Friday, August 31, 2012

Canada's Next Top Models

Howdy Humble Readers...

Do you all remember that photo shoot that we had for the wee-lings a couple of months ago?  Well, we FINALLY got the cd of the pictures (a comedy of errors involving Canada Post) and I have FINALLY been able to put together a little slide show of my beautiful wee mister and sweet girl. 

These were taken at the end of June.  And our photographer hasn't done a lot of little kids sessions, so we were sort of making it up was we went along.  I just love some of the really close shots.  Their eyes are incredible.  It's also really apparent to me how much Ginny's eyes have changed colour in the last couple of months.  Some shots, of course, are throw aways, but I still love all of them. 

And yes, Pippin is posed with both Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings.  :)  I'm a geek like that.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Twenty Years Ago...

Howdy Humble Readers...

I'm one of those sad people who, when someone mentions that something was 10 years ago, I still think of the 1990s.  Geez... ten years ago I was already two years into my career in retail book sales.  After my chosen career, which I studied and got a bachelor degree for, didn't pan out. 

How is it possible that I graduated from high school (go VooDoos!) 20 years ago? 

There are so many things that don't seem like they happened 20 years ago...
  • I turned 18.
  • The Barenaked Ladies released their first full length album, "Gordon" (the one with 'If I Had A Million Dollars').  I had it on cassette.
  • The war in Bosnia and Herzogovina was just cranking up.
  • The European Union came into being.
  • The cold war was officially ended.
  • Jeffery Dahmer was convicted
  • NAFTA was signed by Canada, the US, and Mexico
  • The AIDS memorial quilt was unveiled
  • The Toronto Blue Jays won the World Series
  • Bill Clinton was elected
  • It was a no-good, very bad year for the Royal family in Britian.  Charles and Di officially split, Andrew and Fergie split, Windsor castle burned...
  • Mylie Cyrus was born
  • Windows 3.1 was the cutting edge in technology
  • Wayne's World, Sister Act, A Few Good Men, and Aladdin were some of the top movies
  • Color Me Badd was all the rage for those of us who love boy bands (and yes I saw them in concert)
  • Home Improvement, Law & Order, and Married With Children were all popular
  • I was working two jobs ('s and for my parents' office) to save money to go to college.
  • I bought my first computer... a 386 DOS machine, on which I played hours and hours of shareware arcade-type games. 
And one thing that stands out in my memory... I recall spending a lot of time pondering the fact that my bio-mom was married and had me when she was 18, and I felt that I was in no way ready for kids (if only I could go back and tell my 18-year-old self a few things about that whole topic!).  I thought I knew what the world was about.  I had some serious political and religious views. 

But I remember thinking that by the time I was 38 (which I will be in a few short weeks) I would be soooo much more certain of things.  That I would be established.   It's not that I'm unhappy with my life... I'm incredibly happy with my Beloved and my hard-won wee-lings.  I just thought I would be so much more sure of things, of who I am and what I'm here for.  And so many of the issues I was black and white on back then are now surrounded in a fog of grey. 

Twenty years is a heck of a long time, and a lot can happen in two decades. 

What do you remember from being 18?  Do you still carry that 18-year-old around in your heart?

Friday, August 24, 2012

Some Answers... And A Shameless Plug

Hey Humble Readers...

Well, I'm beginning to feel more like myself.  I'm going to chalk my recent funk up to PMS/AF and move on.  Thanks for being patient with me! 

Before I get to answering your questions, I need to put in a blatant, shameless, self-promoting plug.  An old friend of mine is a blogger and he's just started a new blogging series.  Guest posts.  And he asked me to be one of his guest bloggers.  I'm totally honoured, and I would love it so much if you could swing by and check out Jason's blog, Memoirs of a Jason, and my post, Once Upon A Time: When Happily Ever After Is Hard To Attain

Ok... on to your questions!

Amy asked "Where do you see yourself in five years?"  Well, I imagine I will be coming to the end of my time as a SAHM around then.  In five years, Ginny will be starting school full time, and so I'll be enjoying a year of alone time with Pippin.  I'll probably be polishing up my resume, and trying to determine where I want to begin looking for a new career, as I am sure I don't want to go back into retail.  Hopefully, I will be quite a bit thinner, and perhaps be working on a rewrite of my first novel. 

In a round about way, Coco asked if it was too cold to grow anything here on the frozen flatland... Well, our growing season is shorter than that of our friends south of the 49th parallel, but for those without black thumbs, it doesn't stop them from growing beautiful veggies, fruits, and herbs.  My thyme, chives, rosemary, and tarragon are all doing very well.  I just managed to kill the two things that I REALLY wanted to grow this summer... my tomato plant and my basil.  ***sigh***  I guess there's always next year. 

~Maria asked "What do you look forward to most in the fall?"  I love the cooler days, before it gets too cold to enjoy being outside.  I love being able to cook my favourite casseroles and soups.  And TURKEY!!!  Canadian Thanksgiving is at the beginning of October, and as I usually start craving turkey about the second week of June, I begin my turkey day countdown right after the Labour Day weekend. 

Jjiraffe asked "What are your thoughts on the new Hobbit movie coming out?"  I'm super crazy excited!!!  A friend has managed to get us passes for the midnight showing and I'm over the moon.  I'm even not too put off by the fact that it's coming out in 3D (I usually can't abide 3D movies.  They give me a headache.)  But I must confess, I have purposely not seen the trailer yet, and I've avoided most news articles about it.  I don't want to have any preconceived ideas about the movie before I see it.  My only thought at this point is that I'm slightly disappointed that Peter Jackson has decided to make it into three movies.  I'm planning on re-reading the book in November so that I have it fresh in my mind, but not so fresh that I'm noticing every little variance.  You can see, I've given this a lot of thought. 

Kristina asked "What would you do if you had a day to do anything/go anywhere with your husband?"  First up, we would wake up in Manhattan on a beautiful autumn morning, in posession of a time-turner so that I could make the day as long as we needed it to be.  Our hotel would be located conveniently close to a fantastic bagel shop, so that I could have a bagel with cream cheese and lox for breakfast before we headed off to spend the day visiting museums that we missed last time, and of course I would have to go to the Top of The Rock again to find my happy place.  I would visit Ellis Island again, and spend a couple of hours just wandering through the Village.  We would have lunch at Bar American and dinner at Babbo.  We would have tickets to Wicked, and after the show we would go to Serendipity for frozen hot chocolate.  :)

justcyclingalong asked "What will you try to grow next?"  At this point, I think I will just try to keep my remaining herbs alive for as long as possible.  I would love to be able to keep them indoors over the winter.  I might try tomatoes again next year, but I don't know. 

And Stupid Stork gets the grand prize for making me laugh... her question was "Bill Murray, Chevy Chase, and Dan Akroyd - You have to screw one, marry one, and kill one.  Go!"  LOL... ok, I would marry Dan Akroyd.  But Bill and Chevy are a tie for both screw and kill, and only because those are my only options.  I think in the end I would kill Chevy Chase, only because I am in the minority and really don't like the Vacation movies.  

And so I leave you for the evening.  Don't forget to pop over to Jason's corner of the blogosphere... and tell me, how would you answer Stupid Stork's question?

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

What Do You Wanna Know?

Hey Humble Readers...

I know I mentioned this a couple of days ago, but I have hit a big-time wall of BLAH. 

Blame it on the ever lovin' heat. 

Blame it on the fact that I somehow managed to kill yet another basil plant (what the h-e-double-hockey sticks am I doing wrong????). 

Blame it on AF... on potty-training challenges... on what appears to be a teething three month old. 

Whatever it is, my creative juices have been sucked dry. 

And so I am looking to you all, my regular Humble Readers, ICLW visitors, random folks who just happened to click through and landed here at my hobbit-hole to please help me. 

Do you have any questions for me?  Things you want to know about me?  My opinions?  Pretty much anything is fair game. 

I'll post my responses on Friday. 

Monday, August 20, 2012

Memorable Moment Mondays: Potty Time!

Howdy Humble Readers...

Well here we are... Twenty and a half months into this whole Mummy-gig, and I'm facing one of my biggest fears. 


We started this morning after breakfast, and so far I think things are going pretty good.  We're at about a 50-50 success rate.  Ginny is getting used to the pavlovian response thing... I've got the alarm set on my cell to remind us every 25-30 minutes to go take a potty break. 

One lesson already learned... Do not assume she doesn't get it.  She was sitting in her high chair at lunch, and saying "Potty!  Potty!" at the top of her lungs.  I thought she was just repeating the word... When we went to get her out of her chair, she had wet through her training pants.  Big oops on Mummy's part.

It is a big step for our wee sweet girl, and I'm so proud of her for just going with the flow.  ummmm.... no pun intended. :)

Posted as a part of PAIL Bloggers' Memorable Monday Series.  Click over and check out what everyone else is sharing today!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Sunday Night Chit-Chat!

Howdy Humble Readers...
Well, it's been another debilitatingly hot weekend here on the flatland.  I keep thinking that we might be at the end of the really hot weather, and then it rolls around again.  And I know, come November, I'll be crying that it's too cold.  There's just no pleasing some people, is there?
I'm participating in Carla @ My 1/2 Dozen Daily's Sunday Night Chit-Chat again.  If you want to join in the fun, just click over (after you check out my randomness, of course!).
My daughter, the architect!
What are you...
Reading?  Making good progress through my annual re-read of the Harry Potter series.  Currently about a third of the way through Prioner of Azkaban
Watching?  Not really watching anything right now.  Tonight, however, we'll be doing a marathon of America's Got Talent, because we have four hours of it on the DVR from last week.
Listening to?  Ginny sucking the last few drops out of her water bottle.  It's 'alle-alle'!
Cooking/Baking?  Tonight is pretty basic... roast beef in the crock pot, taters, and veg.  BUT I'm really pleased with how last night's dinner turned out.  It was my first ever attempt at a panzanella salad.  Zucchini, yellow squash, roma tomatoes, orange tomatoes, homemade chunky croutons and a bit of italian salad dressing.  Cut veggies into chunks and roasted them under the broiler (would have been better on the grill, but our outdoor grill doesn't work) with a bit of olive oil, salt, pepper and thyme.  Chopped up half of a day old baguette, drizzled it with olive oil, and popped under the broiler to toast up.  When all done, toss together with a 1/4 cup of italian salad dressing.  I served it with grilled smokies (done on our counter top grill).  It was so good, and I have lots of ideas on how to improve it in the future. 
Panzanella Salad w/ Grilled Smokies
All the veggies came from local growers at our Farmer's Market!
Happy you accomplished this week?  I went shopping this afternoon and stocked up on supplies I think I'll need for Ginny's new adventure that begins tomorrow (see below).  And I also found my Beloved's birthday present FOR HALF THE PRICE I HAD INTENDED TO PAY!  I was able to get him a little something from the wee-lings, and a little something that I needed too (can't tell you what it is yet because my Beloved reads these posts)!  I love a good sale!

Looking forward to next week?  Starting tomorrow, Ginny starts potty training!  I know that 20.5 months is a little young, but she's showing lots of signs of being ready, so I want to give it a shot.  We'll try it for a few days, but if it doesn't seem to be registering, then we'll pack it away for another month or so and try again later.  I'm pretty excited about it.  :)
Thankful for today?  Having enough food in our freezer to get us through another couple of weeks before we have to go to Costco again.  And that we live in an area, even with it's short growing season, where there are many growers (including several Hutterite colonies) who grow great produce and sell it locally. 
*BONUS QUESTION?* As a famous athlete, you are offered a $500,000 endorsement to promote a product that you dislike and would NEVER use. Do you endorse it?  No.  I admit it would be tempting, but ultimately I would have to look my family in the face.  And if I lied about something like that, just for money, I wouldn't have any integrity left.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Saturday Daydreams...

Hey Humble Readers...

I know I've been a little hit and miss this week.  I'm not feeling hugely inspired these days.  Maybe it's time for another Q & A post?  What do you want to know about me, my Beloved Ent, the wee-lings?  About  our life on the not-so-frozen flatland?  Let me know via the comment section below or via email.  I'll answer them as best I can in a post toward the middle of next week.

I've been daydreaming a lot the last couple of days.

My Beloved is still looking for a new job, and a posting that came up this week would, if he were to get the position, give us a huge leg up financially.  I'm talking HUGE leg up.  I'm not counting my chickens before they're hatched or anything, but it certainly is nice to think about what we could do rather than what we can't afford to do. 

Like which debt would we pay off first?  Credit card?  Line of credit?  Car loan?

How much could we increase our monthly contributions to our church?  To the wee-lings' college funds?  To our (currently non-existent) retirement fund?

Could we buy a new house?  Something with three bedrooms, two baths, a finished basement with a comfy murphy bed for my mom, and a kitchen with an island and lots of cupboards?

Maybe we could even get cable tv again?

Could I afford a new bra when I need one?  ;)

Daydreams aside, if when my Beloved gets a new and better paying job, we have agreed that we will continue with our personal austerity measures until two of our three non-mortgage debts are paid off.  Our condo seems to shrink by the day lately, but there's no sense in trying to buy something bigger until our debt is better managed, and hopefully the condo increases in value a bit (yeah, we bought at the wrong time).

Some people say that daydreaming can be harmful.  That it leads to dissatisfaction with what you have now.  I disagree.  Do I like being broke all the time?  No.  Does the potential of a significantly increased income bring me pleasure?  Yes. 

But does that mean that I'm not incredibly thankful for what we have?  Heck no!  I have been in much more depressing states, financially speaking, in my lifetime.  And if I can't have my dream house, well then thank the good Lord above that I have my dream man and my two precious babies.  We are all healthy, and happy, and that's what makes daydreaming fun.  Imagining how the great things in our lives can only get better. 

What are you daydreaming about these days?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Hobbit-ish Potpurri: Generosity

Howdy Humble Readers,

Things here in the hobbit-hole were better yesterday, with the wee-lings both taking naps and just being in generally better moods.  I don't know if the the lovely cool rainy weather played a part, but overall, things were much better. 

Today I have been overwhelmed by the generosity of others.  First, a lady from our church came by with three boxes of infant/toddler boy clothes, a box of childrens' books, and a box of toys.  I had just sorted through all that and started some of it in the laundry, when another friend came by bearing gifts... four large bags and a gift bag, filled with more toddler boy clothes.  All in great shape, some had hardly ever been worn.

I'm swimming in overalls, jeans, long sleeved tees, hoodies, stripey socks and shoes.  Seriously, my coffee table is lined up with seven pairs of boots, shoes, and sandals in sizes ranging from 4 to 6.  I am so incredibly grateful to these generous women. Seriously, I won't need to buy clothes for our wee little mister from age 1 to age 3 or 4.  And Ginny will even be able to wear some of this stuff this winter. 

Just when I start to worry about managing buying clothes, birthdays (our families have many b-days from Aug-Dec), and the holidays, this wonderful gift comes my way.  I'm immensely thankful!

Ginny had a big moment yesterday.  For the first time ever, she recognized that she was in need of a diaper change and told me so.  Woo hoo!  Potty training here we come!

Update on my parents' situation:  It was confirmed yesterday that my Dad is on drugs.  My sister and I called it almost two months ago.  We knew that something fundamental had changed, but everyone around us was saying no, he wouldn't do that.  Damn, I hate being right about stuff like this.  Thankfully, Mom has had the locks on the house changed, so at least she's a bit safer.  Good news... Mom just got a referral to a great lawyer. 

I've had a couple of questions about what I'm crafting for Christmas... so here's the run down so far.  (All these ideas are from Pinterest... links included)

Felt Christmas Tree with Ornaments for the wee-lings.  Hopefully it will help keep them away from our big tree.  (this project is almost finished)

Terracotta Holy Family - made from terracotta pots, scraps of fabric, and wooden balls for the heads.  A cute, inexpensive addition to my collection of Nativity sets.  (have most of the materials)

Extra Sparkle -  (this one didn't have an actual link, but it's easy enough) glue one inch mirror tiles back to back, with a loop of ribbon.  Hang them on the tree after you put on the lights, but before you put on the rest of your ornaments.  Increase the sparkle and twinkle factor by up to 100%.  (having some issues tracking down the mirror tiles for a good price, and without having to pay ridiculous shipping charges)

Are you someone who starts thinking about Christmas super early, like me?  Or are you like my Beloved, adamant that Christmas is for December only?

Monday, August 13, 2012

Memorable Moment Mondays: Welcome To Crazy-town

Hey Humble Readers...

I'm trying to relax in a relatively quiet hobbit-hole, after a very chaotic day. 
Ginny, wearing a pair of her new training pants
on her head. 
This about sums up my day.
I think Ginny is heading into another growth spurt, or maybe her two year molars are starting to come in.  She was just a bear all day, into everything and not wanting to sleep at all (even though she had black smudges under her eyes all day).  Grumpy!  I think she's also very frustrated with her limited vocabulary.  She's doing remarkably well, learning new words every day, but she still can't express what's bothering her.  And she's gotten her Mummy's stubbornness... poor wee girl.

And Pippin... I don't know what's going on.  He's just been a grumpy gus.  If it was a few months from now, I might think it was separation anxiety.  He has been a little gassy, his eczema is still pretty rotten, and he's been wanting to eat a bit more than normal.  So, not really indicating a growth spurt, but maybe? 

Overall, it has just been a loud, frustrating kind of day.  Tomorrow will be better. 

This post is a part of Memorable Moment Mondays, hosted by PAIL Bloggers.  Click over to see what others are sharing today, and to join in!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Sunday Night Chit-Chat!

Howdy Humble Readers...

Happy Sunday evening to you all.  I hope that your weekend was fun and relaxing.  I'm joining in on the Sunday Night Chit-Chat hosted by Carla at My 1/2 Dozen Daily. 

Ginny trying to make Pip feel better.
Please note, she is in fact sharing both her
'Ket' (blanket) and Stanley the dog.

What are you...

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.  I can't believe it took me a whole week to read the first in the series.  Yikes! 

America's Funniest Videos.  Not really watching it.  It's just sort of noise in the background.  I am, however, super incredibly excited that Grimm will be back on starting tomorrow night. 

Listening to?
My Beloved loading the dishwasher.  Have I mentioned... he does the dishes and the laundry?  Yup, he's mine and you can't have him!  :)

Because it was cooler today, I actually did a more traditional Sunday night dinner.  I roasted a chicken stuffed with garlic, onion, lemon, and thyme.  Served it with mashed taters & gravy, mixed steamed veg, and yorkshire puddings.  It was really good, except that the yorkies got a little overdone.  Not sure what happened... I used my usual recipe. 

Happy you accomplished this week?
We had a really fun date night... went shopping for a few things that Pippin needed (a larger swaddle bag and some long pants), went for dinner, drove around looking at houses we can't afford, and then went to see the Disney movie "Brave".  It was soooo good.  And I didn't even mind that it was in 3D (I normally have a strong dislike for 3D movies.  Wearing the glasses over top of my glasses usually gives me a headache). 

Looking forward to next week?
Crafting night with the girls.  I'm planning on getting started on my Christmas crafts... 'cause I'm slow like that.  :)  And that dang Pinterest has so many great ideas that I want to do, I have to start early.  Must make a trip to the dollar store and the craft store tomorrow.

Thankful for today?
Cooler weather, the herbs that I've actually grown and managed to not kill, and my church family.

*BONUS QUESTION?* When it comes to shopping for clothes for yourself, what item do you have the hardest time saying "no" to?
Hmmmm... that's tough.  Right now, there's really no money in the budget for me to buy things for myself (I'm having to budget and maximize coupons for my bras here people).  When I was working though, socks were my frivilous purchases. I'm really not a sock person, I'd rather be barefoot.  But working for a company with a strict dress code made me fall in love with fun socks... particularly stripey ones.  It was my little form of rebellion. 

Friday, August 10, 2012

Pippin @ 3 Months

Hey Humble Readers...

(I realize that posts like this, about wee-ling growth & development, can be hard for some to read.  I get it.  I post this here for my own sake, mostly.  I would hate to forget these moments.  If you want to read, you are more than welcome to, but if you need to click past, I understand.)
Hangin' out with his cousin Felix
Our wee little mister just keeps getting bigger.  Who said that was allowed??  To quote my grandma, we need to put a brick on his head to keep him from growing any more.  I blame my Beloved... he wants both of the kids to be bigger, so he can teach them chess.  *sigh*

He actually did pretty well on the 11 hour road trip.
It was a big month for Pip... first major road trip, first vaccinations, first encounter with dogs, getting to meet many family members for the first time, and getting baptized.  So many firsts!
Snugglin' with GG (my grandma)
Pippin went for his 3 month check up yesterday, and all went really well.  Honestly, it was one of the best appointments I've ever had with Dr. B (famed for being under-whelming).  The doc was very happy with the improvement in Pip's head shape, and that he's already rolling over.  We were able to get a prescription cream for the wee mister's eczema (it's particularly awful on his feet and legs, and around his bellybutton).  We discussed his sleep habits and how much he's eating.  Pip was very smiley and happy through the whole thing, so it was very relaxed. 
With cousins, Z-man, Oscar, & Felix
Pip is up to 14lb 6.5oz.  Yup, he's huge.  We're going to have to move him out of size 2 diapers soon.  They're just getting too small.  And it's about time for me to go through his wardrobe and determine which pieces I'm keeping for posterity and which ones will get added to the sell/give away pile. 
With Mama (my mom)
With Granpa Won (my grandpa)

When he gets very happy, he's so close to laughing that I can almost taste it.  He definitely is cooing and ahhing a lot.  Pippin's a very social little guy, to the point where he gets frustrated if he can hear us but can't see us (like at dinner time). 
While in K-town, Pip basically lived in
 Auntie S's arms (my sister)
He's beginning to try to support himself on his legs, when I hold him under the arms, and he's definitely getting comfy in his seat.  Soon it will be time to pull out the jumper-seat we had for Ginny. 
Cousin Z-man

Pip adores his big sister, and loves it when she leans over the side of his bassinet or gets down on the floor with him.  He gives her the biggest smiles, but I rarely have the camera handy to capture it. 
smiley baby
He's been very generous over the last few weeks, giving us several nights with 5+ hours of sleep.  Of course I still wake up at 3am, but I'm hoping to get over that soon. 
doing tummy time
I need to remember to take some pictures of him in the cradle (all the grandkids on my Beloved's side of the family have slept in this cradle) this month, as I'm sure that we'll be moving him into the nursery with Ginny next month. 
with Auntie Sira
He still snores, blows bubbles galore, and belches like a sailor.  His cradle cap hit it's peak about a week ago (ick!) and it doesn't seem to be quite as bad as it was.  Pip never did get the baby acne like Ginny did, which has been nice.  He sucks on his fist, rather than his thumb, and he sucks on it like it's a tootsie pop. 
He's such a good little guy, and a total blessing.  Even on his toughest days, I wouldn't trade one moment of being his Mummy.  :)

Thursday, August 9, 2012

All About Me!

Howdy Humble Readers...

Thank you so much for all your kind thoughts on my last post.  This insanity isn't going to be dealt with overnight, but it was good to get it out there.  I feel a little bit lighter, and stronger today.  

So today I decided that I needed to do something fun and frivolous and goofy.  I found this over at My 1/2 Dozen Daily (I even used her graphic because it me smile).  If you decide to play along, let me know so I can come by and read all about you!

1. You have 10 dollars and need to buy snacks at a gas station. What do you get?
Hmmm, Cheezies would be at the top of my list (sooo much better than cheetos).  Sesame sticks are also a road trip staple for me.  Peanut butter cups or peanut M&Ms (altho I really dig the pretzel ones too).  If I had a time machine, I would go back in time and buy the best candy bar of all time, a Max 5.  And a big bottle of water.  Gotta be somewhat healthy, right? :)

2. If you were reincarnated as a sea creature, what would you want to be?
A seahorse.  Because they're just as odd as I feel most days.

3. Who’s your favorite redhead?
OOOOooooo... so hard!  It would be a three-way tie between Anne of Green Gables, Ginny Weasley, and Mario Batali.

4. What do you order when you’re at IHOP?
I don't know if they still have it on the menu, but I used to love their beef dip sandwich.  I am a self proclaimed connoisseur of beef dips, and theirs was really very good. 

5. Last book you read?
The Virgin Cure by Ami McKay.  A fascinating story set in mid 19th century New York.  Revealed a whole aspect of urban culture in the 1800s.  A really great read.

6. Describe your mood.
Right now, I'm actually feeling pretty good (which is awesome considering I've only had 3 hours sleep).  I can breathe deeply and I'm relaxed.  My to do list is hanging over my head, but it's really not bothering me today.

7. Describe the last time you were injured.
I think the most recent injury was back on Easter Sunday, when I burnt my hand taking a pan out of the oven.  Ended up driving myself to the ER and getting a tetanus shot.  I felt like such a moron.

8. Of all your friends, who would you want to be stuck in a well with?
Sira or L, as they are both rock climbing gurus.  I know they would be able to climb out and go for help or yell at me until I climbed out too.

9. Rock concert or symphony?
Rock concert. 

10. What is the wallpaper of your cell phone?
A bunch of bubbles.  I've been trying to get a good pic of my wee-lings together, but still no luck.

11. Favorite soda?
I can't drink soda any more, but if I could I would love a bottle of Dr. Pepper.

12. What type of shirt are you wearing?
A tie-dyed tshirt.  Many shades of green.

13. If you could only use one form of transportation?
I wish I was a good person and say 'my feet', but I really do love our hybrid.

14. Most recent movie you have watched in theater?
Most Exotic Marigold Hotel... It was absolutely wonderful!  You MUST go see it!

15. Name an actor/actress/singer you have had the hots for.
Donnie Wahlberg hands down!  And he fits both the actor and singer category. :)  Yum!

16. What’s your favorite kind of cake?
"Too Much Chocolate Cake"  with chocolate ganache on top!

17. What did you have for dinner last night?
It was greek night in the hobbit hole... pork souvlaki, greek mashed taters, and greek salad.  I stink of garlic today.

18. Look to your left, what do you see?
My beautiful wee little mister in his bassinet

19. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off?
Sadly, no.  In fact I purposely look for slip on shoes most of the time.

20. Favorite toy as a child?
My toy typewriter.  Loved that thing!

21. Do you buy your own groceries?
Heck ya.  On the rare occasion when I send my Beloved, he always misses something or get the wrong brand.

22. Do you think people talk about you behind your back?
I don't know, and I don't care.

23. When was the last time you had gummy worms?
Ummmm... I think it's been years.  Honestly can't remember

24. What’s your favorite fruit?
I love strawberries!  And technically tomatoes too...

25. Do you have a picture of yourself doing a cartwheel?
ROTFL... you've got to be kidding!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

And The Gross-ness Just Keeps On Rollin' In

Hey Humble Readers...

Alright.  I have hit critical mass for all the gross-ness that has become my family, and I need to let some of it out.  If you're not at all interested in discovering how my family has become fodder for the Jerry Spr.inger show, I invite you to skip this post and come back tomorrow.  For those of you who choose to stick around, this is a tad long. 

Two and a half months ago, shortly after Pippin was born, I got the heartbreaking phone call from my Mom.  She told me that she and Dad were splitting up.  After 25 years of marriage, after 27 years together, after battling health scares (hello 5x cancer) and the struggles that go along with owning your own business and raising two daughters, they were calling it quits. 

Why, you might ask.

Because my Dad was having an affair.  Had been since at least February.  And this wasn't the first time.  Apparently there was a 'one night stand' last fall.  Oh, and he'd been keeping his 'girlfriend' (any clue about how gross that is to write?) in a motel 20 minutes away from Mom and Dad's house.  Since February. 

Let that sink in a little.

Even while Mom and Dad were on their 25th anniversary cruise.

About the woman... we know that Dad met her on an online dating service.  He actually placed an online ad for someone to have sex with outside his marriage.  We know that she's an addict (by her own admission) and an alcoholic.  Oh, and she's claiming to be pregnant with Dad's baby.  And while it's really not my business, apparently she's fat and ugly too (not that it matters what she looks like, but it is slightly gratifying).

At this point, in early June, my Mom was willing to try to make things work, if Dad committed to counselling (both as a couple and as individuals) and to breaking things off permanently with his 'woman'. 

He didn't know what he wanted to do.  He couldn't make up his mind.  One day he was begging Mom to take him back.  The next day she catches him texting this person. 

Have I mentioned that the 'woman' has threatened my Mom, and by extension my sister and I, with physical harm?  Oh, and she knows where we live because when my Dad was out here shortly after Pip was born, he brought her with him.  She was at his hotel waiting for him while he was here playing with eating my food, playing with Ginny, and holding my son. 

When asked why, my Dad's only response was that he's been lonely.  He travels a lot for work and since Mom 'didn't want to come with' him, he 'had to' seek out comfort elsewhere.  (His words.)

Of course, Mom's choosing not to go with him has nothing to do with the fact that she looks after Grandma.  No, never. 

Just before we went on vacation, Dad spent three days begging Mom to take him back and making all kinds of promises.  Mom took him at his word, and he was there (suffering from a kidney stone attack... oh if I believed in karma!).  He hardly spoke to me, my Beloved, or my sister.  And when he spoke to my BIL, it was mostly about the repairs they were doing on my parents' roof. 

On the last day of our vacation, my sister and I took Dad out for dinner, because we felt that we both had things we needed to say, but they weren't being said in a house full of people.  We went some place loud, so that we wouldn't be overheard, and laid it all out for him.  We hate the choices he's made and how he's hurt Mom and all of us, but we still love him.  We told him that we would support him anyway we could on the road to reconciliation with Mom. 

During our conversation the only response he gave was 'I can't make promises'.  Not once did he indicate that he was sorry, that he felt any remorse for hurting Mom or us.  I came away from the encounter pissed off, but at least I had had my say.

I guess I should have taken the whole thing as an indicator of what was to come. 

When we left their house, my sister and her kids were staying on for a couple of weeks, and then they were all going to come out to our hobbit-hole, to be present for Pippin's baptism. 

On Saturday I got a text from my sister saying that Dad was sick and wasn't going to be able to come.  I called bullshit on that right away.  And I was right.  I hate that I was right.

He has been in contact with the 'woman' all the way through all of the month of July.  Apparently, he just moved her to a different motel.  Most recently he's been in the process of finding an apartment for her, less than 10 minutes away from my Mom's house.  And that's actually the best of the revelations I got this weekend. 

While my sister was there with her kids, my Mom accompanied Dad on one of his work trips.  To give them time together 'to really talk' without all the family around.  While on this trip he told my Mom that what he really wanted was to have both my Mom and this woman in his life.  He 'loves them both' and what would really make him happy was that they have regular threesomes.  Oh, and his 'woman' agrees wholeheartedly to this idea. 

And then he dropped the big one.  He told Mom that while she was going through chemotherapy and radiation treatments during her last go round with cancer 6 years ago, he was hooking up with prostitutes.  Because my Mom 'wouldn't give him what he needed'.  So while my Mom was fighting for her life, battling lymphoma and lesions on her brain, all he could think about was that he wasn't getting laid enough.  Not only was he only concerned about getting his rocks off, but he and Mom were intimate on occassion during this period of time, so who knows what the hell he exposed her to.

Needless to say, that is the ultimate last straw.  I completely lost it on his voice mail and called him every name in the book.  And I fully anticipate that will be the last communication I have with him. 

I vacillate between angry and heartbroken most of the time.  My Mom is a mess most of the time, and is now worried that Dad's 'woman' has a key to Mom's house.  Mom doesn't have the money to have the locks changed, so my BIL will be going back out there in a week or so to do it for her.  In the mean time, arrangements have been made for neighbours to help keep a watch for strange people or vehicles in the vicinity. 

Ummm, other details... because of all this craziness, my Dad's parents decided to cancel their 50th anniversary celebration (the reason for our trip out there) and my Grandpa has basically disowned my Dad. 

This is the man that I held up as a standard by which I measured the men I dated.  The man who always seemed so rock solid, in his faith and in his commitment to his family.  I knew he wasn't perfect, but I never EVER would have anticipated this. 

If you've made it this far, you deserve a gold star.  Thanks for reading.  It's helped a little just to get it all out. 

Monday, August 6, 2012

Memorable Moment Monday: A 'Holy Day' Holiday Weekend

Hey Humble Readers...

Here I sit, watching the nail-biter of a soccer game between the Canadian and US ladies in the Olympic semi-final.  Extra time here we come...

It's a nice way to spend a holiday Monday.  Here in Alberta, we celebrate Heritage Day on the first Monday in August, but really it's just another opportunity to spend some time together with my Beloved. 

But for us, the big action of the weekend was yesterday. 

Yesterday morning our wee little mister was baptized.  My Beloved and I stood before our congregation and made many promises on his behalf...

"to live with him among God's faithful people,
bring him to the word of God and the holy supper,
teach him the Lord's Prayer, the Creed, and the Ten Commandments,
place in his hands the holy scriptures,
and nurture him in faith and prayer,
so that he may learn to trust God,
proclaim Christ through word and deed,
care for others and the world God made,
and work for justice and peace."

When he's older (about 13 or so), and goes through confirmation, he will choose whether or not he wants to take those promises on as his own.  But for now, the onus is on us as his parents. 

Pippin was a real trooper through the whole service, wearing that heavy and hot christening gown*, and only letting out a bit of a squawk when our pastor poured the water over Pip's head. 

I always get teary at moments like this in the life of our congregation, but it was especially moving for me yesterday. 

*The christening gown that Pippin is wearing was made from my wedding dress and veil.  Ginny wore it for her baptism as well.  Now it will be drycleaned and boxed away carefully, so that hopefully some day in the future my grandchildren will wear it. 

This was posted as a part of PAIL Bloggers' Memorable Moment Mondays.  Click over and see what others are sharing and to share your own memorable moments

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Sunday Night Chit-Chat

Good Evening Humble Readers...

So, how ya doin'?  Dijya have a nice day?  ;)  I'm kind of giddy just now because a rip-snorter of a thunderstorm just rolled through and it was magnificent!  And it brought a slight reprieve to the wretched heat that has taken up residence in our hobbit-hole. 

I am choosing to declare today a victory.  Pippin's baptism went off without a hitch (more on that tomorrow), I successfully fed 10 people lunch in our wee condo, and we had enough left overs from lunch that I didn't have to cook dinner.  Yes, there were some ucky moments today (even more family drama) but I choose to look at the blessings of this day.

Not the least of which is the fact that I encountered a new-to-me blogger... Carla of 'My 1/2 Dozen Daily'.  And she hosts a fun blog hop on Sundays that I wanna join in on... so I give you Sunday Night Chit-Chat!

Our happy boy!
What are you...

I just started re-reading Harry Potter.  Reading the series just screams summer to me.  This is likely my seventh or eighth time reading the whole series, and I love it more each time.  I love catching all the foreshadowing that Rowling put into it.

Olympic re-caps.  They're talking about the men's singles tennis gold medal match.  I'm not really a tennis person, but that was a pretty astounding game.

Listening to?
My Beloved chatting to Pip as he gives our wee little mister a bottle.  I love how he talks to the kids.

LOL!  It's FAAAAARRRR too hot to cook or bake tonight.  Last night however, man oh man, I was not having fun baking.  I was trying a new recipe, a cinnamon coffee cake with a cream cheese layer (sounds good right?) for the lunch we had after church for our guests.  First go round I was a complete idiot and put the sugar in with the flour.  Then, second go round, I followed the recipe to a T, but instead of being a batter, it resembled biscuit dough.  Not at all conducive to making a coffee cake.  After a meltdown, I ressorted to an old stand-by recipe for a cinnamon loaf and called it a day.

Happy you accomplished this week?
Finally got around to posting ads on Kijiji for the two extra strollers we have.  And I may actually have a buyer already for one of them.  Crossing my fingers!

Looking forward to next week?
My Beloved and I are going on a date night on Saturday night.  We're going for dinner and a movie... either Batman or Timothy Green.  Opinions?

Thankful for today?
My family.  My immediate wee family of four, and my extended family.  Particularly those who drove a full day to be here with us today for Pip's special day, just to turn around and drive back home. 

What hobby have you always wanted to learn? Do you plans on trying to learn? Why or why not?
Part of me would like to learn to sew.  I can cross stitch, and I can handle a needle to do basic mending, but there are crafts that I simply can't consider doing because it involves some sewing.   Maybe someday in the future, when we have the space for me to have a crafting room, I'll pick up a used machine and see if I can figure it out.   

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Against the Odds

Hey Humble Readers...

So do you remember that tomato plant I bought with high hopes back in June? 

And do you remember when I said, "I want to successfully grow one tomato.  Just one."  And then I'll be satisfied...

And do you remember me griping about how my poor little tomato plant got beat up big time by a hail storm? 

Well, I pretty much gave up hope.  All the flowers had been knocked off, and the leaves looked like swiss cheese.  I stopped watering it about a week before we went on vacation and in the intense heat, it looked like it was going to be toast any day. 

I had actually asked my Beloved to throw the plant away because it depressed me to see it out there on our balcony, all wilty.  But in the busy-ness in the run up to leaving on vacation, it got forgotten. 

When we got back from K-town, I opened our front curtains and this is what I saw...

Do you see it?  I didn't notice it at first.  But then that little green gem just sort of jumped out at me.  The leaves were all shrivelled and brown.  But there was this maverick tomato, just hanging on for dear life. 

I left it on the plant, figuring that I couldn't do anything at this point to really help it along.  I would leave it up to fate (if I believed in such a thing).  I just sat back and let it turn from green to a pretty orangey red.

Well, this is what I harvested today...

And just to give you some idea of comparison...

I can't help but laugh at my puny little tomato.  It's sooooo dinky.  But it's all mine! 

Now I just have to decide how I'm going to eat it...

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Hobbit-ish Potpurri:

Good Morning Humble Readers...

I hope that you're all well and enjoying a relaxing morning wherever you are.  Things here in the hobbit-hole are pretty mellow, with both wee-lings napping and Olympic gymnastics are on the tv (Go Dominique Pegg!!).  It's a cool, rainy day in the Shire (why did I not start calling our flatland that long ago??), and it feels more like autumn than the first week of August, but it's a nice respite from the heat and thunderstorms.  And tornado warnings. 

I know that in many areas south of the border, kids go back to school in the middle of August, but the back to school ads that start in July are just a bit depressing.  It's not that I'm a huge fan of summer, but we've still got six or seven weeks of good weather left, and I'm not ready for it to be fall already. 

The back to school ads also mean that I will be facing immense temptation every time I go into and the other big box stores.  Tom Hanks had it right in "You've Got Mail", with his 'bouquets of freshly sharpened pencils'... brand new school supplies just make me happy. 

Mommy-Fail: How sad should I be that one of Ginny's first two-word combos was 'french fries'?  It's not like she gets them often (maybe once every couple of weeks), but talk about sad.  And like I mentioned in her monthly recap post the other day, her vocabulary is increasing every day... including one of the four-letter variety.  Yes, my wee sweet girl heard Mummy say "sh!t" the other day, and of course she repeated it.  *sigh*  Thankfully, she doesn't understand what it means and we didn't react, so it hasn't become a regular part of her speech.

This Sunday is a big day for our wee little mister.  Pippin's baptism is this Sunday (and if you're in the vicinity of the Shire at 10:30 on Sunday morning, you're welcome to join us!) and a significant portion of my family is coming.  Outside of the ongoing awkwardness with my parents, the fact that they will be here is interesting, as we have differing theological views on baptism.  I'm thankful that they will be here to share in this important day though, and now I'm just kind of panicking about what to serve for lunch after the service.

All week I have been drinking apple-cinnamon (2L of water with a sliced apple and a cinnamon stick steeped in it overnight) water as a sort of cleanse, and I'm loving it.  Not only have I lost a few pounds of water weight that were lingering after a vacation involving too much alcohol, but I'm really noticing a difference in my skin too.  Apparently cinnamon is good for balancing blood sugars too, which can't hurt.

Have I told you all recently how much I hate my hair?  I know I'm in the prime time for awful post-pregnancy hair, but really it's just awful.  I had plans to grow out my bangs, but they're driving me nuts.  I have some brilliantly shiny greys that scream at me every time I look in the mirror.  I'm not ready to cut my hair significantly shorter (see pic in Tuesday's post), but I'm just sick of it.  It's dry and dull, and just plain icky. 

I'm loving watching the Olympics, but there is one element of the whole event that I can't stand.  It's the Canadian olympic 'song'.  The melody of it is used ad nauseum by CTV, the Canadian network that broadcasts the event.

"I Believe" was written for the Vancouver games in 2010, and it drove me nuts then, but the fact that it's back and as omnipresent as ever is just driving me nuts.  It's so saccharine and cheesy.  And it gets in my head and stays there all day.  Ugh.

I have finally joined the 21st century and signed up for a Twitter account.  I have yet to actually send a tweet out into the ether, but I'm following a few people including my favourite celebrity chefs.  If you want to follow me (if I ever actually tweet something) I would love it... @missusgamgee