Tuesday, November 29, 2011

10 Of My Favourite Photos

I'm linking up with Stasha for her Famous Listicles of 10.  This week's is all about 10 of your favourite photos.  I must admit...I have a LOT of favourites, so going for only 10 made it difficult.  In the end I decided to go with 10 photos that first came to my mind.  And I (of-course) went in chronological order of time line. I couldn't have them of higgledy piggledy all over the place.  That just wouldn't be me.

Here they are;

That's me.  The newborn.  Can you tell which decade I was born in?
This is my MOST favourite picture.

My boyfriend (at the time) and I on a boat ride.  So very happy.
Not that the margaritas and Dark and Stormy's
had anything to do with those smiles.

My fiance (at the time) and I at one of my family's infamous card
tournaments.  We have fun.
And I'm not sure about that tiara - but I think it kinda suits me?

My husband and I.  Wedding Day...obviously.
My favourite thing about this picture?  The look on
my husband's face...and my Dad (choking back tears)
just behind him.

Our honeymoon in Quebec City.  We'll be just like that couple in
the background 50 years from now.  Minus the pink...everything.  

That's me and my best friend.  I'm pregnant with Finley.
I love that her hand's on my belly.
I was one of those rare pregnant woman that loved to
have her belly touched.

My big boy.  He's about 18 months in the pic.
This shows his true personality to date.
He has lots.  Clearly.

My baby.  Yes, he is as sweet as he looks.
Most of the time.

Me and my boys...surrounded by nature in the great Canadian

My family and I having a hot tub together.  That was just plain fun.


Come see more pictures over at Zook Book Nook!!!

Monday, November 28, 2011

To My 18 Year Old Self

Dear 18 year old Self;

I've decided to write you a letter of sorts.  Not because "You've come so far since then"...or even because you'll listen.

Clearly, you will not.

You are me and here I am.  Writing you a letter 15 years after the fact.

I simply want to reflect upon that time in our life.

Call it a purging of the mind.  Call it cathartic.  Call it wanting to remember before I forget.  Call it whatever you will.

Here are some of the things I would've told you if 33 year old me were to meet 18 year old me.

Or.  Maybe not.

Because lessons are learned when experiences are made.  Never when you are told what or what not, to do.  Or be.


First of all, like the ways of the water we'll start shallow and go deeper.

* Love your body (though not to the point of being completely narcissistic).  Admire that perfectly unique belly button that one day you will not recognize, that flat tummy, those strong, shapely arms, your 'bubble butt'. Stop standing in front of a mirror and analyzing all of your faults.  You are perfectly lovely...appreciate that now...soon it'll all be going down hill.

But it's worth it.

*Wear some sunscreen will you?  Yes we all look better with a bit of bronze but indoor sunbeds and the actual sun will do damage to your skin and you'll be cursing it upon your first sunspot and frown lines that appear in none too short of time.

But you still look better with a tan.  Sorry.

*Don't cut your hair short a la Halle Berry.  That was just a bad decision all around.  Though it looked great in the beginning it takes too long to style everyday and if you don't do anything with it you'll look like you have a small fuzzy animal taking up residence on your head.

You will also be convince that more women than men are hitting on you.  Plus it'll take forever to grow out which means you'll be going through too many years of bad hairness.

*Stay close with your best friend, Erin.  Even though at times she may drive you as crazy as she thinks she is, she's one of the greatest, most inspiring people you'll ever come to know.  Unfortunately, she will move away (a decision you greatly disagree with for many reasons) but you will keep in touch.  It is difficult having a best friend so far away but it also gives you a beautiful place to visit when you need to get away.  Believe or not she will settle down and marry.  A little later than you would've wished.  For the sake of your sanity and hers.  But she does.  And not with the asshat you thought she would.  You'll actually really like her husband.

*Quit playing around with those boys hearts.  Though you are young and I suppose it's your right of passage as an 18 year old girl to break some hearts you will end up having not one but TWO boys some day and karma's a bitch.  You're gonna want to stomp on those tramps hearts if they so much as think about breaking your sons'.

*Speaking of boys.  Yes, you will meet 'the one.'  Sooner than you may think although you don't know him yet.  He'll sweep you off your feet and then some.  You will inform him after a just a fews weeks of dating that you will not be having his children or any one else's for that matter.  (it's just a stage you're going through).  He'll humour you, knowing you better than you know yourself at times.  He will also take way too long about five years to ask for your hand in marriage but he will eventually ask you to marry him.  Soon after you will have two beautiful boys together.

Congratulations.  You made the perfect choice.  He's a wonderfully supportive husband and makes a fantastic Daddy too.

Shortly after you marry you will have to move to another city.  You'll have a hard time without your family and friends around, especially after your first son is born.  You will suffer from PPD but will not know it until years later.  You will find out because of this time that you are much stronger than you ever believed yourself to be.

You are also going to lose a couple of friends that you thought would be there for a lifetime.  It'll feel terrible and you'll second guess the person you are, though no one is completely to blame.  You will learn from it. It will take a few years to get your groove back, so to speak.  But you will.  In time.  You will meet some wonderful people along the way too. Keep in touch.  Be open.  And, most importantly, be yourself.

*Stop worrying so much.  About EVERYTHING.  Holy moly for the love of your brain and central nervous system take it down a notch.  But you don't need me to tell you that.  The older you get the more laid back you become.  (though your husband may beg to differ)...I know you best.  You have.

*Self-esteem and confidence.  You can have one without the other.  It's seems a paradoxical statement but I believe it to be true. That confidence you've lacked for so long will grow.  Slowly but surely.  You just need to start believing in yourself....

*No, you don't know what you want to do with your life.  Social worker, teacher, restaurant owner, office manager, stay at home mom.  That's okay.  You'll end up choosing the right path. (may there be many more to come).  It's the most stressful, exhausting, beautiful, energizing, all encompassing, challenging, amazing, rewarding, unrewarding, overwhelming decision you've ever made.  And it is worth it.  Nothing, no words or other past experience can describe how life changing it will be, but when you become a Mother you'll know that that is best thing you've ever done.

And you're pretty good at it.  Though somedays you think you really, really suck at it.

That's okay too.  All mother's feel the same.  You must always remember that.

*Someday all this crazy stuff that runs through your head, second to second, minute to minute will have a place to go.  And that's here.  You'll meet some great people and you'll find comfort and solace on those days when you feel like your brain and body might combust at any minute.  You'll find a new passion and love for something.

That's always a positive thing.

Continue to be good to yourself.

Believe in yourself.

You've done a great job at life as you know it so far.

I'm proud of you.

Love, (always)

Your 33 year old self


Linking up over at Lovelinks - visit, read lots more blogs and vote on Thursday which 3 are your favourites!

Friday, November 25, 2011

FOODIE FRIDAY - Giving Thanks for the Pumpkin

All this turkey talk from my friends in the US of A is making me crave another delicious turkey dinner.

So tomorrow that's what we're having for dinner.  Iiii know.  Call me coconuts.  It'll be the second time in my life I've cooked a turkey with all the fixin's and I am looking forward to the challenge and most importantly, the eating!

Unlike like some crazy people I know I will not be deep frying my turkey.  I will be doing the exact opposite and brining it.  If I can find a bucket big enough that doesn't have PCB's or PVC's or whatever those chemicals are that cause cancer.

Among the turkey there will be potatoes and stuffin', cranberry sauce and gravy....I might have to throw a salad and some veggies in there to make it somewhat healthy but I haven't thought that far ahead yet.

It's a very spontaneous turkey dinner.  Is there such a thing?  Apparently.  In my world anyway.

Along with Thanksgiving dinners and Christmas dinners there's always dessert of-course (a tip if you can't remember how to spell dessert that I learned from my grade nine teacher - "you can always go for seconds when it comes to dessert but you'd never want to cross a desert more than once" - or ever is my thought)

Anyway, most people are all about the pies.  Pumpkin, apple, pecan.  Nothing against the pie but, personally, I'm not a big fan.  I do love me some pumpkin flavah though.

About 6 or 7 years ago I was in charge of bringing dessert at a family Thanksgiving dinner...I scoured the cookbooks I had and searched all over the internet for hours.  

Obsessive much? you ask.  

Why yes.  Yes I am.

Eventually I found the one.  

Pumpkin Bread Pudding.

Bread Pudding is one of my Mum's all time favourite things to eat and since we were going there that particular year I made it with her in mind.

Because I love her.

Everyone loved it.  

I've made it every year since.  My sister-in-law even went so far as to say that it took her back to her childhood in Costa Rica - apparently they eat pumpkin bread pudding there!  - who knew?

This is a great recipe for Thanksgiving and Christmas.  It's super easy too.  You must not forget about the caramel sauce.  How could you forget about the caramel sauce???!!!  (I did one year)

And if you really want to be decadent, throw some Haagan Daz vanilla bean ice cream on there.

Now we're talking.


2 cups half and half
1 15 ounce can of pure pumpkin (for the love of baby Jesus - NOT PUMPKIN PIE FILLING!!)
1 cup (packed) plus 2 tbsp brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp allspice
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
10 cups egg bread (cubed)


1 1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup whipping cream


*Whisk h&h, pumpkin, brown sugar, eggs, spices and vanilla in a large bowl.

*Fold in bread

*Transfer to 11x7 inch glass baking dish

*Let stand for 15 minutes

*Bake @ 350 F for 40 minutes

Now wasn't that easy???? 

Caramel Sauce

*Whisk brown sugar and butter in a medium sized pan or pot until butter melts.

*Whisk in cream and stir until smooth and thick - about 5 minutes.

Pour the sauce over the bread pudding and serve immediately.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

To My Parents

It was 37 years ago today that my Mom and Dad wed.

She looked beautiful, as she always does, in a simple floor length white wedding gown framed with a matching white shrug trimmed in faux white fur holding a small bouquet of white daisies and tiny red rosebuds.

My Dad looked handsome, in his seventies-style brown and tan suit and tie, a full head of lovely chestnut wavy hair.

Bright smiles.

A wedding is always so happy.  Full of hope.  Dreams.


I am certain their's was no different.

Maybe I'm idealistic or a complete romantic (okay, I'm both) but I don't believe anyone goes into a marriage saying, "Oh well.  If it doesn't work out we can always get a divorce."

Or I don't want to believe that.

Then, when I was 5 years old I stood in the kitchen with my Mom as she fed me a tuna fish sandwich for the first time (this is what my memory recalls, I have a freakishly long memory, unfortunate for my husband, at times myself, and I'm going back almost 30 years here so memories could very well have melded into one another).

I recall her simply telling me that "Your Dad is moving out of the house."

I'm sure there was more to it, a tender tone, more questions from me possibly...I don't remember that much.  I do remember accepting that life changing sentence as if she told me we were going out for dinner that night.  Not that I wasn't upset about it.  I was just too young to completely grasp the thought of Daddy never coming home again.  To live.

With us.

Very young, I was.  And so were my parents.

Younger than I am now.

And so my life began as the child of divorced parents.

Tragic isn't it?

Possibly.  For some.  I do believe it is.  For me?

I somehow adjusted.  Not because I didn't want my parents to have a happily ever after or that I didn't adore my dad or miss him tremendously.

I was a Daddy's girl.

I do adore him and I did miss him.  I don't remember all the feelings and emotions attached.  Maybe I've blocked it out...maybe quite simply, I accepted it.

I was only 5 years old afterall.

My parents.  They made the best of a heart breaking, gut wrenching time.  Of-course I don't know what was happening in the backstage scene.  I'm sure it was full of a whole lot more than I will ever know.  Or would ever want to know.  Or not.

I don't need to know.

It's not for me to know anyway.  What would be the point in that?

My thoughts on separation and divorce are full of shades of gray, though at one time they were a stark black and white.

I will never get a divorce.  

When I get married, I will work on my marriage.  Hard.  Every day.

Those that get a divorce are taking the easy way out.  

I still say I will never get a divorce.

I do work on my marriage.  But I could work harder.  I believe we all can.

Those that get a divorce are taking the easy way out?  That's the most naive thought I've ever had.

I know that now.

Now that I'm a parent.

The tearing apart of a family....that decision is most certainly, not easy.  Whatever the circumstance may be.  And there are many.

For me to even imagine my children being away from their father permanently, on an every other week-end basis makes my heart ache in a way that darkens my soul.

I never, ever, ever want that.

And so, being a child of divorced parents, I now realize the heart ache, the dark days, the broken dreams and the guilt they went through...and possibly...maybe still do.  At times.  I can't imagine, now that I'm a parent, that that would ever, truly go away.


I want them to know.  It's okay.  I'm okay.

I will always be okay.  More than okay.

And I love you both. Very much.  No matter.

You are and will always be my parents.

Beautiful people.  Beautiful parents.

And thank you...for being so classy, full of grace and perfectly honourable in your parting and your parenting.

I am so proud to call you mine.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A Smart Cookie

Somewhere along the journey of becoming a Mother and then a Stay-At-Home-Mother I got the knack for baking cookies.

How very June Cleaver of me, I know.

But believe me when I say, I make a darn tasty cookie.

And now that my 3 year old is almost 4 he loves to be my little helper.

Mostly he likes to help lick the batter off the mixing thingamajigs (what are those called?) and who am I to take that very important and delicious task away from him?

Last Sunday, my husband spent the whole day with the boys as I attended a dear friend's baby shower.

She's pregnant.  With twins.

Let's all say a little prayer for her now.

Upon my arrival home, my 3 year old informs me that Daddy bought them cookies in a tube!


Adrian decided he wanted to 'make' them yesterday afternoon and so I obliged.

Plop, plop, plop.  Plop, plop, plop.

While I was plopping them out on the pan, Adrian asked me who the 'small white chef' was on the package.  I explained to him it was Pillsbury Doughboy, that he made the dough ahead of time and all we have to do is bake them.

There they went on the cookie sheet and into the oven.

So easy.  No mess, no clean up, no chaos, no challenge.

No fun.

Out they came 10 minutes later and onto a plate with a glass of milk for Adrian and I to dip the warm cookies into.

He dips and takes a bite, "Mmmmmm.  The Pillsfairy Doughboy makes the be-"

He looks over at me, quickly.  I'm looking at him.  Waiting.

"Mummaa-a?  You make the best cookies ever.  And the Pillsfairy Doughboy makes the second best cookies ever."

I laughed.

And laughed.

"Thank you sweetie."

And we continued to munch in contented silence.

That darling boy of mine?  He is one fast learner.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Sugar Toes

He sat on the bench situated under our bedroom window, a foot away from my bed.  He declared he would sleep there all comfy and warm with pillows just so and blankets arranged as he likes, a bowl of popcorn in his lap.

The look of sweet innocence and contentment on his perfect little face tipped up a tiny bit to the movie that was playing on the television of our bedroom wall.

I watched him as he watched Pinnochio and Gepetto dance around, carefully placing one popcorn piece in his mouth after another.

I turn to watch the movie along with him, warm contentment filling my soul on this cold November night.

As I turned to watch the movie, he turned to look at me.

"Mumma, you wanna see my big toe?"

For reasons that only a Mother can understand or the simple fact that this is just characteristic of my son, I wasn't taken aback by this odd and randomly placed question.

He stuck his foot out from under all the blankets and points it toward me.

I could hear my husband voice say, "He's got your feet.  Look at those Flinstone toes."

"Ooooh.  I loooove your big toe.  It looks delicious!   Can I eat it?  Like a piece of popcorn?"

I pretend to nom, nom, nom on his toe from the bed.

"Let's see what happens when I wiggle it!"  Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle.  "Sugar comes out of it!"

And back to the movie he turns.  Continuing to munch away on his delicious popcorn.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Day: Scene by Scene

Scene One 15:00 - Checking out at the cashier line at the store.  I bought Adrian and Finley some new superhero figures because clearly they don't have enough already and clearly I'm that awesome of a Mother.

Or I feel guilty that I've had zero patience in the past 48 hours.  And they miss their dad.  So much.

Scene Two 15:02 - Adrian spots candy.  Needs. Candy.  HAS.TO.HAVE.CANDY.  I say no.  He whines. Cries.  Pouts.  I see the beginnings of a tantrum start to whirl around his aura and I warn him in my best Mumma bear voice, "Adrian, if you don't stop asking for candy, we will be walking out of here with nothing."  He pushes and hits my leg.  Something inside of me snaps. I turn to the lady and apologize, asking her to cancel the purchase.

Scene Three 15:05 - Outside of said store, I'm holding Finley and Adrian is lying on the sidewalk with his hands grasped around my ankle screaming, "TOYS, TOYS, TOYS!   I WANT MY TOYS!"

I stand there trying not to laugh, partly in amusement, partly in embarrassment and partly because wtf else am I suppose to do, as people walk around us, giving me the look.

Oh you know the look.  If they only knew.

You see people...though shalt never judge another Mother...you just never know.  That Mother?  Losing her mind at her child over there...she's probably been on her own, with no help from anyone, for weeks now...it could be you someday.  Just keep that in mind next time.

Scene Three 15:10 - We finally made it to the truck as Adrian rammed his head repeatedly against me, crying, screaming, demanding to go back for his toy.

Oh you think so Mister?  You think so?!!


I buckle Finley into his seat while Adrian continues his rant on the other side.

I'm pretty sure an exorcism is in order at this point.

It takes me 20 GD minutes to get the child to calm down.  The only way being that I got in the drivers seat, put the key in the ignition and he freaked out thinking I was going to drive away without him in his car seat. (No, no, it was only that it started to blizzard snow for the first time this year and I was afraid they were going to freeze their tushies off.  Because even though my child is obviously possessed, I still care about his basic needs.  LIKE NOT FREEZING TO DEATH.)


Hmmmm.  He doesn't mind losing his marbles in front of whomever, wherever, but God forbid you don't put a seatbelt on the child.

Whoever said children were normal?

I'll be keeping this one in mind.

Scene Four 14:00 - At home I receive a text from my hero next door neighbour who has offered up services to take my boys for a couple hours while I take some desperately needed alone time.

'We're ready when you are.'

Oh thank you GOD.

Scene Five 14:30 - perusing the aisles fancy free and kidless at Winners.  Smelling perfumes, bath soaps, looking at make-up, trying on clothes.

Scene Six 16:15 - Minus too many dollars to admit here and two bags full later and I'm off.  Heaven by Bryan Adams comes on the radio.

I turn it up.  Waaaay up.

And I start singing at the top of my lungs. I'm not saying there was head weaving and/or bopping.

But there might have been.

So the eighties seriously dropped the ball with fashion, but the music is awesome! (sung in high falsetto)

And then I missed my husband terribly.

But I still continued to sing away with an ache in my heart....all the way to the LCBO.


You guys...do you realized I've barely  survived these past couple of weeks consuming only ONE bottle of wine?!

I'm pretty sure I deserve a medal or something for that.

Or 8 bottles of wine.

And a big ass bottle of Bailey's.

Scene Seven 17:30 - dinner at my lovely neighbours house.  It was yummy.  And there was wine.

Scene Eight 18:30 - boys are in bed.  For the love of all that is good and holy in this world, thank you.  I am at peace once again.  

End Scene.  (me here blogging with a large glass of wine)

When all else fails, kill her with compliments

There was some talk about getting ice cream just before dinner.

On a cold, dark night in November, ice cream and going out into the cold, dark November night is not particularly appealing.

I'm all about promising nothing unless I know for sure I'll be able to follow through.

Promises are meant to be kept.  Not broken.

It's one of my mantras.

"We'll see buddy. Now eat your dinner okay?"

He looked down at the uninspired meal in front of him.

Meatballs, rice and salad.  Meh.

He looks at me and leans over to put his head on my shoulder.  "Mumma, you make the most delicious dinners ever."

"Thanks Aidy.  But you haven't had anything to eat yet."

"I know!"  He chirps.

Oh, I know where this is going.

He looks over at me and gives me his cutest most dimply smile.

"Mumma, you are the best cook EVER.  I love your cooking.  And Daddy loves your cooking too."

"Thanks honey.  You're very sweet."  Now keep eating Mister, I think to myself.

"Mmmmmm.  These meatballs are the BEST MEATBALLS EVER!"

Okay, he's going a bit overboard here.

"Are they?  Well, I didn't make the meatballs tonight."

"Oh.  Who made them?"

"Another person did, at the store."

He grabs my arm closest to him and kiss, kiss, kiss up my sleeve, looks up at me, bats his long, dark eyelashes that he most certainly didn't get from me and says, "Mumma this is really, REALLY good rice."

Alright already!

Ice cream it was.

And look at how happy those munchkins are!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Night Time Kisses (or not)

Every night after I read to my boys surrounded soft lamplight, amongst blankies, pillows and many stuffed animals I encourage them to give each other a hug and a kiss and also tell each other that they love each other.

It's forced affection, I realize.  But it's just so darn cute.

Every night Finley walks up to Adrian and puts his arms around his waist and looks up at him with his lips puckered for a good juicy smooch.

Adrian, of-course, is appalled.

A kiss on the lips!  From his brother!??

He runs away and jumps on his bed, exclaiming "NO KISSES!"

Me, "Why?  You give me kisses all the time."

"Yeah, but your kisses are nice....his kisses are (whisper voice)...slobbery."

Monday, November 14, 2011

All Kinds of Crazy

It's been a week from hell since my husband took off to Oz and I'm teetering here.

A week full of bronchitis, tantrums, flu, computers that won't work, ipods that won't charge, music that won't play (daily dance off's are a way of life here), a runaway dog (don't worry, she came back), too much crap to clean up between the kids and the dog, missing Daddy cries, missing husband cries, angry at Daddy cries, angry at husband cries and all the chaos in between.

There ain't enough whine wine in the world that'll help me now.

There've been moments where I've succumbed to a new Mommy low, yelling at my child for asking for a glass of juice, as I'm curled in the fetal position trying not to hurl all over him.

Or losing one son in the doctor's office...then yelling at him upon him turning up.

Or almost losing them both at Chapters as they ran in opposite directions while I was in a busy line up trying to purchase books for them.  See what an awesome Mother I can be!??

(Never mind the 'looks' I got...FYI - 'LOOKS' DON'T HELP PEOPLE!  When you see a Mother flailing help a Mother out for the love of God and her sanity!)

Only for them to get in all out WWF fight ending up in teeth marks and me yelling again stating loudly, "THAT'S IT!  NO ONE IS GETTING ANYTHING!"

As I dramatically threw the books down on the counter and dragged marched them out crying and kicking to the car - then refusing to be buckled into their car seats.

Yes, there was a moment I closed the doors to the truck as they lost their minds on the inside and I stood on the outside of the truck trying so hard (SO HARD!) not to completely lose mine.

Because if you can't already tell....my mind was already half gone.

Believe it or not...somehow moments as nightmarish as that can get turned on a dime.

And between all of the ugly chaos there comes some wonderful chaos too.

Like when Adrian forgives me for yelling at him like a monster as he plays with my hair and says, "I forgive you, beautiful Mommy....do you forgive me?"

Oh my heart.  It may have broke just a little bit when he said those words.

Or when my eldest comes over to me with his doctor's kit to 'give me a check up', as I lay wrapped, achy and shivery with a blanket wrapped around me on the couch. (is that a pitiful enough description for you to feel so sorry for me?).

Or when we have an impulsive trip to the ice cream store just because.  Even though it's cold, rainy and dark.

Or when they both want to sit on my lap (a whole combined 76 lbs of them) as I read to them in Chapters...all 10 superhero books that they've picked out.

Or trips to the park at dusk...crossing the field, watching the sunset, my boys picking me flowers...what's left of them.

Or when my boys hug and kiss and tell each other they love one another every night....after jumping like maniacal monkeys on the bed, clotheslining each other, their stuffed animals, the dog and me.

And then moments like now....when they both lie sleeping in their beds in the middle of the afternoon and I'm surrounded by mess and dishes.  But I do not care.


This is a rare moment to revel in.

Quiet in the middle of the afternoon.


Good news also is;

The internet guy is coming tomorrow (sometime, conveniently, between 12 and 6) to fix 'our line' (whatever that means) according to the nice woman that helped me over the phone today.  I'm sure he'll start trying to tell me, in what sounds like swahili, what's wrong and I'll stand there looking like an idiot.  Because I'm clueless when it comes to technology.  Of any kind. (this is partly why I resent my husband leaving us for long periods of time.)

And my baby boy seems to be on the mend from his bronchitis.  (though still cranky and crying for his Daddy all hours of the day).

I did end up making it through the week-end, thankful for my dear Dad who came to my rescue as always and took care of my boys ALL DAY when I could barely get out of bed.

This is no easy task for a anyone not used to taking care of little ones on a regular basis.  The care included taking them to the park (and the dog - that's who she ran away to be with, she clearly didn't want to be around wretched diseasy me, so no hard feelings there, old girl), feeding them meals and snacks, doing dishes, cleaning up, playing with them, giving them baths, brushing teeth and adorably reading bed time stories.

That's my Dad.  What would I do without him?

Bad news is we still do not have a charged ipod therefore our dance off's will be over held until I can get some assistance from my husband who's only on the other side of the globe on opposite time zones, hours and seasons.

I may have to drag out our ghetto blaster that's...well, pretty ghetto....and sounds horrible but...plays music.

I may still have to deal with the tantrums, the cries for daddy, the cleaning up of the crap and everything else but I'm hoping that I'll meet the other end smiling.

If only to see my dear jet lagged husband walk through that door.

I may also hear angels singing and harps playing when that happens.

That's how happy I'll be.

Or deranged.

Just like my smile.

Friday, November 11, 2011

FOODIE FRIDAY - Time for some THAI!

I used to be vegetarian.  A long time ago.

Okay, not totally.  I ate fish.  Tuna really.


Alright, so I basically existed on baked beans, Mr Noodles, peanut butter and perogies.

I figured the beans and the p.b. covered protein and iron and then with the occasional tuna sandwich I was totally healthy.

Except I wasn't.

I became anemic.  I was tired all the time, my skin turned grey and I was pretty sick for a while in high school.

Then I began to eat chicken and it seemed that turned things around.  I only ate chicken and fish for about 7 years or so and then one day I woke up hankering for a hamburg.

It was the most delicious hamburger I've ever eaten.

Since then I've been a lover of red meat.  Up until I became pregnant I was all about a rare steak.  And then I wasn't.

Though I'll never be a well done kinda girl (get your mind out of the gutter) I like to see pink in my meat but seeing any sort of red liquid flowing out of it makes me want to hurl.

I've always felt the need to have a meat course with our dinner...but why?  It's not necessary and not all that healthy.

I will never become a vegetarian again, I assure you.  But I don't see the need to have meat every single day.  So I've been cooking a lot more vegetarian meals lately.  I wasn't sure how my husband would take it (he's a man...man. eat. meat)  but he's been a great sport and support.

Now, before you write me off with a click off, hear me out!  If you like thai food, I have a great recipe to try.  It's not hard AT ALL but it does takes a bit of prep time.  It's worth it though...when finished they look amazing and taste just as good.

Here goes.

THAI  COLD SPRING ROLLS (serves 2 - 4)

6 rice paper wrappers (found in your local international section - they are round)
mango (ripe)
red pepper
green onion chopped
mint leaves (or basil)
small handful of roasted peanuts finely chopped


1/2 cup of sweet Thai chili sauce
1 tbsp lime juice (optional)
1tbsp rice vinegar (optional)

DIPPING SAUCE 2 (all mine!)

1/2 cup natural smooth peanut butter
2 tsp soya sauce
2 tsp lime juice or rice vinegar
2 tsp honey


Cut all vegetables and fruit in a julienne style (julienne is cut into match-like sticks).

 I didn't specify amounts because I have no idea...just be logical.  You don't need to use the entire vegetable or fruit - we're only doing 6 rolls here people.  Take it easy.

Soak the rice noodles in hot water for about 10 mins, drain and toss with about a tbsp of sweet chili sauce.

Soak the rice paper one at a time in warm water until soft and pliable - about a 30 seconds.

Along bottom edge of wrapper, leaving about 1 inch uncovered on each side place veg, fruit, nuts and herbs (depending on how much you like of each, this is all up to you...be creative....get CRAZAAY! - but not too crazy - you still have to roll it up)

Fold sides in and tightly roll up.  Repeat until all six are complete.  Keep fresh by placing a damp clean (do I really have to specify clean?) tea towel over the finished product until serving time.

When serving cut in half and serve alongside the dipping sauce(s).


The Phone Call

Today, I did something completely out of the ordinary from this blog...and for me.  I'm linking up at Write On Edge and the prompt this week is about dialogue.  More specifically: 

"Using surroundings, body language, visual cues and blocking, in addition to the spoken words, show us who they are and what their relationship is without coming out and telling us!"

This is the first time I've done fictional writing in a long, long, loooong time.  So.  Be kind.  Actually, I would really love some feedback.  Thank you!


"Hello-o?" she picked up the phone after half a ring.  Her voice cracked.  She held the phone tight.  It had been by her side for 24 hours now.  Never leaving her sight.  Not for a moment.

"Yes, hi.  May I speak with Morgan McNaught please."

"Yes, this is her." She glanced up at the clock, the beautiful antique clock she loved so much, that her husband had mounted on the wall over the entrance to the kitchen when they first moved in.

3:07 pm.

She sat down at the large kitchen table, her thumb nail between her teeth.  Then stood up again.  She turned away from the clock and looked out the window.

Blue skies.  Bright sun.  Trees showing a multitude of beautifully coloured leaves...a few leaves twirled in the breeze, tumbling to the grass.

"Oh, hello Morgan."  Pause.  "How are you doing today?"

She cleared her throat, turning back around, sitting down slowly, "I'm okay...pretty good.  I'm fine, actually. Really."  She picked up the small yellow ceramic duck figurine that always sat on the table under the window.  She held it in her hand, her thumb absentmindedly running over the ceramic ridges of the feathers.

"Good...good."  Pause. "We'd like to see you today.  As soon as you can be here."

She stood up, staring at the clock.  Blood rushed to her ears.  Her heart thumped.



"W-well."  she swallowed. "Sure.  Can you tell me though....over the phone.  Can you tell me...if I..."  She set down the ceramic yellow duck abruptly.   It toppled onto its side.

She turned to look out the window.

She saw nothing.

"No, I'm afraid we cannot.  We have to see you in person.  It's our policy."

"I'm on my way." She pulled the phone away from her ear and abruptly ended the call with the press of her thumb.

She stood still for a moment, took a deep, shaky breath, grabbed her jacket from the back of the chair, keys jangling in the pocket.

And flew out the door.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

For The First Time

As I stood at the kitchen counter, cleaning up after dinner he came over and stood beside me, pulling at my pant leg.


He wanted up on the counter.

To look at the colourful and delightful smelling things in my spice and baking cupboard.

This is his thing.

Just like when you're reading him a book, he loves to point and ask, "Wutsat?"

"That's cinnaman...would you like to smell it?"

"Yahhh"  he responds in his high, soft voice.

I take the lid off the spice jar and place under his nose.

He leans in and sniffs.


I laugh as I twist the lid back on the cinnaman and place it back in the cupboard.


"Those are raisins."  He calls them reeree's.  His brother called them renny's.

"Wutsat?"  he points to his favourite thing in the whole world...chocolate...more specifically a bag of unopened chocolate chips.  "Choco? Choco....nooo."  he says knowing I would say those words.

I look up at him as he stands turned halfway to me, halfway towards the cupboard, my head just at his chin, my hands on either side of his sock feet.

I ask him, "Keeee?"  It's his word for "kiss" and as parents, though we teach them to say things correctly, sometimes you simply let it be.

Because their interpretation and pronunciation of words are entirely much cuter than the proper pronunciation of....pretty much everything.

He looks down at me and says, "Nawwwo." This is how he says "No"...drawn out and always with a mischievous smile.

I pout...pretend to sad.  Knowing what it would bring.

He leans down and gives me a kiss.

And then he says...


His word for 'I love you.'

Impulsive.  Unprompted.

For the first time ever.

My body felt like it suddenly emanated tiny, colourful dancing hearts.

"I love you too Finny!"  I responded overflowing with enthusiasm and excitement, full of pride, overcome with love.

He looked down at me and giggled, having no idea how his words just impacted my heart.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Worst Two Minutes of my Life

The doctor informed me that yes, my little one had early bronchitis.

I took the prescription from her hand and off we went down the hall.  But not before my eldest had to weigh himself.

43 pounds.

Of-course because his big brother did, my little guy had to step on the scale too.

33 pounds.

As I picked up my youngest to head to the pharmacy within the building I turned to take hold of my eldest's hand.

He wasn't there.

"Adrian!"  I called out.


No where.

I walked back down the hall way peering into the rooms where patients were waiting to be seen...




Not there.

He's never just not there.  Especially in public places.

He's got to be around here.


A nurse approaches me..."My son...he was just here and now he's just disappeared...." a sound of disbelieving nervous laughter bubbles out as she quickly walks away to help find my son.

The mounting panic could be contained no longer...I practically ran through the maze of halls in the walk-in clinic with my 33 lb child in my arms, looking in every room, calling out his name.



No where.


I must've said his name about 20 times.

Sprinted through the halls about half a dozen.

The longest and most horribly panicked, nightmarish two minutes of my life.

And then.

I turned a corner and there he stood.

All smiles.

"He was standing in front of the candy in the pharmacy across the hall."  Said the kind blonde woman who just saved me from having an all out nervous breakdown.

I became that mother.

"Don't you ever do that to me again...do you hear me!??  You scared Mommy so badly!  I had no idea where you were!  Don't DO that again okay?  Promise me!"

I practically yelled at him as I pulled him out of the doctor's office, an awful mix of feelings in my gut.

Relief, anger, relief, adrenaline, relief, embarassment, relief.

Thank God he was okay....

Thank you God.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

How I Know I Dream in Colour

My boys and I were at a concert in a large field.

Lots of musicians played and beautiful day it was...then Taylor Swift came out onto the grass and led us to a far corner of this very large field to a stage that was like a pyramid with about 6 wide, large bleacher like steps leading up to the top.

I noticed a crowd of people to one side of the stage as my boys and I followed her.

We arrived and all of a sudden, the music started up and Kid Rock appeared on the top of this pyramid like stage.

The crowd, which happened to be a whole bunch of kids ranging from age 2 to 8 rushed up the stage and started dancing and singing.

A photographer was there too.

There was a tremendously carefree and joyful feeling about it all despite Kid Rock belting out tune that actually happened to be country.

I looked up as I sat on one of the lower benches and watched my boys dancing in the crowd of kids, not worried if they were going to fall.

Not worried at all.

And then, balloons...lots of gorgeous pastel coloured balloons floated up, up, up into the perfect blue sky from the hands of the children.

Yet not a child cried.

The whole time the dancing, singing and letting go of balloons was happening, I was holding this sweet boy, about 2.5 years old who happened to look a lot like Sofia Vergara and Al Bundy's son from Modern Family.  (I can never remember the names of the character's from the show).

I held him close, not wanting to let him go...my eyes were closed.


The feeling of that sweet boy's little body next to mine was so....right.

A shadow blocked the sun that I felt warm against my eyelids.

I could hear the photographer's voice telling me...

"Open your eyes...open your eyes...."

I didn't want to open my eyes.

But then when I did...this is what  I saw;

It was all just a dream as I lay beside
my son...I forget sometimes, to be
ever so grateful.

Sometimes you need to really open your eyes to know how lucky you truly are.

And I don't know what the significance of that little boy was...but I've always said I wanted to adopt...

My dreams have been known to come true now and again.

And if Taylor Swift and Kid Rock ever happen to do a duet together...well there you go.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

My Baby is a Baby no more

Two years ago...just a wee nugget.

I stood in the card aisle.

An aisle array with a rainbow of colours and loving words.

My eyes scan the Happy Birthday section until I find what I'm looking for.

Happy Second Birthday!

My throat catches abruptly as my heart clenches.

I know it's just your second birthday but I keep saying to your Dad, "Where did the past 2 years go?"

His response being, "And soon he'll be 10 and you'll be asking the same thing."

Then 20...I think ruefully to myself.

And you'll be off gallivanting with your college friends forgetting all about your old Mom and Dad who kissed your boo-boos and cuddled you endlessly.

Who cooed and awwwed over every little adorable thing you said and did.

I let the memory of your day of birth wash over me like the warmth of the sun as I stood in the card aisle at Walmart becoming ridiculously emotional over you, my baby boy in every sense of the word, turning two.

Just like with your brother, I knew exactly who you were before I met you.

You were such a calm, rolling gentle force growing in this belly of mine.

It didn't surprise me in the least that you had just the same personality as an infant.  Though you emerged full of the most intense but beautiful cries...and I cried those tears right along with you beautiful boy.

Ever joyous tears.

"It's a BOY!"

I somehow knew that too.

And I knew that you were a Finley Alexander right at that very moment.  Named after my beloved Grandmother.  The Great-Grandmother that you unfortunately never had the pleasure of knowing.  Finlay was her maiden name...a woman who was extraordinary in every way.

The first year of your life you were a most delightful baby...rarely crying only when you were hungry, thirsty or tired.

It took a while to get a hold of a good night's sleep.

A mere 17 months before you would regularly sleep through the night.

But you can't have everything, so they say.

I revelled in your babyhood, carrying you everywhere whether you were sleeping or not.  I couldn't let a moment of it pass me by.  Knowing how quickly it went with your older brother.

I look at you now and can't get enough of your impish grin, your soft chubby dimpled cheeks and the deep blue of your happy eyes.

I love listening to you talk, though you still babble away in a language I've yet to understand with a few words like cookie, gummy (this is due to your brother's obsessive gum chewing habit), Daddy, Aidy and of-course, Mommy, thrown in once in a while.

But my favourite thing of all, is when I tell you I love you.  You look at me knowing well, the meaning of those three precious words and you respond...."Loveeeey" in your soft musical voice, eyes alight with sparkle.

My heart fills full.

Happy second Birthday Fin, Finner, McGinner, Magoo, Finny, Finnegan.

Finley Alexander.

My sweet, loving, funny, willful, smart, supremely independent, particular, sensitive, slide and crust hating, cookie and music loving, booty shaking baby boy.

As I always tell you and your brother, I love you to the moon and back, forever and ever...

And always.

Don't you ever forget that.

Look at you now.  Exactly 2 years, almost to the hour.
How I love that face.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Dear 19 year old girl that I don't know...

Dear 19 year old girl who doused herself with perfume before hitting the treadmill beside me today:

While I appreciate that you don't want to smell like a large puddle of body odour (I can appreciate that too) I have to tell you I don't appreciate the taste in my mouth as I breathe heavily from running alongside you...like I'm eating the scent of your very flowery perfume emanating from your very tiny, flawless, non-baby birthing hot pink short-shorts, barely there Lululemon tank top wearing body.

Deodorant works perfectly fine on its own, it really does.  Secret, Dial, Dove.  And, AND they have all these awesome scents that they certainly didn't have "when I was your age." (when did I start saying that??!!)  Vanilla Bean, Cherry Blossom, Lemon Verbena...you almost might be tempted to lick your own armpit.

But please don't do that.

That would be really disgusting.  Then your tongue would get a weird dry like feeling.

I have no idea how I know this but I do.

Disturbing...but true.

I promise you I've never licked my armpit though.

But I digress....

I used to have a body just like yours.

Oh yes.  Believe it.

I see you glance over at me sizing me up in my loose fitting Adidas warm up pants and long sleeve no-name top when everyone around us including half the men are wearing black and bright coloured spandex with a Lululemon logo somewhere on it.

But I don't need to show off this body of mine that's "only" birthed two very large babies (just 9 and 9.6 lbs - no biggie), this very healthy but flawed body that's been very good to me so far...no, spandex this body will never see unless you count spanx.  Besides, I actually LOVE to sweat.  Long sleeved shirts and long pants encourage lots of sweating.  Every bead of perspiration that runs down my reddened face that shows every single 33 years of my life, reminds me that I am, quite literally, working my butt  off.

I once rocked tiny white cotton shorts too.  And like you, I knew I looked pretty damn good.

Unfortunately now, shorts are out of the question.  Period.

And this hair of mine?  This long bedraggled hair that once curled so effortlessly but is now riddled with pokey uppy unreasonable grey hairs and must be styled if I want to look any kind of presentable...this mane hapharzardly piled atop my head resembling a nest or two for rodents that has not been cut or dyed since February?  I'll have you know that I'm going tonight to have something drastic done about it.

By a professional.

That's right!  I might even change my colour!


So, you and your gorgeous, dark, shiny long hair pulled perfectly into a pert ponytail will have nothing on me by 8 o'clock tonight.

You keep on jogging away, Miss flowery smelling skinny young thang.

Yeah.  I was a lot like you.

I used to come to the gym when I was 19 too.  For reasons very different than now.  Along with how my priorities changed once I had my first son, my reasons for attending a gym on a regular basis have changed too.

Primarily, it's to get the only break I can from my wonderfully energetic spawn ... which is definitely not a bad thing for any one of us.  I get some me time, they get to play and run around maniacally with other children.

It's a win-win.

But quite simply though most importantly, it's to keep healthy.

Because I want to live a good long life and really be there for my children.

And their children.  (God please...I do want to be a grandmother someday! - just not too early if you know what I mean)

And if life is really, really good to me, my great-grandchildren too.

I want to be able to truly participate in their lives, give piggy backs, horsey rides, play airplane and all the soccer and hockey they wish to play with me...until they don't.

Not because I can't.

I also want to teach my boys that being fit and healthy is extremely important along with eating well and playing hard.

Yes, dear girl, when I was your age I used to attend the gym to get admiring sidelong glances from others, to show off (I still like to do this a little - for different reasons...did you see how much I can curl?!  I got me some pipes yo...you'll get there too someday when you have to carry 30 plus pounds in each arm) and to keep my youthful hard body, hard.

Back then, it was all for vanity's sake.

But, all that living in vain?  It doesn't really matter when you have a great husband and two little boys who at this point in their lives think I'm the most beautiful woman they know...yes, even in the mornings when I'm most definitely not at my most beautiful.

No, lovely 19 year old girl that I don't know, it doesn't matter one bit at the end of it all.  And in about 10-15 years...I can assure you that it probably won't matter all that much to you either.

If, that is, you get as lucky as I did.

And that, Miss Flowers, I truly hope you do.


Someone who used to be just like you.

Yeah - that's me.  Rockin' the red.