Friday, March 27, 2009

Un-Fashion Friday

You all know that I am a geek.  A fashionista I am not.  However, I have recently become emboldened by my success with the dress and the boots  and I have launched off in a quest to be fashionable, or at least to not be the frumpiest mom at playgroup.  My latest step was a big one.  I invited my brother's wife to help me pick through my closet and decide what really needs to visit Goodwill and what can stay in the now decidedly less geeky closet.

This was rather bold as she is as fashionable as I am frumpy.  Plus, she isn't really all that scared of telling it like it is.  But my wardrobe was in need of an intervention so I wooed her over with free dinner and homemade bread and then she made fun of my clothes.  Fair trade eh?

She actually was quite gentle and only rolled her eyes a little bit when I refused to get rid of my denim skirt and denim jacket.  Her comment was that Stampede only comes once a year.  I replied that  I was going to wear the jacket and the skirt together and tell people that she suggested it.  Then she may have rolled her eyes a little bit more.  I'm not sure I was too busy hiding my denim shirt from her.

You will be thrilled to know that I no longer have any pleated pants and my two suede blouses are getting a new home.  Who knew that suede was out or could invoke such a strong reaction?  She actually shuddered and refused to touch it.  I was quite surprised.  I used to get lots of great compliments on my red suede shirt.  Mind you that was eight years ago, but still.  At one point, that shirt rocked.

She also strongly suggested that I may want to cut down on wearing hand-me downs from my mom.  Apparently this decreases my cool factor.  Since I have a very limited amount of cool to begin with I am taking her suggestion under advisement.   Doesn't mean I'll do it, but I am taking it under advisement. 

On another fashion front, I have now attempted to wear mascara and lip gloss.  Did you know that neither of those things comes with instructions?  I really wasn't certain if you put the mascara on top of the lashes, underneath, how much is too much, how does one un-clump it, etc.  They really should put that kind of information on the bottle.  It would make my life so much easier.  I would show you a picture but I am too lazy to grab the camera so here is the next best thing.

I'm still a work in progress.  Just ask my sister-in-law.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Apparently He Doesn't Just Bring Presents

Overheard in a public washroom not too long ago.

Spud: When we go home I get to see my father.

For some reason he has been fascinated with the word father but doesn't really equate it with Way Cooler.  No amount of persuasion is able to change this.

HG:  Who is your father?

Spud (annoyed): Mommy I know daddy is my father but I have another Father and he is in my room waiting for me.

Because I cannot leave well enough alone I decided to probe further.

HG:  What does he look like?

Spud: he has a beard like Poppa.

HG:  Is he old or young?  

Spud:  He's old.  But not as old as you.  (Serves me right for probing.  But yet I continued.)

HG:  What's his name?

Spud:  Santa.  My father is Santa.

Apparently this mommy doesn't just stop at kissing.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Birthday Blessings

My Birthday was Thursday.  As I mentioned before I am a big birthday lover.  So I'd thought I'd share with you some of the blessing that I noticed this birthday.

* I woke up before the boys and was able to spend some time in prayer and Bible study before I got them up.  This alone gets my day started off right.

*The boys ate breakfast in less than 35 minutes.  Which is not just a blessing, it is a minor miracle.  They generally view breakfast as a marathon.  Actually most marathons are run in less time than it takes them to eat 3-5 bowls of cereal and drink endless cups of water.

* They played together for 30 minutes while I got dressed and did not squabble once.  This miracle ranks right up there with water into wine.

* Free Tazo tea at my Morning Bible study.  I can almost understand why Starbucks charges so much for it.  All that yummy and calorie free too.  

* I had to drive West.  It was cloudless.   The snow-capped Rockies were almost breathtaking in their splendor.  I grew up in their shadow and am still overwhelmed by their majesty every single time I see them.  It just doesn't get old.

* Dairy Queen's new 4 items for 6 dollar menu.  Nothing says Happy Birthday quite like cheap onion rings.  I sincerely hope there are deep-fryers in heaven.

* When Sprout launched two full out tantrums in the DQ the senior-type ladies sitting next to us shot me sympathetic smiles instead of the glaring condemnation I often get.  The sympathy is like cold water on a hot day.

* For some reason giving a child a spanking in the DQ washroom caused me a fit of giggles.  Maybe because I realized the whole "this hurts me more than it hurts you" thing is a total crock.  It doesn't really bother me at all.  Please don't call social services.  Please.

* We had Bible study on Wednesday night so the house was as clean as it gets in a week and we ate lunch out which preserved the state of cleanliness for another hour or so.

* There's something restorative about short spanking and a long nap.  Sprout was a new man in the afternoon.  A fun, chatty and gregarious little man.

*Way Cooler took Spud to swimming.  Oh Happy Day.   So, Sprout and I went for a long walk in the 12C degree sunshine.  

It was so nice out I nearly did a  backflip.  But I refrained.  Because a visit the emergency room was not high on my birthday to-do list.

*A frosty drink at Starbucks with my favorite three year old. I paid for it with a gift card (so cool) and then read the paper while he explored the basket of broken and beat up toys.   I can't quite tell who had more fun.

*  On Friday the boys got to go to camp Poppa and mommy and daddy had a 24 hour date.  Complete with many gift cards.  It just doesn't get better than that.  Oh wait, yes it did.  I picked up a Tims after dropping off the boys and broke my 5 year losing spell at RUTR.  I got me a free coffee.  

See why I love my birthday?


Friday, March 20, 2009

Scrubbin' and Snappin'

They say that there are only two certainties in life.

Death and taxes.

There's actually three.  It is also a certainty that if we are hosting Life Group at 7:00 and Way Cooler is working nights then one or two of my fully potty trained children will pee all over my floor sometime after 6:30.

I prefer taxes.


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Move Over Martha

You know those moms who do fabulous theme parties for their kid's birthdays?  They have cute home-made cakes, co-ordinating theme bags and well-thought out games.

I am not one of them.

At all. 

I celebrate birthdays in a more low -key fashion.  I put up a few balloons, a banner from Dollarama and the birthday boy gets to go first at everything and choose the supper menu.  Our parties thus far have been family only.  Basically, as a wise blogger once said, the theme is birthday and the centre-piece is cake.

Sprout has been telling me since last July that he would like a butterfly cake.  Because nothing screams newly minted three year old boy year like a butterfly in frosting.  

The odds of me successfully making and decorating a butterfly rank right up there with me being mistaken for Jennifer Aniston and I am much to cheap to pay a baker for a cake that my kids will just lick the frosting off of.

So, this is what we did.

We invited over two little friends for a playdate and cupcake decorating extravaganza.  Everyone decorated two and got one to eat right then and then Spud's and Sprout's joined my pitiful efforts and this was my son's third birthday cake.

Sprout loved it.  He ate the candy and icing, leaving a sad chewed up bit of butterfly which he donated to his dad because my three year old is all about the sharing. 

First home decor, now cuisine.  Ms. Stewart's days as Domestic Diva are clearly numbered.  

Sunday, March 15, 2009


Dearest Sprout,

Today you are three.  A day you have been waiting for with great joy and anticipation, not only for the celebration, but for the additional privileges that accompany it.  From today on you will be allowed to have ice in your water and put your own dishes in the dishwasher.  I think these things excite you more than your cake.  The cake that you have talked about ALL YEAR LONG.  You are utterly independent and wish to live every moment of life to it's fullest and these new responsibilities will allow you to do that.

This has been such an amazing year as your personality has come out FULLY this year.  You remind me more of your dad every day, which delights me to no end.  You have inherited his tenacity, his common sense and his sense of humour.  To it you have  added a zest and enthusiasm for life that is utterly contagious.

Wherever you are is a party.  If there isn't enough fun, you will be sure to create it.  There have been many times this year as you are in the midst of being corrected for something that you have interrupted the speaker to exclaim "funny, it's funny".  It's often difficult to continue to instill a moral perspective on the situation which I am certain was your whole intent.
How do I describe you?  Very blond, very thin and very, very boy.  Mischief lurks not only in your eyes but even in the way you bound into room and the very posture you affect to listen to someone.  Your eyes are an endless blue and can shine with the brilliance of diamonds or overbrim with tears effortlessly.  You are well acquainted with drama.  The only thing small about you is your stature and the force of your personality quickly overshadows that.  

If I had to sum up this year in one sentence I might choose "the year of the talking."  There was a lot of it.  An exceeding abundance.  You love to interact and engage and nearly every adult you encounter expresses utter disbelief that you are only two.  You question, joke and respond at a level far beyond what is "expected" for a two year old boy.  While the never ending dialogue can at times wear a mommy out, I do thank your Creator for the gift of knowing exactly what you are thinking and feeling.  It draws us so much closer.   I know that someday I won't be party to all your discoveries and adventures.  So I will cherish the chatter for as long as you choose to share yourself with me.

I am so pleased to be your mommy and to share these past three years with you.  It has been a never-ending adventure filled with more joy that I ever dreamed possible.

Happy Birthday Sprout.



Friday, March 13, 2009

Road Trip


The road trip.  Some one referred to what  I did this past week as a vacation.

5 days in a car with two excessively chatty pre-schoolers during record breaking cold and a full moon is NOT a vacation.   I'm not exactly sure what  I would label it.  A learning experience perhaps?

Since I'm all about education, let me share with you some of the nuggets of wisdom I gleaned over the past week.

* If one is foolish enough to plan a road trip in March, it will be cold.  MIND NUMBINGLY COLD.  Which kind of rules out tobogganing, snowman building and hikes with cousins.  It basically rules out anything which might wear off a bit of the energy built up by being cooped up in the car for hours on end.  To say nothing of how hard it was for my kids.

* Contrary to my previously held beliefs, parents who have DVD players in the car are not lazy.  They are smart.  Brilliant.  CERTIFIED GENIUSES.  I plan to join their ranks before I ever do this again.

*    While I find babies in the singular a teensy bit boring, twins are fascinating.  Congrats again R and T!  It was a pleasure to hold your beauties.

Way cooler, you might want to skip this next point OK?
* If you forget to plug in the block heater in the van when it is -35 it will swear at you when starting up the next morning.  Swear like a sailor.

*Short cuts are  only a good idea in the summer.

* Do not give two year olds liquids of any kind before a trip.

*There are very few washrooms on Northern Alberta highways.

* Boys have a hard time peeing in the great outdoors when it is -25.  It probably doesn't help when mommy keeps barking "just do it now!" 

*My sister married a good man.  It was awful sweet of him to let us go out together for two nights in a row.  Either that or he was a little scared of the crazed look in my eyes.  

*Sprout is too small for many of the rides at West Edmonton Mall.

*Sprout does NOT understand the whole height restriction thing.

*He can be bribed with a couple of temporary tattoos.  Fickle child.

*Adam and Jeane are even cuter in person.  I'd met their siblings before but this was the first time face to face with Janet's two youngest darlings.

*If you visit Janet on a road trip she might give you chocolate for your journey home.

*Janet is the queen of everything.  Everything chocolaty at least.

* Time with my sister and some sweet friends is worth any trouble.  Any.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Deep Thoughts

On a road trip.
No time to blog.
I'll leave you with a thought from my sister.
It's deep and profound.

"Syncopation is lost on the Christian community."

Friday, March 6, 2009

7 Quick Takes

1. I have decided that there really is nothing better than puddle jumping with two pre-school boys on a warm March day. Well, maybe one thing is better, but that can't be legally done outside on a warm March day.

2. I have a new button on my right sidebar. There is a sweet mom from Oregon who has started a card business. Her cards are gorgeous, she took all the photos herself ( I am in total awe forever) and if you are fundraising for an adoption she will help you fund-raise for it. See her web-site for all the details. I don't get paid for this, I just love her cards and think you would too!

3. Thanks for all your answers on the whole cornbread issue. I am skipping the mix and now am on the hunt for a cast-iron skillet. Up till now, I've been a big teflon girl. Not that scrubbing scrambled eggs out of cast iron isn't a riot, but I've got better things to do with my time. Like scrubbing pee out of my grout. My life truly is GLAMOUR ALL THE TIME.  But I will do anything for some good cornbread so cast iron it is.  

Yes, I do understand that teflon is poisoning my children.  I also feed them non-organic veggies and vaccinate them.  I am the antithesis of crunchy. It's remarkable how OK with that I am. 

4. I'm going to be hanging out with sister soon. I think I will be gettting her help and buying some lip-stick and a mascara. This should be good for a whole series of posts as I've never once sucessfully applied mascara. I am going to give it another go. I may lose an eye, but at least I'll be a little less ghost-like.  Pirates are less scary than ghosts right?  Right?

5. My dad's birthday was this week. Happy Birthday Dad. We all love you very, very much.

6. I was checking the long-range forcast. When Way Cooler is in Dallas it is predicted to be 30C. It's supposed to be -25C and snowing here. I keep comforting myself with the fact that he's hanging out with PhDs.  It's not exactly going to be a thrill a minute.  Unless discussing the latest trends in homiletical research is your cup of tea, in which case, it's going to be ONE BIG PARTY.

7. For the past week I have had this song running through my head. Please watch the video so I can share the JOY with you.

You're welcome.

For more Seven Quick Takes that won't contain mind-numbing songs, please visit Conversion Diary.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

March Madness

A friend once told me that she hated March.

I can't fathom it.  I think March is quite lovely.  Let me tell you why.

7.  St. Patrick's Day.  When I was a kid my mom used to put green food colouring in our milk and make green pancakes.  When you are five that is as good as it gets.  My inner Irish has loved this holiday ever since.

6.  Veronica is blogging again.  It's like an early whiff of spring.

5.  Sprout's birthday is in March.  My kids LOVE their birthday.  We don't even need to do  much, just give them a balloon and let them choose what's for dinner and they are beside themselves with glee.  Their joy is utterly contagious.

4.  The sunny days start to come with greater frequency.  It's just easier to have a better attitude when you can feel the sun on your back as you chip away at three months accumulation of ice.

3.  My birthday is in March.  I really am as bad as my kids.  I love my birthday.  I may change my mind as 40 gets a little closer, but right now, I just see it as progression towards finally being a grown up.  A very slow progression.

2.  Lent.  I am observing it for the first time this year and am already experiencing a greater understanding and gratitude for the magnitude of sacrifice that Jesus made.  I know Easter will have a greater meaning for me this year having prepared my heart for it.

1.  Spring officially starts.  That really doesn't mean all that much around here, it can still snow till April or May, but it's nice to know that somewhere flowers are blooming.  It'd be even nicer to see them here, but I'll take what I can get.  However, if flowers are already blooming where you live, you just keep it to yourself 'kay?
Cause I'd hate to have to dislike any of my readers.  It's March, not July, my good mood only goes so far.

So, what's your fave thing about the month of champions?


Monday, March 2, 2009

Talk is Cheap

Spud was a late talker.  We were so delighted when he finally was able to communicate that we really didn't mind the excess chatter.  It was pleasant.  It was so nice to finally know what he wanted.

But then Sprout was an early talker.  Full sentences LONG before he was two.  

Which basically means that for the past year I have had two talkers in the same stage.  




I was telling my sister how I am finding it extremely hard to concentrate when driving while the never-ending dialogue plays out in the back.

Her helpful suggestion was that I tell them to be quiet for a few minutes while mommy focuses on the traffic.

So I did.

"Guys you need to be quiet for three minutes while mommy merges."

"OK mommy we be quiet"

1.37 seconds later

"we're being really good at being quiet aren't we mommy?"

"We're good quieters."

"Can we talk yet mommy?"

"Is it talking time yet?"

"What are you doing mommy?"

I interject

"Hey guys, mommy told you it was quiet time remember,  I will tell you when it is time to start talking again.  I promise."

"OK, don't forget when to tell us, sometimes you forget, don't forget mommy."

"You bet Buddy"  (By this point I have nearly driven up the bumper of the car in front of me.)

3.89 seconds later

"Mommy I think you have forgotten.  Can we talk now?"

I'm truly beginning to wonder why we ever hustled Spud to speech therapy in the first place.