Wednesday, March 30, 2011


1. A Milestone: It is March 31st.

In one day I will be celebrating one year of blogging. One year of cleaning. One year of organizing. And one year of taking pictures of things I didn't think I'd ever take pictures of, namely my laundry basket and, well, my mess. I used to be very private about that kind of stuff.

On Friday, possibly Saturday, I will post pictures of each room as it stands today. Cleaning day is Monday around here, so you will see each room as it looks when it is lived in. In it's natural state. With just a little bit of chaos thrown in for good measure, because chaos is the natural state of this home. The only thing that has changed over the last year is that chaos is so much different. It literally means a few papers here and there, or a book not on the bookshelf. Nothing like it was a year ago.

2. An opinion: I made the worlds best french toast today. I just wanted to tell you.

3. A story: I spent this week downloading music for my kids. Then I got the bright idea to put it all on my husband's IPod so we can take it with us where ever we go! Super idea if you ask me. It just plugs in to my stereo in the car, we have a special adapter cord doodad just for an Ipod. Perfect!

Only problem is, apparently when you try to load music on to an ipod from a different computer than the one it is authorized with, you first have to transfer all the purchased music and then delete all the music on the ipod. My husband had about 300 songs on it. And while I did stop and think for a minute before I deleted everything, I really didn't think it would be THAT big of a deal.

I also forgot to tell him.

And OF COURSE, that day he wanted to go for a jog. With his fully loaded Ipod.

He was gone for maybe three minutes when he came back up the stairs asking what the heck happened to his music. Why was he listening to Tom Hanks sing Hot Chocolate from the Polar Express? And then I remembered and disclosed everything. He walked away muttering something about the kids taking over everything.

Yes, well, welcome to my life darling. I can't even pee on my own. When the kids start banging down the door when you pee, then we can talk. Until then, you get no sympathy for me.

4. A Triumph: Little Man's second trampoline class was on Tuesday. It went so so so well. He just walked in to the class, took the instructors hand and had an amazing time. No tears, no screams, not even a "Bye Mom!". And he learned a lot as well. I'm so relieved to see that he takes instruction well. You can see the determination in his little face that he wants to do exactly as she tells him. I'm a super proud mama.

Now I just need to figure out how to get him to stop turning my house in to a gymnasium.

In conclusion: I'm super happy today because

1. A year of learning new cleaning techniques are done. My toilets and kickboards have never been cleaner.

2. I had yummy French toast for breakfast.

3. I have a wide variety of music to listen to in the car with the kids, and am not limited to one cd of Curious George/Jack Johnson music.

3B. I now have an idea as to what to get my husband for Father's Day. What says love more than an Ipod you don't need to share with your kids???

4. I have a happy gymnast in my house.

My cup runneth over,

Monday, March 28, 2011

Life is a Highway

Little Man has really been in to listening to music lately. So I have been downloading songs from his favourite movies from ITunes. One of his favourite soundtracks is the Disney CARS soundtrack. Specifically, Life is a Highway. The kids really get in to that song, dancing, playing guitar, singing at the top of their lungs.

During the past week we have listened to this song approximately 356 335 225 times and I have realized two things that concern me greatly.

One: My babies are growing up way way way WAY too quickly. This is them rockin' it out to Life is a Highway.



Little Lady dancing and singing. It really surprises me that with her toddler vocabulary you can actually tell what she is singing when she sings to this song. She has pretty good pitch for her age.

Ooops, got a bit dizzy there.

Two: It pains me to say this, but I just this week realized that my children will associate Life is a Highway with Rascal Flatts and NOT Tom Cochrane, who sang the song originally. I came to learn this in the car over the weekend, when Little Man asked to listen to Life is a Highway, but not the silly one. I asked him what he meant and he said he didn't want to listen to the silly one that I made him listen to on the radio last time we were in the car. After telling him, totally exasperated, that the "silly" one is the REAL Life is a Highway, and letting him know how popular that song was when I was growing up, he, my four year old son, asked me to play the "real Lightning McQueen one", not the silly one.

Sigh. I don't think he was even listening.

So Rascal Flatts it is. With a little bit of Tom to mix it up again to help little man understand the roots of the song.

Until he is old enough to appreciate Tom though, I've got this happening at my house.


I just hope he doesn't hurt himself!


Thursday, March 24, 2011

A conversation...

The other day, first thing in the morning, as the snow fell hard and fast, and the wind blew cold and frosty, and I was still in my pajamas, I had this conversation with my little man.

Little Man: Mama, can we go outside to play in the snow?
Me: Oh Alexander, it looks very cold and blustery out there.  I think it is a bit too cold for me today.
LM: Oh, that's ok Mama, you can wear a hat and mittens.
M: Yes, that's true, but Monkey, it's snowing.  SNOWING.  Mommy doesn't really feel like going outside today. I want spring back again.
LM: Hmmmm (long pause) I know!!!!  I want to go play in the snow, and you want to stay inside, right?
M: Yes, that sounds right.
LM: Ok well, then we will go outside this morning and you can just go with it.
M: Just go with it?  Monkey, where did you hear that from.
LM: I don't know, my brain I guess.  But you can just go with it.  When it rains, we go with the rain in our rain boots.  In summer we go with the sun in our sun cream and sun hats.  In fall... um, well we go with the leaves but we don't need any tection (protection) from those and in WINTER we go with the snow in our SNOW BOOTS!  You have GREAT snowboots Mommy.  They will keep your feet nice and warm.
M: Will they now.
LM: Yes, they will.  Now go eat breakfast before all the snow melts.  Spring is coming you know.  It might come while you eat breakfast.

That last line he says while he watches out the window, very intently, as if Spring is going to jump out and eat the snow as it falls.

Geez, we can only hope.

BUT, there was a point to this post.  The point is, that while he didn't really get what the phrase "go with it" means, he did bring up a valid point.

Sometimes, as parents, we really do need to just go with it. 

Instead of thinking about how much we don't want to get up in the middle of the night, go outside in the snow, climb up to the slide for the thousandth time at the park, eat spaghetti for breakfast or make a mess and build a huge pillow fort in the living room you just spent 30 minutes cleaning, we need to just go with it.

Because if you think about it you will have so much time to sleep when they are older it will make you sad thinking about it.  There will be many years coming where you will have to fight with them to go shovel the snow for you.  The memories you are making at the park will last a life time.  Especially the ones where you end up making a fool of yourself.  And that pillow fort in your living room? THAT is going to help your child build their imagination and transport them to a different world. 

And maybe, just maybe, they will be totally captured by its fun, and play with it just long enough for you to read a chapter or two of a book, enjoy a cup of tea sitting down, sort those pictures you meant to put in an album, or even just go pee without someone talking to you through the door

That's my dream anyway.  The bathroom one.  Forget the rest. I just want to pee without an audience.

So enjoy those moments when you'd rather be doing something else.

Because while you are complaining and moping, you might miss something good.


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Oh the Trauma...

Little Man had his first trampoline class today.

This was his first big boy class where I didn't participate with him.  We have done a few other classes where we both participated, but not many.  I'm not really one to force him to participate in something he doesn't want to , and he hasn't shown any interest in anything before, so other than family music classes and a mom and tot gym class, we haven't done much structured activity in his four years of life.

So today was a big step.

He loves to jump on our small exercise trampoline (isn't like we use it for anything anyway) so when I asked him if he would like to go to classes where they will teach him different tricks and jumps he was very excited about it.  I took him with me when we signed up, showed him where it would be, went to watch one class before the start of our own classes, all to prepare him and get him excited about it.

Well, D-Day was today and he was a bit confused as to how he felt this morning.  He was really wrestling with the fact that he wanted to go play on these massive trampolines and the fact that he knew it would be just him and I'd be in the waiting area.

I should note that the waiting area is fully visible from the gymnastics area, and the trampolines are right in front of it.  There is a half wall with windows on top so we can watch if we want.  So while it is separation, it isn't total isolation.

Well, we got there and the nerves kicked in and when it was time to go through the door to the mats, Little Man freaked out.  There isn't a nicer way to describe it.  I have NEVER seen him react that way to anything.

He screamed at the top of his lungs.

He tried to hit me.

He was shaking with either fear or anger or both.

Luckily, the teacher there was an angel sent from heaven because she took him, told me to close the door and motored him through, all the while letting him hold her hand and giving him frequent hugs.  An angel I tell you.

He cried for about the first 20 or 25 minutes, and then she told me to sit on the bench just inside the door so he could see me better, I gave him a quick nose wipe and pep talk and when he went back he was calm, but still holding on to Suzi, the instructor, for dear life.

And then he did it.

He jumped on the trampoline, holding her hand at first, and then on his own.  And his eyes just lit up.  He was totally in love.  Especially when they moved on to the running trampoline (not sure what that thing is called but it is long and narrow and the kids hop like bunnies across it and then tumble and flip off the end on to some big smooshy mats).

Finally, class was over (I say finally because by little lady spent the whole time saying ME TOOOOO and I was a little tired of hearing it) and Little Man, well, he just hadn't had enough yet.  That's what happens when you cry for 25 minutes.

So we'll see how next week goes.  I really wish they had two classes a week so there wasn't so much time between, but we'll see what happens.

One thing I really wasn't prepared for was my reaction.  I knew there would be problems, that there would be tears, but I honestly didn't ever expect that behaviour.  I have never seen him try and hit someone and scream like that.  And while I wouldn't say I felt guilty (he's four, I really feel it is time for him to start separating from me, even though it breaks my heart), I did feel so bad for him because he was really scared.

And I will also admit that I was fighting tears for the first half of the class because of his tears.  And then I was fighting tears right at the end because he was so very proud of himself and so excited about how he did.  Basically, I was a mess right there with him, just not that he could see.  I was all smiles and encouragement when he looked over. I know that as parents, we need to encourage children to leave their comfort zones and step in to the unknown.  I know that this experience, in the long run, is good for him.  And I know that this will help him get over other fears and anxiety he has.  But still, all I wanted to do was scoop him up and make it all better.  I can't help that reaction, I'm his mommy. 

The thing that gets me now is that he doesn't want to talk about it.  At. All.  He stops me from talking about it when I mention it to my husband, he didn't want to share his news with his Oma, he doesn't want to talk or think about it at all.  Which I will respect, but I do hope he is just processing and that he starts to talk about it in a few days, because I am really proud of the way he pulled it together and participated at the end.

And I hope, dear heavens, I hope, that next week goes just a wee bit smoother than this week did.


Friday, March 18, 2011

In the Depths of my Freezer

I have a dirty little secret.

Now, I'm all about full disclosure here.  You have come along with me this year as I turned my mess in to a home.  Please don't judge me for what you are about to see.  Believe me, I've judged myself plenty over this one.

It all started, I'm ashamed to say, almost three months ago.  I had make a big huge pot of vegetable soup, and while I was putting some in the freezer, one of the containers opened and spilled a bit.  I started to clean it up and then heard "TO INFINITY AND BEYOND" being yelled from my livingroom.

Hearing this means one of two things.  My little man is attempting to fly like Buzz Lightyear, or he is about to catapult something in the air in an attempt to make it fly like Buzz Lightyear.  Either scenario, not so good.

So, long story short, I left the mess. I forgot the mess.

The mess froze.

I did think of the mess every now and then, but usually when I was right in the middle of something and didn't have the time to empty the freezer and give a good cleaning.

And then my fridge got a smell.  It was totally unrelated to the soup frozen on the floor of my freezer (some alliteration for you), but I've had a hard time getting rid of said fridge smell. We couldn't actually trace it back to a food.  Nothing was spoiled, nothing had a naturally strong smell.  Not quite sure what's going on there, but I cleaned and scrubbed  the fridge last week. Yesterday, I did the freezer.

Oh. My. Goodness.


Wanna see??


The yellowy stuff, that's the soup.  The other ickiness spotted around the freezer, I have NO clue what that stuff is.  Well, other than totally and unacceptably gross. 

Wanna see closer?

Soup, with bits of what seems to be bread crumbs?  Not sure, still gross.  Very VERY gross.


 And this?  This is just the gross stuff that has no name.  I am seriously so ashamed that I let my freezer go this far.  That's what happens when you have an over stuffed freezer.  Be warned.  Well, not really.  I'm sure most people clean their freezers much more frequently than I do.  Is that hair? Oh my...


I got my little man in on the job.  This is him at the very very very start, before he got a good look at what he was going to clean.


Then he looked in and said, "Mama, that is yucky!"


And him hard at work.  I swear he loves to help me clean! And he has so much fun it makes me actually not mind it too much.  Kind of.  This job just really grossed me out, so I really couldn't find much fun in it.


I forgot to take after pictures.  Mainly because my little man was having so much fun it took a little while to get him out of the freezer so I had to get the stuff back in quickly.  But it is clean now.  Unfortunately, the smell still resides in my fridge.

I currently have sections of today's newspaper folded up on each shelf to try and soak up the smell.

But that is a totally different post.

I have to go take a shower.  Those pictures make me need one.


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Book Review - Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella


If you like Sophie Kinsella, one of her more recent books, Twenties Girl, delivers.

Twenties Girl follows Lara on a crusade with her dead aunt to find her aunt's necklace, something she apparently needs to cross over to the other side.  Of course, in classic Kinsella style, the hit many bumps and kerfuffles along the way making for many laughs and chuckles though out the book.

I love Kinsella's style of writing, very honest and clear cut, often allowing her characters to say the exact things that we keep in our heads.  It is a good read, simple to follow with no confusing plots or characters.  Not to say that her characters don't have any complexities, but you understand the personality behind each charater right as they are introduced.

It is always so easy to create a picture in my head of the characters Sophie Kinsella creates.  Her descriptions are detailed, but leave enough for your imagination to finish it off on your own.  Actually, her ability to describe her characters is one of the things that totally turned me off the Confessions of a Shopaholic movie, because Isla Fisher isn't anything the way I thought Becky was.

As a true fan of the Shopaholic series Kinsella pens, Lara is a character cut from the same cloth as Becky Bloomwood. I find her to have the same off the wall schemes, often resulting from the growing list of lies she finds herself telling.  At first, I did find it hard to separate the two characters (Becky and Lara), because of their similarity, and I often had to remind myself that I wasn't reading a Shopaholic book.  I went straight from Mini Shopaholic to Twenties Girl and I think I should have taken a bread with a different author because of the similarities.

Over all, a great read and if you like rom-com-chick-lit, this will be a book for you.


Hello all!

With the help of my wonderful friend Karen from 3garnets2sapphires  I am now able to offer email subscriptions to my blog!

What are email subscriptions you might ask? (I did)

By subscribing to my blog, you will get an email each time there is a new post, eliminating the need to come and check to see if I have graced you with my boundless knowledge and endless humour. 

All it takes is three easy steps!

1. Type your name in the subscriptions box over there on your right and click subscribe.

2. A new screen will pop up. Type in the crazy word and click confirm (this is to prevent spam).

3. Check your in-box for an email from FeedBurner and click on the link to confirm that you and not your evil double did in fact want to receive email updates of my gibberish.

Presto!!  You can now follow me where ever I go!

There is another way to subscribe if you'd like to follow me with the feed reader of your choice.  That is the box directly under the email subscriptions box on the right hand side.  Simple choose your choice from the drop down menu and my feed will show up where you need it to be. 

Thanks again for the support! 


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Curiouser and Curiouser...

Do you ever have those moments when watching your children play and you wonder...

"Hrm, is that normal behaviour?  Or is my kidlet really odd..."

I get those a lot when watching my Little Man play.  He is so vibrant and colourful when he plays, and he re-enacts things he has read in books and seen on tv.

This is my little man.


Looks pretty normal here, right?

Looks like he is just sitting on a pile of blankets on the couch.

This is actually what he is sitting on:


We have been reading stories about farms and he is fascinated by the chickens.  So he turned himself in to a chicken.  The blanket is his nest. He needs to keep the eggs warm.

I'll just step back now.  Apparently I'm too close to the eggs.


See?  This leaves me wondering... normal behaviour of a child with an exceptional imagination?

Or weird.

But then I'll turn around and he'll be doing something like this:

And I know the answer.

Mama Hen

Saturday, March 12, 2011

What have YOU been doing?

Because I'm all out of ideas.

What in heavens name have you been doing with your little ones during this horrible end of winter, beginning of spring snow-rain-snow-slush-rain-snow weather?

Because we have done A LOT.

There is one thing that the kidlets don't like all that much.  And that is weather that you can't go out and play in.  And there aren't many days that go by where we aren't outside for at least a few hours, no matter the weather.

But these last few weeks, the parks have been wet, soggy and muddy.  As is our back yard.  And front yard.  And balcony.  And porch.  And... well, you get the idea.

So we've been doing a lot of stuff indoors.

We have created obstacle courses, made paper hats, boats and airplanes, rebuilt our megabloks construction sets in to every configuration possible and then some.  Baked cookies, loafs, brownies and cupcakes, alphabetized our DVD collection (hey, it's educational), danced, discoed, shimmied and shaked.

We have cleaned, sorted laundry (again, educational) made musical instruments out of recycling, made caterpillars, flowers, spiders and buttons out of egg cartons, taken home so many boxes from the grocery store my husband thinks we are moving somewhere.

We go on play dates and to the library.

We've started watching Disney VHS tapes.

We have done everything I can think of doing, and I am an ECE.  You'd think the ideas would be endless.

Not so much.

Inevitably, we end up outside, after ten minutes of my attempting to figure out what outdoor clothes they will need.  Usually, it ends up looking something like this: winter hat, boots and mitts, fleece sweater and rain coat.

And we walk with our umbrellas to jump in the puddles, make some snow balls and kick the slush.  As fun as all that is, we do eventually end up back inside staring at each other, wondering who is going to make the first move.

Please help me out here.

What have YOU been doing?


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

My Kitchen Must Have

I have never been a fan of the "must have" item.

I know that Oprah, Rachel Ray and all those other materialistic gurus are always telling us what we NEED to have to make our lives easier, more fun, more efficient etc.

I have only one must have item in my kitchen.

This beauty:


This is my super huge measuring cup.

It's really big.


Yes, that reads EIGHT cups.  Or two Quarts.  Either way, it holds a lot of stuff.

It is also made of glass.  Very thick glass.  And has a nice deep, lipped spout.  See?


And it comes with a super tight lid.


You may wonder what a person would do with such a large measuring cup.  Well, I originally bought it to easily whip up a few days worth of formula for our little lady.  But now, I'm finding the uses endless.

We use it for mixing batter for cup cakes and pancakes.  With the spout, you can easily pour the batter in to cups or pans without the dribbles and have less to clean with pancakes because you don't need a spoon to scoop the batter.

The other plus is that it fits perfectly in my mixing stand so I can mix it all up and don't have to hold the mixer.  I'm lazy like that.

We also use it for cooking rice in the microwave, straining stock from boiled chicken (we never had a bowl big enough and always had to use two), and making batches of chocolate milk. If you warm the glass before, you can easily melt chocolate without it burning.  Add milk, stir and presto!

It is also wonderful for putting bread in to rise.  I warm it up for 10 minutes in a 150 degree oven while I'm mixing the ingredients, coat it with some oil and then place the bread in.  Because our house is drafty, it is really hard to keep glass at the right temperature for rising, and I don't have glass bowls thick or big enough for a loaf of bread.  This fixes both problems perfectly!

AND, big bonus here for us butter-fingered people.  It is pretty much indestructible.  I have dropped it on the wood floor a handful of times and the only thing damaged was the floor.

The best part?  It is only $7.00 at Walmart.

Can't beat that!


Monday, March 7, 2011

Let's Talk Weather

It's March.

People have been complaining about the weather all winter long.  It has been a typical Canadian winter here, cold, snowy, windy and snowy.

I really don't know why we are surprised every year.  Really, we live in Canada.

But where I usually enjoy the cold weather, the snow, the windchills, this year, I have joined the masses as belly ached about the weather.  Last winter, it was so warm we were sitting on a patio for St Patrick's Day.

It hardly seems fair, this years winter.  It actually has me feeling a little bit blue.  Here is a recap of what the weather has been doing lately.

Last weekend, we were doing this:

See how happy he is? My little man LOVES the snow and welcomes each snowfall with joy.



My little lady is more of an observer than a do-er.  She takes the broom on purpose.  She knows she can't do anything with a broom.


She decided to go to the back.  But would only walk in the tire tread.  It took ten minutes.

This past Saturday, we were doing this:

All decked out in their new (bought that day) rain gear, we headed out on Saturday night for a very exciting walk in the rain.  My little lady had a nervous break down when we got home because she wanted to sleep with her umbrella.



The next day this happened:


Yeah, I'm not any happier about it than you are, son.


Mr. Man decided to take matters in his own hands.  See that old dead weed?


He is planting it. 


He needs spring.  His words, not mine.


 My little lady wouldn't even get up off the flower bed edge this time.  She is never really all that impressed when it snows, so this was even more unpleasant for her.

March is so fickle.

Can't wait to see what April brings...


Thursday, March 3, 2011

I wouldn't be me if...

My husband often tells me I'm weird. 

I think HE is the odd ball, but they say it takes one to know one so that line of argument fails quickly.

Regardless of who is the odd one in the relationship, I am always well aware of my... shall we say, uniqueness? For example:

1. I need to brush my teeth before I shower. 
Even if I take a shower in the middle of the day, I have to brush my teeth first.  Not sure why, just do.

2. I can't sleep with cold feet and have to have a hot water bottle on them each and every night. 
Even in the summer. Even when we camp. 

3. Bathroom water tastes better
 This one totally freaks my husband out because he is a plumber and did the plumbing in our house and knows FOR A FACT (he always accentuates those words when explaining this to me) that the water in the kitchen is from the exact same pipe as the one in the bathroom because they share a wall.  That may be, but the bathroom water tastes better.  He has even gone so far as to do taste tests with me, or says he filled my water bottle with bathroom water and is then totally freaked out when I know it is kitchen water. 
I'm weird like that. 
I just know.

4. When I leave the house with the kids, I need to do a run down. 
 By run down I mean, seconds before I leave the house, I need to do a verbal check that I have everything I wanted to take.  Right now the run down is mostly hats, mitts, scarves, Kleenex, lip balm etc.  And I have to see the kids to make sure each one has everything on they are supposed to have on.  I THINK this stems from my background in child care, when I had a boat load of kids to take outside and get ready, but I could be wrong.  All I do know is, when my husband helps us get out the door, the whole process is messed up and I end up running in the house ten times getting things we forgot.

5. I can't eat in dark settings. 
When we were out for a romantic dinner when we were dating, I had to ask for more candles on our table so I could see better.  It isn't because I'm worried about what is in the food, or that I'm paying very much attention to my food at all.  I just need light.  Lots of it.  Needless to day, candle light dinners aren't a frequent occurrence in our house.

I'm sure I'm not the only one here with odd behaviour.  Don't we all have little things that make our spouses love us more and more each day??