Sherlock Holmes!

Thursday, December 31, 2009

I'm also a huge Sherlock Holmes fan, having watched many, many episodes of the British series starring Jeremy Brett, and I've read many of the stories written by Sir Arthur Conan Boyle. Imagine my delight when I heard that one of my all time favourite actors was to play the famous detective in a big-budget, Hollywood movie! I love Robert Downey, Jr. and Jude Law isn't too hard on the eyes, either. The previews looked good, and Mindy was available to go with me.

Robert Downey Jr. is getting older, and with a fake nose in one scene, he looked disturbingly similar to Dustin Hoffman, but his misanthropic, dishevelled, and brilliant Sherlock Holmes was fantastic. He was all arrogance, and genius, similar to his character in Iron Man, and a little bit like Sheldon in The Big Bang Theory.

Jude Law was good as the put-upon Dr. Watson, and he had a bit more personality than in the books.

Other than Robert Downey Jr.'s accent and Jude Law with a mustache, I thoroughly enjoyed the movie, especially the action, cinematography, sets, directing, costumes, dialogue, plot, etc., etc.

My favourite line in the movie is uttered by Sherlock himself as he assists the police at a murder scene. Upon asking them if they have checked various things at the scene and finding out they haven't, he says in his most irreverent tone, "Data, data, data. I can't make bricks without clay."

This movie deserves to be one of my "favourite things."

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Nine

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

I went to see the movie Nine on Monday with my mom, AMF and Sheila. Great costumes, good acting and some good singing, too. It's a shame there was no plot. The guy at the CBC agrees.

I love Marion Cottilard, par exemple. She's adorable, and was totally channeling Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday, even though RH took place in 1953 and Nine was supposed to be set in 1965. I also loved her in Public Enemies, a movie where Johnny Depp plays John Dillinger, which was a decent movie I also saw with my mom.

Tonight, I'm off to see Sherlock Holmes with Mindy. I LOVE Robert Downey Jr., and Jude Law, so as long as they're on-screen a lot, I'll be happy.

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Santa Came to Visit!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

On Wednesday night, we went to a special Christmas gathering at Aunt Janet's house. Many of my relatives were there, including my cousin, his wife, and their two young daughters. I really enjoyed visiting with everyone, and the food was delicious!

The best part of the night was right after Suzanne read Twas the Night Before Christmas, and Santa showed up. Everyone was so excited and the kids were filled with wonder. Sweet Pea was a bit sceptical, but she sat on Santa's lap anyway. After Santa gave each child a small gift, we all got family photos with the man in red.

On the left are my brother and Anne Marie. DH, Precious and I in the back. Sweet Pea and Mr. Boy are in the front. My mom is in the front, and her sister-in-law, Suzanne, is behind.
It sure was nice seeing Santa, even though he didn't bring me anything.

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Girls Rock!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

My Sweet Pea is 6. She's wearing the Girls Rock! t-shirt we got her for her birthday. She's lost two teeth. She loves making crafts, having her nails painted, wearing jewellry, and playing music. She dislikes having her hair brushed. She wants a guitar, and to go skating and swimming. And yes, she rocks.

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Where to Begin?

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Work
I started a new job last Thursday. I am enjoying it so far. I feel a little lost, but that's normal after only three days.
Work is hosting a kids' Christmas party tomorrow, and I have it on good authority that Santa will be there! My director emailed me and asked me if I was bringing the kids. Of course! I'm very excited.
DH's company is being sold in bits and pieces, and a stalking horse bid was finally made on his business line. It was inevitable that a big change was coming, and now we know when it will happen.

Home
Sunday, Sweet Pea turned 6. We had a brunch for her and some family came. I'll post pictures when I get a chance.
I am finishing up a quilt that I made for Precious, and which has sat, almost finished, for close to three years. I have about an hour of work left on it. I hope to finish it this afternoon

Christmas
We're hosting Christmas again this year. We're only expecting 24 people this year. The rental chairs, tables, dishes, etc. are coming sometime today. The turkeys are defrosting and the groceries are bought.
We got a gorgeous, fresh-cut tree this year, and then some dough-head (me!) forgot to water it for 48 hours, it dried up and now the cut is sealed up with sap and the tree is dropping needles like there's no tomorrow. Rather than take all of the decorations off and re-cut it, we tried drilling holes into the trunk, under the water line. It is working somewhat, but we're still going to have a mess of needles to deal with when this is over!
We're off to a family party tonight and I heard Santa was going to be there, too. That sure is one busy guy.
Christmas Eve, we're going to my cousin's place for supper.
Christmas morning, we're hosting a gift opening for Uncle Tyler, AMF, and the grandparents, then we kick into high gear for hosting at night.
After Christmas, we're hoping to host some friends here and there, but we don't have any firm plans yet.

I feel like the Little Train that Could. I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.

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Days of December at Designer Digitals

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Christmas comes early at Designer Digitals! Every day for much of the month of December, they have been offering one special item at 25 cents, and a bunch more at a discount. If you aren't already a member, it's free, and easy, and they have two 25 cents every week the rest of the year, and no annoying spam email. They also have three other freebies every week, and the most amazing products for purchase by the most amazing designers. I especially love Katie Pertiet, owner and designer extraordinaire, and Anna Aspnes, another great designer.

This is the last week for their Days of December which ends on Friday morning.

Once you have an account, look up some of the amazing pages submitted by users. Don't miss AbbyG's pages!

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Christmas Concert

Friday, December 18, 2009

Precious had a Christmas concert at school today. DH, Grammy and I were all there.

We brought Precious to school for 9:00, dressed in a Christmas dress and even brought special 'party' shoes. The adults went into the large room room, and a few minutes later, the children all came over from the classroom, in procession, singing "Jingle Bells". Precious had a tambourine, and I was concerned a few times about the skulls of the the children around her! She's nothing if not enthusiastic!
They sang many songs; some in English, some in French. We had to hold our applause to the end, which was hard because they were so cute. They each sad on a little carpet sample to 'remind' them of their spot. See - that's my kids back there in the left-hand corner with the green bow!

After a special snack back in the classroom, we all went back in to the larger room again and Santa came! It was very exciting and he even had a present for Precious. She was fine going to see the man in red, as long as I was holding her hand.
It was a very cute concert and it was fun to see my youngest doing her best and only occasionally yelling out "Hi Mommy!" for all to hear!

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A Whole New World

Thursday, December 17, 2009

I started my new job today.

I got an opportunity to go to a meeting with several directors, and get an overview of the issues in the organization. I attended a pot luck Christmas lunch and even did some real work in the afternoon. My boss asked me to take a couple of briefing notes to the deputy minister, a couple of emails, and a lessons learned document and merge them all into some slides for a deck she's presenting on January 15th.

I was in heaven, doing something I love to do, and learning about my new organization in the process. I credit my boss for being able to break off a manageable chunk of work for me, and also for making me feel so welcome.

She ensured I had a building pass waiting for me at 8:00 a.m., a network account, an office and a computer, along with a pile of office supplies sitting on my desk when I got in. She even offered me her parking pass during the Christmas break.

I know I'm in the honeymoon phase, but every single person I met said that I would love it in my new job, and I believe them!

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End of an Era

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Today was my last day working the government department I've called home for over 12 years. I saw an opportunity at a different department, and decided it was time to make a change. I feel a little sad leaving when I used to be so happy at my current (now former, I guess) department, but I am excited at the possibilities in my new job! I start on Thursday and my boss already has me sitting in on an executive meeting for the better part of the morning. I smell a shopping trip for dressier work clothes coming!

So much has been going on around here and I promise to try to post more over the next couple of weeks to catch up on all of the stuff I've been meaning to tell you!

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Birthday Party for Sweet Pea

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Sweet Pea is turning 6 on December 20th, and we had her party today. She had 6 friends over, plus her brother and sister were here, too.

The kids decorated 'gingerbread' houses made of graham crackers, played Webkinz, ate pizza, chips and cake, and drank pink Kool-Aid.
I spent the better part of five hours last night, on my feet, getting the graham cracker houses assembled, baking the cake, decorating it, setting the table, etc. I had everything ready so I could still make it to the gym this morning before the party, but you know what they say about the best laid plans...

At 3:00 this morning, Precious thought it was morning, so she got up, made her bed, got dressed, and came downstairs and started yelling "Mommy, Mommy" repeatedly. I woke up, convinced her it was still nighttime, and she came into my bed to go back to sleep. By 4, she still wasn't asleep, so I went with her into her room, and laid down with her, and fell asleep in there at some point. Around 6:30 this morning, she was up-and-at-them again and definitely not going back to sleep. I was so tired that DH couldn't even wake me at 8:00 this morning when he asked if I was going to the gym.

The cake is mostly gone, the dishes are all put away, and the dining room is vacuumed. Sweet Pea got some fantastic gifts, and she seems happy, which is exactly what I was hoping for.

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First Snowstorm

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Wednesday, the weatherman was predicting 25 - 35 centimetres of snow. We didn't get that much, more like 11 centimetres, with a little more falling today. The roads were a mess yesterday, and the school buses were canceled.

Last night, after picking up the kids at school, it took me the better part of an hour to shovel the driveway. After shoveling, we went toboganning behind our house, and after having gone to a Body Pump class in the morning, my arms and legs were getting tired. At hockey last night, my legs felt like damp noodles.

DH shovelled again in the evening as more snow had fallen. I'm taking the day off exercise!

It definitely feels a lot more like Christmas now and I'm looking forward to going to the tree farm to get a fresh tree this weekend.

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Great Pot Luck Recipe

Monday, December 7, 2009

I watched the Food Network a few months ago and stumbled across the show Eat, Shrink and be Merry. I have their recipe book, and I love that the sisters who wrote the book are local.

In the show, the sisters find people who make delicious recipes and then they re-do them in a lower cal and lower fat version. At the end of the show, the original recipe is pitted against the re-do and I've only seen the show once, but of course the sisters won!

The episode I saw was a re-do of the classic 7-layer dip. Who doesn't love the salsa, cream cheese, cheese, etc., paired with delicious corn chips?

I have to tell you that the Macho Nacho dip whipped up by the sisters is delicious and definitely something you want to bring to a holiday party, especially if you want to get invited again! The dip is delicious, lower cal, and lower fat than the original. The guacamole is really good on its own, and it can be frozen. Just leave yourself 45 minutes to make the dip, and enough time to let it set.

This recipe makes a ton of dip and it doesn't keep well, so bring it to your friend's place next time you're invited. It's sure to be a hit.

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Great Spa Experience

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Mindy and I went to Le Nordik spa today for some relaxation. It was fantastic. We went in the hot tub, followed by the steam room, then through the cold waterfall, and then for some relaxation on the wooden benches inside. We enjoyed the fireplace room, some hot tea, a nap in the bunkie, and the finnish sauna, too.

I told Mindy the only way it could be better is if it started snowing, and lo and behold, beautiful soft white flakes started falling soon after. By the time we woke up from our nap, everything was dusted with white. It wasn't as deep as this photo, taken from the website, but it was really pretty and magical. I will not have any trouble sleeping tonight, that's for sure. And I pray it won't be another year before I get to Le Nordik again.

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Bad Kitty, Part Two

Saturday, December 5, 2009

We've started letting our cat Lexi outside. It was such a pain to try to keep her inside when she was always bolting for the door. I dislike when others let their cats roam the neighbourhood, but here I am doing it, too.

We let her out on Friday evening, and over a 12-hour period, Friday night and Saturday morning, we got no less than 5 phone calls from people saying that Lexi was trying to get in their house. We have a tag on her collar with her name and our phone number. She had gone into one house and the man was reluctant to let her outside in case she tried to cross a busy street. DH just told him to put her out anyway. The same guy called back twice more, torn between his desire to do as DH asked, and his fear for the cat.

Eventually he did let out the cat, and a few minutes later, at 12:30 a.m. on Saturday morning, someone else called to say that the cat was at his door, trying to get in. We said "just don't let her in."

At 9:00 on Saturday morning, we got yet another call from a woman who said that Lexi jumped in her car when she herself was getting in. She was worried that maybe the cat was neglected or a stray. I assured her that the cat had been on the loose for no more than 10 - 12 hours and that she would be o.k. At this point I'd had enough, so I went to the caller's house and picked up the cat in the car. I figured it was the only way to make the phone calls stop.

Bad kitty.

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Starting to pack for the Carribean

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

I know, I know. We're not leaving for another two months, but DH and I are pretty excited to celebrate our anniversary in the Carribean this year. It'll be a whole week of pampering, relaxation, sun, and fun at an yet-to-be-determined all-inclusive. I got a new bathing suit a week or two ago. It's basic black, which is SO not me, but it fit me so well and was only available in black.

I used to have a vintage-looking one-piece; brown with orange, green and yellow, that I loved so much. It finally got so worn out, it was transparent in inappropriate places.

Yesterday I stumbled across this bathing suit in the Trends section of Lou Lou magazine's website. It wa's an older posting, so I missed my chance to pick up the bathing suit at H&M. Now I am on a mission to find one like this before we go South. I know I already have a new suit, but I'll need at least two, right?

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Precious Party

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Tuesday, the 24th was Precious' birthday. We had a quick celebration because the older kids had piano starting at 5:30. She got a t-shirt (shown in photo) from our nanny, a doll and rocking chair from Grammy, two puzzles from Gramps, and a Cordz game from Mommy and Daddy.

Saturday, we had a birthday party for Precious. The teachers at her school told us she played with two little girls in particular, and they were both invited. Two other friends, one from preschool from last year, and Abbi, Precious' 'best friend', were both out of town.

She and her sister wore their best dresses for the party.

The party was really fun even though Precious had trouble sharing her toys with her friends. She insisted on helping them dress, she held hands with them, and got in their personal space, which they didn't mind. This is the key to their 'friendship'.

After a lunch of veggies and hot dogs, we had a cake made of cupcakes all pushed together. Precious chose yellow icing for it, and vanilla cake. It was delicious!
Her friends both got her Barbies. One was a birthday Barbie, and the other was the preschool teacher Barbie, which Sweet Pea has wanted forever, so she was thrilled!

Precious also got money from Oma (great-grandmother), Grandpa and Great-Grandma, and a big set of pink hairbands from Uncle Tyler and Auntie Anne Marie.

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A Few of My Favourite Christmas Things

Friday, November 27, 2009

Things I like to do around Christmastime:

1. Listen to Christmas music
I splurge on one new Christmas CD every year. I love the songs Little Toy Trains by Nana Mouskouri, Little Drummer Boy with David Bowie and Bing Crosby, and I feel like crying when I hear Do They Know it's Christmastime by Band-Aid. The Boney M Christmas CD is definitely a winner.

2. Decorate the tree
Cutting down a fresh tree is a new tradition that we started last year. When I was really small, we went to Herb's farm to cut down a tree, but now my family goes to a local tree farm, goes tobogganing and makes a morning out of it. I love the smell of a fresh tree, and I've really enjoyed upgrading my decorations over the last few years.

3. Look at Christmas lights
I think this is the year to splurge on one strand of lights to put up across the front of our house. We'll choose a different colour than our neighbour since they have the same house as us, and one strand across the front, too. It's not overdone, but looks festive and shouldn't be too hard to install on the eavestroughing.

5. Get Christmas photos taken

6. Buy gifts for everyone on my list. I hope I get them things that they love.

7. Look at Christmas catalogues, especially Pottery Barn.

8. Get together with friends. There's nothing like a sparkly outfit, some red wine, cheese and great conversation with wonderful people.

What are your favourite things to do in the month before Christmas?

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More Family Photos

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

My brother, his wife and I drove out to the memorial service last night, and got there just as it was winding up. It was nice to see some of my relatives, but we didn't stay too long as everyone was leaving. The best part was getting a chance to talk to my brother and his wife.

We also talked about the newlyweds watching the kids for a weekend so DH and I can go south sans kids in January or February for a week. My mom and our nanny can cover the weekdays. We finally have the childcare arranged. Now I'm worried we left it too late to book a resort that we'll like! It always takes us so long to make a decision that we miss out on early bird specials, and hopefully we don't miss out on the vacation altogether!

I'm including the last two poses from the SuperStore photo shoot. I scanned them in a had to lighten them up a lot so they don't look exactly like the original. In the family photo, my hair looks red, which I assure you it isn't, but I can't remember how to remove the redness in the photo, so I'll have to rely on you to imagine less red.
Normally I have a very specific photo in mind, and we had the same Christmas card photo pose two years in a row after I saw a great picture in Creating Keepsakes magazine. This year, I decided to let the 'photographer' decide what poses and what background. It was a lot less stressful and I do like how they turned out.

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Look Who Is Four!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

I have been wanting to blog for the last four days and just didn't have the time. On Saturday, I went to a party at the neighbours' house and met a lot of her friends who are fun people. The babysitter forgot she had agreed to babysit for us, so DH stayed home with the kids so I could go to the party.

Sunday was a quiet day at home, with playdates for the kids. DH went to the audio store with Rich.

Monday, I worked and did a ton of homework with the kids in the afternoon and evening. I can't believe how much Mr. Boy got this week! It'll take a concerted effort to get through it all.

Today, I worked again, and then went over to the SuperStore after work to pick up the family photos we had done last Friday. I also got a birthday cake for Precious, which she picked out. I can't believe she's four!
We didn't have much time to celebrate tonight as the two older kids had piano, then I went to a memorial service for my great aunt's mother, who just passed away in Germany at the age of 103.

Before leaving for piano, we did manage to eat supper, have the birthday cake and ice cream, sing 'Happy Birthday', and let Precious open some presents. My dad and mom both stopped by today and gave her gifts. Our nanny gave her a cute Tommy Hilfiger t-shirt.

I'll post birthday party pics later this week, along with more photos from the SuperStore photoshoot.

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Tooth Fairy Pays a Visit

Friday, November 20, 2009

On Tuesday, while we were in Regina, Sweet Pea lost her first tooth. It had been loose for ages, and Grandpa, DH and I were urging her to just pull it out. I told her I would get out the pliers, just like my dad used to do. She didn't think that was very funny, even though it is 100% true that he used to take out our teeth that way. I think she was scared it might hurt, but it was already dangling by a thread.

We warned her that the tooth could fall out and she might swallow it. Would the tooth fairy still come, we wondered?

While we were visiting Oma in the hospital, eating a muffin at the coffee shop, I looked over at Sweet Pea and noticed a space in her mouth where her tooth used to be! After mentioning to her that her tooth was gone, her eyes welled up with tears when she realized that she had swallowed it. We checked every crumb on the table and the floor to see if it was a tooth, to no avail.

That evening, it was taboo to mention the swallowed tooth. Sensitive SP was too upset about the whole thing.

I decided to write a note to the tooth fairy which said that the tooth had fallen out. I didn't want to mention the part about it being swallowed for fear of setting off the waterworks again. SP saw the note and amended it to say that she had indeed swallowed the tooth. I guess she wanted to cover all her bases, and her pride was shelved momentarily. She placed the note ON her pillow. Rookie mistake.
I moved the note under her pillow. Sure enough the tooth fairy found the note and left SP $2, which is what she left SP's big brother when his first tooth fell out last year. She carried that toonie everywhere all day, including through security at the airport. The best part, is that the tooth fairy kept the note, which I think will be cool to show SP someday.

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Record-Setting Temperatures in Regina!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

DH and I have been together for 12 1/2 years, so that's how long I've been taking vacations to Regina. We've averaged about one trip a year for the last 11 1/2 years (since I was in Japan the first year we were dating - long story for another blog post).

I was beginning to think it had something to do with me when, every Christmas when we visited, people exclaimed "I can't believe the cold snap we're having!" It would be -35 degrees Celcius (-21 F), without fail, for the entire week or so. Going outside consisted of dashing from one heated location to the next.

One summer, we attend Shawn and Susan's wedding in Saskatchewan and remarked that it was much more fun to visit in the summer as there was more to do and less stuff to pack. As a bonus, there was less chance of getting snowed in at the Toronto Airport in July.

This time, the seat sale price was unbeatable, and we decided to travel in November. It was going on 18 months since Oma (great-grandmother) had seen the kids, and we were due for a visit. We packed our winter jackets, toques, scarves and mitts. On the first day or two, we definitely needed them. The weather was just as expected for Regina in November.

But yesterday, when we headed out, it felt downright warm! Turns out there was a record-setting temperature of 17 degrees Celcius (62 degrees F). We were out in sweaters in mid-November. It gave me a chance to snap this cute photo of Precious.

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Shopping in Regina

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I did some shopping in Regina on Saturday and some more yesterday.

On Saturday, I was child-free, and went downtown to Scarth Street, which is a pedestrian-only street. I was there to see Aria and Stella & Sway, two stores that were featured in LouLou magazine's Regina Report. Both stores were cool, with the latter being so appealing. The clothes were beautiful, but everything was out of my price range.

I also managed to get to Marbella, which is just over on Hill Street, in the Cathedral area of town. The store was in a little strip mall along with a nail bar, a kids' store and a home decor shop. If I had more money, I would be doing a lot of my shopping in this store. Immediately upon entering, I found this gorgeous silver necklace with pendants hanging from it. The $310 price tag was a little more than I planned to spend, so I had to put it back. There was a ton of Michael Kors stuff in this store, and the racks were all organized by coordinating items. There was a rack of gray and teal clothes, from sweaters and suits, to skirts and blouses. Other racks, in different colours, were similarly organized. It would have been easy, fun, and expensive to pick up a few pieces from one rack.

Finally, I made a special trip back to BalOrient after going there at 10:40 on Saturday and discovering it only opens at 11:00. I'm looking for a special pair of slouchy ankle boots, preferably in deep plum, with a 1 - 1.5 inch heel. I had peeked in the window on my first attempt at the store, and had seen one cute pair of ankle boots. When I came back later in the morning, I was a little disappointed. When the owner isn't in the store, the service just isn't as good, and the clerk didn't even get up from her game of solitaire/facebooking. The selection wasn't as good as I was hoping either, so I high-tailed it out of there, bootless.

After another trip out shopping yesterday, I'm still bootless. I did see one cute pair at Marlers, but when I got there, I discovered they were $225, $100 over my my price limit, so I had to leave them there.

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Humidity, Please!

Monday, November 16, 2009

We're out here in the prairies and one thing I notice everytime I come here is how much drier it is. In the winter, it hardly snows. They don't even plough the streets here! In the summer, it's drier, too. How many times do we say back at home "it's not the heat, it's the humidity!" Seriously, 30 degrees with 100% humidity feels MUCH hotter than 30 degrees with 50% humidity. Something about the sweat evaporating, but I digress...

Even in the fall, it is drier here. I checked the weather network and the humidity at home today is 52%. Here is it 37%. It doesn't seem like a big difference, but I'll tell you that my hair is flat, my nose is dry and my throat hurts.

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The Whole Fam-damily

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Last night, we had most of the Regina relatives over for a BBQ. We had salmon, chicken and sausages, along with some oven fries, and raw veggies with dip. DH's aunt brought the veggies and two key lime pies for dessert. We had a great time catching up with the family. Aunt Candace brought not only food but she also brought The Muppet Christmas movie and a Backyardigans play-doh set. The kids have had a lot of fun with the play-doh and I know I'm excited to see the movie. I love anything to do with Christmas and the kids love the Muppets.

Yesterday, during my shopping expedition, I picked up the James Taylor CD which I tried to get last year, but was sold out. I listened to it in the car while I continued my shopping. It's still November, but I really don't think it's too early to listen to Christmas music. DH on the other hand, is not a fan of anything Christmas-related before December.

We ate around 6:30 last night, and one of the cousins was left around 7:15 for the Stone Temple Pilots concert. The other had a paper due on colonialism or communism, so she had to leave. Right after we put the kids to bed, I felt an overwhelming urge to lie down. Around 8:30 p.m., I laid in bed wearing all my clothes and fell asleep. I woke up when DH came to bed at 10:30, changed into jammies, and slept until 7:30 this morning. That's two nights in a row where I've slept close to 12 hours. I must be fighting something because there is no other explanation for sleeping so much. I haven't been in bed later than 9:00 p.m. for three or four nights now!

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Sunny Regina

Saturday, November 14, 2009

When people ask where we're going on vacation, I often tell them 'sunny' Regina. It's a bit of a dig at Regina because I'm joking that all it has going for it is that it is sunny. That's not true, but people often ask me why we visit. Well, that's easy! DH is from Regina and his family still lives here.


We arrived on Thursday around lunchtime. The flight was uneventful, which is always good. DH was still pretty sick, and Sweet Pea still had her cough leftover from her flu.


Friday was uneventful again, although I did get out to Value Village to pick up some new books for the kids. I also scoped out a couple of cool photo locations, including some gigantic garage doors and a spot near a train yard. The hard part will be getting anyone to photograph.


In the afternoon, I took the kids to the park and the cold air, combined with Sweet Pea's cough produced a coughing fit of epic proportions which culminated in her vomiting twice. Friday night, we didn't do much and went to bed around 9.

Today, I indulged in some retail therapy of the prairie kind. I'll post more about that tomorrow. We're having the rest of the family over this afternoon for a BBQ.

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Fever Broke

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

I'm happy to report that Sweet Pea's fever finally broke overnight. She was running a fever of 38.6 last night (and since Saturday) and now she's at 35.7. She's in much better spirits and is even complaining that she's bored. I'm relieved and it looks like we might not need to cancel or postpone our trip out west. We leave early tomorrow morning.

I'm looking forward to visiting relatives, reading, watching TV, and relaxing.

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Sickness Galore and Weekend Recap

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I got back home from my scrapbooking retreat on Sunday evening around 6:00. Turns out DH and Sweet Pea were both really sick with "flu-like symptoms".

Monday, DH worked from home despite being really sick. Sweet Pea missed school.

Today, our nanny isn't feeling well and DH was getting worse and worse last night, so I decided to take today off of work. I was feeling feverish and I had a headache yesterday. I'm worried that I'm next.

On the scrapbook weekend, I managed to mostly finish 17 scrapbook pages, bringing me up-to-date on Precious' album. There is no journalling on one double-page spread, and some re-touching to do here and there on other pages. Overall, I'm thrilled with what I got done and I've attached a few of the pages here. I used a lot of templates and even re-worked some pages I had made for my own album. That's what I call maximizing the power of digital scrapbooking!

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Scrapbook Weekend Friends

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Ana, Sylvie and I are on a scrapbooking weekend out of town. Last night, there wasn't much scrapbooking going on, but a lot of imbibing. I was a little more tired than usual this morning. Wait a second, wasn't one of my priorities for this weekend to get some extra sleep? Note to self: don't go to bed at 2:00 a.m. tonight.

I slept in a quiet hotel room last night, had a chance to do yoga today, and not once has anyone tugged on my shirt or yelled "where's Mommy?".

I've spent a lot of quality time with Sylvie and Ana, two dear and lovely ladies. I've eaten all of my meals without having to lift a finger. There's a good variety of food here, and salad and veggies at every meal.

Ana
Sylvie

I've got a few pages done, but not as many as I had hoped. It takes a while to get all of the pictures retouched and ready to go in the pages. Then I have to organize them and figure out which pictures will go together on which page. Then I have to assemble the scrapbook page. I've made 4 or 5 pages in a day and a bit, but I'm on my way to finishing 4 more this evening.

Today was an all-day chat at Designer Digitals. I was so excited as I was expecting to be on the computer all day and I'd get all the freebies, participate in the 30 minute masterpiece, and do the photography workshop, etc., etc. Turns out, I couldn't log on, despite getting technical support from Ron Pertiet himself. I was a little disappointed, but what-ev-er. At least there's red wine.

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Scrapbook Weekend

Friday, November 6, 2009

We're here!

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Happy Birthday Little Brother!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

My brother is 37 today. He may be bigger than me, but he'll always be my little brother. Thanks for graciously enduring my annoying singing of "Happy Birthday" on the phone this morning.


Happy Birthday to you
You live in a zoo
You look like a monkey
And you act like one, too!

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Halloween Costumes

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

I was looking through some photos and realized that I hadn't posted any photos of the kids in their halloween costumes.

Precious was a clown. A girl in grade 9 on our street had passed it down to a neighbour who in turn passed it down to us. When the grade 9 girl came trick-or-treating, I showed her the costume (Precious was done trick or treating by that point) and she remembered the costume.
Mr. Boy was Darth Vader. We borrowed the costume from our neighbour. The mask was new. The cape was made by DH's mom when he was a child. Mr. Boy refused to carry one of the three lightsabers we have because none of them was the correct colour for Darth Vader (ie. red). The costume was about 4 inches too short in the legs, but he was wearing black rubber boots, which covered it up.
Sweet Pea was a punky witch. She decided she would rather be a 'funky' witch, which I explained meant 'smelly', but she didn't care. The fishnet sleeves of the costume were bothering her, so on Thursday night, hours before her school halloween party on Friday morning, she announced that she needed a new costume. After discovering that it was the sleeves that bothered her, I cut them out, and left her with only the elasticized cuffs with purple tulle.
GFG (Good Friend Geoff) came by with his girls to trick or treat from our house. Abbi was a spider (she wasn't wearing her headpiece in this photo), and Isabella was also a witch.After about 45 minutes out with Geoff and me, Precious got frustrated and she wanted to take off her costume. We came home, and DH headed out to meet back up with Geoff and the remaining kids. We got such a small number of kids this year, that while I was home answering the door between 7:15 and 8:00 ish, the doorbell only rang twice.

When we got home, we let the kids each as much candy as they wanted for approximately 15 minutes. They weren't happy when the 15 minutes was over, but they were tired and went to bed and promptly fell asleep.

That sounds like the perfect Halloween.

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The Finer Things

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

My sister-in-law/brother's wife AMF has started her own blog. It is super cute, just like her! Check her out over at The Finer Things.

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Halloween Party

Sunday, November 1, 2009

We had a halloween party this weekend and it was a great success. We had a great time and played a song live for our guests. It was a cover of Satellite Mind by Metric with Halloween lyrics that I wrote. DH played drums (machine programmed ahead of time), and keyboard and Rich from next door played guitar. I sang.

DH and I were dressed as bavarians and he even played a little hip hop accordion for everyone. It was great!

Here we are hamming it up for the camera. All night, I kept telling DH that he has cute knees. I think he should wear lederhosen more often. I bought a cute bavarian girl costume, complete with the drindl skirt, little apron, peasant blouse, and lacing up the front.

Sometime after 2:00 in the morning, my neighbour Rich, demonstrating how our friend Sean had spilled red wine down the front of Rich's costume, accidentally spilled a lot of red wine down the front of mine. The white portions of the costume came clean of the wine, but then the red skirt ran on the white and now some of the eyelet is dark pink and some of the white fabric is splotchy pink.

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Montreal recap

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

What a great trip we had to Montreal. We enjoyed walking everywhere. The architecture in Montreal is so interesting. There were old limestone row houses, churches, 70's era apartments, skyscrapers, and heritage buildings next to each other downtown. I love the way that mostly every inch of space is used, and it is such a mixture of styles.

I took some pictures outside the hotel.This mural was visible from our room and was on the back of a Dairy Queen. I thought the artwork would be enough to deter other graffiti artists, but apparently not.
DH bought what I kept calling a 'jaunty cap' in Montreal. It's more or less a necessity to have a hat when you have no hair, or so I'm told.
Walking back from Lola & Emily, we staged this photo of me crossing the street with my Lola & Emily bag. Gorgeous row houses and gorgeous trees in this neighbourhood (Mont-Royal?).

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We're Back!!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Montreal was amazing. The shopping was fantastic. DH spent a bunch of money on new clothes and he will be the most dapper man around. I got a few things myself, and finally got to Lola & Emily, the store I have been reading about on Lake Jane for over a year. At the store, I bought a tank top that was 50% off, as I couldn't afford anything at full price. Sweaters were over $200 and some dresses were $300 and $400. A little out of my price range, but it was fun to look, and the clothes were beautiful.

We stayed at a hotel right downtown and walked everywhere all weekend. We logged a lot of miles. At the end of the day yesterday, we had spent a lot of money on clothes, and we were tired. We went swimming in the hotel pool, then had a nap, then went out for supper after 9:30 p.m. I can't remember the last time we ate that late.

The weekend was romantic, fun and exciting. Montreal is a gorgeous, vibrant city, and the fashions are great. I loved being able to walk everywhere.

Thanks to my mom and Tyler and Anne Marie for watching the kids. We really, really appreciate it!

Now back to laundry.

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Fall Getaway

Saturday, October 24, 2009

DH and I started, three years ago, going away for one night, without the kids, in the fall. It is quickly becoming a tradition. The first year, we went to Merickville, a quaint little town about an hour away. We stayed at an historic inn and ate really delicious food. The shops were along the lines of gift shops, for the most part, but the fall colours were incredible and it was really romantic.

Last year, we went to Kingston, which is a great town near here. The inn we stayed at was unreal and we walked and walked and did some shopping.

This year, after my recent trip with Sylvie to Montreal, and since DH needs some new clothes, we decided to go to Montreal. I have to admit I have always been intimidated by driving in Montreal and I once crossed the same bridge eight times looking for the correct exit so I could drive down to Boston.

I'm older and wiser now, and with Google Maps, and my recent experience in Montreal, DH and I are ready to tackle the city, even with our Ontario plates.

So we're off to Montreal in a couple of minutes. I can't wait!

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Excitement at the Senators' Game

Friday, October 23, 2009

My hockey league gave away a set of tickets to the Ottawa Senators hockey game for the team managers for the winter teams. Since I managed the summer team, I wasn't eligible, but the winter manager offered me the tickets. Who knows better than she how much work it is to manage the team! I'm acting as treasurer for the winter, and that is a big help to her, so she wanted to thank me. I thought it was really generous of her.

DH and I decided to go to the game together. We've been going out so much lately, our two main babysitters are making a killing off of us! Megan came to babysit last night and we headed out to the game and got there about 1/2 hour ahead.

The game was fun to watch even though we trailed through most of it. There were a few lulls here and there, but with 11 goals in all, there wasn't much time to get bored. The Sens tied up the game with 1.6 seconds left to force overtime. What an exciting goal it was, too!

But that wasn't even the best part! My favourite part was going to the concession stand to buy a beer for DH and me and the lady (in her 30s, I'd guess) behind the counter wouldn't serve me because I didn't have ID. The drinking age in Ontario is 19, and since I'm double that, I'm not used to getting 'carded'. She said they ID people who look 30 or less. I was flattered but since my ID card was at home, I had to ask DH to buy the beer while I hid around the corner.

Imagine the ribbing I gave DH when he didn't get carded, despite being a year and a half younger than me!

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Pet Peeves, Part 1

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Do you have any pet peeves? Most people do. Pet peeves are things that annoy a person for no good reason, or annoy a person more than you would expect.

I have a couple of pet peeves.

#1- when there is a ring of milk in the bottom of a glass.
#2 - lunch containers that were left closed for days and smell awful when unsuspecting dishwashers (me!) wash them. My dad used to do this to me all the time.
#3 - how DH always seems to leave one item from the grocery order on the kitchen counter. Why is he incapable of putting everything away?
#4 - when the person who used the car before me (I'm not naming names) has the stereo turned way, way up and I get in the car on a quiet morning and am "surprised" at the volume.
#5 - a tiny dribble of milk left in the bag. Luckily, this rarely happens.
#6 - when the light is on in the bathroom at work when I go in. Since it's a one-at-a-time bathroom, why would someone leave the light on when they leave?
#7 - when the new roll of toilet paper is beside the dispenser, rather than on the dispenser.
#8 - when people sniff incessantly. Blow your nose, for pete's sake.

As I think of more pet peeves, I'll post them.

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Nature Walk

Monday, October 19, 2009

We went for a nature walk yesterday. I got a ton of cool backlit photos of the kids. Only problem was, my lens was so dirty, the pictures all have a haze on them. Then I did a bunch of individual shots and was shooting in the wrong setting and I overexposed everything to oblivion. I couldn't tell until we were leaving in the car because it was so sunny, I couldn't see my LCD until then.
Most of the way through the walk, I used a bench and my hat to prop up the camera, and got this Maggie Holmes inspired photo.

Now to figure out which part(s) of my camera are dirty so I can clean them.

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Spooky Halloween Bottles

Sunday, October 18, 2009

I just love Halloween. It's so much fun celebrating the macabre, and who doesn't love getting dressed up?

I've been looking for free printable 'potion' labels to put on jars, or over wine or beer bottle labels.

I found these great ones at Love Manor's Flick stream.

I love the authentic 50's look of these labels over at Spook Shows.

And these twilight-themed labels at Hostess With the Mostess are cute.

If you don't want to be bothered with making them, you can always buy some at Grandin Road or the Oriental Trading Company.

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Larceny and Old Lace

Friday, October 16, 2009

Wednesday night, I played hockey and we tied 1-1 with a really good team we played in the summer. I was impressed with my own play, and my teammates really rocked! We have three new players this winter and they are all really good. It is exciting because my team doesn't tend to score a lot of goals, but these three might help in that department.

Thursday night, I went to see Larceny and Old Lace, a funny production about two old ladies who rob casinos for a living and think nothing of it! With a cast of 16 on a small stage and a 'front' door that opens and closes about 40 times, it was a hectic, madcap show put on by the community theatre of a small town near here. It was a good show.

My stepfather and mom were both in the play. This is my mom's third time in a show. In the first, she was one of 4 main characters, she was on stage for most of the show, and she kissed a man on stage! You can bet I was squirming in my seat during that scene. In the second show, my Aunt Janet was one of the main characters, and my mom played a detective. It was a smaller role than the show before. This time, she only has a few lines, but they are memorable, and this time she gets her bum patted by yet another man! Mom! You need to prepare me for these things! I was very nearly traumatized for life when I saw that!

One of the bigger characters in the show was a scary escaped convict named Mordred, played very well by my stepfather, Mike. The costume alone was great, and his acting was very good. I heard someone behind me exclaim that he had a good voice. He was a natural up there. I can assure you he has no tattoos (that I know of), or piercings, and he definitely doesn't have a mohawk or usually wear a dog collar or a leather vest with a skull and crossbones on it! No, really!

Great show Mom and Mike and enjoy the rest of the run!

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Modern Family

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

I don't know if you've had a chance to check out any of the new TV shows that started this fall. I've checked out Accidentally On Purpose, Cougar Town and Modern Family, among others.

Accidentally On Purpose stars Jenna Elfman, one of my favourite sitcom gals, and the romantic comedy is light and fun.

Cougar Town was painful to watch. Courtney Cox's character is awful, and the amount of Botox between her and her co-star, Christa Miller is really sad. I used to love both of these actresses, but now their faces are frozen and their lips are puffed up and I just feel like crying because they aren't much older than me, and I pray that society is not demanding this kind of stuff in women of that age. I watched the first episode and refuse to watch it again.

I feel especially sad about the amount of Botox in Christa Miller's face, as I loved her as Kate on The Drew Carey Show. In one memorable episode, she tried to sing with the guys' band, and she was awful but the guys couldn't tell her. She would say "With me, you don't just get singing, you get dancing, too." I still laugh when I think about that. I cry when I think about Cougar Town.

By far, the best show in this suite of three is Modern Family. The first show was so funny, both DH and I were laughing. We loved Phil, the dad of three, married for 16 years, who thinks he's really cool, but is definitely not. Cameron, the husband in the gay couple is so funny! Now I'm becoming partial to Gloria, the smokin' hot latina woman who is married to the guy who used to play Ed Bundy in Married With Children. She's hilarious, gorgeous, and she gets a lot of the good lines. I can't wait to watch the show every week.

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Digital scrapbook challenge #14 and #15

Monday, October 12, 2009

Digital scrapbook challenge #14 was to scraplift this create page from the Creative Inspiration Blog, and post it to that site (by Wednesday). I didn't get around to posting it there, but I did finally finish it. I find it hard to 'pick up' transluscent elements, like the "2009" overlay on the photo. How do I do that without having to try 30 times and accidentally picking up the background paper or the photo 29 times? Christine?

It's my turn to post the digital challenge which is due for next Sunday. The challenge this week is to do a page where you are capturing photos from a few different days in the same week. Like this page.

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Happy Turkey Day!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

It's the thanksgiving long weekend here in Canada. I don't know why the American and Canadian thanksgiving are at different times of year, but they are!

We get Monday off of work, but we always celebrate with a big turkey dinner and pumpkin pie on the Sunday night.

This year, my brother and AMF came over, as well as my dad. My mom was entertaining her husband's whole family who gathered from far and wide and were all together for the first time in a long, long time.

DH and I cooked the turkey and stuffing, some roasted potatoes, green beans and gravy. Tyler and AMF brought mashed sweet potatoes and rolls and my dad brought two huge pumpkin pies. They were so huge that we didn't even eat half of one! Needless to say, we sent him home with the uneaten pie. No need for more temptation around here. Before we ate, we all said something we were grateful for and Tyler suggested all holding hands around the table. It was such a lovely thing to do and everyone was so happy to be together.

After supper, the kids were in heaven with Gramps, Uncle Tyler AND Auntie Anne Marie to play with. The game Sequence came out and the older two were each helping an adult play.
I set up my tripod and took a photo of everyone. From left to right:
Gramps, Mr. Boy, DH, Sweet Pea, Uncle Tyler, Beth, Precious and AMF.
Have a great holiday.

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The Mural is Done!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

The area above the bar in our basement was a little plain. We considered shelving for that area, a mirror, art, wall stickers, and so on. We just couldn't decide, and we didn't have a lot of money to spend.

I saw this great birch tree mural on Jen Loves Kev. I spent $5 to get her template for the mural and it's been sitting in my inbox since July or August. I didn't have an overhead projector to project the image on the wall so I could trace it in pencil. Last week, I had an idea to post my need for an overhead projector on Facebook and within a day I had one lined up! Thanks Tonja and social netorks!In the inspiration photo, Jen painted her mural with the gray paint of her wall, with a little white added. I was more interested in dark trees on a light wall, as the bar is a dark area with no windows and used mainly at night so something dramatic would be appropriate.

Here I am painting it this afternoon. Yes, I was wearing my jammies in the afternoon, and yes, I hadn't brushed my hair yet. And yes, I had brushed my teeth, in case you were wondering.

It took a good two hours once I had picked up the projector, figured out how to use it, projected the image on the wall, and traced it. I used the wall colour and added in a touch of Benjamin Moore's Buckhorn, which we've used in our entry and our den.

The after, taken from the other end of the bar.

I'm really pleased with the results, and it really adds something to the bar. Other than the labour and $5 for the template, it was free to do because I already had paint, painter's tape, and paint brushes. And DH loves it, too!

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Keep Your Stick on the Ice

Thursday, October 8, 2009

My hockey season started last night. I'd had about three weeks off since my last scrimmage, but I've been going to the gym a lot over the last month.

We played a really strong team last night, but I thought I had a really good game, despite the fact that we lost. We have a couple of new players this winter, and we're still working out the kinks, but I'm excited because I think we have some really good, strong, team players, and that we're going to do well.

I really missed the social aspect of hockey, too. We went out for beer after the game last night and it was a blast.

I played hockey at 10:00 p.m. Went up for beer shortly after 11:00. Got home around 12:20. Unwound a little more at home, then finally fell asleep around 1:30 a.m. I had to get up at 5:00 a.m. and, let me tell you, that was painful. I did have a nap for 90 minutes before the game, so that helped a little.

I used to work out on Thursday mornings at work, so now I'm going to have to re-arrange my schedule and figure out how to keep my workouts and still have rest days here and there.

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Cute Couple

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

I was eating my morning snack in the cafeteria at work on Tuesday and they had the TV tuned to the CBC. They were interviewing Willard S. Boyle because he won the Nobel prize in physics for helping invent the CCD (the card that makes digital cameras and the Hubble telescope work). Besides being proud that a Canadian made such an important contribution to the world, I was really struck by the sheet joy and pleasure on the face of Dr. Boyle, and his wife, Betty.

Photograph by: Paul Darrow, Reuters, Canwest News Service

They had their arms around one another. They were dressed similarly. They looked similar. The way they seemed to be finishing each others' thoughts, really listening to each other, and enjoying every minute of being together was so refreshing!

I know very little about this couple, and I didn't even hear what they were saying. I was really just reading their body language. For all I know, they got married last year, but odds are, they've been married for 50 years and still love each other. So sweet.

I tried to find the interview on YouTube and on the CBC website, but I couldn't, so if anyone can find it, let me know.

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Just for Fun

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

DH and I decided to take a picture of ourselves today. I was disappointed that we never thought to turn the camera on ourselves at my brother's wedding. So now we have a reasonable, and recent photo of the two of us.I'm happy!

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Curiosity

Monday, October 5, 2009

I always like to learn new things. It's hard for me to sit still as I am always wanting to do something, try something new, or finish something I already started. I am so curious about human things like personality, self-esteem, confidence, persistence and the like. Maybe I should have studied psychology instead of political science. Last time I checked, seniors over 65 get free university admission in Canada, so I should plan to get a psych degree when I retire!

I was reading in the paper about a woman who knows two people who are fighting cancer, one of them being her mother. Cancer is a scary thing, and I have lost two very close relatives to it in the last two years. Now I find out that one of my university friends has it. I'm having trouble with this one because she's my age and things like this don't happen to people my age. I'm too young. She's too young. I can only imagine how hard it is for her, especially with three small kids.

So this article talked about resilience, something I hope I have, but I can always improve on.

"Resilient people, it seems, believe there's something greater than themselves in life, have a sense of connectedness to others, use their networks, believe there is justice even when life seems unjust and know in their hearts that they can affect change."

-Julie Beun, Ottawa Citizen, October 3, 2009

I feel that this quote is true of me, but I'm not sure about that very last bit about affecting change. Maybe I need to volunteer more, and not just in my childrens' classrooms, or on my own sports teams, or at the school dance. Can I affect change? I'd like to think so, but maybe I need to prove it.

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Rocking Downtown for DH's Birthday

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Today is DH's 37th birthday. Last night we went out to see my friend's band play in a bar downtown. We sat there with a bunch of friends who are childless. We don't see them very often. We had to leave the bar around 11:15 to get back in time for the babysitter.

Despite loving our kids madly, every once in a while, we wonder what childless people do with their days and whether it might be fun. I honestly can't remember life before kids.

So what do childless people do with their days? They renovate houses, exercise, go on trips, and have brunch out, for an hour or two. They shop when they like, garden and watch more than one movie in a day. What they don't do is get kid snuggles, and they don't get to see their child ace a test or get really excited about something new. They don't get to be the one their child comes to for comfort, and for the answers to everything. Being a parent totally rocks, even if we have to leave the bar after the opening band.

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Digital scrapbook challenge #13

Saturday, October 3, 2009

The challenge this week was to use 5 equally-sized photos.
I'm actually happy with how this turned out!

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Organized CDs

Thursday, October 1, 2009

DH has a lot of CDs. He's a bit of a music junkie. Our CDs have been stored in our bedroom, far from the stereo and stacked in a way that made them hard to access.

Once the basement was finished in the spring, and after the stereo was moved downstairs into the new TV room in the basement, one of the next tasks was to organize the CDs and get them close to the stereo.

DH and I chose the Benno CD racks from IKEA, compatible with the Billy system. Normally we avoid particle board, but in this case, the CDs were to be hidden in a closet, and we couldn't justify the cost of solid wood CDs racks for close to 500 CDs.

DH went to IKEA, on a Saturday no less, something he swears he will never do again, to pick up 5 Benno CD racks. A couple of days later, he assembled them.

A day or two after that, DH walked up and down the stairs many times over to transfer all of his CDs from the second floor master to the basement closet where he alphabetized them, again, and placed them in the CD racks, 8 to a shelf, with room for 12 in each shelf, so the alphabetizing could be maintained without moving all of the CDs. It's not visible in this photo, but there are two more racks to the right of these three, and they are half full.

We were able to use the 7 inch deep half of the basement closet, while still giving the kids access to the other half, 'adventureland', which is under the stairs.

DH was giddy with excitement and I'm happy the CDs are accessible and out of our bedroom.

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E-Bay Rules!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

I have had so much fun buying things on e-bay. I bought a bunch of clothes for the girls, at great prices. I made one little mistake and accidentally bid on a shirt that was too small for either girl, but luckily, I got outbid at the last second and 'lost' the auction. I also had an email altercation with one vendor who surprised me with her shipping charges, despite saying that shipping to Canada was included in the price.

So my new approach to bidding, aside from avoiding one particular vendor, is to bid just over the current price of an item I want. Within the next day or so, depending on the end date of the auction, I look at the item again, with a more critical eye, and decide how much I am willing to pay. (Note to self: AND CHECK THE SIZE!). At that point, I put in my 'max bid', which is usually about a quarter of the actual price of the items. Then I leave it alone and wait and see if I win. E-bay will automatically increase the amount of my bid to outbid someone else, but only by a bit, until I eventually get to the max bid. If no one outbids me, I never get to my max bid and only pay the lesser amount.

Sorry if this is redundant to most of you. Maybe you are all e-bay Jedi.

My excitement was overwhelming when I received my first package of goods yesterday. The girls are so happy with these clothes, and so am I. What a great deal.

I got another package today and it was three lots that I won, all from the same vendor. I can't believe the great condition of these clothes. Most of them still have the label, and what I paid for them should be criminal!
My addiction may be getting out of hand. Last night, I even dreamed that I bid $350 on a ride in an Audi, and regretted it. My neighbour has an Audi, and I'm sure he'd give me a ride in it for much less than $350. DH sees it as a sign that I should stop using E-bay, for a while, anyway. He's right when he says that the girls now have enough clothes.

That doesn't mean I can't look for the silver metallic bag I didn't find in Montreal!

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Bad Kitty

Monday, September 28, 2009

We got our new kitty Lexi on July 11th. She was about 8 months old at the time. She came home and was freakin' adorable and won us over pretty quickly. Then she started scratching the furniture, so we went out and bought two different scratching posts, which she used when they were nearby. We went through some growing pains as she would wake up at 3:30 a.m. and start batting at the metal pull on DH's bedside lamp, waking both of us up. Then scratching the furniture became Lexi's favourite hobby. Then she ran away, twice, and got 70 feet up in a tree. Then she started peeing near the back door. Then she started peeing in the dining room. Then she started peeing in DH's closet.

We took Lexi in to have her front claws removed and during her pre-surgery assessment, I asked about her peeing inside. The vet figured the cat was marking her territory. She suggested cleaning the brick and the back door, and spraying it with citrus oil. I also read about putting tin foil where the cat is marking, as they dislike the noise when they step on it. I went one step further and sprayed the tin foil with citrus oil. I also went downstairs and cleaned her litter, making sure it was pristine.

No sooner had I done that than she peed on the tin foil which was sprayed with citrus oil!

The good news is the de-clawing went well, and she was fine after about 3 days. Other than the cost, it was a fantastic decision. Our furniture is no longer in jeopardy. About a week after the surgery, Lexi started peeing near the back door again and I caught her peeing in DH's closet on the weekend!

Bad kitty!

For now, we're keeping the door to the back hall and DH's closet closed as we can't figure out how to stop her from peeing in our house.

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Digital scrapbook challenge #13

Sunday, September 27, 2009

The digital scrapbook challenge this week is to use 5 equally sized photos on the page. I was inspired by this page by Heidi2008.
You don't have to use this LO or even rectangles. Your pictures can be circles, squares, or whatever, just as long as there are 5 of them and they are all the same size.

Link up here by next Sunday. Christine, will you post a challenge next week?

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All's Fair...

Saturday, September 26, 2009

We went to the local fair this weekend; one that we often attend. We parked in a big field, and went through the gates near the horse competition rings. We saw some miniature horses being judged, then junior hunting riders.

We headed over for a pony ride after that. Precious was ready to go until she was eye-to-eye with the pony she was to ride. Considering she's even afraid of dogs smaller than her, it was no big surprise that she got too scared to actually get on the pony.

Mr. Boy enjoyed his ride on "Red" and Sweet Pea absolutely beamed the whole time she was on "Smokey". She probably could have stayed on that pony all day. Too bad horseback riding is such an expensive hobby. It would be fun to sign her up.
Precious waiting outside the fence at the pony ride.

After the pony rides, we walked around a bit and eventually made our way to the rides. We met up with quite a few people that we know. After close to an hour going on rides and walking around the rides, the amount of strollers in the area was unbelievable. We could hardly move!

Sweet Pea was mad that she wasn't big enough to drive her own bumper car, and Precious was scared to death on the one ride she did go on, and she cried and clutched madly at her sister, but overall the rides were a big hit with the kids.


When the ride tickets ran out, we bought a lunch of almost exclusively deep-fried food and went to the big family tent to eat. The kids saw some cows, sheep, pigs, goats, etc., and Mr. Boy even fed a cow. The sign outside the pen said "Beef" instead of "cow" and Mr. Boy asked why. DH explained that the animal was destined to be eaten, and said "doesn't his rump look delicious?" I thought that was pretty funny, and Mr. Boy laughed, too.

The parade was starting as we were getting ready to leave. We got to see the bagpipe band and a bunch of classic cars. DH expressed an interest in playing the bagpipes. I guess he's not satisfied with playing 78 other musical instruments but figures he'd better learn at least one more!

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