Sunday, May 30, 2010

He's Home!

We picked up the Captain VERY late Friday night, and I was hoping to get a nice family photo to share, but the fact that Rosemary's Baby didn't burn the place down was as much as I could've hoped for at that hour. Making him smile for the camera was just asking for trouble. I did get a shot of the Captain and Firstborn in the parking lot before we headed home for a reunion with the dogs. Please join me in BEGGING my husband to shave that insane moustache.

Ever wonder what it'd look like if Hercule Poirot got sent to Afghanistan? Now you know.

The highlight of the evening (other than two busloads of soldiers returning from war) was that I was interviewed by our local CBC Radio guy. I have not searched out that interview, and I'm holding out hope that he got a better sound byte from someone else because I'm pretty sure I came off high-pitched and hysterical. Plus, when he asked me how I felt, instead of giving the correct military spouse answer ("PROUD!"), I blurted out (and remember to imagine this frenzied and delirious) "RELIEVED!" So, I'd like to say here, for the record, that I am also very proud.

We've had a nice weekend together as a family. And now...let the bickering begin.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Notes From a Rainy Thursday

I'll be back to proper blogging (and commenting) soon, honest!

I posted my meatball soup "recipe" a while back to illustrate the kind of comfort food that makes you feel better when you're sick. I was reminded today that I have another kind of comfort food, and my need for that tends to hit when the weather looks like this:

Unfortunately, the food I gravitate towards when the sky goes all grey and the rain starts pelting down is full of fat and carbs and sugar. But I swear, it must be an actual medical condition. I wake up to a gloomy day and all I can think about is baking! And then I bake and bake and bake. And a month later, I'm still sneaking slabs of cake out of my deep freeze and wondering why I can't get my jeans done up.

While I can take a fridge full of leftovers and turn it into a pretty delicious soup, I am not very innovative in my baking. I'll make an occasional substitution, and I never, ever follow all those directions that tell you to "cream" this and "fold" that (why do they never just say "dump everything together and bake 30 minutes"?!), but that's as creative as I get with my baking. So, I have no cake recipes of my own to share. If you're now in the mood for empty carbs, let me direct you to my personal baking guru, Nigella Lawson. She will not let you down.

Aaaannd...onward and upward. Firstborn came home from first grade today and, while dutifully eating his strawberries at the table, asked me what global warming was all about. He listened so seriously and intently to my simple (but long-winded) answer that I was patting myself on the back about educating my kid so effectively on such an important environmental issue. When I was finally done talking, the impact of my little lecture became apparent immediately, when he uttered this response:

"Oh. Can I have a Dunkaroo now?"

And finally, I should have good news and pictures to share this weekend. Firstborn and I put together this little teaser. See if you can figure out what's going to be happening!

And yes, those are Christmas lights...

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Not Dead, Just Lazy

I'm still alive out here in the middle of nowhere, in case you were worried. As usual, things are moving at a lightening-quick pace here, and everything's happening at once.

That's not to say things aren't going well. Rosemary's Baby's full-time therapy program began last week, and I am absolutely amazed at what intensive interaction with another person can accomplish. While he has never been completely non-verbal, I have never heard this much spontaneous and appropriate language coming out of him! One big reason I haven't been online is that having someone here all day every day, and trying to learn the program to keep up my end of things takes up a lot of time and energy. But that will change when we get into our therapy groove.

And in other great news, we are finally approaching the end of the Captain's tour of duty! I can't give dates or locations for reasons of security, but there is a light at the end of this LONG tunnel, and thank goodness. I now understand why people drink!

Anyway, I just wanted to post an update in case any of you thought I'd offed myself. Hope you're all enjoying the same glorious weather we are!!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day Musings

Happy Mother's Day, hot mamas!!

Despite the Captain's notable absence, this Mother's Day has been my most lucrative ever! The army sent me a yellow carnation. Firstborn painted me a picture, composed a poem AND made me a coupon book full of all kinds of great services, like making his bed, doing 2 weeks of chores, and "40 blueberries". I have no idea how I'm supposed to cash that last one in. Rosemary's Baby made me a mini pot of foam flowers. The Captain sent me shoes (he knows me so well...) and, because I unfairly assumed none of them would do anything for me, I bought myself an inexpensive-but-lovely sterling silver cocktail ring a while back and hid it on myself until this morning. So I pretty much cleaned up this year! And if that wasn't enough, Firstborn also brought me breakfast in bed! Granted, "breakfast in bed" to a 6 year-old is a handful of soggy bran flakes floating around in a large bowl of skim milk, but it's the thought that counts!

And recently, my blog buddy (and fellow mom) Melanie Jane kindly bestowed this award on me:

Thank you!! We need all the sunshine we can get around here lately!

I promised pictures of my latest sewing projects a few posts back. I didn't forget! I've been working on figuring out the most flattering styles for my body shape, and the most flattering colours for my skin tone. One of the things I've noticed is that a lot of the fabrics I'm drawn to are pastels, which I'm now realizing are not the best colours for me. But waste not, want not! From now on, I will stick to buying reds and blues and blacks and jewel tones, but for now, I wouldn't dream of letting the pretty fabrics that remind me of spring go to waste. Just try not to focus too much on my arms and legs, which are obviously screaming out for artificial tanning products.

First up, we have the blue "tunic":

This was my first attempt at modifying a dress pattern. I made it way too short, so I'll be wearing it with jeans, and a scarf to define where my waist is, since my biggest body issue is my mid-section. Have you ever been asked when your baby is due, but you're not actually pregnant? It's a weekly event for me.

Next is the plaid lavender sheath dress:

This is my second try at modifying that same dress pattern. This time I got it long enough, but decided to go without sleeves. It took this picture for me to realize that my arms may be too beefy to go sleeveless. Live and learn! Again I added a tie to define my skinniest bits and avoid the "bun-in-the-oven" look.

And finally, the yellow butterfly circle skirt:

This is something I've wanted to try for a while. I keep seeing people on Burda making their own circle skirts without a pattern. This skirt turned out alright after a bit of fiddling, but the hem is definitely very uneven, and I think for future reference I'm more of a pattern kind of girl. Eyeballing a circle is a lot harder than you'd think.

As a stay-at-home mom, I've found myself throwing on baggy mom jeans and a shapeless brown fleece more often than I'd like. Having a few things in my closet that up my fabulous factor can be a real mood booster. If you too have this trouble and need some help figuring out your best styles and colours, check out these links:

Cool vs. Warm Skin Tones: It turns out there's a reason people run from me, screaming "BANSHEE! BANSHEE!" when I wear pale yellow next to my face. For the first time in my life, I can truthfully call myself "cool"!

Body Shape: I love Trinny and Susannah, to a point where the Captain has banned me from saying their names in his presence. I highly recommend their books, The Body Shape Bible and What Not to Wear (and no one is paying me to say that). It kills me that I can't channel my inner hippie with a long floaty print dress, but at least now I understand why.

Figuring these two things out might seem like a bit of a frivolous, silly pursuit, but sometimes it's just nice to look great, and knowing what I can and cannot wear successfully has saved me from making a load of expensive mistakes (I consider spending $10 at Wal Mart on something I can't wear an "expensive mistake") while shopping for clothes. When I save money, it means there's more to spend on (or save for) my kids. So technically, frittering your time away on fashion will make you Mother of the Year!

Hope you're all having a fabulous Mother's Day!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

You Might Be An Airhead If...

Today, as I was driving to pick Rosemary's Baby up from his last day of nursery school (boo hoo!), a light popped on on my dashboard display. So, after picking him up, I swung into our local garage and ran in, waving my arms and yelling "My battery light's on! My battery light's on!"

They all know me there, and despite the fact that I'm frequently doing stupid things with my car that they then have to fix, they're always very nice to me. Maybe they feel sorry for me because my husband is never around to put out all my car-related fires. Maybe they think ditzy girls are cute. I don't know. But as always, they dropped everything, pulled my car in and got right to work. Five minutes later, the mechanic came out with the diagnosis.

"Um, that wasn't your battery light. That was your engine light. But your car's fine. Your thermostat just might need to be changed sometime soon."

So, just in case anyone else out there is as completely out-of-touch as I am with the most basic of car symbols, here's what a battery light looks like:

And here's what an engine light looks like:

Exactly HOW have I survived 7 months alone here being that much of an airhead?!!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

A WAY Old Award and My First Post

I got tagged twice yesterday, and this reminded me that AGES ago, the fabulous Janine bestowed this award upon me, and it's been sitting in my picture folder waiting to be waved around by me ever since:

So, a very belated thank-you to Janine!!

Heather and In Real Life (go check 'em out!) both tagged me and the rule is that I'm to re-post my very first blog post. Since I know most of you weren't with me right at the beginning, I thought you might like to take a gander at the nervous breakdown that started it all. Prepare yourselves. Here is my very first post, written on September 25th, 2008. It is aptly titled "Poo Incident #6". Enjoy!

Don't you love it when posts start out this way?

I realize now how spoiled I was with my first child. "Incidents" involved things like bottles of chocolate syrup being spilled all over the living room and then mashed into the carpet, or entire jars of Vicks Vapo-Rub being smeared through his hair. One unhappy episode involved me ill-advisedly allowing him to play with the spice jars while I yakked on the phone to a friend living at the other end of the country. Who knew that a 3 year-old playing with a jar of dried hot peppers could be so disasterous? You know what happened--he rubbed his eyes. Well, these were the good old days.

My youngest is a 2 year-old hellion. On a good day, I secretly think of him as Rosemary's Baby. He has little interest in chocolate sauce and hot peppers (yet), but is oddly fascinated with the contents of his diaper, and more specifically what he can do with it. About 6 or 8 months ago, I opened his bedroom door to wake him up from his afternoon nap, to be met with the unmistakeable odour of poop and a wall mural that can only be described as inspired. Since then, we've had a handful more of these little events. I've yelled and not yelled, laughed and put on my serious face, filled his room with toys and books to keep him occupied and thrown out several poo-covered copies of Goodnight Moon, but nothing seems to stop little Poo-casso. I have noticed that the murals themselves are evolving. What was once a hypnotic series of smears and handprints now looks a little more like some long-forgotten series of ancient hieroglyphics, but let's move away from art appreciation for a moment...

For the record, the best way to remove dried poo from the wall is with a good brush for scrubbing and a bowl of soapy water. The best way to keep from murdering your toddler is to laugh. Hysterically. At everything.