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Showing posts from 2013

Merry Christmas!

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From our (crazy) house to yours, a very Merry Christmas!

Look What the Cat Dragged In...

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The Captain is back!


After about 48 hours of travel and delays, he got home and immediately dropped unconscious into bed. And I had to seriously hold myself back from taking a pair of scissors to those horrific handlebars...

More Big News!

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After yesterday's whine-fest, I thought I'd follow up today with something a little more positive.

For security reasons, I can't give exact details, but take a look at this picture of my front window and see if you can guess what's happening here this week:


Yes, it's true! The Captain is coming home--and just in time for Christmas! It's been a looooong six months!

'Tis the Season...

...to have your credit card information stolen!

This morning, I got online to do a little banking only to discover that some jackass had stolen the Captain's information and used it to rack up almost $600 on our credit card!

And since we are not people who enjoy debt, we are also not people who have more than one credit card. So my poor husband is currently halfway across the world with a cancelled card! Thank goodness he knows how to cheap out everywhere he goes, or this could've been a complete disaster!

And just so no one worries that we're having heart attacks over this, it's been dealt with. The lady at the call centre says we'll have our money back in 6 weeks or so. It's annoying, but we're not destitute.

So, a friendly reminder to all my blog friends, when shopping online this holiday season, remember to use secure sites and never, ever give out your info to someone who calls you on the phone. Not that we have ever done that, or shopped anywhere othe…

Big News!

Well, it's official. We're being posted!

We've lived in Manitoba for almost 8 years now, which is actually several lifetimes when you're a military family. We should've been posted someplace else a good 3 or 4 years ago, but got some special consideration (a rare thing with the Canadian Forces) because RB was in some intensive preschool therapy. But now that the kids are in school, the army's goodwill has run out and they're sending us back to Ontario. The Ottawa Valley, to be specific.

The problem with living somewhere for 8 years is that we've put down some serious roots. I have managed to almost blend in to our small town, and I hate to leave the friends I've made. A good chunk of the people I run into in town I can now identify by name. And of course, both the kids are in school and have a great team of people working with them. So for this reason, a big move to another province is a daunting prospect indeed.

BUT...I am a firm believer in the id…

Another Birthday!

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Yes, it's taken another birthday for me to get around to blogging again. My only excuse is the usual one--life has been busy. With the Captain still overseas, and the fact that I completely lost my marbles after ten years off work and signed up to sub occasionally at the kids' school (which has been a lot of fun, I must admit), my blog--like my house--has found itself completely neglected. But some big changes are on the horizon, and I plan to blog about all of them, so bear with me here.
Yesterday was RB's 8th birthday. It seems like only yesterday I was walking around feeling like I had a bowling ball between my legs for two straight weeks wishing he'd just hurry up and make his appearance!

Here he is sometime around his first birthday, still rocking the George McFly hairdo we all thought was so funny. At one point it looked so much like a comb-over that the other mothers at our playgroup started calling him “The Donald”.

And here we are 7 years later. This was the firs…

Two Days Late and $50 Million Short

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A very belated Happy Halloween from my little Halloweenies!

That's Indiana Jones in a costume that's about two sizes too small, and a character named Om Nom from something called Cut the Rope. Don't ask me--I just make the costumes!

In other news, I did not win the $50 million jackpot this weekend. I had new shoes picked out and everything. Very annoying!

Happy November!

The Knits of Yesteryear

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Last weekend was a little rough. One of the dogs had a bit of a health crisis, and because both of my dogs are now 12 years old, it forced me to face the fact that they're not going to be around forever. One expensive trip to the vet on Monday, and the animals were once again chasing each other all over the house and generally behaving like idiots. But after a weekend of doing little more than crying and feeling sorry for myself, I felt I needed to make a concerted effort this week to bring my spirits back up. So I interrupted my ongoing Breaking Bad marathon and started watching a very funny sitcom instead. I have to tell you, cackling like one of the witches from Macbeth is a real mood booster!
And then, during an internet search for a DIY sewing project, I came across something that made me laugh even harder. And that sent me on a search for more of the same, which brings me to today's blog post.
Friends, I give you the hysterical knits of yesteryear!
First up, did you want to…

Oh No! One-Oh!

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Well, it seems I'm down to posting here only when someone has a birthday, so maybe just expect to hear from me four times a year now.

I'm kidding! I have so much to share, I don't know where to start. I just need an extra six hours in my day, and I'll be right back to daily blogging!

But onto the main point. Today is Firstborn's tenth birthday. TEN! Where does the time go? If life carries on at this pace, I'll be dead in no time!


Here we are minutes after he was born. Notice the Captain is nowhere to be found. He was somewhere far away having fun with the army. So for those first few months, it was me and Firstborn against the world.


As you can see, his wayward father did not go completely ignored in all of this. My mother made Firstborn his very own army uniform, complete with an ID patch on the jacket. I believe his rank was "QT Cadet". Whatever else you might say about my mother, she knows her military hierarchy.


Flash forward a decade, and here he…

A Woman of a Certain Age

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Today, I bid adieu to my dirty thirties. And for the record, the only thing particularly dirty about that decade was the never-ending pile of diapers.

In an attempt to infuse as much drama as possible into our lives (because life isn't quite dramatic enough on its own?), we humans have this weird obsession with attaching extra significance to birthdays that end in a zero. When I turned 30, I was exactly where I figured I'd be: career established, and enormously pregnant. 40 is a bit of a different ball game. When you're young, 40 seems so far away you don't even really picture yourself there, and when you start creeping closer, you're wrapped up in a busy life as a thirty-something.

So, where am I supposed to be at 40? Do I try to re-establish my discarded career? Go back to school? Keep doing what I'm doing (which is mostly just surfing Pinterest between loads of laundry)? Make one last desperate attempt to achieve my childhood dream of getting into the roller…

Summer Fun

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I'm starting to slide back into my old blogging ways! But rest assured, the only reason you haven't heard from me is because we are having lots of fun this summer!

Last week we went to another fair about an hour down the road. We found a great new thrift shop on our way there, and the fair itself was just the right size for my boys. Firstborn walked in insisting that this was the year he was going to ride the Skyscraper and the Zipper, but one bounce on the frog ride for toddlers and he decided the big rides were not yet for him. Apparently the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. I took one ride on the little kids' roller coaster, and felt queasy for the next 30 minutes. I also screamed louder than any of the 3 year-olds on the ride every time we rounded the corner. Even Firstborn was embarrassed! I think it's safe to say that this kind of thing is more our speed:


And of course, the most important part of visiting the fair is eating all those overpriced, trans-fa…

The Fair

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Our town fair was actually held on Canada Day, which puts me about 5 days behind in blogging about it. Better late than never?

The cake decorating contest theme this year was 100 years of 4-H, and guess who won first prize! Which sounds impressive until you learn that I was actually the only person in town who entered a cake...

My "winning" entry.
I'm not complaining though. The week before the fair was an ungodly rush. The Captain swanned off to have fun in the Middle East, the kids finished school and there were teacher gifts to make, and to top it all off, it was hotter than a teapot for the whole week before the entries were due in, so baking was a terrible chore. In short, my mojo was nowhere to be found, so I'll take a first prize wherever I can get it!

Wishing all my friends and family south of the border a wonderful 4th of July weekend, and a happy belated Canada Day to all my Canadian blog pals. Jump for joy everyone--it's Friday!!


Our Natural Disaster

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To quote Winston Churchill, "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."

As natural disasters go, I certainly can't claim to be dealing with what my friends in Calgary are living through right now. But I got just a tiny taste of that horrified, sinking feeling when I took RB out to play in the yard after a thunderstorm last week, and found this:

I'm used to having to deal with the odd emergency here and there when the Captain is away for a long stretch, but this happened 3 days (THREE DAYS, people!) after he left. Seriously???

So I got up on the ladder to discover that the wood under the rain gutters had completely rotted away and needed to be replaced before the problem could be fixed. Off to Home Depot I went for treated boards. With a little help from a friend (long boards need someone to hold them up at either end if you want the job to be painless!), I got everything ship-shape again:



So here we ar…

Pillowcase Dress

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I promised you something impressive. Hopefully this week's craft won't disappoint.

I had two yards of stretchy navy fabric that needed to either be used or donated. I believe I paid something like $6 for it. Here's what I came up with:


What? Not impressive enough?! I admit that waistline does have a bit of a 70's mu-mu vibe going on. Not exactly flattering, especially on my body type. The overly interested cat doesn't do the whole look any favours either. But look what happens when I cinch it in and pin the excess with a brooch:

Instant hourglass! I could actually wear this to one of the Captain's wing-dings--not bad for six bucks! I left the hemline long enough for heels, but if I ever have the urge to waddle around the house in a comfy maxi dress, I can put a thin belt around my waist and let a little extra fabric spill over the top:

Again, not the greatest look for me, but this kind of thing seems to be all over Old Navy right now, so who am I to judge?

You …

Here We Go Again!

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Well, the Captain has deployed for a third (and hopefully final!) time to Afghanistan. No break in the middle of his tour this time, so we won't see him until sometime around the winter solstice. Perk up your ears. Can you hear me ripping my hair out? Don't worry if you can't. It'll get louder and louder over the coming months.

As a result, I'm a little behind in posting my latest crafts. Rest assured, I have something positively impressive to share with you this week, just as soon as I get my photos uploaded. With the town fair approaching fast (so far I've made absolutely NOTHING on my list of about 10 planned entries), you might have to bear with me. In the meantime, here's a little something I found on Pinterest that should give you an idea of where my head is right about now:


Only 24 more hours until the weekend. Hang in there, everyone!

Shield Your Eyes!

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I got a little behind in posting last week, but when you have a craft to share that could potentially blind your loyal blog following, it's not the sort of thing you want to go rushing into.

I decided long ago that wearing ratty old sweats to bed was not my thing. And just in case you're now worried that you're about to see a picture of me in some skimpy lacy leather thing that covers next to nothing, rest assured--that's not my thing either. But I do like something comfy that is also not falling apart at the seams, so every so often I make myself a new pair of pyjama pants.

This past week, things warmed up considerably in these parts. Finally, it actually feels like June! So I was in the market for some lighter weight PJ pants to celebrate the rising temperatures. I've been trying hard to stay out of the fabric store and instead work through some of my stash downstairs. Put on your sunglasses, people. This is what I came up with:


Yes, they're crazy. No, I'…

My Movie Date

Yet another busy week, and no crafts to show for it!

The Captain will be deploying to parts unknown shortly, so last night, Firstborn and I took the opportunity to   see a movie together. GI Joe: Retaliation was playing at the local theatre. As it turns out, I simply do not have the attention span for action films. From the 30-minute point onwards, I was repeatedly asking myself where the heck Channing Tatum had gone. I'm still not sure what the answer is, and I don't really care enough to check Wikipedia to find out. Throughout most of the fight scenes, I wasn't sure who were supposed to be the good guys, and who were the bad guys. And at one point, I fell asleep. Thankfully, when I woke up the credits were rolling. What I could understand of the plot was pretty silly, there were a lot of unnecessary explosions (though to be fair, it was rated 14A and I took my 9 year-old anyway. Mother of the Year!), and Bruce Willis' joke about having high cholesterol just made me f…

Front Tooth

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Well, I didn't complete ANY of the crafts I started this week! Between a few home renovation jobs that needed doing, and the fact that my children now have more active social lives than I do, things were rather busy.

We did have a little excitement when RB's front tooth, which has been poking out something terrible for a good two weeks, finally dropped out on its own. While I'm sad that I'll never see that little baby-toothed grin again, I have to admit, the jack-o-lantern look kind of suits him:


Wishing all my friends south of the border a wonderful LONG weekend. And as for the rest of us, it's back to the grind tomorrow, so enjoy your Sunday!

A Crafty Week

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This week I got extra crafty and completed two quick and easy projects! Sadly, I was nowhere near as productive in the area of housework...

First up, my little hanging tooth pillow:


RB lost a tooth this week, and the idea of trying to get a toonie* under his pillow was just too exhausting. The Captain is away and my patience is at a premium, so I've decided that from now on the tooth fairy can visit our dining room instead.

I used some leftover felt scraps and a simple technique similar to this one, except I cut my pieces tooth-shaped and added a ribbon on top so it can be hung on a doorknob if necessary. There's a pocket for teeth and money on the back that I naturally forgot to photograph. It was a 15-minute project (tops), and now no one will learn the traumatic truth about the tooth fairy by waking up one night to find me swearing as I dig around under their pillows looking for lost teeth.

My second project was a spur-of-the-moment attempt at using up some fabric I've …

Happy Mother's Day!

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Not sure where this one originated, but it spoke to me! Happy Mother's Day, everyone!

BR-Inspired Budget Necklace

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So, after promising you photo tutorials of all my projects, I pulled out my camera and proceeded to take pictures of everything I was doing with fabric, paint, beads, paper, and whatnot. Through this process, I learned something very important about myself:
I AM TERRIBLE AT TUTORIALS!
Luckily for me, there's this great thing called the internet, where everyone-and-his-mother has created a photo or video tutorial of anything you could ever want to try. Looking to connect two soup cans with string so you can stay in touch with your next-door neighbour? There's a tutorial for that! Want to turn your cat's hair into a sweater for your husband? There's a tutorial for that! Need to rebuild your car's engine using only old plumbing supplies and a roll of electrical tape? There's a tutorial for that!
Okay, I have no idea if these specific tutorials exist, but a Google search does tell me there are a LOT of tutorials out there. So I'm going to reword my promise. …

Look What I Did!

After seeing Debra's gorgeous new blog header, I was struck with the extremely rare urge to learn something  tech-related. So after a little googling, I came across this great site where I fiddled around and learned to make my own free blog header. Using this excellent tutorial, it was very easy, and now I feel like a computer pro. Which I am most definitely not.

And this is why no housework has happened at my place this morning.

This One Never Gets Old...

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May the Fourth be with you!
Have a great weekend, and a happy Cinco de Mayo to one and all!

Statement Necklace

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After seeing about forty billion "statement necklaces" this spring (if what we've been having in these parts could be called spring...), I decided to make one for myself.


I've had these sparkly blue beads kicking around since I was in high school, if you can imagine back that far. They belonged to my great aunt, who passed all her jewellery onto my mother. I inherited all the costume stuff, including a string of these beads, and have been trying different things with them ever since.

Now that I seem to be back in the swing of things blog-wise, I'm going to try to kick it up a notch and start including photo tutorials with these crafts. It's all very well for me to post pictures of my projects, but if I'm not posting a how-to for the odd newbie crafter out there who might stumble across my little blog and want to try something simple, what good am I to anyone? I think we all know by now that if I can make something like this, so can your pet gorilla. All h…

Tote Bag

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My project for this week was a tote bag. Since having kids, my purses have slowly gotten bigger and bigger. Now I can't leave home with anything smaller than my kitchen sink.


It's pretty basic. I did put a couple of pockets on the inside and on the front, but they're so lopsided and terrible-looking, I was too ashamed to take a picture. Nonetheless, it's a roomy and sturdy bag, and it used up a little of my fabric stash. If I carry it with this side out, I don't think it screams "HOMEMADE!"

And on a completely unrelated note, that 70's faux-wood paneling you see behind the bag covers the entire length of the entryway to my house. Key party, anyone?

Barf!

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Well, my plan to post a craft project every week has already gone awry. Unfortunately, the most artsy I got this week was when I created this little masterpiece:


Yes, it's a barf bucket. I was hoping to make it through this winter with no stomach bugs, but Firstborn hurled all over the living room floor on Thursday morning, and then proceeded to keep absolutely nothing down for the rest of the day. His appetite is still a little low, but the hourly requests for more video game time tell me he is now on the mend.

On the plus side, I became the last person in North America to discover Costco this week. Heaven help me.

Paddington

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I just have one knitting project to share with you this time. And technically, it was 99% finished two weeks ago. But this week, I finally got off my butt and spent 30 seconds adding the final finishing touch: the tag. Here's my first attempt at a knitted Paddington Bear:

I've been trying very hard not to buy any new craft supplies since the new year because, like most DIY-ers, I have a craft room in my basement that is bursting at the seams. This has presented me with a few challenges and forced me to get extra creative with what I have. For this project, I didn't have toggle buttons, but I did just happen to have two wooden beads that were approximately the right shape. I'm happy with the way it turned out.
And just in case you could use a good laugh, I've been sharing these old clips with my family and friends all week. This guy taught me early in life that anything can be hilarious, and that laughter is infectious. I could watch his goofy pranks all day and still…

Autism Awareness 2013

Today is World Autism Awareness Day. For some of us, every day is autism awareness day, so welcome aboard!
Now that I've been living with this for a while, it occurs to me that after years of taking, taking and taking some more from professionals, books, the internet, other parents, and the knowledgeable people at the health food store, perhaps I am finally in a position to give something back. A strange and audacious idea, but we've come a long way around here!
When RB was 2 1/2 and still not talking, I started getting a little nervous, so naturally I googled the problem. And always, when you google “speech delay” the first ten sites that pop up diagnose your child with autism. So I kept an open mind  and started clicking on links. Every site I looked at gave me the same handful of signs to look out for: speech delay, lack of eye contact, lining things up, repetitive rocking, inability to smile socially. At that time, aside from the speech delay, RB exhibited none of these…

Pegs

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Last night I dreamed it was Christmas Eve and I hadn't updated my blog since February. Do you think my subconscious might be trying to tell me something?

I wrote an entire informative, hilarious and frankly legendary post for today, and then something was wrong with Chrome, and I promptly lost it forever when I hit publish, so let's make a long story short. I've started creating one Pinterest pin a week, and I'm going to try to share what I make with you every week, in hopes of getting back into the habit of posting regularly. A few of you have stuck with me loyally despite the fact that I now go a month plus without making so much as a peep. Truly, I am an ungrateful jackass. Let me make it up to you.


This week's crafts are all peg people. Here in Canada, you can get wooden pegs from Lee Valley for around a quarter each. The deals are better in the States, but we have free health care, so let's call it a draw.

First up, my peg superheroes. These are for my li…

My New Identity

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Is this seriously my first post of 2013? Yeesh! My blog is starting to look like that one yard on the street that never gets mowed, has garbage all over it, and features a large man in a stained undershirt rocking away on the porch with a bottle of bourbon in one hand, and a sawed-off shotgun in the other.

Perhaps it would help to explain that I've been working feverishly on my New Year's Resolution of carving out some sort of identity for myself. And guess what! After much soul-searching--and only 6 weeks into the new year--I've done it! Drumroll please...

As it turns out, I am a Dummy!

It started a few years ago when I bought Guitar For Dummies and actually managed to teach myself to play a few basic tunes for my kids. Whether or not I continued to practice and improve my skills is something we'll discuss some other day.

Then last month, with a Chapters gift card I received for Christmas, I bought a copy of Feng Shui For Dummies. What an eye-opener! It turns out all …