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.