Monday, November 26, 2012


For those of you who have been wondering (anyone?), Swimmy II and Napoleon III have been alive and well for a couple of months.  They seem as happy as a lone fish in a little bowl can be; they are good eaters and always respond and make eye contact when we look at them.  The kids usually remember to feed them and we even give them fresh water now and then.  All is good in (our) pet land.  Just don't look too close at all the fish feces in the rocks.  Great, now you're looking. 


I promise I won’t talk about Christmas shopping every time I blog, but you should see the cool Christmas List app Chloe downloaded on her iPod.  It keeps track of all the gifts you want to buy, your budget and everything.  I have an excel spreadsheet that does the same thing, but it’s pretty tough carrying around my laptop while I shop.  I think it might be time to move beyond my free MTS Hello Kitty phone.


Check out this link on awesome pools.  Some of them are just artists’ renderings at this point, but amazing concepts nonetheless.  I love when people dream up crazy things like this and then actually make them happen.


And one more disturbing yet fascinating link.  This has been helpful in making my children happier with their lives.  "What?  You're whining because I cut your sandwich in half horizontally instead of diagonally?  At least you don't have to live in a cave with wild dogs and drink their breastmilk."  I'm not sure if animal milk is called breastmilk and I'm scared to google the answer.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Someone's getting old

Dale had a birthday yesterday.  I think he had a good day; I know I did.  The girls were off school so we brought treats to Dale’s work and took him for lunch.  After work, I met him at Ten Spa where we had massages and hung out in the steam room.  It was a little luxurious slice of heaven on a Friday night.  And it wasn’t even my birthday.  When we got home, Chloe had peach crumble (Dale’s request) ready, hot from the oven.  So hot in fact, that the candles melted into the peach crumble and we had to cut the pieces around the candle holes.  Then we had a foosball tournament (also Dale’s request), which he won, even when he played against all four of us at the same time.  We finished off the evening with The Little Rascals movie (not Dale’s request).

In other news, I had a little flu bout this week.  That was fun.  I’m so rarely sick that I view it as a disappointing personal failure when I am. To make things worse, I was the only one in the family to succumb to it.  On the bright side, I was able to wear a skinny dress to work that I haven’t worn for a while.  It’s always a little disappointing that the weight loss doesn’t last longer.  My tummy went nice and flat after not eating for a day or two and then I take one bite of dry toast and it pops right back out, rounder than ever.  I tried not eating even after I felt totally better, but I was getting all shaky and weak and there's nothing hot about a frail, skinny person who always has to rest.  Or is there?

Dale worked most of the day today so I was stuck driving the kids to their activities in the midst of a heavy snowfall.  After dropping Spencer off at fencing, the girls and I went to a craft sale.  I had pictured us strolling happily through the booths, sipping apple cider and finishing up my Christmas shopping.  My fantasy started to deflate when the parking lot was full and I had to drive around searching for a spot.  I hadn’t pictured us running across Main Street with a blustery, icy wind taking our breath away.  Once inside, there was no shortage of beautiful crafts and art, but there was also no shortage of people in big puffy parkas all rubbing up against me.  I had to hold on to Neve to push her through the crowds, which made her mad.  She was the only little kid there; in hindsight, I should have realized why.  Even if there’d been apple cider (maybe there was some in the cafĂ© but we didn’t make it there), it would have spilled all over everyone’s coats and infinity scarves.  The older I get, the less I can handle crowds so we didn’t last very long.  As for Christmas shopping, all I bought were cookies for the girls.  So that didn’t work out great, but I probably just went at a bad time.  I’m getting a little worried about my self-imposed December 1st Christmas shopping deadline.  I felt like I had a good jump on things, but it’s come to a standstill.  This is a conversation that I have every single year with more than one person.

Me:  Have you started your Christmas shopping?

Other person:  What?!  NO!!  It’s only November 15; what kind of sick, twisted person even THINKS of Christmas that early?!

One week later …

Me:  Have you started your Christmas shopping yet?

Other person (same one as above):  Yeah, I think I’m done.  I have the tree up, baking done, and the gifts wrapped.  I just need to mix the punch for Christmas dinner and then I’m all ready.

The moral of the story is that I need to stop asking people that question.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Santa and a Sick Day

Another weekend has come and gone in the blink of an eye … just five more of those and it will be Christmas.  I’m feeling more on top of things than I usually do at this point, so I’m hoping to keep the crazy to a minimum.  I really like this blogger’s post (along with pretty much every post she writes) about keeping gifts quick and easy.  That way, you can spend time in December doing nice fun family things rather than shopping.  This of course sounds wonderful on paper – or screen – but in reality it’s not quite that simple.  First of all, not all gifts can be bought so easily; and secondly, I’m not that great at spending my free time wisely anyway.  However, I’ve got a large part of my gifts already bought and most of the rest can be done online, so I’m doing okay.  I’ve also gotten less selective about the gifts I buy (chocolates for everyone!) and am trying to pare down the children’s gifts.  The best way I can achieve this is to finish up my list and then stay out of the stores; it’s the “adding-on” that gets me every time.

Speaking of Christmas, we watched the Santa Claus parade from my office boardroom as usual, where there is warmth, a bathroom, and food and drink.  This photo is bad, but it sort of captures the mood.

These pictures below were taken on the same bench downtown after the parade.  The weather was actually quite pleasant this year too, but the snow makes everything feel colder.  I’m still hoping all the snow will melt – I rush to the window every morning with high hopes.  No luck so far, but tomorrow’s a new above-zero day.



Neve woke up with a raspy cough and a sore throat this morning.  Fortunately I had no important plans today, so I went upstairs to get her blankets and pillow to make the couch into a nice cozy bed for her.  When she saw the pile of blankets in my arms, she looked displeased and said – in a perfectly clear, unsickly voice, “I hope you know YOU are putting that all back and making my bed after.”  That’s when I knew that she wasn’t that sick. 

But it was a good excuse for me to cuddle with her and read books.  I would’ve liked the convalescence to last a little longer, but it wasn’t long until she said she was feeling better and wanted nothing to do with the nap I suggested (for myself).  So she did puzzles and played on her “new iPod Touch” (Dale’s old iPhone) while I worked. 

Spencer read her a book before he went to school

I leave you with a random picture of my niece Lexie.  I think she has a mouthful of milk.

Sunday, November 11, 2012


The big news here today is ... you'll never guess ... SNOW in Winnipeg in November!  It's the talk of the town.  The reason this is so unbelievably remarkable is unclear.  I will admit it's crazy to think that just 48 hours ago there wasn't a flake of snow on the ground.  Now there is no ground to be seen.  I'm never ready for snow, but I will also secretly admit that it's a tiny bit exciting how bright and fresh everything looks.  I thought I had taken inventory of the children's outerwear needs and had everything ready, but apparently I was drunk when I did it because suddenly one child needs snow pants, two need boots, and one has no mitts (I can't be blamed for the mitt situation because the child had mitts at the time, but has since lost one).  Neve and Spencer went out to play in the snow this morning and it took about 30 minutes to get them dressed and out the door.  But it was all Worth It because shortly thereafter, there were piles of wet boots, snowpants and snow-covered mitts spread all over the floor.  It's going to be a long winter.  Chloe and Spencer are actually playing outside right now - seems wrong when it's so dark, but it's really only 8:30 ... better to be playing outside than watching TV.
It's been a very busy but fun weekend.  Friday Spencer & I went to MTYP to see Potted Potter.  It was the funniest performance I've ever seen there; we laughed so hard.  Chloe was supposed to go with us, but her cheer team was performing at the high school championship football game at the stadium.  Funny how she hadn't been to the stadium before and then ends up going twice in one week.  Anyway, she really wanted to go to MTYP as well, so I switched her ticket to today's show and she went by herself.  Also this weekend:  Spencer's fencing tournament, three birthday parties, an afternoon at YFC's recreational facility downtown, gymnastics, a make-your-own-pizza party last night, and friends over for brunch today.  And of course, winter boot shopping.  Spencer hates shopping so much that he decided he doesn't need winter boots.  We had an old hand-me-down pair that sort of fit him and he insisted they were good enough.  I'm skeptical they will be warm enough, but if it saves him a trip to the mall, he'll struggle through the winter.  My hope is that he realizes a toe amputation would be less pleasant than twenty minutes at Sears. 

One more installment in my Movember series (in addition to the one on Facebook):

Monday, November 05, 2012


Here's a picture of my desk with its miscellaneous items.  Not sure why or who would be interested in this, but I needed a distraction.  Actually it looks like I already have plenty.  I didn't label the lined papers under the phone - that's Spencer's travel journal from our trip this summer.  It's been sitting there since late July.  I need to print out a cover for it and coil-bind it one of these days.  Maybe tomorrow.  Probably not.

Not loving the time change this weekend.  I'm always so excited for that extra hour, always forgetting it comes with a price.  Neve started crying when she saw how dark it was when she came upstairs from her after-school TV watching.  I felt like crying too, but no tears came.  The good part is that because it felt so late, Neve was tucked in bed before 7:00.  That was a treat for all of us.  The other positive thing about the early darkness is that Toys R Us was deserted.  A friend said it was packed during the day, but I guess the dark combined with the raining snow kept everyone else away tonight.  There were about 20 staff members hanging around, constantly asking if they could help me.  It was like my own personal Midnight Madness sale.

Chloe and Dale went to the Bomber game on Saturday.  It was the Bomber's last ever game at the stadium, and Chloe's first ever time there.  She'd been wanting to go to a game all season, but for one reason or another, it never happened.  Then someone at work offered me free tickets, and it worked out like it was meant to be.  The Bombers had a rare win, and Dale and Chloe had a great time.

Sunday, November 04, 2012


Not sure why I'm having such a tough time lately finding time to blog.  I have lots of things in my head that I want to write, and then I'm too tired.  So this will be a quick little update consisting of mainly photos.

Halloween was fun, but it felt a little more low key than usual.  We had fewer than 20 kids at our door, compared to about 30 every other year for the past 14 years.  The sidewalks on our street were very quiet; for a while I was worried we were out on the wrong night.  But people were giving out candy, so it was okay.  We had a good time with our Halloween friends, who came dressed as a groovy disco family (except the hunter).  The weather was actually pretty decent and it was fun being out.  The teenage girls went out on their own, and the boys went out on their own, which left my friend and I to walk around with the youngest girls.  Both Neve and her girl were talkative and social, so they took their time at each house, complimenting the candy givers on their Halloween decor or pet or pumpkin carvings.  One guy was very happy they'd noticed his pumpkin and told the girls he'd sandblasted the design into it.  The girls had no idea what sandblasting was, but they pretended to be impressed.  It always pays to be nice to the person with the bowl of candy.

The bounty

All of last week was busy - lots to do at work, plus something up every evening.  Spencer was off school on Friday, so we went to Sushi Train for lunch and then to the toy store at the Forks.  In the morning, two former co-workers came for tea.  Well, one is still a current co-worker, but she's on mat leave.  Her baby was so cute and so good that I'm thinking of having Dale's vasectomy reversed.  I held her for about an hour while she slept and it felt so amazing.

Funny little mini-car thing Spencer and I saw at the Forks on Friday.

He's not a fan of having his picture taken, but he humoured me with a forced smile.

Other weekend highlights included Happy Hour, sleeping in, going for a run, Mike & Darla over for dinner last night, an extra hour of sleep, a walk on the river walkway with my sister and niece, and dinner at their house after.  The week ahead looks less full than last week; I'm hoping for at least one night of mindless TV and a big bowl of popcorn.