Wednesday, December 31, 2008

... and a Happy New Year

I don't think I am alone in reaching the 31st of December and thinking "another year gone - where did it go?"

I know that it happens same day every year, but somehow I get through Christmas and then find myself up against a Whole New Year! And they seem to be coming faster and faster - remember when as a child how a year seemed to take forever? It seems to me that we were just doing that whole turn of the millenium thing, and yet here we are going into 2009.

I know too many people who are anxious to see the tail end of 2008. For many it has been a difficult year. For me personally it has been easier in many ways than the few that came before it. Not perfect but easier.

I am going to try to slow down for a few minutes today to think about where we were this time last year and where we are now. And where I want to be this time next year. 

And then I'm going to (another) hockey game. (World Juniors are in Ottawa this week - we won tickets to yesterdays game and then realizing there were still tickets available bought some for today and Sunday... oi!)

I wish you and yours all the best for 2009 - that it will be the year you want it to be. 

Saturday, December 20, 2008

from a 4 year-old persepective

"Mama - for Christmas I want a penguin."

"Oh? I thought you had a few penguin doodoos already. Do you really need another?"

"No Mama, a Real Live Penguin. It can live in the backyard in the winter and we can go tobogganing with it and it won't! NEED! a! TOBOGGAN!!"

"And MAMA!!! In the summer it can live in the fridge. We'll feed it fish and keep it cool!"

"Um... where would our food go if the penguin is in there? I don't think it's such a good idea to put it in the fridge."

"Yes Mama IT IS! Our own PENGUIN!!" (hysterical laughter, she's giddy, positively GIDDY thinking she's negotiated her own pet penguin).

"I don't think we're allowed to own a penguin in this neighborhood Julia. I think there's a law about that." (Throwing in a law here or there keeps my sanity, because I mean really, you can't argue with the police).

"Oh." Slightly crestfallen. 

"I want a Real Live Gingerbread Boy then! REAL LIVE!"

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Snow Day!

Well hello and welcome to the Great White North.

We've had snow, freezing rain, more snow and I think, if you can believe it, we are getting more snow today.

The good news is, my (wonderful, bright, smart, intelligent ) husband had the foresight to buy a snow blower this year. A few weeks ago I would have told you that he had strong armed me into the purchase by marching me into the snow blower showroom when we had exactly 22 minutes to look & purchase before Julia's ballet class and she was SQUIRMY, so I admitted defeat and we came out significantly poorer than we had gone in.

Today? Today I tell you that the man is a genius with only my best intentions at heart.

I spent over an hour outside this morning clearing the snow, freezing rain and more snow off the cars. And using the snow blower. And trying to get my car back off the street into the driveway.

I think I may have led the neighbours to believe I drive like Daisy Duke. Nothing a little foot on the gas can't solve right? And the donut I nearly pulled? I don't do that kind of thing with the kids in the car.

Okay, maybe I do drive like one of the Dukes.

There were no school buses. Our city buses went on strike this morning. The police are advising you not to go out if you don't have to. The boy was still asleep at 8:30.

And so I made the executive decision that despite the fact that we live only 2km from the school (which of course was open) that today was a snow day for this family. 

Now to get baking Christmas cookies!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Double points for not cursing out loud

Tomorrow is Stuart's 7th birthday.

I have been in the kitchen pretty much non-stop for 5 hours. I have baked and iced (with help from two monkeys) 72 mini cupcakes. I have made 6 minute chocolate cake (which takes much longer than 6 minutes, especially if made with the loving help of a 4 year old). I made dinner (really!).

But most noteworthy is the two cans of sweetened condensed milk I boiled for 3 hours. Because Stuart claims he remembers the icing on his 1st birthday cake - which was made by my South African neighbour in Luxembourg (who moved away a year later).

Can I tell you that boiling those cans scared the bejeebies out of me? That I sent same South African friend who knows how to do this (because for the love of Pete could we not have some concensus on how to do this on the internet) on Facebook to describe my terror. And that fate must have been on my side because not only did she get the message (she is rarely on Facebook) but her husband actually had my cell number and she called to walk me through it.

(Aside: The only excuse I have for the icing is that I was completely and totally PMSing when we were talking about it the other night and I was ready to go to the store, buy some condensed milk and make it on the spot (even though it was after 9 on a Sunday night). So agreeing to make it 4 days later didn't seem like a completely idiotic thing to do.)

And in all of this nothing was burnt, no heads exploded, no children went hungry and there was minimal shrieking (okay, that "For Christ's sake SIT DOWN" might not have been necessary, but hey, who's perfect?). There was a very minimal amount of alcohol consumed (who had time for a corkscrew I ask you. It had to be a shot of port that was open in the fridge. I'd never make a very good rubbie).

I thought all had gone pretty well until I was testing the water in the pot with the cans to see if it was cool. And got a look at the expiration dates on the bottom of the cans.

February 10 2008.

F*** me.

Really, I am laughing.

And my husband is going to have a wicked laugh when he gets home. If he dares.