Monday, 21 October 2013

Another month, another blog

Ugh! I promise I really do try to keep up with this whole blog thing. I'm just not all that good at it.

Life is life. Nothing really changes, though I am still trying to make things better. I think I'm such a downer today because I'm sick and really would just prefer curling up under the covers and sleeping the day away. At least I'm hoping that my sadness is caused by this virus. I am just ready for something new and exciting to happen. Life can get pretty monotonous and it is so easy to just settle. I am ready to change that! First, I need some chicken soup, a whole lot of rest, and some fresh ideas to get me motivated! Here's to making that happen!

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Oz the Great and 3D

Well, after doing some online research, I decided to splurge and go to the 3D version of Oz the Great and Powerful. I am glad that I did.  Not that I could truly say whether or not it was the right decision without seeing the regular version as well to compare, but honestly, the truly spectacular 3D moments made it worth it to me. Actually the best 3D moment was when my son tried to catch a snowflake (or fluff, not sure) because he thought it was in front of him.  (If you ask him, he will swear he caught it).

Firstly, may I just say that I love my children dearly, but I think I would have enjoyed this movie more, had they not been there. Well, not the little ones, at any rate. There were moments in the middle that were on the boring side, so they were a little squiggly, as was the child behind me that kept tapping his foot. I was sitting between both of my sons, who both at one time asked after a scary moment, why we had to watch the movie in 3D.  Still, overall, it was a good experience, as everyone was exclaiming what a good movie it was afterwards.  My eldest and I also had to endure a half hour of questions.  It seems that my children had several inquiries about the witches.

As for the acting, I found it fine.  I had read an online review that criticized both James Franco and Mila Kunis' performances.  I found James Franco to be...well, James Franco.  It wasn't spectacular, but not horrible either.  But as for Mila Kunis, I loved her performance.  She played both sides of her character amazingly.  Ignore the haters, Mila!  You were awesome.

All in all, I enjoyed the movie and am glad that I had the chance to see it in the theatres.  For the five of us (one daughter didn't want to come and hubby was working), it cost about $70 for the tickets and food (we split 2 drinks and 2 bags of popcorn). Tomorrow's excursion will be much less expensive, as we will be going to the Museum of Nature after 5pm, so that admission is free and parking is only $5. That sort of plan gives me much less financial anxiety!

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

March Break Madness - Tuesday

It's the Tuesday of March Break, which for our family means Movie Day.  Oh, how I long for the days from my childhood of Two Dollar Tuesdays!  I can remember when they raised the price to $2.50.  With 5 kids, I have no choice, but to go on the "cheap" day.

Our movie of choice is Oz The Great and Powerful.  Yesterday, we watched some movie trailers online, and this trailer gave me goosebumps.  Hope it's as good as the trailer!  For once, my children all agree on the movie, so we have avoided that argument, thank goodness.

I have spent the past hour trying to find information on Ottawa's old movie theatres and making sure that I was right in my memory that I had, in fact, watched Star Wars at the Nelson Theatre. All references seemed to show it playing at the Somerset (which I remember going to as well, but not for Star Wars).  I was four years old when the first Star Wars movie was released, so I started doubting myself. Wow, I feel old, but I remember waiting in line at the Nelson Theatre with my mom and stepdad. I remember how awed I was by the grandeur of the theatre, as well as the movie.  I know that my children feel awed at the movies as well, but there is something about the atmosphere in today's theatres that is lacking.  I know that there are two remaining old cinemas in Ottawa, The Mayfair and The Bytowne, but the movie selection is not what we had in mind for our March Break Movie.  Perhaps, I will have to take them some other time. For the record, the Mayfair is playing The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey at 3pm this March Break, two of my five children have already seen it, so it's not the right choice for us.

Now, I just have to decide if I want to splurge on 3D.  Decisions, decisions.

P.S. Flight Update - Just a quick word on my flying experience on Saturday: It was brilliant.  Awesome.  Like seriously awe-some.  I will be doing a full post about it, complete with pictures, when I get the chance.

Friday, 8 March 2013

Happy International Women's Day!

Not sure how to celebrate, though I suppose that tomorrow's flight with my girls will be a celebration of Women!  I am less panicky about the flight today.  That is bound to change tomorrow, but for now, I'm doing okay.  I do feel badly though for my eldest who may have to fly alone.  It occurred to me at 3am (as brilliant or troubling thoughts often do) a couple nights ago, that we may not all be able to fly together.  I guess it will still be bonding, but I would definitely prefer if we were all together.

My youngest daughter is starting to have a few doubts, or maybe she is just protesting because I won't let her have a sleepover tonight.  Oh, 9 year old girls!  I love her to pieces, but I must admit that the past few months have been a nightmare with her.  I was speaking to her friend's father and we were both in agreement that there are two predominant states of being for our daughters these days: anger or  tears.  Seriously, she has so few "normal"moments (or what I considered normal, only a few short months ago).  The rest is the Roller Coaster of Pre-pubescence.  And let me tell you, this roller coaster is not fun. Daughter #2 is also having a tough time, as she is going through a rough patch with her boyfriend of almost 6 months.  AND Daughter #1 just made the courageous decision of switching school this week.

I think that this Flight will be a welcome distraction for all of my darling daughters!

After the flight, we are doing some typical girly things; we will be training bra shopping for the youngest and the girls will be getting their hair done (or hair did, as my Southern friend Julie would say).

I suppose that is a great way to belatedly celebrate International Women's Day.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

The Magical Snowman

This morning, while grumpily driving back home from my morning round of Chauffeur Mom duty, I noticed a big ol' snowman on one of the lawns in my neighbourhood.  I couldn't help but smile.  There is something magical about the snowman.  He was able to transform my mood, and give a lift to my heart.  The snowman is innocent, built simply with the purpose of fun. Made of that sticky snow that reminds us all of childhood and times when we had less cares in the world.  When we could just play in the snow and enjoy it.

Picture of the Snowman taken in the evening

Another example of this magic was last week, when after that huge snowfall that hit Ottawa, the next morning while trying to get around on the slushy, slippy roads, there on the median was a whole army of Snowmen.  I wish I had gotten a picture. Unfortunately, driving and taking pictures is not recommended. I found this one posted on the CTV Facebook page. Talk about someone taking lemons and making lemonade!  Again, I felt lightened, like this simple family of Snowpeople, made things a little bit better in the world.

So, should there be another snowfall, this year, I vow to get out there, and make my own happy Snowman!  Maybe I will be able to brighten someone's mood, or at least my own, every time I look out my front window.

Monday, 4 March 2013

Monday Morning....What Promising Plans Does This Week Hold?

Another Monday morning is here.  I am tired.  Two nights in a row, I have literally fallen asleep on the couch as soon as I sat down to watch television.  I shouldn't feel tired.  I had about 10 hours of sleep, albeit it interrupted.

Today is the start of my Two Week Walk Challenge.  My friend Ann (with whom I went out for dinner on Friday) had mentioned that she would be walking every day for the two weeks that she is vacationing in Florida.  I told her that if she did it, I would walk everyday too.  Of course, on Day 1 I have two children home sick. But I am accepting no excuses from myself! I will just have to wait until later this afternoon when Kiki is home from school. I can do this!  You can follow my progress here.

This week, I must make up my March Break Plan; a plan that has my younger children thrilled and my older girls cringe.  Last year, Miss A decided that she was too cool to partake in any of our family activities.  She missed out on a lot.  I hope she has a different opinion this year.  Of course, I may regret that, as she has been yelling SO MUCH these days.  Seriously, the child cannot speak without yelling.  Being around her is to be stressed out beyond reason.  I will have to set down some serious rules about her tone while we are out enjoying our break.

This Saturday is our Girls Bonding Flight!!!  I am still terrified.  The long term forecast for Saturday is sunny and 3C.  That reassures me a bit on the weather front, though things can change.  I still have to arrange for someone to watch the boys.  I have not told them yet that the girls and I are doing this.  I will, but it just hasn't come up.  Then again, when do things like this just "come up"?!  Oy!  I am dreading their reaction. I still have no clue what I was thinking when I thought that this was a good idea.  Panic....taking....over....

I had also planned on painting the boys' room this March Break.  Now that it is quickly approaching, I'm not sure that painting is a good idea.  I would have to clear their room.  I tried to buy a bunk bed from kijiji, but I was a little too late - 2nd on the list is not good enough.  It seems that used bunk beds are crazy expensive.  I am so mad at myself.  Last year, the mom of a friend of Miss Hollywood's, phoned and asked if we could use a bunk bed.  At the time, I really had nowhere to store it and I didn't think that a bunk bed was appropriate with one of the boys still wetting the bed.  Miraculously, he stopped over the Christmas holidays, so I started thinking about how much a bunk bed would help with the lack of space situation in the boys' room.  I had thought about making a bunk bed from some plans from Ana White. I just don't think that it is reasonable to think that I will be able to completely redo the bedroom and make a bed, while still having fun excursions with the children on their break. Perhaps, I can get the painting done though.  Maybe.

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Operation Butterfly has Taken Flight!

After a few bumps in the road (my friend almost cancelled!!!), I am happy to report that I had a successful night out being SOCIAL!!!  We went to a restaurant called Rare, which had wonderful food and service.  The portions were huge!  I ate maybe half of my meal and brought the rest home, which I have so far been able to have a late night snack with, as well as breakfast this morning and there is still some left.  And no, there is nothing wrong with Chicken Penne for breakfast.  Nothing at all.

Here is my meal:


More important that the food, service and ambience was the company.  What a great group of women with whom to spend the evening.  It made being social very easy.  The conversation was relaxed and the women had the best stories.  I was actually surprised at how easy interacting with these total strangers were.  Just a bunch of moms, enjoying an evening out.  My only complaint was that I really didn't have a chance to talk to the women at the end of the table.  For that I am sorry.  Perhaps, a bit of mingling time before the dinner would have been a better idea.  Maybe drinks by the bar first, followed by the sit down dinner.

Of course, there were momentary hiccups, like when DD2 & DD3 had an argument at home and I was suddenly getting texts and phone calls.  I put on my best mommy tone and basically threatened that their sleepovers would be cancelled immediately if they did not ignore each other and stay in their own rooms.  DD1 was to contact me if anything started up again.  I, luckily, did not hear from home for the rest of my evening.

When I arrived home, DD1 and I cuddled on the couch and watched last week's episode of The Biggest Loser ( I didn't fall asleep this time!), while I was thankful that I didn't eat my entire plate or order dessert.  The two bites of my friend's crepe didn't count.  Shhh...don't tell anyone.

Friday, 1 March 2013

Oh Hell, What have I done?!?!

Please tell me that this was a good thing to do??!!

March 9th, the Canadian Aviation Museum is offering free flights in a small aircraft to women and girls in honour of Women of Aviation Week.  I decided to sign myself and the girls up for a flight.

I. Am. Scared. To. Death.

Like, I'm ridiculously afraid of heights.  It's honestly pathetic.  I become a shaky, faint mess.  Stairs without backs are my nemesis. As are ferris wheels, ladders, and balconies.

At least, I will have my girls there to comfort me and hold my hand.  I will just keep telling myself that this will be a lovely bonding experience (not to mention, the girls will not be able to complain that we didn't do anything exciting on the March Break.  Though the boys will be ridiculously jealous!).

Pray for us, please.....

Thank Goodness It's Friday!

These week, that started out so wonderfully, has totally tuckered me out.  I wanted to go to bed at 6pm last night, I was just that tired!  I managed to hold off until after the children were in bed, then started to promptly fall asleep as Kiki was about to put this week's Biggest Loser episode on. Oops!  So much for mother/daughter bonding over a weight loss based reality show!

I have been invited out tonight by another mom to a dinner.  Another mom who is an uber blogger and Tweeter (or is it Tweep?) and who is meeting with another uber blogger and Tweeter-Tweep.  I'm really excited!  It will be so nice to get out with other women.  It's something that I wish to do more in 2013.  Whether it be for coffee, lunch, dinner, or drinks, I have vowed to start making those connections this year.  Of course, my lunches have only consisted of one lunch with my mom last Friday, and my coffee date with a fellow mom from Boy2's class, has not actually happened despite the fact that we have talked about it!  In fact, this evening's dinner is simply a result of the other woman inviting me along to the dinner.  It seriously had nothing to do with me.

On the non-sisterhood of women front, Terry & I did go out last week. (Again due completely to someone else's suggestion).  We went to an acquaintance's house, who it turns out lives rather close.  He said that he was having friends over for drinks and suggested we drop in too.  I figured, why not?!  We never really get out.  Well, there was only one other person there, so it was a bit more intimate than I had expected.  Still it was a nice enough time despite several moments of awkwardness.  It was just not exactly what Terry and I are looking for.  I think I pictured the commercial or TV show type of adult get together.  This did not have that feel at all.  With my luck, our host will stumble across this blog and I will forever feel badly!

My hopes for tonight are much higher.  Plus I'm excited to see my friend in an other light.  We have in the past spoken to each other for hours on the phone and I used to babysit her children.  In fact, her daughter and DD2 were best friends for years.  Almost two years ago, she suddenly lost her husband to a cyst on his brain, that was incorrectly diagnosed by the hospital emergency staff.  Such a sad story.  My heart breaks for her still.  I feel horribly that I did not do more for her.  Thoughts like baking cookies or stopping by with a coffee often entered my mind, but as is my way, I often come up with great ideas that do not come to fruition.  I'm hoping that this will be a new phase to our relationship, where I can be the type of person that she needs and that I want to be.

Now, I haven't completely been neglectful - I did offer to help her clean and pack when she was planning on moving.  And I made sure that she was invited to my birthday party, though she unfortunately, could not attend.

Let's hope that this is the beginning of a beautiful, more social, friendship!

Thursday, 28 February 2013

Snowday Schmowday

That springlike weather that Ottawa has been enjoying disappeared quite suddenly, when we were hit yesterday with a snow storm.

Let me tell you that my back is paying the price today.  Shovelling heavy heart attack snow is not my favourite pastime to say the least.  Ideally, I would have spent the evening all cozied up in my warm home, but unfortunately piano lessons were not cancelled.  I cannot understand why they weren't, but c'est la vie.

To get to piano, a neighbour had to help shovel me out, as I got stuck backing out.  Then, at piano, I got stuck again when I parked at the side of the road.  Thankfully, they had a shovel for me to borrow.  Nothing like shovelling a city street!  When I arrived home, I got stuck again in the parking lot.  When I got out of my car to go grab my shovel, a neighbour very snarkily said, "You aren't planning on leaving your car there, are you?".  Shut up, lady.  Just shut up.  When she realised that I was stuck (after I had been shovelling for a while and then tried unsuccessfully to move my car), she did start helping.  I didn't appreciate her rudeness, but she redeemed herself by being helpful.

I managed to get into my spot after about 20 minutes.  I'm thankful that it was at least mild.  And that it didn't take 30 minutes! Our hired snow removal contractor has been horrible all winter and yesterday was no exception.  Not hiring them again next year!!!!

Today, the roads are still not the greatest, though not as bad as yesterday.  Still my boys, who thought today would be a snow day, have protested going to school.  I am letting them have the morning off.  Hopefully by then the roads will be a bit better.

Time to try to fix this back of mine.  Today's project is to start cleaning out my china cabinet [shudder].  Be afraid.  Be very afraid.

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

What did that groundhog say again?

Well, I'm starting to doubt Wiarton Willie and Punxutawney Phil.  Though yesterday was beautifully mild, today started with sleet and now is snowing like mad.

Regardless of the weather, this morning I decided was a good day for a bit of spring shopping, so I hit my local Dollarama and IKEA to see what I could find.  Confession, I really only went to Dollarama to pick up some odds and ends like parchment paper and those foil burner cover thingys.  I ended up getting some uber cool sharmrock springy headbands and an Easter tin to boot.  And....

A Fishbowl Vase!!!  Just like the one that I saw on The Glamorous Housewife's website yesterday!  I was so happy!  Make that beyond happy.

At Ikea, I purchased some everyday stem glasses.  We used to have a set, but they all got broken, so I was thrilled to see that Ikea had decided to bring them back into their inventory.  I also purchased a couple of picture frames for a picture frame project I have been wanting to do, as well as some pretty white candle dishes. 

I really cannot wait to decorate for spring.  Of course, first I have to find everything in my storage room!  With the finishing of our basement, many things have gotten buried. I really need to organize and purge.  First I need to get the rest of the house in order though.  I sometimes feel as though I'm drowning in a sea of clutter.  Baby steps.

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Meet My Fancy New Laptop / It's Cocktail Time!

Okay, to you it all looks the same, but to me, I feel like I have finally stepped into the modern age.  It was actually quite funny.  The day after I purchased my laptop, my neighbour, came back from the store all beaming.  She proudly announced, "I just bought my first laptop!".  I told her that I had just bought my first too.  I also suggested we start a club ;)

This week has been good so far.  I decided that I wanted to drink a fancy cocktail for Oscar night.  No beer or wine for this little lady.  I mentioned my plan to my mom while we were out having lunch and said that I would love to try a Cosmopolitan or something similar.  Sure enough when we arrived back at her house, she poured me one.  Going to my parent's house is like going to Southfork in the 70's & 80's; I'm just waiting for JR Ewing to come in and pour himself a drink.  They have a crazy full bar.  I have day I will tell my story of my shenanigans of wanting to make a Long Island Ice Tea in the summer, until I realised that it would cost me $100 in alcohol to get all of the ingredients!  Not so at my mom's house.  She. Has. Everything....and then some.

Instead of mixing a drink, she had a bottle of pre-mixed Cosmos made by Smirnoff.

I have to admit it was quite tasty.  Apparently, we had bought her the bottle a couple of years ago for Christmas, though both hubby and I cannot remember doing so.  

You see in theory, having a nice cocktail is lovely, but when you're starting from scratch, there are a few things you definitely need to get.  First stop, Stokes, where I picked up two nice martini glasses.  I looked at the cocktail shaker, but wasn't yet sure if I wanted to buy the pre-made drink or if I wanted to simply buy the ingredients and make my own drink.

Second I went to the liquor store.  Nothing like looking like what you don't know what you're doing there.  A very nice worker did her very best to help.  She must have noticed the look of confusion on my face.  Unfortunately, no matter how many times I said that I wanted Cosmopolitans, she would try to sell me margaritas or strawberry daiquiris.  Bless her heart.

I was almost up to the cash with the pre-mixed stuff, when much to my hubby's confusion, I decided that I wanted to mix them myself.  So, I bought some Smirnoff Citrus Vodka (I feel like I'm endorsing Smirnoff in this post) and a bottle of Cointreau.

When I got home, I washed my new glasses and put them in the freezer to chill, and made sure that I had ice cubes made (you would be surprised at how many times the ice cube tray gets put back in the freezer empty or with only one cube).  I researched Cosmo recipes and decided this one Unfortunately, I didn't have the lime juice, so I sent out my husband for some when he was going to the gym.  He took WAY too long, so I mixed my first one without the lime juice.  I'm a wimp and found it too alcohol-y, so I added a splash more cranberry juice and then it was perfect.  I also noticed that their conversion from oz. to mL is wrong.  20mL is not 1 ounce - 30mL is!

It was so yummy.  I painted my nails while sipping my cocktail, then felt weird drinking alone, so I waited for Mr. Slowpoke to return home.  Now, I cannot blame him at all because I just sent him out for lime juice, as the recipe said, but when I made it with the lime juice he bought, it just didn't taste right.  I did my research and discovered that it apparently had to be Rose's Lime Juice, which is actually a sweetened lime cordial.

The next day, I went out and bought my cocktail shaker, which came as a set with a double jigger and strainer.  I looked for Rose's Lime Juice to no avail. Then, on Sunday, I found some while I was grocery shopping.  I was giddy that I had found it!

I spent the afternoon preparing hors d'oeuvres for Oscar night. Hors d'oeuvres that were never actually eaten because everyone was still full from the supper I had made!  So, the kiddies and I had some for an after school snack yesterday!  I swear next year I am having an Oscar party!  Kiki and I dressed up (not ball gown dressed up, but dressy for a Sunday night of tv watching) and I did my hair and make-up.  Then I spent my night tweeting and sipping my cocktails while my husband slept on and off.  Did I mention I am having an Oscar party next year??!!??

I find that this is a pattern in my life.  I put so much prep work into events that only include my family, which in this case consisted of a half-asleep husband and children that had to go to bed at 8:30, so it was pretty much just Kiki and myself.  Guess I need to get more social.  I'm vowing to entertain more once the basement finally gets finished.  Then, all of the children's toys and stuff can be out of my living room and dining room!  Of course, it costs money to entertain, so that could be a problem too.  Still, I really would like to do it.  I love having parties, even if it brings out my OCD tendencies to do so!

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Week of Boredom

I'm getting old, Dammit!  It seems that 2013 keeps reminding me of that!  Two weeks ago, one of my daughters caught Hand,Foot and Mouth disease - A pesky childhood illness.  Luckily, she only had a mild case, but a few days after noticing her blisters, I came down with that all-over bodyache that sometimes precedes an illness.  Only this time it lasted FIVE DAYS!!!!!!!!  What the heck!?  It also took me no time at all to become completely exhausted.

By last Wednesday, Boy 2 had HF&M. Currently, Boy 1 has it too.  ANYWAY, three days ago I slept wrong and have not been able to move very well since then. My back muscles are so sore that any movement causes me great pain. I am not the type of person who can just sit around. I am always thinking about what I have to do next, so this is seriously driving me crazy. Seriously.  This is why I take five minute showers; I always feel like there is something else I should be doing. Let's not mention my house! My house is so messy right now! I need to find a way of making this heating pad portable. 

Enough complaining.

I am going out to look at laptops either later this afternoon or tomorrow morning. My computer expert person is only available today! So I should go today despite the pain. Right now I am posting this from our tablet. My desktop is broken (it only needs a new power supply, we think).  I am pretty excited about the prospect of having my very first laptop! My teen girls have them but they don't really like to share my eldest's power cord is broken. This will be my very own!  Hell, I haven't had a new computer since 1999 or 2000.  My other was a hand me down.

This is very exciting for me!

Signing off for now. Almost time to start picking up the kiddos at school and I need a coffee in order to wake myself up a bit!