Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Birthday Boy


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 one word. Sometimes he can even give us a short sentence. This week, he came up with a new one, and we're hearing it rather a lot.

"Chocolate"

Yup, he's definitely mine.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Black Friday

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 me someplace else. Quick. I'm about to get mugged.



Colourful Winter Wear: 2011 will be the year I embrace colour. I've spent much of my adult life going with nice, safe greys, blacks and browns in my wardrobe. It's time I learned to wear colour! And what better way to start a new year than with a bright, happy winter jacket or coat? Does it matter that I already have about 6 winter coats, and that I hardly wear anything but my big shapeless parka out here on the farm? Well...a girl can dream.


And really that's about it for me. After last year, I'm so happy to have the Captain home for Christmas, Rosemary's Baby using the toilet (and not just for the fun of flushing my most expensive perfume, either), Firstborn happy and well-adjusted, and animals running all over the house, presents are really just the icing on the cake.

Cake isn't quite the same without icing though, is it?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thankful


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!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

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!


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Even the Animals are Eccentric


His royal highness has found himself a cool new hangout.

Aren't cats supposed to avoid getting wet?!

Happy Sunday!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Hijacked!

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!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Holiday Cheer


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!


Saturday, November 13, 2010

Makeover Saturday

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 were easy and I had that done by mid-August. The hair thing I put off and made excuses about for the next five months. This week, I made a couple of feeble attempts at booking myself an appointment at one of the two salons in our tiny town, and also with someone nearby who works out of her own home. But as soon as I hit a wall (one salon was fully booked, one didn't answer and one didn't call me back), I was ready to give up and wait another five months before trying again. Seriously, it was exhausting.

But this morning I had to take Firstborn to the big city for a haircut at one of those walk-in chains, so I decided to take a chance. Call me a cheapskate, but I'm perfectly happy with a $20 haircut if I don't walk out looking worse than I did before. Plus, young stylists just out of hair school need to start somewhere, and I'm happy to help them out. But if I'm honest, it's really all about not having to book an appointment.

My stylist had purple hair, an armload of tattoos and an opinion on just about everything. But man, she did a nice job! And she's the first stylist I've ever met who suggested I make use of my natural curl instead of trying to brush/flat-iron/spray it flat! My new do is cute AND easy! And I had enough cash left over to buy a whole bag of professional quality products designed to keep my hair from going all cat-lady dry and crazy again! That last part made the Captain roll his eyes so far back into his head, I wasn't sure his pupils were going to reappear. But I don't care. I'm happy with my hair, for the first time in YEARS!

And now, you be the judge. Here's my before and after:

Before: Note the creative use of facial expression to make myself look extra terrible. I learned that from reading fashion magazines.

After: It's a whole new me!

I realize that this situation has not been a self-help experience. I'm now more convinced than ever that I don't need to make appointments. But you know what they say in all those 12-step programs--one day at a time. I'll just make an appointment some other day.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

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.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wonder Cat


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

Happy Wednesday!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Mad Woman?


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 warm washcloth and, voila! Soft, youthful skin right before bed. It's like a guarantee of a good night's sleep!

Here's my ad:

Brilliant, no?! I really should be getting paid for this. Though alternatively, I would also take ten minutes alone in a hotel room with Don Draper. Deal!

Now, I'm off to turn those clocks back and use that extra hour for beauty sleep. The Ponds people are good, but they're not miracle workers.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

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 is what the school uses to communicate day-to-day bits of information for parents. He insisted that it had just disappeared off the face of the earth and was lost forever (please note: I use this argument on the Captain three times a week, and he usually finds whatever I'm looking for in under a minute). When I opened up his desk and saw that the inside looked like someone had set off a grenade in there, I had a flashback.

When I was in first grade, my teacher had a motivational tool called the "Fire Hat". Every Monday we'd all come in hoping the red plastic firefighter's hat was sitting on our desk for one of us to wear the whole week, indicating that we'd had the cleanest, neatest desk the Friday before. The other kids used to tell me I'd never get the fire hat because I had the messiest desk in the room (DUH! Way to state the obvious, guys!). The very last week of school came before summer vacation, and there was the Fire Hat on my desk, a pitiful show of mercy for the one kid who hadn't won it all year.

I think it might be time to teach my little absent-minded professor a few organizational strategies...


Monday, November 1, 2010

So Long, Halloween! Hello, Christmas!


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 the deep freeze. I plan this year to finally convince my kids that fruitcake is delicious, and I will make Nigella Lawson my personal guru. Christmas is for indulging. I can restrain myself in January.

Here's one last look at our Halloween:


Now, bring on the mince pies!