doors. It's almost decision time for the window replacement.

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Happy Father's Day

Sunday, June 15, 2008

To my favourite fathers - Dad and DH. Here's to you!

DH spent the morning doing what he rarely gets to do - odd jobs around the house, cutting the grass and weeding the garden. Oh, and sighing heavily while looking around the garage and pointing his finger squarely at me as the cause of the messiness! DH and I have a fundamental disagreement about where certain items should be stored, and it usually comes to a head when he tries to find something in the garage. I believe that our in-line skates should be stored in the garage. DH thinks the front hall. I believe things that are used outside belong in the garage. The problem is that there just isn't enough room in the garage for everything that gets used outside. So we haven't resolved this one yet, but DH put some order to the chaos and moved our old desk out there to sell and spent part of the morning putting together our new desk and complaining about how I organize my side of the den... :-)
Oh, and here's one with him playing Operation with two of the kids.

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Decorating

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Last year, when it was becoming obvious that our queen-sized bed was at the end of its useful life, we contemplated switching to a king-sized bed. I didn't want to spend money on all new bedding and I imagined that a king-sized bed would be really expensive. Turns out I spent less than $200 on new bedding because we already had a king-sized duvet and comforter. And the king-sized bed wasn't much more than a queen.

We re-painted our room Benjamin Moore's Lennox Tan. The colour looked great in Mr. Boy's north facing room, but our room has both southern and northern exposures and under that light, it is a bit too yellow and cloying. Now I'm thinking of re-painting, but I'll wait until we have our windows replaced so we don't have to do it twice.

The bed itself is called Queen from EQ3. We chose a dark brown microfibre with a greenish undertone, very similar to my favourite Benjamin Moore colour, Buckhorn. Our den and our front entry are already painted Buckhorn and I'm not done using it around our house.

I love the nudes that I inherited from my aunt, and we had the shaggy rugs already. The arc lamp is also from EQ3. Now we need bed-side lamps and a few sparkly accessories.

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TGIF

Friday, June 13, 2008

It's the weekend! Yeah!

Today was the first week after the end of Mr. Boy's piano lessons so for the first time in a long time, we had nothing to do on a Friday night. We spent a couple of hours at a park with everything, including a splash pad. I was over at the splash pad and the kids complained they were getting thirsty, so I went to get my water bottle which I'd left on one of the benches, along with a bottle of sunscreen, and it was gone! I couldn't believe it. My faith in the goodness of people was slightly rattled. Of course, I have rationalized it by saying that someone probably thought that the person who owned the items had already left and had forgotten their stuff.

Petty theft aside, it was a great time and I ran into my friend Crystal. I was there with part-time SAHD Geoff and his two girls. We usually hang out on Fridays and his older daughter and Sweet Pea will have playdates on Mondays too.

After a hot and tiring couple of hours at the park, the kids were ready to go home. My bladder was at capacity and we were all dying of thirst. Mr. Boy even resorted to drinking the splash pad water, which I discovered too late. All the way home, he looked like he might throw up!

After supper, we had our family meeting and watched the Muppet Caper, which Mr. Boy had found at our last trip to the library. We made it there twice this week, which is probably a record for us. Everyone was sleepy, and Precious was even lying on the carpet and closing her eyes from time to time. She was asleep before I even finished their nighttime songs.

After the kids went to bed, DH and I assembled our new bed and our new arc lamp that we got at EQ3. We still have the new desk to assemble, but we'll get around to it this weekend. That's the best part of this blog. We have almost nothing to do this weekend. All of the kids' programs ended last weekend, and there are no birthday parties, so all we have planned is dinner at our friend's place on Saturday night, and my emergency bikini wax for Saturday morning (they have a pool). I also have soccer on Sunday night, but it's a home game and the weekend's almost over by then.

I promise I'll send pictures of our new bedroom decor tomorrow. I just have to re-hang the art that was above our bed.

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Mom Blogs

Thursday, June 12, 2008

I spend so much of my day talking to the parents of my children's friends. I miss talking to my friends. Many of the parents I see every day are great and some of them have become more than just acquaintances, but since when don't I get to pick my own friends anymore!? My day often involves moving from one child's activity to another and supervising playtime at the park or playdates. To combat the feelings of loneliness and isolation, I started blogging.

Since I started blogging, I've been noticing a lot of other moms out there who are also blogging. It seems that every time I turn on the computer, I discover another "mom blog". Christine has sent me some. Some of the blogs are hilarious and the people are obviously talented writers too. Check out McKenna's blog or Ali Edwards' blog. If you google "mom blogs", you'll get over 300,000 hits! That's 10 times as many as "dad blogs".

There are so many mom blogs that Canadian Family magazine listed some of their faves. There's even a site called The Mom Blogs!

Why are all these mom's blogging? I'm not sure, but I think most of us are doing it to feel connected. I can tell you that one of the things I miss the most since I became a SAHM is adult interaction. Blogging is a one-sided way to get a bit of adult time. As I write my entries, it almost feels like a conversation. Reading someone else's blog can feel like a nice chat with a friend.

Blogging is also a way to share information about things we have learned about facilities, programs or techniques that have worked well with our kids.

We also get to brag a bit about our kids and what mom doesn't love to do that?

Blogging is a creative outlet. We can write and post photos or digital pages we have created.

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Reading, Writing, 'Rithmetic

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Mr. Boy had been on the verge of reading for a while. He was in his "late 5's" and had been doing all the pre-reading stuff forever. One morning, it seemed like everything clicked and he just started reading easy readers. He didn't need much help either. I was so happy and I felt like it was opening new doors for him. Our trips to the library became even more frequent and instead of the regular two picture book quota, Mr. Boy was allowed two picture books and two readers - preferably level 1. Monday, on our trip to the library, he asked if I thought he was ready for a level 2 reader. I was so proud of him for pushing his own boundaries and seeking a new challenge.

The newest development is spelling. For the last few days, Mr. Boy has been interested in trying to spell things on his own. Previously, he would ask me to how to spell everything and he would write it down. So imagine my delight when I came down from putting Precious down for her nap, so find a handwritten note from my son. The anticipation on his face was adorable! It said "FOR MUME AND DADY I LEV YOU SIN MR. BOY" I asked him to read it to me and he said "For Mommy and Daddy. I love you, signed, Mr. Boy" I almost cried, I was so moved.

This is one of my favourite things about being a stay-at-home-mom!

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Sleepy, Dopey, Grumpy

Monday, June 9, 2008

The kids just won't sleep. Well two of them anyway. It is still bright out and it's 9:00 p.m. They're getting older and it's getting lighter at night, and that is just a bad combination. I get tired of chasing them back upstairs and tucking them in and "just-one-more-kiss-please-Mommy". I'm going to bed in half an hour, for pete's sake! I think they should need more sleep than me, shouldn't they? They are still preschoolers after all!

The older two kids won't sleep, but Precious woke up this morning at the normal time, with a little less appetite than usual. I didn't think much of it until she didn't mind getting into the stroller rather than walking to drop the older two off at school. I didn't think much of that until she wanted me to sit with her while she watched Max and Ruby before I took her to preschool. I started to get worried when I noticed she felt a bit warm. Then she fell asleep on me and it was only 8:30 in the morning! I woke her up at 9:00 and drove her to school, figuring she was just feeling a bit sleepy. I had brought her scrapbook to show her teachers. We looked at it while Precious sat on my lap. After about 15 minutes, we were finishing up the album, and Precious had barely moved. I decided to take her home with me rather than leave her to infect everyone else.

After picking up the older two from school at 10:30, I came back home and Precious fell asleep on me AGAIN! She was getting pretty feverish at this point, then at one point, she started choking on her own spit and all I could think was that she might throw up and we were going to get what Christine and her family got. After lunch, Precious went to bed about an hour later than usual, but slept for the normal amount of time (1 1/2 hours). By 7:00, DH said she was so tired that he gave her a bath and put her to bed. Luckily her fever broke already. She only has two days left of preschool, followed by a field trip to the museum, and I would hate for her to miss it.

And MAN is it ever hot here!

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Favourite Photography

Sunday, June 8, 2008

I have a Canon SD450, which is a decent point and shoot digital camera. I like how small it is and that it has a few cool settings, like the digital macro, kids and pets setting, and the portrait setting. I'm finally reading the manual because I really want to start doing more depth of field effects. Despite the limitations of my current camera, I've still managed to capture a few photos I consider special.

Here are some of my favourites.

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Cutting Corners

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Is a person who cuts corners always destined to cut corners? Is doing things carefully and doing them well something we're born with or is it something we can learn?

A friend of mine told me that he used to always cut corners. I asked him if that is because he was born that way. He told me it was just his excuse to keep doing do things the lazy way. That he eventually learned to do things the right way and that it's just better.

I started thinking about this again when we were driving home from Sweet Pea's dance recital. Actually, it was more of an open class as there wasn't really a performance or a particular routine or anything. She's 4 after all. So, we were driving home from the recital and following a nice Jeep or some other truck-like vehicle with a large cardboard box on top. DH wondered aloud if the box might not be strapped onto the vehicle. I thought that it couldn't be so, but there were no visible straps or ropes. DH thought it wise to follow a little farther back than usual. Suddenly, when we started to hit 65 km/h and just as we were going over the highway overpass, the unthinkable happened. The cardboard box flew off of the truck and landed on the road, blocking the other lane of traffic, causing the car next to us to swerve towards the guardrail. It all happened so fast. The timing couldn't have been worse as the car that almost hit the box was 40 feet over the trans-Canada highway and was swerving towards the guardrail. The truck that had previously had the box on top braked a little, then continued down the road and never came back for the lost cargo.

Why would some put something on the roof of their car, presumably to take home, then drop it on the road and never bother to retrieve it? Were they cutting corners? Why did they care so little about the contents of the box to just leave it on the road? Do they realize they could have seriously hurt someone?

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Recital Video

Friday, June 6, 2008

Today was Mr. Boy's last music class until next September. I found his recital video. He played two songs and DH was up there to point in the book, which Mr. Boy did not want so DH just stood there instead. The song that was played was Handel's Slow Dance.

video

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Granola Crunchers

Yesterday was one of those days where I barely sat down. Dropped the older kids at school, then Precious, then errands, pick up the older two, more errands, pick up Precious, race home to meet the Home Depot window guy (he beat me here), feed the kids lunch, put Precious to bed, come downstairs to find another window person at the door, and before she even left Precious was out of bed. Boy was that a bummer! Not a long nap, especially for a little girl who had been up since 5:15.

After snack, we managed some outdoor playtime (I cut the grass and weeded while the kids played), then off to pick up Daddy from work, then to Mr. Boy's hockey game. I ran out to Costco while he was playing. We came home and had supper and then it was bath and bed time. Did my day end there? NO! I did four loads of laundry, went to the Beer Store, got a toy for Precious, went to Farm Boy and Loblaws, then came home and made ice cream sandwiches and folded more laundry. It was about 9:15 p.m. by this time and I just wanted to sit down and watch Men In Trees which I had taped the night before. That's right - I taped it on a VCR tape. No PVR at our house. More on that some other day.

Could I watch the show! NO! No time to watch t.v. because the cleaners who come every two weeks (best money I ever spent) were coming this morning and "picking up" takes me about 45 minutes. This is also when I do my kids' art cull and all of the Kindersurprise/loot bag/McDonald's toys find their way to toy heaven in the garbage bag.

I am trying to go to bed earlier lately but it was 10 p.m. and I hadn't done anything just for me the whole day. I didn't even blog. So despite the late hour, I watched Men In Trees and it was good. I was really liking Anne Heche's new hair style. I think it might suit me even though I look nothing like her.

So I'm finally getting to the post title. On Wednesday, I went to see a naturopath for the first time. After my traditional doctor suggested Prozac for my "female" mood swings, I decided it was time to look for a new approach. I've also got 15 extra pounds clinging to me since baby #3, and I am more tired than I have ever been in my life. I've been taking iron supplements for over 2 years and my iron levels haven't budged.

The naturopath scheduled me for a whole hour for the first visit and she asked me all kinds of questions. It felt like I was doing therapy because she wanted to know about the stressors in my life, what I eat, and the status of my relationships. She was especially curious about my pregnancies. Three children in 3 1/2 years! What was I thinking? ha ha! She suggested that I need to try a new kind of iron pill, eat protein at each meal, and once I've boosted up my system a bit, she wants me to do a cleanse. Not a fast, but just eat a bunch of super-healthy and cleansing foods for a specified amount of time. Then it will be time to examine my food sensitivities.

I feel like a fool for not realizing I wasn't eating enough protein. No wonder I was starving all the time and eating every two hours. Yesterday I ate a handful of almonds with my morning cereal, and it was a full hour and a half later than usual when I started craving a snack.

I'm keeping a food journal to show the doctor in two weeks when I go back for my physical exam. Knowing that I'll be showing this to her has made me a little more conscientious about what I eat. And there are a few less beers on there than there might normally be. Because someone's looking.

So I'll let you know how it all turns out. I'm keeping an open mind and realizing that my reality is pretty small. There are all kinds of interesting options out there. I don't think I'll be switching to all hemp clothing and chanting just yet, but I haven't ruled it out. Stay tuned!

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Yoga Grrrl

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

I started doing yoga when I was pregnant with Mr. Boy over 6 years ago. I'm sure it helped me have a quick, drug-free birth. I felt strong and powerful and fierce. I kept doing yoga on and off and had heard of hot yoga but with two more pregnancies and breastfeeding, I didn't think it was the right time to be doing yoga in a room as hot as my body!

About 18 months ago, I decided to try the yoga studio near my place. To tell you the truth, I was a bit of a snob about it because I couldn't imagine that a yoga studio in the suburbs could be any good. I went for a drop-in class that a friend of a friend had recommended and I was hooked. I signed up for a year-long pass that very day. I was more or less a fixture at the owner's Sunday morning hot power yoga class for many months. I'd also drop into her Thursday night class once in a while. In my dream life, I have time for a daily yoga class, and I'm working towards that, but for now, it is once or maybe twice a week.

I decided to go out on a limb and try a new teacher around 6 months ago. To tell you the truth, I was getting a little bored with the same class over and over. So I tried Justine's Hot Power class. For about the first three minutes, I thought it might be too easy. Boy, was I wrong! Justine's class is nothing if not strenuous. The other great thing about Justine's class is that it is never the same twice. She works really hard and prepares for every class by creating a theme and working towards that theme the whole time. She is so focussed. And flexible. And serene. She has a detached caring about her that is supportive and loving. She is truly inspiring. And you should see her practice yoga. It is breathtaking.

So I learned that trying something new can work out really well. I've found a place that is just right for me. I'm always challenged. I feel supported. I want Justine to teach me more.

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Shopping fun

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

I just wanted to get out of the house last night and I couldn't decide what to do. I decided to go to the shopping centre. My sunglasses broke the other day and I'm wearing a less stylish pair right now. Mr. Boy's invited to a birthday party on Saturday so I also needed to get a present for the host. I was really in the mood to shop once I was in the car driving to the mall. I swear there was even a rainbow right over the shopping centre! It was beckoning me to find the pot of gold!

I managed to pick up a few things that I needed, but not the sunglasses. I usually go to Le Chateau for sunglasses but this time they were picked clean.

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Success!

Monday, June 2, 2008

There will be a parade of contractors through again this week as we look at replacing our windows, a couple of doors and look to make sure our basement is water-tight before we finish it. I see no end in sight for this as it will be one project after another until the windows are replaced, and the basement is full finished. I figure that I'm at the start of a one-year project, at least. I'm home for the next two years, so it's a great time to get this done.


When I have the urge to be creative, I like to scrapbook so I'm posting a few pages that I made a while back. I've just sent 30 pages off to print at Costco, for a total of about 50 sent last week alone. I had only printed one prior to that and had about 60 waiting to be printed. The thing with digital scrapbooking is that the page can be revised, tweaked and edited forEVER if you want. I was finding it hard to say any one page was 'finished'. I decided to bite the bullet and just print a bunch. I can enjoy them much more when they're in the albums. Precious' preschool is finishing up soon and I wanted to show her album to her teachers before summer vacation.

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Bursting with Pride

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Mr. Boy was as cool as a cucumber at his piano recital yesterday. He had practiced and was ready, and the songs were only a few measures each. He played a rhythm ensemble with his whole MYC Sunbeams I class, then each child played two short songs. Mr. Boy played "E-C" and "Handel's Slow Dance". I enjoyed seeing him up there and he did so well. His sisters sat through the recital, which was about an hour long.

We decided to eat out for dinner. DH and I were tired and didn't feel like cooking. We went to a ribs chain after having a poor experience the first time we went, about 4 years ago. We received a gift certificate so thought we would give it another try. The food was good but it was disappointing overall because it wasn't very child-friendly, the reception and the service wasn't good and the food was terribly slow. We went to DQ after for chocolate-dipped cones and the two older kids were on a high and just ran around the house for an hour after and it was after 9:00 before the older two fell asleep.

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