Friday, December 16, 2011

Picture Dump

I'm tired, this morning started out early, 4am, just woke up and was unable to fall back asleep, then for some reason had a power outage for a couple of  hours, came back on around 7am.  The house actually looked pretty all lit with candle light while it lasted.  I did notice that I really don't have alot of options for candle lite things to do. I considered wrapping Christmas presents then realised that although it isn't taxing work, gathering all the necessary items to wrap is tricky in the semi-dark (involves heading down into the basement abyss).
We got D. a little guitar for Christmas because he is doing a lot of this, supervised, since the instruments we have aren't intended for his extreme rock star kind of handling. this is him playing Todd's while Todd watches apprehensively close by. I bought his own guitar at toys r us for $30- after pricing out the smallest ones available from a music store cost $130-. Surprisingly toys r us offered some kind of guarantee for breakage to the guitar if it becomes damaged.  We'll see if the stand by it when this happens.  Not if.  Declan subscribes to the school of rock and roll and punk like this:

Here is our other little guitarist in action, singing while Todd plays is really more her thing, but anytime she asks about a note or wants any direction on her guitar I think it's awesome.
Our little kitten is turning into a big kitten, please excuse all the dirt in the sliding door frame, I didn't even know it was there until I looked at this photo.  Honestly the floors are cleaned annually. 
Another cat photo ('cuse I'm a cat weirdo) of the cat helping decorate the house for Christmas.

Claire got her hair cut short and we are donating it.  Here is her newest hairstyle.  She loves it.  The photo was taken last night at her school's Christmas concert.  Which is oddly a very lacklustre event.
The last photo is a very untimely Halloween shot.  Claire was Frankenstein's bride.  We looked on youtube to get insight into cosmetic and hair tips.  It is an awesome place, the internets.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Play Groups

We've been attending play groups hosted by the Ontario government.  I'm always torn about going.  Little D. is strictly home with me and due to our extreme age difference...I'm not really his peer group.  So I think it doesn't hurt to go to group things that he can witness other kids and their antics.  Problem is...I'm not big on going.  I end up following him around playing with him...basically what we do at home together (although I have lots of play breaks interment with mundane things like cleaning and laundry).   I never talk to other mamas, well not any kind of real talk.  I just don't have it in me to talk about teething, cloth vs. plastic diapers and nursing.  It's not like I'm above all that kind of stuff.  But well....D. is my fifth...and frankly I'm just not interested in talking about it a lot.  I mentioned this to my oldest daughter and she told me that I don't have a friendly face (who knew!!).  I'm going to keep going because D. loves the circle time, he spends his time dragging mini chairs to the parameter of the circle...and claps his hands a lot.  I think he might be a musical clapping prodigy.  Anyway.  Guess we'll keep going...and I'm going to work on my friendly face.   A completely unrelated photo...except don't beluga whales have lovely faces?  Half of my Marineland photos are of the belugas, they were extremely engaging, not sure if we need 25 photos of the belugas for our personal photo collections though.

Matthew Mead Christmas

Really pretty holiday stuff with Matthew Mead...found through blog .
Could my house look like that for the holidays, please?

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

I wish all days were like today!

I am trying to enjoy and soak up days like today..a beautiful warm fall day.  Not letting it feel like the doom of winter is approaching!  It feels so wonderful to be out today.  We went to a play group this morning.  Then came home, had lunch and enjoyed the back yard.  The last of the flowers have bloomed, the giant sunflowers are going to seed (the squirrels and birds haven't discovered them yet).

On Declan's birthday he was thrilled to be able to ride a backhoe (think that's what it was) with a guy that has done the renovations and landscaping at the place where H. works.

Although C.'s birthday isn't till the end of October a couple of weeks ago we went to Marineland with a friend of hers.  They had a blast.  It was a wonderful day.  The weather was great, the girls were nice all day and it was just a lot of fun.

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Craft Area

The Craft Area ('s capatalized...because it's A Very Important Area), doesn't actually exist right now.  It really never has.  In my old house I kept craft stuff in boxes in a designated spot in the basement.  It was always a pain.  I never knew where anything was.  Go figure.  The box system was unsuccessfull.  Really not much of a surprise.  Now in the this house, I still don't have a craft room.  I will eventually.  When my oldest daughter moves out.  That will be the room.  It's an upstairs attic room, with charming sloped walls and white painted floors.  Todd and I had many heated debates about that floor, I really really wanted white floors.  The floor is actually just the subfloor and is a rough grade of pine.  The slats aren't tightly spaced and stuff collects.  Still I won the white floor debate, I told Todd that it was going to be "my" room and that if he didn't want me to decorate the garage he was going to have to give in on white floors.  I'm in no hurry to have my daughter move out.  So it could be quite a while before I have an area.  I embroider.  I want to start quilting.  I have lots of really neat stuff to do tons of other crafty stuff.  But I'm still on the inefficient box system.  I would show you pictures, but I'm too embarrassed.  I've decided I'm going to set up an area in the unfinished part of the basement.  I have a large desk and there is shelving available.  Posting this will (hopefully) help motivate me to start working on this.  Pinterest and a million blogs have such inspiring rooms to drool over!  Here are a few I've been collecting for inspiration.  I am under no delusions that my own area will look half as pretty as any of them.  I'm setting up in an unfinished basement.  However, there isn't any reason not to try!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Time Moves at Warp Speed

How does that happen?  It's the end of June when last I posted and now it's edging into fall.  I meant to...I thought about it...I wanted to...but summer got the best of me.   I feel like this is one of those the dog ate my homework moments.  I'm going to stop apologising because was a busy summer.  We had a lot of fun...and did a million things and I'm going to do a mini photo journal of what we did this summer.  So I can remember at least some of those wonderful moments!
On the animal front... The cat that I rescued from the busy road?  Has gone back to live with my son and his girlfriend.  I'm happy to say that she is adjusting quite well,  and the quiet pace of their home has allowed the cat to relax and become pretty social. So after  a lot of turns and twist in that cat's life, all is good, on a side note the cat went to the vet to get spade...and low and behold...the operation had already been done...!
We have expanded our animal family with a new cat of our own.  We couldn't have gotten a more loving little guy than Sam. Kittens are hilarious...we haven't had such a little one in so long I had forgotten just how crazy and energetic they are.  The mile high jumps and dashes throughout the house...well...he is very entertaining. 

This is the first day we got Sam (we got him from kijiji).  Kind of a weird thing...when browsing through the ads there was one warning of a person that was trying to get kittens for consumption purposes.  I didn't know if it was some kind of bad joke...horrible...I sure hope it was a joke. 

Here is Sam on the cat shelves.  We put these shelves up a couple of years ago for our older cat, Louise, but she never really liked sitting on them.  The new guy can watch the animal wild life (squirrels, birds) from this prime location without being bothered by the kids.  He doesn't seem to mind all the mauling he gets though.
I went to several plays this summer in Stratford too.  Some with Claire, most on my own.  I saw Camelot, Jesus Christ Superstar, Twelfth Night and  The Homecoming.  Do you know the book, The Book of Awesome, well one of the things considered "awesome" is that moment just before a play starts, the anticipation and excitement and how great it feels (sorry can't remember the exact words)...but that's exactly how I feel about seeing a play...they just take you somewhere else...and hopefully if well executed to somewhere worth going! My Mom has always loved the theatre and I can thank her not only for getting me the tickets to all those amazing plays but for watching the little guys while I actually went! Apparently Stratford's production of Jesus Christ Superstar  was so well received it's going to Broadway this year, after it's run in Stratford.  Another cool Stratford outing that Claire and I did was to go to a behind the scene tour of the festival (their main theatre) no pictures aloud there though and then we went to another tour at the theatre's prop and wardrobe location.  Very cool furniture and amazing amazing costumes.

The flower pictures were taken in front of the main Festival Theatre.  They have beautiful gardens there.  Have to stop here...this is part one of summer holidays...the natives are restless!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Teeth and other stuff

The littlest guy is teeth obsessed, he wants to continuously all-day-long brush his teeth, which really means he wants to stick his tooth brush under running water and suck on the wet brush.  So there is lots of time spent in the bathroom right now. 

Notice the two ikea step stools stacked, even then he barely reaches, which is good, since he is getting quite adapt at turning the taps on if he is on a higher stool or chair. 

In other news, on Father's Day, which began  initially as a really nice low-key day turned, Todd was taking Claire to a walk-in clinic because we decided that the pain she had in her ear was legit (sometimes she exaggerates) and backing out of the driveway he ran in Oldest Son's jeep.  Fortunately the jeep wasn't injured, the car hit the monster tire, but our little car was.  The back light, panel and bumper were damaged.  Big Drag.  Car is currently in shop getting beautified.  It's amazing how weird it feels not to have wheels.  I'm a homebody, but I always have the option of taking off somewhere.  I'm seriously thinking that a walk down to Giant Tiger to pick up milk(there isn't many interesting places in our neck of the woods to walk to) just to get out.

Tomorrow is Claire's last day of second grade, and then she'll be off for the summer!  Looking forward to lots of fun with her.  We have the summer list (like lots of families!) stuck on the fridge waiting to be checked off.  On Thursday Claire and I will be going to Stratford to see Camelot (while my mom watches
Declan).  Will continue to look for the Bieb while there. 

Also on the weekend we attended this, which is a "festival for dachshunds", with my Second Oldest Son and his girlfriend.  The kids enjoyed it.  People are really into their dachshunds there.  Really into them.  I have to say, that I do have a new appreciation for their breed.  I generally am drawn to big dogs.  The little dachshunds we witnessed even in very large groups are a peaceable bunch!  Very little snarly interaction at all. 

My Oldest Son has been staying with us until he moves into his very own first home.  Today is his closing.  I can't believe my baby (he is a 6 foot giant baby) but my baby none the less has bought a home.  Can't wait for the tour tonight (I saw it when it was up for consideration a couple of months ago). 

Lots going on. 

Friday, June 10, 2011

The Backyard

Until this year I spent very little time trying to make the backyard a nicer place.  Really that's not entirely true, I kind of did short bursts out there, but my attention was always divided on other things.  This year is really the first time I've consciously tried to come up with a plan.  I'm really enjoying it.  Some existing perennials have been moved around and I've added a number that I purchased (a local nursery is going out of business and all perennials are 40% off).  I want to get some more hostas but I'll wait till end of season sales for those.  Here is a tour of what it currently looks like.  Keep in mind that we are at step 1.  It is definitely a work in progress.  Think kind thoughts!
 Do you see that really tall piece of wood?  It used to be part of a hanging laundry drying line.  When the addition was built the other half was attached to the house.  It has since been removed.  I want to buy one of these from Lee Valley.,42194,67373&ap=1

I digress.  So see the tall wood piece, it has a bird house on the top now.  We don't put bird feed in it though.  Louise the cat would be under the assumption that it would be another way of showing how much we love her, luring poor birds to the yard so she could kill them.  So we don't put feed in it.  Instead it has become the nesting place of a couple of nest building birds.  I have no idea what kind they are.  Pretty little brown things.  Thankfully Louise hasn't noticed them.  Also she is getting old and her hunting has slowed down to the occasional mouse on the front door mat.
It is so jam packed with the nest it's hard to believe there is any room for birds. 

Check out the ingenious method of gaining access to the trampoline.  Temporary!  When the pool goes in the stairs will be put in their proper place.  Although as weird as the half wedding cake stairs look next to the trampoline, they save my back lifting Heavy D up and out of there each time!

This side of the yard is where I have spent my time and energy. All the plants look tiny weeny, but they'll fill out and I imagine in a couple of years it will look much better (I'm hoping!)
Here is my little vegetable garden.  Next year we plan on adding two more beds.  I thought I'd start small this year.  I planted yellow and green peppers, lettuce, snap peas, strawberries, marigolds and zinnias are in there too.  Also down the middle I planted a row of Russian Mammoth Sunflowers, they grow crazy big(around 6 feet) and I love them!

Here is one of the flowering peony plants.  So pretty.  It's Latin name is fried egg peony (no it's not that's just what it reminds me of!) . That's the tour!

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Home made biore strips

I found this recipe that basically simulates what the biore strip does.  Except just as the poster did...I applied it to my entire face.

I'm not an especially hairy person, but right now I know exactly how much (or little) hair I have/had on my face.  I don't know if it's because I didn't follow exactly the instructions, leaving it in the microwave a little longer (30 secs).  Oh mannnnnn..... the removal ...holy smokes!!!!!  I should have read all those comments posted after the 'recipe'.  But my face....feels mahvelous (Billy Chrystal voice)!

Wednesday, June 08, 2011


This morning I went with Big D to a little town just 20 minutes from where I live to go thrifting.  It has an awesome Goodwill and a couple of other smaller stores that proved to be full of great things.  Declan needed some lighter weight p.j.s  and shorts.  One of the non-essentials I found was a really cute single duvet cover.  It is made by Laura Ashley.  Declan will be moving into his own room at the end of June.  I'm looking forward to decorating and setting it up.  He is really into any kind of transportation (ie. trains, planes and automobiles!).  So was thrilled to find the duvet.  There it is at the top of the post.

Also found a dress for Claire that is's by Mexx and it was only $1- (half price for red ticket items today!).

We found this giant Mega blocks dump truck...that in some people's opinion was the best find of the day...and I have had a very quiet afternoon as a result.  Declan is loading it up...and unloading...and waving bye...then going in another room...before returning a second later with the truck. I'm loving the truck too! 
Look at little curly locks in action!  I'm loving his curls...but think we'll trim it slightly for the summer to stay cooler. 

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

The Cat

the cat came not the very next day...but the cat came back....

So, longest cat story ever.  My second oldest son and his girlfriend took the cat, bought all the cat gear.  Then 12 hours later decided it wasn't the cat for them.  They took cat to the Humaine Society were they were misinformed that the cat could live there until it was adopted.  Today they recieved a call that the cat would be put to sleep at 10 am.  I quickly called back and said I would take it back.  I didn't rescue it from a busy 4 lane road to be put to sleep a week later.  The cat will be delivered back safe and sound (hopefully) this evening.  It is not an easy going cat.  It was very skinny when I found it.  It growls and hisses a little. Whatever happened to the little girlie wasn't all good that is for sure.   I hope this cat will work out with us.  It definately was settling in. Getting more and more affecionate by the day (I had it for 4 days).  I am worried that being locked in a cage will definately be a setback for the poor little thing.   My own cat isn't very cat friendly, prefers to be the One and Only.  I hope we all can adjust.  For the record, I would not have brought it there.  I would have kept it here until I had found it a forever home (as they say).  It was not a decision that I made.  Live and learn. 

Sunday, May 29, 2011

things going on

I have to get in a better rythum with this blog thing. I find life so busy I don't post.  But the reason I want to have a blog is so that I remember life as it is.  Quandry.

a lazy method...bullets!

-Claire celebrated her first Communion last Sunday, was a wonderful day
-unfortunately our fridge died that morning (it has been fixed 4 times in the 6 years we have had it, we waved the white surrender flag to it and bought a new one)
-plants agrowing like crazy in the much rain
-I am seriously losing the war on creeping charlie and method I'm trying is spraying on borax, sugar doesn't seem to be doing anything
-today I'm going to Stratford for a garden party with my Mom
-Oldest son has moved home temporarily until he gets possession of his own home (in June)...oldest Son is sooo funny!
-we got an above ground pool from some friends that no longer want it....Am so excited about it!

Little pieces of life.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

the cat

So there is a cat hiding in my bathroom.  Pretending that she (I think it's a she) can't be seen.  Tucked very visibly beside a cupboard and a tupperware container full of kitty litter (we have the kitty litter in there for our own cat). 
The day began innocently enough.  I asked Hannah to stay with Declan so I could go on a pesticide search .  We have a serious case on the front yard of creeping charlie.  And I am slowly but oh so surely getting to be a weirdo lawn person trying to eradicate all forms of green other than grass on the lawn. It isn't going well. Yes, I am so very very very old.  Anyway.  In Ontario we now have serious anti-pesticide laws that allow only for a small number of killing weed products.  And I have read every single article on the internet  about what I should use to kill the c.c. with (I noticed in my reading that serious gardeners and lawn people sometime abbreviate the creeping charlie with the c.c. and as I am following this road allow me to copy them. please.)...So I had a handy dandy list of products with me that the Internet said works.  The Internet is always right.  Right?  Ended up going to three lawn care centers.  No go.  Was heading home to regroup.  Actually to take back over parental duties.  And what to my wondering eyes should I see?  A cat on a 4 lane busy street army crawling.  I actually had only seen it army crawl the last lane and crouching down at the curb.  Once, years ago I watched a cat get hit.  I had pulled my car over and petted it talking to it till it died.  I was a giant heaving mess.  I love cats.  But I had to stay with it because I thought how horrible it would be for an animal to die without any comfort.  I tried my best to comfort it (another person was running around knocking on doors trying to find the owner). 
I pulled into the supermarket that was right beside the curb where the cat was crouching.  I went to it.  I couldn't tell if it had been hit or not.  I was nervous picking it up.  Worried it would turn on me.  But knowing that I couldn't leave it there.  It didn't move much when I picked it up.  But it had frightened giant green eyes that were flicking around everywhere.  I brought it to car and put it down in the passenger seat.  It crawled beside the door.  Good sign.  It moved on its own.  I brought it home.  It is pretty shaken up.  I tried petting it.  It will let me.  I decided to let it wander the house (all doors on rooms are shut).  I'll let you know what happens.

Sunday, April 17, 2011


It's really chilly today, terrible rumours of possible snow on the radio last night (what's with that?!!). 

I went to Stratford on friday night to stay with my mom while Todd worked on the linen closet.  Currently there is piles and piles of linen in the living room waiting for their newly organized space.  The linen closet is in the new addition part of the house and until now didn't have any shelves.  Things were stacked up in garbage bags (quite a decorator look I must say, kind of a de-constructed thing).  Actually I hated it, it bothered me and bothered me.  But there are about a catrillion zillion (yes, that's a real number) other projects to do first.  So the linen closet waited.  Yesterday I came home home to a closet with shelves ....SHELVES and DOORS! Can hardly wait to organize it all....if not to just get rid of the visual caos all the linens have caused in the living room.  Anyway it looks like it will be done today.

Opps...Heavy D. in serious need of a diaper back later!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Lots going on

I'm fighting a terrible cold.  On the weekend I wanted to lie down and veg.  All weekend.  I couldn't.  Admittingly I did  a lot.  But what with life.  It didn't happen all weekend.  I had asked that all the kids join us for dinner on Sunday.  I love having them all together, but it doesn't happen a lot.  Not nearly enough.  So what I decided was to have a regular set date once a month for a family dinner (my oldest son doesn't live at home, and the next oldest son just moved out).  It was wonderful.  My eldest daughter cooked it all.  Which essentially just made me an attendee!  A very happy well fed one! 

In other news I purchased a very nice Little Tikes climber from kijiji. I do prefer wooden climber sets.  But the price was right.  And my SO has so many other home projects on the go, I can't add a climber at this point.  We set it up, pretty easily. 

Yesterday Declan and I went to Michaels and got some cute Easter decorations and I made a wreath for the front door.  It was fun to do.  And my helper...aka... the de-sembler liked the process too!  After much basement looking high and low for the door hanger to attach the wreath to, I remembered I had a 3M command hook.  Awesome!  It's up.

Also over the weekend Declan was sitting in a very low kid's chair, he managed to fall and hit his eye on the corner of the table.  I tried to put ice on it immediately.  The child would not have it.  So he is walking around with a shiner.  I feel like I need to explain to all we come in contact with this particular child's penchant for danger (extreme climbing...fearless kind of guy!)...but it really was a fluke fall with an unfortuante result.  My poor baby!

Last night I taught Claire how to embroider.  She is working on a very cute pillowcase project.  Will show you our inspiration as well as her beautiful work (!).  Am so glad she is enjoying it!  Embroidery has given me much pleasure. 

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


Grandma and D.

Claire enjoying the hammock!  Wish we had one!

Lucky the chick.

A dog that seemed to belong to the hotel, was a lovely friendly little guy!

The sun felt soooo good!

Our morning ritual was to go for a beach walk and visit Diane at the outside cafe.

Sunday, March 27, 2011


I just got back from a two week holiday with my mom and the two youngest kids from Cuba.  I feel like there was so much to process.  Such a beautiful country.  But so much hardship.  Will post pictures in the next couple of days.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

my bambinos

Yesterday I went to my youngest daughters school gymnastics meet.  We ran into one of my older son's previous 5th grade teacher.  "Another one?", she asked, motioning to Baby D.  Yes.  I know it's a little unusual to have kids with giant age gaps between (the oldest is 25, 20,19, 7 and 18 months).  Two marriages is the simplest answer.  I have found that as I've matured my parenting has evolved.  I think I enjoy the younger ones more, I am easier with them, laugh more, more relaxed. The older ones were always there to enjoy but I was busy with life a lot (and single parenting and everything else).  I am more conscious of parenting now . Thankfully, I also have more time to do this. My oldest son brought some house listings over on the weekend for me to go through. And talk about.  Holy crap, imagine that, a homeowner! How amazing is that?  Here is a photo the kids gave me for mother's day a couple of years ago (they surprised me with it, didn't even know they had taken it).  It was pre Baby D. so I'm going to ask that I get an updated version including him in the next little while.  Can't figure quite out how to hook up the scanner to the laptop so it's a photo of the photo...thus the poor quality...forgive me!

Totally unrelated -  A kid's shoe store in our area was going out of business and I picked up these size 7 toddler Blundstone's. 80% off! bringing the cost down to an awesome $20-.  I tried them on D. this morning to see how they fit (still a little big).  Disregard the backwards couch pillows, pillows were needed for forts, and didn't notice till now that they were returned a little haphazardly!
Completely unrelated, again.  I got this awesome frame from my Mom over the weekend.  Think I'm going to put a mirror in it.

Monday, February 28, 2011

bitty and nursing

I'm still nursing...and really I'm getting ready to stop ..a friend of mine teases that we'll end up like the caracters out of the little britian "bitty" if I don't watch it...don't think i will prolong it quite that long...

Friday, February 25, 2011

bieber fever Stratford bound

My mom moved to Stratford last spring a.k.a. the hometown of Justin Bieber.  My 7 year old  is as crushy in love as a 7 year old can be.  We have had several near sightings (not really...she does a double take on any shaggy haired teenager in the Stratford area).  We are heading to Stratford today to help my mom couch shop.  I'll bring my camera just in case the Bieb happens to be out and about looking at couches.  Cross your fingers!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

o'keeffe's hand cream giveaway at shanty2chic

I'm not sure how this happened...I never win anything and last month I won a beautiful photograph by sperlygirl  (I posted about it earlier!) and today in the mail I received O'Keeffe's hand cream which was a giveaway from  I get really dry hands in the winter and with the extra hand washing due to frequent baby diaper skin cracks.  I hope that it helps!  Will keep you posted how well it handles the situation (ughh...I can't comfortably use the words "the situation" any longer due to Jersey Shore) my rough skin!