Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New Year!

To all the people dear to my heart, close and far away.

My hopes for the New Year?
World peace, of course.
Loads of good times with family and friends.
Enjoying every moment that comes my way.
Happiness and health for those I love.

And of course,
the eternal "this is the year I'll be in great shape;)"
Not a resolution. Nah.
Just a commitment to myself.


le Noel des manuels

Although the celebrating is not yet over, we've had overall a most wonderful Christmas. Everything went smoothly, effortlessly and quite stress-free. Simplicity was key. Everyone was in good health and in good humor. No more schedules. We eat whenever we're hungry or the food is ready. We sleep in. We go to bed way too late.

Lots of time spent with family and friends. Chatting and laughing. Thrown in there was hubby's birthday. Lots of presents to open. We stretched this out over a few days. Funny thing though is that a lot of what we all received came along with instruction manuals, over a dozen actually, hence why we named this Christmas the "Noel Des manuels"!!! Lots of reading to do.

In between all the conviviality we managed to go skating indoors quite a few times. We decided not to put the twins in skating lessons mostly because we couldn't find a good time for them, Instead we promised ourselves to just take them out as often as we can. Practice, practice. Plus the fact that our outdoor skating rink, double the size from last year, is well underway. And then the snow came! Hooray! Snowmen appeared, hats and all. Today, we even ventured out for some cross-country skiing. It was gorgeous.

We are definitely in holiday mode.

Monday, December 25, 2006

santa came!!!


The Jolly Ole Man has been especially generous to us all. Guess we must have all been very good all year long ;)

We are now off to Montreal for a few days of merriment.


Saturday, December 23, 2006

our first holiday day

No one had to go to school or go to work today. We all slept in. Made pancakes for breakie. Did some groceries. Kids had their hair cut. Met some friends at the skating rink. Went over to their house afterwards for a fun supper and gift exchange. All 6 kids had a blast. And everyone enjoyed the cookies we made :)

Friday, December 22, 2006

the year in review

Concept is straight from Dani's and admittedly I was curious to see what mine would bring up. A random grouping of vignettes. So here goes, first sentence of the first blog of every month In 2006, from January to December:

  1. For years, especially pre-kid years, New Year's Eve meant inviting everyone and anyone over to our house for a get-together and having people ending up sleeping here and there.
  2. Hard to believe but I registered all 3 kids for soccer today!
  3. Last night was TV night for hubby and I.
  4. the extra laundry generated from playing in the mud and puddles
  5. Well the second skating show went great too.
  6. Picked up the twins soccer uniforms.
  7. Otherwise known as barn swallow or the lovely french term "hirondelle des granges".
  8. It's been hot all right, tending to stay inside to be cool or going outside to splash in the pool with friends over or at other people's places and their pool.
  9. Yep it happened last night.
  10. To reciprocate nancy's last two posts, yes, life has been busy around here, so much so that I've become a silent blogger.
  11. What fun it was!
  12. Crazy weather today.

Interesting how these 12 sentences sum up my year: life as a mom in the outskirts of suburbia with my family and friends and all their activities. Not an exciting/glamorous life. but my life, a simple one celebrating simple events.

And I'd like to think that #11 pretty much summed it up "what fun it was!"

Thursday, December 21, 2006

we've come a long way


Last gymnastics class for the session and as usual the parents are allowed in to see what our kidlets are able to do. Time to confess. I usually drop them off, check them for mere seconds to appease my mommy's conscience that they are fine and I bolt out of there to run errands. I really haven't seen much what they've been up to lately :( So it was an incredible surprise to actually see how much they've progressed. How tall they look compared to younger ones. How much stronger they've gotten physically. And how much better they are at listening and following instructions. Way to go guys. They'll be starting their third year next January. A really great activity for them and good for both girls and boys!


School Christmas party at a local community hall. They've been getting ready for this for weeks and the whole event has been shrouded in a veil of secrecy. NO clue what they were up to. This is their third and final year in this most incredible school. The first year, they didn't even make it on stage. Too shy. Last year, involved in the singing only. This year, leading roles in a play about a Christams circus! It was the cutest thing ever and all parents were blown away at the amount of lines they memorized and how well they acted. Baby boy was the "tamer" of wild reindeers, converting them into docile ones worthy to work with Santa. Baby girl was a "fire juggler" and danced and twirled batons to an enchanting Christmas melody. Am so glad I made a point of changing hubby's schedule months ago so that he could attend this. The pride on his face was priceless. And how big they looked next to all the wee ones! The show was followed by a pinata, a potluck lunch and a visit from santa. We came home all tingly with the Christams spirit and spent the rest of the day making crafts, wrapping gifts and baking. Just pure magic.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

all partied out

Last night was our last adult only festive gettogether. Outfit #1 got worn for the third time. Its always the "getting-ready-to-go-out" part that proves to be the most stressful. Going over instructions with the sitter, making supper and feeding the kids, stopping sibling animosity which always seems to excalate the closer the time comes for me to go and finally finding some time to myself to get dolled up (hubby was still at work and I had to go pick him up). As I'm struggling through these tense moments I can't help but wonder is it really worth it? Should I have just stayed home?

But of course, once I'm actually there with some alcoholic beverage in my hand, I can slowly feel all the tension dissipate and I'm reconnecting with my old self. Especially last night as we were in a room full of my professional colleagues, some of them acquaintances of close to 25 years. Hubby and I worked the room, making a point of talking to all we knew and meeting some new people as well. Networking I guess.

We left hand-in-hand glad to have managed to go out on a "date" and amazed at the number of people we know and met there, a very extensive social circle. Quite heartwarming actually.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

nearly there

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What a whirlwind of activity around here. My mind can only work in list mode. SO here goes, in absolutely no order:

  • wrote and mailed all 60 Christmas cards
  • ended up pulling out the fake tree from the basement, just couldn't find the time anywhere to go cut one down as we've been doing over the past years and the weather has been poor for a trek in the woods i.e too muddy
  • the house and the tree are filled with kid's Christmas crafts (thanks for the idea above Nancy)
  • the entrance table is starting to fill up with cards received from friends and family from all over
  • baked an incredible amount of cookies (thanks nancy again for the inspiration)
  • even made some bark, thanks Beachmama! except that I used both dark and white chocolate and made a marbled effect
  • have relied on the slow cooker more than I ever have
  • dragged everyone for their annual flu shots
  • visited a friend and her 7 month old twin girls who screamed for the whole 3 hours I was there and I left exhausted and wondering how I ever did it with my own
  • winterized the motorcycle and lawnmower
  • bought new skates for the kids and went skating at the "marina" (as the little ones call it) a few times. We've opted NOT to put them in skating lessons, just no good time to do it, and we all agreed to bring them once/twice a week to our local arena for the $2 family skate up until we get our backyard rink going
  • have been meeting with lawyers and accountants for our business incorporation, loads and loads of paperwork to get done before Dec 31st, yikes and new computer software to get accustomed to
  • drove big sis back and forth over the week-end to a badminton tournament where she acquired THREE trophees, not bad for her first year
  • hubby has been working an insane amount of hours and has been pretty much absent around here
  • went to our local twin's association Christmas party at midway: it was SO cool to see so many twins and mine certainly felt very special to be part of such a select group
  • attended greek school Christmas pageant (over 300 kids). The twins looked awesome in their little outfits (see pic above) and sang so well, definite proud mommy moment
  • attended greek dancing recital, so cute
  • went to an adults only partee, woo hoo, big sis babysat again along with a friend of hers and we came home to find the twins asleep under the Christmas tree. They had wanted to sleep there so big sis brought up a mattress and some sleeping bags. Too bad I was so tired/drunk to think straigth at 2 am and snap a photo ;)
  • finishing the last of the gift wrapping today, hopefully
  • going to another adult only party tonight, getting my outfit #3 of the season ready
  • preparing platters for kids' school parties
No wonder I'm feeling exhausted. Add to this frenzy an unbalanced diet and lack of regular exercise. Oh well, we are nearly there and then we can just sit back and relax!

Friday, December 15, 2006


A year ago today I started this blog. 158 posts later, here I am. 158 days out of 365 in a year. Well, lets not count week-ends so its really 158 out of 261 days. That means that somehow, I had something to say 60% of the time, (yes, I'm a number cruncher kind of gal).

Why did I even start this? And why at this busy time of year? I have to blame it all on Dani. She introduced me to the blogging world and one day sent me an e-mail which stated "come on, go for it, all the COOL kids do it". And that was it, stayed up really late one night and got myself introduced to a whole new medium. Self-educucation for a techno-unsavvy girl.

So what did I get out of all this? Spent a lot of time at my computer, time I guess could have been spent on other things, like housework and exercise. But looking back at my original post, one of my main goals was to be a "family historian" which is really what this blog turned out to be. Simple anecdotes from my everyday life. It forces me to stand back, look at what is going on with me and around me, think about it and write it out. Its a celebration of my life. A simple life really. My new life. It provides an outlet for this working mom turned SAHM.

My other goal in my original post was to make this a gift to me. And it has. This is mine. All mine. At first I went at it on my own but was soon "found out" by some very special blog- friendly pals. Being a mom and being constantly torn in one hundred directions by everyone's demands, my blog is a time for me. I'll be thinking of things to say in my head while doing everyday mundane chores: doing dishes, chopping vegetables, folding laundry, and mostly driving around. I view it as brain exercise. Gotta keep those synapses fired up!

So happy anniversary to me. And a very big heartfelt thanks to all of you who take the time to read about my life and post comments. LOVE those comments and would love to comment on every comment and send it back to the sender if it could be done more easily. Would be more of a conversation. Precious girl talk.

Hoping the next year keeps bringing me inspirations!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

a family heirloom

An acquaintance of ours is a painter. You can check out some of her work here. For quite some time I've been toying with an idea for her to paint our home with us and the kids in it. After meeting with her some time back and having her come here to discuss details, it finally arrived. A Christmas present for us all. I hope it is a piece that will remain in our family for generations to come.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

season ritual

yes I'm done, for another year

every year I say this year I'm going to cut back, but never seem to be able to. Between the relatives overseas and friends scattered throughout North America, I always end up with 60 cards at least.

many years ago, an elderly lady sent me that poem of Christmas cards and I loved it so much as it rings so true to me that I made copies of it on a nice Christmas stationary and sent it out with all my cards one year. Well , yesterday I received a card from a dear friend and she sent me back my poem and signed "Right back at you"

That's teh Christmas spirit!

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what a pair!

Since the beginning of the school year, I've been finding these little plastic cars/buses/planes/boats thingys in the twins pockets. I've asked them both, on separate occasions and one-on-one where those came from. They both told me they found them digging in the sand at school and it was OK to keep them. Since they both told me the same story, I went for it, right?


Yesterday, I just so happened to be talking to their teacher about this and that and finally brought up this subject telling her what a neat idea it was to have little plastic toys hidden in the sand for them to "find". She looks at me with a puzzled look. What? she says.

Turns out these little toys are used in the classroom for a speical activity. Boy have I been had. They've been in cahoots all along and tricked me. The teacher had a good laugh when I told her and warned me about what else they'll trick me about in years to come.

Ohh la la!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

getting dolled up

When I stopped working, so did the annual office Xmas party. And my hubby's office has had their holiday get-together in January for many years. Just easier to get everyone to agree on a date then.

So needless to say, we haven't had too many "I've got to get dressed up" kind of Xmas gatherings in the past few years. More casual friend/family get-togethers.

And then, all of a sudden, we've been invited to FOUR events. Two of which will be attended by the same people :~( Which sent me in a panic: what to wear? The perpetual dilemna facing women, men don't sweat it out, just decide at the last minute and put an old favorite on. But us , NO! So there I was, in my closet trying to make some magic happen: hmmm, too tight, hmmm, too summery, hmmmm, too old, hmmmm, so and so saw me in this before, hmmmm, wrong color, hmmm, don't have shoes to go with that, etc. So the first "cocktail party" was last Saturday and there I was last Friday night, with just under two hours while big sis was at badminton, to make it all happen. And somehow I did. So here's my outfit #1: the blouse I already had and wore once, new skirt, new shoes, new nylons, new jewellery et voila!

Friday, December 08, 2006

field trip

Do you remember that excitement and anticipation when you knew there was an upcoming school class trip? Well, that feeling was buzzing around here for quite a while. And the BIG day was today. And yes, it was cold. But dressed as we Canadians know how to dress and with the sun shining, fun was had by all. Plus dad and mom and big sis went along too!

They got to ride on a big yellow school bus, which for kids who get driven to school is a pretty big deal.

Lots of activities in store for them, the least of which was a much anticipated visit sith Santa Claus. They all patiently waited their turn to sit next to him and tell them their wishes. Was way cut. Especially this one little girl who wants a butterfly :)

They rode on a horse drawn carriage and sang carols.

Walked over to a 1930's school where the schoolmistress talked about life in schools back tehn and we all got to do a craft. A Christmas decoration of course.

Decorated some cookies. And ate them too!

Drank hot chocolate around a burning fire and did a few outdoor games.


The look of joy on these kids was truly absolutely priceless and put us all, kids and adults, in teh Christmas spirit.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

busy busy time of year

Along with all the fun and magic of the season, Christmas certainly adds on to a mom's already busy workload. Apart from the usual conundrum of laundry, meal planning, housework and the like, we have to walk around with a mental list of who will get what for the big day, shopping to fulfill said list and keep track of what's left to get, wrap said presents, pull out decorations from deep in the darkness of the basement, sort through them and and put them up, make Christmas card list and get to it, arrange family gatherings and meals. And then we have kids who come up with: "Mom, our class is doing a gift exchange, can you go get me something?" and "Mom! can you bring something for our potluck lunch at school?" We have to rehearse parts for school plays and skits. We have to make outfits for Christmas pageants. Phew!!!

So look what I spent my day doing. The twins are going to sing "Mon beau sapin" and, well, have to get dressed as a Christmas tree. So I found some round tablecloths, made a whole in the middle to pass their heads through and armed with a glue gun and some dollar store finds, decorated the tree. I think I'll sew on a bit of garland now to finish it off. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, December 03, 2006

hockey night in canada

Hot dogs and pop and beer. Popcorn and cotton candy. Great seats. Winning home team (5-2).

Add all that together and it made for an amazing family outing. The kids were so excited with the atmosphere. On and off the ice. They sang the national anthem at the top of their lungs. Baby boy didn't move, so focused on the game. Baby girl was thrilled that the team's mascot Spartacat (whom they call Smarticat) came that close to us. Big sis sat next to her dad discussing the plays.

I so vividly remember with much fondness going to hockey games at the Forum with my dad as a child. Hope my kids will cherish nights like last night for years to come. A true canadian outing. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, December 02, 2006

shy girl

Baby girl has been getting more and more shy. Or maybe always was but we are noticing it more. Especially with two siblings who really aren't.

This summer, she never talked to her soccer coach and barely to her teammates. At times we will go places and if there are people she doesn't really know she will tell me ahead of time that she won't talk to anyone. I don't make a big issue out of it. At school, she has one best friend, a little girl who was even more shy but has grown out of it. If her friend isn't there, she won't talk/play with anyone else really. She's not painfully shy, just shy in a quiet way.

So today she was invited to her best friend's house. She was really happy to go, but didn't want to go alone. She wanted her brother and sister to go with her. I couldn't believe that. Thank God the parents of her friend are such great people cause they ended up inheriting my 3 kids for a whole afternoon.

Ah well, let's attribute that to another phase.

Off to get ready we are all going out tonight: to the hockey game. GO SENS GO!!!

Friday, December 01, 2006

crazy start to a new month

Crazy weather today. School buses were cancelled city wide so big sis stayed home. Twins still went, was Pizza Day today and they would have hated to miss that. They were so excited to see snow this morning. First of December AND first snow, what a perfect combination to put us in a Christmas mood. Listened to Christmas music all day and started putting out some decorations.

Unfortunately, the snow turned into rain and freezing rain. Funny thing too since big sis just finished a school project on freezing rain so we blamed her for this :) We also had a few power failures throughout the day. And looking outside really brought me back to 1998. The BIG ice storm. We were out of power for 4 days back then and ended up staying at a friend's house. Not as bad as so many others.

Went to pick up the twins. Drove ever so slowly, hard to tell if it was just wet or frozen and with a new vehicle that has never seen these types of road conditions. Got back home and noticed some of our bigger junipers (12 to 15 feet tall)starting to droop from the weight of the ice. A mere hour later, when hubby got home, they were pretty much totally bent down to the ground. SO we got geared up, the twins stayed inside and watched us through the window, and we went out in the torrential freezing downpour to rescue some trees: knocking ice off, get ropes to pull them back up. We had to change gloves every half hour. Finally, two hours later, we were done. Hope they'll be Ok.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

all better

Everyone was better today and everyone's appetite is back. Let's keep our fingers crossed that it'll stay like that for a while.

Hubby was back at work today. We also realized that exactly a year ago today he missed another day of work. Not a good time of year for him it would seem. But it was much worse that this stomach flu. Much scarier. He ended up in the hospital with atrial fibrillation. His heart stopped beating properly. No real reason. Since then he's been monitored, put on some meds, had a few minor relapses, we all try to keep his stress level down and things seem to be stabilized. Thank God. To see him, a man who always takes care of himself by eating well and exercising, all hooked up to machines in an emergency room was quite a scare. It put a lot of things into perspective. It makes one focus on the big picture and not just the details. But one thing is for sure, I want to spend the sunset of our lives together :)

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Wednesday, November 29, 2006

damn bugs

It started off with baby girl last Thursday. She had a 24 hour stomach flu.

Then it was big sis' turn. She ended up having it on Sunday when we were having our family over to celebrate her birthday and my mom's (yes they share the same birthday, 71 years apart). She spent the day lying with a bucket next to her. She managed to open a few gifts though ;) And it dragged on to Monday, her actual birthday, and she's still not feeling 100%

Then, last night it was hubby's turn. He actually called in sick today, something he's done a handful of times over the past 20 years. He pretty much spent the day in bed.

I keep waiting for baby boy to show symptoms. Crooss my fingers, maybe he'll be spared.

And me? Hanging in there. Haven't been eating much for the past few days, mostly weak tea and plain toast as I feel like I'm on the edge of getting it but willing my body not to succomb. Moms can't get sick, right?

But look who came to visit in the backyard this morning. There was a beautiful cardinal too but he was much faster than my camera.

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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

christmas is in the air

We have an unwritten rule that we don't put any Christmas decorations up until after big sis' birthday. We kinda broke the rule this year, just by a day though. The weather was good and the twins had been bugging us since their return from Florida.

So out came the lights, detangling cords after cords, checking out which set worked and which doesn't and putting them up on trees that keep getting bigger and bigger and require another trip to the store to purchase more. But when nightfall came and on came the lights, there was magic in the air. Posted by Picasa

Monday, November 27, 2006

twelve years ago today

We became parents. It feels like yesterday, It feels like a lifetime ago.

After 6 years of marriage and just as many years of trying, my first pregnancy ended in a miscarriage at 15 weeks. We were devastated. Those were dark days in our marriage. We consulted specialists in the reproductive field, we had a multitude of tests done. The bottom line of all these knowleadgeable individulas: there is nothing we can do for you. We started thinking of a child-free life, a coping mechanism for sure.

Then a friend, also trying to conceive, asked me to go with her to this chinese herbalist/acupuncturist who specializes in infertility cases. We had a few common friends who had gone already and ended up with babies. She really believed this would work. Me, not really. With my trained scientific mind, I shrugged it all off as insanity but agreed to go with her to make her happy. He gave us a tea to drink and some pills for hubby. Lo and behold, we both got pregnant a few weeks apart.

I was ever so careful with this pregnancy, not rushing to tell everyone as we did the first time. Taking care of myself. Enjoying this purest miracle, with a little voice in the back of my mind thinking this could be the last time I'd ever live through this. Was a great pregnancy with just normal symptoms of heartburn and last trimester bloating. 40 weeks came and went. November 18th, the due date came and went. We were scheduled for an induction on the morning of the 28th of November.

The morning of the 27th, I woke up with mild cramping. They became more regular. We had breakfast in the dining room with the sun filtering through the windows. It was a beautiful sunny Sunday. At 10 am, I felt a pressure and rushed to the shower just in time for my waters breaking and gushing out. Hubby busied himself getting my bags ready and putting a plastic bag over my seat in the vehicle and we drove off smiling proudly at the thought of soon meeting our first born.

Our neighbour, my medical doctor, was outside putting some Christmas decorations. We stopped by to say hi and when she asked how we were, we said "we're great! we're on our way to meet our baby" She laughed and wished us well and was going to join us in a few hours as she was going to be our baby's doctor too.

Get to the hospital, settle in a room, start walking around, pausing for some panting. But then the pain intensified to the point of tears. I was having back labour and no position made me comfortable. Hubby started panicking and started getting things moving for me to get an epidural. Which I finally did. What a relief. Things progressed slowly and steadily and we started pushing. And we pushed. And pushed. And nothing happened. Finally my OB came in and declared that I was going to need a ceasarian. The baby was coming in face first (there's a medical term for this which I forget)and was stuck in the canal.

It became an emergency issue, I was rushed to the OR. Lights and machines were being flicked on as we came in. Hubby was gone to put some scrubs on. My epidural was wearing off. I was petrified with fear. I was alone on that hard cold operating table. People were rushing around me getting things ready, hooking up machines and waiting for the anaesthesiologist to come back from home.

Eventually he arrived, drugged me up and not very long after, our baby girl emerged at 8:30 pm and weighing in at 7 pounds. She had a huge crop of black hair halfway down her back (no wonder I had so much heartburn they said) and she was perfect. Hubby was crying with joy. I was trembling from a mixture of emotions and drugs. Outside, the first snowflakes of the season were falling and by the time hubby left the hospital to go back home, a full blown snowstorm was underway.

And our love affair with this child began.

So many firsts together. SO much joy. And now, I look at her, a young woman and wonder where my little girl has gone. We love her so much and just want the best for her. We want to shield her from the cruelties of this world and want to prepare her for it too. She's a great kid and we congratulate ourselves and count our blessings.

Happy Birthday my firstborn, my beautiful daughter and the best big sis ever.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

change of direction

Well, the day started off as any other day, get up early, get dressed, make beds, prepare lunches, make sure big sis has her project ready, sign last minute forms for her, gather up garbage and bring to curb, get hubby out the door on time, last minute tidying up before cleaning ladies show up, get kids dressed and fed for school, drive them to school.

But we get there and baby girl informs me she is not feeling well, her tummy hurts and doesn't want to go in. Leave baby boy there, get her back home, open the front door and she throws up all over the carpet in the entrance. Oh NO! Here we go. So she's been home with me which really threw a curve on my day's schedule. She's lethargic, poor sweetie, and has been sick a few more times. Now, who else will be getting this? We have a jam-packed week-end coming up: all 3 kids off on PD days tomorrow, appointments at eye doctor, haircuts, parent-teacher interviews, baptism on Saturday, birthday party for big sis and my mom and big sis' godfather on Sunday. Yikes.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

this or that

Quite a while back, my hubby received a gift certificate as a present from one of the companies he deals with. It entitles us to 2 Ticketmaster tickets. All of a sudden, we realized that there was an imminent expiry to it. We decided to give it to big sis and have her pick.

So the choices boiled down to (1) the Goo Goo Dolls or (2)the Nutcracker Ballet. Different genres wouldn't you say?

Guess what my nearly 12 year old daughter picked?

Number 2. Which kind of surprised me. Part of me wanted to go see the Goo Goo Dolls, would have been fun but on the other hand, I love the Nutcracker. Big sis still remembers playing the starring role as a 4 year old in a school Christmas pageant where she was the Plum Sugar Fairy, an enchanting part of the ballet. So this was her main reason for chosing one over the other.

My best friend growing up was really into ballet. As much as I would have loved to join in with her, I was deemed too tall :( But I attended all her recitals, often helping backstage in the early years, and then watched her in the Nutcracker quite a few times. Must have seen that ballet close to a dozen times at different venues. I remember getting a vinyl record (gasp) of The Best of Tchaikovsky as a kid and loving it. One of my wishes back then was to one day go with my own daughter to see this magical ballet.

So it seems my wish is coming true. And it will certainly put us in the Christmas mood.

Monday, November 20, 2006

cause to celebrate


Yesterday we had 5 of big sis' friends over for a delebration. She turns 12 on the 27th but this was the only day good for everyone. It was a great group of really nice young ladies: two she's known since kindergarten, two were from her previous school and one she just met.

They watched a movie while munching on popcorn and veggies and dip, played a few board games, ordered in pizza, bday cake and fruit, opened some presents, listened to music, played some piano. All in all an easy for me and fun for them celebration.

But the best part of the day was when hubby and the twins returned from their trip late in the evening. I couldn't stop hugging them all. They had an absolutely wonderful time and I'm sure the stories will be trickling in in the days to come. And the little ones didn't even mention my new hair!

Our househlod is back to its usual routine :) Posted by Picasa

Saturday, November 18, 2006

new me

Well, after a week of purging, cleaning up, re-organizing around the house, moving furniture and wall hangings and picture frames around, I was on a roll. I was in a "change" kinda of mood.

So, on a whim, when I sat in the hairdresser's chair yesterday morning I declared: let's go shorter and darker! So, off went 4-5 inches and I'm no longer a blonde with highlights but a brunette!! When I see myself, I feel like I have a wig on. So far I've had a few astonished looks. The true test will be tomorrow evening when my babies come back home :)

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Thursday, November 16, 2006

the fruit of my labour

I'm almost there! Should have seen how much stuff I had at the curb this morning! I'm dwindling down to some odd and ends, finally, I'm seeing the end of this task and the neat freak in me is relishing in the end result. The war against chaos and mayhem of stuff is being conquered. I should be good for a few years, I hope.

First in the family room, everything has been condensed into this shelving unit: top row french books, second row english books and top bottom rows, mostly board games and little games neatly concealed in bins and, yes, wipe boxes!

Then the front closet, it was jammed packed and when guests came there was absolutely no room for their coats. So now, I can actually see the back wall and the top shelf is home to puzzles and board games for the older crowd. Basically stuff I don't want opened and spread around without supervision ;)

And finally this shelving unit in the laundry room. When the twins were babies, it held all their clothes. Once that phase was over, it became a catch-all for everything and anything Now we'll have ALL crafty materials on the top 3 shelves, one shelf housing the 3 boxes for mitts/gloves, hats and splash pants and vests.

Yep, this calls for a treat...chocolate here I come:) Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

i'm pooped

Since the little ones are gone, it was a perfect opportunity to organize certain areas of the house without curious busybodies around. But what a task. I'm physically and mentally exhausted. Spent two days in the den doing household related paperwork, shredding and filing. Then tackled my recipe corner and put all loose recipes in a binder. Went through all their books and centralized them in one area, adding some to the ongoing pile of things to be donated (mostly clothes so far). Today I started tackling the toys and craft supplies. Yikes, so much of it. What to keep, what to give. There are piles everywhere, here and there. I will need another full day to put everything away. One more day of constant work. I still want to go through bathroom cupboards and then the phenomenal task of putting pictures in albums. Sigh!!! But Friday I'll treat myself to a morning at the hairdresser, a little shopping and lunch out...ahhh!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

rainy day meme

Will this rain ever end? And will my cold ever end? I've had it with this damp cold weather. I'm longing for the sun and a snot/dry cough/phlegm-free day. Yes, and my hubby and the twins have been going to the beach daily: 85F and sunny consistently. Oh well, at least they picked a good week to go there. Its crummy here and gorgeous there.

What's exciting here today? Getting my carpets cleaned, picking up big sis at school to run some errands and going out for supper at a friend's house.

Seems like a good day to do a meme (thanks Northern Mom and SCM and danigirl), to reflect on what I have and haven't done so far in my life and consider what else I'd like to do. So here goes, bold is what I did:

01. bought everyone in the bar a drink
02. swam with wild dolphins
03. climbed a mountain --on foot, here and in Europe
04. taken a ferrari for a test drive
05. been inside the great pyramid
06. held a tarantula
07. taken a candlelit bath with someone
08. said "i love you" and meant it
09. hugged a tree
10. bungee jumped--no thanks
11. visited paris --oh oui!
12. watched a lightning storm at sea
13. stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise--as a teenager and as a new mom;)
14. seen the northern lights
15. gone to a huge sports game
16. walked the stairs to the top of the leaning tower of pisa
17. grown and eaten your own vegetables--every year since a kid
18. touched an iceberg--in Newfoundland
19. slept under the stars
20. changed a baby's diaper
21. taken a trip in a hot air balloon --but one landed in our front yard!
22. watched a meteor shower--every year for my birthday
23. gotten drunk on champagne
24. given more than you can afford to charity
25. looked up at the night sky through a telescope
26. had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment--at a wedding
27. had a food fight
28. bet on a winning horse
29. asked out a stranger
30. had a snowball fight--every winter
31. screamed as loudly as you possibly can (very therapeutic. I recommend in the car, alone--totally agree with you danigirl))
32. held a lamb
33. seen a total eclipse
34. ridden a roller coaster
35. hit a home run
36. danced like a fool and not cared who was looking (see #23 above)
37. adopted an accent for an entire day
38. actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment (for a moment? Often!)
39. had two hard drives for your computer
40. visited all 50 states
41. taken care of someone who was drunk
42. had amazing friends--and still do
43. danced with a stranger in a foreign country
44. watched whales
45. stolen a sign
46. backpacked in europe
47. taken a road-trip
48. gone rock climbing
49. midnight walk on the beach
50. gone sky diving
51. visited ireland
52. been heartbroken longer than you were actually in love
53. in a restaurant, sat at a stranger's table and had a meal with them
54. visited japan
55. milked a cow
56. alphabetized your cds
57. pretended to be a superhero
58. sung karaoke
59. lounged around in bed all day
60. played touch football
61. gone scuba diving
62. kissed in the rain
63. played in the mud
64. played in the rain
65. gone to a drive-in theater
66. visited the great wall of china
67. started a business
68. fallen in love and not had your heart broken--married for 20 years!
69. toured ancient sites
70. taken a martial arts class
71. played d&d for more than 6 hours straight
72. gotten married
73. been in a movie--as a kid
74. crashed a party
75. gotten divorced
76. gone without food for 5 days
77. made cookies from scratch
78. won first prize in a costume contest
79. ridden a gondola in venice
80. gotten a tattoo
81. rafted the snake river
82. been on television news programs as an "expert"
83. gotten flowers for no reason
84. performed on stage
85. been to las vegas
86. recorded music
87. eaten shark
88. kissed on the first date--with my hubby
89. gone to thailand
90. bought a house
91. been in a combat zone
92. buried one/both of your parents
93. been on a cruise ship
94. spoken more than one language fluently
95. performed in rocky horror
96. raised children--ongoing
97. followed your favorite band/singer on tour
98. passed out cold
99. taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
100. picked up and moved to another city to just start over
101. walked the golden gate bridge
102. sang loudly in the car, and didn't stop when you knew someone was looking
103. had plastic surgery--laser eye surgery count?
104. survived an accident that you shouldn't have survived
105. wrote articles for a large publication--scientific journals
106. lost over 100 pounds--over the years, for sure
107. held someone while they were having a flashback
108. piloted an airplane
109. touched a stingray--at Stinray City in the Grand Cayman
110. broken someone's heart
111. helped an animal give birth--a cat, a cow
112. won money on a t.v. game show
113. broken a bone
114. gone on an african photo safari
115. had a facial part pierced other than your ears
116. fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol
117. eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild
sidenote where is 118?
119. had major surgery--C-section?
120. had a snake as a pet
121. hiked to the bottom of the grand canyon
122. slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours
123. visited more foreign countries than u.s. states
124. visited all 7 continents
125. taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
126. eaten kangaroo meat
127. eaten sushi
128. had your picture in the newspaper
129. changed someone's mind about something you care deeply about --part of my job!
130. gone back to school
131. parasailed--in Turks and Caicos
132. touched a cockroach--hate those buggers
133. eaten fried green tomatoes
134. read The Iliad
135. selected one "important" author who you missed in school, and read
136. killed and prepared an animal for eating
137. skipped all your school reunions
138. communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
139. been elected to public office
140. written your own computer language
141. thought to yourself that you're living your dream--daily
142. had to put someone you love into hospice care
143. built your own PC from parts
144. sold your own artwork to someone who didn't know you
145. had a booth at a street fair
146. dyed your hair--for years, damn white hair
147. been a dj
148. shaved your head
149. caused a car accident
150. saved someone's life--at work

Have a great day everyone!

Monday, November 13, 2006

la canadienne

To mimick nancy and dani and Northen Mom and even SCM

You are 100% Canuck!

You rock, you are an almighty Canadian through and through. You have proven your worthiness and have won the elite prize of living in a country as awesome as Canada. Yes I know other countries think they are better, but we let them have that cuz we know better than they do, eh?

How Canadian Are You?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

Even though I wasn't born in Canada, immigrated when I was 3 yrs old and a bit and still have my French citizenship. But I still remember the day in 1972, I was 11 years old, when my parents and I went to this very official meeting to be sworn in as Canadian citizens.

And that's what my European relatives call me: "la canadienne" because truly I am, even as a first generation one and really aren't mostly all Canadians immigrants at one point or other in their family history?

Sunday, November 12, 2006

3 down, 7 to go

Sleeps that is.

My hubby and the twins are in Florida right now. It's 24C and sunny at 10am as opposed to 4C and cloudy here :( Hubby had a week holiday and instead of hanging around here at this miserable time of year, in between golf and ski season that is, he thought of going to Florida. Taking the twins is no problem, but taking big sis out of school at this time of year was. She didn't want to stay back here alone, even with her grandparents. So, here I am with big sis and there he is with baby girl and baby boy and, of course, managed to get his parents to go too to help him out.

The twins were SO excited to go. They were so looking forward to the beach and swimming in the pool and going to all their favorite places. It will be a great experience for them as trips always are. And I'm sure an eye opener for hubby who will suddenly be thrown in charge of everything ;)

Meanwhile, we've been really busy here and barely home. Friday, while big sis was in school, I went to an all day course with my professional colleagues. A step back into my previous life. Part of me really misses it but I know I'm still not ready to go back. Another year and we'll see. Then we went out for supper and went to play badminton.

Saturday we slept in, breakie, shower, got all dolled up, went shopping, got our nails done, went to a ceramic place and made some Xmas presents, came back home for a night of girly movie and popcorn. Kinda of weird in a way spending so much time one on one with her. Totally out of the ordinary. Its a bit like reacquainting each other. We can talk about whatever and not get interrupted.

Today, we are meeting some of her girlfriends and their moms for a movie.

BUT the house is really quiet. Yes, I miss them. I will hug them like crazy when they get back. But I also have a gazillion little projects I want to do while they are not around and I bet I'll only get half of them done :)

Friday, November 10, 2006

still here

Busy week, little time for blogging.

A week ago today, we celebrated a fifth anniversary. Our family of 3 became a family of 5. It was a pivotal moment in all our lives. Things changed. A lot of things. But it was a good thing.

After years and years of dreaming about it, with lots of ups and downs and kinks in the road along the way, two little miracles entered our lives. Their little personalities evident from the start: baby girl pushed her way out first (she still always has to be first to sit down and eat, get her teeth brushed first, her pjs on first, etc) and then baby boy, with all the extra room, decided to flip around so twelve minutes later he emerged feet first and the cord wrapped around his neck. And he's still the one to do things upsy turvy and get tangled up in things! But all with a most endearing smile.

I couldn't even write about this a week ago. My heart was too swollen with emotions. It's a definite cliché, but, I do love them so much that it hurts.

So there were ballons and party decorations and cake and candles and we sang happy birthday and there were gifts and laughter and joy and hugs.

Definitely a great celebration worthy of such a grand anniversary.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

a mother's pride and joy

This afternoon was the first parent-teacher interview for big sis at her new school. I met with six separate teachers. When I presented myself as big sis's mom, the reaction was always the same: "ah, big sis, what a great kid", said with a warm smile. Followed by a commonality of adjectives: always happy and willing to participate and help, gets along well with everyone, has integrated exceptionally well in her new setting, inquisitive, organized and meticulous(what? don't really see that here), attentive, etc. and ending with "it is a true pleasure to have her as a student".

Needless to say, I left the school with a swelled up heart. True mother's pride. I metaphorically patted myself on the shoulder for a job well done but also counted my blessings on having such a lovely human being as my child.

While driving back home, when I do most of my deep thinking, I was pondering on what just transpired that afternoon and also on the fact that 5 years ago today I was in labour for my twins. Just thinking about how miraculous they are and the joy they bring to us daily got me all misty eyed. Even now, I get all chocked up on how blessed I am. My babies will be 5 years old tomorrow. A week-end of celebration is planned. Another bittersweet mommy moment.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

the morning after

What fun it was! The weather was perfect. The kids went trick or treating with a whole bunch of friends, close to 20 of us going from house to house. They laughed and laughed, stopping to look at all the decorations, some of the little ones holding hands. So cute. This was baby boy's first time (refused to go the last two years) and it certainly didn't take him long to "get it". He was first at every door! And baby girl ended up with so much stuff, she would go twice at each house and in the confusion of it all, no one really noticed. After 30-40 minutes, the little ones were getting tired and thirsty so back home we went to watch the hockey game and answer the door bell. A full hour later, big sis made it back. And that's when the loot distribution and sorting started. They each got a shoebox to keep their stuff and all chips and the like became communal. Having a peanut allergic kid means some things get put aside. Looks like I'll be getting my fix of Oh Henry's ;)
Even our betta Pita got into the Halloween spirit!
Look at all the loot they got! Candy and chocolate and chips and cookies and stickers and notebooks and pencils and playdoh too. Love the way they sorted it all out and baby boy was very quick in adding a sign declaring this area to officially be "Candyland"!
I'm sure we'll be finding a few of these lying around in the days to come. Posted by Picasa