Saturday, July 30, 2011

Staycation, Part 2

Staycation is over. Bring on the long weekend!

We had a fun time vacationing at home this year. It's not the same as going away, but it definitely has its perks. Not dealing with overstimulated kids in a hotel room every night is one of them!

The pictures:

A marshmallow roast and camping out for Firstborn and the Captain, some fun with tie-dyeing, and a little fiddling around on my sewing machine so my Harry Potter nut could have his own Hogwarts robes.

Various lunches in various locales. Taking the kids out to eat is so much less stressful than it used to be, and around here we can enjoy a scenic trip home down a back road. Firstborn won that disguise at the arcade in Booming Metropolis (scroll down for details) and insisted on wearing it for the rest of the day. We got some funny looks at the mall. Luckily we're very, very used to getting funny looks everywhere we go.

We have reptile gardens nearby and decided to check them out. The kids had a great time and got creepy-looking keychains from the gift shop at a very reasonable price (unlike some gift shops. Zoo, I'm looking in your overpriced direction). The whole visit lasted less than 30 minutes, but that was quite enough for me. Between the heebee-jeebees I always get around reptiles, and Rosemary's Baby trying to open the door to the anaconda exhibit, another 10 minutes would've done me in. The fact that no one got eaten is a minor miracle.

Booming Metropolis has a small arcade with lots of age-appropriate fun for both my kids. We went on a weekday morning and they pretty much had the run of the place. RB kept gravitating back to the same couple of games and Firstborn gave almost all of them a try. In the end, they won enough tickets to each pick themselves out a couple of prizes. You know it's a good setup when no one had to be dragged out kicking and screaming.

And that's Staycation 2011!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Oh No! Four-Oh!

Once upon a time when wrinkles and grey hair were things I associated with the elderly, I looked across a college classroom and saw this guy:

He was quiet and grouchy-looking and I kind of got the impression he didn't like me because he never smiled. But he was cute and he smoked cigarettes and wore flannel shirts and coats that looked like they belonged to someone's grandpa. Who wouldn't want to be invited to that party?!

Some 17 years later, he's off the cigarettes, but still as grouchy as ever. And today he turns 40.

Happy Birthday, Captain! You're still the party I want an invite to!

Just please, this time, wear a new shirt.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Staycation, Part 1

Well, our staycation is already more than halfway over. Here are a few shots to bring you up to speed:

We kicked off the holiday by painting some of our older, more filthy unwearable shirts. Firstborn decided it was time his imaginary band Days of Destruction had a concert t-shirt. I chose to highlight my British roots (please forgive my unbelievably dishevelled appearance. We had such a heatwave happening at the time, it's actually lucky you're not looking at a melted puddle with a Union Jack on top.), and RB just wanted to get his hands dirty. The kids had so much fun, we ended up also tie-dying some new shirts later in the staycation. But that's a whole other post.

We have a very small splash park on the base and we took the kids there last Sunday morning. They had the entire thing to themselves, but their favourite part of the entire experience was, of course, eating snacks on the bench after they were done. So we can probably just save ourselves the drive next time, set up some chairs in the backyard, and let them run through the sprinkler. If the snacks are good enough, they'll never know the difference!

The heatwave continued as we made our day trip to the big city and the zoo. I got too much sun and not enough water and ended up with a thumping headache, but not before I had a great trip around the big Value Village! Photos of my thrifty finds to come someday soon.

Lots more to share, but I know from being on the receiving end that vacation photos should be shared in small doses. So I'll spare you. For now.

Happy Sunday!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Out Of Order

This business of having to come downstairs to access the computer is taking some getting used to. I know logically I should've given you an update on my cake and the town fair in general before posting again. But I think we all know that logic isn't really what drives me.

The town fair was a smash, as always. And my cake won first prize! Here's a shot again, in case you missed the excitement the first time around:

I also entered these:

The toy came first, the necklace third. I entered muffins (I ate those before thinking to take a photo. They looked like muffins. Use your imagination.). They came third and won me a tub of honey.

It would be important to note at this point--before you get too impressed with my seemingly unending ability to win, win, win--that this is a rather small town fair. There were, on average, three entries per category. So coming third really isn't as impressive as it might seem. But I take my wins where I can get them! More importantly, I had fun.

Someone else who had fun was Firstborn. He designed a promotional poster at school for the fair and came third in that category. And he was extremely pleased to come first in his age group with his original lego creation:

Ignore the weird hairdo. He whipped his hat off seconds before I snapped the shot, realizing that none of the famous artists in history had their portraits done wearing a Vancouver ball cap.

We both had our pictures taken--me with my cake, him with his lego--for the local paper. I'll keep you informed when and if those photos are published and we find ourselves famous.

I'm practicing my autograph, just in case.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Emergencies and Art Canvases

For the first time in nearly 38 years, I've had my first visit to the emergency room!

Actually, that's not quite true. I've taken my kids one time each, and the Captain has had a few trips since we've known each other. But taking myself there was a new one.

I was slicing bread, preparing for a busy day and managed to somehow slice, with quite a bit of force, into my wedding ring finger. I knew immediately it was going to need medical attention.

Going to a rural emergency room is so different from going to a city one. I was in an out in 20 minutes and I had 2 nurses and a doctor hovering over my pathetic little cut finger. The doc actually decided not to stitch because the whole thing was awkwardly placed, would leave a nastier scar, and the anatomy of the injury made it possible for the skin to be put back in the right place and taped back together, so they put a tight, bulky dressing on instead. Here's what that looked like (sorry for the poor picture quality. Next time I'll snap it outside):

I've now progressed to oversized band aids, thank heavens. The dressing was a massive pain, since I wasn't allowed to get it wet. Plus, I kept spilling coffee on it. I'd show you my actual finger, but it still looks really gory and I don't want my blog to become known for its gross-out posts.

And on another topic, does anyone else love Dollarama as much as I do (for my American friends, it's similar in dollar-store quality to your Dollar Tree stores, but maybe even a little nicer)? I've noticed a few of the stylish people I know (and by "know", I mean that I follow their blogs) are even getting some of their jewellery there. Firstborn is already bored stiff at home every day, so I went in looking for a few cheap activities to keep him occupied. Yesterday, we made this wood dinosaur model together and he painted it:

I also got him some markers, a puzzle book and an art canvas with a brush and acrylic paints. It seems that for kids, art is a lot more fun if they're using "professional" supplies. The fact that I can get them at the dollar store means he can paint away to his heart's content and I don't have to worry about us having our house repossessed. This, however, does not mean that he's off the hook for buying us a retirement condo in Florida in a few years.

I hope everyone's enjoying summer. T-minus one week to our first family Staycation! Stay tuned!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Canada Day

Happy Canada Day! And to those of you Stateside, a happy 4th of July weekend!

I've been busy, and this is why:

Our town fair is today and I decided this year to up the ante. Usually, I enter a piece of jewellery and a knitted toy. This time around, I took a serious risk and entered a decorated cake and some muffins. Anyone with two hairy dogs, a cat, and a toddler who enjoys grabbing fistfuls of anything within his reach will know why this was a stressful undertaking. If one of the judges takes a bite of muffin and finds a cat hair in it, I will simply die.

But back to the cake. It is our local fair's 125th anniversary this year, hence the farm animals and very prominent "125". I made homemade marshmallow fondant to decorate it (it was on my cooking bucket list, and now I can check it off), and in total it probably took about 8 hours. As you can tell, I am no professional, and I let the fondant sit for too long before rolling it out to cover the cake, so things are a little hilly. But overall, I'd say I'm happy with it for a first try. However, I'm pretty sure it's also a last try. People who do this kind of thing for a living must surely be demented.

In other news, I have a new computer! Cleaning out my laptop keyboard helped a little with my typing problems, but it wasn't a real solution. Now I have to slip downstairs every time I want to spend all our money blog and check emails, but the good news is that everything's so fast! The screen is also huge, so I'll be able to blog right up until my kids put me in the retirement home.

I'm looking forward to a relaxing long weekend, with friends here on Sunday for a barbecue. My only plan this weekend is to get the house just barely acceptable for guests, and to visit all the blogs I've been missing lately.

Happy long weekend, wherever you are!