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Showing posts from 2010

2010 Recap

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One year ago, I was so happy to be rid of 2009, I entered the new year roaring, vowing that 2010 was going to be the year I took my first warm winter vacation, the year I got my husband safely home from a war zone, and the year I had my first back-and-forth conversation with Rosemary's Baby. And who knew that all those promises made weren't just big talk from an overly-emotional, slightly intoxicated nutball? Every one of them actually came true!
I spent last New Year's Eve celebrating the fact that the most craptastic year I'd ever had was finally over, and despite not having an actual grown man here to kiss at midnight, I made the best of my favourite celebration of the whole year. Case in point:
My dog is an exquisite dancer, in case you're wondering. And no, the Brady Bunch didn't call to ask for their fireplace back.
2010 was a good year. We had our ups and downs as always, but if 2011 is anywhere near as happy, we will have nothing to complain about. Here ar…

Resolutions

Resolutions are a funny thing. You have to get them just right or they don't work. In the past, I have fallen into the same trap a lot of people do. My resolutions have looked something like this:
Watch less TV!
Exercise for an hour straight every day!
Eat more vegetables and less junk!
The problem with these kinds of resolutions is that they're way too specific. They box a person in and there's no wiggle room. The first time I miss my workout (January 3rd), I am a failure and the whole idea goes out the window. I suspect that a lot of people who don't make resolutions have given up on them for this exact reason.
And now I'm hearing about this newfangled way of making resolutions. Instead of coming up with something specific, you come up with one big word that will encompass everything you want to achieve in the coming year. The idea, I think, is a step in the right direction. Less focus on the specifics (suicide by exercise) and more focus on the important part (health…

Best Week of the Year

The week between Christmas and New Year's Eve is always my favourite one of the whole year. The crazy rush of Christmas is over, we've all eaten our way into a turkey coma, and no one cares if the living room is covered in toys and wrapping paper and pine needles. The hazy beginnings of the new year's resolutions are forming in my brain as I guiltlessly inhale the leftover baking. Granted, the kids are a bit whiny and somehow bored despite all the new toys and books. But this is the one week of the year when chocolate has no calories, so I simply don't care.
The Captain being in Afghanistan last year really was a blessing in disguise. I've been hyper-aware this year of how much more joyful things feel than they did this time last year. Living in the moment has been easier this Christmas than ever before. Even the Christmas Eve Chinese food tasted better.
The Captain not only got me the sweeping robot I've gone on and on about for weeks, but he also got him a frie…

Merry Christmas!

From all of us here at 2Kids, 2Dogs (and by "all of us", I mean myself, the cat and the child currently swinging from the chandelier), a very Merry Christmas to one and all!
I'll be back soon to catch up on all your blogs (it's been busy...), announce my unattainable new year's resolutions, and give you a recap of how many of us ended up in tears before the turkey was even served.
May your Christmas be full of love, laughter and joy.

3 More Days!

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School went very late for us this year. Here's a shot of Firstborn this morning before heading off for the last day of school before the holiday.

The guy on the radio was complaining about school going so late this year since nothing could possibly be getting done at this point. But I'd like to make the argument that even if the last day of school was in November, the kids would be so excited about the upcoming holiday that nothing would get done then either. Plus, since ALL kids everywhere are insane this week, I was pretty happy that someone else took my kid off my hands!
And now he's mine until the Christmas sugar high wears off sometime in early January...

It's December the WHAT?!!

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How is it December 17th already? One more week until the REAL insanity starts! Note to self: do NOT shoot overweight intruder in red entering through chimney.

See that pile of twigs to the left? It's a tree. Granted, a small tree, but the trunk is completely buried in the dumping we got on Wednesday. Firstborn's school bus was still not running this morning because the back roads have yet to be plowed out and the driver is stranded at home with his bus!
I got the already-broken snow shovel out yesterday to clear a path to my front door and managed to finish the shovel off. You'd be surprised at the total ineffectiveness of trying to clear snow with a garden rake!
If you still need to get out there and brave the mall, I wish you all the best. I'm staying home and baking!

It's a White Christmas, Indeed!

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The snow that's plagued much of the country finally descended on us yesterday. Firstborn was stranded in town overnight, the Captain slept in his office and my awesome neighbour came this morning and scraped our driveway for us. Here's a shot of what the kids have to look forward to when we get them a new sled (the old one's buried under there someplace):
In other news, thirty years ago this month, I received my first Sindy doll! For those of you not familiar, Sindy is the (more realistically proportioned, fashion-forward, and probably smarter) British version of Barbie.
I always assumed that one day I'd be buying my own daughter her first Barbie doll. Then I found myself in the middle of nowhere, animals running all over the place, and surrounded by stinky boys. Talk about a shock to the system! But last weekend I discovered the solution to this (very minor) problem.
Our local Zellers store has teamed up with Children's Services and put up a tree with tags at the fro…

Par-tay!

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Wow! That was a busy weekend for us! Of course, having to actually get dressed constitutes a busy weekend around here. We're not exactly social butterflies.
Friday night we got a sitter and attended the Captain's work Christmas party, which is a very casual affair. The roast beef was delicious and plentiful! Despite many people showing up in t-shirts and jeans, I felt that a little festive flair was in order. Mostly because I wear t-shirts and jeans every day, and I wasn't going to pass up a chance to dress that uniform up a little. Here's what I wore:
The kids had a great time with their sitter, too!
On Sunday, the annual children's party was held at the mess. For those of you not familiar, the mess is where the guys go on Friday night to drink. It's full of trophy cases and hundred year-old tables and naked-lady paintings. This party is a slightly more dressed-up affair, with a buffet brunch and lots for the little ones to do. It was minus five-billion or so her…

I'm Going to the Ball!

Okay, it's not really much of a ball. It's more of a super-casual army drink-fest, and I'll be the designated driver! But we have a sitter and I'm getting out of the house without my kids for a few hours! Woo hoo!
It's been a busy week, but I'll be back before Monday with outfit pictures and a weekend recap. Stay tuned!

Mondays Should've Been Outlawed By Now

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It turns out that a good number of you were baffled by my reference to cheesy hair bands Sheriff and Warrant in my last post. This is nothing to be ashamed of. If anything, it's a testament to your good taste. But for those of you who are curious, here are a couple of photos for future reference. Because you just know someday I'm going to mention them again, and you don't want to be caught not getting the joke twice.
Sadly, this was the best shot I could find of the one-hit wonder Sheriff. Why do you suppose whoever edited this photo fuzzed them all out from the waist down? Definitely not Canada's finest hour. Nor mine, since I'm pretty sure I had this album on cassette.

And here we have Warrant. Need I say more?
Moving on...
What a cruddy day! We got called back in for a follow-up to Rosemary's Baby's celiac testing, so I canceled his therapy for the day and planned to run some errands while in the big city. After spending two hours at the hospital to be told …

Three Weeks to Go!

This morning, something cheesy came on the radio and I asked the Captain, "Who do you think was better, Sheriff or Warrant?" And he replied, "Who do YOU think was better, Hitler or Mussolini?" proving once and for all that you cannot have a serious discussion on art with a man without it turning political.
In other news, I am waiting on the edge of my seat to hear if our only babysitter can come on Friday night to watch the kids so the Captain and I can attend his work Christmas party. Living where we do and having the kids we do makes finding a sitter a bit of a challenge. But I have my outfit all picked out. If she can't make it, I am not above getting all dolled-up up for a night in front of the TV by myself. Actually, this technically sounds more pleasant than hob-nobbing with the General and watching the Privates challenge each other to an arm-wrestle. But I could use a night away from the kids. So keep your fingers crossed for me!
More Christmas baking toda…

New Zealand Shortbread

A couple of years ago at this time, I posted one of the Captain's family recipes that has become a tradition in our house at Christmas. I wanted to re-post that recipe today because, being lazy, I have adjusted it slightly this year to make it even easier to make. And it's still just as good.
I don't know why we call it New Zealand Shortbread, except that we do have family living over on that side of the world. So maybe that's where this recipe originated. I don't know. What I do know is that after the holidays, I can no longer fit into my pants. And I'm pretty sure these babies are to blame.
New Zealand Shortbread
3/4 cup butter, softened 1/3 cup confectioners' sugar 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 can sweetened condensed milk
Mix everything but condensed milk well and press 3/4 of the mixture into a buttered and floured 8x8 baking dish. Set aside remaining mix. Pour condensed milk over shortbread in the pan and crumble remaining shortbread m…

Birthday Boy

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Rosemary's Baby is five today. FIVE! Where has the time gone?!! It just seems like yesterday I was having contractions in the car and willing myself not to murder the Captain as he made stupid jokes all the way to the hospital. Oh to have the doula back! But hindsight's 20/20.
Rosemary's Baby was truly the loveliest baby. He slept through the night at 8 weeks, he smiled at everyone he met and he hardly ever cried. Of course, it turns out he was saving up all his evil for the toddler years. But back before I knew what was coming, he was so good I wondered if the hospital had accidentally switched him and he wasn't really mine.

As you may know, Rosemary's Baby has autism, so he has a significant speech delay. But he's not completely non-verbal. In fact, since he's been receiving intensive therapy here every day, the progress has been quite flabbergasting. He actually has quite good functional language and is usually able to tell us what he needs using at least …

Black Friday

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It's Black Friday! Make out those Christmas lists because everything you want is on sale! Rock-bottom prices! Save, save, save!
Here's my list:



The Roomba for Pet Hair: I hate, hate, hate doing floors. Oh, who am I kidding?! I hate, hate, hate doing housework! The Roomba would be a great start to a housework-free life. They even have one that washes the floors after the regular one does the vacuuming. Will they have one that does toilets and windows by Black Friday 2011? I'm keeping my eyes peeled.

Croc-Embossed Purse: I've been seriously behaving myself this year where purses are concerned. So naturally, I think at this time of year I'm entitled to a nice one! I can't find a shot of it in purple (the colour I want, and the only colour left), but you guys are an imaginative bunch. I'm sure you can picture me walking down the streets of downtown Booming Metropolis, new hairdo blowing in the wind, gorgeous purple leather purse swinging from my arm. Now picture m…

Thankful

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I managed to get some shots of the ongoing snowfall here in Manitoba this morning. We got about 4 inches yesterday and they're saying we'll have another 4 by nightfall.
Here's what my driveway looks like. Bear in mind it was cleared by my wonderful neighbour at 3:30 yesterday afternoon, so this is just what we got overnight.
And this is what Rosemary's Baby's tutor had to drive through to get here this morning. The girl deserves a medal.
I really need to get to town for some eggs and milk, but I think I'm going to wait until tomorrow when the plows have been out. I'm told in order to get down the highway, I need 4-wheel drive and I won't get out of third gear. I have no idea what that means, but it somehow doesn't sound like a job for my Chevy Malibu.
So, today I will hijack America's beloved November holiday and be thankful that I have enough milk in the fridge to keep us going until tomorrow!
Happy Thanksgiving, my American friends!

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas...

I wanted to post a picture of our snowstorm today, but between chasing the toilet-training wonder around and resetting all the thermostats to blast heat into every room, it was dark before I got to it. But rest assured, we are buried in snow out here in the Prairies. So what better time to remind everyone that the big guy in red comes ONE MONTH from tonight!
What?! Wasn't it just Labour Day?!
If you have little ones who might like a personalized video message from Santa this year, don't forget to visit PNP here. And if you don't have little ones, you can amuse yourself by sending these to your adult friends and loved ones too. The Captain is on Santa's naughty list!
Stay tuned. There's more holiday blathering to come. Let the season of giving (and getting!) begin!

Even the Animals are Eccentric

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His royal highness has found himself a cool new hangout.
Aren't cats supposed to avoid getting wet?!
Happy Sunday!

Hijacked!

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Firstborn has decided that my blog is the perfect place for him to advertise his artwork. Here are a couple of his masterpieces:
Here we have a southwestern mountain scene. He did this with my brother's girlfriend when we were visiting them in New Mexico back in the spring.

And this is the new obsession: mountain-climbing. This is a painting of Sir Edmund Hillary scaling Everest. Firstborn tells me that Tenzing Norgay is standing on top with the flag, just slightly out of the scene!
I'm finding he likes painting better when I let him use one of my canvases. And they sell some at the dollar store now, so I'm going to remember to pick him some up there. Between that and the little bottles of acrylic paints in the same aisle, this is a pretty inexpensive hobby for a kid. And using "professional" materials makes him feel like a grown up, so everyone wins!

Holiday Cheer

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My early festivities are coming along swimmingly! I tried a new fruitcake recipe and ended up with the most delicious, moist fruitcake I've ever tasted. Expect to see much more of me by January! Sirius has begun the 24/7 traditional holiday music. And on Monday night, I went into town for a Christmas cardmaking class and had a great time. Here's a sample (this is just a small tag we made, but I love it!):
It may still only be November, but I am right into the swing of things! Happy Holidays!


Makeover Saturday

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In case my profile picture hasn't tipped you off, I have issues.
One of them is that I am allergic to making appointments. And I mean seriously allergic. I have no idea what my parents did to me as a child, but I avoid having to commit to being anywhere at a specific time with such an inexplicable work ethic, I can only assume it is all their fault.
I force myself to see my family doctor and the dentist once a year, and am glad my insurance only covers an eye exam every second year, but other than that, I run from appointment-making like my life depends on it. As a result, no professional hairstylist has touched my hair in nearly six years. Yes, I said SIX years.
Back in June, the Captain (probably very tired of waking up next to a cat lady) wrote me up two homemade coupons. One gave me permission to get myself a pair of fashionable prescription sunglasses. The other ordered me to get my butt to a salon for a cut, colour, and whatever else would make me look less homeless.
The glasses…

Lest We Forget

I have a history of getting long-winded on Remembrance Day. It's the 6th grade teacher in me. So this year, I'm just going to make one request and then I'll pipe down.
Today, please take a moment to remember all the brave men and women whose sacrifices have secured the freedoms we spend the other 364 days a year taking for granted.
Enough said.

Wonder Cat

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If I could sleep like my animals do, I'd have superpowers.
Happy Wednesday!

Mad Woman?

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Thank heavens for the time change. If we hadn't been turning the clocks back this weekend, I'd never have gotten in my third post of the week. Whew! This must be what it's like to have a job!
With the ongoing popularity of a little show called Mad Men, it occurs to me that I would be perfect at advertising. And also wearing all those curvy, ladylike dresses. But let's get back to the advertising for a moment.
Since the ad agencies are clearly not on the ball enough to recognize my natural talent, I'm not currently getting any money to advertise anything. So I'm going to have to make my case using a product that I personally endorse, but that I am not actually being paid to peddle.
I have recently discovered a new (read: REALLY OLD) miracle product in the world of skin care. This product is fantastic, and apparently French women love it, so you know it has to be good. You scoop some of this stuff into your hands, rub it all over your face and then wipe with a war…

The Messy Gene

I have learned to organize myself by keeping a calendar, a daily chore list and three regular list pads on my fridge. It sounds anal, but considering how utterly disorganized my life still looks at any given moment, without all that stuff, I'd be sitting on my kitchen floor all day surrounded by chaos and crying.
When I was working and attending a lot of meetings, my notes didn't look like anyone else's. I started with the date or topic of the meeting in the middle of a sheet of regular lined binder paper, and I created a web of all the important information with arrows and bubbles all over the page. It made much more sense to me than listing things in a line down the page. My coworkers used to laugh about my "notes". I realize now that that must be what the inside of my head looks like. And I think it's hereditary.
This morning I made a quick trip into Firstborn's classroom because he's come home several days in a row now without his agenda book, which…

So Long, Halloween! Hello, Christmas!

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I am such a Halloween grinch. Every year, I dread having to listen to Firstborn ask (in five-minute increments, starting at 7AM), "How many more minutes until we can go trick-or-treating?" But this year, I looked forward to getting it over with even more than usual. And the reason is this: in my book, November first is the official kickoff to Christmas!
Last Christmas, for all my insisting it was going to be just fine, really kind of blew. The Captain was in a war zone and I had to put on a show for the kids when I'd rather have just stayed in bed. So, for about a month now, I've been feeling a most ridiculous urge to completely overcompensate this year.
That's not to say I'm going to run up the credit cards and land myself in the poorhouse. I can exercise some restraint, you know. I just want to make sure that this year, I really maximize the joy. And also the baking.
I've already pickled the onions, and there's still some mincemeat from last year in th…

Happy Halloween!

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Have a safe and happy Halloween, everyone!

What to Expect...from Hollywood

Between looking forward to getting Halloween over and done with, and getting settled back into finally having a full-time tutor come in for Rosemary's Baby's daily therapy (YA-HOO!!!), this week is already starting to get away from me. But I have to quickly share with you this groan-inducing tidbit, just in case you haven't already heard it.
The Captain informed me at dinner last night that one of the big movie companies, in its infinite wisdom, has decided to make a lighthearted rom-com based on the classic pregnancy how-to What to Expect When You're Expecting. I'm picturing an adorably befuddled Hugh Grant making nervous conversation about mucus plugs.
Please God, let this one go straight to video.

Huckleberries

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The vegetable garden is done for another year!
The last thing I had to harvest was the crop of huckleberries. We'd never grown them before, but the Captain likes to try something new every year, and these berries grew like nobody's business! It took me a good 2 1/2 hours to pick them, and I came in with purple hands and purple-stained khaki pants. I'm still not sure how the majority of the stains ended up on my butt. Anyway, here's a shot of what we ended up with:
To keep them from spoiling, I canned 12 quarts of them in water and turned the rest into jam. I'm told they can be used like blueberries (they're related), but I'm finding the taste a little...earthy. Anyone got any good uses for huckleberries? I have a feeling we'll be eating a lot of them this winter.

Random Thursday

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I've reached a new low. Halloween is in just over a week and this is my SECOND post of the month! Lame! I really can't expect people to keep reading if I never post anything, so I'm going to publicly commit to a minimum of three posts a week from now on, even if it's just a picture of my cat sleeping on the couch.
Lots of random news to share today. Try not to die from the excitement.
New bloggers take heed: If I could start my blog all over again, I would go completely anonymous, not even letting my friends, family or husband know I was a blogger. That way, I could share with you all of the very worst things I see people say and do, and it'd be a lot more entertaining. I deleted a post recently after the Captain made the good point that even though the nameless horrible person I was posting about didn't read or even know about my blog, I'm just not anonymous enough to guarantee that it wouldn't end up causing me trouble. While I maintain that if you don&…

Happiness 101

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Let's try this again, shall we?
A big thanks to Debra at She Who Seeks for giving me this lovely award:
I'm kind of lousy at passing these things on because I spend two hours deciding who to give it to and then another hour linking to them all, and then none of my laundry gets done and my kids ask why they haven't been fed. But I do love to participate, and for this one I have to list 10 things that make me happy. That I can do!
1. Skin care. I decided recently that because I can't possibly have expensive clothes or fancy furniture and expect any of it to stay clean or in good repair, I can at the very least take better care of my skin. I've treated myself to some Mary Kay products, which for a cheapskate like me is pricey, but very nice. And I counter that expense with a few budget-friendly techniques as well. Did you know that if you take regular old baby oil and slather yourself in it from head to toe right before taking a shower, it leaves your skin noticeably so…

Look What I Won!

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Thanks to Suburban Princess for this awesome giveaway! It turned up in my mailbox this morning. If you can't win the lottery, three boxes of gluten-free cereal is a pretty good substitute!
Happy Thursday!!

7 Years

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On September 20th, 2003, after four miserable hours of pushing, I earned myself a new title: MOM. Turns out, that was the easy part!
Those of you who have been following my trials and tribulations for any length of time might think that Rosemary's Baby is the only one around here pushing my buttons and wreaking havoc everywhere he goes. But, while Firstborn is definitely the calmer, quieter, gentler soul in this house, he too has had his moments. Let us review.

The four hours of pushing caused my 9 1/2 lb alien-baby some distress and he ended up inhaling his own poop on the way out. He had to be intubated and kept in the Special Care Nursery on an IV for the next three days. Motherhood lesson #1: Being a mom is terrifying, and full of incidents involving poop.



Aquatots! While all the other babies splashed around with their parents and had fun, mine cried for the first half-hour because the water was too cold, and then fell asleep on me for the rest of the class. This shot was taken a…

GFCF, FYI

Hola, blog buddies! I'm not doing too well at updating here lately, and I'm doing even worse at visiting your blogs. I have no idea how people with 1000 followers manage it. I'm just glad I'm not one of them!
The reason I've been so notably absent is that I have a new (unpaid) job, which is to fill in for the tutor we had working with Rosemary's Baby. I've been learning how to do his ABA therapy from the professionals and working with him on it every morning, which takes a chunk out of my day and leaves me feeling frazzled and stressed by the time the kids are in bed at night. But the good news is that, while I can't do this long-term and stay sane, for the time being I am learning some really important, really interesting stuff here. And it's made me realize that when we do get a new tutor (and there's one on the horizon now--woo hoo!) that this is something I can creatively implement during his downtime. So this whole sorry situation hasn't…

Photo Project

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Well, it's September, and I'm very glad to have a reason to post something that ISN'T just me whining and complaining about my life. I do appreciate none of you telling me to shut up after those past couple of posts. I find that in life, you get a lot of things thrown at you at once, but in the end, it kind of all evens out.
Onto the fun. This month, I embraced my creative side and indulged in a little photo-a-day project. Here are my favourites:
Around the middle of the month, we started to get large groups of monarch butterflies just hanging out in the trees. The Captain watched out the window with amusement as I tried to get close enough for a good shot without scaring them away. Thank heavens for my long lens, and living in the age of digital cropping.

Firstborn's portrait of Ozzy Osbourne. Dead on, no?!

First salsa of the summer! My life revolves around food...

I'm finding the best time to pick vegetables in the garden is after the kids are in bed. Now, of course, …