Monday, 31 December 2007

resolutions shmezolutions

I don't remember my new year resolutions from last year. Oh, I'm sure they had something to do with weight loss, and getting healthy, and doing more as a family....

but the specifics, they escape me.

And like the converse of the old adage 'If it ain't broke, don't fix it' if they didn't work for me last year, why would I trot those tired old things out again?

Wouldn't it be better to work more within myself? To try to be kinder, more compassionate, to work on understanding others?

Maybe this year working on the internal should merit more than the external.

Sunday, 30 December 2007

I was sorta a busy woman

Today I must:

Clean up the kitchen (counterspace will be a lovely thing to have again)
Tidy the livingroom
Walk El Doggo (who is bursting out of his skin)
Start drawing up plans for Spring Improvements (B does much better with actual drawings in his hand versus me saying 'Oh, put it there,')
Make gingerbread men, which I've been promising the kiddles for weeks.

Besides, is there anything finer than getting flour and sugar all over a freshly cleaned kitchen? Apart from the giggles and squeals and stealing bits of dough from my helpers, I can't think of a thing.

Today I:
Cleaned up the kitchen (counterspace is a lovely thing to have again)
Tidied the livingroom - although now you can't tell now, a few hours later
Walk El Doggo (who is bursting out of his skin) um, whoops?
Start drawing up plans for Spring Improvements (B does much better with actual drawings in his hand versus me saying 'Oh, put it there,') - had a general conversation about which project we'd like to start first - the first of many, I'm sure!
Make gingerbread men, which I've been promising the kiddles for weeks.

Made the dough, while a kitty made mew-mew noises and sang songs and danced around the room and batted toys around, and the boy sat with his father and talked.

A nice day.

Thursday, 27 December 2007

dirty snow

I cannot believe the season is over and now there's nothing but a long, hard slog until Spring.

This is probably my least favorite time of year, where mud and ice and snow do battle and debating between an umbrella and mittens takes a few minutes of thought.

This mood is brought to you courtesy of: a winter storm that just grazed us, bringing not the expected snow and ice but snow and rain, dampening everything and the mud making the bootscuff mats in the car stink like spoilt water.

I am unaccustomed to this weather shift happening until (much) closer to Spring, and it makes me grumpy and out-of-sorts. Not so the others in the house, though!

The kids see the patches of bare ground and pester to go to the playground. 'Can we take the bicycles out?'

They run, ruddy-cheeked, over hill and dale and stomp in puddles and search vainly for crocuses.

They almost make me believe that the smell in the car will go away and that Spring will come.


Wednesday, 26 December 2007

bursting at the seams

So, how was your Christmas?

Ours was great. Family, friends, laughter, hugs, a great meal, wrapping paper everywhere.

And now the chaos of my house is not to be believed.

You see, I broke my own rule this year. I’ll get to it, I kept telling myself. I have plenty of time.
And so - I didn’t clean out the old toys. We didn’t make our seasonal run to Sally Ann’s, belaboured with small bags holding clean but used toys, all parts accounted for. We didn’t even get to the woman’s shelter, with baby gear and baby toys. Now, on top of all the things I had planned to give away, all the things I had grudging permission to give away…is the new layer of plastic and fabric joy.

It still sounds good, though, right? They’d be happy (and distracted) with the new things, and I could quietly clear out the old. I even rounded up boxes on the way home to start. Whistling, I came in, and stopped short at the sight.

The sight of the dinosaurs (new) happily co-habiting in Bob The Builder’s Workshop (old), and Barbie and the Princesses (new) whooping it up with One-Eyed Elephant (my God, the last time I saw that was when Cass was four!) and a couple of Weebles.

Yes, the new toys? Have now joyously met their neighbors.

And I need to build on to my house.

Tuesday, 25 December 2007

after supper

The scene now:

The fairy princess, bedecked in a fancy tiara, a pink t-shirt with a crown on the front, a long, filmy purplish skirt, and high-heeled shoes, is playing Candyland with the intrepid dinosaur wrangler, some of whose charges keep wandering onto the board and eating the cards.
In the background, Ms. Potato Head lies drunkenly askew, her nose buried in Snow White's skirt. She's apparently mourning the loss of her husband, who is exiting the room seated in a giant red truck. (Mid-Spud life crisis?)

The Ponies are restless, and looking for a Play-Doh snack.

Really, if they had more swag it wouldn't fit in the house.

Monday, 24 December 2007

Rudolph, we have liftoff

track Santa in real-time

speak to a Santa Tracker (no, I'm not kidding!) 1-877-Hi-NORAD

getting all the bad Christmas juju out

  • Last night it rained. And rained. And rained some more. And now I have a lake of sucking mud (generally only seen in March) in front of the house.
  • I almost hit my husband's great-aunt's garage today. Her driveway was pure ice-under-water. Merry Christmas! (whump!) Here's your Christmas package - can I call a tow truck?
  • The dog, while not eating anything off or under the tree (I think he realizes that would be certain canine death) has made it his mission to eat every small plastic toy he finds. Cass's new obsession is Bionicles. This cannot end well.
  • I made a batch of marshmallows. They didn't set 100%. They're lovely, but....chewy. The thought counts, right? Oh hell, they'll be great in cocoa.
  • Does the little Baby Jesus really care if I sent out all those Christmas cards?And if he doesn't, should I?
Whew! I feel better getting those out. Now I can let go of all this and start relaxing and getting ready for tomorrow, right?


Sunday, 23 December 2007

conducting the holidays

I am DONE.

Stick a fork in me, NEVAH going back to the mall again this year, good-bye supermarket, done.

(ah crap, the cookies. But that's one batch!)

So -technically- DONE.

Whee! Now to put my feet up and resist the urge to straighten the christmas tree....

Friday, 21 December 2007

all the pretty horses

I was always fascinated with my mom's dresser-top.

A multitude of sweet, slithery, grown-up things were there - lipsticks, silk scarves, earrings and necklaces, favorite jewelry, perfumes. All the things little fingers itch for and are summarily denied. She tucked old photographs and letters in the corners of the mirror, as well - I remember brushing my hair with her brush and reading a letter my grandmother wrote her about being homesick at college - things I really didn't understand yet, but that sounded worldly and mysterious.

Far back in the corner (or else hidden in her top drawer) was always a horse, scratched and beloved.
She had two, back from when she and her little sister used to play Derby in the back yard, currying and clicking their tongues to their plastic steeds. While she was never raised around horses, growing up in the Bluegrass State made every little girl a budding horsewoman.

The company that fueled many of these dreams and made the statues? Breyer.

This year, we've decided Rosey is old enough for her first horse-dreams and found her a Breyer of her own.

I think Mom will like that.

Wednesday, 19 December 2007

wiggling eyebrows

thanks, grace, too....

You Are Dancer

Carefree and fun, you always find reasons to do a happy dance.

Why You're Naughty: That dark stint you had as Santa's private dancer.

Why You're Nice: You're friendly. Very friendly.


Last night was Cass's first grade school program. An entirely Christmas-centered program. Cass was, of course, a pumpkin.
(After being an S.*)

Actually, it was great. He was great. Rosey was a crankypants, but that was okay. Small ones usually are late at night.

I just can't wait to see the video of the concert at school at assembly.

The small voice saying 'I hafta go bathroom. I need to go PEE!' right into the microphone of the video recorder of the mom behind me?

Yeah. She would be mine.

*Cass had a phrase to remember: S is for Santa in his sleigh soaring. Every (single) time we practiced, he would say 'snoring.'
After he (whew!) said it flawlessly, he turned right around and flashed me a delighted thumbs-up. He brought down the house.

Tuesday, 18 December 2007

hee hee hee

this guy is a genius

can you imagine?

(plotting about who I know that would 'properly' admire this)

Monday, 17 December 2007

kermit rides again

I'm not sure who's going to find this as funny as I did, (SL? Jennefer?) but I HAD to post this.
Stolen from Schmutzie.

the best way to watch the holiday shows

has to be cuddled up with your big brother, who doesn't get scared when the Grinch comes on the screen....

(is okay, Rosey. I'll protect you.)

is that the date already?

Christmas gets more and more complicated each year.

This year, I'm knee deep in wrapping paper, stunned-scared I've forgotten someone, and absolutely (oh God, NO) sure (please don't make me) I'm going to have to make a trip (whimper) to the mall.

Next year, I've already told B (although that may have been the eggnog talking) each of the kid is getting two gifts. I will study them. I will make sure they're perfect. Those two gifts will be wowie-zowie-knock your socks off. But TWO.

(Oh, come ON! Between Santa and the multitude of relatives, these kids are NOT being neglected.)

And I'm leaning dangerously close to tossing my hat in the ring and saying 'Gift cards for everyone!'
(Which still feels like a cop-out to me. Blame my upbringing. My mom is a great gift-giver, always the perfect thing. It's hard to live up to.)

I wish I was crafty. But I'm just....not.

And Christmas looms bigger every day.

Friday, 14 December 2007

i'm just sayin'

Power Rangers videos could drive me to drink.

also, What the elf?

santa never checks to see if it's home-made

It's December. December, arguably the most fragrant time of year - a time celebrated with good food and good cheer.

A time of year where nearly everyone you meet hands you a cookie.

(As Cookie monster would delightedly chortle.)

My mom always made Springerle. I never appreciated them as much as the Rum Balls - chocolaty-crumby goodness won out over stiff biscuits flavoured with anise and lemon every time. It was only when I started drinking coffee that I started to appreciate the cookies she made diligently every year, (And it's a long day process! The dough has to toughen and dry overnight, and then they had to age when done, which was hard to take when the house smelt wonderful and every particle of your body was screaming Cookie! Must have cookies!) using her grandmother's recipe.

After I left home I would make Reindeer Tongues and Nougats, Gingerbread Men and Gumdrop Wreaths. Chocolate-chip Walnut Biscotti and Fruitcake Drops.

(this was all before I hatched the monkeys, of course.)


This year I know where I can get my cookie fix, where no one else has to be the wiser and I can luxuriate in all the goodness of Cookie Mecca....

Thank God for Church teas. And Food Tables.

Wednesday, 12 December 2007

not always so grouchy

B is, of course, going to the doctor this morning.
I forget what a shrew I sound like when I type in blog entries after midnight - I just get damned tired of being the caretaker sometimes.

And I'm so not happy when I get woken up. Really. I grow fangs and everything.

This morning, Miss R still has the (horrible) cough and I'm watching the boy (no school today, snow and rain) like a hawk. If he goes down, it'll be just me and the sick peoples. (Heeeelp!)

On a nicer note, R and C are dying to yank out the popsicle sticks and glue and glitter again.
It's a craft day, people! I've been making these for the last few days on and off - I may actually get one I like, someday!

and onto a more sickly note

Oh hell, they're all falling like dominos.

Bear has a bladder/kidney infection thing going on.

B:It hurts! It hurts when I pee! This is wrong!
Me: (thinking of the umpteen bladder infections I have suffered in silence) Yes, honey. I'm sorry. Did you try drinking cranberry juice? (subtext: Like I told you three days ago to do?)
B: No.
Me: Oh. Yeah. They burn like a bitch, don't they?

And upstairs, I hear the girl beginning that barky/croupy cough which seems to herald the arrival of strep throat (again, damnit).

I'm waiting now for the boy to fall out of bed and break his thumb. Or something of that sort. Because lord knows I wouldn't know what to do with a full night of sleep.

Saturday, 8 December 2007

images of me

I don't remember who I took this from - it was last month in the height of NaBloMyMind and...well, it's gone. So feel free to claim it.


(type the answer to the following questions into Google Image, then pick from the first page.)

1. Age at my next birthday:

2.Place I'd like to travel:

3. Place I've been:

4.Favorite food:

5.Place I was born:

6. Place I live:

7. Name of past pet:

8.Best friends' nickname:

9. My first name:

10. First job:

There were a ton more, but my mind wanders and I'm beginning to resent the fact that memes can be so much work....

take, if you like.

(Answers are in the comments)

kids in motion

My kids look like dervishes.

There's this kids program called 4 Square that makes the kids twirl and dance.
It's actually a preschool program, but between the beat sticks being tapped out and his little sisters' badgering, Cass usually gets movin' too.

We've also started reading from a book called 'Juba This and Juba That', a cheerful book of poems, chants, and songs.


Hands on shoulders, hands on knees,
Hands behind you, if you please;
Touch your shoulders, now your nose,
Now your hair, and now your toes.
Hands up high in the air,
Down at your sides and touch your hair;
Hands up high as before,
Now clap your hands - one, two, three, four.

Say it out loud once and do the motions and see if it's not stuck in your head.

Today has been a lazy coloring/tent-making/carol singing kind of day, finished out with 'Nanny McPhee' and pizza for supper.

Then they saw 4Square, and the dancing started....

Now to wrestle them into their baths.

Saturdays used to be more exciting, y'know?

Friday, 7 December 2007

new kid on the block

Okay, make that FOUR things that make me happy....

The new guy moving in is a mover and a shaker....

Dance Party Santa.

Every time one of us walks by, he jiggles and changes position.

Who knew that it could get better than Man With Hands For Feet?

I know. Cutesy post. I'm fighting a stomach bug, and even being this far away from the porcelain is not really a.......good idea.........

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

the sounds off the tundra

have been a mixture of screams, groans, whines, and general bitching. I need a drink.

Yep. It's a snow day.

Three minutes after I answered Canada's question about weather out my way (Tra-la-la! Nothing to see here! Maybe a little snow! A little rain! But nothing!) yesterday B came into the room a bit wild-eyed and started yammering some nonsense about snow and rain and black ice and impenetrable roads - what was this?

Surely he'd been sniffing the chain-saw oil again. I was just on the Environment Canada site, and there'd been nothing. I punched it in again, crap.

Doooom! It shrieked. Dooooooommmmm! Lock up the children! Prepare to chop up your furniture for warmth! Do a quick check to see which pet is the plumpest! Tie a long line out to the barn so you don't get lost in the blinding whiteness of it all! Doooommmmmmm!
So it snowed. And it snowed. And then it rained - big fat gobbets that splat! in your face and stung like ice. The region dug out its' snow plows and salt trucks.

Around six pm Cass spoke up from where he was huddled in the corner in the buffalo robes we keep for really cold weather finishing the last of his supper and wondered aloud 'Will we have school tomorrow?'

'Of course!' I assured him. After all, I'd had school in the middle of blizzards, where walking down the road to the bus stop chapped your cheeks and made it impossible to talk, weather so cold you avoided the metal tang on your zipper when you tucked your head down in your jacket, scared it would cut your lips off.

Apparently we were sturdier back then. Or the school boards were less worried about lawsuits. Take your pick.

So today was cold. A bit slippery, but nothing that any reasonably good winter driver couldn't handle - and the rain had washed away most of the snow. Messy, though, and bitter cold. So the kids have been inside, alternately playing nicely (just until I relax, because they're sadistic like that) and screaming like banshees. Even the dog has been banished right now.

And it's quiet. My ears are ringing with the quietness of it all.

Right now I would love a cup of something hot - maybe vegetable soup? - in a big sky-blue mug, a big cuddly blanket, and one of my new books.

Short of tying them out in the woodshed (and B doesn't let me do that anymore) I'm thinking I might not get quiet until they go to bed.

It's kind of a damned good thing I love the little buggers.

And that there's school tomorrow.

Saturday, 1 December 2007

every time a bell rings

The tree, she is up.

And nothing broken! (Although we're somehow missing the half-open box of ornament hangers now; I figure I'll find those sometime around March.)

I may have to do a slight bit of (cough) re-arranging after the chilluns head to bed - I like a helter-skelter, child-arranged tree, but I prefer to get all the (fake) branches unfurled out of their tight clumped state before hanging all the ornaments. But people don't always want to wait, you see...

Look! A vision of Christmas delight!

But...wait. What's that...big pink thing about half-way down? That doesn't look like any of my ornaments....


Every year some beloved toy gets promoted to ornament status for a few days. This year must be Barbie's turn.

Tonight I have to sneak their trees into their rooms, get them plugged in, and then ring the sleigh bells to wake the kids. I love this part, watching them stumble out of their bedrooms all sleepy eyed and tousle-haired, all agog over the pretty lights.

It's starting to feel like Christmas now.

Yarn over and over

Someone, an old babysitter maybe, taught me to crochet when I was six. I remember making long braided loops of yarn and thinking how pretty ...