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 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, 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.