Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Holiday Happy!

The season is officially upon us! My inlaws arrive today and the to-do list keeps on growing. My kids are SO excited, especially my three and-a-half year old, who bolted across the carpet at the mall when given the go ahead to see Santa and LAUNCHED himself onto the guy! I have never seen him deliver a hug with such enthusiasm. My 20 month-old cried the whole time, but I pretty much expected him to be confused about the whole sitting-on-a-strange-dude's-lap thing. His brother was the same way two years ago!

I got most of our send-away gifts out yesterday with family who are traveling to the big Van today. I am really glad I took the time to make some homemade gifts - see my food page - as they are being very well-received. A new addition to the pancake mix was some pure maple syrup which I transferred into pretty jars and spiced with cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon. The way this beautifies something which is already so decadent and delicious is amazing. It smells GORGEOUS! I will have to try it for our own Christmas breakfast.

Yesterday morning was quite beautiful, and as we watched "the sky wake up" (in the words of my son) I made the kids a lovely breakfast snack of "Christmas toasts with chocolate and snow." They loved it. I'm going to make Giada's stratiacella dessert again - see my food page for the link - and put it in the freezer for Christmas Day. Not a traditional dessert for the holidays but I think it will go over well. So yummy.

Our Christmas tree this year turned out to be much smaller than we thought it was, and so it's up on the kids' train table (which they graciously sacrificed at the promise that there would be even more room for presents this way). It has evolved a little since we took this photo but it's a fun, wonky little tree, and probably our last small one as next year we will be in our living room with its 13-foot ceiling!

Today the kids and I will go for a long walk and once I've tuckered them out, we'll return home for lunch and naps, and a major cleaning blitz for mommy! I will be glad to see the other side of it and glad to see my in-laws - yes, it's true - as it will mark the real beginning of Christmas for us. From there on in it will be about wrapping gifts, seeing friends and enjoying family. YAY! I love Chrissamiss.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

I LOVE CHRISTMAS!

My house is a mess! My kids are twice as busy as I can keep up with and my to-do list is ten times as long. And that's okay!

Every year I try to do too much. People tell me not to, but I LOVE making and buying and beautifully wrapping special things and especially giving them to those I hope will be happily surprised at how personal, fun or thoughtfully chosen their little treats are. I use a lot of twine and little brass bells when I wrap things up - it's simple but festive - and I bought some of those label punches so I can make my own tags with fun paper. For my kitchen gifts I add a larger tag or recipe card with instructions on how to make and tie it on with twine and a nice piece of fabric.

So far this year I have made homemade pancake mix with holiday spices and ingredients and vanilla orangecello - check my food page for the recipes. The pile of gifties and stocking stuffers is growing and I hope to get on the wrapping this week so I don't have to put my back out in another 24-hour marathon (last year was painful but I think I got to the chiropractor in time)...I also found a couple of wreath bases for a couple of dollars at the thrift store and decorated them with inexpensive potpourri from Superstore and some reindeer ornaments I got for 50 cents apiece at the dollar store. I also had a string of old painted wooden beads I added to one and I think it looks awfully cute. Now I just have to convince my husband to put a nail in the front door so I can hang it up (one of the challenges of living with a builder is that they detest marring finished surfaces, even in the name of making a home feel homier and more festive...).

I still have some shopping to do but my cards are ready to mail and I even have a real family photo to send this year. My husband is, to say the least, as anti-poser as they come and HATES to sit for photographs, but after several days of nagging, he complied. We only got one where we were all smiling as Noah, our 20 month-old, cried the entire time, and of course I look a little too happy in that one (but fine in the one where our three year-old, Griffin appears drunk, and Noah perplexed)...but I am thrilled, nonetheless.

This year my in-laws are coming to stay with us. It's Papa's first Christmas with his grandsons, and also the first year the boys will both be old enough to feel the magic of the season. I can't wait to witness their excitement on Christmas morning. And though I am not religious, I am going to PRAY FOR SNOW! We will miss seeing my side of the family this year, but now that we have young children we can't have everyone at once (at least not until our new home is ready).

Christmas dinner can be stressful if not planned ahead. I highly recommend the Christmas edition of Jamie Oliver's magazine, if you can find one (it's a British publication but I found it in Chapters). The heading on the cover is "Christmas With The Olivers" and the issue includes a chronicle of their Christmas at Jamie's parents' place last winter (now that's thinking ahead). Anyway, it's full of great tips and photos and recipes and I am ready to plan an awesome meal, delegate the parts out to those wishing to help, and those who don't can have clean-up duty. If you are the primary cook for your household, make sure you get things organized ahead of time so you can enjoy yourself too! I will photograph as much of our spread as possible and try to journal here throughout the holidays (we shall see!).

We haven't decided which charity (or persons in need) we will contribute to helping yet for the year. Every year we give to someone (or an organization that helps someones). We do know that we want to help out families with children. Suggestions are welcome, the more local the better but we will consider anyone in real need.

May this holiday season for you be all about paying it forward, showing people you love them and getting a little break to curl up with a loved one or a good book. Oh, and HAPPY FESTIVUS! Please feel welcome to leave comments about what Christmas means to you.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Onward & Upward!

So, this weekend we will apparently be able to go and STAND ON THE MAIN FLOOR OF OUR HOUSE. I am beyond excited. Working on the kitchen floor plan has almost driven me over the edge. Everyone has an opinion so it's time for me to sit down ALONE and go over my options. I have a better idea of how I want the space to feel, but unlike my husband, who builds houses all the time, I have trouble visualizing the actual space if I can't be in it. The walls and ceiling are going to be up soon and then I will really have to start making decisions...I will post a link to the Horizon website and if you go into the Projects page you'll be able to look at the photos of our build in progress. Just select the "LEED Platinum Home" shots.
I shall return soon, but for now that's what's new...Happy weekend all!
http://www.horizoncontracting.ca/default.aspx?PageID=1000

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Hiatus done!

I've been a horrible, horrible blogger in recent weeks. My laptop died and was not healed until almost three weeks had passed! It was terrible.
At any rate, I am back online and will be writing more and more. Here is a lovely recipe for the giving season (click food page).

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Just Saying Hi

Haven't been writing much of anything lately as a close friend has been in crisis and I have been pretty focused on helping her through it. I won't write about the specifics here though as it is a personal matter for her.

What is on my mind is that life can change in a moment, in a way you don't expect it to. I wake in the mornings lately and have to shake off my disbelief at what my friend is going through. Now that I have spent time with her I know she is strong enough - remarkably so - to move forward with hope and courage in spite of tragedy and loss. It makes me think, though. The human condition seems so fragile, so temporary, but we can withstand so much when forced to. I think things do happen for a reason, even if we wish they wouldn't have happened at all, and certainly can cause us to take pause, and get a little perspective on what we want, where we're going and what we're doing. I know this is a little vague but it's what I'm thinking about today. Sometimes we have to be jolted to really take a look at ourselves. Sometimes it sucks to do so, but it sure can be useful in one's personal evolution.

On another note, I just posted two recipes on my food page: one is for a lemony, yummy chicken picatta, and the other is for eggs baked in tomatoes and peppers - a wonderful breakfast. Both are easy to make. Enjoy...

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

To Tell the Tale...

I have been in a constant state of motion since my arrival home from the hospital. I am five days post-op and today my energy levels have finally crashed. While I knew I would have to be somewhat still following surgery, I didn't realize I would have so much trouble doing so - both by my own fault and just by necessity. It has taken time to get my husband and then the temporary nanny accustomed to the boys' routines and yesterday was a whirlwind, showing her around and dealing with the kids' cabin fever after a rainy weekend!
Went to the doctor to get my incisions checked and I appear to be healing up just fine, but I do need to slow down today and for a couple more. I will spend the afternoon napping and daydreaming about snazzy new shirts.

I have planned to do this for nearly 20 years. My originals arrived early and fast and during the already confusing and mortifying time that is adolescence. Before I got boobs, I wanted them desperately. My friends and I took our cues from "Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret" by Judy Blume, doing ridiculous chicken wing exercises and reciting our mantra: "We must, we must, we must increase our busts..." I had no idea what I was in for. I went from nothing in about grade four to a full C by early grade seven, and they just kept growing. The sexual harrassment that accompanied the much-desired attention from the boys at school was confusing and shaming, and aside from my closer friends the girls were often unkind too...There was even a teacher who participated, mostly by laughing along with the guys when they made their rude remarks. When I finally went to a guidance counselor for help, the school administration treated my situation like their own personal Jerry Springer show.

"You GRABBED her breasts, ______?" The principal demanded, as my one physical harrasser and I sat next to one another in her office. Her beady eyes shone and I could tell she was enjoying his discomfort and my own. He responded, almost proudly, that yes, he had. In fact, he had been approaching me from behind in the hallways between classes, grabbing my breasts and lifting/shaking my entire body up and down while he copped a feel and impressed his friends, who frequently would cheer him on. I tolerated this for about two years before seeking help. Thinking that I wouldn't be allowed to date, ever, I had not told my parents what was going on. When I demanded that the principal and counselor not inform them of my complaint, these "educators" actually agreed to keep it quiet. With the twisted logic of a fourteen year-old girl, I felt that was best. Obviously, now I see that I should have sought the guidance of my folks, or at least stood up and defended myself - at about a foot taller than my perpetrator I could easily have put him out of commission had I the skill or wherewithall...But I just didn't have the self-respect or courage. The risk to my social "freedom" was too high. Ha!

After allowing us to return to class, the principal came to our door and demanded that ALL of the boys return with her to the gym. She purportedly interrogated them there, during which time I received dirty looks from my female classmates for snitching on the boys - for abuse I clearly deserved - and when they returned I was called back to her office a last time. She eyed me judgementally; told me the boys had said I liked the way they spoke to me. As though I could seriously be guilty of wanting to hear, every day, in every class, about the shape of my body and the gross way in which it reflected my character. As if their open discussion of my physicality was not a violation of my privacy but a right they all had. I assured her that no, I did not enjoy their abuse, and she said something about how it shouldn't happen again, which really meant that she'd addressed the issue technically, and I should really just shut up about it and move on.

CLEARLY, this was a time during which my confidence was lacking. If I could go back and handle it anew...I would put the little bugger on the ground in an all-out tackle - screw the feminine wiles - and made sure all of my peers understood that to mess with me again would result in pain. I would have gotten a job, started running, made other friends, and stopped having time for the jerks at all. A good lesson here is that adolescents need hobbies, and pals outside of their school circles. Allowing their locker-side social interactions to become their primary focus is no way to encourage autonomy.

I am stronger for it all, though. It's true. My excessive natural endownments have encumbered me at times, but they also fed my children and accompanied me through every step of my crazy life. Before I went to sleep the night prior to surgery, I took a moment and thanked them. I was completely ready to let them go, but I felt I owed them that.

My boobs afforded me a learning curve in my life (sorry, awful pun) which has resulted in my being someone who knows herself well. I know what I will tolerate from others and what I will not. It is of high priority that I not waste time with people who ooze disrespect or negativity. I am a role model to my boys, and they will choose the people in their lives as I choose the ones in mine. If I am to do good and be good for those I love, I need to make choices that allow for that. Full stop.

At an H cup (give or take - when you're that big you don't really know for sure) post-childbirth, I was suffering from back and neck pain and feeling utterly disheartened about my figure. I felt matronly and like I was hauling around udders, not moving comfortably about with a regular pair of breasts. I would have the surgery again in a heartbeat. I feel great. I feel sexy again, even while stuffing my bra with gauze. Exausted, recovering...but ready to take on the world and buy some new clothes!

Check out the following link for a glimpse of how I feel about my new ones (obviously, excepting the part at the very end, when Mary Louise spots the ominous mafia thug) ~

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Fm0LhJVPNI

Saturday, September 4, 2010

They're real, and they're spectacular...

Well, I arrived home this morning after having to stay the night in hospital unexpectedly due to a bad reaction to the anasthetics. Lots of nausea and a bit of vomiting resulted in a lot of gravol and more sleep than I have probably had since before my oldest was born!

The surgery was a great success from what I can tell so far. I had photos to show my surgeon beforehand thanks to a woman I met on the breasthealthonline.org site who gave me permission to use them. Her befores were a lot like mine and she had a great result. My surgeon looked at them closely and agreed it was a good goal so I felt we were on the same page going in. When she examined me afterwards she said it looked like I would get the results I wanted, and that everything seemed pretty symmetrical. Only time will tell and I am definitely sore and groggy from all the anasthetics and painkillers in my system, but I am SO happy I did this. I wasn't expecting to be so pleased because I was pretty fearful going in, but if I can manage to heal up properly I think I will be thrilled with the results.

It will be a little while before I can start shopping by I will be sure to post pictures when I find something wonderful that I couldn't have worn before. I am so excited!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Here We Go (or, One Hell of a September)

I'll begin this short post with a little decorating idea I've come up with. I don't know why but I'm obsessed with this old glass insulator I have...the ones that used to protect the wires up on telephone poles back in the day. My parents used to have a small collection of them which sat on our windowsill and caught the light.

This one is particularly beautiful. I love the colour and the little bumps on the bottom. I want to collect many like this, drill little holes through their tops, install chandelier bulbs inside them, come up with some sort of industrial rig to hang them on, and use the fixture over the island in my kitchen. Maybe I'm crazy but I think it could be very cool. It's a good thing I have about a year to figure it out and collect all the pieces. I also saw some old glass boat buoys in a similar colour in a magazine, which could have similar potential.

On another note...I have two more sleeps before the big operation. I have kept verrry busy organizing and cleaning my home and getting meals put in the freezer for recovery week(s), taking care of the kids and so on...so while I have been feeling increasingly afraid of the actual surgery I have managed not to think about it in excess. Knowing me, I will just be drifting away to the land of the great sedative when I decide "I can't do this! They're going to cut me up!" I will go to leap off the gurney and run for the hills, only to realize that I can't move because hey, I'm asleep...zzz...

I have given this many years of thought, though, and think it's for the best. I am ready to get rid of the back and neck pain, improve my posture and go running without having to wear two bras! Ha. I was pointed to a fantastic website by a friend of a friend - thank you Robyn! - which I must highly recommend: http://www.breasthealthonline.org/ and will include in my list of links. It is essentially an online forum for women like me who are going to have breast reductions, augmentations, tummy tucks etc., or have had them already. There are nurses and other health professionals as well who give advice and respond to questions, and Annette, the woman who runs it, is amazingly present all over the conversation boards, and full of amazing information.

This may be my last entry before I go in on Friday morning. Wish me luck and I will report back on how I am feeling...

Sunday, August 15, 2010

On a personal note...

So. Maybe this is too much information but it's on my mind a LOT right now. I am having a breast reduction in less than three weeks. As the time draws nearer, I'm feeling nervous about it, but not so much that I won't go ahead. I've been planning to do it for a long time, and waited only so my boys could have the benefit of breast milk.

In the immediate sense my concerns are around hiring someone to help out with the lifting of and playing with the kids, meal preparation and cleaning in the weeks following the surgery. The doctor says it will be about fourteen days before I can pick up my boys and I don't want to jeapordize my recovery by doing anything I shouldn't. In the meantime I'm trying to stock up on groceries and prepare easy meals I can freeze ahead.

On a more personal level, I've started having amusing - ahem - dreams about being back in junior high school enduring the taunts of my classmates. My "decolletage" arrived early and it definitely changed my life - how I felt about myself and how others treated me. Would I change things if I could go back? Hell yes, on a few different levels. I suppose that's the human condition, though, and what doesn't kill you makes you stronger, right?

If I can accomplish anything at all while recovering from surgery, I hope I will be able to type because I feel a story coming together. I think girls have such a rough go of it where the transition from girlhood to womanhood is concerned. So much projection to process, from the media, the community, and their peers. These days it's even harder with the obesity epidemic at an all-time high and coinciding with the height of anorexia in Hollywood and the fahion industries. What to do?

I plan to write a piece that examines my own experience growing up (and out, as nature would have it), what it's like for girls in a broader sense and the experience of my surgery and recovery. Should be a doozy.
Here's hoping I can find the time to get it written! Please, universe, let my children sleep through the night, just once...

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Goodbye old friend...

My delinquency in writing here is in part due to the fact that two weeks ago today, we had to put our 13 year-old English Mastiff, Rupert, to rest. I knew that it would be hard to write about it, but that I would have to.

He had a wonderful life and outlived his breed average by four to five years. He was gentle and loyal and silly as all get out. One time when he was oh, around four, we heard him come up the stairs from where we were sitting in our TV room. My husband saw in his periphery as Rupe checked to see if he was looking, then snuck quietly into our bedroom instead of joining us across the foyer. Tim nudged me and motioned for me to listen. After a moment, we heard a "creeeeeeak" in our room. Tim tiptoed over and peeked around the corner at the doorway to find Rupert, spread-eagle on his back, on our bed and writhing around with glee.

"RUPERT!" He said, and the instantaneous response was a full 180 degree flip to upright position, and a hanging head because he sooo knew he was in trouble. It was so funny though that we just ended up laughing and giving him a snuggle.

He was spoiled to be sure, but my god, he was beautiful and sweet. In the end, the arthritis and muscle loss in his back legs were so bad he could barely get up the three stairs to our porch entry, his bladder was starting to fail, and he was going deaf and blind. What was really hard was that I didn't have any peace and quiet in his final days to just sit with him, and talk to him, and really let him know he was mine and I was his and that I was so grateful to him. My one and three year-olds were being particularly relentless that week and giving us trouble at bedtime (teething and monster fear), so the little bit of quiet I would normally have used for such a thing wasn't available to us.

The next day, my husband and I had our fifteenth anniversary (five years married but fifteen together in total) and the following night we actually got away for one night - our first time away from the boys with my Dad & Stepmother staying with them - and went to a little cabin on the ocean.

When we arrived it was mid-afternoon and such a stellar day. The sun was on the ocean and it was quiet and beautiful. I was still in agony about Rupe. Suddenly I felt like he was there, all around us, in the warmth on my skin, filling my whole body, and I just sat there and soaked him up for like an hour. I don't believe in God in any traditional sense, but it was the closest thing I've experienced to religion in my life. I feel a little bit hopeful in a new way; maybe the soul can remain intact after the body dies. I don't feel sure, but I don't know what to do with the alternative possibility.

I'm finally getting through my days without constant crying jags, but there are still those moments where I cut the crusts off the kids' toast and remember he's not here to eat them, or I come home from grocery shopping and realize he's not waiting to greet us. I'm thankful for the gorgeous portrait my best friend painted of him as our wedding gift, and of every photograph we have of him, and for every moment he was here with us. My world is more beautiful because he was a part of it.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Glorious Fabric Nostalgia!


This won't be much of a written entry, but I've been trying to get organized around my house. In so doing I've been finding what I suppose I could call my crafty collections. I wanted to document some of them visually so I have some starting points as I begin to plan the interior of various rooms in our home and so on. If I really love a fabric or even a trim detail it can spark a whole onslaught of related fun decor ideas.

Here are some fabric samples from my collection and also some French lace I bought at a little thrift store in the south of, yup, France, a few years ago on my honeymoon. I will definitely be using some of what you see even if only for small projects like cushions or lampshade trim or whatever. I'm really looking forward to showing this stuff to our designer before we begin on the interiors so he can get a clear idea of who I am and just how engrained in my romantic, hippy soul the nostalgia of kitsch really is. I love old fabrics and papers and things that evoke memories...of people, things, places, even music.

I also came across an old jewelry box today & will try to add a photo later. Hope you enjoy the eye candy! It totally excites me.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

We're building a house!

I find this entire process overwhelming and amazing. It's simultaneously too good to be true and too much to handle! We went to see the property today and it's incredible to walk around in the actual foundation of our home, view the shape of it's perimeter, and talk about how the rooms will flow and so on and what we'll do with the landscape when it's done.

I forgot to take pictures but will do so next time. It's not much to look at right now anyway and I've forgotten the terminology for the kind of footings we're using. Essentially we've got styrofoam molds in place, which are reinforced vertically with steel beams before concrete is poured in to provide the real strength. This will all be done in stages from the ground up. The sound-proofing should be great with this type of a structure, and I'm counting on it since the theatre room may end up right under my bed! My husband doesn't seem to think this could be a problem for his insomniac wife...but that's another talk show. We will also be putting in a gigantic rainwater cistern (sp?) underground which should provide most if not all of the water for our gardens. I am really excited about growing our own food but the planning for that will come later.

In the meantime, and since this is really Tim's territory in the process (he's a contractor), I am dreaming up a storm in regard to interior finishes and decor. In particular the kitchen is on my mind. I adore cooking and want this to be a real hub in our home. We do have an open floor plan in mind for the main floor of the house which will include the kitchen, dining and living areas, so I am trying to come up with ideas around how we can define each space in ways that make sense without separating them too much.

I've started scrapbooking and with my scanner pilfered (Tim took it to his office and I can tell I'm going to have to replace it because they're using it every day) the only way I can share any of it with you is to post a photo or two. They won't be great visuals but for now, better than nothing! Can't wait to really get into materials and colours for the kitchen. The whole house, actually. I want an overall kind of 70's landscape postcard hues effect...if that makes any sense at all. Lots of lake greens and sky blues and old truck reds...but all muted, or subtle in their detailed application. We will have a lot of wood and stone/tile surfacing in the house so we'll need to use colour for balance. It is going to be so fun.


Friday, June 25, 2010

Me, Myself and the Insomniac...

It's 4:08 AM. I can't sleep.

It's not for lack of trying. The scene from last night is something like this:

My husband and I, bagged and sweaty from a long hot day, manage to be in bed at about 9:40. He is
sound asleep by 10 and snoring away.

I lay on my side next to him, reading my David Sedaris book and slowly accepting that I was going to have to get up for a while and hope my brain would shut off a bit later. Before I leave the bedroom I think about what I might do while I'm up. I grab the Windex from our bathroom, remembering that the pets are asleep in the laundry room, and if I wake them up I wake everyone up.
Got up, donned the husband's pajama pants and tee and grabbed my book & the windex. On my way down the stairs I quietly clean the milk spatters of the windows on our landing. Upon arriving in the kitchen I am reminded of the three postcards I picked up from the mailbox on the way home; they are from my closest friend and a delight to read. I write three in response and then sit down for a budgeting and online banking session. After an hour or so I mix up half a neocitran and head back up to bed.

I lie there, and my husband snores. I think about the window we left open in our one-year old's bedroom and the likelihood he's thrown off his blankets, as usual. Every time I start to drift off, something wakes me. A vision of my three year-old standing at the edge of a cliff. Tim rolling over. The drapes brushing against the window as a breeze blows in. After another hour I give up and get up again.

On the bright side, I've now done most of the cleaning for the day ahead, made my lists and planned my meals, which should ensure me an afternoon nap. The kids will rest after lunch, and so will I.

Why can't I switch off this brain? Because I am fortunate enough to be juggling two beautiful kids and a house I can't quite keep up with. There is always something else to do, or another errand to be run...and this way, while I will be exhausted beyond belief as the kids and I plod through our morning, at least I will be able to rest assured I have started the day, for once, prepared. Well, we'll see how I feel about that in an hour when our three year-old wakes just as I've finally drifted off for the first time, all night.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Father's day blitz!

Today is both father's day and my husband's birthday, so it's been a busy one. I wish I had time for a nap!

Got up at six with the kids and my three year-old was being a menace from the get-go...hitting his little brother, stealing his toys and hurling his breakfast to the floor just as I was trying to decorate Daddy's cake! By the time Tim came downstairs, I was in tears. What can I say but it's the worst possible timing for my PMS to show up!

Griffin insisted that Daddy open all his gifts the second he got up, so I made him a coffee and we watched him grin happily while the boys clambered all over him, decorating themselves with ribbons and bows.

Took a few moments to splash my face and put on some mascara and pulled off a pretty sweet brunch. My Dad and Stepmom joined us and we had a blast! Forgot to take a picture but it was the weekend breakfast we usually avoid for the ridiculous calorie count - the works with fresh orange juice, bacon, eggs, waffles, strawberries, and of course real maple syrup. I can't say all these things were totally local, but that's a mission I will have to take on slowly while I wait for my garden capacity to expand with our move in the coming year. In that spirit, though, we finished up our coffee and headed to the local farmer's market, Jan coming with me and the kids and Dad joining Tim for a rip in his fast car. We were a bit late & missed out on a few of the best produce items but still scored some delicious garlic scapes, potatoes, peppers, tomatoes, cucumber, salsa and flowers.

In the coming weeks I am going to be reworking my weekly schedule; while my mandate here is to come up with a system that "works" in the management of my household, I should really qualify that with the resounding statement that so far I am not succeeding! There is ALWAYS a pile of laundry taunting me from behind closed doors, or a puddle of pee interrupting my attempts to leave the house in a tidy state before we dash out only to arrive late at any given appointment, or bills to pay or phone calls to return...

It may be a long road ahead, but I am determined to find a balance that allows me to keep happy kids, a clean home and still have time for the cooking, writing and art that I love! It may sound impossible, but I have this theory: with wine at proper intervals, anything is possible.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Rainy Sunday

(Please feel free to post comments and feedback!)

Had an active morning with the kids as the husband is off dirtbiking today.
It started pouring just as I was loading the kids into the double stroller for a run...six kilometres later we were pretty wet (they have a canopy, of course). Went to the farmer's market anyway thinking it would be deserted or possibly closed and it was bustling! The kids got a cookie and we made off with some tomato, cress & herb plants, a cute little blueberry pie, some homemade salsa & apple butter, and a beautiful bag of mixed greens. Forgot to get eggs or meat because we were drenched and needed to get home to warm up.

We stopped for some pediatric advil on the way home because our little one is teething big-time and then I got the boys home for lunch and a warm bath, milk and naps! It's been a workout and a half.

Can't wait to plant my tomatoes and watercress, but it's still raining so I suppose I really have no choice but to run a hot bath and make some tea while the kids snooze soundly.

Sigh (I love this life).

Friday, June 4, 2010

The kids are asleep!

It is Friday night and my chilren are resting peacefully.

That rolls off the tongue so fluidly, so naturally, and yet...With a three year-old who's afraid of the dark (even when it's still light out) and a one year-old in the throes of teething hell, it's a rarity these days.

Now, the sound of my husband's fight on the television, my black cat's silhouette in my periphery and the feel of my still-toasty, post-bath, tuckered carcass are the only things commanding my attention. My husband's eyelids look heavy as he watches his show, and I know we won't last the length of a movie if we start one. It's already 9:21.

This is life right now. Ten years ago the party might have just been getting started and the thought of crawling into bed this early would have seemed ridiculous. But in eight hours or so, one of the boys will wake up. We will change a diaper or two, put our youngest back to bed, and our oldest will end up in our bed, burrowed between us as we steal an extra 20 or 30 minutes of intermittent sleep...

There is nowhere I'd rather be.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Women are making art out there!

This weekend was unusually packed with creativity sitings for me. Saturday morning, we picked up the sitter and I headed into town to Birgit Piskor's annual plant sale (she's a close friend & neighbour of my stepmother)...which has now turned into more of an art sale with her astounding sculptural pieces. If you haven't seen these you should. They are pricey, but powerful. Then, today, my husband was up-island in a race so I packed up the kids and took them to the "What Women Want" Garden Party Event on King Street, and found some beautiful gifts. Aprons made with vintage fabric, handpainted wooden memory games and blocks for kids, not to mention the gorgeous silver, leather and textile-based jewellery of the brillant Jana Stevenson. I will be adding some links so you can check out some of the merchandise.
In short it was a treat to get out and see what creative people are doing with their time. I've had so many ideas over the years and so rarely have I managed to give them form! It's wonderful to see women out there, going for it, and doing well.