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Showing posts from 2012

2013 Resolutions

Well, the world didn't end in 2012 so I had to rack my brain and come up with some new year's resolutions!

2013 will be the year of IDENTITY for me. This is the year I turn 40, and I'm bound and determined not to take all my silly emotional baggage with me into my forties!

Something I noticed this holiday season when I was catching up with a few friends via email is that when I send out those updates on my life, there is always a pattern to how I do it. First, I talk about the Captain--his job, his garden, and what he'll be doing in the coming year (Afghanistan...again...ugh...). Then I move onto Firstborn--his town fair accomplishments, his love of lego and video games and my plans to get him swimming every week to improve his skills and get him off the couch. Next, I move onto RB--his therapy, how he's doing in school, and the things he does that make us laugh. If I feel I have enough time and space left after all that, I will finish up by mentioning the pets, an…

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

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All I want for Christmas is for everyone to show up for dinner tomorrow wearing pants...

From my crazy house to yours, peace, love and a very Merry Christmas!

As Seen On TV!

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For some time now I've been making fun of the Eggies commercial, which seems to run continuously from 11 at night until about 6 in the morning here in Manitoba. I think this (completely stupid) product might only be available in Canada, so here's the video if you happen to be lucky enough not to get this where you live:





As you can see, the makers of this product have pegged us as a society so stupid, lazy and rich that we need to buy something to deliver us from the horrific inconvenience of peeling our own hard-boiled eggs. Ridiculous, right?
I totally want it.
After months of rolling my eyes through the entire ad, and laughing at the outrageously stupid woman who can't peel an egg without turning the thing into a gelatinous, inedible mess on her counter, the over-excited disembodied commercial voice telling me to buy Eggies  has finally gotten inside my head. Every time I peel an egg, I wonder "would Eggies make this easier?"
Until last week, I could only wonde…

Halloween

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A Happy Halloween from Thing 1 and Thing 2!


RB refused to put my homemade feathery wig on, so I had to spray-paint his hair, which really didn't go over much better. That stuff wipes right off, so he spent all morning smearing it on his shirt, on his father's lunch bag, and all over his face. Next year, we will choose costumes that don't require anyone to change their hair!

Have a safe and happy night, Trick-or-Treaters!

Hot Glue Friday: Halloween!

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Do you get the idea that maybe I'm not the kind of blogger who can start a thing and actually stick with it?

Here are some crafts that should've made it into several Hot Glue Friday posts but instead are all lumped in together today because I found 5 minutes to spare. Perhaps from now on I should share this stuff, regardless of what day of the week it is, and just call it a "craft post"!

Up first, we have my fall wreath, made entirely out things from my mother's basement. Thanks, Mum!


And this is the wreath I have on my door at present. Once again, just about everything on it was obtained when my parents came out to visit in August and brought me half the contents of my mum's craft room. The base for this wreath was a canning rack my canning-free mother mysteriously had lying around for no good reason, still wrapped in plastic. I'm starting to see where I get my crazy shopping habits.



Despite growing enough pumpkins this summer to elicit numerous comments…

Hot Glue Friday!

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I have a million little crafts to share, but this one required no glue. Yesterday, Firstborn turned 9. NINE! Where does the time go?!

Most nine year-old boys request cakes with Johnny Test, or Scooby Doo, or one of those seizure-inducing action-adventure anime things from Japan. Here's what I made at Firstborn's request:


I ask you, what nine year-old asks for a Metallica-themed birthday cake? Apparently, it's this one:

Happy Birthday, metalhead.

The Mother of All Haircuts

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I learn absolutely everything the hard way.

About three weeks ago, Firstborn took his shaggy unkempt mop of a hairdo to a friend's house for a sleepover. At some point during the evening, the boys decided that he needed to lose a little length, but just in the bang area. This is what he came home looking like:


Remember those weird kids from Village of the Damned?
So out came my trusty hair clippers and off came the rest of Firstborn's hair. Afterwards, he looked like a different kid:

So far so good. And this was where I decided to push my luck a little farther and also give RB his own buzz cut. I should've quit while I was ahead.
I guess I should mention that the hair clippers I use to cut my kids' hair are the same clippers I used to use to cut the Captain's hair back when we were starving students who couldn't afford an $8 haircut at BoRics. In short, they are very, VERY old. They are so old that they came with a VHS instructional video showing you how to giv…

Time for a New Post??

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I've spent a blissful hour this morning catching up and visiting with old blog friends. I've been gone a long time, I know. But so have some of you, so I know I'm not the only one who had a crazy summer!

Here's the latest from me:

My baby has gone off to kindergarten! Boo hoo! Unlike Firstborn, who mugs for the camera every chance he gets, RB doesn't look too thrilled in this shot (I'm finding it harder and harder to get him to look at the camera and smile at the same time), but rest assured when the bus showed up he was grinning from ear to ear.

I made the mistake of following the bus to school (yeah, I know...) and walking him to his class on the first day, despite the fact that I knew his home tutor/classroom aide would be dutifully waiting there for him. When he realized I wasn't staying for the morning he started crying and carrying on. He put on a pretty great show because by the time I got back to the truck to book it out of there, I was bawling like…

Ring the Bells!

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It's a red letter day here at the 2kids2dogs household! This evening we will kick off our second annual family staycation, it's the Captain's birthday and, of course, there's a little something else happening today as well:


Is anyone else as excited for London 2012 as I am?


Here's wishing you all a great weekend, and a great summer Olympic experience! News, photos and hilarious shenanigans to come!






*Post-script: I have no idea why the background text colours here are all wonky. Pretend I did it on purpose because I'm quirky like that...

The Fair!

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Well, I know you've all been sitting on the edge of your seats wondering if my date-nut muffins came third-out-of-three again at the town fair (they did!), so here's the lowdown.

First up is my sad little attempt at sewing--something I've never done for the fair before. My Barbie dress, veil and knitted shrug didn't place, and with good reason. The dress features uneven stitching and puckers galore! But I had fun making it and I'm sure my nieces won't be picky enough to worry about the shoddy workmanship.

My homemade earrings came second in the jewellery category. This sounds quite impressive until I tell you that there were only two entries. Next year I may go back to designing a necklace, which is a little more complex and seems to impress the judges more.

Finally, a first-place entry! And there was a little competition for this one, so I was very pleased to win for my cards. I also came first in the health baking category, for my gluten-free bean bread, but …

It's Canada Day!

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Have a great day, my fellow Canadians!


Where I live, the town fair just happens to coincide with Canada Day. I entered 6 things this year, so I'll be back soon to let you know how I did!

Happy Canada Day! Best ever reason to fire up the barbecue!

Summer!

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Gosh, that was rather a long break. But you guys are used to it by now so I'll just go on like nothing happened.

A quick catch-up in pictures:

Firstborn recently had his track and field day at school. Like everyone else in this family, he has the most fun when he's sitting around on the sidelines.

RB has started getting himself his own snacks. I think I should get this kid playing tetris.

I joined Firstborn on his class field trip last week. We had a tour of Pioneer Village and then all the third graders were put to work. Now I know who to send out to the yard to stir up the compost pile.

RB had his first school bus ride on Monday. The school has organized a couple more for next week just so he gets the feel of riding the bus before he has to do it for real in September. If Monday's ride was any indication, I'm pretty sure I've been over-thinking this.

And finally, the Captain's garden is in! Before we know it, we'll be overrun with tomatoes, raspberries, a…

Pop Quiz

Have you ever:
Cleaned poop off the walls?Wondered why even the dog eats before you do?Been told your new haircut makes you look like Benny Hill, Velma from Scooby Doo, or Professor Snape?Taken your first pee break in 8 hours, only to hear an almighty crash from the living room just as your pants hit your ankles?Had your cooking referred to as "slop"?Escorted a naked child and his soccer ball back inside the house?Worn plastic beaded jewellery that gave you a rash?Realized that that god-awful song you can't get out of your head comes from a Barney video?Looked in the mirror and gasped in horror at the disheveled, crazy-eyed cat lady looking back at you?Asked "Good lord, WHAT is that smell?!" If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, I'd like to wish you a very Happy Mother's Day.



A Doctor In the Family

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This evening, Brother #2 received his PhD in Chemistry from Florida State University. Needless to say, we are all very proud.

Firstborn and I watched the entire 3-hour long ceremony (including the six thrilling seconds my brother was actually on the stage) via webcast. Here are some photos:

Photo stolen from courtesy of Sister #4, who was physically present for the festivities (and not sitting in freezing cold Manitoba just wishing she was).
And here he is being hooded. My overactive imagination half-expected the professor to fall backwards and accidentally strangle him, but everything went off without a hitch.
One of the best parts of watching this ceremony via webcast was that I could wear sneakers and jeans, crunch noisily on chips, and chit-chat with Firstborn while we waited for the main event. As always, Firstborn made some astute observations:

(While watching the Criminology grads walk across the stage) "Will these guys get jobs with the SWAT team?"

"Was your gra…

Butt Circles!

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Yes, you read that right. I have another terrifying tale of thrift store kerfuffles for you.

Now, since promising you all that I wouldn't set foot in Value Village anymore, I have made one trip back. But I had a good reason. RB needed some toys for his program, and I was also looking for a specific book I needed for the long-distance book club my sisters and I are trying out. On both counts, VV completely redeemed itself. I found the book (Travels With My Aunt by Graham Greene, for those of you who are looking for a good read) within a minute of stepping into the fiction section for 99 cents. I also found several of the toys on my list, for much less than I'd have paid new. I did also look at clothes, but nothing has changed for me on the prices there, so I behaved myself and got out before my impulses took over. All in all, a successful trip to VV!

Now, when I decided to go through my closet to get myself ready for spring, on the other hand, I discovered something quite shock…

A Little Project

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In an attempt to help RB with his pretend play skills, I turned an old, unused Ikea computer table into a little play kitchen for him. I am no woodworker, and this is by no means a professional-looking job, but here's the makeover anyway.

Before:
Ugly, orange, peeling and--as I discovered during the sink installation--cardboard on the inside.
After:
Brits of a certain age might recognize my subtle nod to the classic AGA. Okay, fine. It's a pretty subtle nod. The last time I checked, the AGA didn't have a sink built in...

...or a white board on the side... 

...or curtains underneath. 

But it's got a certain retro charm, no? I wanted to paint spiral burners, but my hand is just not that steady anymore.
These old, cheap towel  bars were hanging in our (hideous) bathroom when we moved in. The voices in my head told me to stash them in the workshop for a rainy day. Proof that you should always listen to the voices...
 I had to hang the oven door upside down because RB loves sitting …

Not Dead!

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How many times have I had to use that as my title now? I promise to improve soon. My next job (which will probably take me another 2 weeks) will be to catch up with all my blog pals before hopefully getting back into the swing of regular posting. In the meantime, enjoy the thrilling highlights of the past fortnight.

The entire family came down with a horrendous flu-like bug that was going around Firstborn's class. The kids got stomach symptoms. The Captain and I were thankfully spared those, at least. But after having to soldier on for two weeks when I just wanted to lay down and die, I will take herbs, teas and kooky hippie supplements every day for the rest of my life rather than ever get sick again. I suppose I could also eat better.

RB has a new tutor! Finally! After 2 1/2 months of searching, his program provider has finally sent us someone new, and she is settling into the job really well. At the risk of tempting fate, I think we might finally have the dream team we've b…

What Would Bet Lynch Do?

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If you're not a longtime fan of Coronation Street like me, ignore the title. It's just not that important to the content of this post. And when I claim to be a "longtime fan", I mean that I watched the show with my parents from about the age of three and then finally gave up a few years ago after the plot lines got too ridiculous and sensational. When the writers go back to penning stories that involve Norris choosing his wardrobe for his upcoming summer holiday to Bournemouth while Rita makes pithy remarks from the back room of The Cabin (are Norris and Rita still alive?), I'll start tuning in again.

But I digress. Here's what I actually want to talk about:

My new leopard-print jacket! I am one peroxide job away from being Bet's younger sister.
This jacket is a perfect example of what I was talking about in my last post (has it really been almost 2 weeks? Yeesh!). I found this while having a leisurely browse through a few of my favourite online window-shop…

The Breakup

Judging from the response I got on my last post, I think I made this Value Village situation seem much more exciting than it actually was. Like most breakups, no one thing just "happened". This breakup has been a long time in coming.

For the last year or so, I've been noticing something curious every time I go to good old Village des Valeurs. All my favorite brands (ie. the ones I can't generally afford to buy new and at their regular price) have been steadily becoming more expensive. To some extent, I expect this. Value Village has a much larger selection than the average little thrift store, and everything is well-organized, so sizes and specific types of items are much easier to find than anywhere else. I'll pay a little more for this kind of convenience. But only a little more.

When I started thrifting, I could easily find a pair of Gap jeans in the $5 range, and at our (now closed) small town thrift store I found several pairs for only a buck each just a cou…

Have a Healthy Weekend. TGIF!

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No craft this week, because I was busy picking up my husband from the airport and then breaking up with Value Village. More on that when the loss is not quite so raw...

Sister #2 (who is running a marathon this year) posted this great little video that spoke to me and my New Year's Resolution. If you have 10 minutes to spare, take a look. The message is worth it!





Back with a real post soon!!

Hot Glue Friday: St Patty's Day Wreath

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TGIF, everyone! The Captain comes home next week so this'll be my last weekend alone with the kids for a while. Hooray!

Just a quick project to share--and it's so idiot-proof you won't even need a tutorial!

Despite not being the least bit Irish, I love a good St Patrick's Day celebration, and I like to start early. So as soon as Valentine's Day was over, I took down my pink wreath and got to work on a green one. Here's what I ended up with:

If you click on this you *should* be able to see a larger view.
This is what I think is known as a rag wreath. It's the kind of wreath we all made in grade school. Bend a wire hanger into a circle and start tying scraps of fabric onto it until you can't see the hanger anymore. I had some beautiful green satin in my stash, so I made strips of that, along with a few lighter green flannel strips for a bit of contrast, and tied knots until I could tie no more. I then crocheted myself a shamrock (cutting one out of felt wo…

Naked Destruction

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I'm so very, very behind here. I had a new craft to share on Friday but life got in the way. Maybe next week. I also have an inbox full of your comments. I'm getting around slowly to visit you all, I promise. Still no tutor here, and I decided last week that it was time to go to Plan B. I enrolled RB in kindergarten for September. Three-quarters of me is thrilled. The rest is terrified.

A quick update:


This is what the thermostat in my bedroom looks like until the Captain can come home and re-attach it properly to the wall. RB is so bored without therapy, he's getting into everything. A couple of weeks back, he managed to not only pull the thermostat off the wall, but he actually disconnected it. We're lucky no one was electrocuted. Other ways he's been keeping himself busy:


Peeing in the toilet and then throwing his toys in there to hear the cool splash. Taking his clothes off and running around naked 40 times a day (very embarrassing when the school bus comes down…

Hot Glue Friday: Valentines!

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I wanted to tell you guys all about RB's naked day of destruction this week, but as nothing has changed around here (no Captain, no tutor) and it's been a crazy few days, I haven't gotten to it yet. Stay tuned!

In the meantime, I did manage to complete another simple craft which I thought I'd share.

As Firstborn has not yet started complaining about my homemade valentines and asked me to buy him nice, socially acceptable, mass-produced Disney-themed ones from the store, I have continued to make them every year. With his help, of course.

This year, since his classroom teacher is also a music teacher, I went with a theme I thought would be appropriate. And since I've been fighting down the urge to run out and buy more craft supplies, having a mountain of  supplies here already, I looked around the house to see what was available.

For a long while now, my kids have been particularly careless with CD's and DVD's. As a result, we had a pile of scratched-up usele…

Hot Glue Friday!

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There is actually no hot glue involved in this post. But I thought I might try occasionally posting a super-easy 5-minute craft every so often. And "Hot Glue Friday" sounded more impressive than "Cut Up An Old T-Shirt Friday".

This craft--for an easy, no-sew infinity scarf--came to my attention courtesy of my youngest sister, who saw someone do it on Rachael Ray. This brings up an important point. I have never in my life completed a craft that I designed from scratch myself. I'm good at figuring out how to do things, but only after someone else has shown me a picture of it. So any craft I share here will come, at least in the idea, from someplace else and I'll try to give credit where it's due. In this case, if you go to the Rachael Ray website and search around, I'm sure you'll find a better set of instructions than you're going to get from me. But here's what I did anyway.

You will need:

An old T-shirt or tank top (the kind with no sid…