Wednesday, October 31, 2007

A small problem with an all male household

Before we had kids, I must confess I was really hoping for a boy. I had taught Junior High for a number of years and really just didn't want to be dealing with a couple of teenage girls while going through menopause myself. I didn't think I would have the strength.

I got what I wanted, two little boys, and 99.99% of the time am utterly delighted, captivated and thrilled with my three men. It's testosterone city around here and I couldn't be happier.

However, what I did not figure in was that at some point they may all get sick together.

Right now we have more w(h)ine than all the restaurants in France.

At least I'm not menopausal. I'm just gonna need a lot of that Halloween chocolate.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Like Father, like son

As you may know, I am a bit of a geek. My hubby on the other hand is not. (How we ever wound up together is another story!) As a result I can easily embarrass the poor man. Sometimes accidentally, but mostly I do it on purpose. It's really fun. It's basically become a hobby. It's a lot cheaper and easier than scrapbooking.

Anyway, I sing in public, dance when people can see me and burp occasionally, which causes the poor man no end of personal shame. He has however, learned to ignore it for the most part, because protesting only eggs me on.

Well the other day Spud was pretending to take my picture with a toy camera and kept telling me to smile, so I pretended I was a model for Sears and began to pose. This began to irritate my son and he repeated his admonition for me to smile. I smiled but continued to act like a model on speed. He then put the camera down and said "no mommy, that's bad" and started to walk away. As he left I heard him muttering, "that's very very bad."

His father would be so proud.

Since I can't have a lemonade stand in winter

Some of you may be wondering why I would want to increase my blog traffic. If so, you really need better things to ponder, but let me explain anyway. Because I am a stay-at-home mom, I am beginning to look for ways to contribute to the family coffers. Unfortunately, a lot of the traditional home-based ventures may not work for me.

1) Selling make-up. Since I don't wear it, I would feel a bit like a hypocrite and quite honestly, I could not help anyone else choosing it or applying it because my beauty routine consists of moisturizer and lip balm for a good reason, I can't put on make-up. Honestly, I think I am missing that gene. When I put it on it looks like a five year old applied it. Blindfolded. With their feet. So I am not a Mary-Kay or Avon poster girl.

2) Tupperware and Discovery Toys. Both excellent products! However, this cheapoholic only buys them at thrift stores and garage sales. I cannot fathom paying full price for that stuff. Plus, I'd be the salesperson saying "well, if you buy this at a garage sale, but the lid is cracked, if we still make it, we'll replace it for free." This type of selling is not really the best for making a profit.

3) Teaching Piano. I took 7 years of lessons to get to grade 2 Royal Conservatory. Enough said.

4) A photography studio like my amazing friend Char. Great idea except for a tiny problem.

5) Driving schoolbus, because in my city you can take your kids on the bus with you. So, let me get this straight, you want me to take a 3 year old and an 18 month old on a bus along with 40 prepubescent kids (who are not belted in), get behind the wheel of a mammoth vehicle without power steering, in rush-hour traffic and turn my back on them? Sure. I'll get right on that. Right after I shave my head and pierce my tongue.

6) An internet business, except I'm a technological idiot, and after reading about what happened to mommyknows (who runs a fabulous baby boutique BTW) I'm just not certain I need that in my life!

So, what I can do is write. So, maybe I could get a few more people to my blog and get some sidebar ads and maybe make a few shekels a month. One can always dream eh? If not, there's always lemonade!

Monday, October 29, 2007

The Fall Y'all Giveaway

The Contest is now closed! Thanks for playing! I'll post the winner tomorrow morning! Hint, One of you was exactly right!

Shannon over at rocks in my dryer is hosting a fall giveaway! This means that you can go on her site, browse all the possible give-aways, then go to the sites and enter! I thought this might be a good way to shamelessly raise my blog traffic get to know new people, so I started to think about what I might give away.

Now, y'all know that I'm a cheapoholic eh? So what could I give away that wouldn't cost me much? Then I got it. I LOVE living in the city I do for many reasons, not the least being we have a Children's Place Outlet. This is where all the clothes come to be marked down. And down and down. I rarely shop at thrift stores anymore as I can often get new clothes cheaper than ones that pretty much have the knees worn out of. So, I trotted off to the outlet (not that I need an excuse I go about 2-3 time a month) and picked up a little girl outfit (size 24 months) that I am giving away to one lucky reader.

All you have to do is leave a comment. But, not just any comment, you have to guess how much I paid for this outfit. The commenter closest to my actual cost, (including tax) will find herself the winner and I will ship it to your home for free. A brand new Children's Place Outfit, completely free! Don't have a girl? This makes a great shower gift!

There is only one other catch. It's minor really. You have to have a Canadian address. Now, y'all understand eh? I am cheap and it is rather expensive to ship across the border. But this does not exclude Americans. If you want to enter and say have it shipped to Catherine or Dawn or Janet for their new daughters, you are more than welcome to do so. But I will not be able to ship it any place with a zip code.

Now my American friends who may be feeling terribly left out, you have Target, Victoria's Secret, Bath and Body Works, Sonic Drive Thru, Chick-fil-a and Black Friday and virtually everything is cheaper for you! All we've got is this little contest. Y'all realize that's pretty sad eh?

So, look at the outfit and leave your best guess. The closest guess wins. If two people are exactly the same distance apart, the first of you two to guess wins. One guess per person please! The guesses close Thursday at 7:00pm MST. I will post the winner on Friday, November the 2nd.

So here it is, a brand new outfit, full price would have cost $21.20 including tax. That's 2 for $20 for the pants and shirt! Have fun guessing!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Camp Poppa

Guess what! Spud and Sprout are at Camp Poppa this weekend! I drove them down to my parent's place about two hours away yesterday. Through a small snowstorm I might add. Poor Spud, "mommy I can't see, there's too much snow!" Then on top of it, he had to play the quiet game, because it really was a mini-blizzard for 30 minutes or so and I was nervous. The quiet game is very tough when you're three. But, since mommy calls it a game it must be OK. (Yes, this does actually work, for how much longer I have no idea, but I make it sound fun and he stops talking.) I know, mommy of the year I am not, but they are kinda stuck with me.

Anyway, as I started to say, every so often my dad takes Spud for a few days. We call it Camp Poppa. This is Sprout's first time at Camp Poppa and I, (being the stellar mommy that I am) was more than delighted to send him! It's a win-win situation all around.

If nothing else, poor Spud gets a bit of a reprieve from the constant expectations that mommies are supposed to have, but Poppas don't have to. Plus Poppa's house is a never-ending party! Cookies at every meal! What more could a boy ask for in life?

And mommy, well she got her basement storage area cleaned out, the garage re-organized and she weeded a bunch of stuff that we really don't need. This was sooooo exciting. (I'm not even being sarcastic.)

I have a mortal fear of clutter and it is just lovely to actually accomplish stuff without sippy-cup and diaper emergencies. Now when they get home I'll have time to focus on them instead of trying to get this job done with two extra helpers!

I am certain that some of you remember all the posts making fun of my OCD sis, and are saying to yourself, "a mortal fear of clutter, that's' weird too," let me defend myself, I don't have to have every-thing hyper organized, I'm just the exact opposite of a packrat. Unfortunately, I did marry one, but that's a whole other post (or self-help book.)

So, there may be no post tomorrow, I'll be enjoying my childfree status for one more day, but stay tuned for the exciting adventures of eh and y'all coming soon!

Friday, October 26, 2007

The one where it snows, so Geek is nostalgic

It's snowing. All of sudden I am beginning to question why we ever left Texas. Family? They could visit! Healthcare? We just ever won't get sick! Don't worry I do this every year, right about this time. I'll be back to loving Canada in a few days but for today, I will have to make do by thinking over the things I brought home from Texas.

1. A LOVE and appreciation for Southern food. The mere mention of chicken fried steak or biscuits and gravy is enough to send my heart all a-flutter. Mind you, the fluttering may just be a result of the amount of that food I consumed in a short two year span.

2. A greater appreciation for black history and culture. I was blessed enough to be able to teach at a predominantly African American school. (One year I was the only whitey!) My colleagues would discuss (very matter-of-factly) not being allowed to eat in certain restaurants, or go to certain schools as kids and what I'd only viewed as history came alive to me. It greatly increased my awareness of how fortunate I am to live when and where I do!

3. Fifteen extra pounds (see #1).

4. A much lessened appreciation of snow.

5. Several bottles of Cousins bar-b-que sauce. The sauce is now gone, but the love affair with real Texas bbq lives on.

6. Lots and lots of cool clothes that were VERY cheap!

7. The unique ability to use y'all and eh in the same sentence. Although, for two years, whenever I used the word (or is it a phrase?) "y'all" someone would giggle. It just doesn't sound the same with a Canadian accent I guess.

Well, this weekend, I will be showcasing several of my talents together! My cheapness and my ability to use y'all and eh together! Intrigued? (humour me.) Stay tuned!!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

The Geek on a soapbox

I tend to be fairly easy to get along with but there are a few things in life that can irritate the pants off of me. You want to know what some of them are? No? Well it's my blog I'll tell you anyway!

1. Barney

2. People who don't hold the door for the people right behind them, especially when they are pushing the stroller of death.

3. Smoking. If you smoke, I like you, I just can't stand your dirty, money-wasting, disease-causing, litter producing habit.

4. The stigma surrounding depression, and Postpartum depression. People with this disease cannot "snap out of it" or "just choose to be happy." They do not need to "pray harder and everything will be all right." God can choose to heal them but He can also choose to use doctors and medicine.

People with depression need support and understanding just like anyone else with a disease that affects their day to day living.

This now ends the Geek's soapbox rant. It was brought to you courtesy of Blog Day for the Mother's Act. If you need more info please visit postpartum progress. Thanks. Stay tuned tomorrow for further tales from Texas. It's supposed to snow tonight and snow always makes my thoughts turn south of the border!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Raising Men

Yesterday the wheels fell off the bus. It was a horrific day of temper-tantrums, screaming, whining, and the poop didn't hit the fan, but it was finger-painted on everything else. Way Cooler in one of his lesser sane moments when discussing the day with me offered to stay at home and I could go back to work. I kicked him off the computer and had fired up in record time.

This morning I decided to continue to run my home from home because I realized something important, amidst the constant discipline and refereeing I do, I am not just putting out immediate fires, I am raising men.

I have an awesome (and unbelievably scary) responsibility. My actions now, and every day of their lives will shape the kind of students, employees and husbands they become. They will learn to make their own choices along the way, but Way Cooler and I have been entrusted to raise and train two leaders.

When I look at it this way, the discipline doesn't seem quite so monotonous, the chores I ask them to do take on new meaning and I don't feel as stuck in a never-ending battle of the wills. All my work and prayer will (Lord willing) pay off as they grow up to be productive members of society.

Will they stumble along the way? Absolutely. Might they fall away altogether? I hope not, but they could choose to ignore what I am investing in them now, but that will be their choice in years to come. My job is to do my best now and trust God with their lives as they grow.

I am not just a housewife anymore, I am raising men.

P.S. As I was reading this post it occurred to me that it might come across as saying moms who go back to work aren't also raising their kids. Not in the least. We are all raising future leaders and we all have an enormous responsibility whether we are at home all day or just for part of it.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

He is the Pirate That Won't Do Anything

A couple of weeks ago Spud and I were discussing Halloween. After a little convincing he decided to be a pirate rather than Nemo as mommy has zero talent in the whole costume area plus she is a cheapaholic and could easily assemble a pirate costume for under 5 bucks, not so much for a Nemo.

So we talked about being a pirate, we looked at the movie trailer for the Pirates Who Don't Do Anything (until I can repeat it in my sleep) and we practiced putting on the costume. I got the idea for practicing from Mary-Mia who is one of my mom-heros. She has the female version of Sprout times two. I can only imagine how tired she is, Sprout is enough to make me want to drink coffee straight from the pot. Anyway, I stole the idea of practicing from her and thought we would be set.

Last week we went to a scarecrow festival and we were going to wear our costume. Since we took transit there I did not put the costume on until we arrived. I got the pirate beard painted on OK, started to put on the pirate beads and began to hear "I don't want to be a pirate, I spud" over and over again. So, we tried the bandanna, even more protesting. There were even tears. So since putting on a Halloween costume is NOT a hill on which I am willing to die, or even climb, we proceeded to the festival with just our beard. The festival freaked the pants off of him so there I was pushing the double stroller of death with a sad bearded three year old begging to go home. I complied. Quickly.

Fast forward to this weekend and I (rather foolishly) decided that since once again Way Cooler was out of town I would take the boys by myself to the Boo at the Zoo. We talked about pirates again this week, sang "We are the Pirates Who Don't do Anything" and practiced putting on our costume once again. Once again upon arriving at the festival we had a heap of pirate sadness, "I not a pirate, I Spud."

So if you live in my area, be on the lookout for my three year old, who this year will be dressing up as himself. He'll happily take your candy anyway cause he's a pirate who don't wear anything.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Things you should live without!

I have recently read some great baby product reviews from various bloggers. Thanks to one, Poor Way Cooler went to about 4 different stores looking for Foogo Thermos Sippy Cups while in the States because we don't have them here and I wanted one. Turns out, they don't appear to be in California either. Sorry babe. Anyway, it got me thinking about doing my own little review for all you expectant mommies out there, both physical and paper pregnant. Seeing as how we do things a little differently in the land of Geek, this will be "What NOT to buy".

See, both Way Cooler got sucked in a tiny bit by all these cool looking (or on-sale) products before we actually had kids and well, we've bought a few duds. So, here's a few that I wouldn't recommend to anyone, (except for maybe the blonde skinny-minnies who got back to their pre-pregnancy weight in 4.5 hours and who always have their make-up on.)

1. The Jeep Double Stroller. Do not buy this unless you like the sensation of pushing a tank around with their bare hands. It weighs as much as one, and steers much like a tank would should you have to push it. I often fantasize about the day we no longer need it and then I can drive over it. Repeatedly. However, I do like my van, so I will probably just sell the thing to some other poor unsuspecting soul.

2. The Evenflo Simplicity Highchair. It has a CLOTH seat cover. What the heck was I thinking? It does not wipe clean, you have to throw it in the wash. Every Single day. Sometimes twice. DO NOT BUY A HIGH CHAIR YOU CANNOT WIPE CLEAN. I cannot stress this enough. As well, I don't think it is possible for a high chair to have any more cracks and crevices for food to get trapped in. Cleaning it after a meal of baby food was often a 10 minute job involving a dust-buster, cloth, toothpicks (for hard to reach areas) and a washing machine. As if feeding a baby wasn't fun enough already!

3. While we are on seats for eating, while the Safety First portable booster seat can be wiped, it also has more holes than Swiss Cheese for food to fall into or be shoved into. It can also break apart should your child take a screaming tantrum while strapped into it. Not that I know this from experience or anything.

4. Last but not least, should you have more than one child you will probably need a snugli or sling to carry them in. This is not an area you want to be saving money in as there is a difference. Spud spent a total of 3 hours in a Snugli, Sprout was in one every single day for 6 months. Cause with #2, I actually had to do stuff, not just sit and hold a crying baby. My back will never ever be the same. I would borrow a child to test-drive various ones if necessary. Even the queen of cheap so desperately wishes she had blown the wad on this one.

So, there you have it, in my humble opinion various baby things you should live without! What about you, what do you have that you'd like to take a hammer to?

Friday, October 19, 2007

My New Heros

I have been thinking a lot this week about single moms and the thought it my head is usually one of extreme thankfulness that I am not one. I really cannot imagine doing this alone.

Single moms not only have all the parenting, cleaning, helping, cooking, homework, driving etc that I do, they don't have anyone to step in once in a while like most of us do.

There are no words to describe my extreme thankfulness and relief to have a firm masculine voice remind Spud that we do not bite our moms and then they went off to have a talk. Problem solved. Way Cooler can just never leave again now.

Single moms don't always get that. They may have brothers, Dads, and friends to fill in the gap (and I really hope they do) but some don't, and so they go it alone.

Add to that the grief of a loss of a spouse or the bitter ache of a relationship that could no longer work or the loneliness of being left alone.

Plus, where I live, there is an added worry. Our economy is red-hot. Good for people who work in the oil industry, bad for people who rent as they never know when their rent will go up sky-high or get an eviction notice because their apartment is being converted to a condo. One that they could never afford. So there are many who never know from month to month how long they will be able to afford to shelter their family.

I got thinking of how tough it is for these women, and how much I admire them. If you are doing it alone, keep going! You amaze me!

If you know one, drop her a note, babysit her kids, bring her a meal, take her kids to a ballgame with yours, and let her know she is not alone. She has you.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

About this whole clothing thing

So, if Stacey and Clinton are reading this post they may want to stop now. However, seeing as how they are savvy, fashionable New Yorkers, the chances of them reading the blog of a Canadian suburban housewife are pretty darn slim, so I think the warning may be a tad bit unnecessary.

You see, I was looking at some of my long-sleeved shirts the other day and noticed a reoccurring theme. Holes. Yep, tiny (and not so tiny holes) in the tummy area of almost all of my long-sleeved shirts. This is a problem for several reasons.

1. My tummy is not so pretty that I want to show it off. In fact, I want it covered, at ALL times. This is for the good of the rest of the world as well, as I've got a mommy tummy with faded stretch-marks and waay too much cellulite to ever see the light of day.

2. It is now winter and long-sleeved shirts are not necessarily on sale now. At least not in the way I would deem a sale. (As I may have mentioned before, I am cheap.) To me, a shirt must cost less than $7.00 new or $3.50 used or I am probably not going to buy it. I tend to walk in to a store and only look for clearance racks, but all those racks are just full of swimwear right now.

This is the way I shop. I don't look for pretty or stylish (they may be secondary concerns depending on my mood) I look for the best deal. While other women hold up shirts and say, "look isn't this gorgeous" I'm more "Look, 80% off the lowest ticketed price!"

I understand that most women get a sense of satisfaction wearing a great outfit that looks good on them. I get my sense of satisfaction that my outfit is all new and cost me less then $12.

Thus the problem. I really do need some new long-sleeved shirts. My kids are supposed to look like ragamuffins, not me. (This is not because I want my boys to look like ragamuffins but they are pre-schooler boys, that seems to be the only way they come.) However, I can't stand to pay too much. PLUS, shopping with Spud and Sprout for more than 22 seconds at a time is somewhat akin to a root canal, you try to do it as infrequently as possible cause it's just not fun.

So, maybe I'll just stay inside this winter and wear jammies. Come to think of it, that's not a half-bad idea.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Paranoia, it's a family affair!

Some of you smart Alec's commented on me being "Auntie Geek"! I will have you know I go by Geek for a good reason: I'm cyber-paranoid. I have an unusual name (in real life) and I figure if I post my name it won't be hard to find me, and then someone will come and snatch my uber-cute kids. You might think I am being a little paranoid, but I will tell you this, I come by it honestly.

Way Cooler has a wonderful caring family. They are generous, hard-working, kind people. I am blessed to be a part of this group. However, the women in his family elevate worry to an art form. They come up with possible scenarios for almost everything in life that I, (with an Anne of Green Gables-type imagination) could never think of in a million years.

For example, this summer I had a garage sale. One of these wonderful women was talking to me and inquired in all seriousness what I was going to do for security in case someone tried to steal some of the smaller items in my sale. I never had thought this might be an issue! Then I got thinking about it a little further, at my garage sales I sell junk I can no longer stand to have in my home. If someone is willing to commit a felony for a chipped mug from a now-defunct real estate agent then maybe they've got bigger issues and I don't really want to confront them, I just don't need the quarter that badly!

My personal favorite example of the paranoia comes from when we lived in Texas. One weekend Way Cooler and I decided to take off for a romantic weekend. We didn't have kids so we could still do that. We booked our 34$ hotel on Hotwire and disappeared for 24 hours. We didn't tell our family where we were because we were 3000 KM away and it was one night. Unfortunately this was the weekend of the Space Shuttle tragedy that exploded over Texas.

When she heard that debris was falling on Texas a family member called to see if we were OK. When we didn't answer she got worried and called another family member. They both kept calling and calling. Of course, we weren't answering so their logical conclusion was that we had been crushed by falling debris. I can understand their concern since Texas is such a small state and our large brick apartment building could easily be pulverized by bits of the space shuttle. There were over 8 messages on our machine (they didn't leave a message every time they called either) and each one a little more frantic than the next.

When we finally connected the next day and they found out we were still OK we asked if they had heard of any on-the-ground fatalities and they replied "no, but you might have been buried in the rubble so people wouldn't know you were dead." I didn't even bother to ask if there had been reports of random rubble all over Texas, I was in enough trouble for not leaving a number where I could be reached in case of Space Shuttle disasters.

So, while I am a bit paranoid on-line I've been a part of this wonderful family for 11 years and they are rubbing off on me!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Someone had a baby but it's NOT me

As some of you may know, my sister was pregnant. She gave birth to a son this morning!!!!!!!!! It's their first boy, (third baby). Tyler Allan Wesley _______. He is the smallest of her kids at 8lbs 1 oz. He is 22 inches long and everyone is doing just fine. Congratulations Alana, Dave, and girls!

Happy Geek has shut the baby factory down. Way down. I will blog about the reasons for it once I am done therapy, but long and short, 2 pregnancies, sick to the end in both. Two babies, both with really bad acid reflux. Spud cried pretty much for 4 months, everyone assured me Sprout would be so much better and I would then want 8 children. Sprout cried for 6 months. Way Cooler stepped up to the plate (thank-you babe) this summer and we are happily done!

Way Cooler comes home today!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Suddenly the grass is greener, the sky is bluer and the flu shots I took two children to this morning, all a distant memory cause Daddy is coming home!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Blog Action Day

It's blog action day. The topic of the year is the environment. But since I spent my day lecturing Spud and Sprout I am all lessoned out and want to tell you a story instead.

Way Cooler and I went to Texas in 2001-2003 so he could get his PhD. There was a great deal of studying involved during the year but precious little he could do during the summer. So, being the wonderful wife I am I told him to get a job.

Being the good husband he is, he did. Several states away. He worked for the summer at a camp in Kentucky. It truly was a wonderful job, surrounded by nature, on the shores of a lake, in the middle of some of the prettiest country I had seen since Vancouver.

It was a snazzy little camp, with really nice dorm style cabins, a fabulous meeting centre with state of the art sound equipment and video projection. It also had a fully equipped waterfront with a bunch of jet skis and waterski boats.

Oh, yeah, did I mention what they paid him to do? Drive a waterski boat. that's right, they paid him to teach people to ski and drive boat, not only that, they paid him well.

So, it was a great camp. They had 300 campers each week for 10 weeks.

When Way Cooler got there he noticed at meals they used Styrofoam plates, bowls and cups. At every meal. When he asked why they didn't use real dishes and just wash them (like every camp we had ever been at) they told him it was easier this way. When he asked about the environmental impact of throwing out 63 000 Styrofoam plates and cups a summer they said, "oh it doesn't take up any space at all. We burn it."

Apparently, there is no impact at all that way. Umm hmm.

Now that I've got Alyson cringing forever, go do something good for the world!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Easy Cookie Recipe For Kids (just not mine)

So, on Wednesday I went to Rocks in My Dryer for her "Works for Me Wednesday. " My cheap little heart was looking for more tips on ways to save $. (I eat those up like candy.) Something else caught my eye. JCK had an easy cookie recipe to make with your kids. That sounded so good as I was looking for ways to fill the days while daddy is away.

Unfortunately, I think she forgot some of the instructions. So, I have included the recipe that she posted along with the "missing" instructions which are in Green.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. You now must watch Sprout constantly as he is perfectly capable of opening the oven door at will. And thinks it's pretty fun to do so.

In a large bowl mix together: 1/2 cup of cooking oil & 2 eggs. Add the contents of one box of your favorite cake mix, dry just as it comes from the box. Explain 15 times to Spud what cake mix is.

Mix it all together with your hands. Note, if you try to get Sprout to do this he will scream and thrust his hands in the air repeatedly. There is no way he is going NEAR that batter. Spud will put his hands in but only to retrieve chocolate chips. **REQUIRED** It will be very stiff.

Can continue with your hands to add 1/2 cup or so of chocolate chips, nuts or whatever. If you add chocolate chips be prepared to hear "can I eat that chocolate chip mommy?" every 18 seconds until the cookies are in the oven.

Pinch off bits of the batter about the size of a tablespoon if you want large cookies, or more like a gumball if you want small. Watch out for Sprout who now has a old twist tie and is dragging it randomly through the batter. DO NOT take away the twist tie. If you do, well I warned you.

Bake about 10 minutes. Watch carefully, they bake pretty quickly. Top will still be a little moist when they are done. Remove immediately to a rack or to sheets of newspaper. Now until they cool you will hear "can I eat one now mommy?" "Are they ready yet mommy", "I think they're ready now mommy", "check again mommy." Fortunately for EVERYONE involved, they cool pretty quickly.

Some great variations are: chocolate cake mix & added chocolate chips & nuts. You can also use yellow or white cake and add food color for fun. Or white cake mix with M&Ms! Anything will work - that's the fun! Enjoy.

Another variation is to make them when the kids are in bed, skip the whole putting on a cookie sheet and baking step and add a glass of wine!

Thanks for the recipe JCK, they turned out really well and I will try them again, just not tomorrow!

Another Public Service Announcement

Before going to bed, check to see that your children haven't turned on the alarm and inadvertently set it for, oh say, 5:00am.
That's all.
Have a great morning.

Friday, October 12, 2007


I LOVE Friday evenings. Once I get the boys in bed I get to kick back and watch "What Not to Wear" AND "Numb3rs". Throw in a big bowl of air-popped popcorn with lots of butter and a root-beer, it just doesn't get much better than this!

The screaming you hear in the background is the 21 year old me horrified by what she eventually turns into. That's OK, we don't like her much anyway. She's way too skinny.

Have a Great Weekend!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

For every action, there is a reaction

Action: Three year old gets bit by a goose.
Reaction: Mortal fear of any live animal.

Action: Take aforementioned 3 year old to off-leash dog park to play in the leaves.
Reaction: Must carry screaming 37lb 3 year old back to van while pushing double stroller.

Action: Same three year old puts fork into his finger at dinner this evening.
Reaction: Lots of blood and tears.

Action: Go get bandaid for bloody finger.
Reaction: 18 month old feels abandoned and throws entire bowl of Kraft Dinner on floor.

Action: Sternly speak to 18 month old about throwing food on the floor.
Reaction: Both boys laugh hysterically.

Action: Daddy foolishly leaves his Skor bites in the fridge.
Reaction: Mommy polishes off the bag.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

So, Way Cooler left this morning for this. For a week. Yeah I know what you're thinking, "Oh rats, I can't believe I missed out on that!" Don't despair, it happens every year. Next year in Birmingham Alabama which is just another reason to put it on your calender now for next year.

Believe it or not, the guys at this conference look forward to it all year long. I'm not exactly sure why, it's really as boring as it sounds, but yet, it's kinda like Disneyland for these Homileticans. (Guys who study preaching.) And, this year they have a bonus, they can actually go to Disney after as the conference is right in Southern California.

I was unable to go with Way Cooler for two very special reasons. Reason number one dumped water all over the floor tonight while bathing and then screamed as if I was killing him while I washed his hair, and reason number 2, well he climbed every single surface in my house today that could be ascended. Twice.

It's probably good that I am here and not there for another reason as well. The dollar is at par. PAR. So very very cool. I would need an extra suitcase for all the damage I could do at Carters, Bath and Bodyworks, Target, Victoria's Secret and Dillards. (for my lone American reader, we don't have these up here, but I got to enjoy them immensely when I lived in Texas for two years. I miss them almost as much as I miss my pre-pregnancy tummy.)

So, if the next few posts are a little grumpy, I am sorry, but I will be posting after twelve-thirteen hour days with two very cute human wrecking balls. Plus, while the rest of the world is experiencing global warming, it still really is Fall here and winter could strike at any time. It got to a balmy plus 10 (which isn't bad, but there was a wind that reduced that +10 to about 3.) Yee haw.

So, off to clean my kitchen. Will the fun ever stop?

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

A few technical issues

So, now that I've been blogging for all of a month I have a few burning questions. You see, while I am most definitely a geek, it is not of the computer variety. I am more the political junkie kind of geek. After posting this I am going to be looking up more information on the various candidates running for office in our local municipal election and then next week I will join the 7 other voters in my city to elect our new mayor and councillor.

Anyway, as I was saying, I don't do computers really well, but I come by it honestly, remind me to tell you about my mom and the computer mouse sometime. So here's my questions,

1. What is rss feed? Do I have it? Do I need it? Will it increase my blog traffic, or more importantly my chocolate stash?

2. I've seen other bloggers draw a line through their words. How do they do it? Can I do it too?

3. Are the little random letters you have to copy (and then recopy even though you did it right the first time because blogger likes to mess with your mind) before posting a comment really necessary or are they just there to amuse some computer geek somewhere?

Thank-you all for your help, I am off to read another riveting website about how a candidate intends to clean up traffic issues, provide affordable housing, build new rec centres, and drastically lower taxes. Who says politics isn't entertaining?

I just realized that I am probably the only person who found that last paragraph funny. Oh well, I told you I was a geek.

Monday, October 8, 2007

So I was thinking

You know, I think I have been reading Alyson and Ree's blogs too much. I am starting to get some weird ideas. Let me explain.

Last week I was pondering how much yogurt the boys eat in a week. 2Kg. You know that when you start measuring yogurt by the Kg things are a bit out of control. So, my cheap little heart had the idea that maybe I could learn how to make my own yogurt to save $. Then I realized, not only would this be more work, we'd go through even more milk. We already go through 20 litres a week here so I don't think we'd be saving any more money and we'd need a bigger cart at Costoc for all our milk.

This is when I had my brilliant thought of the day. I should get a cow. I mean we have an enormous back yard, and then I could make my own yogurt, cheese and sour cream! Think of all the money I would save!! Yee haw. I mean, why not, Ree has cows, and Alyson has chickens, I only want one cow. Singular.

For those of you a little worried, this is when I realized that my brilliant idea was a little more like a brain fart. Yes, Ree has cows, but she also has a ranch and married a rancher. I have a pie shaped lot and married a professor. Not exactly the same.

Well what about Alyson and her chickens? Well, she lives in the country too and when you compare the size of a chicken to a cow, it's not quite the same. Alyson also does not live in a municipality really hung up on rules and by-laws. If you need a $17 permit to hold a garage sale (which you have to register with city hall) then they will probably have an even bigger issue with backyard bovines.

Sigh. So, since I can't have a cow I will keep looking for ways to save on my excessive dairy bill.

Hey, maybe I can get a goat!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Here's to you, Mr.Scrooge

For all my American readers (I like to dream big, I know there aren't any) this weekend is Canadian Thanksgiving. I was reading an article in the paper in my hometown where the writer claimed that we as Canadians don't really have all that much to be grateful for.

Are you NUTS? I could spend all day listing things I have to be thankful for, but a few stand out in my mind due to other blogs I read and people I have met!

1) Universal Healthcare. If any of us get sick, it's taken care of. Period. No co-pay, no maximum limit, no worries. For that, I will happily pay my taxes! I don't have to worry ever, unlike this family whose daughter hit her million dollar limit before her 3rd birthday!

2) Clean water, 3.6 % unemployment and enough to eat every night. My friends Syd and Faith are discovering that this isn't the case all over the world.

3) Both of my boys are here with me and not in heaven. Candace and Colleen are marking their first thanksgiving without all of their sons. Pray for them, as this marks the beginning of a lot of lonely firsts.

4) There is no war, I can go to church when and where I want, the last time I saw a gun was in Texas, and saying what I think is encouraged.

So, Mr. grumpy-pants, Canada isn't a perfect place. Suck it up! Instead of whining about what's wrong, enjoy what is right and work to change what you can!

Now I am off to eat a little more ham!

Friday, October 5, 2007

For all the hockey geeks

Lets just get this out there. I may be Canadian, but honestly, I just don't get our national obsession with hockey. Now that I've said it, I am going to hide somewhere.

Personally I think all sports (and exercise) is rather over-rated, but come this time of the year I feel a little alone in my opinion. There seems to be no shortage of die-hard fans, especially in their team is actually doing well. There are even blogs devoted to this fanaticism that quite honestly, I just don't get! Sorry Ryan.

Really, it's overpaid fellows skating around chasing a little black puck which they try to put into a net. There is also sweat, blood, and a great deal of checking. Come on now, wouldn't we all just rather watch "What not to Wear"?

Now that my poor husband will never read my blog again and Ryan is convincing his wife that she and I can never be friends again, I will say this. While there are better things we could do with our time, most of them we cannot do in Canada in the winter, like playing outside without frostbite, going for picnics, etc. etc., so I guess hockey is as good as a diversion as any. AND, Hockey Night in Canada is FREE. That alone gets my stamp of approval.

So tomorrow night Don Cherry fires up another season of ranting. The puck drops and the games begin. I now lose my TV (and husband) every Saturday night till June. But that's OK cause really what else are we gonna do?

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Have you ever wondered?

Before I had kids, I used to ponder world politics, why there is so much inequity, and what makes a truly great leader. My kids have effectively sucked all my working braincells out and now I ponder the following when I am having trouble sleeping at night

1) Why in a house full of colourful educational toys do my boys prefer to push empty tide jugs around my kitchen island for hours? They call them their orange cars.

2) We can send people to the moon, why can't someone invent a straw sippy cup that doesn't leak?

3) Why is it that children who can go several days without pooping will have several instances in the course of a lunch with someone you barely know in a restaurant without a change table?

4) Was Barney created by someone who really hated his mother and felt a need to punish all mothers?

5)Why is it OK for a 3 year old to listen to Bob and Larry sing for 8 hours straight but if mommy sings a line of a more contemporary praise song it is a fate worse than death for said three year old?

6) Do the people that tell me "Treasure these years, they grow up so fast" think that they are the 1st person to impart that wisdom to me?

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

To all the waiting mommies

I have been privileged enough this past year and a bit to follow the blogs of some amazing women who are adopting little girls from China. I didn't know much about the process but have learned a ton through their blogs. For those of you who don't know, over the past two years the process to get your daughter has slowed down to an agonizing wait. These moms don't know when their girls are finally coming home, but each month the wait seems to get a little longer. Once again, this month, it really wasn't good news.

So, for all of you waiting, Dawn, Catherine, Janet, and countless others whose blogs I do not read or I would never get anything done, this post is a thank-you from me to you.

Thank-you for educating me on the process of adoption and opening my eyes to a whole world I knew existed but knew nothing about. You guys have even got me reading rumour queen and I too hate this "time of the month". This education has come in handy because we had a new family in our church and she was telling me that they were adopting their second child from China. Apparently it is weird to have someone who is not adopting from China ask you when your LID is. I have been able to pray and converse more intelligently with Michelle so thank-you for that.

Thank-you for reminding me what a blessing my own kids are. You love someone who you haven't even met yet with such a deep steadfast love it helps me remember that my blessings are already here to hug and to hold. I have learned to be extra thankful for my kids due to your example.

Thank-you for reminding me to be joyful always. Even when you guys are hurting and you are truthful about it, there is such an optimism in your posts, it is quite contagious. You may not always feel joyful, but a sense of hope permeates your writing even at the end of every month.

Thank-you for being real. When you are hurt, you share and it helps those of us who are praying for you, (and we are) know what things to talk to the Father about when maybe you guys can't.

I know this month really stinks and I am certain that many of you are headed to DQ or the freezer as soon as possible, but can I make an alternate suggestion, kick a cat! (all you cat lovers may want to skip this paragraph.) Really, I think that is why God put them on earth to poop in my garden and then be a convenient outage for frustrated waiting momma's.

I know the road is long, but there are so many of us on the sidelines cheering for you! Don't give up, soon (and I mean this in light of eternity cause it doesn't look soon any other way) Hannah, Beth and Annaliese will be home with their mommies!

Monday, October 1, 2007

If I buy your product will you leave me alone?

Ever since we moved to our house, I have been dealing with a new phenomenon to me. Door to door salespeople. I'm sure they are lovely people when they aren't working, but most of the ones I have encountered recently are a 1000x's more annoying than Barney (the purple dino not your uncle) singing "I Love You".

I never quite know what to do with them. Up to this point in my life we have lived in basement suites, (where the door was hidden in behind) the top floor of a locked condo building, in a very undesirable part of Fort Worth and then a small town of 1500. Not a lot of salespeople bother at any of these locations.

But now, they seem to zero in on me with alarming frequency and none of them are very good at subtle hints that I might not be interested, such as me saying, "you know, I am just not interested right now" or "I don't want any, thank-you". I've had more than one follow me into my open garage (these fellows caught me when I was outside) and one guy grabbed the door as I was trying to close it!

The two that really do stand out in my mind however were Juan and Steve. Those really aren't their names, they did tell me them, but I wasn't paying attention.

Juan was trying to sell me educational material for my children, but English was not his first language and he kept murdering it. He was trying to show me grammar books, but all I could think was, "you need these waaaay more than me buddy, maybe I'll buy you one!"

Steve was my personal favorite. He was tattooed, pierced and wearing cologne. There's nothing wrong with any of those things, you just got to know when to stop and he didn't. He was trying to sell me a home alarm. There are some things I will never buy from a stranger on my doorstep, Fresh fish, speakers and home security.

Seriously buddy, you look like someone I saw on America's Most Wanted, you are in my garage uninvited and you don't understand personal space at all, yet you want me to let you into my home to wire my alarm? Sure, right after I pierce my own tongue.

Now, if you sell things door to door, don't be offended, I am sure you are a lovely person, just please, don't come to my house!