Friday, April 28, 2006

skating and martial arts

The kids are in bed, finally, hubby is out for a work thingy, I have my comfy pjs and a nice cup of camomille and all I can say is ahhhh, relax time. My whole body is tingly from a full day. Physically tired but mentally happy. A really good day, the sunshine helped for sure!

Got up showered, breakie for everyone, packed a lunch for big sis, went outside to talk to the workers about the ongoing landscaping/interlock project which is going great but forcing us to leave the vehicles at the end of the driveway and we have a LONG driveway ( and did I mention that some of the workers are quite cute and isn't it a shame that the weather is like really hot, kwim?).

Got big sis on school bus, drove twins to pre-school, chit-chat with a few moms in parking lot, went to eye doctor to pick up my new glasses (yes, my vision has deteriorated some more in one eye only, darn)which look great, I think, and I can see so much better too.

Went to a friends'house where a whole group of fun women were congregated, without kids, for some coffee and lots of chit-chat, time sure flies when having fun, before I knew it, I was off again to pick up the kids, drive a classmate to her house, quick lunch at a fast food joint and bring twins to their dress rehearsal for their skating show, chitchat with a a few moms while waiting, bring kids back home, talk to workers again, quick supper, help big sis with some homework and off to the arena again.

And what an awesome show. I was blown away, not expecting such a production. All levels of skaters from the twins preschool class to Canadian figure skating champions. Mine did a routine, if you can even call it that, to Kung Fu Fighting. No cameras were allowed :( They had been practicing their hand and leg moves for weeks now. Parents weren't allowed to watch the rehearsals. So when they finally came on, in their cute martial art outfits with the projector lights on, them waving at us when they found us in the crowd, it was definitely a truly pure proud mommy moment. And big sis sitting next to me was beaming and telling total strangers sitting next to us :"look, that's my brother and sister" How the roles got reversed. Dragging the twins to so many things for big sis and now she's the one seeing them perform. They were done in the first half of the show so we went to get them so they could watch part of the rest. They were mesmerized. We saw a few other kids that we know in the same skating club and it was definitely good for them.

I was so proud of them. To perform in front of an audience like that takes courage. We talked about the meaning of the words "courage" and "brave" together on the way home. We finished the evening with ice cream treat for all!

Sweet dreams my cuties! Tomorrow you get to be little Kung Fu fighters again and your dad gets to watch you this time :)

Thursday, April 27, 2006

couldn't resist

First Dani and then nancy. My turn. Just need to know how spoiled I am (as if I don't have 100 other things to do but this is way more FUN). So here goes.

Are you spoiled? Apparently you are if you can check of 40 of the following: I'll prove it!!

Do you have...

x your own cell phone
x a television in your bedroom
x an iPod (not an iPod, but an MP3 player)
x a photo printer
x TiVo or a generic digital video recorder
x high-speed internet access (i.e., not dialup)

a surround sound system in bedroom
x DVD player in bedroom
at least a hundred DVDs
x a childfree bathroom
x your own in-house office
x a pool

a guest house (just a guest room)
x a game room
a queen-size bed (have a king-size, doesn't that count?)
a stocked bar
x a working dishwasher
x an icemaker
x a working washer and dryer
x more than 20 pairs of shoes

at least ten things from a designer store
x expensive sunglasses
x framed original art (not lithographs or prints)

Egyptian cotton sheets or towels
x a multi-speed bike
a gym membership
x large exercise equipment at home
x your own set of golf clubs

 a pool table
 a tennis court
 local access to a lake, large pond, or the sea
x your own pair of skis
 enough camping gear for a weekend trip in an isolated area
 a boat
 a jet ski
 a neighborhood committee membership
x a beach house or a vacation house/cabin
wealthy family members
x two or more family cars
x a walk-in closet or pantry (closets)
x a yard

 a hammock
 a personal trainer
x good credit
x expensive jewelry

 a designer bag that required being on a waiting list to get
x at least $100 cash in your possession right now
x more than two credit cards bearing your name
x a stock portfolio
x a passport (expired last year)

 a horse
 a trust fund
x private medical insurance (additional drug coverage through husband's work)
x a college degree, and no outstanding student loans

Do you:
 shop for non-needed items for yourself
 pay someone else to clean your house, do dishes, or launder your clothes (not counting dry-cleaning)
x go on weekend mini-vacations (once per year with girlfriends only)
 send dinners back with every flaw
x wear perfume or cologne (not body spray)
 regularly get your hair styled or nails done in a salon
 have a job but don't need the money OR
x stay at home with little financial sacrifice
 pay someone else to cook your meals (again, I wish!)
 pay someone else to watch your children or walk your dogs
 regularly pay someone else to drive you
 expect a gift after you fight with your partner

Are you:
x an only child
x married/partnered to a wealthy person

 baffled/surprised when you don't get your way

Have you:
been on a cruise
x traveled out of the country
x met a celebrity (took a train ride with Pierre Elliot Trudeau's sons so met him when we arrived at thet rain station)
x been to the Caribbean
x been to Europe

 been to Hawaii
x been to New York
 eaten at the space needle in Seattle
 been to the Mall of America
x been on the Eiffel tower in Paris
x been on the Statue of Liberty in New York

 moved more than three times because you wanted to
 dined with local political figures
x been to both the Atlantic coast and the Pacific coast

Did you:
x go to another country for your honeymoon
x hire a professional photographer for your wedding or party
x take riding or swimming lessons as a child (swimming)

 attend private school
 have a Sweet 16 birthday party thrown for you

So my tally is: FORTY-NINE!!! And I'm not even 49 years old yet as per nancy who got 40 and is about to turn 40.

Guess this makes me spoiled. Although I hate that word. I used to be called that as a kid cause I was an only child which right away seems to denote that one is a spoiled kid and believe me I was not! I'm the typical product of hard-working immigrants. Both parents with a mere elementary school education came to Canada with a dream. And I guess I'm living their dream. After years of hard work in often awful work conditions and scrapping to get me a decent education, here I am, with all this stuff of which I, for not a second, take for granted and am so grateful for.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

and then we had some blue

For seven years we lived with our little girl. Our house was filled with pink and dolls and teddy bears and she would spend hours calmly doing crafts or doing puzzles. Then we had baby girl and baby boy. Now our lives were no longer surrounded by just pink. The blue started percolating in, the little cars, the train sets, the Spiderman stuff, etc. With the twins' arrival we had an instant experiment going on right here in our home. A nature vs nurture kind of experiment. And after 4.5 years I can very positively conclude that boys are indeed wired differently than girls. Even though exposed to the same environment, they attack their world in a totally different manner. Toys, of every kind, become projectiles, make believe is centered around bad guys and chasing them, imaginary swords are made out of anything and everything, bodily functions are cause for major gut laughing sessions, watching/playing sports elicits their competiteveness, etc. The things baby boy blue does are so, well, boyish. All kinds of new stuff for us here. But boy do I ever love this boy!!!

Examples of his antics as of late:

---heart-stopping incident when I found Spiderman using his power web to climb and save the world from teh evil guys

---on this other day we have ourselves a bodyguard, complete with walkie-talkie and sunglasses and earpiece, whose mission it is to dutifully follow and protect the Princess (twin sister) from evil alien forces!

As a p.s.

nancy and Dani, yesterday you mentioned how composed I was in face of big sis milestones. Its not that I'm composed, more like going with the flow. With the 3 of them, there seems to be so many milestones that although I would by no means become blasé about them I can just resort with taking it all in stride. I often stop myself and savour every little one of these moments. They're magical and history in the making. Hope tath makes sense.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

good news

A while back I mentioned a friend pregnant with twins who was having a rough time. Well, we just got news from her. Unfortunately, it was hubby who took the call so as a typical male he just got the minimal information. She underwent an elective caesarean at 32 weeks and gave birth to two girls weighing 4.5 and 2.5 lbs. Apparently everyone is stable. I'll keep my fingers crossed that these two miracles will grow strong and go home as soon as possible.

I also just got word that big sis made it through the first wave of selection for this particular high school program she's interested in for next year. She'll be so excited when I tell her when she gets home. The next step is a one-on-one evaluation next week. I'm sure she'll charm them but we'll nonetheless keep our fingers crossed. She was also getting her graduation pictures taken today complete with toga. And of course, in her nervousness to have a decent photo which will be part of a plaque forever lining the wall at the school, she developed OVERNIGHT a zit on her nose :( And did I also mention that this past week-end we officially went shopping for her first real bra, a 34 AA, and we also noted that she was also officially taller than both her grandmothers!!!! Ohh, my first born, my lovely child, how you are growing into a women right before my eyes.

Monday, April 24, 2006

in the mail today

We received a wedding invitation. Another greek wedding. Love those. Lots of food and lots of dancing.

But this one is quite special. It is actually the flower girl at MY wedding that is getting married!!! Oh my, how the years have flown by!

Both my husband and I have small families and when came time to get a flower girl for our wedding, we picked this cute little girl, almost 6 years old, who was the daughter of a distant cousin on my father-in-law's side of the family. She did a great job on that day. Perhaps we saw her once more after the wedding.

But who would have guessed that 8 years later we would coincidentally give our first born the same name as our cute flower girl. And who would have guessed that exactly 20 years later (her wedding is on June 25th and ours was on June 29th) she would be getting married. And who would have guessed that out of the thousands of wedding invitation possibilities she would pick the exact same one I used.

I wholeheartedly wish her a strong and loving marriage like the one she so beautifully helped herald as a child.

Friday, April 21, 2006

mother earth

Just spent the morning at the twins's pre-school. Today they celebrated Earth Day. The kids were divided up in groups and had several "stations" to go to with activities all related to Mother Earth and how to be more gentle towards her. Nothing like preparing the grown-ups of tomorrow to the 3 R's. These budding environmentalists donned gloves and went around the neighbourhood collecting garbage, viewed a short and sweet movie on the water cycle, fabricated kites, discussed how we can be environmentally-friendly and each was given a pedometer to count their steps. Was a perfect day weather-wise and plenty of wind to fly their new kites!!!

So have a warm thought for Mother Earth today :)

Thursday, April 20, 2006

rites of passage

Spring is lovely. But this change of season brings on a whole lot of tasks. I'm in a list kind of mood this morning. The organizational side of me.

clean up yard...mostly done
bring in Xmas decorations...nearly done
put away Easter stuff...will wait for Easter #2 to be over first
clean and store winter boots...not started
clean and store winter coats...not started
go through summer shoes and clothes...done (only because was done before going down south)
bring out sunscreens and bug spray and sunhats...getting there
put away winter clothes...not yet
clean vehicles of all winter crud...started
buy soccer cleats for kids...done
tune up 5 bikes...done
organize structured summer activities for kids...underway
get piano tuned...where's that guy's number again?
bring kids for their medicals...done
bring kids for eye exams...will call tomorrow ;)
make appointment for my own medical and eye exam...yeah, yeah
call pool guy to come officially open up pool...done
clean furnace air filters...done
get windows cleaned...will get there
have air ducts cleaned...will wait after reno

I'm sure there's more that I'm forgetting right now

AND then, hubby's list:

tune up motorcycle and use it to go to work every morning...yep

get golf paraphernalia ready for the offical golf course opening tomorrow...yep

Hmmm, I think I want to come back as a guy in my next life.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

ahhh, four year olds

Saw this on a web site:

"Energetic" and "imaginative" best describe the 4-year-old. Often impatient and silly, they discover humor and spend a great deal of time being silly and telling you "jokes." A 4-year-old's language may range from silly words such as "batty-watty" to profanity. Bathroom words are a favorite around here ;) Loud, boisterous laughter may accompany such language.

Imagination suddenly becomes greater than life for the 4-year-old, who often confuses reality and "make-believe." Wild stories and exaggerations are common. More on this below.

Four-year-olds feel good about the things they can do, show self-confidence, and are willing to try new adventures. They race up and down stairs or around corners, dash on tricycles or scooters, and pull wagons at full tilt. You still need to watch them closely as they cannot estimate their own abilities accurately and are capable of trying some outlandish and dangerous tricks. Everyday occurences around here!

So I have the joy of having two of those creatures living with us and boy do they make us laugh with all the stuff they come up with. Their vocabulary, their concepts of ideas concrete and abstract, their rationalization are all things that are increasing exponentially day after day.

Hubby and I often mention how lucky they are to have each other. I still remember those darker days of sleeplessness when they were babies and we were just coping from one day to the next and people would try to cheer us up and tell us not to worry, it'll get easier when they are older and they will play together. "Ya right", was my answer at the time. Then how I worried in their early toddler stages when they NEVER played together. Parallel play was what they did which is really the norm at that stage anyways. But gradually, they've become buddies and actually miss each other when , on the rare occasion, they are apart from each other. Sibling love for sure. But I think with an extra twist as they've been "together" since they were a mere group of growing cells.

Four year olds are a peculiar bunch. I see their interactions daily when I go pick them up at pre-school. There's a certain social order on who plays with whom. Girls and boys seem to naturally separate each other for play. And then, when a squabble occurs between two friends, the infamous line comes up "you're not my friend anymore!" or the more brutal "I'm not inviting you to my birthday party anymore!" Imagine us adults being so frank with each other!

I'd have to say that baby girl and baby boy get along well together about 90% of the time which is pretty good. Like at church when they come back from Sunday School to go sit on the front pews and we see them walk past us naturally holding each other hands which elicits a profound "ahhh" from us. Or the way they chit-chat with each other before falling asleep. Or the imaginary games they come up with which will occupy them for long stretches of time.

Yesterday afternoon was day 4 of the long week-end and they were starting to get on each other's nerves. I was folding some clothes and baby girl comes up to me complaining about something or other her brother did and states with a firm attitude: " he's not my friend anymore!" To which I smile and gently explain to her that he's your brother and will always be no matter what. She ponders this new bit of information and goes back to play with him. I can hear them squabbling over something or other again and baby girl comes running back to me, stands in front of me, legs apart, hands on her hips, red fuming face and bellows "ya, well he's not my twin anymore!"

Ahh, four year olds!!

Monday, April 17, 2006

an unexpected guest

We had an unexpected guest on Easter morning. Yes, the Easter bunny came, of course, and he hid some eggs throughout the house leading to some pure excitement for the 3 kids and lots of chocolate for mom and dad to eat ;). After breakfast while I was on my second cup of coffee, reading a book and basking in the sunshine coming through the kitchen window while the kids were quietly playing (as blissful a moment as can be around here) when all of a sudden, from the corner of my eye I see a dark form come smashing on the window along with a large thud that jolted us all. I knew right away it was a bird and a large one at that. We all went outside and there was a Pileated Woodpecker. Had never seen one so close by. It was stunned at first, of course. The kids were approaching it ever so slowly and talking to it gently. After 5 minutes or so, it jumped on the fence and was whistling gently as if talking back to baby girl. Their conversation went on for a good 10-15 minutes and then all of a sudden it flew away. What a neat surprise for the kids.

Friday, April 14, 2006

this way, that way

We celebrate two Easters. I was born and raised catholic whereas hubby is Greek Orthodox. Things are pretty similar religion wise, same prayers, same beliefs, with a few variances, same holidays, except for Easter. The head of the respective churches use different calendars to determine when Easter will be. So, every 4 years it falls on the same week-end, otherwise they can be up to a month apart. This year they are a week apart which for a pair of 4.5 yrs old leads to a whole lot of questions which can be hard to answer. How does one minimize a huge theological set of beliefs into easy to understand words for a pre-schooler? So we've reached a compromise over the years. Catholic Easter is when the Easter Bunny comes, when we decorate eggs in multicolored tones and eat with my family. Then we follow Greek traditions for the Eastern Easter.

So happy Easter everyone, regardless of which one you follow or whichever way you choose to celebrate it.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

the big day

As you may recall, a while back (over 2 months already), we were having a problem with baby boy and night bed-wetting. We started this whole sticker system with the ultimate reward, the thing he wanted the most, go to a Senators game. And so here we are. It is now safe to say that although we've had a few incidents in the beginning, he is now officially dry at night. There, I've said it, he's actually been dry for a while (like before our holidays) but didn't want to jinx anything by saying it.

So if you happen to watch the game tonight, we'll be the screaming fans way up high in the family zone!

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

planning ahead

We are barely out of winter and already I'm finding myself coordinating activities for the upcoming summer. The flyers are coming in, the parents are talking about the camps they are or have already enrolled their kids in. They already lead such a structured life during the school year that I kind of like to go with the flow attitude of doing whatever whenever for their summer. More of a vacation mode. But some activities they need, gives them something to look forward to and honestly gives me a break from having all 3 kids with me ALL day. As I've found out, activities need to be well chosen. So many of them are lead by youngsters for whom its only a summer job. They can be but overglorified babysitters. And I willl not fall in the pressure of enrolling them in a whole bunch of activities just to get them out of my way.

Already have big sis registered for a week at a sports camp, not a sleepover kind of camp, hubby totally dislikes that idea. She's been going to this camp with a friend for years. She will also do 2 non-consecutive weeks of horsebackriding at a stable nearby. She tried it out with a week last week and totally loved it. Add to that her regular two evenings a week of soccer and that should be enough of structured stuuf.

As for the twins, they are starting soccer this season. Of course, they are in different teams that will be playing on the same evening and at the same time, hopefully in parks that are close by. I'll continue with their weekly gymnastics lessons since they love that so much and may consider putting them in some swimming lessons.

As for the unstructured stuff to do, we'll have the pool, playdates, going to some local beaches, museum visits, library time, craft time around the house, etc. I'm surprisingly less freaked out than I was last spring at the prospect of being with them all the time all summer and what on earth was I going to do with them. Last summer I also "hired" a local teenage girl to come spend some time with them for a few hours here and there so I could catch up on domestic stuff. We'll go day by day and cherish those long lazy days of summer.

Monday, April 10, 2006

busy life and blog award

Things have improved since my last post:

  • the weather has been splendid, kids playing outside continuously...I keep telling them to enjoy it as before we know the dreaded bugs will be back :(
  • husband is back home, picked him up at airport with 3 super excited kids
  • accomplished all my tasks and more, like an emergency trip to optometrist when big sis lost that small screw that holds her glasses together
  • drove around for the last 3 days to the sounds of our latest CD from the movie Curious George, a charming compilation of sweet songs which the kids have really taken to
  • reacted as level-headedly as possible in a near catastrophic situation: while playing outside, baby girl fell and smacked her forehead on some cement and blood was gushing out like a fountain and her brother and sister were hysterically freaking out making her scream even more and I had this sunken feeling of a trip to the ER when after calming them all down and closer inspection realized a large band-aid, some ice and lots of TLC would take care of it
  • we completed big sis project on time and handed it in at the same time as everyone else who had an extra week to work on it and were in groups of 2 or 3, way to go sweetie! talking about big sis, she got her report card last week and it was her best ever, so, hubby who just bought himself a new cell phone gave her his old one ...should have seen the look on her face, pure joy and she just kept thanking us over and over
  • we attended her dance recital. Now for the last few months, we've been bringing her to this Hip Hop class and she would never really tell us much about it or refused to show us whatever moves she learned telling us she didn't want to ruin the surprise. Well, surpprised we were. She blew us away! They were a dozen girls who danced this pretty complicated choreograpphy to the sound of Gwen Stefani's Holloback Girl. A pure proud mommy moment. So glad we brought out camcorder!

Well all this "busy-ness" showed me two things: I wish I was at this point in my life with 10 less years, at times I feel too old to be doing all this BUT I also realized that being able to juggle it all and getting everything that needs to be done, done, leaves me with an immense feeling of accomplishment and I definitely get a high from that. Love being busy, now just need to make sure my body can keep up.

As a footnote, I installed that sitemeter quite a while back and figured it was kind of silly cause, really, how many hits was I really going to get. And today, I reached ONE THOUSAND. Can't believe that! That many visitors to a blog taht really isn't much of anything but a mom rambling on about her life. So the award for MY One Thousandth visitor here:

...(drum rolls please)

...none other than Northen Mom

Congratulations! You get one huge hug sent your way and a beverage of your choice when I next see you ;)

Friday, April 07, 2006

is this week over yet?

Today I'm tired. Really tired. This week has caught up with me.

Could be the time change.

Could be the drab weather.

Could be that I've been flying solo for a couple of days (one more sleep before hubby is back).

Could be that baby girl has ended up in my bed ever since hubby has been gone. She never does that.

Could be cause I've been going to bed late trying to catch up on a million little tasks.

Could be cause I agreed to help a new mom in the neighbourhood. She had an easy home birth, but 3 hours later she and baby were whisked to the hospital as she was hemorrhaging. Lost nearly half of her blood. So to help out, I offered to pick up and drive her kids to school, bring her youngest along with mine to their gymnastics and skating lessons. Strapping skates on 3 super excited preschoolers is a sport in itself.

Could be cause I've been scrambling to finish up some reports. I'm part of the Canadian Toy Testing Council. We get toys, books, videos for us to use around the house for 6-8 weeks and then give them back along with this detailed report. All on a volunteer basis. Had 4 due today, and 4 book reports at that. Me writing book reports. What a joke. I so hated doing that in school.

Could be that I ran around to get bday presents from the twins for this 5 year old and the birthday got cancelled today for Saturday :( They're not happy campers.

Could be that I agreed to do this job description thingy for hubby's workplace for Monday. What was I thinking.

Could be that we met with our new accountant this week, old one had a stroke and is totally paralyzed, and he wants all this paperwork that I have to dig out. D*mn taxes.

Could be that I met with an interior decorator this week to get the ball rolling on changing around the kids bedrooms and putting a guest bedroom in the basement.

Could be that I met with a contractor for some landscaping work.

Could be that I've been helping big sis with her school project on Switzerland.. She missed a whole week while we were on holidays. The teacher did give her an extension and all the others are in groups of 2 or 3. So she was alone and determined to submit hers in at the same time as the others. So there I was typing her project till 1 am.

Could be that big sis is preparing for this dance recital on Sunday.

OK then, here's my list:

--go to bed early tonight no matter what
--pick up hubby from airport tomorrow with kids and go earlier so we'll have supper there as a special treat
--call to book myself a massage somewhere :)

Have a great week-end!!

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

the results are in

3 out of 5 liked it, the okra that is!

I, of course liked it as I knew I would, I could so easily become a vegetarian, there isn't a vegetable out there I won't eat

hubby more than liked it: when he saw it he said; "hey my mom (think russian peasant women of greek origin)used to serve us that, it was always limp and yucky" I guess she just served it boiled whereas I followed this cajun recipe and after soaking in ice cold water for an hour, covered them in cornmeal and fried them making them crunchy yummy. So he liked mine more than his mom's. Bonus points here.

big sis surprised me and really liked it

baby girl really surprised me as she's one to always taste new foods but turned this one down :(

baby boy as expected grimaced at the sight of it. His logic: anything green is to be eaten only by birds!

now nancy, we'll have to introduce you to eggplant, ymmmm

one never really knows...

...what goes on in people's lives. Co-workers. Fellow church members. Neighbours. Sometimes even relatives.

We've been friends with this particular couple for years. Him for about 25 years, her about 15. We went to each other's weddings, we lived through the pregnancies and births and birthdays of our kids. We took several family trips together. Ate at each other's houses. Went out for supper innumerable times. We figured we knew them. Then about 3 years ago, she calls me, yelling at me like I've never been yelled at before, totally out of the blue, basically telling me she will from now on no longer consider me her friend since she can't trust me as I've been circulating false rumours about her and her husband. W-T-F? I was speechless and profoundly hurt. It became a difficult situation as we were still seeing them, albeit a little less (my doing). She treated me with contempt all the time, very subtly, in a way only women pick up, men don't see it, hubby was telling me I was imagining things. My gut feeling was telling me something was amiss. Then we started hearing rumours that they weren't living together anymore, that there was cheating going on, etc. I decided to confront her about these rumours but also about the way she treated me. She agreed to meet. She gave me this big sob story on how her husband was cheating on her with a co-worker, how he had an apartment downtown, how she was afraid of loosing him, etc., etc. She made me swear not to tell her or my husband about all this. She never really apologized for her behaviour towards me. Nevertheless, we cleared the air somewhat, I vented off my feelings and when I said good-bye to her, I wished her luck and felt a sense of closure which is a good thing. We would never be friends like we were before and that was sad, but life can be like that, occasionally friends/acquaintances come and go. From then on, we no longer saw them. Called the husband to come talk to us but he refused. More than a year later, he calls us and ended up coming here a few nights ago. It was extremely ackward at first. Turns out the wife said all sorts of vile things to turn him against us. So we had a lot of issues to clear up. Then we got his side of the story. The marriage was doomed from the honeymoon forward. Having premature twin boys didn't help any. She had a few flings on the side and so did he. They lived apart alternating weeks between the house and the apartment so the kids would stay in their home. Meanwhile, they presented a front of a happy marriage, inviting people over for supper, going on trips together, etc. So they played this charade for at least 4-5 years before finally signing separation papers. Now, so many things that happened are making sense. But we also feel betrayed, lied to and unable to trust them totally anymore. Hubby and I are saddened by it all. Sad that their life together turned out like that, sad to have lost a great friendship and mostly sad for those boys. They always had a sad look to them and no excitement about anything. They were pretty much only into video games. They are now 13 years old, a difficult time at best, and most probably dissillusioned about relationships. Their grandparents went through divorces and now their parents who tell them listen guys, there's a 50-50 chance a marriage will work out so don't set your hopes up too high. What a discouraging future to lay out for them.

And then this happens in our neighbourhood. A father kills himself, his estranged wife and their 3 kids. The kids go to our neighbourhood school. The oldest is in 6th grade like my daughter and have been in the same sports team over the years. All the kids in class today wrote this huge card with their sentiments to be sent to the families. It hit them hard. A lot has been written in the area newspapers about this tragedy. A lot about how the husband was abusive and threatening and stalking her even after she moved out with the kids, cops had been called numerous times over the years, restraining orders had been issued, a few days before the incident, the wife called the cops saying she was afraid for her life and that of her kids. That in itself is a whole issue, how this whole tragedy could have been avoided if her fears had been taken seriously or something more could have been done to protect her from his threats. The one tidbit that really perplexed me was how his family and his co-workers viewed him as a nice fellow, hard-working, loving his kids and NOT aware of the marital problems he was having. One never really knows what is going on in people's lives. Are they being truthfull or putting on a mask?

Tuesday, April 04, 2006


Well I'm no culinary whiz. Growing up, I brushed off my mother whenever she attempted to show me something in the kitchen running away saying I had some homework to do. Ditto when she wanted to show me how to sew, knit, crochet, cross-stitch, etc. I eventually caved in and got some elementary skills in all those areas.

In our early years of marriage, hubby (even more culinary challenged) and I did a lot of experimenting, buying ccokbook after cookbook and slowly building a tried and true repertoire of meals. Now however, with 3 kids and their varied and often changing likes and dislikes makes meal planning more challenging. Our repertoire is even more narrowed down as meals that will appeal to all are limited.

Hubby is leaving tomorrow for 4 days and I figured I'd make him a nice supper as he'll be eating out a lot. So beef stew it will be. With rice and salad and crusty bread. A recent addition to our "liked by everyone" list. As I was shopping at Farm Boy (a place I really love) this morning gathering all the ingredients for this special meal I came upon a big stand of okra and saw a few people putting some in their carts. In an impulsive moment I bought some too. Never bought some, never ate some, never cooked some. So after a Google search (cookbooks yielded one measly recipe) I will now head to the kitchen for a little experimenting.

How many out of 5 will actually eat it? We'll see.

Monday, April 03, 2006


This family loves maple syrup every which way it comes: the liquid form, the taffy on snow, the hard sugary stuff. Maple syrup is loved so much around here that when we run out it's catastrophic. Like this morning when baby boy took the last of it and I thought I had a reserve but didn't and the rest of the family booed me. Aunt Jemima syrup just doen't cut it.

Sometimes we forget how lucky we are to live in the maple syrup area of the world. Whenever we visit relatives in Europe we bring some with us as presents. For them it's like gold. We usually bring some with us on trips as well especially when we know we won't be able to get some.

To me spring is synonymous with maple syrup and many memories of days spent at various maple syrup shacks when growing up. Family and friend outings. School outings. Small shacks and huge ones with humongous feasts for hundreds of people at a time. Tons of carbs and fat but so yummy. I've kept up this tradition with my own kids and every year go to one or do something related to it. Since we've been back from our trip, the kids have been reading over and over a book about maple syrup and how its made. So this year, we ended up going for breakfast at our village's Maplefest sponsored by the local Lion's Club. Run by volunteers, for 5$ each you get as many sausages, pancakes, OJ and coffee as you want. Done in a local community hall, it was fun to see neighbours and other acquaintances in such a jovial and low-key environment. As extra fundraising, they were selling all sorts of maple syrup stuff. Thinking I had plenty at home, I didn't buy any, cettainly came back to bite me this morning ;) But I did buy those small maple shaped sugary treats. They're hidden in my purse ;) Only for yours truly, not sharing, nope, not at all.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

ahh spring

  • the extra laundry generated from playing in the mud and puddles
  • entrances filled with three seasons worth of shoes/boots/coats/hats/mitts
  • the familiar sound of birds that have returned: the geese and robins and annoying killdeer
  • rediscovering lost toys that had been hidden under the snow for the last few months
  • seeing the force of nature return with budding plants and trees and bulbs planted lst fall coming to life
  • putting away the last of the Xmas stuff and pulling out Easter stuff
  • wanting to spring clean the house
  • and in honor of it all, I just couldn't resist yesterday and purchased some new coffee mugs: don't they look "springy" ? They sure have brightened up our morning!!

Happy April Fool's Day to you all and time to spring forward tomorrow :)