Monday, September 12, 2011

September is bipolar so far.

Yesterday was stinking hot. The day before yesterday was stinking hot. The day before that was stinking hot. So what's today? 12 degrees, of course! And I'm Canadian, so I'm talking proper Celsius. I think we have a high of 15 all week. At least it's supposed to be sunny.

This will be nice on one hand because I won't have to worry about it being too stinking hot to have the kids out at the house with me while we continue getting it ready to move into. And when I say "getting it ready to move into" I mean, "making sure we have walls and floors and plumbing and things."

But on the other hand, now I feel stupid because I'm pretty sure most of the kids' socks are packed in a box somewhere. Of course.

We are now 3 weeks from the opening of our move-in window. The pressure is on.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

I tried to think of an old-timey slogan about progress, but....never mind.

This was the sunset two days ago from what will be our dining room doors.

Have I actually said here that we're renovating an old farmhouse on an acreage and we're hoping to move in October? Maybe not, but I think most of you who read this know me in real life or outside of this blog anyway and know that already, so it's moot. Or moo, if you think like Joey Tribbiani.

oh my goodness it's September. That means October 1st is 30 days away. Holy cow. (Apologies to any Hindus reading this.)

But things are coming along! The first coat of primer is pretty much done in the basement (any guesses about who was helping me?)

And we got most of the drywalling done in the kitchen yesterday, it's really looking good!

The kitchen cupboards are stacked patiently (or maybe not so patiently) in the living room, waiting to be installed:

My husband has been working his fine behind off getting stuff done out there, and I really really appreciate all he's been doing <3

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Random thought... saying "holy cow" considered blasphemy in India?

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

If you look hard enough, there's a silver lining.

I woke up this morning to see James sitting beside me, covered in chocolate. It's not weird to wake up to James (although it's usually Sophie), it was the "covered in chocolate" part that got me. I couldn't think of where he'd gotten chocolate from. I asked him, and he very helpfully said "there!" while pointing vaguely towards...nowhere, really, just kind of away from himself. Then Sophie came in, and I asked her. She held up what looked like a Tim Horton's cup, but that didn't make sense. Why would chocolate be in a Tim Horton's cup? My husband was meeting a friend for breakfast, but even if they'd gone there, the cup would have coffee, not chocolate...I was getting nowhere. Then I put my glasses on and realized it wasn't a Tim Horton's cup, it was the can of icing leftover from her birthday cake. Of course. At least it wasn't poop.

I went upstairs and found more fun had been happening. Brown sugar was dumped on the floor in the baby's room. Silver lining: it WASN'T dumped all over the baby's bed! I could just sweep it up! If you must have a mess, choose the dry, sweep-able mess.

A bit later, while closing all the windows in an attempt to keep all the heat out of our non-air-conditioned house, I stepped in something grainy beside my son's bed. What is: an entire box of salt dumped all over the bed, some clothes and a number of stuffed animals, Alex?

Only an hour until naptime, people, and then maybe I can get some laundry done...what laundry? oh, nothing important, just the blankets from one bed that were peed on and blankets from another bed that have poop on them because someone decided he didn't want to wear his diaper but he REALLY wanted to sit everywhere with poop on his bum.

Silver lining:..............I'm working on it.............any suggestions?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

She's 4!!

My little girl turned 4 yesterday!! We're having her big party on Saturday, going swimming (she's been talking about going swimming for her birthday since Christmas, so it would be cruel to do anything else) but we had some family over for cake last night.

The last two birthday cakes I made were absolutely horrific disasters. Her cake last year I was able to patch together and make it work, but poor James' cake in April was downright embarrassing. I refused to take a picture of it, and I am still unhappy that my mother-in-law took a picture of it when I specifically asked her not to. I've been plotting to get my hands on her camera and delete the picture, but haven't succeeded yet. I'll keep you posted.

So I felt like I had to redeem myself.

I planned and prepared, and things seemed like they were working out. Praise God it was a cool day, so I didn't have to worry as much about the icing melting off the cake as I made it like I have for her other birthdays. No air conditioning means you have to think about things like that.

I asked her what she wanted, and we looked at different kinds of cakes, and she decided she wanted a rainbow cake. I ended up not doing an actual rainbow, but just different colours.

Here's how I did it:
Two boxes of cake mix (because let's face it, I'm doing all this other stuff, I'm gonna take the shortcuts where I can get them)
Chocolate icing
Food colouring
Different colours of decorating icing
and a ridiculous amount of those little decorating tips, which as it turns out, I did not use to their full potential.

Mix the cake batter, divide into bowls. I have four cake pans so I used four bowls. Yes I know there are five bowls in the picture. Never mind.

Add some food colouring (maybe if I do this again I'll add some flavour or something, this was just a plain white cake after all.)

Put them in the pans lined with wax paper and OH MY GOODNESS I AM ALWAYS DOING THIS NOW. Taking them out of the pans was so easy, clean up was so easy, why doesn't everyone do this??! (Please ignore the dirty chair seat in the bottom right corner. My children are mess ninjas.)

Then I realized I had enough leftover cake batter for another layer. At this point I was thinking 5 layers might be too much, so it was going to be my backup layer in case something went horribly wrong with one of the other layers. And considering my recent track record, I didn't think it was being too cautious. And that way I used up all five bowls so there.

Now my plan was to make homemade pizza for supper, but it was starting to look like I wasn't going to have time for the crust, so while my husband was out at the store I texted and asked him to pick up some frozen pizza dough or something. He asked why didn't I just use the actual frozen pizzas we had in the freezer? My husband, the genius. Saved me so much work right there.

Product placement:

Then I started assembling. I learned from past mistakes and the layers went pretty much straight into the fridge after coming out of the oven, since it seemed like last time part of the problem was they weren't completely completely COMPLETELY cooled. It was bad. So I wanted to avoid that. And it worked! I also cut off the rounded top so that it was nice and straight and flat.

Once I got to layer 4, I had to trim around because I had used 2 9-inch pans and 2 8-inch pans.

Leftover cakey goodness...

And all 5 layers stacked!! All nice and neat!! This was a major victory for me, if my husband hadn't been busy in the next room he would've totally laughed at how proudly I was strutting around the kitchen in triumph.

Not a professional level of smooth icing, but hey, nothing's falling over and it's pretty good, I'll take it. Other stroke of genius: plastic wrap on the cake tray!

Decorating ideas...that is a pair of overalls that the baby has outgrown. I like the flowers on them.

The top: Now I'm not entirely happy with how it turned out, but that's partly because of a rogue air bubble in the icing tube. Then I tried to fix it, and it didn't go as planned but then I had to continue or else it would look really weird. Oh well, not as bad as it really could have been.

I do really like the side though, notwithstanding the droopy-starting-to-melt flower center.

And after all that, I missed the money shot of the birthday girl with it, and I missed the shot of it with a piece cut out so you can see the layers, but it was all good.

The carnage after:

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Did you know...

that if you soak a pencil crayon, the coloured shaft will swell up and split the wood?

extra fun if this happens in a sink full of soaking dishes.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

It's not camping if you don't forget something.

We just got back yesterday from a week away visiting family and friends. My mother-in-law's family had a family reunion up in Edmonton, which is over 10 hours of driving away from where we live. We left on Wednesday, and stayed two nights with friends who live a few hours away, so that we could break up the huge trip a bit. That was really fun, they have a little boy who is about to turn one, and somehow he knew instinctively to be gentle in his curiosity with Sabrina, who's almost 8 months old, and yet he knew he could head-butt James, the two year old (AKA Wrecking-Ball Head).

Then on Friday, we left for Edmonton, getting there around suppertime. Hilariously, we ran into my husband's brother and his wife in Tim Horton's in Saskatoon, where we stopped for a potty break. Turns out, so did they! They had driven to Saskatoon the day before to break up the trip, and we totally coincidentally ran into them there. Of all the Tim Horton's, in all the world, they had to walk into we drove with them for the rest of the way. Sophia and James each got a turn riding in the car with them, which meant they got to discover watching movies IN THE CAR, which blew their little minds.

We got to the campsite, and learned that what we'd heard was true, this wasn't so much a campground as a place to park your RV while you golf. Kinda sad. But it did have horrific swarms of mosquitoes who drank bug spray for breakfast and carried small children and pets off to their nests for sport.

We spent a lot of time in my husband's parents' RV.

The family reunion was good, the family seemed to be really enjoying it, the people married into the family banded together in our collective ignorance of who most of the people were. But still fun. I saw proof for the first time that my 6'4" husband is one of the short cousins on that side.

Brunch to wind up the reunion Sunday morning, then we left to visit my brother and his wife and new little baby boy in Edmonton for a few days. We hadn't seen them since James (who, let me remind you, turned two in April) was 4 months old. Their little boy is 2 months old, and a tiny little sweetie. Sabrina could eat him for lunch, but she had a good head start on him weight-wise anyway. He could still make up a good amount of ground there.

We also were given a vivid reminder that I'm allergic to cats. My brother didn't believe me.

We also saw friends of mine who I haven't actually seen, other than facebook pictures, pretty much since their wedding 9 years ago. That was super fun.

Then we came home, this time making the whole trip all in one day. You know, my kids are actually pretty good travelers, not whining or crying or complaining very much at all. But that day was still pushing it.

And I'd been so conscientious to pack the camera, the charger, the spare battery, and everything. Oh except the memory card. I forgot that.

Monday, June 27, 2011


Strawberry tarts day! Okay that's overstating it since I only made 15 (13 pictured because my oldest daughter is a tart stealing ninja), but still! Feast your eyes on this yumminess!!

In a few weeks, I'll be able to make them with fresh garden strawberries which is even better! These are garden strawberries too, but they were frozen from last year.

I don't have a picture of the tart stealing ninja with tart all over her face, but believe me, it happened.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

I hope everyone has a wonderful day!

(And if I could figure out how to make the video just show up here, I would.)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

my latest creation

Longies with a skirt!! Squeeee! I love the colours of the skirt, too. I bought the green yarn back when we didn't know if she was a girl or boy, but then after she was born I wanted something more girly :)
So, I found some stuff to match and this is what I came up with!

This being my first time doing a skirt, I wasn't brave enough to do full-on ruffles, but I think that will be soon!

playing with Sophia

"what? you lookin' at my bum or something?"

and one more, just because of that face!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

I cannot express in human words.

okay this has nothing to do with housework or being a mother or anything, but I have to post it. I saw this earlier this morning, and it's been in my head all day, I've taken every opportunity to come down and watch the video again. I've watched it 8 times in the last hour, easily.

I can't express what this stirs up inside me. I'm jealous I wasn't a part of it. I'm sorry I can't tell you the name of the song or who sings it or anything, I wish I knew so I could buy everything they've ever made. I just hope this does something for you too.

(please, for my sake, watch it full screen. It's just better that way.)

Saturday, April 2, 2011

They say you have to laugh at these things, but I'm not there yet.

I'm venting here a bit because I need to.

I'm participating in a spring group baby gift exchange, and I was making a little dress for the girl I had. I've spent a number of evenings on it, and it was taking a while since I was altering a pattern I had, so some elements of it were made up as I went along and therefore took longer.

I was past the deadline already, but I'd talked to my gift partner and she understood and was fine with it.

I just finished the dress this afternoon, even put a little ribbon bow near the hem, and it was very cute if I do say so myself. Then my baby woke up, and I went and changed her diaper, leaving the dress on the ironing board.

I thought I was safe, James was sleeping and Sophie was downstairs watching Dora. But I thought wrong.

I came out and starting clearing stuff away to get ready for supper. I picked up the dress, and noticed the scissors right beside it. And then noticed the jagged cut marks on the hem. Sophie had been here.

I wanted to cry. Or scream. Or yell. Or something. But I just stood there in shock. Sophie happened to walk in right about then, and saw me. She said something about helping me with the dress, then I turned and looked at her. To her credit, she immediately started saying, "I'm sorry mommy, I'm so sorry mommy, you can make it better!" I wanted to spank her or something. But I didn't.

We went into the living room and had a very serious talk about scissors, and not touching mommy's things. I don't know what I'm going to do with the dress now, if I can save it or not. Or if I have to start all over.

But I'll never underestimate her stealth skills again.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Her secret identity

One of the amazing things about being a stay-at-home mom is that you get to learn every day who your children are. In the overarching picture of course, but also in ways you don't expect. Today, for example, Sophia was a red-eyed tree frog. When we got her dressed, she had to wear a green shirt and green pants because red-eyed tree frogs are green. Never mind that her only green pants are camo and the green shirt she picked was very pretty but very definitely did NOT go with camo. Oh well. She even had green underwear. She spent the day hopping happily around the house, occasionally sharing interesting tidbits about red-eyed tree frogs. They have red eyes and red toes. They eat bugs and spiders and ladybugs. They're good at climbing. They live in trees. They're afraid of pumas. You might think that last one is odd, since you usually don't think of pumas hunting frogs. I blame Diego for this. Go, Diego Go! is where she gets most of her animal facts, and pretty much all the animals on that show are afraid of pumas. This is all fine and good, but usually at some point her brother comes into the room, and then she loudly proclaims, "James is a puma! Red-eyed tree frogs are afraid of pumas!! I have to hide!!" I turn to her brother and ask, "Are you a puma?" He growls at me happily and nods that yes, he is. And then trundles off to find his truck or something. Meanwhile the red-eyed tree frog is hiding using the tried-and-true method of camouflage known as "covering your face."

Often I can work this to my advantage. Did you know that red-eyed tree frogs are VERY good at picking up toys? They also are always kind to their brothers (except when their brother is also a puma).

You have to keep up with the trends, though. It wasn't too long ago that she was whichever Strawberry Shortcake character who was the same colour as the clothes she was wearing. Her pajamas are blue, she's Blueberry Muffin! She's wearing a purple dress, she's Plum Pudding! One day she was wearing green and her grandmother (who was in the know) asked her who she was. She was quite confused, because no Strawberry Shortcake character wears green, and she hadn't yet discovered tree frogs. In the end we had to go change her shirt so she could be Raspberry Torte.

Tomorrow she might still be a frog, or maybe a spectacled bear, or Ming-Ming from the Wonderpets. Maybe she'll be a good climber, or a tiny mouse who needs to be carried around. But once in a while, she's just Sophie.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

I am RIDICULOUSLY proud of myself!!

I've always struggled with knitting. Crochet I can do, though. My gramma has "taught" me how to knit 4 or 5 times throughout my life, and the last time (when I was 26) the results looked startlingly similar to the first time (when I was 5). I successfully made a dishcloth, it took me a few weeks at least, and was so stressful, intimidating, and all-round difficult that I gave it up.

But about a month ago, I thought I would give it a try again (not sure why, I was sure it was just going to be some kind of self-torture) but I would just fool around with it. I found and learned how to knit holding the yarn in my left hand instead of my right (known as Continental knitting, for all of you taking notes out there). And, I have to say, WOW. It took some practice, I was quite slow at first, but it never had that stressful feeling that I remembered always having.

Aaaaaaannnnd, I've finished my first project!! Check it out!!

(Please excuse the dirty office chair.)

Now they're not perfect by any means, but there are no weird loops or gaps, the tension is pretty even, overall I'm very happy with them!


Sorry this one is sideways for some reason....

I totally have my new hobby of the month! I have more yarn, I can't wait to make more!!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

things that make no sense...and still happen.

I try to think that my life is organized, and logical, and things do what they're supposed to do. Then I remember that I'm me, I have 3 small children, and I've never been confused with an organized person. And yet, often things happen that really shouldn't happen. Or at least I don't want them to happen. And they do. Call it Murphy's Law, call it bad luck, call it whatever, but there it is. For example:

Why do babies wait until you are about to walk out the door to poop or spit all over themselves, forcing you to stop and change their clothes completely before going out again? Bonus points if they get it all over you too. This counts double during the winter, when you have all the cold-weather gear to deal with as well. Also, extra points if you are already late, and/or if you are going to church or some other event that requires you to be dressed up.

Why do I always end up staying up too late? I know I'll be exhausted the next day, I commit to myself that I'm going to bed in good time for once, and then facebook sucks me in and next thing I know it's almost 1 in the morning. gah.

Why do toddlers wait until you're on the phone before tripping and hitting their head right beside you and crying at the top of their lungs? Although this does work well for getting rid of telemarketers or those people doing surveys.

Why do small children have an irresistible urge to come and visit you when you're going to the bathroom? What is so fascinating about that anyway?

Why is it so often I totally forget to think about what's for supper until after 5 o'clock and my husband gets home at 6?

Why do grocery stores refuse to stock the one item I really really need? Doesn't matter what the item is, it's something different every time. But it's NEVER THERE.

These are things I don't understand. Some are in my control, and therefore, yes, technically my fault. But they're all bewildering.

Some things don't always make sense in a good way. Like how after a long rough day, with repeated frustrations and discipline sessions and fights, my children still want me to snuggle and cuddle with them and it just melts me down to nothing. Or how I can be up all night with the baby and strung out because of the crying and lack of sleep, and she looks up at me and smiles and suddenly that's all that matters.

And now, I'm getting off the computer and going to bed.