Wednesday, January 30, 2008

More snow...

We got more snow last night. I decided to shovel the driveway and sidewalk because it hadn't been done yet. Tony's theory this year seem so be 'it will melt eventually'. It tends to be a little difficult to push a stroller through. After an hour and a good workout I got it cleared, except for the big ice patches. Then it started again and now, 1/2 hour later you can't even tell I was out there.
Tag had a ball out there though so I guess it was worth it.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Introducing...

in their big debut...

video

Celebrated Tony's birthday yesterday. He got RockBand. I really thought that this could be a fun thing for everyone to do together (up to 4 players). I was right. Laughed so hard my stomach hurt. Tony's singing is not something he usually graces us with but last night he really belted out the tunes. So, so funny. And Cooper was no slouch either as you can tell from the video. Hudson gave the mic a try but he figures he'd rather stick to guitar or drums. Reagan loved the drums and wanted nothing to do with anything else. Taggart and Nana hung out and applauded.

We also had some snow this weekend. Quite a bit for our part of the world. Saturday it started coming down in the afternoon and took only about an hour to really cover everything. So we bundled everyone up and headed to the school for some sledding.

It was supposed to be date night for Tony and I but the snow was still coming down so we stayed in and watched movies with the kids.

Sunday the snow again interfered with plans. Mary and the kids were coming for dinner at Nana's to celebrate Tony's birthday but eventhough we had blue skies and they did in Vancouver, halfway in between it was a blizzard. We missed you guys and Tag was especially sad to hear you weren't coming. His words as this photo was taken were "I really want to see Rochelle".

We still had afternoon tea at Nana's and she always takes the time to make things so nice. Tony got his favorite sausage rolls and a coupon for 4 more batches whenever he wants them.

Love this photo of Nana popping into the picture at the last minute.


The snow came down all last night and all morning. But the sun is trying to come out now and I can hardly see the screen as I type this because it is reflecting in my window. Maybe after lunch we'll all bundle up again and go make some snow angels.

Monday, January 28, 2008

21 birthdays

That's unfortunately not how many you've had but how many I've shared with you.
Happy Birthday to you!! Love you and I hope we share many more birthdays.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Outnumbered


Wednesdays are not a good day for Taggart. I look after Jackie's two girls on Wednesdays and somehow Tag just can't find his groove. For someone with two brothers he often ends up playing with girls and I think he has finally had enough. Every Wednesday morning we have a little pep talk about sharing and playing nice. He always makes good promises but by after lunch it all falls apart. Today we even had one extra girl over to play and Tag was finally banished from Reagan's room for not playing nice and had to play downstairs with me. The funny thing is that when I told him he couldn't play with the girls anymore he almost seemed relieved. He dumped his basket of toys on the playroom floor and proceeded to find the most boyish toys he could - a Superman, a plastic hammer and a plastic axe. Then he went on to have the best 1/2 hour of his whole day.

We'll keep working on Wednesday behaviour, but for now Tag, you have 6 days until the next girl invasion hits. Love you, buddy.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Au revoir, Remy.

Our unexpected, uninvited guest has finally departed. I still don't like to believe it but we did in fact have a rat. The small lettering indicates a whisper. It is somewhat a long story but I feel I need to tell it to get the full picture. Last Monday evening while everyone was already sleeping I went into the garage to get something from the fridge. I didn't make it very far as Remy (that's what I'm calling him - from Ratatoullie) made his first appearance. I didn't even have the breath to scream. I immediately ran upstairs, woke up Tony to tell him what I saw. He said there was nothing he could do right now and it was probably just a mouse so that was that. I had to wait until the weekend (keep in mind it's Monday) when he had the time to find it. So of course, all week every time I had to go in the garage it was with the greatest trepidation - okay I was completely freaked out. I didn't tell the kids because I thought if they knew it would just get everyone all worked up and then I would have to try and calm them down when I was the one who needed calming down. So as the days passed I got less freaked out and I thought that maybe he had found his way out again the same way he had found his way in.
Fast forward to Friday. While washing the floor I noticed that the floor seemed to buckling a little in the kitchen, like it had been wet. I showed Tony that evening and he thought maybe the dishwasher had leaked and he would check it out the next morning. I go to bed. A couple of hours later Tony comes to bed. He has spent the last little while trying to figure out what has caused the leak because now the water is dripping down Mum's walls downstairs and the ceiling is wet. He has shut the water off and because it is too late to start cutting holes he comes to bed planning to start again in the morning.
The next morning, Saturday, starts with a little snow on the ground, but enough to cancel soccer. So we all watch cartoons for a while and then I start the kids in on chores and stuff while Tony heads downstairs to check out the pipes. The water is still off so there's no shower for me so I pitch in and help the kids clean up their rooms so Hudson can get his vacuuming done (it was his week).


Not too much later Tony comes up and lets me know what's going on. "It's your little friend" he says with a look on his face that I don't like. 'My friend', I think - oooohhh - the light goes on. Okay, now I'm back to completely freaked out. It is no longer just in the garage but it has got into the walls. EEEEWWWWWWW.
Tony fixes the pipes and head to Home Depot to buy traps. Meanwhile I call the Pest Control guys to see how much they would charge, just in case our plan doesn't work. The water is back on now and Remy hits another pipe looking for a drink so now we have more water running down walls and soaking through ceilings.








water pooling behind the paint downstairs and the floor of the hot water tank room

The kids now know what's going on and, a little to my surprise they are not worried but rather think it's cool or funny or something.
I call Tony and he tells me how to shut the water off again and he heads home to get the traps in place.

Poor Nana has to live down there with it running around in the ceiling above her head and holes cut out where it could drop in on her at any moment. I'm shuddering at the very thought. Hudson says to Nana "don't forget to listen to the pitter-patter of little feet" .
Nana says to Hudson "thanks Hudson".
Later that night though, Reagan and Hudson forgot about the humor in the situation and cried at bedtime because they thought Remy might pay them a visit.


Now all weekend long I am peeking into the garage, scared I am going to see Remy in the trap and just as scared that I won't. He took the bait once and got away. Last night Tony and I are talking about what I am going to do since he has to go to work and I don't want to be here while our little friend decides to cause more chaos. We decide the situation calls for ice cream so Tony heads out to the garage to get it. He returns with no ice cream but a grin. 'No need for the exterminator' he says. Big, big sigh of relief on my part. He tries to get me out to the garage to pay my last respects to Remy but I decline. I can pay my last respects without seeing him. I don't need that visual. Tony thought that the kids would though, so he snapped a photo before shoveling him to his final resting place. I won't share that photo here - that's a bit morbid.

So now peace and order has been restored and we can rest easy knowing that Remy has found a better home. This is what we were greeted with this morning as I opened our bedroom blinds.
The moon just going to bed behind the snow-capped mountains.

Monday, January 14, 2008

A little sunshine in the rain...

Today we got the kind of rain that makes you just want to curl up somewhere under a blanket and stay there until it stops. But I didn't do that - instead Tag and I spent the morning going to Walmart and Costco. Running from the van to the doors and then running back to the van with our cart full of groceries which got soaked in the two minutes it took to get them in the van. Tag's winter coat doesn't have a hood (I know) so he pulls the whole thing over his head and then can't see where he is going. But today as I ran through the parking lots pushing him in the cart with a coat over his head he giggled the whole time. The rain didn't seem to damper his spirits at all.

So even though I wanted to be under a blanket hiding from all the rain I managed to get lots done. Did all the shopping, cleaned the bathrooms, vacuumed, got one of the items ticked off my 'to-do' list and cooked dinner for my family. Tony didn't get home until after 6:30 so by the time dinner was done it was bedtime for the kids but they all agreed it was better to eat late with Dad than to eat earlier without him.

And a little sunshine arrived to brighten this rainy day in the form of tulips. Mum dropped them off this afternoon to say thanks for my help to her while she was sick with a very bad cold the last couple of weeks. Eventhough Spring is still a long way away, I know it's coming. Happy, happy tulips are brightening my work space.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Weekend stuff

Just tucked four very, very tired children into bed.

Celebrated Mary's 40th birthday tonight at Mum's. Mary, you look lovely at 40, by the way. There seemed to be more tears and drama tonight than usual, all from my kids - not too sure why. A late night last night visiting with friends and the first week back to school after holidays is what I am blaming it on. But they are all in dreamland now *sigh*.

Tony shed a few tears tonight too (not really) but his teams are now out of the NFL playoffs. This is how he spent most of his weekend - four big games. I so don't get football but now that it's playoffs I try to complain less because I know the end is near.

February is near and Sundays will again become football free. Don't worry Tony - I will find things for us to do :)

Friday, January 11, 2008

Back on track

I am finally feel somewhat back on track after the holidays. I had it in my head to get so much done after Christmas was over that the first few days into this week I felt completely overwhelmed, therefore getting nothing done.
But yesterday was my breakthrough day.
I finally got all my photos organized and sent off to be printed. I am trying a new online photo printing and storage site so it took me a while to get that figured out.
I spent half a day this week cooking and pureeing veggies for some recipes I am going to try out of Deceptively Delicious, a cookbook that show you how to hide veggies in all sorts of food. This tying in of course, to my plan to start eating healthier.
Also made a list of all the things I want to do in the next week - organizing my tupperware cupboard, cleaning out the kids drawers, etc. (Lists somehow have a way of making me feel better)
Yesterday, I even sat down at my table and started scrapping. Felt so good to do that again. Would love to try harder this year at sending my stuff into magazines. Would love to see that dream of becoming published come true. I have to be careful though of not letting that thought consume me and my creative process. I start to think too much about is it 'good enough'. Don't like it when that happens - takes the fun out of it. Anyways feels good to get back to my scrap table.

So all of these things have put me at ease a little. Feeling back to normal. Still have a ton of things I want to get done but it'll happen.
And just because every post is better with a photo here are some recent ones of my dear family.
(loving my new camera)

Thursday, January 3, 2008

an end + a beginning

Today I finally took all the Christmas decorations down. I really dislike that job and this year I kept putting it off. It's the end of the season. Tony's vacation is over and life is slowly returning to normal. I miss having him around during the day, I miss him cooking us breakfast and I miss sleeping in. It was a good holiday and it makes me a little blue to see it end.
But with the end also comes a beginning. A brand new year. I'm not one for resolutions but this time of year just naturally makes me think of starting fresh. This year my focus seems to be on two things. 1. Eating healthier and being an example of that to the kids. 2. Working harder on my parenting skills and looking for more ways that I can be a more stress-free parent (is there such a thing?) Certain parenting challenges seem to have been hitting me hard lately and my approach (or lack of one) is making me feel discouraged. My kids are little for too short a time to waste so much of it arguing and repeating myself. I recently came across a website, Love & Logic, which has really attracted my attention. There is a lot of stuff out there and many experts claiming to have the answers to parenting and I don't know if this one is any different. But I have often wished there was a helpline out there for me sometimes when I don't know what to do or if I am really screwing up big or just a little bit. I know that I need to be more consistent, I know I need to worry less about the kids thinking that I am 'mean', I know that I want the kids to be able to tell me when they are grown that I didn't do too bad of a job. So I am going to, in the next few days, look into this particular website in more depth. Maybe I will discover some tools to equip me better for this road I am on.

Also, on a lighter note, I am looking forward to learning this fantastic camera I now own. It feels very good in my hands and I really like the sound of the shutter when I hit the button. So far, that's not much, so I have a lot to learn. I am going to look into taking a course to get me started. I have been reading the manual but it amkes for pretty dull reading and it usually takes me onlya page or two before I start to drift. But what I do know is that it is going to give me some great photos. Here are a couple of examples that I have taken in the last week:


Happy Birthday to Mom - 83 on December 30th. Still beautiful.