Sunday, November 28, 2010

Birthday boy, the tooth fairy and Santa

My posting has been very sporadic lately; I keep hoping that will change. Here are a few pictures just to prove I am still around.

It was Dale's birthday on Tuesday. We went out for dinner the weekend before, and on his birthday we just had a family dinner. He chose the meal (curry) and Neve made him wear a king hat. Instead of birthday cake, Dale wanted peach cobbler so that's what he got. (Spencer is going through a phase (I hope) in which he tries to not smile for photos, or make his eyes weird, or something equally silly.)

Other excitement this week was the falling-out of Neve's first tooth. It's not very clear in this picture, but it's in the bottom row. It was very loose for a couple of days, and finally came out when she took a bite of a burrito Thursday night. We couldn't find the tooth at first, but then we found it embedded in the tortilla shell. The tooth fairy left her a twoonie (which is probably lost by now) and she was very excited about the whole situation. She shows her toothless grin to everyone we see.

And speaking of magical beings, we went to see Santa on Friday. I always buy a picture, and until this year, they always let me take a picture with my own camera as well. Now Santa's elf no longer allows it, so I took a picture of the picture instead. The quality of the original picture was poor so this is even worse, but it makes me feel somewhat rebellious to have produced a digital copy of the photo. Anyway, all the children asked for reasonable things except Spencer who requested a garter snake and a laptop. Luckily he doesn't believe in Santa anymore so I'm not too concerned.

That's all for now; I will try to return soon. If nothing else, at least to fix up this very half-hearted attempt at a blog re-design.

Friday, November 19, 2010


We had our first real snow of the season today. I don’t know why it still comes as such a shock every year. I was frantically digging through our winter bins trying to find snow pants for everyone (except for the one who is too cool for snow pants). I thought the kids had tried on their winter boots at Halloween and they all fit, but this morning two-thirds of my children were complaining that their toes were crunched. So I wasted precious child-free Christmas shopping hours this morning shopping for boots. To make matters worse, both pairs have to be exchanged or returned because they don’t fit right.

Unfortunately, the pink Three Musketeers boots that I bought Neve last year in a very weak moment still fit her perfectly, but since I was in the boot-buying mood, I bought her a new pair of fashion boots as well. It must be my lucky day because it was Mystery Dollar day at Old Navy and I won $25 off my purchase. Besides the boots, all I bought was a pair of jeans for Spencer which I thought were $16 but turned out to be $24, so when the cashier told me my new reduced total, I don’t think I looked quite as excited as she was hoping. I guess I ended up getting the jeans for free, so it’s all good. Too bad they don’t fit either. Maybe it wasn’t such a lucky day.

Speaking of lucky days, I meant to post yesterday to talk about two other people’s lucky days. First of all, it was Siobhan’s birthday. She is still not as old as I am, but she’s getting closer. Siobhan started a new blog recently so if you’re looking for inspiration, peace, and simplicity, check it out. You know you’re not going to find any of that here.

Dale’s luck involves the TV. He’s been waiting for our old garage sale RCA to break for years, and it finally happened on Tuesday. There was no talk of getting it fixed like there was when my stove stopped working. The TV was promptly unplugged and thrown outside. By the next day, we had a brand new flat screen in its place. He pretended to be embarrassed that I was taking his picture in Costco, but his joy shone through.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

New Math

Many of you know how attached Neve is to her blanket (gecki). She refused to let me take a picture of it because she’s embarrassed, but I’m sure she’ll be thrilled about this post when she’s older. (Right, older Neve?) Anyway, her gecki is well-loved, well-patched, and well-shredded. In addition to the raggedy main part of the blanket, there are also six separate pieces that have worn off over time. If I could add up all the time I have spent trying to find six threadbare fabric scraps (gecki strips) at bedtime, I would be rich. (I’m not sure how the time converts to money, but if I had more time I would think of a way). Usually the strips are lumped into a ball when I tuck her in, and I quickly leave before she checks to see if any are missing. But more often than not, the call will come, “I’m missing my third gecki strip!” (each of the strips is identified by its own number). I always thought the whole gecki strip situation was maddening, until it suddenly became a learning experience.

I’ve been working on math skills with Neve. I know that makes me sound like a Baby-Einstein-hyper-parent who teaches her fetus Spanish, but in reality I’m just trying to compensate for the way-too-many hours she spends watching PVR’d episodes of Strawberry Shortcake. She also happens to be very keen on math, which I assume comes from the same dormant gene as her red hair. She begs me to ask her math questions, like “what’s 2 + 2?” Up until yesterday, she always counted on her fingers. She even had two extra invisible fingers on each hand, so she could do equations that went as high as 14. But even if it was just 3 + 1, she would count it out on her fingers.

So yesterday, I asked her, “If you had three gecki strips, and then you found two more, how many would you have?”

With no hesitation or finger-counting, she answered, “Five.”

“How about if you had six gecki strips, but then four got lost?”


It was a miracle. I asked her question after question – both addition and subtraction - and she knew the right answer every time. Now as long as I can convince all her teachers to use gecki math in the years ahead, I’m pretty sure we have a redheaded mathematician in our future.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Lazy man's virus

I got the following spam email yesterday:

Subject: Dear Internet User


You have just received a Taliban virus. Since we are not so technologicaly advanced in Afghanistan, this is a MANUAL virus. Please delete all the files on your hard disk yourself and send this mail to everyone you know.

Thank you very much for helping us.

Thanks & Regards

Miss Freya

Miss Freya was so polite and respectful, it almost made me want to delete all my files. But I need to do a back-up first.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

I spent my extra fall-back hour blogging

As many of you are tired of hearing, I dropped my external hard drive last weekend and lost over a year’s worth of photos. The few pictures I now have of that time period are mostly ones that I posted on this blog. My relief over having at least some photos made me vow to blog every day, with pictures. But that's coming from the same person who vowed to back up all her photos. Too bad good intentions count for NOTHING.

I'll blame my lack of blogging (and everything else I've neglected) on my usual fall fatigue. The day starts out all positive and energetic, but suddenly around 5:00, I feel like I could fall asleep on the spot. By 7:00 p.m., it feels like it’s midnight and it just seems too daunting to throw in a load of laundry or run an errand. I could also blame it on new exercise program. I jumped on the bandwagon about two years after everyone else and have started doing Jillian Michaels’ 30 day shred. I’ve been doing it early in the morning, which is my worst time of day. But my clothes were getting snug, so it must be done. I also signed up for a Pilates class one morning a week. I didn’t see anywhere that the class was called “Pilates for the Elderly” but it should have been. I am by far the youngest person in the class. However, if you think that means I am the most fit and flexible person in the class, you would be mistaken. I am at the bottom of the spectrum. I hate that class. But when I sign up for something, I always follow through, so I have another seven weeks to put up with the smug smirks of the seniors. I guess I’m just jealous, and a little hurt that they never invite me to come for lunch at Zellers after.

I went to a sale at Corinna's today. She and a few of her crafty friends had their stuff on display, and it was all amazing. I meant to mention this in advance to tell everyone to come, but Corinna also has some things on Etsy - definitely worth checking out. I especially love the cute roll-up totes to keep in your purse; I always like to have some on hand for little gifts even though I'd like to keep them all for myself.

While I'm talking about talented friends, I'll also mention Shannon and her new venture. She's helped me with lots of projects, from redoing the living room to organizing the craft closet. She's so good at taking problem areas that are always messy and cluttered and organizing them so there's a place for everything. The feeling of getting a disorganized area under control, or a tired space freshened up, is so motivating that it is worth every penny of the very affordable fee Shannon charges.

And one last plug for a friend...Teresa is my beloved Epicure dealer (is that the right term?). She made us a delicious cheesecake for dessert tonight with a Citrus Berry mix. I rarely make an appetizer that doesn't involve an Epicure spice. There are lots of practical little Christmas gift ideas that would make a great teacher gift or stocking stuffer (like mulling spice - mmm). If you're interested in getting her newsletter with specials and other info, let me know and I'll pass on your name to her.