Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Merry merry. Happy happy.

Well hey there. How rude of me to write a post about feeling much darkness, then checking out for a few weeks. I’m fine, we’re all fine. I appreciate the concern. I hope everyone has been enjoying the holiday season.

I have been super busy, even though I’ve been off work since December 12th and I don’t return until January 5th. Sweet.

So, since I last updated...
We’ve had a birthday (8 – gulp)...

.... and a birthday party (Pop Star Karaoke theme):

We’ve had a lot of snow:

Christmas was in there somewhere:

And, just the normal goings-on at Casa Simpson:

Coming up this week... shopping for appliances. Fun, right? My oven died this week (I had to take those ducky cookies to my mom's to bake) and my washing machine has been in bad shape for awhile. I could just call a repair shop, but they’re both more than 12 years old, so I think we’re better off with new (SHINY) models. Of course a shiny range requires a matching shiny fridge, so if we can swing it, that will be in the shopping cart too.
Happy New Year to all my bloggy friends! See you in 2009!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Bart had some surgery yesterday. The surgery itself was not a big deal in the grand scheme of things, but he had to be put to sleep. The ‘putting to sleep’ part has had me freaked out for several months, ever since I was told that would happen.

On the weekend, my mind was consumed with dark thoughts. I found myself studying his face, his smile, his gestures. I had a heightened appreciation for his energy and sense of humour. On Monday night, I didn’t sleep at all. The darkness was overwhelming. When a very sleepy Bart appeared at my bedside at 2AM, I pulled him into bed with me, held him and stroked his hair.

For more than two hours in the waiting room, I aimlessly flipped through years-old magazines. I couldn’t tell you what was in even one of them. I know I had a conversation or two with Homer. Again, no recollection of what we talked about.

This morning, Bart was bouncing off the walls. He thinks he went to sleep to get his superhero powers installed. He was going around the house giving everyone “Hot Fire” to make them do things for him. He’s back and he’s fine.

I am so grateful to be out of that darkness.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Cookies and Crafts! - Edited

The kids are doing a bake and craft sale at school. I don't buy most of the fundraising crap they bring home, and I don't have time to volunteer for things, so this is how I contribute.

I made 30 of these: Cinnamon ornaments

And 16 of these: Sled ornaments

And 3 dozen sugar cookies:

The stockings say "Naughty" or "Nice"

My work here is done.
Edited to add:

1. Sugar cookie recipe

2. Royal Icing recipe

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Bad date

I usually do my grocery shopping at 8:00 AM on Sunday. I often have a kid or two with me, but it’s still relaxing because it’s usually just me and a few senior citizens in the store at that hour. Other events prevented me from getting there on this past Sunday morning and I had to go in the afternoon instead.

Both Bart and Maggie insisted on coming with me, so off the three of us went, list and bags in hand. At the first store (my usual store), the aisles were a little crowded, but not too bad. They were out of several of the sale items I had on my list, which put me in a bad mood. The line-up at the cash register wasn’t too bad, but the kids were misbehaving when it came time to bag the items (just goofing around, getting in other shoppers’ ways, etc.), which worsened my mood.

At the next store (across the street from the first store), I grabbed a cart and made both Bart and Maggie sit in it. The store was crowded beyond belief and I kind of hate this store anyway for its small aisles. After putting one item in my cart and getting bumped several times by carts and people, I finally said to the kids: “mommy has to get out of here or she’s going to snap.” I got a sideways glance and a smirk from a lady in the aisle. I plucked the kids out and left the cart right there in the aisle (adding to the congestion problem, I know, but I really was going to snap).

There were a few things I had to get before returning home, so I tried the Zellers next door. Apparently Sunday is the day to pull out boxes, leave them in the middle of the aisle and walk away. It’s also the day to use only three of the 16 available cash registers. After fighting with the aisles, I couldn’t face the line-ups at the cash register to buy 3 measly little items. For the second time in 20 minutes, I gathered up the kids, left the cart in the aisle and walked out empty-handed. Bart asked, “Why do we just keep leaving carts in stores?”

I got home and was so flustered that Homer didn’t even question the $40 in groceries I had managed to buy in the 2 hours I was out. It's only Wednesday and we're out of cereal, out of cheese and low on bread and milk. Needless to say, I have an 8:00 AM date with Food Basics this Sunday.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Brownie Points

Most of the time, Lisa is a pretty sweet kid. She’s nice to her siblings, helpful around the house, polite and appreciative. Except when she’s not. And when she’s not delightful, she is most definitely frightful.

The worst is when she hasn’t had enough sleep. When she is overtired, she’s whiny and shouty and stubborn and just generally difficult. As it happens, she’s overtired when she goes to Brownies*. Her meeting only goes until 8:00 PM, but she is usually in bed by 8:00, so Brownie nights are tough. Last week I told her that if she couldn’t control herself after one late(ish) night in the week, there would be no more Brownies. Well, she didn’t control herself and I told her that her Brownie days were over. Around Saturday, she started talking about the play she would be doing this week at Brownies and the sleepover in December. I reminded her that she wouldn’t be participating in those events. Do you know what she said? “Oh, I just figured you would forget about that.” Burn. Also? Brat.

I don’t know why, but I started to feel guilty about the punishment. When she, completely unprovoked, helped Bart sweetly and patiently with a computer game he was having trouble with, I told her, “You just earned a Brownie point!” And so began her four days of butt-kissing, dripping with sweetness, random acts of kindness and helpfulness. This morning, she earned her last of 10 Brownie points by setting out all the coats, snow pants, boots, hats, mittens and backpacks for herself and her siblings. These Brownie points have been a wonderful thing!

So tonight, after the meeting, she’ll start with 10 Brownie Points (meaning she can go to next week’s meeting), but she’ll lose points (at my discretion) for bad behaviour and have to earn them back with good behaviour. I’d be lying if I didn’t say I’m hoping she needs to do a little grovelling this week. Hee.

*I just had to Google “Brownies” to see if it’s a Canadian thing. It’s not, except in the US they’re called Brownie Girl Scouts and here they’re just Brownies, then they become Girl Guides at the appropriate age. Huh.

Friday, November 14, 2008


A long time ago, I read about the Penicillin method of decluttering your house. I’m almost certain it was from this site, but now I can’t find it when I go searching. Anyway, the Penicillin Method is this:

Look at your cluttered home in small areas: the kitchen table, the front entrance, the computer desk. These are the areas that collect and attract all that stuff that eventually drives you nuts. Thoroughly clean one area at a time. Don’t just push the clutter aside, but really look at what you’re clearing and figure out a way for it to never be a problem again. Once the area is clean, treat it as though it has been cured (with penicillin) and never let it get that way again.

I have three penicillin areas so far:

The kitchen table/island:
This is the most multi-purpose piece of furniture we have. It’s where we eat, where the kids to homework and crafts, where I bake, where Homer and I have our computer. It was always covered with papers, mail, school forms, and every other bit of random crap in the house. We made this our first penicillin area last spring.

We got those hanging basket/cup things on the wall for mail, coupons, school work, small tools, batteries, pens etc. Just having a place to put those things has made a huge difference. Also, the baskets aren’t huge, so we go through them frequently to purge what we don’t need and find a more permanent home for those things we want to keep. The rule is that the only things that can be left on the island are the fruit bowl, the computer and the turntable thingy. Everything else gets filed or moved to another area. By the way, we’re planning on painting the kitchen over the holidays, so ignore the hideous wall colour and spackled bits.

The front closet:
Five people, one small front closet. This closet was always jammed with stuff, which most often spilled out to the front entrance. It's embarrassing to admit that I would hear a knock on the door, panic, and shove a pile of coats, shoes and backpacks behind the door to hide the mess. We tried baskets and shoe shelves, but nothing really worked. The kids couldn’t reach the baskets or the hanging bar, so they never put away their own stuff.

Just after school started, I reorganized this closet by raising the original hanging bar and shelf by about 6 inches and buying a new hanging bar and sectioned hanger (both of which actually just hang from the top bar – no installation tools required). I took a couple of the plastic cubes I already had and screwed them into the wall. One holds backpacks, the other holds kid shoes. The kids can reach the lower bar and hang up their own coats and they each have a section of the shelf thing at the side where they deposit their hats, mitts, sunglasses, etc. The very top shelf is for the grown-ups.

I know you’re looking at this thinking “this is the AFTER shot?” But really, it’s a vast improvement. It’s still jammed, but now everything has a place and the kids can do their part to keep the place tidy.

Old dining room/new den:
This room has gone from dining room to playroom, back to dining room, back to playroom and now den. The kids were putting more and more demands on the TV and computer, so when we upgraded the kitchen computer, the old computer went to the kids. This room is used for TV/movie watching, video games, computer, crafts, fort building and playing. And it was always a mess.

The first step to cleaning it up was getting proper shelving and a desk. We bought those cube shelves from Ikea with a desk to match. We bought a few of these storage boxes and used them for things like paper, arts & crafts supplies, etc.

We learned that the things that were kept in the boxes were always neat and tidy and the things that were just open on the shelves were a hideous mess. So, we went back to Ikea and bought enough of the boxes to fill the shelves. Each box has a specific purpose, labelled with words and pictures, so even the non-readers can tell where things go.

The final thing we did for this room was to make a no eating rule. We used to allow them to take drinks and snacks in there, but it just left too much mess in there with crumbs, wrappers, empty cups, etc.

The transformation in this room is fairly recent, so we’ll see if it becomes our newest penicillin area.

Do you have any areas that could use some penicillin?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Fall Colours

Loving the Fall

Going to her first "friends" birthday party.
Homer said that if she was a doll in a box, he would buy her.

My Super Guys

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Strange days indeed

Barack Obama is going to be President of the United States! Of course, I didn’t get a vote in the matter, but I’m still thrilled that my guy won. That hardly ever happens in the elections I do get to participate in.

Last Thursday, a guy wearing full combat gear and carrying a gun was spotted walking briskly through the community toward campus. The moment he stepped foot on campus he was taken down by 4 police officers and 4 campus police officers, guns drawn. It turns out that he was hurrying to catch a bus to a Halloween party.

Here's how my guys looked on Halloween. No chance of them being taken down:

Another student was arrested this week for setting a fire in the elevator of one of the campus residence buildings at 4:00 AM on the Saturday of Homecoming Weekend. The fire resulted in four non-life-threatening injuries and the displacement of more than 550 students from their home. The accused lived in the building.

My sister lived my worst nightmare and did not make it to the hospital to have her baby. Mom and baby are doing fine. Dad? Suffering a little post-traumatic stress. She’s a doll though. Look:

Homer has been miserably sick for more than two weeks, unable to sleep because of an unrelenting cough. He hasn’t missed a day of work. When he finally went to the doctor yesterday, he was given an inhaler for bronchitis, and a nasal spray and antibiotics for a sinus infection. I really need to take better care of him, since he’s clearly not very good at taking care of himself.

I let Lisa do her own hair before school yesterday. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t good either. She told me after school that they had their class picture taken that day. Lovely. The school calendar said “Picture Retake Day”.

Speaking of pictures, my mom said that all she and my dad want for Christmas is a framed professional picture of the three kids together. In the course of the two minute conversation, she said the word "professional" at least 10 times. What qualifies as professional? Because, there seems to be two price points for portraits: $20 for the Sears/Walmart/Supercentre deals (much less than I'm willing to spend) and $250+ for the rest (much more than I'm willing to spend). Is there a $100-ish option I'm missing?

Saturday, November 1, 2008

These girls are made for birthin'

I'm an aunt... again.

My sister gave birth to a little girl this morning, her first child.

She was delivered by my BIL on their bathroom floor - no time to make it to the hospital they had so thoroughly researched and meticulously selected.

Gotta love my gene pool!

Thursday, October 30, 2008


Well of course I didn't get my act together yesterday. SO, one day late, here are pictures of all three kids at age 3:

Lisa - almost 5 years ago

Bart - 2 years ago

Maggie - yesterday!

Can you say HAIR? They don't get that from me. *pout*

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Oh look... another random list.

How did it get to be Tuesday again so soon? One of these days I'll post something organized and coherent... but not today! A few random items:

Friday night for Bart and Homer was spent in the ER. Bart split his chin on the monkey bars just before we picked him up from the babysitter's house. After waiting for almost three hours, they simply cleaned the wound and glued it shut. One minute of care. Next time, I'm buying a tube of Krazy Glue and calling it a day. While the boys were at the hospital, I fed the girls and cleaned the whole main floor, including washing down the walls and doors. Cleaning is my form of pacing, it seems.

Homer spent the rest of the weekend sick in bed. He is a terrible sick person. He moans and complains and demands. If he's awake he's grumpy, snapping at everyone to be quiet and stop bugging him. If you call him on it he says "I'M SICK!" Duh. He's much better today, which is good news for all of us.

In a very uncharacteristic move, I bought a Pashmina shawl. I KNOW! I'm not one to accessorize much, but everyone around here is wearing scarves, shawls, etc. so I bought one for my friend who I thought could totally pull off the trend. The one I bought is a teal green colour and when I was showing another friend, she convinced me to keep it for myself. So I did. The first time I ventured out in it, Homer asked me why I was wearing a tablecloth, but he's mean that way.

Lisa and I are off to the Opera tonight. You may remember that she performed in her school's production of The Magic Flute last spring. Tonight is the dress rehearsal for a professional opera company's version of the play and they gave Lisa's school access to tickets for only $5 each. She's pretty excited, especially because it ends at 10:30, which is way WAY past her bedtime. On a school night.

Friday is Halloween, which of course means Halloween parties at school. Lisa's teacher sent a note requesting healthy contributions to the snack table (e.g. fruit, veggies and dip, pretzels). Bart's teacher's note said that the children should bring their own healthy snack and then would be allowed to pick one treat from the snack table. Anything left over would be sent home with the children in baggies. Is it just me, or does this suck? Halloween is not supposed to be healthy. What's next, raisins in their treat bags? I think a better solution to cut down on the potential gluttony is to ask parents to only send enough treats for about 5 kids. That way there wouldn't be so many options on the table, but it would still be more fun than veggies and dip. By the way, I'm sending them with Rice Krispies squares. I'm such a rebel.

Tomorrow is Maggie's birthday. If I can get my act together, I'm going to post pictures of all three kids at age 3. *sniff*

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Tuesday night timeline

Tuesday nights are a little crazy at our house. Bart has Beavers and Lisa has Brownies. They both start at 6:30 in different places, so getting them there is always kind of fun. Here’s how it all went down last night:

5:45 – Arrive home from work after picking up Maggie from daycare and Bart and Lisa from the babysitter’s. Start to get dinner ready while Bart and Lisa change into their uniforms.

5:55 – Maggie announces that she has had an accident. Take her upstairs to change her pants.

6:00 – Dinner is on the table. I set the timer for 10 minutes and tell the kids to EAT!

6:10 – Timer goes. Bart and Lisa spring into action (ha!) brushing teeth and washing faces. They put on their coats and shoes. Homer arrives home in the nick of time.

6:15 – I’m out the door with Bart and Lisa. Bart is still eating some of his dinner.

6:25 – Arrive at Brownies with Lisa. Confirm that there is adequate supervision and fly back to the car with Bart.

6:30 – Arrive at Beavers with Bart. Drop him off with his popcorn money and pumpkin-carving tools in hand. Chat briefly with my friend who is dropping off her Beaver.

6:40 – Stop in at the Dollar Store to get some Halloween decorations. The same friend is there doing the same thing.

6:55 – Arrive home to put up the decorations – a surprise for Bart and Lisa when they come home.

7:20 – Back in the car to pick up Bart.

7:30 – Pick up Bart at Beavers. He has carved a little pumpkin. I’m told it has an “invisible mouth”.

7:40 – Back home with Bart. I quickly help him put on his jammies.

7:45 – Back in the car. Homer wanted me to pick up a couple of things from the grocery store.

7:50 – Arrive at the grocery store – fly through and grab what I need.

8:00 – Pick up Lisa (and cookies!) at Brownies.

8:10 – Back home with Lisa.

8:30 – All three kids are in bed, heading toward sleepytown.

What did Homer do in this time? I’m glad you asked. He put on Dora for Maggie and had a little nap. But guess what? Next week, it’s his turn to do the driving!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Me. Me.

After a rather chilly non-weekend of chauffeuring kids to dance lessons and birthday parties, hocking apples with Bart, baking, raking and cleaning, I'm glad to have a post topic handed to me by Astarte. Do you read The Muddled Sage? If not, you really should. She has a lovely writing style and a humorous outlook on life. So anyway, Astarte tagged me for a meme. The deal is that I need to tell you six things about myself that may be news to you. I know, you're quivering in anticipation. Me too.

1. I am embarrassingly anti-social. I don't have social anxiety or anything; I would just much rather spend an evening at home with my family than go to a club or a dinner party or other such event that should be fun. It pains me to be offered tickets to a game or concert.

2. I love to watch TV, but I never seem to be watching the shows everyone else is watching. I have never seen SYTYCD, Survivor or any one of the CSI's. Shows I'm currently PVR'ing are: The Mentalist, Dexter, Entourage, Life on Mars, Pushing Daisies and My Own Worst Enemy. I also like medical shows like Dr. G., Medical Mysteries and Big Medicine, but I don't record those ones.

3. I don't have a cell phone. I've probably mentioned that before, but people always just assume everyone has one, so it's worth repeating. I had a cell phone when I was pregnant with Bart (I have *fast* labours, so I need to be able to communicate quickly). About 2 weeks before he was born I got a flat tire and my cell phone didn't work. Instead of putting through my call, they put me through to Accounts Receivable, who said my bill hadn't been paid (which I found out after waiting on hold for 1/2 hour). I explained that I was 9 months pregnant and stranded at the side of the road and that the bill had been paid. She didn't care/didn't believe me. A kind stranger helped me with the tire and I sorted it out the next day. They had applied my payment to Homer's bill (their mistake). When I finally spoke to a manager, I was released from my 3-year contract on threat that I would take my big pregnant self to the local TV station and tell them my story (I kept it for just one more month, just until his due date). I love pregnancy hormones, but not cell phones.

4. I'm not overweight. The way I talk on here sometimes about finding new work outs, obsessing about fiber and fat, you might get the impression that I am. But, I'm 5'6, 125-ish lbs and wear a size 4. I do, however, have an extremely poor body image (the reason pictures of me on this site are rare), so I just ordered the 30 Day Shred - not to lose weight per se, but to tone up and look better.

5. I can't ice skate. Well, I can skate a little, but not well enough to skate with a child that's learning to skate. I actually took adult skating lessons in my early 20's, but they really didn't help me much. I think it's just a lack of confidence and cheap skates. I'm a cheap skate. Hee.

6. I'm pretty clumsy. I have scars all over my arms and legs from falls, burns, tumbles and literally running into stationary items. Just this weekend, I burned myself with a cookie sheet (on my elbow - think about that) and stubbed my toe on a door frame.

So how about you? I've read this meme a few places, so if you haven't done it yet consider yourself tagged (but only six of you! Those are the rules!)

Friday, October 17, 2008

Close call

I arrived at work today to a flurry of activity and police tape blocking off a large section of my building. Just moments before I arrived, a large piece of glass (3’ x 4’) that formed part of a railing fell from the second level into a large open space on the main level.

Three things prevented someone from getting killed by this mishap:

1. It was 8:15 AM, about 10 minutes before a lot of staff pour through the area and about an hour before the area becomes populated by students.

2. It is Friday. Thursday night is pub night, so Friday mornings are always a little quieter than other days of the week.

3. This weekend is Homecoming, so the area, normally bustling with fairs, vendors, speakers and fundraisers, was empty in preparation for a large set-up.

Whew. After I get the other 500 pieces of glass inspected, I’ll be ready for a couple of days off.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Longing for more long weekends.

We had a really great long weekend. The weather was beautiful, the kids were well-behaved and the meals were awesome. We got in lots of outdoor time, lots of family time (thanks in part to my gift to Homer: Mario Kart for the Wii - FUN!)

After planning and executing a nice birthday for Homer on Saturday and then cooking and baking all day on Sunday for a nice Thanksgiving meal, I declared that on Monday I would "do nothing". As it turned out, "do nothing" included doing a craft with the kids, going to the field to play soccer, going on a hike through the nearby woods, baking some whole wheat cinnamon bread, playing Mario Kart and reading individually with each of the kids. And it was great. The kids were bathed, in bed and sleeping like angels by 8:30, leaving me lots of "me"time (with Homer, of course).

The thing about long weekends is that I have a lot of time to think and dream about the way things could be. I've said before that I like working. I do. But, working full-time while managing a home life with three kids, trying to keep some order in the house and offering healthy meals isn't always easy. In addition, I have parents and extended family that I like to see regularly, I have friends that are important to me and every once in awhile it's nice to have some time to myself. The ultimate solution is to win the lottery. Then, I can start my own charitable organization, set my own (reduced) hours and have all the time I need for myself and my family. Since Option A is a tad unrealistic, I'm dreaming about Option B, which would have me working my own job on a reduced schedule. One extra day off a week would make such a difference. Can I swing it? Sigh. I just don't know.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Gobble Gobble!

It’s Thanksgiving Weekend here in the True North, Strong and Free. Why do we celebrate a full six weeks before our American counterparts? I’m sure somebody knows, but I don’t even have enough ambition in the matter to Google it. Let’s just say we celebrate earlier because our harvest comes earlier. Makes sense.

Canadian and American Thanksgiving celebrations are similar in many ways, but different in a couple of ways too.


1. The holiday is centred around family and giving thanks for our blessings. For a lot of families, there are two or three celebrations over the course of the weekend.

2. Our traditional meal includes turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie. In our family, it also includes Broccoli Casserole. We do our meals potluck and someone responsible is always in charge of the BC, lest we have a repeat of ThanksgivingGate 1993.

3. We have football too. It’s the Canadian Football League playing two games on Monday afternoon. That’s half the league playing on one day. Special. Also, sucky for the football players and their families.


1. Thanksgiving Day is actually a Monday, not a Thursday.

2. Christmas isn’t really on the radar yet for most of us… we still have to get through Hallowe’en in a few weeks. So, we don’t put out our plastic Santa’s and twinkling lights, we don’t line up at Macy’s for the Thanksgiving Weekend door crashers. In fact, most of the stores will be closed on Monday.

I’d have to say that Thanksgiving is my favourite holiday. There are no expectations, except a good meal and nice company. Unlike most other holidays, it’s not kid-centric. There’s no shopping, no wrapping, no cartoon icons.

Homer’s birthday is also this weekend (tomorrow). Homer’s birthday is the complete opposite of Thanksgiving – he wants to Do Things! and Go Places! and Be Entertained! and Get Great Gifts! He’s very much a child that way. But, I think he’ll enjoy our plans, so it's all good.

Have a lovely weekend everyone and Happy Thanksgiving to my Canadian friends.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Understanding the grown-up world

Last week I won some passes to meet Abby Cadabby and Elmo and then view their new DVD movie, Abby in Wonderland on the big screen. I won the passes from Ali over at Juice and I was to pick them up at the box office on Saturday morning.

As it turns out, the box office was closed, so when I saw Ali, I went over, introduced myself and received the tickets.

As we were climbing the escalator to the theatre, Lisa looked up at me and asked, "Is Ali your friend?"

"Not really," I said, "she's someone I know from the computer."

Brief pause for processing.

"How can you know someone from the computer?" she finally asked.

"It's kind of like Webkinz for grown-ups."



"So, did you adopt her?"

Bonus picture of Maggie enjoying her first movie theatre experience. She liked it!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Since last February when we changed our babysitter, things have been going really well on the childcare front. Bart and Lisa had a great summer with a nice bunch of kids from their classes at school. Now that school is back in session, the babysitter does half-day care for Bart and after school care for Lisa, and also looks after some of the other summer kids. She also took on a new kid from Bart’s class who we’ll call Nelson. Nelson is a jerk.

It’s not easy for me to call a 5-year-old a jerk, but he is. On his first day, he intentionally bit Bart on the face, breaking the skin. When the babysitter brought it up with his mother, the mom said, “Nelson, that wasn’t nice.” Now, maybe she’s not one to tip her hand in the presence of the new babysitter, but wouldn’t you think that such a revelation would require more outrage? If my kid were the biter, I’d be on the phone to the other mom apologizing and letting her know what the punishment for my kid would be. My kid would be made to apologize to the other kid, probably with a box of Superman Band-Aids as a peace offering.

Both the babysitter and Bart are constantly telling me the rotten things that Nelson does on a daily basis: purposely excluding one or two of the kids from a game; upending a board game or puzzle others are working on; licking another kid’s treat when the babysitter turns her back; hurtfully mocking something another kid likes (like a toy or tv show).

I asked Lisa what she thought of Nelson. Her response? He’s a twit AND he has an older sister and brother, who are also mean little jerks. It makes you wonder what’s going on at their house.

As Bart told me another Nelson tale this morning, I said, “Bart, I don’t think you should play with Nelson anymore.” But what if he yells and says I have to play with him? “Tell him your mom said he’s too mean to play with.”

Bart just giggled.

Nelson Muntz. Not to be emulated by a 5-year-old.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Competitive Spirit

Lisa joined the cross-country team at school. At her age, they’re only expected to run 1 km, which isn’t far at all, not even for a 7-year-old.

After her first day of training, I asked he how it went. She reported that it went well and that she and a classmate had run most of the way and walked the rest. I asked her who had finished the run first. She had no idea.

In this way, she is a very different kid than I was. I loved competition and loved winning. I was more successful as a mathlete than an athlete, but even if I wasn’t the best at something, I always had the finish line in sight and at least knew who it was that I needed to beat. I blame my father, who is a good-natured guy, but also likes to be number one. I would come home and excitedly announce that I got 97% on a test and he would ask where I lost the other 3%. It sounds terrible, even as I write it here, but I never felt demoralized or angered by his comments. He was proud of me, but wanted to ensure I didn’t rest on my laurels, so to speak. My dad and I always had a relationship where he could joke around with me like that and I never felt slighted.

I explained to Lisa that the teachers would be selecting a cross-country team from those that went to the training and that only the first few finishers from each grade would be allowed to go to the city-wide meet. We discussed a strategy to see if she was capable of: 1) running the whole distance; and 2) being a top finisher. After each training day, she would report her progress. As I suspected, running the distance was not an issue, and she now finishes first among the girls, second overall. Next week, she’ll compete in the city-wide event and she is ecstatic. She expects to win. We’ll have to have a good talk about that.

It’s a tricky thing encouraging a competitive spirit in your child. On the one hand, you want your child to achieve his or her best and, of course, you want them to succeed when they do so. On the other hand, there will be many, many times, when even her best won’t be good enough; when she’ll train and try and run her little heart out, but someone else will be better. Will she be crushed? Will she say “better luck next time” and keep trying? Is either of these reactions right or wrong?

Monday, September 22, 2008


I DID make the cinnamon buns and they ARE amazing! And easy! Maggie wasn’t so sure about them as I was rolling them out and spreading the butter, sugar and cinnamon. She kept saying, "cinnamon buns are yuck!" But, when they came out of the oven and I poured on the maple glaze? “Mmmm. I wuv cinnamon buns berry berry much.”

Maggie is at that amazing verbal stage where she speaks very clearly, but when she says something that seems “too old” for her, it’s hilarious. Examples:

Me: Maggie, what would you like for breakfast?
Maggie: I’ll have cheese and crackers, I guess, if it’s not too much trouble.


Maggie to her siblings: You guys are driving me nuts and I am sooo not kidding!


Bart: Guess what chapter I’m on?
Maggie: What chapter?
Bart: Sixteen.
Maggie: Sixteen? Are you serious?


Maggie: Do you want to play Barbies wif me?
Lisa: Maybe after I’m done with Webkinz I’ll play.
Maggie: Don’t you think you spend enough time on that thing? You need a break!

I can’t believe she’s only a month or so away from being three. *Sniff* my little baby's getting so big.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

A Toast

Dear Jess and Torsten,

In lieu of the traditional champagne toast, I offer an old family recipe. The components of this recipe are said to represent the intricacies of marriage.

Matrimony Cake

The Solid Foundation:

Spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray.

Combine in a bowl:
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
Pinch salt
1-3/4 cups rolled oats
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup butter or margarine

Press HALF of this mixture into the pan.

The Sweet, Smooth Core:

Combine in a pot:
1lb pitted dates
1 cup water
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice

Bring mixture to a boil. Continue boiling, stirring occasionally, until softened.

Cool slightly and spread over the base.

The Rough Bits:

Take the remaining oat mixture and crumble it through your fingers to top the dates.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes until browned. Cool and cut into squares.

So now, raise your dessert square with me:

Congratulations, Jess and Torsten. May your new life together be filled with sweetness, laughter and love. Cheers!
Go here for more toasts to the happy couple...

Thursday, September 18, 2008


Hey! Nice to see you! My network was down at work this morning, meaning no email, no Internet and no access to the files that reside on the server, so I found myself with a little time to work out a post. Lucky you.

*Homer bought us a Wii on the weekend. I’m not usually too keen on the video games (because I suck at them), but the Wii is FUN! We only have Wii Sports right now, so I’ll take any recommendations you have for more games (preferably active ones). Also, if anyone has Wii Fit, I’d love to know what you think.

*Bart is hilariously awesome at Wii bowling. His high score is 249. Mine is 137. It’s humiliating when he rolls his eyes and says, “Do you want me to show you how to do it, mom?”

*We’ve been battling with some pretty serious skin issues with Bart. The Dermatologist is pretty sure it’s Psoriasis. I’m more upset about the diagnosis than I thought I would be. If you Google Psoriasis, along with information about the cause (unknown), prevention (unclear) and the treatment (dubious), there is a lot of information about the emotional side effects of the condition. I don’t think anyone wants their child to have a condition that produces emotional side effects.

*We currently have five bottles of creams/lotions/potions for Bart’s skin. I am so grateful that, in addition to having universal healthcare, I have a drug plan paid for by my employer that gives me free prescription drugs. These things are not cheap.

*Tonight is Meet the Teacher night at Lisa & Bart’s school. Because we’ll only have a short time for dinner, I whipped together some crock-pot scalloped potatoes this morning. I didn’t have a recipe (or rather I didn’t have all of the ingredients for any one recipe that I could find), so I made one up. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

*Fall must be on its way, because I find myself wanting to bake and make soup and chili again. I saw this recipe on The Pioneer Woman Cooks, and I have since been looking for nice, ceramic pie plates (like this):
for less than $10, so I can make these for teacher/neighbour gifts at Christmas. Of course, I’ll have to try out the recipe first to make sure they are gift-worthy. Mmmm.

Hope you’re having a great day!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

First day of school!

2004 - Lisa starts Junior Kindergarten
2005 - Lisa in Senior Kindergarten

2006 - Lisa in Grade 1

2007 - Lisa in Grade 2, Bart starts Junior Kindergarten

2008 - Lisa in Grade 3, Bart in Senior Kindergarten

Monday, July 28, 2008

Some random items for a Monday

While in the Wal-Mart parking lot, walking to my car with my three children at 10:00 AM, a thirty-something, muscle-head guy smiled and said hello. I nodded politely and proceeded to strap in three kids, then I went back to transfer my purchases from the cart to the trunk. As I turned to return the cart, the muscle-head was right there. He said: “I just had to come back and tell you that you’re absolutely gorgeous.” Creepy?

Lisa scored a goal in her soccer game last week. It was her first official goal in a game (she has scored a couple in scrimmages). This is her fourth season playing. It was the game-winning goal and it was spectacular… first a breakaway down the field, then some fancy manoeuvring around two defensemen, then a strong kick to the top right-hand corner of the net. The (awesome) coaches and other parents elevated her up and over cloud nine. We celebrated with ice cream.

We’ve officially changed our dining room into a den. We don’t do a lot of formal dining, and the room is far more practical as an art/computer/gaming/tv room. We just need to take down the damned chandelier before Homer or I knock ourselves unconscious.

Maggie insisted on wearing a silver tiara with pink, fluffy stuff on it to daycare today. Insisted. I was prepared to explain the accessory to the teacher when she said “Maggie, you remembered to wear your crown for fairytale week!” Maggie is two.

We’ve had A LOT of rain this summer. The flowers in my garden have never looked better. Note to self: watering required for nice flowers. The sad part of this is that we have underground sprinklers. All I have to do program the little box to water the flowers, but I could never be bothered before. I get it now.

I have a pile of papers that need to be filed/dealt with on the corner of my desk. The pile is 8 inches tall and I plan to tackle it by dealing with one inch a day. The pile has been building for weeks, so 8 days is a reasonable goal, I think.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

What is The Plan?

It’s been a very difficult week. A little girl from Maggie’s daycare passed away on Tuesday after a 7-month battle with a rare form of cancer. She was adorable and vibrant and 4 years old. The daycare is awash in tears; no one can enter without becoming overwhelmed with emotion for the loss of this tiny girl and the devastation that has been thrust upon a family that is the very definition of normal… people just like us.

I overheard a mother talking with one of the teachers saying, “It’s hard to understand what The Plan is when God takes someone who has not yet lived a full life.” It is hard to understand.

If I were in charge of The Plan, babies would be born with an 80-year expiration date. The last few years of a person’s life would be celebrated and cherished, knowing these would be the last. Children would always outlive their parents. Tears would be reserved for scraped knees, missed opportunities, broken hearts and joy. Childhood illnesses and injuries would build character and shape futures, but would never claim their lives.

I respectfully submit that the Current Plan sucks and a New Plan is in order.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Life With Homer – In the beginning…

Jess said she wanted to know about my relationship with Homer. As you know, we just celebrated 11 years of marriage, but we’ve been together since the World Series of 1992.

I knew Homer casually and he kept telling me that I would be a good match for his good friend Bob. I agreed to go on a blind date with Bob. When I arrived at the designated meeting place, Bob was not there, nor was Homer’s girlfriend of 3 years. Turns out, they were never invited. Nothing happened that night romantically, but Homer and I bonded over our genuine interest in The Toronto Blue Jays. In the next couple of weeks, Homer broke up with his girlfriend and pursued me relentlessly.

For our first real date, he agreed to go mountain biking with me. We lived in Toronto at the time, so we had to navigate the city streets before getting to the trails. Homer wasn’t a big cyclist and he’s the nervous type. All I remember is him yelling from behind me “You are NOT A CAR!”

He was so funny and different and not at all like the jocks I usually went for; I was surprised how attracted I was to him. He was a real cutie, so I was even more surprised that he was attracted to me. He’s the type that you would expect to have a leggy, giggly blonde on his arm. Yet, here he was with an athletically-built, sharp-tongued brunette.

To be continued.

Monday, July 14, 2008

11 Years

July 12, 1997

What my kids are not named...

Awhile back, I made a list of 50 names I considered. As per Misty's request, here are the top five serious contenders from that list that didn’t get used:

Ava – this would have been Bart’s name had he been a girl. We like fairly short, simple names and this one fit the bill nicely. Funny enough, my mom was not a big fan. She asked me one time if we had narrowed down names. Yes, I said. It will be [Bart’s real name] if it’s a boy and Ava if it’s a girl. “Oh, I hope it’s a boy,” she said. THIS is why people don’t tell other people the names they are considering! We didn’t give Maggie the name Ava because by the time she came along, another baby Ava had been born, and it would have been awkward. In other news, I think my sister is considering this if her little bean is a girl. Woo hoo!

Knox – Yes, believe or not, before Brangelina came up with this name, we strongly considered it when we were pregnant with Lisa. I’m a huge fan of Dead Poets Society and I love the Knox Overstreet character. Love him. It’s a good Scottish name (I’m Scottish) and would have sounded nice with our last name. Alas, we decided that we weren’t quite cool enough to have a kid with a name that was kind of ‘out there’.

Shae - I really liked this name for a girl and put it on the table with each pregnancy. Homer liked it, but didn’t love it. It was always the fall-back, if we couldn’t come up with something else that he liked better. My sister’s sister-in-law named her baby Shaye, so at least I get to enjoy it on a very cute little girl.

Rhys – This was at the top of my boy list when I was pregnant with Maggie. Homer was not as sold on it and was pushing for Charlie. I like the way Rhys looks and sounds. It’s monosyllabic, which automatically makes it masculine sounding to me, but it has soft edges. Homer didn’t like that the most famous person with that name is female, even if it's homonymic. It didn’t matter in the end, because Maggie is most definitely not a boy.

Cabot – Toward the end of my pregnancy with Maggie, we were getting desperate for a boy name (see the Rhys/Charlie debate above) and I actually started looking through the phone book for inspiration. I only got as far as C when I found Cabot. I really like the look of this name in print. It’s a strong name in the same family (to me) as Colin, Calum and Connor. John Cabot is a Canadian historical figure, which was one of my selling points. As we were in the elevator, in strong labour with Maggie, Homer was still fighting for Charlie, and I was offering Rhys and Cabot.

What do you think? You can tell me what you really think; I'm done having babies, and therefore done naming (my own) babies!

Friday, July 11, 2008


Another one from Misty: Tell me your favorite color, ice cream flavor, and perfume.

Colour: blue. I have to stop myself from buying blue clothes, painting rooms blue, choosing blue for EVERYTHING. I like all blues, but Navy Blue is my favourite.

Ice Cream Flavour: I like chunks of things in my ice cream, with either a chocolate or vanilla base. Think Rocky Road, Cookie Dough, Oreo Cookies and Cream. I don't like little bits of things (like nuts or chocolate chips) that make the ice cream taste sandy.

Perfume: I can't wear perfume without coughing up a lung, but I gravitate towards fruity scents for my shampoo, soap, hairspray and deodorant.

Pirate: (What? You didn't ask about Pirates? Surely an oversight) It was Dress Like a Pirate Day at Maggie's daycare yesterday.


Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Kid ages and stages

Thank you, thank you, thank you for all the content suggestions! My plan is to just do them in the order in which they were received, unless I feel otherwise inspired.

First up is Misty, who said: Tell me about your favorite age/stage of your kids.

It’s no secret to anyone who visits here regularly that I think my kids are pretty awesome, so I was surprised when this question was more difficult to answer than anticipated. The short answer is that I haven’t met a stage I don’t like (so far).

Newborn: I love how they’re just so small and so comfortable sleeping in your arms or on your chest. I love that they don’t do anything and yet are so engaging. I love the way their hair smells after a bath. I was lucky to have three really good babies. They all nursed well and slept well. When Lisa was a newborn, I painted the bathroom, thoroughly cleaned the garage and basement and worked on my thesis while she did her sleep three hours/awake one hour routine.

Infancy: I love the first smile, all the new discoveries, the pleasure they get from such simple things, like a rattle, a swing or a silly toy. I like the look of new teeth, the crazy hair and the baby belly laughs. Bart was the best baby ever. He hardly ever cried, was happy and sweet, never had separation anxiety. I could take him anywhere, any time of the day and know that he wouldn’t be a problem. Dream child, for sure.

Toddler: It’s crazy and frustrating and exhausting, but so, so funny. Maggie’s at this stage right now and I could regale you with countless tales of funny things she says and does. She likes to categorize things into those she “wuvs” and those she “does not wuv”. Do not attempt to make her wear/eat/play with things in the latter category, for she will surely scream at the top of he lungs, “NO! I DO NOT WUV DAT!” You don’t have to love it kid, you just have to like it a little.

Little kid:
From toddler to little kid, you really start to see the unique personality of each kid. Lisa was always fiercely independent and very imaginative. Bart needs more attention, but is easy to please and very physical. Maggie is emerging as feisty and bossy, but still very lovable. It’s neat to see the friends they choose and the things that interest them.

Big kid: I only have one big kid so far, but she’s pretty cool. I like that she understands teasing and sarcasm and that she can dish it out as well as she can take it. We often share an eye-roll or snicker when one of the little guys says or does something funny/weird/disturbing. I think some kind of hormones must be kicking in, because when she gets moody, LOOK OUT! It’s seriously like a PMS kind of moody that seems beyond her control, and yet she’s only seven. Luckily those moments are few and far between, and in the meantime we have some great times together, bonding over a book she’s reading, a show we watch together or a game of checkers.

All is not perfect at Casa Simpson, of course. We have our battles and frustrations, our worries and illnesses, but for the most part, this parenting thing has been pretty awesome. I’m sure I have what’s coming to me when my guys are teenagers.

I was a big baby-wearing momma with my kids - I'd love to win this contest for my sister, who is due with her first baby in November!

Monday, July 7, 2008


What is wrong with me? I’m so bored with myself these days. I keep thinking I should update my blog, then I think, Why? Really, the stuff on here the last few weeks has been both sparse and boring (You: as opposed to the other masterpieces you’ve written here? pfft). I’ve been trying to think all morning of something to say, a story to tell, but I’ve got NOTHING! Could I really be this dull?

Anyway, I thought maybe you could give me some topics to write about (you know, only if you want to – man, I really hate asking for anything). If you so desire, ask me a question or give me a topic, then I will try to be a more interesting person. Please.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

A(nother) job that would suck

I did my undergrad in business. I did my masters in education administration. I like to have problems that can be solved. I like math. I like puzzles. In my undergrad, I had a hard time picking non-business electives because I had very little interest in other subjects.

Several years into my career, I still love business (the kind of business I'm in anyway). I often look at the professions of other people and think 'how great for you!' but man, I would hate that line of work. Jobs I admire but take a different personality than my own include: Public Relations, Fundraiser, Event Planner, Teacher, Social Worker, Nurse.

But the job that would suck the most (for me) is Children's Photography. I think it would be okay to do babies, but kids who move around, especially if you want more than one kid in the shot? Shoot me now.

We were at a wedding on the weekend. It was a beautiful day in a very picturesque spot. After Maggie cleared a table of all its glassware at the swanky reception before dinner, I decided to take the monsters outside and try to get a good picture of them in their fancy duds. I seriously took over 100 shots. Here are the BEST three:

They're all standing still at least. The smiles are fake and forced.

More fake smiles. Bart is actually airborne in this shot.

I swear, they're normally pretty cute kids with good smiles.

Remember these were the best ones! Children's Photographers: I salute you!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Momma bear, control your growl.

On the last day of school, Lisa was told that she would be entering Mrs. K.’s class next year; she’ll be one of only 5 kids in grade 3 in a grade 2/3 split class (there will be 12 gade 2’s).

When I first found out, I was fuming. I mean, walking around talking to myself as if I were talking to the idiot who made the decision. My main concern, of course, is that she won’t be challenged enough. She’s a bright girl who does extremely well in school and I’m afraid that being in a class with younger kids will somehow kill her motivation to perform at her academic peak.

Homer was trying to calm me down, but I was having none of it. My plan was to call the school the next day (the teachers had to work) and get her changed into the straight grade 3 class, which only has 17 kids in it.

I should mention that Lisa is thrilled with her placement. The two girls who are joining her in the split class are good friends and also good students. She’s happy that she won’t be the youngest in the class this year. She is friends with many of the kids in the grade 2 side already.

On the way to soccer that night in the car, Homer and I were still talking about the subject. He asked if I knew Mrs. K. I said I knew the name, but not which one she was. I turned around and asked Lisa what Mrs. K looks like and she said, in a deadpan voice, “Why? What are you going to do to her?” Hee. I stopped my bitching at that point.

Anyway, I couldn’t get through to the school the next day, but I did call my mom (a retired primary teacher) and dad (a retired elementary school principal). And guess what? They think it will be GREAT for her! Their reasoning:

- Lisa is really quiet in school, so being in a small group like that will do wonders for her confidence in speaking up and participating

- With such a small number in her side of the split, the teacher will be able to offer more enrichment opportunities and challenges on an individual level than with a larger group

And so, I’ve dropped it. I’m going to wait until September, talk to the teacher then and figure out the plan. I’m sure it will be fine.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Random stuff.

*We got a $25 gas card from the bank for our troubles on Father’s Day. They also explained that we were treated that way because of our “low rating” with the bank. Why is our rating so low, you ask? Why, it’s because we don’t have a mortgage or credit card with them. So, the fact that both of our paycheques get deposited directly into that account AND we have a large RRSP account AND a few bucks in savings AND we have never bounced a cheque or payment is not good enough because we haven’t accumulated any debt with them. So, just to review: no debt=bad rating; debt=good rating. Uh huh.

*Everyday on the way to work, I peek into the window of the Village Barber Shop. It’s a little (less that 200 sq. feet) shop owned by two mid-thirties Italian friends, who just happen to be HOTT. I call them the Hottie Barbers. Homer refuses to go in there due to my inappropriate obsession.

*Golf was great. The weather was nice and I actually played a decent game. My mom and dad both golf every weekday during the nice weather - without a cart. We golfed with a cart and it took us over 5 hours to do 18 holes.

*I feel so gross after 2 days of eating only in restaurants that all I have eaten since we came home Sunday night is salad, fruit and water.

*Next Tuesday is Canada Day, which is a holiday. I’m also taking Monday off, and looking forward to an extra-long weekend. We have a wedding to go to on Saturday, but besides that, no plans. A no-plans weekend is my favourite kind.

*What should a 5-year-old boy wear to a summer wedding? The girls are easy, but I’m stumped for the boy. I looked through Old Navy and The Children’s Place for ideas, but everything seemed too casual.

*Tomorrow is the last day of school for Lisa and Bart. I’m looking forward to not packing backpacks and lunches every day. I’m not looking forward to paying the extra amount for full-day care during the summer.

*My former nanny is a single mom. The baby’s father, who is a loser in almost every other way, has turned out to be a great dad. He moved more than 100 miles away from his home to start over in the town where the nanny is living (close to her parents). He visits the baby for three hours every single day, giving the nanny some time to herself. He pays more than he has to in child support. I’m so happy it has turned out so well for all of them.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Babies and boys.

We finally had a chance to visit our old nanny and her adorable *new* baby (born in January). She lives about 4 hours north, so our attempts at a winter visit were thwarted by ice, snow and other typical winter weather conditions.

Lisa liked the baby, but her interest quickly waned and she just talked [nanny]'s ear off. Maggie just kept asserting the she is a "big girl baby", and Baby M is a "yittle baby baby". Bart loves babies, always has, and he couldn't get enough of Baby M. I think it speaks to his gentle, sweet nature.

Of course, he's still all boy...
While there, we visited a little theme park that had rides (where old rides go to die, as Homer put it). Bart ran through the gates and disappeared around the corner. The next thing we see is Bart flying down the path in a golf cart that had been left unattended by one of the park staff. Best ride ever! I thought Homer was going to pass out - his face went white when he saw the spectacle. I couldn't stop laughing. The park staff? Not so much.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Just call me Tiger!

I'm entered into a golf tournament tomorrow. I have golfed, but I do not consider myself a golfer, by any means. I have my own (cheapo) clubs and I even have a glove, although I'm not sure why I need it.

I've actually golfed in this tournament several times before. It's hosted by the students union here, so there are a lot of inexperienced golfers, which makes my skills look decent. Every other year I have signed up for the tournament and been put in a foursome with either insurance agents, investment brokers or lawyers... all men who routinely do business on the golf course. It was always a source of stress for me, knowing I was bringing down the team. I also had a hard time consuming all the beer they insisted on buying me on the course (Lori + sun + beer = nauseous).

But this year, I put in my own foursome: Homer, a student that works for me and another female colleague. None of us are golfers, but we all expect to have a great time. For the first time, I'm excited about the tournament.

Do you golf? Any last minute advice?

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Bad parents, fun ride.

The instructions specifically state that this should be set up on a flat surface.

But, when you have a slope in your backyard that you hate in every other circumstance, how could we resist? Also?

Yes, we did put a slide at the top to make it extra fun. Don't report us. After all, it's not like we were doing this:


Monday, June 16, 2008

Looks like we'll be shopping for a new bank.

So, yesterday we went out for breakfast at our usual joint. After a lovely meal, I took the kids out to the car while Homer stood in line to pay. When he swiped his debit card, the message "Limit Exceeded" came up. Luckily he had enough cash to cover the transaction.

When he got to the car, he called the number on the back of his bank card, as he had certainly not exceeded his limit. Turns out, they were doing maintenance on their network, but we would be permitted to withdraw $100 from the bank machine at the branch (there is only one branch of this bank in our city). Otherwise, we were SOL.

I ask you, what kind of bank shuts down their network for maintenance on Father's Day (or any day, for that matter), with no warning to their customers? We were both furious with the bank. There are so many things wrong with this.

First, there's the embarrassment of the transaction not going through at a place where we are considered regulars.

Second, there's the possibility that we did not have cash on us and would have had to drive 20 minutes to the branch, then 20 minutes back to the restaurant to deliver the cash. It's a big assumption to make that someone would have a credit card. We have one card between us and we don't carry it with us.

Third, what if we were somewhere else, like Canada's Wonderland or The Zoo, suddenly told that our debit card wasn't working? Or at the gas station? What if my Father's Day gift to Homer was a BBQ that he was going to pick out that day? What if our kitchen faucet snapped off in my hands and we didn't have access of the funds to buy a new one. Wait... that DID happen!

Homer blasted the lady on the phone (not her fault, of course, but squeaky wheel and all that). He made up a sob story about our three children who were suddenly denied a day trip to Canada's greatest theme park, despite having thousands of dollars in the bank (a bit of a stretch, unless you include our RRSP's). "Do you have kids?" he asked. "Then imagine how low I feel right now." The customer service person asked, "do you want me to put you down for compensation?" YES! I'm usually embarrassed when he's a dick, but I was high-fivin' him when he was done. We'll see if this goes anywhere.

Thursday, June 12, 2008


That's me these days... unable to communicate. Work is flat-out crazy right now, leaving me no time to blog or read your blogs. Home is crazy too, as we're back to 3 nights a week at the soccer field, plus copious amounts of year-end celebrations, recitals, etc. Every weekend from here to eternity (or at least the end of my calendar page) is booked with barbeques, weddings and weekends away.

I'm hoping to turf at least one set of auditors tomorrow (I have 2 sets in here right now), so next week should be back to quasi-normal, blog-wise anyway. Hopefully I'll be able to catch up then!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


We hosted Bart's first " friends" birthday party with a Superheroes theme. Fastest two hours of my life.

The gang getting their Superhero names. You can see Maggie waiting very patiently.

Finally named. She was Super Macro and her super power was that she could make everything big.

Bart blowing out the candles on his Superman cake.

A better look at the cake, because I even impressed myself with this one!

A little better look at the capes. I made 13 custom capes for the kids.

They made their own masks and power bracelets (I cut out the shapes and they applied glitter and star stickers).

The big difference between girl toys and boy toys: girl toys are made in pastel colours and have millions of itty bitty parts. Boy toys are made in primary colours and make a lot of noise.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

On this day 5 years ago...

A Happy Boy was born.

First Year

He made such an exciting entrance into the world and has been entertaining us ever since. Everyone commented that he was the happiest baby in the world, and we agreed.

Second Year

Happy Boy is still happy, with the added bonus of becoming an excellent climber. Yay.

Third Year

Oy, the curls!

Fourth Year

Such a good big brother, such a happy, funny boy.

Fifth Year

The amazing sense of humour. The sweet sensitive side. The crazy, boisterous boy. The jumping jumping jumping. I love it all.
Happy Birthday Happy Boy!