Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A Dinosaur of a Story

Yesterday was the kind of day with the boys that by 4:30pm when my husband came up from the dungeon for a break from work he found me half dead sprawled out on the love seat with a massive sheeth of Diego stickers thrown over my chest along every single toy taken out of the toy box surrounding the floor around me.

The boys had broken me.

I was so over parenting at that very moment.

And though days sometimes turn sour there always seems to be one moment that is oh so sweet.

Like a small diamond of loveliness peeking through the rough.


As we sat on the front steps I began to teach Adrian how to print his name in sidewalk chalk.

Finley was doodling beside us quietly.

After the letter D Adrian became restless.

He looked at Finley's drawing and asked him in his high pitched sweet voice that I imagine is what he thinks I sound like when I talk to Fin, "What are you drawing Finley?"

Finley's response sounded a lot like this, "Abibablubababeegabee."

Adrian (in the same high pitched 'motherly' tone), "Oh really?  A dinosaur?  Good job buddy!"

What do you think?  Not bad for a pterodactyl!

Monday, August 29, 2011

10 Places I LOVE

Today I'm all about another list.  Because I love that over at The Good Life for Monday Listicles we can talk about 10 Places We LOVE.

I'll admit, this one was a no-brainer.  Just like the last one these are in random order.

Here I go again...

1.  Vancouver.  I visited Vancouver for the first time 6 or 8 years ago.  I can't remember.  It's been a loooong time.  It was before marriage, pregnancy and kids so at least 6 years ago.  Anyway. I went with John to visit my best friend.  I fell in love with the shopping, the restaurants, the beauty and especially Stanley Park where my husband and I got wonderfully lost for hours.  I have returned since sans hubby to enjoy 4 days here and there with Erin.  Each time has been a different and awesome experience.

I am THAT nerd.

2.  London.  (Canada).  It's my hometown.  Born and raised.  My family and a lot of my good friends still live there.  It holds beautiful and heart aching memories and a gamut of emotional experiences in between and although I don't consider it home anymore it's where I became who I am.  Not to mention where I met my future....John.

3.  Home.  Whether I'm reading to my boys at night, reading in my own bed at night, watching movies in our big bed with my whole family surrounding me all comfy and cuddly, cooking while listening to music and sipping on a chilled glass of white wine, writing at my kitchen table while the boys nap, dancing to Jack Johnson with the boys in the living room as the sun streams through the slatted blinds or simply in our family room watching the latest Storage Wars (John's favourite show) curled up with my hubby (incredibly romantic isn't it?) I love being home.  Home IS where the heart is.

4.  Anywhere with Friends.  And I mean anywhere.  At a restaurant, a park, one our homes, hanging out in a hotel room.  Always laughing our asses of about nothing and talking for hours on end about everything.  I love my girlfriends SO much.

Me and my lurrrvly ladies.

5.  Chapters.  I sit at one as I type this, in between sipping on a Chai Latte and devouring a Ginger Molasses cookie (if you've never had one - DO IT.  They will change your life.)  I also read all about horoscopes for the 50 millionth time.  I find astrology absolutely fascinating.  I found out today that I'm a Libra rising.  Interesting.

I'm a sea goat.  A Capricorn.

6.  Niagara-On-The-Lake.  This beautiful place holds so many incredibly romantic memories for me.  And we will continue to make them year after year.  It's a place where my husband and I would love to buy a home if we had all the money in the world (of-course we'd have a winter home in a warmer climate too if money wasn't an option).  We love it there.  Historic, full of romance, beauty, surrounded by water...not to mention amazing wineries.

On our 5 year anniversary this past June at Konzelman's Winery.

7.  Water.  I love being around water.  I love watching the ebb and flow, the colour of it changing constantly depending on the sunlight and time of day.  There's something peaceful and yet at the same time frightening about being in front of a vast body of water.  Nothing like that kind of contradiction to make you really think.

Yes, I'm sitting on a random bench that happens to be in the water.
Don't worry though.  That's no random dog.  That's our Riley girl.

8.  Quebec City.  After I became a Missus this is where we took our honeymoon.  I suppose I love it so much because it has a lot of the same characteristics that NOTL has.  Minus the abundance of wineries.  What it lacks in wineries it more than makes up for in fabulous restaurants.  Hmmm...I think I'm starting to see a pattern in the places I love...

Taking a romantic horse drawn carriage ride
through the cobbled streets of Quebec City.

9.  Kingston.  More specifically my Mother In Law's home.  It's right on the water.  Full of light, full of love, full of soul.

10.  My Husband's Arms.  In unison...gag...now.

Friday, August 26, 2011


I love to watch you

Take in the world

Close yet distant

Eyes wide

and Vibrant


Ever changing

In the twist of a moment.

Linking up for the first time over at Red Writing Hood.  This week’s assignment was simple: write a story of your choice. The catch? Write it as a tweet. Use only 140 characters – including spaces.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

20 Questions

There was a list I saw someone post on facebook a few years ago.  I've kept that list because I thought they would be so much fun to ask my son when he got a little bit older.  

Shows how much I knew about 3 year olds then.  


I've been working on this list with Adrian since May.  MAY!  Because after about 1.5 questions he'd always ask exasperatedly, "Mom, can we let's not do this anymore?"...yes, I know, bad grammar (he is only three) but to that I would actually start to bribe him with chocolate chips.  "Just one more question bud and you can have 3 chocolate chips.  Now.  What am I really good at?"  "I don't know!" "What do you mean you don't know??  Am I a good cook, do I tell you good stories...pick one."  Okay, so I used a bit of guidance on a question or two but the answers remain all his.  It was fun and funny and some of the answers so sweet. Though it took a while (a mere four months) I'm so happy I we prevailed.  

1. What is something mom always says to you?

No, thank you.

2. What makes mom happy?

Getting hugs and kisses.

3. What makes mom sad?

Doing nothing with you.

4. What does your mom do to make you laugh?

Funny things.  "Like what?"  Saying poopies

5. What was your mom like as a child?

Me (uh, no...not even a little bit)

6. How old is your mom?

Holds up three fingers on each hand.  (impressive)

7. How tall is your mom?

"This big!" - spreading arms out as far as they can go

8. What is her favorite thing to do?

Hug me.

9. What does your mom do when you're not around?

Work out (How true this is.  It's the only hour and a half I have away from my children in a 24 hour period.  I'm not exaggerating.  Not even a little)

10. If your mom becomes famous, what will it be for?

I don't know (granted, and gratefully, he doesn't understand what 'famous' even means)

11. What is your mom really good at?

Setting up snacks

12. What is your mom not very good at?

Stepping on crayons  (?? - no idea)

13.What does your mom do for her job?

Cleaning (amongst all else)

14. What's your mom's favorite food?


15. What makes you proud of your mom?

"You're a good cook" (now this was sweet to hear)

16. If your mom were a cartoon character, who would she be?

Iron Man Girl

17. What do you and your mom do together?

Play baseball (I think we've played baseball together all of 1 time)

18. How are you and your mom the same?

We have fat heads and the same hair  (this is, unfortunately, quite true)

19. How are you and your mom different?

I don't know.

20. How do you know your mom loves you?


Yes, this is my son and yes, he is quite the character.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Dear Kristen,

29 years ago today a baby girl was born.  This wasn’t just any baby girl.  And of-course as every Mother thinks about their child, she was special.   

But, this little one, she truly was.

12 years later I had the pleasure of being welcomed into my second family.  Her family.  Your family. It was immediate, the affection and adoration I had for your family.  And you, Kristen.  And, yes, as mentioned above, you were special, one of a kind.  Just like your big sister. So dissimilar to her in most ways but  very alike in others.  A force of nature unto your own.  Albeit a much quieter one.  And not because cancer had invaded your voice box requiring it to be removed at far too young of an age.  No, though literally speaking you had no voice, quite figuratively you most certainly did.  Though Erin could be described affectionately as a hurricane you were more like a strong breeze on a new spring day. 

I miss you Kristen.  And though it’s nothing compared to the dark, empty space of ache left in the centre of your parent's and Erin’s being, it resides there inside mine too, coming and going with little things occurring to the day to day, week to week, month to month, that spark a memory of you, bringing a smile to my soul.  A lift to my day.

When I think of you Kris, one particular memory always comes alive in my mind.  You and my sister-in- law doing the salsa to one of Rihanna’s songs in the hotel room during my bachelorette party.  You in your flowy pink shirt smiling, laughing.  Having the time of your life.  As you always did.  Even in the throes of chemo 1 year later you still managed to choke down a shot in true O’Halloran style at my friend’s Bachelorette party. 

When I think of coming to your house to visit with your family or pick up Erin you were always the first to answer the door.  Your smile  shone so genuinely.  It took me aback that someone would always be so happy to see me.  And your hugs…always the best hugs.  Your white blond hair, pale blue eyes and porcelain skin may have made one think you were as fragile as a flower but they belied the stongest spirit of a person I’ve yet to meet again.  The O'Halloran women are the strongest I know.  They also give the best hugs.  There is nothing better than a good, strong hug to make one feel at home.

Yes, you were sweet and very angelic looking but you had quite the sarcastic side to you, which you always whipped out on your father.  Oh the fun you made of him…so entertaining to watch.  Of-course Mr O is always a fun guy to make fun of…the sense of humour in your family is second to none.  It’s one of the many things I love most.

I remember the first time I heard you ‘sing’.  Your index finger to throat rasping along, with zero melody or tune, to one of the cd’s your sister and I were playing as we got ready to go out.  It made me smile as much as it made my heart ache.

I dream of you.  Often.  When I got the call from Erin on a cold snowy night in January telling me that your cancer had come back it was like a very bad dream.  This was never supposed to happen.  I was in disbelief, shock and denial.  I dreamed that night that you had come to visit me at work.  I kept telling you, insistently, you were going to get better,  you were.  You sat there beside me, quiet.  Your presence comforting me as I cried.  I couldn’t stop the tears from falling.  You know those dreams you have when you cry and cry and cry.  You just can’t stop and you wake up in the morning feeling as if you really had wept those tears, drained and exhausted…it was one of those.  In my dream you comforted me knowing all the while that you would be leaving us soon.  Too soon. Though you were still alive then I illogically believe your soul somehow visited me that night as we both slept.  It was so real.

I know that your sister felt a tremendous burden not being with you as much as she wanted to be in the last months.  She constantly questioned the quality of her big sisterhood living so far away.  I think you’ll agree with me that, just like she is the greatest best friend to me, she was also the greatest big sister a little girl could ever wish for.  She loves you more than anyone.  Anyone.  

The day of your funeral….it seems so wrong to call it a funeral really.  It was more of a celebration of who you were.  People were asked to wear hockey jersey’s knowing what a huge hockey fan you were.  Ah, Pittsburgh Penguins…couldn’t you have won the Stanley Cup that year!?  Didn’t you know your biggest fan was there watching?!!  Ah well.  She pulled some strings up there for you guys in 2009.  Way to go Kris.  
It was the most awe-inspiring funeral I have ever attended.  Filled topped to bottom with every life you’ve ever touched.  Man, that was a LOT of lives that felt your touch.  It was a wonderful tribute to an incredible woman.  Full of tears, full of song, but full of laughter too.

Shortly after your soul began an otherworldly journey, I had another dream of you.  You were sitting on a bed showing me beautiful, brightly coloured costume jewelry.  Tons of it.  Necklace after necklace.  Bracelet after bracelet.  You loved jewelry – another rare commonality between you and Erin.  You were very jubilant and yet so at peace.  You were also talking to me, it was of nothing specific or important, we were just chatting away.  And you had a voice.  I remember waking up in the morning and having my first thought be…she had a voice!  She now has a voice!  It is melodic and sing songy and perfectly suited to you. 

Yes, you left us all too soon Kristen but you lived a life more full and more filled with adventure than most.  Though you may have physically left us just over 3 years ago your spirit lives on in the huge dragonflies I see everywhere now, the colour purple, the penguins I see at every turn, in stuffed, cartoon or craft form, in the pictures of you that my sons point at expectantly, smiling as if they know who you are even though they’ve never met you and most importantly in the charity foundation, The Dash, that your amazing Mother and wonderful best friend started up in honour of you.

You took a piece of our hearts along with you at the end of your time here and in exchange left a great part of your spirit behind.  May every person you touched in your short life live even half the kind of life as you did.  And may we all consciously continue living life fully, bravely and inspirationally within The Dash.

Happy Birthday to you lady.  May you being singing loudly and salsaing up a storm with drink in hand.

I love you.

                                                            Shell - Things I Can't Say

Monday, August 22, 2011

A Love Moment

It's mid-afternoon on a quiet, warm, sunny Saturday.

I'm prepping for dinner as my little boys nap.  Squeezing lemon juice out of some desperate looking lemons.

Never judge a lemon's insides by it's outsides I found out.  They were still full of tart juiciness.

John is out, doing whatever it is he does outside the house.  Things that I never do, like weeding, mowing the lawn, watering the grass, moving things about in the garage.

I hear a little voice behind me...."Mummaaa?"

I turn around with an expectant smile and see my big boy's flushed face cheeks pink and creased from deep sleep, messy damp curls and sleepy big blue eyes.  I can always 'feel' my heart get bigger when I see my children, if that's even possible.  There's the term "heart swells" and that's exactly what happens....

He's dressed only in his Buzz Lightyear underroos holding his favourite yellow cozy close to his face, standing halfway down the stairs, peering at me through the oak wood railing spindles.

"Hi baby!"

"Can you come get me?" he asks in his small, sleepy little boy voice.

I climb the stairs and gather into my arms all of his big boyness, placing my nose in the sweet, soft crook between his neck and shoulders, inhaling his boy-child essence of sunscreen, baby shampoo and outdoors.

His arms immediately wrap around my neck as his legs hug my waist.

And as always he places his cheek to my shoulder, face out.

For some reason he always wants me to carry him down the stairs, upon waking in the morning or after nap time.

And I don't question it.


Because it's the sweetest part of my day.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

FOODIE FRIDAY - It's DIPLICIOUS! (Layered Nacho Dip)

If there's one single dip that is no doubt universally loved more than any other it's the layered nacho dip.

Now, as you know there are many, thousands actually, different versions of nacho dip.  Or taco dip....everyone has a different name for it too.  I'm specifically talking about the layer upon delicious layer of cheesy, bean-y, avocado-ey goodness.  This is always a hit at pot lucks or casual get togethers.  Or if you're craving a whole entire dish and want to eat it allbyyourself  with your significant other. That's okay too.  Your secret is safe with me.  Not that I've ever done that before or anything.  Because it's totally not addictive at all.


This is my version.  Hope you like!  (you can't really go wrong with this)


1 package of cream cheese
1/2 container of sour cream
1 cup of salsa
1 can of refried beans
2 large very ripe avocados - diced [ How to dice an avocado ] just in case you need some assistance
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 tsp chili powder
green onion - chopped
black olives

Mix together softened cream cheese, sour cream and chili powder.  Spread on bottom of a medium sized round or square dish - approx 9x13

Mix together the salsa and beans (this is key - the salsa helps to spread the bean mixture much easier)  Spread over the cream cheese layer.

Dice the avocados and place over bean/salsa layer.

Top with shredded cheese and garnish generously with green onions and black olives.

Grab a big bag of Tostitos (I love the Hint of Lime but of-course this is your choice) and dip in!!!

*CUE MUSIC*  'Nothing Compares' to this dip!  ;)  I know ... I'm being super corny.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Mr. Manners

We were all sitting and eating as a family.  At the dinner table.  Civilly.  I made my Naan Bread Pizza's.

Ahhh.  The sound of simply eating at the table.  Quiet.  No fussing, no whinging, no running away from the table.  Who knew the sound of chewing food would be music to my ears?

It. was. so. perfect.

And then Adrian sneezed.

Lucky for me I was sitting right beside him and.  Well.  It was gross.

And all over my arm.  

So much for civility.

"Bud you have to cover your mouth when you sneeze."  I admonish, grabbing a paper towel and wiping remnants of...the grossness from my forearm.  

John adds, "Yes, Aidy, it's bad manners not to cover your mouth when you sneeze."  Some parents are sticklers for certain things.  Ours is manners.  

Adrian promptly responds eagerly, "Just like when you barf you should barf in a bucket.  Or in the toilet."

Okay so talking about throwing up at the dinner table isn't exactly the most appropriate topic of conversation.  Nor good manners either.

Nevertheless John and I looked at each other.  Amused.  How could we not be?

And how else could I respond but with, "Yes, buddy.  You have the right idea."


Monday, August 15, 2011

10 Things I Miss The Most


I'm linking up over at The Good Life for Monday Listicles.  Oh, how I love a good list.


I miss SO much.  So many people.  So many spontaneous things that I could do BK. (before kids).

These are in random order.  'Cause that's how my mind works these days.  Randomly.  And how terrible would I be if I missed a dinosaur t-shirt more than my Mum, my best friend and my deceased Grandmother?

1.  I miss my favourite comfy pants that I left on a hook behind a hotel bathroom door and the super cool yellow dinosaur t-shirt that I bought at Value Village many, many years ago. I'm pretty sure it was also hanging there with my favourite pants.  My sons would've loved that t-shirt.

2.  I miss my BFF.  I miss having breakfast with her at Archie's hungover on a Sunday.  I miss our SATC marathons in the middle of summer.  I miss our talks.  About life.  Clothes.  Men.  We still have them but they're not the same over the phone and, more importantly, without sharing cheese and wine.

3.  I miss my Mum.  All the time.  Everyday.  She's an awesome woman, that Mumma of mine. (she's alive and well thank God - she just lives in another city)

4.  I miss my Grandma Belle.  What a lady.  It's been 16 years since she's passed and I still think about her every single day.  She was warm, hilarious, honest, smart.  I miss the back scratches that she gave and would put me sleep with and how she used to braid my hair and use twist ties to keep the braid in place because she couldn't find an elastic.  I miss her teasing me about boys.  I miss hearing the stories about her childhood and the early days with my Poppy.  I could go on and on.  Oh how I miss that wonderful woman.

5.  I miss my cat Ziggy.  We'll never know why or how he died....he was only 3 years old but that cat was the sweetest animal that ever was.  And I am not a cat person.

6.   I miss our old apartment in Wortley Village.  It was small but it holds such huge memories.  John and I got engaged there.  Sitting across from each other eating a gourmet meal at our cheap, crappy green legged coffee table, he asked me to be his wife.  I'm so happy I said yes.  Like there was any doubt.

7.   I miss all of my friends.  But I also love the fact that when we get together it's like we're right back to where we were.  You know you have great friends when.

8.   I miss the days BK when my husband and I would hang out in our apartment on Wortley, drink wine and decide on a whim that we wanted to go out for a late dinner.  I miss dressing up, putting make up on and having John tell me how beautiful I look.

9.  I miss the feeling of my babies movement in my belly.  It still blows my mind that I got to experience the miracle of pregnancy not once but twice.

10.  I miss the quality of 80's tv shows from when I was a kid.  Shows like, The Wonder Years, Punky Brewster, Growing Pains, Charles in Charge, Doogie Howser, Webster, The Cosby Show, My Two Dad's, Family Ties.

Today's Reality TV shows just don't hold a candle to the acting skills of Scott Baio and Kirk Cameron.  However disturbingly addicting they can be.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Sweeter than Apple Pie

I was getting Adrian all 'comfy' for bedtime after reading 3 stories, settling his Lamby, Froggy Doggy 2, and Lily Bear in line near the crook of his neck and lying his yellow cozy, then blue cozy on top of his ever growing 3 year old baby-boy body.

As I pulled up the last bit of comfiness (his comforter) I asked him, "Do you want Mummy to lay down with you tonight?" knowing the answer already.

It's always yes.  In fact I'm basically a prisoner of my son's room until he eventually surrenders to the sleep Gods.

"Yes Mumma.  Lay down."  He pats the pillow beside his.  My pillow.  He does this every night....pats my pillow if I haven't already laid my head next to his.

"Why do you want Mummy to lay down with you every night?"  I also know the answer to this question too.

But I love hearing it.  A Mother never tires of hearing those words.

I settle in, pulling his fleece Spiderman blanket over my legs then laying my head down next to his.  We're are facing one another.

His big blue eyes lock onto mine and with a small smile on his lips he says,

"Because I love you."  

"You are so sweet.  I love you too."

"No, you're sweet."

"You're as sweet as pie."

"You're as sweet as...apples."

Now if that ain't sweeter than apple pie....I'm not sure what is.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

FOODIE FRIDAY - One Stop Pulled Pork

First of all, I apologize for being a day late in posting my Foodie Friday...let's just call today Salivating Saturday.  Now there's an appetizing visual.

I truly believe that one of the best inventions ever made in regards to cooking food is the crock pot...or today's more 'current' word for crock pot would be slow cooker.

I still call mine a crock pot as I was lucky enough to have 'inherited' it from my husband's college days - it was one of his room mates -  who probably inherited it from their grandmother.

It's white and forest green with pink flowers.  Circa 1975.  At least.

Anyway, last week-end I had family over and thought it would be a great idea to make a delicious pulled pork recipe that I made a few months prior.

If you're a pork fan and you're having company, pulled pork is perfect.  Minimal prep, easy clean up and economical too.  Serve on some fresh buns, a side of coleslaw and baked beans.  Delicious.


3-4 lb pork roast

1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp dried mustard

1 cup white vinegar
1/3 cup apple juice

1 cup bbq sauce


Trim roast of any extra fat.

Mix together sugar and spices.

Rub pork with brown sugar and spices.

Place in crock pot and pour in the liquids.

Cook on low for 7-8 hours or on high for 4-5 hours.

Be sure to check on it occasionally and move it around in the liquid as the liquid will not cover the entire roast.

I put mine in around 10:30 am and served it at 6 pm.  It was falling apart beautifully by 3ish.

Remove the roast and place in a large bowl, add your favourite bbq sauce once ready to serve.  The meat will easily come apart with 2 forks.  Mix well and serve on fresh buns alongside some coleslaw [I don't really have a recipe for coleslaw but just throw a whole bunch of stuff in a pre-mixed bag of cabbage all crazy like such as pickle juice (tip from my Mum), salt, pepper, green onion, white vinegar and a little bit of mayo - it varies every time]

I also made The Best Baked Beans Ever found on the site of one of the most amazing blogger's out there - the Pioneer Woman.  And let me tell you....they were exactly that.

*CUE MUSIC* a lot of controversy surrounds this song but you can't help and bop your head around or wiggle your toes to the beat.  At least I can't.  

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Just. Say. No.

As I lay beside my restless 3 year old at nap time he asks me one of his random questions, "Mumma, can you do a cartwheel?"

My mind instantly rewinds to one year ago when I'd had, perhaps, too many glasses of vino and thought I'd morphed into a tweenaged nimble gymnast.

I answered, "Yes, I can.  And I'll show you when you wake up from your nap.  Now put your head on your pillow and close your eyes bud."

Well,  he never did nap that day.

And the cartwheel conversation quickly fell out of my mind as most things do these days.

The day went on.

Then.  After dinner while John was cleaning up the kitchen and I lazed on the couch like a useless nincompoop (this is a rare site indeed, I'll have you know) my son asked me if I could do 'that cartwheel'.

I drag my useless lazy ass up off the couch and say, "Sure!"

And proceed to do, what I'm a thousand percent sure, is the worst excuse of a cartwheel attempt.  EVER.

Now.  To my credit, the worst excuse of a cartwheel attempt was attempted IN my HOUSE.  Which, considering the hard wood floors and small space, is not the most practical place to be doing acrobatics.

So.  That being said, if I would've done the cartwheel out of doors like a sensible person I would've totally rocked the crap out of it.


However.  I did not.

Now my son believes that putting his hands on the ground and simply hopping his feet from right to left is a pretty awesome cartwheel.

And who am I (but his ridiculous Mother that showed him how an atrocious cartwheel is done) to crush the poor little dude's soul???

*hanging my head in shame*

Just a word from the unwise.

If you are humble (unlike me) and admit that you cannot do certain stunts like cartwheels or back handsprings, simply youtube it.  Your child will never  might have a chance to be the next Mary Lou Retton.  Or not.  But at least no body, nor furniture gets hurt.

And no one ends up looking a fool.

And if you think you can actually do a cartwheel which I totally can do it out of doors.

Preferable where there are no trees, children's toys or bee hives.

A grassy knoll would be perfect.

And for God's sakes.  Please.  Do.  Not.  Forget.  To.  Stretch.

'Cause I don't know about you.  But I sure DON'T have the body of a nimble tweenaged gymnast.

At least...not anymore.

And I sure as hell felt the  lamest ever cartwheel attempt, the next day.


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Distinct Difference

I've mentioned before that my son's are quite different from one another.  I revel in their diversity.  I love that I have two of the same gender who have very distinct personalities. And it always fascinates me to watch and discover how the same experience can be taken in two completely different ways.

The other day I simply wanted to have a shower.  Now I know that most days this is too much to ask of my children but I was feeling greasy, grimy and in desperate need to rid myself of this feeling of filth from head to toe.  My boys, however, were making this task a little bit difficult on me.

The usual scenario for shower taking in my house goes something like this:

Plop the boys on our king sized bed.  On opposite sides.  Turn on a movie - the usual lately being The Incredibles.  Then.  Scurry into the adjoining bathroom and jump into the shower leaving the curtain half open (to be able to peek out and ensure no shenanigans - yelling loudly as I frantically rinse out my hair "I see you and everything you're doing!" and to also hear any loud screams, thumps or bumps).  I take the quickestshowerinhistory while having manic anxiety the entiretime and hop out just before any sort of ruckus breaks out.

Most of the time this works.

On this particular day, however, they were being utter cavemen to each other minus the caveman clubbing and dragging by the hair.  Really, it was just some pushing, grabbing of toys and yelling.  Nothing out of the ordinary.

The stench of my husband's old t-shirt that I'd worn to bed could no longer be ignored.  And I was pretty sure baby powder  and deoderant just wasn't gonna cut it.

"Okay guys.  Mumma needs to shower and I can't have you beating on each other anymore.  Adrian into your room please.  Finley, here's your Sleepy Sheepy and your blankie.  Please, just chill out and look at your books for a few minutes.  I won't be long.  Promise"  Into their separate bedrooms they went.  Adrian, protesting loudly.  Finley with a little smile, standing in the middle of his room.

Into the bathroom I went and had (as usual) the quickestshowerinhistory.  I stepped out to hear Adrian screaming at the top of his lungs while banging the door with both fists, "I HAVE TO GO PEE!  PLEEEEASE!  I. HAVE. TO. GO. PEE!!!"  I raced over to his bedroom, sopping wet, opened the door and out he barged.  Did he beeline it to the toilet, you wonder?


He's figured things out pretty quickly around here I'd say.

Pre-school manipulation 101.

I opened the door to Finley's room.  And found him curled up exactly where I'd seen him last, using Sleepy Sheepy as a pillow, his favourite blanket drawn around him.

And there you have it.

The distinct difference.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Twenty One Months

21 months might not seem like a significant amount of time for most.

Today my little one is 21 months and 21 months ago, on November 6, 2010, my only baby became a big brother.  No longer considered 'our baby'.  Oh he was still our baby but he wasn't the baby.

Twenty one months ago my husband and I became parents of two.

Two boys.

They are both my babies.

Always will be.


I remember it well.  That day, almost 2 years ago.

In the curtained room waiting for the doctor, in my beautiful blue patterned hospital smock, anticipating, anxious, excited.  There I sat.  Waiting.  And thinking.  And extremely emotional.  Tears coursed down my cheeks, my throat so thick that to speak would have been impossible.  Then the doctor walked in.  She was startled seeing my state.  Then compassionate.  And simply lovely.

When you have your first baby, you have no idea.  No clue about the enormity of love that will encompass every cell of your being.  That feeling of enormity only becomes greater as the days go by.  That was why when I sat....and waited....and thought.  I became so positively overwhelmed about this unborn human being, a sweet soul who always moved so gently, soon to enter our little family.  I already knew the love.

And it just became more.

On the drive home, with Finley bundled and safe in his car seat.  Quiet, such a gentle, reticent baby.  Already so different than my first.  I had this feeling, this dark undercurrent of guilt (on top of the always present) against the bright joy of having just delivered our second son.  And I cried again.  Sobbed really.  I missed my baby, now considered my eldest. The big brother.

Another baby boy.  What I always wished for.  Oh, I know people say "as long as it's healthy it doesn't matter".   Of-course everyone wants a healthy baby.  I'm just being honest.  But now there were two.  And Adrian was not only no longer the baby, he was no longer the only boy.  And he was a mere 21 months.  Not quite a baby yet barely a toddler.  So little.  So innocent.  Our whole world for our whole lives as parents.  I cried, my mind muddled in a sea of mixed sentiment, my body a raging influx of hormones, as my husband drove quiet but present, his hand in mine, the other on the steering wheel of the truck.  Glancing at me with concern, concealed with amusement.  Bemusement.  I couldn't wait to see Adrian again.  Watch his reaction, read his face.  But I worried.  I knew that I was lucky.  Bestowed with 2 beautiful, healthy boys.  But.  How would he be...how would he handle not being our whole world in just one day?  

It only takes a moment for a world to be rocked.

He handled it beautifully.  I look at Finley now at 21 months old and think, yes, wow, he IS such a baby.  Adrian was such a baby.  Yet.  He very rarely showed any signs of jealousy or intolerance for his little brother.  Yes, he got into things, wreaked havoc, usually while I was nursing.  That was only normal and on par with his personality anyway.

What surprised and delighted me was his paternal instinct.  Wanting to diaper his stuffed animals and bicycling his favourite bear's legs diagnosing the fact that he "got gas Mumma".

And since then brotherhood has bloomed and taken a deep hold.  Such a sweet yet boorish sight to behold at times.

I love to watch them.  Together.  Playing superheros.  Laughing maniacally at seemingly nothing.  Even when they're being complete barbarians to each other and driving me barmy, it's hard for me not to feel an inkling of...supreme gratefulness.

Because truly this is all I ever wanted.

A Family.

My own family.

21 months ago we all became.  

Oh it was hard.

There was a deluge of chaos. crying.  tenderness.  emotion.  exhaustion.

And yes, it was difficult.  It still is.  And through the twists, turns, hits and falls of life it will be.

At times.

Because.  That is.  Life.

But since baby Finley arrived, our lives have been doubled with love.

And that love; it just keeps multiplying in time....

First week of brotherhood

Adrian 22 months.  Finley 6 weeks.
Our version of "After the bath"

Brothers alike

Naked babies playing musical chairs.

Having fun with Photobooth

Always looking out for him.  Protecting - the ever big brother.

Morning glories

Superhero standoff

Fun in the park

Waiting for Daddy....the main Man in our world.

Friday, August 5, 2011

FOODIE FRIDAY - Santa Fe Style Rice and Beans (a la Erin)

Happy Friday all!  Today I've invited a dinner guest to join in on the fun.  You may have read a little bit  about her here.

We were chatting today and I mentioned that I didn't have anything in mind for today's post.  I was feeling a bit uninspired food-wise shall I say.  So, being that since she got married last December and has become, from what I gather, quite the domestic goddess I asked for her thoughts.

And so she sent me the following recipe.  I made it tonight for dinner just in case it was crap and it was extremely tasty.  Even my kids ate it (well, my youngest ate all the beans out of it, he's a big fan of the magical fruit much like his Mumma).

Please welcome Erin to the table and dig in!

(Inspired by Weight Watchers 'Smart Ones' of the same name....deeeeeeeee-lish!)

This recipe is AWESOME.  Period.  The leftovers are incredible too.  AND.....it's SO easy!!!  (Insert Santa Fe-themed music, mariachi band and pinata-smashing HERE)

3 cups cooked long-grain brown or white rice (do I need to explain how to cook rice, people?!?!)

[Side note: Clearly I do need to have this explanation because even when I cook rice in my RICE COOKER it never turns out well...and secondly...because I'm horrible at reading recipes due to the fact that I rarely follow them, I measured out 3 cups of uncooked rice which has basically left me to eat rice for breakfast lunch and dinner for the next day or so - just an FYI - don't make the same idiotic mistake that I did - read the recipe]

1 1/2 cups canned kidney beans, drained and rinsed (I suppose you could use black beans instead if you're feeling it!) [I used black beans 'cause they're my fave and nutritionally delicious]

1 can (4 oz) of chopped green chiles with juices

[sorry another side note - this was one ingredient I did not have handy and as I was making it and realized OH NO - NO GREEN CHILES I received a bbm from my bff that stated the chiles 'made the dish'...sooo I can only imagine how much more awesomer this would've turned out had I used chiles. Pardon the interruption - let's return back to Erin now]

3/4 cup corn
3/4 cup diced tomatoes (I used canned - but fresh would've been even better)
1/2 cup diced onion
1 1/2 cups sour cream
1/2 cup whole milk
1 tsp Chile powder
1 tsp Oregano
1/4 tsp Cayenne (I did not use cayenne - with the boys - I wasn't sure how much spice they could handle)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp fresh cracked pepper
1 1/2 cups shredded sharp white cheddar, orange cheddar, marble - whatever!

1. Preheat over to 400 degrees

2. In a large bowl mix together the rice, beans, chiles, corn, tomatoes and onion.

3. In a separate medium-size bowl whisk together the sour cream, milk and spices.

4. Spray or butter and 8x8 baking/casserole dish.  Add the rice mixture.  Pour the sour cream sauce over the top.  Sprinkle evenly with cheese.

5. Bake for 30 minutes until top is lightly browned and middle is bubbly.

6. Let sit 5 minutes before serving.

To make it low-fat and lower-cal, you can substitute low-fat or light sour cream for the regular kind, substitute skim milk for the whole milk and substitute light cheddar for the regular kind (I truthfully never, EVER thought I would buy - much less eat - "light" cheddar...but it's actually not bad at all.)

For all Weight Watcher point-counters...

If you make the recipe as described:

4 servings = 14 points/serving
6 servings = 9 points/serving

If you substitute fat-free sour cream, light cheddar and skim milk:

4 servings = 8 points/serving
6 servings = 6 points/serving

So there you have it folks!  I think we should invite her back!

*CUE MUSIC* for you Erin.  So it's not mariachi music but you can always find a random sombrero and some maracas and pretend.  ;)

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Words. They're a funny thing.

Today, I'm taking a detour from the usual.  It's not that I don't have lots of funny stories to share about my family.  I do.  Please stay tuned.  But I had this urge to write about words.  Words that I love to hate and words that I simply love.

I know there are some people out there that gag or quiver disgustedly upon hearing the word moist.

I don't get it.  Okay I get it.  But to me the word moist makes me think of deliciously moist chocolate cake.

I guess everyone has words that bother them.  Or not.  Maybe I'm just weird.

No, I'm pretty sure I am.  I'm okay with it and if you are too I'd like to let you in on my little world of weirdness for a minute and share with you words that give me the willies.

1. Needle.  I hate the word needle.  There's nothing good that comes from the word needle.  I have a fear of them - I feel faint and nauseous knowing that something very sharp will be puncturing my through skin and veins. It gives me the heebies.  And to be used in the verb form - to be needled by someone or something.  That's never a good thing either.  Very.  Annoying.

2. Giblet.  My husband thinks it's hilarious to use the word giblet around me because it makes me shudder violently.  If he says it enough and uses it in a very gross sentence (that would make me barf if I dared type it out) I actually start to gag a little bit.

3. Head Cheese.  Okay so that's two words put together.  Two words that should never, ever, ever be together. Yet they are.  Does anyone else get very disturbing visuals upon hearing these words???  Or am I just one disturbed individual???  The weirdest thing about the 'word' Head Cheese is that there is no cheese involved.  What is that all about?  Can anyone tell me what's right about that?

And for anyone that's actually eaten this s#!t - you are one disturbed individual.

4. Twit.  My dad used to call me a twit often in my tween years and more than likely being a little b!#^h.  I suppose it was better than calling me a little b!#^h but still.  It's just not nice.  And now when I hear my husband use it on the boys it makes me cringe...I suppose it's better than calling them little a$$*@!%$.  But.  It's just not nice.

5. Pustule....excuse me while I throw up a little bit.  This word conjures up disgusting images of that guy that used to sit beside me in math class and pick at his pus-filled zits.  I believe this word should be banned from use.  Truly.  I do.  That and pus.  And phlegm.  Any word that involves a silent g with an m proceeding it is just plain wrong. *hurl*

Now that I've probably disgusted you (if you're still reading, thank you and I love you because you're probably as eccentric as I am) I'd like to share with you some words that I love.  And though I may not use these words often, when I hear them I can't help but say them over and over again.  Outloud. In my head.

The other day after complaining on facebook about how much an inanimate object could fill me with rage, or something like that (I was speaking about my computer) a friend informed me that if a computer had a cd player in it than it was considered animate. It's also considered animate if it's being 'zesty'.  Which it totally was.

Now there's a word to love.  Zesty.  I even love the way it looks.  It should be in lights or something.  There's nothing bad about zestiness.  Zesty Cheese Doritos.  Mmm.  So good.  Lemon zest.  Yum.  Being Zestfully clean.  Always a good feeling.  And there's nothing wrong with having a zesty personality.

Unless you're a computer that is.

Swoon.  I always picture a teenage girl with cartoon hearts coming out of her head, eyelashes batting and a very looong neck when I see or hear this word.  I suppose Swans are very swoon-like.  Minus the cartoon hearts and eyelash batting.  Swooooon.  Swooooooon.  I love it.

I call my little guys, buggers, when they're being...well.  Little buggers.  However, my neighbours brought it to my attention a little while ago that the word bugger is not *ahem* all that appropriate.  In Europe apparently 'bugger' is another word for sodomy.

Whatever.  I still love it.

And I don't live in Europe.

And it's better than calling them little assholes.

At least I think so.

What about you?  What words do you love or love to hate?

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Help! My Husband's Fallen! (and I didn't help him up)

On the week-end something happened that made me think that perhaps I'm not the 'good wife' I thought I was.

My husband has been doing some constructioning on our back deck of the fix it upper kind.  It was at least a two day project and that afternoon it involved taking out and replacing some boards that were past their prime.

It was just after noonish, the boys were napping and I was enjoying some rare computer time, blogging, reading other blogs, facebooking, and catching up on the latest celebrity gossip - real brain stretching, productive time spent.

I heard a large boom (or bang, or thump.  It was loud) and I happened to be sitting at the kitchen table where the patio doors are situated with a view to our deck.  Except I saw nothing because the curtains were drawn to keep the house cool.

This is where I question myself as a wife.  A good person and a decent human being.

I didn't even get up to check on my husband to see if he was okay.

I know.

I.  Am.  A.  Horriblewoman.

Let me be clear though and say that I did not, after hearing the very loud boom, crash, thump, hear any loud cursing, yelling or high pitched screams of agony.

And I'm pretty sure I still could hear him tinkering away out there after the commotion.

At least I'm trying to convince myself of that.


A few minutes later the patio door slides open and in comes my husband.

I glance up from my laptop casually.

All body parts seem intact.

No open bloody wounds or impalements apparent.

"Did you hear that hon??!"  he asks me.

"Yeah! I heard a bang...sounded like you dropped something."  Oh so it could've been an axe or a drill that he fell on dropped....or his whole body plummeting into one of the barren holes in the deck where the boards were no longer.

The thing is folks, my husband has somewhat of a clumsy nature about him. (our boys don't stand a chance - it's quite frightening actually)

In high school he was that guy who accidentally broke things just by walking into a room.  I'd like to think he's changed from that guy but after a week-end at our friend's cottage wherein he came home with an injury on this thigh from simply breaking cardboard over it, seized forearms from attempting to waterski after a 25 year hiatus and the most massive, ugliest bruise ever where a seat belt had been carved into his body from flipping a dune buggy.  Yes, he was the one driving it.

Really, I tend to think that he's a little bit indestructable.  Invincible if you will.

Quite possibly I'm just in denial that anything terrible could ever actually happen to my husband.

(kind-of like the denial of all that is evil happening in the world which causes me to refuse watching or reading the news due to my anxiety rocketing to an extreme level as my insides unravel and quiver with distress.  Call me ignorant, call me neurotic, call me what you will but I currently require no medication of the mental kind and I don't wish to watch or read anything that would induce that need)

I've since apologized to John.  A few times.  About being cretinous, neglectful and just plain horrid.  And I find myself feeling even more shameful that he's more than accepted my apology, merely brushing it off without a second thought, "Oh honey, you know how I am." he says...

If that were ME and I'd fallen with a very sounding boom and he didn't come immediately rushing to my side????!!!  You best believe he'd have some serious punition coming his way.

He'd never, ever do that though.

Because clearly he is a much better husband than I, a wife.

So now I sit here alone and feeling uncomfortably full from eating too much humble pie.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Wait 'til Your Father Gets Home!

It's like my boys have this internal clock that goes DING when 5:30 hits and John isn't home from work.  Most of the time all hell breaks loose as I attempt to cook dinner.

The other night the mood alternated between the boys attempts to give me a nervous breakdown and battling for my affection.

Snippets of the early evening scenes went something like this:

Me, trying to cook potatoes and gravy over a hot stove while my little one wraps all limbs around my lower body with a monkey like tenacity.

Me, loudly scolding Adrian to stop hitting the dog over the head with the throw pillows as I try to keep the potatoes from boiling over and my gravy from burning.  And my 20 month old from pantsing me.

Dinner is on the table (John has not arrived home yet) and I'm red faced and sweaty from the exertion of keeping kids from tearing the house down and me from trying not to burn the house down.

Supper time is never pretty around here.  Husband or no Husband.

Scenes involve:

Me,  shovelling the meal down my throat faster than a garburator garbles food while blocking my 3 year old in at the table with my leg to keep him from escaping the table for the fourth time since sitting down 5 minutes ago.

Me, trying not to lose patience with Finley as he thrusts his barely touched chicken, mashed potatoes and corn at me grunting "Uhn! Uhn!"

Adrian climbing over my leg and onto my chair giving my cheek a big smooch.

"What are you giving me kisses for?"  I ask, partly amused and a teeny annoyed (he was trying to sweeten me up so that I would free him from his meal prison - I know how his scheming little mind works)

"Because I love you."

Oh see?  He knows the game all too well already.

I wonder where he learned it from.

Doesn't stop my insides from turning to mush though.

"I love you too baby ... and I'd love it if you'd start eating your dinner."

Dinner sort-of forges ahead but without Fin.  Scenes continue with...

Me, thoroughly charmed and entertained, watching my 20 month old shake his little booty, one arm raised, spinning in half circles, right leg kicking and stomping to the current song on the radio.

Me, looking over at Aidy with surprise and satisfaction to see him gobbling down his potatoes with a vengeance.

Me, exasperatingly reprimanding Finley for munching on the dog's food but not his own human dinner .  Adrian then confesses at that moment that he too was eating the dogs food but spit it out.

I've yet to locate where the delicious half chewed bits might be.

Dinner is done.

We move to the living area to join Fin in our post meal exercise of dancing.

Finley lifts his arms to me as Craig Smart's 1 2 3 song comes on the radio.  I swing him around, dance with him cheek to cheek and dip him, baby style, as he giggles with pure glee.

Adrian decides to cut in.  I accept.  I dance around with him, heavy and happy in my arms.

Dip, twirl, spin.

Smiles, joy, laughter.

But.  Not so fast.

Someone is not so happy with the cut in and decides it's his turn once again...coming at us threateningly with a plastic pirate sword.

Leg poke, leg poke.

Partners are switched up once again.

Jealousy ensues.

This time from Adrian.

I get a full on punch to the thigh.

Aaaaand the dance party is OVER.

I place Adrian on the steps to our upstairs, pulling the child gate across, for a tortuous time out.  (tortuous for both of us that is, as he screams, yells and attempts to escape, rattling the gate in a ferocious manner)  I set the timer and say words that I never thought I would hear myself utter, "Wait until your father gets home!"

And minutes later he walks in the front door to find this: