Sunday, December 26, 2010

William's Hotwheels Track

Two blogs in one day? Consider this a bonus, an epilogue if you will. Some moments are meant to be shared.

Christmas Moments

Jadzia loved the underwear she got from my parents.  Sure she had toys to play with, but who needs them when you can sort and stack your big girl briefs and fill and empty a little gift bag over and over.

There's nothing quite like watching babies opening presents.  Violet's intense expression while tearing the wrapping was priceless. The presents inside the paper weren't nearly as fascinating.

William got a hotwheels track made for colour-change cars which involves a skull head with sponge brain, a little squirt gun to spray the cars, and several vats of water for the cars to fall in/ drive through.  He literally played with it all night. My Mom's table was so soaked that a small waterfall was gushing off the tablecloth onto the floor.

I should mention my Mom's Christmas log.  I look forward to this chocolately monstrousity all year and it never disappoints.  She also makes sticky toffee pudding, which is well received, but I find the caramel just gets in the way of the true meaning of Christmas: chocolate!  This year, my mom had eight Lindor bunnies to be Santa's reindeer.  Unfortunately, Jadzia snuck into the kitchen and quietly ate them all before they could decorate anything.

At 8 o'clock Christmas eve, Future Shop and Best Buy officially begin their Boxing Day sales and the whole family gathered around Dad's laptop to watch him attempt to buy an e-reader.  Eventually Jadzia convinced him to watch Elmo videos instead.  They also watched the video of Jadzia doing knock-knock jokes.

At the end of the night, William desperately wanted to have a bath to try out his new hotwheels bath toy.  He had a gigantic freak out when we told him it was too late (it was ten o'clock).   Luckily, it was Adam's turn to but him to bed.  According to Adam, William crashed immediately after his good night hug.

Jadzia's favourite toys Christmas morning were the Pez dispensers from the stockings.  Jessie for Jadzia, Buzz Lightyear for William, and Snow White for me.  Jadzia ate the two packages of Pez that came with hers and then ate half of mine.

There was a Christmas present under the tree for Adam that I did not purchase.  Proof of the existence of Santa Claus?  Anyway Adam took his giant remote control big wheel truck out in the snow with William to try it out.  They said it worked great, but the batteries didn't last long in the cold.

The whole family enjoyed playing with William's new lego set.  While Adam and I searched through the big bucket of parts to find tiny, highly specialized, pieces to build a fire truck and police station, the kids mostly enjoyed the sound of the pieces in the box.  Jadzia fished out a dozen tiny translucent coloured circles and carried them around the house.

Moments after I got Jadzia dressed to go to my in-laws, she got into Adam's Toblerone bar.  She walked up to Adam, hands covered in chocolate, her tiny little bite-marks all over the large chunk in her hand.
Adam:  "What the...."
Jadzia: "Chocolate!"
Miraculously, none got on her dress.

At my in-law's house, Jadzia loved eating her borscht, which is a delicious purple soup made from beets.  (I like it too).

William got a fairly elaborate robot track, from my in-laws.  My son is a little engineer and was able to figure out how everything works in only a few minutes (about as long as it takes me to figure it out).  The first robot kicks the car, launches it into the claw-launcher, causing the next car to speed towards the giant robot, who punches the building twice, once quickly and a second time with a slow-moving spring-loaded arm.  One car sails out of the building toward the end of the track and the other launches straight at the giant robot, breaking him in half! 
Of course it was also Jadzia's birthday, so she got a tiny icecream cake with candles to blow out.  She gets so excited at the whole Happy-Birthday-singing candle-blowing ritual, whether it's her birthday or not.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

First Skate of the Season

My parents bought the kids new skates for Jadzia's birthday, so today I decided to try them out. Of course, since my daughter has never been skating before, I didn't have a proper skating helmet for her. I invited my friend Cara along, whose daughter did not have skates. So we went off on separate shopping trips before meeting at Spencer Smith Park, which has a nice free outdoor rink. I wanted to make a quick stop and get there before the thaw, so I made sure to tell the kids, "We're just going in to get a helmet. We are not looking at the toys, okay?"

William seemed to go along with this, until the route to the sporting goods section took us by a rack of hotwheels cars. He then began a tantrum which lasted through trying on helmets, a decent sized line at the cash register, and the five minute drive to the lakeshore. In the end the only helmet that I could possibly get for Jadzia was identical to the one William already has (it's 2010 and girl's hockey equipment is still scarce). William forgot all about the injustice of not adding to his hotwheels collection soon after he saw his friend Leyla. Their screams of delight shattered eardrums for miles around.

When children outnumber the adults, skating is a lot of excercise. First, I held Jadzia up and skated her along for a short distance, then she held on to the wall/sat on the wall/sat on the ice while I skated back for William. Next I skated along with William, who seemed to have forgotten ninety percent of the skating skills he learned last year. Then I repeated the process, skating with Jadzia, then William, then Jadzia, then William. Considering my children are considerably shorter than me, my back was not enjoying this process. We did one lap as a group, then Cara let me skate once around by myself.

Next we enjoyed some hot chocolate and an overly greasy lunch at the nearby cafe. The kids played in the playground until we were all exhausted. We vowed to go skating again, and often. I love winter!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Knock-Knock Jokes with Jadzia

This one had to go on video.

And here's my favourite Elmo video. I guess I just love to see him tortured.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Basically Sophisticated

I've just been informed that google can now filter results by reading level. As you know, I'm a very sophistercated writer and google will probably list me as highly advanced.

Hmmmn. Well, I'm going to go ahead and take that as a compliment.
Well, if you like writing that's accessible to the masses, you still have time (until tommorrow) to vote for me. Be warned, the Creative Burlington site is written at the intermediate level.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Our Latest Video

I am just way too lazy to blog about our amazing and busy weekend, so William helped me make a video about it.  He chose the title, which isn't all that relevant, but should get us some extra hits from the hotwheels-obsessed 4-year-old demographic.

Pictures to come (maybe).

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Jadzia's Birthday Party!

Since my poor daughter chose to be born on Christmas Day, she is doomed to never have her birthday celebration on the week of her birthday like a normal person.  So instead, we had her party today. We had lots of fun.  Well I did.  There were friends and presents and cake and brie and everything.  Here are some pics and a video so you can feel like you were there:

 This Fisher Price Dog was Jadzia's first gift, from her friend Leyla who had to leave early (totally forgot to give her a loot bag).  Jadzia loved this dog since she saw one at the Fisher Price media day at Ontario Place in the summer and I've looked for it but never found it.  It's great to have friends who are good shoppers.  Actually Jadzia loved all her presents. But was a bit overwhelmed at the quantity.

 Notice how the kids look like they are sitting waiting patiently for Jadzia to open her present?  Not so! I was holding children off left and right so that Jadzia could at least be the first to touch her gifts.  At times her friends were a little too eager to "help" her unwrap, and to "share" the gifts once they were open.

I'd like to say for a record that that cake is an ice cream cake that I made myself.  I figured that since my daughter likes ice cream better than cake, I should make it special for her birthday.  Basically it's two layers of ice cream with oreo cookie crumbs and chocolate sauce in the middle, and whipped cream icing.   Jadzia ate the ice cream, leaving the layer of cookie crumbs untouched.

Now sing along to the Birthday Song:

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Creative Burlington Posts More Stuff

Creative Burlington now has samples of our work linked on the bio page.  If you just want to read mine, here's a direct link.  I must warn you that the indents and line breaks are all wonky.  Honestly it looked pretty when I sent it to them.  And please, if you haven't already, VOTE FOR ME.  If facebook is a good indication, my Mom has more friends than I do and is sure to steal my prize.  I just bought a new stove and I could really use the money.

Now if anyone knows of a place that will entertain both kids and husbands this morning, please help me out with that too.

EDIT: It looks like Creative Burlington no longer requires you to put in your e-mail address to vote.  So those of you who have already voted can vote again!  (Not that I would endorse cheating, but it is for a good cause: ME!)

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

The kids go to the dentist

I'd like to begin by saying how proud I am of my son for being so good at the dentist.  He didn't want to go at first, but that was mostly because he was too busy surfing hotwheels videos on youtube.  Once we were there though, he played nicely in the waiting room, then opened his mouth really wide for the dentist, and even let them clean and floss his teeth.  Jadzia was good too, but slightly less enthusiastic about opening her mouth, and her teeth were only counted, not cleaned.  (Unless you count the little piece of broccoli the dentist found stuck in her teeth.  How embarrassing!)

I must admit, I'm a little jealous of their experience. My trips to the dentist involve: freezing, poking with sharp instruments, blood, and a lecture about flossing.  Their trip involved: playing with a plush horse (with creepily human teeth), having their teeth counted, brushing with grape flavoured toothpaste, and free toys.  I still got the lecture about flossing, though.  Apparently, once a day I'm actually supposed to lay William down and floss his molars.  Um....right.

Also William's teeth are very close together, which means when his adult teeth come in they'll be all crowded and he'll need braces.  And he has a "deep bite": his front teeth hide his bottom teeth when he bites down.  I don't know how this with adversely affect his life, but it is apparently undesirable.  Ka-ching!

When asked how he enjoyed the dentist, William exclaimed "It was fun!!"

Sunday, December 05, 2010

I'm up for an award (again)

And this time you can help me win!  I submitted the first chapter of my book, tentatively entitled "wardroids" to Creative Arts Burlington for their first annual arts recognition awards.  Unfortunately, there's nowhere where you can actually read my submission, or look at any of the other submissions in any of the categories.  You'll just have to trust that it is as brilliant as this blog...and anything else you may have read of mine.

There are three nominees in the litery arts category:  Jennifer Filipowicz (that's me),  Bobbie Smith (some random person), and Sylvia McNicoll.  That's right, Sylvia McNicoll.  Ever since I was in her womb she's been trying to steal my thunder.  This is sure to split the family and friend vote, leaving Bobbie poised to grab my prize!

Don't let it happen!  Vote here.  You can vote online or print out a ballot to send it (although why you would go to the trouble of finding a stamp when you're already at the website is completely baffling to me).  There are also links to everyone's website, but ignore those and just trust that I'm the best. Don't bother with the other categories either, just type in your e-mail and click the little round button thing beside my name and click "vote."  Yeah, it's pretty straight forward.

Edit:  It looks like Creative Burlington has now put our bios up.  And there's links to writing samples.  Although my link just says "sample coming soon".  I'm not sure why they didn't just put everything up at the same time, but it's their first year doing this so maybe next year they'll be more on the ball. 

Sunday, November 28, 2010

And this is why they get in free

After multiple readings of Franklin's Class Trip, I had the urge to take the kids to the Royal Ontario Museum.  I haven't been since it's been redesigned with all kinds of crazy angles, making it look as if a UFO landed on the old ROM. The building juts out at a diagonal now so when you're standing next to it you feel like it's going to fall over on you any second.  It's actually pretty cool.

We paid the extra ten bucks to see the chinese terracota empire exhibit.  See back in the day, the big shots had themselves buried with hundreds of statues of servants, warriors, farm animals, etc to help them in the afterlife.  Only now all the statues are in the museum, so somewhere out there some Emperors are saying to themselves "Dude!  Where are all my chickens?"

William kept asking to go to the dinosaurs from the moment we got there.  Jadzia, on the other hand, was interested in everything but by that I mean everything, including things that weren't necessarily exhibits.  Luckily they had some reproductions that you could touch, and I had fun showing her those, even with William constantly whining "Let's just go see something else".
The dinosaurs were awesome, enormous and fearsome the way dinosaurs should be.   You'd think William would be excited.  But no, we made the mistake of discussing the bat cave.  So while we were looking at the dinosaurs all he wanted to do was go there.
We got to the bat cave which is a dinky little reproduction of a dark cavern with rubber bats hanging from a ceiling and audio that plays only in French, no matter how vigorously one pushes the English button. We went through twice.

We spent most of the rest of our time in the children's area:

The highlight of the day (at least for the kids) was this stage Jadzia discoved in front of one of the video exhibits; great for dancing, jumping, and general goofiness.  I leave you with this video of their performance:

Friday, November 26, 2010

Christmassy Activities

Since my Christmas tree is up now, I've been inspired to do more Christmassing things.  This morning I got the kids into nice clothes and took them to see Santa.  As we were entering the mall I noticed that Jadzia had somehow managed to get pomegranate juice on her dress, even though I had fed them while they were still in their undies and pull-ups.  You can't see the stain in the picture, right guys?

Santa asked William and Jadzia what they wanted for Christmas.  William replied that he wanted Criss Cross Crash, his Hot Wheels toy request of the week.  Jadzia, who I was surprised answered the question at all, replied "Doggies!"  I only hope she doesn't mean a real one.

Jadzia started flipping out as soon as the candy canes ran out, but I'd promised William that we would stop at the Bulk Barn and get ingredients for a grahm cracker house.  Unwilling to accept the convention of purchasing candy before you eat it, Jadzia had a meltdown in the middle of the store.  I quickly grabbed the grahm crackers and icing mix, while William chose several candies for decoration.

After getting home and eating lunch, I was all gung ho to start the house construction.  I built Jadzia's house (minus the decorations) while William attempted to spread icing on one cracker.  William announced that he didn't want to build houses anymore and left the table.  He returned when I offered to build his house so he could decorate it. By the time I was done, Jadzia had calapsed her house and I had to rebuild it for her.  I showed William how to put icing on a candy so it would stick, but he refused to try it himself and instead instructed me on which candies to put where.  In between following William's commands, I arranged peanut M&Ms on Jadzia's house vaguely in the shape of a Christmas tree, and tried to stick on the gummy worms faster than she was eating them.

Here are the results of our efforts:

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Extra Children: The Sequel

Natalie's boys are here again.  They'll be here over dinner today, which should be interesting due to a shortage of both chairs and dinner-enthusiastic children.  I have no delusions that any of the boys will eat supper as William, Luke, and Patrick are currently eating the sandwiches Natalie brought (and it's only 3:30).  Also Willliam never eats at dinner anyway.

Natalie has been gone about fifteen minutes and there's already been some hostility centering around William's Buzz Lightyear car that he got in California (and has recently resurfaced).  Some of the conflict I presume was the result of low blood sugar.  Hence, the sandwiches.

Tomorrow will be pay back time as I pawn my children off on Natalie so I can go to the dentist.  It's my first appointment in a decade, which I thought was long enough to forget how much I really hate the dentist.  It's not.  I'm not afraid or anything; that would be silly.  I just don't like when someone pokes at my gums with a pointy metal object and then claims it's my fault when they bleed.    And we pay good money for this.

I'm hoping I can convince them to take off my permanent retainer.  The secretary already tried to talk me out of it.  Apparently as soon as the thing comes off my teeth will sproing out of alignment and I'll be as buck tooth as I was when I was ten.  Instead, they'll cheerfully give me some floss threaders and encourage me to use them to torture myself every day, so that the torture in the dentist chair won't be so bad.

Mom/Auntie Jen duties I've performed since beginning this blog entry:
  • Comforted Luke because Willliam "hurt him".  I determined that this was another fight over the Buzz Lightyear car (even though we have a hundred similar hot wheels).  Suggested to William that he really doesn't need to hold on to his car while he uses the computer.
  • Moderated a disagreement between Luke and Patrick after Patrick claimed the chair that Luke was sitting on.  Since we only have two child-sized computer chairs, I stacked some throw pillows for Luke.  He seemed happy with that, though he stole the chair back at his earliest opportunity.
  • Put the Buzz Lightyear car away after the boys continued to fight over it.
  • Played blocks with Patrick.
  • Played Elmo videos on my iPod for Jadzia.
  • Changed Jadzia's poopy diaper.
  • Changed Patrick's poopy diaper.
  • Helped Luke on the potty.
  • Helped Jadzia brush her teeth (at her request).
The boys have now gotten the Buzz Lightyear car out by themselves (a process that involves climbing on a chair).  I told them if the can't share I'll take it away again. And now I must go.  Patrick is on the dining room table.

Edit: the boys won't be here for dinner after all.  Their sister's parent-teacher interview was finished early.  Both William and Luke were crying when Natalie walked in the door. Luke pushed William off a chair as his way of enforcing the "don't eat the cookie batter" guideline.  I was hailed babysitter of the year.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thank You Natalie!

Natalie cleaned and organized my living room.  It looks awesome!!!! Check out the video.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Extra Children

Here's a video blog showing off the extra children I was watching today.  BTW:  Eat brie.  It tastes like butter and cheese had a baby.  Delicious!

Edit: For those of you who are so concerned.  I lied when I said that I don't know where Natalie went.  I know the details but it's none of your business.  Mwah ha ha!

Also, Luke did not seriously injure himself, he just needed a wee cuddle.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Miracle of Modern Slovenliness

I admit it, we're bad housekeepers.  I like to cook, but have become quite skilled at ignoring the large stack of smelly pots and pans that appears as a result.  Even when my husband and I do tackle the dishes and half-heartedly clean the kitchen, there's one place that we hate worst of all, one place where the stuck on food grime is unfaceable even when we're in a cleanly mood.  That's right, the stove.

And yes, ladies and gentleman, that is really my stove in all its grimy glory.  Yesterday my husband noticed that the clock on the stove was off.  An inspection revealed that none of the digital controls were working.  So, while we could still turn the dials to turn on the burners, the oven was unusable.

We grumbled about the inconvenience, but were secretly delighted.  We have long blamed the coil-top for our slovenliness.  After briefly considering calling a repair person, we headed to a nearby plaza saturated by range-selling retailers.

Being a gadget guy, Adam already knew about the latest jazzy stovetop technology: induction heating.  If you haven't heard about it, allow me to dazzle and amaze you.  Imagine if you could heat up a pot without heating up a stove, so that even gobs of orange bolognase would never bake on.  Imagine if you never had to worry about little hands touching the burners, because they would only ever get slightly warm.  Imagine if you accidentally left a container of margarine on a burner....and nothing melted!  These things are possible as you can tell by this eggcellent stock image:

This miracle technology comes with a hefty pricetag and, though we knew it would fit our lifestyle perfectly, for less than half the price we could get a non-gadgety oven similar to the one that broke.  Problem is, all other ovens looked the same to me.  We knew we were gettting a flat top instead of a coil, but other than that none of them stood out over all others.  Except, of course, for our friend the induction top.

We travelled across a rainy parking lot from FutureShop to Bad Boy and back again.  We got their sales people to duel (not with swords, although that would have been cool).  In the end we went with FutureShop.  They had a better return policy, could get us our stove within a week, and were much lower on the sleeziness radar.  Plus they gave us a free Blu-ray movie.

So we spent a million dollars that we don't have and went home clutching the most expensive DVD we've ever bought.  I can't wait until my new toy comes on Friday!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Super Happy Hairdo

Another video blog entry! I show off my new hairdo while William tells everyone what he wants from Santa.

'Tis the Season

This morning my facebook friends reminded me that Santa Claus was coming to the mall by helicopter.  So we got the kids all ready and piled into the car, even though the moment we stepped outside it was fairly obvious that no helicopter would be flying today.  Fog on top of fog. 

We went anyway.  There was a crowd of people gathered in the Zellers parking lot.  Some random elves gave us foam red antlers and tiny candy canes.  Jadzia was in the middle of a two-day tantrum, and she wanted to wear her antlers, didn't want to wear her antlers, wanted to be picked up, didn't want to be held, wanted hats and mits, didn't want hats and mits.  She was momentarily appeased by the bagpipe band playing Christmas carols in kilts.  William was more excited to see his friend Leyla than the big man in red.

Santa arrived by fire truck.  Yawn.  We stuck around because Santa was walking down the line shaking everyone's hand.  Only when he got to our spot he just kept walking, skipping like ten little kids!  I promised the William and Jadzia that we would come back another day to visit Santa when he wasn't so busy, but honestly I was feeling more disappointed than they were.

I had planned to grab some socks for William while we were there, so we made the mistake of going into the mall.  Jadzia refused to be held but also wouldn't walk or do anything besides whine.  William behaved long enough to pick out his socks.  Before we left home we prepared him that we weren't going to buy any food or toys at the store.  Of course as soon as we passed the candy aisle he suddenly became REALLY REALLY HUNGRY and desperately needed candy and a hotwheels car.  He flipped out so bad I had to carry him out of the store kicking and screaming (literally, I'm not just using an expression here).

We were supposed to go out for lunch afterwards but instead we decided to cut out losses and head home.  Ho. Ho. Ho.

Thank goodness for Karaoke tonight.  I need it!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Happy Birthday to Me Video Blog Entry

Here's a totally pointless video that I made telling you all about my birthday presents.  Today I went to Bronte Creek with some friends and we had a playdate/birthday party.  I was going to mention that in the video, but I forgot.  I also forgot to mention the photo-made-to-look-like-a-painting of Jadzia and William and I that Adam made for me.  I know you're all interested in what a 31-year-old gets for her birthday, so check out the vid.

Also, this Saturday is Karaoke at St Louis bar and grill (in Burlington, on Appleby I think).  Join us!  (Since it's a public place, I can feel free to invite the entire internet).  Karaoke starts at 10.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

How to cook a pumpkin

Every halloween we buy a pumpkin to carve.  Every November, the pumpkin sits outside until it rots or is used in acts of vandelism by neighbourhood hoodlems.  This year, I looked at our two jack-o-lanterns and thought, these are vegetables.  I could cook these!

I consulted my health-guru friend Natalie about how to cook a pumpkin.  She told me to cut it up and put it in the microwave and.... I forget the rest.  Anyway, I got out my trusty serated knife and brought the Lion Jack-o-Lantern in from the front porch.  I don't know how Adam managed to carve these things (well, actually I do, with a dremel tool) but they are super hard to cut super pumpkins.  I couldn't get a dent in it with my weakling muscles and my trusty serated knife. 

Then I got an idea.  I would use the hedge trimmer, which is basically just a big serated knife only it's electric.  The extention cord situation in our yard is designed to faciliate using power tools housed in the shed, so the cords run from the house, behind our hedges along the length of the back yard, then through a hole in the shed.  I then plugged in another extension cord and ran it back up to the house from the shed.  The end result reminding me very much of the laryngeal nerve on a giraffe.

After about a second and a half of power-tooling with the hedge trimmer it became clear that a) the trimmer was not designed to cut through something this big, and b) I would probably make a big mess and break something if I tried.

So I brought the lion back inside.  I knew it wouldn't fit in my microwave as is, but if I removed one rack on the oven... huzzah!  It fit!  I set the oven to 350 degrees (universal temperature for anything you don't really know how to cook) and waited.  I figured that it would be easy to cut once it was soft (you know, like a sweet potato).

After I had played transformers, surfed youtube, and wrote this blog entry up until this point, the house began to smell like pumpkin.  I took the hot pumpkin out of the oven.  I put it on the cool oven rack on the floor.  My trusty knife redeemed itself by slicing easily through the shell.  The good bits came off easily, using a process which involved the knife, barbecue tongs, and a large spoon.  I declared it a success and put the other pumpkin in the oven.

Now I just have to figure out what to do with four mixing bowls full of pumpkin (two bowls from each jack-o-lantern if the second yields as much as the first).  So far, I've pureed some and put it into single serving zip-locks for freezing.  I also gave the kids each a small bowl of pumpkin with brown sugar and cinnamon in it.  They apparently "liked it" but neither of them ate the whole thing (and they were tiny bowls). I now have the food processor processor going pureeing more and the second jack-o-lantern (a robot) in the oven.

Unfortunately I've never been a big fan of pumpkin pie.  Recipes anyone?

Wednesday, November 03, 2010


So after all the excitement leading up to Halloween you'd think I'd bother to write a post about the big day.  Well, here it is.  Complete with two pictures which I stole off my husband's facebook:

I took some photos of them trick-or-treating but they were too dark to really capture the cuteness.  Jadzia worked especially hard, climbing front step after front step in a skirt that went to just above her ankles.  She managed to finangle extra candy out of a few people too.  She just held out her hand and batted those big dark eyelashes, as if she just didn't understand that she could only have one.  Worked every time.

We didn't get to a lot of trick-or-treating in because it was SO COLD.  William not yet at the age that he wants to go candy-begging for hours regardless of the weather.  We hadn't even made it to the corner before he said "How about we just go home and eat our candy?"  Jadzia could have gone on for a few more kilometres I'm sure.

Happy November! (1 week until my birthday!)

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Halloween Fun!

The big day is tommorrow, but the kids and I have been getting our Halloween on all week.  Last weekend, we went to pumpkin patch at Frootogo, and picked our own pumpkins.  We rode a tractor to the field and chose two (one for William and the other for Jadzia) gorgeous orange specimins, with wart-like bumps on them.  I can't wait to see them carved. (Though they are on my front step, so they won't be safe if the bike theif comes by again).

On Monday, my friend Columbia hosted a Halloween party.  She decorated her appartment to insane levels, made Halloween snacks (including delicious mummy and owl cupcakes), and lead a dress-the-skeleton craft. William was a skeleton and Jadzia and I wore matching Star Trek outfits.

Thursday was Trick-or-treating night at the Mapleview Mall (see pic above).  William dressed as a skeleton, Jadzia dressed as a nurse, and I dressed as a witch.  This is supposed to be a safe alternative to trick-or-treating for the little ones, but the mall is so crowded that the danger of getting lost/trampled is far greater than the danger faced on my quiet street.  Technically, I suppose there's no cars to run you over in the mall, but there's plenty in the parking lot.  Anyway, we managed to stick together. We also got a nifty flip book that features the kids and I jumping around like goofs for five seconds. We ate dinner in the food court and walked around getting free candy (seriously low on chocolate) until the kids were too exhausted to continue. Jadzia didn't quite get the concept of acquiring goodies to eat later. She asked me to open each candy as she got it, then would put the half-eaten treat in her bag when she got a new one.    When asked what his favourite part was, William said that he enjoyed jumping around on the MAPLEVIEW carpet with his friends, singing the alphabet.  Ah, yes, how festive.

Right now, Jadzia is two-fisting suckers and getting herself and me very sticky.  She has a talent for getting more goo on her than the candy actually contains.  She does the same trick with fun-sized chocolate bars.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

To Whoever Stole my Bicycle

Thank you for ignoring the Chariot Double Stroller that was parked right next to it.  I guarantee that stroller is worth far more than my bike, which I'm sure you've realized by now has no resale value.  You should really have taken my helmet though, it's not that expensive and it would have protected your head if you had an accident while riding my bicycle.

I'm speaking of course of the turquoise (I say blue, my husband says green) GT Timberine that you pilfered from under my carport last weekend.  That was a gutsy move, walking right up to my front door, and I can admire that even though I don't condone your actions.

Adam has had that bike since high school (in the neighbourhood of 15 years).  When we were dating, he won a Tim Hortons Roll up the Rim and gifted his old bicycle to me.  He gave me a new seat, and new cushy handlebars.  Lately I've been riding it a lot, at least once a week, and was hoping to do a lot more riding before the ice and snow comes.

I must warn you that the police are on the case.  I filed a report with a handsome young cadet a couple days ago.  The look in his eyes told me that this theft is their top priority.

I know that there might be a perfectly good explanation for why you would take my bike.  Perhaps you were being chased by a wild animal, or murderous psychopath, and needed a getaway vehicle to ensure your chances of survival.   If that is the case, then I hope my humble bike has served you well and that your persuer never caught you.

I would still like it returned, however.  If one day I should find it safe and sound in my carport, then all will be forgiven.  Also an anonymous tip about where you've dumped it would be helpful.  I've looked around my neighbourhood, but it's difficult to cover a lot of ground on foot (instead of, you know, on a bicycle).  If you help me find my bike, I will tell my handsome young cadet to forget the whole thing.

For the rest of you reading this, if you see someone riding a 15-year-old blue or green GT Timberline, with an attachment for a Chariot Stroller, around 21 speeds, and a cushy seat and handlebars;  steal his wallet and use his cash to buy me a new bike!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

William's Halloween Costume

 William wants to be a skeleton for Halloween.  He says you have to be either a skeleton or a pumpkin or a bat.  If those are the choices, I think he made the right one.  Luckily Once Upon a Child had this one for $6.50. 

Come trick-or-treat time, William predicts that the neighbours giving out candy will be so scared of him that they will say "Ahhhh!" As a child I remember wanting to be "something scary" every halloween, but people just said I was cute.  Of course, my offspring are way more intimidating than I was.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Bedtime conversation

William:  I miss Daddy.

Me: I know, me too.

William: Why do his work friends want him to work and work?

Me: They don't want to work, but they have to.  There's so much stuff to do.

William: He even has to work when it's dark.

Me: Next week should be better.  This week Daddy has to do more work than ever before.

William: Daddy always has to work.

Me: Yes, but he doesn't always have to work all the way until bedtime.  That's only sometimes.

William: Maybe he has to build a really big thing, and that's why it's taking so long.

Me: I think he has a lot of different things to build.

William: Well, what's he making?

Me: I know that he's making a plinko game for one person, and he has other things to make too.  I don't know exactly what.  You'll have to ask Daddy when you see him tomorrow.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Putting the kids to bed

Adam is working late tonight so I had to put both kids to bed.  This is normally not such a big deal.  I let William play with his toys or watch a movie or whatever while I put Jadzia down.  He's usually happy to get a few extra moments of playtime.

Today Jadzia, independent young woman that she is, did not take a nap.  So even though the kids regularly go to bed at 8:30, I decided to try and put her down at 7.  I told William my plan, but he didn't think that was such a good idea.

"Could you please put me to bed first?" He asked.

"Are you sure you want to go to bed so early?" I clarified.


So I put the markers away and left Jadzia to play by herself.  As William and I were engaging in our regular toothbrushing ritual, he asked if he could have a bath.  Since it was early, I agreed.  By this time Jadzia had followed us into the washroom.  I undressed both children and ran a luke warm bath that was still too "hot" for William and he refused to sit down for the first five minutes.

Once I got bored of watching them spash each other, I told them bath time was over and dried them off.  I told William that he could go play with his toys and I would put Jadzia down.  He protested.

"No, I want you to put me to bed first."

"I can read you stories first," I bargained.  "But then I have to leave right away and not lie down with you."

"And after you put Jadzia down you will come back and lie with me," he negotiated.

I agreed to his proposal since Jadzia seemed happy enough in her bedroom talking to her books.  Of course her tune had changed by the time I finished the first of William's stories.  I read the second story to the sound of Jadzia wailing and banging on her brother's bedroom door.

I promised William I'd be back as soon as Jadzia was in bed, then I turned the lights off and left.

Within 30 seconds, William was out of bed, stomping around the hallway.  When I told him to go back to his room, he began opening and closing Jadzia's door, whining, and generally being a pain.

"You promised you would stay in bed while I read to Jadzia," I reminded him.

"I'm hungry and thirsty," he whined.

Since this was one of those rare nights when he actually ate dinner, I didn't really believe him.  "You're not really hungry," I told him, my annoyed voice creeping in.

"I AM HUNGRY!"  He burst into hysterics.

"William, if you don't stay in your room while I read to Jadzia, then I will NOT lie down with you!"

Not wanting me to make good on my threat, William retreated to his bedroom, where he continued his melt down.  I apologized to Jadzia for all the commotion, then read her some books and sang to her.  Luckily, she was tired enough to not be too distracted by the tantrum going on across the hall.

When I got back to William's room I gave him a hug, then talked to him about how I couldn't be in two places at once.  He insisted that he still needed a snack. 

I got him some fish crackers and cheese and milk.  He sat at the table chatting with me, calm as could be.  I wish I could recover that quickly after a total emotional breakdown.  Of course he had to brush his teeth again, but after that he went to bed without a fight.

By 9:30, he was asleep.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Happy Birthday Mom

Happy Birthday Mom!

To honour Mom's special day, I'm posting the trailer of her book Last Chance For Paris.  We made this video a while ago.  By "we" I mostly mean my brother, Craig, who is an awesome video editor, but I did lend my voice to Zanna's Mom, while my sister, Robin, plays Zanna.  I'm posting it late so I can take credit when it goes viral.
Yesterday we enjoyed a dinner buffet at Red Maple Buffet to celebrate.  They gave Mom a free meal even though it was the day before her birthday.  Sneaky sneaky.  Anyway, I love you Mom.  You are the bestest.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Goodbye pool! Hello beautiful yard?

Well our pool has been sold (they must have read my awesome sales pitch) and, as expected, left behind a gaping mud hole and an oddly-shaped deck.  My He-man husband wasted no time in dismantling the deck, while I tore up vines and got rid of buckets of gravel (and also lamely stood around taking frequent brakes and making half-hearted attempts at keeping the children away from the nails and such).  This picture was taken on Sunday, and since then my Master of the Universe has done even more backbreaking labour. We were hoping to get some kind of lawn in there before the frost, but we might have to wait until spring.  Either way, my husband is seriously awesome. 

Mini me

That's right, my daughter now has a Star Trek uniform to match mine.  Made in Poland by my husband's Babcia.  Amazing!  Obviously my extended family is very supportive of my love of Star Trek (though they don't always understand it).  Now I so need to find another Star Trek event for her to wear this to.  This comes just after a friend of mine found a Star Trek shirt for William at a thrift store.  If I convince him to be Mr Spock, instead of a dragon or Batman, then we could have an entire Star Trek family for Halloween!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A Little Piece of History

My cousin in Germany sent me a bunch of old documents.  I've posted two of them above, selected because they have pictures on them. The guy rocking the Hitler mustache in both pics is my great grandfather, Anton John.  I just love old documents, don't you?  Check it out, the bottom picture is attached with little rivets!

My high school German doesn't extend beyond colours, numbers, and feelings, so I can't make heads or tails of most of my cousin's files (he said one was in Czech, not German, but I can't tell which).  Still, it's nice to have a piece of history.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Wanna Buy Our Pool?

Our pool is great.  We've had some fun times in our pool.  Every summer we're all like "This is great!  A pool in our own back yard!  How fun and relaxing and awesome."  Then like a month later our laziness kicks in and turns the pool green.  I know, I know, way to sell it.  Really, having a pool isn't that much work and if you are a normal, clean, non-lazy person (not us) you could easily prevent the greenness.  This pool is perfect for someone who:
  • Loves to swim,
  • Is tired of driving all the way to a public pool only to find out that "fun swim" is done for the day,
  • Has enough ambition to do their laundry and dishes on a semi-regular basis,
  • Has a house with a yard,
  • Wants to host an awesome pool party,
  • Likes to make whirl pools.
If this sounds like you, then buy our pool from us!!!

Here's the kijiji link:

We're asking $400 if you come and take it away.  $600, if you want us to take it apart for you.  I think this is fair, but we're willing to negotiate...well not me, I suck at negotiating.  I'm sure my husband will be more than willing to negotiate.  Just think how much fun it would be to have your very own pool!!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Awesome Family Photo!

Welcome Amelia

On Tuesday night, a very good friend of mine gave birth to a new baby girl.  (Yes today is Friday.  Yes, I am behind on my blog entries).  I'm writing this to say welcome to planet Earth, Amelia.
And congratulations to Becca, Drew and Aedan on this newest addition to your family.

BTW: Today I saw a blue heron while bike riding on a hydro path near my house.  Suddenly this giant bird came out of nowhere.  Wait until you get to explore, Amelia, this place is fantastic!

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Chris and Lisa's Wedding

This weekend we drove a ridiculously long time to go to a wedding in Merrickville, just outside of Ottawa.  The groom is my husband's childhood friend and the couple are like family to us, so Adam was the best man and William was the ring bearer.  First order of business was to attend a house party with the rest of the wedding party.

The party took place on Friday, which just happened to be Adam and my 5 year anniversary, so of course we pretended the party was for us.

Then on Saturday was the wedding.  When all the men and boys in the wedding party wore kilts, much to the amusement of the ladies.
Instead of a pillow for the ring-bearer, they had a big flower with the rings on it.  Adam tried to convince William to carry it, but he refused. 
So in the end, Adam became the world's tallest ring-bearer.
Being a funky and non-traditional woman, Lisa opted against wearing white to the wedding.  But Chris and his guys wore white shirts so it's all good.

They kissed!  It's official.

Even though it was cold and windy, we followed the schedule which told us to have ice cream afterwards.
Then, since we really were cold.  I bought the kids a hot chocolate at the nearby pub.

Which is around the time William started flirting with the flower girl.
Then on to the reception.  Adam made a lovely speech in which he mentioned how it was our anniversary and how much he loved me and our kids.  Then he wished Chris and Lisa that they be as happy as he has been (you know, so it ties in). 

The centrepieces at the reception were all boardgames and William amused himself at length at the battleship table. 

I mentioned they were non-traditional right?  :)

Anyway, the next day we all went out for breakfast together then said our goodbyes.  We still had one more day in Ottawa though, so we headed to the Museum of Civilization just across the Quebec boarder.  It's a nifty museum with a lot of exhibits that are pretending to be outdoors, recreations of old towns and such.  It also has a killer children's museum with a crane!  This was Jadzia's favourite exhibit:

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