Tuesday, December 30, 2008

PhotoFunia Fun

Thanks to the wonderful Erin for the link to this site!

Image Hosted by Cetrine.net

Friday, December 26, 2008

One day I will stop blogging about all the snow...

Li in the backyard
Originally uploaded by sassyanna
Here is a video of my brother's dog who was hanging with us for a couple of days. Lionel just LOVES snowballs, but hasn't quite figured out how to retrieve them in one piece.

Oh, and pardon Ken's ass at the end - he wasn't too impressed either, and will be more unimpressed that this video is online.

On a side note - I am trying to get a nice picture of our Christmas tree and would really like to have the kids in their pj's in the photo as well. Ethan refuses because he doesn't want the world to see him in his jammies. Oh it is not like the 70's when all our pj's pics were just put in an album!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

December 24th is not Christmas Eve in our house...

It is my mom's birthday. And this year, the amazing cake lady "M" did a take on my mom's New Zealand heritage with a bit of a Canadian twist. I have talked about her previous creations here.

This little kiwi bird is all decked out in Canada gear, and knitting up a storm. Oh, and the cake tasted fantastic too.

Monday, December 22, 2008

This is what we woke up to this morning.

Ah...lots of the white stuff. The stuff that makes it impossible to get up to our house without four-wheel-drive. The stuff that keeps you housebound for a bit. I don't think I have got out of my pj's for a couple of days now. If I don't have to go anywhere I love the stuff!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Nicholas-ism (Part two).

Tonight I was sitting on the couch with Renee just having a cuddle. Our coffee table is the same height as the couch, and just far enough away that if I am sitting with my legs straight out my feet rest at the edge of the table. The kids of course think this is an open invitation to stand on my legs, (much like a gymnastics beam), swing over them, crawl under them, you get the idea.

So along comes Nick, and he proceeds to lie on top of my legs, and wrap his arms around my thighs, his legs around my calves, and then hangs himself upside down.

"Mom, I am going to just hang here like a sloth"

About five minutes later he tells me:

"Mom, it is such hard work being a sloth, isn't it?"

Oh, what I wouldn't give to have to do that kind of hard work for about half an hour....

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Nicholas "ism"

"Mommy, I want to go and play in the snow!"
"Ok honey, make sure that you get all your gear and I'll help you put it on"
(a few minutes later....)
"Mom, I can't find my fuvaglova"
"Your what???"
"My fuv-a-glova" (he actually said it to me as though I was deaf and didn't speak english).
"Nicholas, I have no idea what you are talking about".
"MY FUV-A-GLOV-A" (this is a four year old's way of explaining what he is talking about - just say it louder).
"Tell me what a fuvaglova is Nick".
"OH....your Balaclava..."

Thursday, December 04, 2008

A reminder to those in power in the Canadian Government...

Play nice in the sandbox.

AND Re-read this below, by Robert Fulghum.

All I really need to know about how to live and what to do and how to be I learned in kindergarten. Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate school mountain, but there in the sand pile at school.

These are the things I learned:
Share everything.
Play fair.
Don't hit people.
Put things back where you found them.
Clean up your own mess.
Don't take things that aren't yours.
Say you're sorry when you hurt somebody.
Wash your hands before you eat.
Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
Live a balanced life - learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.
Take a nap every afternoon.
When you go out in the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands and stick together.
Be aware of wonder. Remember the little seed in the Styrofoam cup: the roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that.
Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even the little seed in the Styrofoam cup - they all die. So do we.
And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books and the first word you learned - the biggest word of all - LOOK.
Everything you need to know is in there somewhere. The Golden Rule and love and basic sanitation. Ecology and politics and equality and sane living.

Take any one of those items and extrapolate it into sophisticated adult terms and apply it to your family life or your work or government or your world and it holds true and clear and firm. Think what a better world it would be if we all - the whole world - had cookies and milk at about 3 o'clock in the afternoon and then lay down with our blankies for a nap. Or if all governments had as a basic policy to always put things back where they found them and to clean up their own mess.

And it is still true, no matter how old you are, when you go out in the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Soy beans and Ice cream....that's why I didn't blog.

So the whole idea of the month of November in blog land is to post every day. And I did. Until the 24th. I was quite proud of myself, and I really wanted to keep going and not miss any days, but alas, the internets are not as accessible in Vegas as the slot machines (unless you are willing to pay $1.00 per minute - and now that I think about that, it is a relative bargain compared to the slots).

Ken and I had a little get away. No kids. No cold. And now, no money. But it was worth it (well, most of it - if you are in Vegas and are remotely inclined to see Criss Angel's "Believe" - run, don't walk away. Worst show EVER. Hell, you could even see people disappearing through the trap doors in the stage. Two hours of my life I will never get back).

We had cheap flights there and back. We stayed in a really nice hotel at a really cheap rate. It was heaven to nap in the afternoon. Our kids didn't miss us in the least (the grandparents were spoiling them rotten while we were away). It was nice to sit in a restaurant and not have to cut up someone else's food or tell the younger two to stop fighting. I did miss them, but it was a nice break.

We had a really nice dinner one night at a sushi place. Now we are totally spoiled here in Vancouver - cheap sushi and great prices. When we go out for sushi here I love just gorging myself on the good stuff. So for that reason, I had never tried edamame.

Why munch on soybeans when you can eat raw fish??? At this restaruant we went for the set menu and the edamame was one of the starters. OMG it was so good. I can't believe I have been passing it up all these years.

When we had worked ourselves through the other courses, we got to dessert. They brought out these small, colourful disks (I called them coloured hockey pucks eh).

They are called Mochi, and they were fantastic. I think we can get them up here at our local asian grocery store, however after my shopping experience in Vegas (I swear they have changed all the sizes of pants down there because my usual size doesn't fit) I should really stay away from the stuff!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Oh the minds of six year olds...

Tonight Ethan was asking me about one of his friends at school. His friend has dark skin, and her mom is very fair. It is obvious that she is adopted, and tonight Ethan asked me why his friend's skin colour was so different from her mom's. It totally caught me off guard - and I really stumbled to explain the whole concept of adoption (it doesn't help that I have no idea about the situation behind their adoption). How do you explain to a six year old that a mom couldn't care for her baby, whatever the reason may be, and therefore gave it up? Now that I am a mom I can appreciate what a selfless act it is, and can't imagine ever having to make that decision.

To be perfectly honest, the sex talk was MUCH easier. I think Ethan really had trouble wrapping his head around the concept of someone giving away their baby. He even referred to the birth mother as the "real mom". I think I might just have to have a talk with the girl's mom about this whole situation - maybe she could give me some good ideas.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Not my smartest moment.

I really should have known better. When I wrote this post awhile ago I should have figured that my e-mail would be innudated with spam. And it has been. ARGH. I am such a dumbass.

Oh, and Happy Thanksgiving to my American friends!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Ok, so I didn't do this posting stuff every day, but I have a great excuse....

vancouver, originally uploaded by sassyanna.

And you'll hear it soon. It involves a plane, slots, warm weather and NO KIDS. Oh, and this is Vancouver....isn't she purdy?

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Party at my house. Meet me in the play kitchen!

One of my goals this year was to get most of my Christmas shopping done before December. I have done pretty well, but I know that by the time December hits, there will still be much more to do. But at least I got somewhat of a head start.

Renee's gift was easy. I wanted to get her a play kitchen. So I had a look online to get an idea of cost, and OMG they are much more expensive than I thought they were. Being kiddo number three doesn't have it's benefits when it comes to getting stuff (although she is doing much better than if she had been a boy!). When Ethan was a baby, I pretty much bought most of the stuff for him brand new. When Nick came along, he got hand me downs, and I got a bit more comfortable buying second hand. Now with Renee I am downright savvy. Craigslist is my friend.

The whole concept reminds me of buying books when I was at university. My first year I bought all the textbooks required by the professors for their courses. I got them all new, and spent a small fortune. My second year I got a bit smarter, waited until the second week of classes to buy books because as I found out in my first year, the profs might say you need a text for a class, but then they never use it. I still bought most of them new, but I did find a few second hand. By my third year I got my priorities straight. My hard earned cash was NOT going to all go to text books. So I scoured ads selling used texts, and for some classes I didn't bother with the texts at all - I'd go to the reserve reading room and sign them out for a couple of hours at a time when I needed them. Worked fine for me. And guess what? My grades were awesome in my last couple of years. And I had more money to spend on fun stuff and the "university experience" which I will not go into detail on here (sorry mom).

So began my hunt for a play kitchen for Renee. After looking at the prices, I decided there was no way that I was buying one new. So I started looking on Craigslist daily. Then one Saturday night I saw it. An ad for a play kitchen that would do her nicely

The guy writing the ad said don't e-mail but to call him. So I did. Right away. He told me that he was busy and to call back the next day. OMG. I thought for sure that it was going to be gone. So I called and talked to him and spilled my guts. And it worked. So two days later, I drove to his place, picked it up (along with this stuff)

And this stuff:

All for $50. All in almost new condition. Great deal. Then when I got home, I looked online to see how much all of this would go for. And I was floored. On Amazon (the US version, not the Canadian one, because the Canadian one just sucks) All three items together retail for about $300. The plastic food alone is $99 - for plastic food!!!

So, December 26th Renee will be hosting her first soiree at our place. And since her "new" kitchen is much nicer than mine, we'll all hang out there. And eat plastic pizza.

Friday, November 21, 2008

can't think of a good title for this one.

I was out shopping for a gift for a six year old girl in Ethan's class yesterday. Her mom tells me she likes Barbie, so I went to go and have a look for one of those (skipped the Bratz isle completely OMG). As I was browsing, I got to chatting with another mom who had a girl with her who was about five years old. They too were shopping for Barbies. We got to talking, and she asked me if I noticed a difference between today's barbies and the ones we used to play with. Since I haven't seen one up close and personal in a few years, I said I had no idea.

Then she tells me it is all in the boobs and the waist. Apparently the barbies nowadays don't have the boobs that the barbies of old had. She went on to tell me that all her old Barbie clothes she saved for her daughter's dolls don't fit the doll because there are huge gaping spaces where the boobs should be filling out the tops. I had a look and sure enough, she's right. Then she tells me that she is thankful that her daughter won't have a distorted image of herself because Barbie is now closer to average. And sure enough, chatter about this very thing is all over the internet (google is my friend - although with the amount of times I have said "boob" in this post I am bound to get much more traffic than normal.).

I played with Barbie when I was a girl, but most of the time she was hanging out with GI Joe and his buddies in their army vehicles (I had brothers). I didn't really take notice of the boobs at all. I don't even know if I have all my old Barbies still - I guess a hunt around at my parent's place is in order....

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Random picture blog

boys, originally uploaded by sassyanna.

It is late and I haven't blogged today - If I didn't know any better I'd swear it was a full moon. The kids have been off the rails all day long.

So I went to my flickr, randomly picked a page and whammo - came up with this shot....oh so cute. I so need an infusion of cute right now.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

My new best friend. Time out.

Today while I was getting lunch ready for Nick and Renee I reached into our stupid fridge (yes, I said stupid - we bought it when we moved into this house, it is not a top of the line fridge, and certainly not designed for anyone over 5'5" tall....and I am much taller than that. ) and as I was standing up again smashed the top of my head into the freezer handle.

I am ashamed to admit that the streak of words that came out of my mouth after that mishap were strong enough to make Nicholas SILENT. Amazing how they really stand up and take notice right at the time that it would be so much better if they weren't. So Nicholas informs me that I said "a whole bunch of naughty words mommy". So we decided that I should sit in the corner for a time out. "Oh and don't worry mommy, I won't talk to you at all". So I figured that since the boys each have time out for a minute for each year of their age, I should be in time out for a whole bunch of minutes....more than half an hour.

So I marched myself over to time out, and sat for about 10 minutes all by myself, and the kids totally ignored me. Sheer bliss. Maybe I should just keep up the curse words.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Adventures on a "day off"...

So today was my day off. A day off in these parts consists of my mom coming over to watch my two youngest rugrats (you know, the ones in the lovely post below...the ones who never fight? Yeah, well I got an earful from mom when I got home from my "day off" telling me that they fought like cats and dogs, and at one point Nicholas yelled at Renee to "get out of my sight"! Hmmm.... wonder where he heard that one before).

Once I got Ethan off to school it was off to the dentist for me. For over two hours I was jabbed, poked, prodded, had my mouth stretched, my jaw pried open, and that is only the beginning (yeah, like I am so going back for more of that torture). The dentist is very good, and I am really only feeling the awful pain now that the numbing has worn off. Good thing she is in the next town over....she mentioned it would "hurt a bit", but hell this is awful.

I squeaked out of there quick enough to pick Ethan up from school at lunch time. He had a doctor's appointment in the early afternoon, so I told him that we could have lunch together ("wow mom, just the two of us? No Nick? No Renee? woo hoo!!"). I let him choose any place he wanted...I was sure he was going to pick McD's, but no...he surprised me with this:

What's for dinner?, originally uploaded by hermanau.

mmmm.....sushi! And believe it or not, he used the chopsticks and all. His favourite is the salmon rolls (those little guys right in the middle of the pic). He eats all the cooked stuff too, but really enjoys the raw fish as well. That's my boy! We had a great lunch, even if I couldn't chew most of it (thank goodness he didn't go for steak!).

Monday, November 17, 2008

You'd never guess these two are like oil and water

I took this pic the other day while Nick, Renee and I were out and about. They were rested, fed, the sun was shining and they were in fantastic spirits all round. Thankfully I had my camera to catch this moment - because with these two they are very few and far between.

Sunday, November 16, 2008


Wow, don't know what I am going to do with all this cash...any ideas? Do people actually still fall for this shit? And check out the ending - all I need to give him is all my personal info....yeah riiiiiight.....

ID #: 53298

Attention my good friend,

I am Robert Lizar, solicitor at law. I am the personal attorney to Mr. Michael Brooks, a national of your country who used to work with Macon Associates Company here in England. On the 2nd of August 2006, my client, his wife and their three children were involved in a car accident along Manchester Express Road. All occupants of the vehicle unfortunately lost their lives. Since then I have made several enquiries to your embassy to locate any of my client's extended relatives, this has also proved unsuccessful.

After these several unsuccessful attempts, I decided to trace his relatives over the internet, to locate any member of his family but of no avail. I have contacted you to assist me in repatriating the money left behind by my client before they got confiscated or declared unserviceable by the Finance institution where this huge money were lodged.

Particularly, the bank where the deceased had an account valued at about US$20M has issued me a notice to provide the next-of-kin or have the account confiscated within the next ten official working days. That is why I seek your consent to present you as the next of kin to the deceased so that the proceeds of this account valued at US$20M can be paid to you and then you and I can share the money; 50% to me and 50% to you. All I need is your honest co-operation to enable us see this transaction through. I guarantee that this will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of law.

I am waiting for your reply soonest WITH your full name, address and direct telephone number for faster and oral discussion if you are interested.

Robert Lizar(Solicitor At Law)

Saturday, November 15, 2008


In this post I put up an old picture of my kids playing in the leaves. That was three years ago. This is what our backyard looked like today (minus the kids - they took a break and decided to excavate my garden about 10 feet away).

The toys are the same, the leaves are different (and much much more abundant!), and the kids still love it. I think it'll do for now, until the snow comes....

Friday, November 14, 2008

On the topic of hair...

Little miss hair, originally uploaded by sassyanna.

My girlfriend was commenting today on how much hair Renee used to have when she was a baby. I had so totally forgot until I came across this shot quite by accident. And look at those rolls too. Almost makes me want another (but not quite!).

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Survey finds that 20% would fish cellphone out of the toilet...

A recent study has shown that one in five people would pluck their cell phone out of the toilet if it fell in. So what would the other 80% do? It isn't like you could flush the thing down...is it?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

After all, what other emergency kit contains the serious stuff and chocolate too?

For those of you who know me you know that I am a serious safety geek. I am not so over the top that my kids are covered in bubble wrap 24/7 (hey, a good knock to the head once in awhile isn't all bad...), but I am a prepared safety girl. My kids have caught on too - on more than one occasion Nicholas has yelled at someone talking on their cell while driving "Hey - that's a SAFETY VIOLATION!".

So the other day I went out with a girlfriend without the kids. She also has three kids (all boys) about the same age as my brood. Both of us were a bit giddy that we didn't have to pack and bring all the shit that you need to remember when you have toddlers (blanket, water, food, toys, diapers, wipes,....you get the idea). All I had was my cell phone and wallet. That is IT. No purse. And she was the same. I should also mention that I was driving Ken's car - which has no extra gear in it whatsoever. My minivan? Has EVERYTHING. Extra food, extra water, extra diapers, wipes, clothes, coats, boots and pretty much anything we would need if we were stranded anywhere for any length of time.

Off we go - and about 10 minutes into the trip, M says "oh shit". Turns out she forgot some very necessary feminine supplies. Now normally I have extra of that stuff too, but being without kids, without a purse and driving my hubby's car - I didn't have anything. Had we been in the minivan we would have been covered, because I have the Safety Girl roadside emergency kit.

It was designed by a woman years ago here in Vancouver (since bought out by an American company). It has everything a stranded woman would need:

Once we got home, I pulled out my kit just to see what was still in it. Not surprisingly, the chocolate was long gone. The deodorant expired in 2005 (although in an "emergency" I am sure it would be just fine). There are even directions on how to change a tire, and an emergency contact list where you can write down the numbers of the local fire and police department, as well as the spa, pizza joint and someone who thinks I am brilliant (that space is still blank...)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Lest we forget...

I came across this poem awhile ago written by David Roberts in 2005. Today seems the perfect day to post it. Not only do we remember those who have died in war, today we will also be thinking of those who have been injured and still struggle when they have come home.

There will be peace:

when attitudes change;
when self-interest is seen as part of common interest;
when old wrongs, old scores, old mistakes
are deleted from the account;
when the aim becomes co-operation and mutual benefit
rather than revenge or seizing maximum personal or group gain;
when justice and equality before the law
become the basis of government;
when basic freedoms exist;
when leaders - political, religious, educational - and the police and media
wholeheartedly embrace the concepts of justice, equality, freedom, tolerance, and reconciliation as a basis for renewal;
when parents teach their children new ways to think about people.

There will be peace:
when enemies become fellow human beings.

David Roberts

Monday, November 10, 2008

The photo is three years old but....

on the ground, originally uploaded by sassyanna.

They still love to play with their trucks in the leaves. And now at our new house we can pile the leaves up so high that the piles are taller than the boys. Now if it just didn't rain so much in these parts we'd be set!

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Ken and Anna plus three....

In the past few months, I have been shocked at the number of times someone has asked me "do you watch Jon and Kate plus 8?". At first, I had no idea what they were talking about as we were still living in the dark ages and used bunny ears to watch TV. Now that we have succumbed and got cable, I was able to tune into the reality show that basically tells the story of the lives of this family that have eight children (twins and sextuplets). I couldn't even begin to imagine how hard it must be to raise eight kids, six of whom are Nicholas' age (OMG six little Nicholases? ACK!!). I have a hard enough time some days with my three.

I have been told that my kids look like theirs (Jon the father is half Korean). People ask me the question when the kids are acting up (so do my three look like they could be as loud, noisy and crazy as eight?). I can be pretty anal about some things, so maybe it is because I am a bit like Kate (although I look nothing like her). Ken laughed the first time I told him about Jon and Kate and people asking me if we watched the show, but he was caught in it as well a couple of weeks ago when we all went out for dinner. The server, a young girl in her 20's squealed "Oh, do you know Jon and Kate from that show?" when she was seating us. My guess is that it is the Caucasian/Asian mix of our family, but who knows.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

The name says it all.

Every year in Vancouver we always go to the annual fair - the PNE. And this year it was WET. We usually prefer to go on a day that isn't too sunny and isn't on a weekend as I am not a big fan of crowds. Well this past year we didn't have to worry about that at all. It poured rain the whole day and we were soaked by the end of it. But the kids didn't mind one bit - no line ups for rides, and more importantly no line ups for food.

The PNE is in August - so why am I blogging about it now you ask? Because I have got the biggest craving for these:

Yes, you read it right. For $5, you could get four oreo cookies, dipped in artery clogging batter, and deep fried.

And OMG they were so good. I want some so bad right now I can almost taste it. But I'll have to wait until next year and savor the memories of how good they tasted.

Friday, November 07, 2008

That's IT!

With three kids in the house, there are fights. Mostly between the boys, but sometimes Renee is stuck in the middle of things too. Earlier today the boys were fighting over lego.

Ethan - "Give it back!"

Nicholas - "No, I had it first!"

Ethan - "But it's MINE!"

Nicholas - "No it's NOT!"

Ethan - "Yeah...well I'm going to flush it down the toilet in the poo water!"

In these situations, I usually do one of two things, depending on the severity of the headache they have given me. I'll either send them to their rooms or just take all the lego and put it in a time out (since the lego was ALL OVER the living room floor, the room option looked to be the most viable one). Just as I was about to tell them to take a hike upstairs, Renee wanders into the playroom, grabs the lego piece they are fighting over and tells them to "stop it". My own little personal enforcer. I love it!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Where did he learn THAT?

Last night I gave Nick a book to read, and as he was going through the pages, he stopped, looked at me and said:

"Mom, I need some ambiance to read properly. Can you turn on the ambiance for me please?"

Huh? What four year old asks that?

Later that night the boys were watching the movie Madagascar. And then I heard it. The animals were trying to sleep and one of them yelled "someone forgot to turn off the ambiance again" (of course meaning the jungle noises that they piped into the NY City Zoo). So Nicholas thought that "ambiance" was a fancy word for light. Too cute.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Blue blue blue - yes we can.

I have never watched so much CNN in my whole life as I did last night. And what a night it was. It was fascinating to watch a country elect a leader, and do it so passionately. I haven't found out what voter turnout was like, but my guess is that it was really high. Oh how I wish that we could get that excited up here about someone to lead our country.

A few months ago I did a bit of reading about McCain. I watched a couple of documentaries about his life. And I have nothing but a great respect for the man. What he has done for his country is nothing short of amazing. I would never vote for him, but he has my respect. And his conciliatory speech last night was awesome.

As for Obama - I have read his books and I too have great admiration for him. He is right when he says that the hard work hasn't even begun yet, and he will have a big big job on his hands. His speech last night was also amazing, but quite honestly, I can't wait to hear the one that he will give at his inauguration.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Not quite what I had in mind.

One promise I made to myself when I had kids was that I was going to be involved as much as possible with their schooling. It started with Ethan in preschool - because he was a shy boy I put him in a parent participation school so that I could be there once in awhile to help out and see how he was doing. Well, much to my surprise he waved to me on the first day as I was leaving - no meltdown, no freak out, no nothing. The teacher's idea of "helping" in the classroom was having parents clean toilets and wash tables, and not so much be involved with the kids. Thankfully Ethan had fun, or I would have looked elsewhere. I mean really, why the hell do I want to scrub someone else's toilet when I should be cleaning my own house?

I still like to help once in awhile in Ethan's class though - about an hour or two a week. It gives me a bit of insight as to what is going on, and I have found that learning the lingo helps me get info out of Ethan that I otherwise wouldn't have. Instead of asking "how was your day honey" and getting "fine" or "I didn't do anything", I can ask him "what did you do at centers today" and I get quite a different response. It is great.

So this morning his teacher knew I was coming in to help. The first thing she told me was that we were going to watch a video. She powered up the computer and smart board (OMG what an amazing thing to have in a classroom) and had it all ready for the kids. And what kind of video was it? It was an online clip on how to make origami cranes. So my job this morning was to help 22 children, (16 of whom are BOYS and have a hard time sitting still for any length of time) make paper cranes. It was quite the challenge, but for the most part, the kids got it and the cranes looked pretty good (some would have had a hard time getting off the ground though!). If you have a few minutes on your hands you can try it too - and then try to imagine 22 hands waving in the air for help every single step of the way....

How To Fold An Origami Paper Crane (Orizuru) - Watch more amazing videos here

Monday, November 03, 2008

I wanna be a rockstar.

Nicholas is not typically a shy boy, but he does clam up when singing and he knows someone is watching. I have no idea why he let me video this, but he did....

Before you watch Nick, here is the original version, sung by Nickelback.

If Nicholas ever gets to be a rockstar, he'll save costs - he won't need any roadies to put together his equipment for him. As you can see, he does that all by himself!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Elections, elections, elections.

I have a number of American friends, and pretty much all of them are SICK AND TIRED of all the election stuff, and just want it to be over already. I must admit, two years of campaigning must be a pain in the ass and I can see how you can get fed up with it.

Up here in the great white north the Prime Minister can call an election whenever he darn well feels like it - and the race from start to end is measured in weeks, not years. But compared to the US, this last campaign was as dull as hell. I must admit that I did watch our leaders debate - for about 10 minutes. Sarah and Joe got much more of my attention that night (I did watch the highlights of the Canadian one later though and still managed to fall asleep).

So Tuesday is the big day for my friends. All the polls say that Obama will win - but polls only count on election day. If McCain wins you democrats do have a choice. You can come on up here.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Ok Marie - this one is for you....

So November is NaBloPoMo - National Blog Posting Month. And the whole intent is to post daily for a month. That should be a challenge since it has been a bit more than two months since my last post. I KNOW that I'll get lazy for some and just throw up a photo or two - but a post is a post is a post. And probably better than looking at Jeffy Jesus for the last two months.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Jeffy Jesus

The other day the second born asks me about "Jeffy Jesus".

I was quite puzzled as to what he was asking about - Ken asked me if Jesus has a younger brother that we don't know about, and I told him I was pretty sure that Jesus was an only child.

This went on for a couple of days, Nick kept pestering us to go and see Jeffy. He then told us that Jeffy Jesus wears a suit with a big "C" on the front. Ken figured it must stand for "Christ".

I think I have mentioned in the past that up until a year ago we didn't have cable. It made monitoring TV in the house easy, the kids just watched DVDs, and didn't really see many commercials. Now that we have cable, the kids have been watching some tv shows that have commercials. Nicholas went crazy a few mornings ago, screaming at me to come and look at the TV because Jeffy Jesus was on. Next thing I see is Chuck-E-Cheese on the TV, and Nicholas was screaming "Mom, it's Jeffy Jesus!".

Friday, August 15, 2008

Just bodies

The superhero photo challenge this week over at
shuttersisters is "just bodies" and when I saw that there was one picture in particular that I thought of immediately - Daddy and son walking on the beach.

The only downside with this shot is that it was taken with a film camera, so I have just scanned it - the quality isn't as great, but you get the idea.

My brother got married recently, and I caught this shot of the maid of honour - she had spent the good part of a very long day on her feet, and decided that she'd give her feet a rest for a bit...

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Love Thursday

How could not not just fall in love with a face like this one? This wee guy is in training to be an assistance dog and just as cute as a button. My kids just adored him, and I was thankful that I didn't have to pick up any poop.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Sisterhood of the not-so-differing-pants.

With all the crap going on in the world today and me having to spend a fair chunk of my time chasing three little kiddos around, you'd think that an article in one of the major Vancouver papers about jeans wouldn't make me bat an eyelid. But it did. For the first time in a long time I actually got to sit down yesterday morning and have a nice hot cup of coffee (the kids slept in). And I read the article about the "Sisterhood of the Differing Pants".

This article was about finding jeans to suit "most body types". They had selected three "real women" as models to show how various jeans would look on different sizes and shapes. Great idea. Except for the fact that all of the women shown were tiny. And when I say "tiny" I mean size wise, not one of them was a size bigger than the number of fingers I have ON ONE HAND. I can't believe I got as ticked as I did.

I am not a big girl, but I am certainly into double digits size wise (those damned childbearing hips and flabby tummy). To find a pair of jeans that make me look fab would be great. Hard to imagine though when all you saw with this particular article were women who were a size three, and yet all the jeans shown say they suit most body types. One woman said that she ranges in size from zero to four (four on a bad day). She takes her girlfriends to the mall so that she is assured that she doesn't look fat in her jeans. Comical, considering that if she turned sideways she'd disappear.

A few years ago I went shopping at a mall in a suburb of Vancouver, and when I walked in one of the salespeople asked me if I was shopping for myself. I said that I was, and she proceeded to tell me that they didn't have anything in the store that would fit someone of my size. They didn't carry anything over a size eight, and with my height (I am 5'10") everything would be too short. I wasn't offended at all, in fact I was happy that I was saved the aggravation of trying to find something that clearly wouldn't fit. I think what bothered me about the article in the paper was that they kept going on about body type and size, and yet didn't even have an example of someone who is a size eight or even a size 10, never mind a bit bigger, which I'd venture to guess would be closer to the average size of someone you'd find walking down the street.

I just needed to get that off my chest - and yeah, that is flabby too.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Out of the mouth of the second born.

"Mommy, what are those?"

(Nicholas points to the dust that he sees in the sunlight in the living room)

"Those are dust particles honey"

"Dust what's?"

"Dust particles"

"I think I am going to call them Sun Fuzzies"

Friday, August 01, 2008

You call that a vacation?

We just got back from a short road trip (well, short by Canadian standards - for all you Kiwis reading it was mammoth). We headed down to Portland, Oregon for a few days and aside from a traffic snarl on the way down (involving a crane and a few lanes of traffic) it was pretty smooth sailing. Even the border lineups were short, which is always a bonus.

Every time I go to the US I am reminded of a few things that are quite different than up here in the great white north. Rest areas in the US are awesome. There was one that we stopped at on the way home where a bunch of little old ladies had made a whole pile of baked goods to give to travellers passing through. And there was always free coffee and a semi clean place to pee (very very important). My experience here in Canada has been that you are lucky to find a porta-pottie in a "rest area" here.

Another thing is that there are cat's eyes on the roads - awesome at night and when it is raining. I have no idea why you don't see them that much here in Vancouver where it rains for a good portion of the year. And the freeway system is great too - well marked and easy to navigate.

And the people - OMG I keep forgetting what great service we always get when we are in the US. Every time we went out waitstaff went above and beyond. I guess it is partially for tips, but hell - the difference is amazing. And people just seem to be more friendly in general. I had more people hold doors open for me in a few days than I have all year at home. I have become pretty skilled at navigating through non-automatic doors with stroller and a couple of kids in tow.

On the down side - we hit alot of buffets while we were travelling and the selection of fruit was abysmal. Usually when we do travel we like to try to get a kitchenette and eat in as much as we can, but since this was a short trip it wasn't overly feasable to pay all the extra cost for a bigger hotel room. I totally understood why there was no fruit when I went to a grocery store and bought apples, oranges, blueberries, strawberries, grapes and applesauce and the bill came to $42! I didn't buy that much (the oragnes were in a large bag, I'd say there were 10 in there), and was gobsmacked when the cashier told me how much the total was. We had just had dinner for all five of us for $25!

The cost of stuff is almost the same as it is here in Canada as far as clothes go, but I did drool over a new camera that was significantly cheaper in Portland - I didn't fork over the dough though...maybe next time.

So aside from the "are we there yets" (the first one was 15 minutes into a 4 hour drive) and the "I want to go home" on the way there and the "I don't want to go home" on the way back we had a great time.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

I got my "Pleasure Kit" today....

A few weeks ago I got an e-mail from a lady named Michelle at matchstick. She asked me if I wanted some FREE CHOCOLATE. Quite honestly I initially thought it was some kind of prank - I mean, HELLO, I am only the biggest chocoholic who ever lived. My morning coffee is not complete without a bite (or ten) of some sort of chocolaty goodness. I was wondering what the catch was - and on the particular day that I got the e-mail my first-born was being a holy terror - if she had asked me to exchange him for a bit of chocolate it would have been close to being a done deal.

She sent a link to an online survey - so I filled it out. And lo and behold I got a phone call and confirmation that I had been selected as one of 300 individuals across Canada who had been chosen to receive the exclusive Dove Chocolate Pleasure Kit. Cool. I was told that I'd get some chocolate, and have to share it with friends.

A couple of weeks went by - nothing came in the mail. Then another phone call telling me that the chocolates were on their way. And sure enough they came yesterday. The box the chocolate came in weighed SEVEN POUNDS. Now that was unexpected. Here is all the free stuff that I got:

Chocolate - and lots of it. See those little squares at the bottom? Those each have four bite sized chocolates in them. Those are what I share with my friends. See those big bars of chocolate. Those are MINE. Unless of course you are willing to take my children for a day or two. Then I might consider sharing. There are three different flavours - dark, milk chocolate and "dusk" which is a mix of dark and milk chocolate.

The chocolate came in this nice bag below. And with the chocolate was a wine glass, a journal, and some special foot stuff.

What I didn't know about Dove chocolate was that each individually wrapped morsel of goodness is kinda like a fortune cookie - on the inside of each wrapper is a message. After I opened the first one (the message inside said "wearing a push-up bra is NOT cheating"), I had to eat a few more to see what other words of wisdom I could find....

"Ride shotgun", "Keep a promise", "jump on the bed", etc....my favourite was "eat the last one". I had only had three, told myself not to have anymore, but really, how could I not?

So the game plan is this - a couple of play dates this week, a wedding rehearsal, a wedding and two bbq's. I think I'll be spreading the chocolate love around this week - if you want some too you had better let me know quick!

Do you want your own pleasure kit? I am not sure if they are still looking for samplers, but if you are in Vancouver, Toronto of Montreal, follow this link and try your luck!

Monday, July 14, 2008

And then we ate cake.

Anyone who knows me knows that I am a chocoholic. My tastes have become more refined with age, but even so, that huge big costco sized bag of chipits has deteriorated a significant amount, and I haven't done ANY baking lately. Nothing like a mouthful (or ten) of chocolate with your morning coffee.
When Nicholas started preschool I met a woman whose son was in Nick's class. We got to chatting and it was uncanny how much we had in common. Nicholas and her son hit it off and are quite good friends. So when Nicholas was invited to E's birthday party a few months ago he was so excited to go. Ethan's mom M and I were chatting and she off-handedly mentioned that she will be making a King Kong theme cake for the party. I was impressed. But nothing prepared me for the creation that I saw - and my tastebuds went into extreme chocolate overload when I tasted the cake she made. O...M...G...
Turns out that she makes cakes - so I asked her to do one for Nicholas' birthday. I have seen some pictures of her work and she can pretty much do anything. Nicholas of course wanted Venom (for those of you who don't know he is one of the villains of Spiderman). I think poor M just about fainted when I told her that, but she rose to the occasion, and this is what she came up with.

When she came by the house to drop the cake off, she had also written me a note which described the cake in detail (the type of chocolate and the ganache she used). Venom was all fondant and totally edible. She also had a surprise - as a bonus, she did a wee carrot cake for Renee.

It was even personalized!

When we decided to have a bbq here at the house for my dad and my SIL's birthday, it was a no-brainer where we were going to get the cake. Our only problem was what to have ON the cake. I initially wanted something masculine and feminine, but after talking back and forth with M the only thing we could think of was boobs and a penis (yeah, that would have gone over well - Nicholas would be talking about that to anyone who would listen). My brother came up with the idea of a crab because they are both Cancer sign - and this is what M did for us:

She makes these cakes as a "creative release". I must find out what she does with the leftovers - or hell, I'll sign up to be a taste tester - but since she has three young boys and a hubby at home I am sure that my services won't be needed.

Friday, July 04, 2008

We've been busy....

With all the bitching I did about our crappy weather, I feel that I should probably tell you that we have had a really nice stretch of sunny days, hence the lack of posts. The kids have been having a blast playing outside (in the dirt, and in the water, back to the dirt - you get the idea). We've been catching up with friends, and now that summer is here we hope to be spending more time with people we don't see too much during the school year.

Logistically - having the kids in the backyard isn't going to be as easy as past years. Renee is just itching to get outside, and when she does, she has to be supervised. And it doesn't take long for her to go where she wants (with her cute little "drunk waddle" as we call it).

First she goes and investigates doing some art. As you can probably guess, only the bottom of the canvas gets covered.

Next she thinks about going in the sprinkler with her brothers (she usually has to carry around shoes with her when she walks outside, even when she already has some on).

Tonka trucks (or any type of "mighty machine") are her favourite. This all goes well until Nicholas finds out. Then all hell breaks loose.

It's enough to keep this tired momma on her toes - and very fun to see the discovery of so much new stuff through the eyes of a wobbly toddler.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Knee deep

THIS is what we should be doing this weekend - wading knee deep in the ocean. Alas it is not to be. Am seriously considering a move to a warmer climate. Like Alaska.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Mom hair.

I came across this the other day, and judging by the critiqe, I have "mom hair". According to the article, Angelina's hair is a big flop, so it is nice to know that when my hair looks its best, it still rates pretty low.

Now let me preface this by saying that my hair only looks like this after I have actually done something with it (rollers, dryers, etc). Most days, my "mom hair" is pulled back and hidden under a ball cap. The fact that I can't even pee in peace pretty much tells you that total time spent on my lid on a daily basis is about 10 seconds, and about a minute if Nicholas decides he wants to "help". Nicholas' form of help consists of trying to drive a bulldozer on top of my head to move my hair.

When I was younger I obsessed about my hair. Not so much the style, but the length. Everything was about the length. Then I decided to shake things up a bit and got it all cut off. And didn't get a date for years. Got called "Mr." a few times. It was not a fun time for my self-esteem. I look back now and realize that it was a bad look for me - a bad cut and a very unflattering style. I have many friends with short hair and it looks fantastic on them. A few times I have debated getting it cut off again.

I have been "seeing" the same hairdresser for almost 15 years. I LOVE her. And so does half of Vancouver it seems because she books months in advance. Way back when I was younger and single I could book an appointment for a Saturday a few months ahead of time because my Saturdays were pretty much the same - sleep in, have coffee, read the paper, sleep some more, work out, shop, eat, and go out at night. I could easily find a few hours in there to get my hair done. And it really does take about three hours to get my hair done because there is alot of it, and a fair chunk of it is GREY which means continual colouring.

Now of course with kids my weekends revolve around them. I can't remember the last time I sat down and actually read the whole paper or drank a whole cup of coffee before it went cold. There is always something going on and so booking a couple of months in advance is not an option. So when I called her this week to find out when she could get me in her first available slot at any time, she told me she was fully booked until August. So I am now biting the bullet and am going to try someone new.

I phoned another salon, and got in within a week. Tuesday is the big day. I am a bit aprehensive, but nowhere near as freaked out as my sixteen year old self would be. If my hair gets butchered, it isn't the end of the world, and hair grows. There are bigger things in life to fret over, but I am still nervous. Should be interesting!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

He'll have to marry someone who is bald.

I always thought I'd put my biology degree to good use when I had kids. I took bug classes, bird classes, plant classes, and even studied some marine life. I dissected a number of animals too - and for the most part wasn't too grossed out. So it shouldn't surprise me that my boys LOVE the dirt and any kind of creepy crawly they might find while excavating the back yard.

"Look mommy - it's a WORM, isn't he HUGE?"

"Look mommy - slugs!"

"Look mommy, it's supposed to be freaking summer and I am wearing a polar fleece outside!" (Ok, I made that one up - but hell, it is raining outside, it is June 18th, and I am beginning to think that the tourism industry should brand Vancouver as a place that has the best natural sunblock on earth - and you don't have to pay a dime). I digress....

"Look mommy, a cute ladybug!"

CRABS!!! And yes, Nicholas did pick it up.

It does come as a bit of a shock to me that the most innocuous things freak Nicholas out. Like cheerios. On the floor. If he is sitting at the table, he will not get down if there is a cheerio on the floor near his chair. There have been many a day I have seriously contemplated placing a ring of cereal around his chair to keep him still for more than five seconds.

Oh, and spiders. He loves them. He picks them up and counts their legs. Remember Fred?

Fred lived in our old house. His relatives (the bigger version) live in our new house. In the bathroom downstairs where we have to bathe the kids because the main bathroom in the house is out of commission (long story that involves an toilet, a useless wax ring, and the previous owner of this place who probably wanted to save a dime and had the bathroom done on the cheap).

Nicholas got out of the tub last night, and as I was drying him off he started screaming. I thought his whole body was going to erupt into flames. But no. He had a stray strand of my hair ON HIS FOOT. If any strands of hair touch his body that aren't his, he freaks out. The spiders - those are his friends. My hair - the enemy that must be destroyed.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Summer is a few days away....

Today, once again, I broke out the winter jacket to take the kids to school. It is freaking June 17th and I am freezing my ass off. I know I have bitched and whined in the past about the rain and cold, but holy shit this is just plain stupid.

And now back to your regularly scheduled obligatory cute photo of Renee (note the clothing - she should be in shorts and a t-shirt by now).