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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