Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Uh oh.

I forgot to write a blog today. I got so busy with the baby and baking cookies for Canada Day that I just forgot. So here I am trying desperately thinking of something clever to give you all. As Elliott would say: "Epic Fail."

Well, the cookies, then. I wanted to make something fun for the holiday tomorrow so I made maple leaves out of sugar cookie dough. I used maple extract instead of vanilla and mixed the milk with pure maple syrup. I did the same thing for the frosting and sprinkled white or red decorating sugar on them. About halfway through the process I had Elliott, his friend Michaela and Audrey helping. I suspect it was so they could have first dibs on the cookies but I accepted the help nevertheless. Have a great day (what's left of it) and we'll see you tomorrow for our country's big day!


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

You know what makes me nervous?

Coffee. That's what makes me nervous. Let me explain:

Legally in Ontario, you can't be on your cell phone or text in your car anymore. You just can't be distracted in any way. To be honest, I don't know why it's okay to have more than 2 kids in a car at any one time, though. Have you ever tried going anywhere with 3 screaming kids under 4 years old in a car? I actually used to yell: "You're gonna make mummy crash the car if you don't stop it!!". Yes, I know... another tick in the bad mother column.

Anyway, my point is distracted drivers. We've all seen the mascara applying woman and the crossword completing man. I've even seen a guy waving his penis around (I'm dead serious). But there's one thing that far more prevalent than these things. The drinker. And I'm not too disturbed that someone may "Kramer" themselves... those newfangled lids are admittedly pretty good. My issue is when you're nearly finished. I just took a last sip of my tea and realized it's impossible to see around the cup. Try it. How many times have I seen someone drinking on the road? Any minute now, they're going to reach the bottom of that container. Head thrown back while driving to suck out every drop. They may as well have a catcher's mitt in front of their faces. Scary.

Far be it for me to impinge on your civil right to do anything you want in your car, but shouldn't someone keep an eye on this?

Here's my list of things you shouldn't be allowed to do while operating your vehicle. Updated often...

Make phonecalls
Have sex (of any kind)
Transport more than 2 children (unless you're a bus driver)
Change clothes
Apply makeup
Watch tv/dvd
Listen to loud music
Shave your legs
Fix your hair
Play cards
Change your baby's diaper...

I could go on and on. Hey here's a thought. Why don't you just propel your car? People are getting pissed at your driving. You suck at merging and when you slow down in front of me after passing, I want to Kramer you. Grrrr....

Monday, June 28, 2010

Welcome back to Karenworld!

Remember the fad ages ago when people would send you emails with like 100 questions and tell you under no uncertain terms, at the risk of your friendship being dissolved, to answer them and send them to your entire address book? Remember how you deleted these emails with a dismissive mouse click? Remember how you looked at these "friends" with disdain, scorn and a touch of botheration? Well, I'm sorry. I was one of the perpetrators. I'm my own favourite subject and I can't help but drag others into my crazy.

That said, my blog today is inspired by, well, me. I found these questions over at Peggy Sue's place and I thought I'd borrow them so I could get out of a real blog and tend to the 4 children in my care for the summer. BTW, any suggestions on what to do with 4 kids aged 14, 12, 10 and 9 months that'll keep any one of them from hating me, the activity or causing a humiliating scene will be greatly appreciated.

What colour are your socks right now?
I'm not wearing socks. Are you kidding, it's summer in Canada. I make up for it by wearing 2 pairs at a time from September to May.

What are you listening to right now?
I've got Regis and Kelly on in the background. I hate them so why? Three words: Taylor Lautner's abs.

What was the last thing you ate?
Last night I had a tortellini salad. Chicken, pasta, peppers, feta and a dressing of olive oil and honey. Heaven.

Can you drive a stick?
No, and when my husband tried to teach me that time I had fantasies of putting all his belongings in garbage bags on the road and seeing the look on his face as clutched and shifted (or whatever) the car back and forth over them.

Last person you spoke to on the phone?
Elliott's cadet convener Kathy. She was giving me all the details on his 3-week sleepaway camp. I'm thinking it'll be a great break for all of us.

How old are you today?
42. I love to say so because I don't feel it.

What is your favourite sport to watch on TV?
At World Cup time, soccer. During hockey season, hockey. Ooh, and figure skating. But not the girls. I like the pairs because it always looks like the man is trying his best to murder the woman. Wouldn't that make a great episode of Matlock? What? I'm showing my age? Umm... CSI, then.

What is your favourite drink?
Tea with Carnation milk and sugar in it. If you don't have Carnation, just sugar, thanks.

Have you ever dyed your hair?
I call the condition I suffered from "pregnancy induced dementia". It plagued me during the latter stages of my pregnancy with Henry. Among the varied symptoms, patients convince themselves that they would look gorgeous as a blond. They buy 2 boxes of pharmacy hair bleach and colour and spend the better part of an afternoon crying in frustration on the bathroom floor. When the deed is done, these unfortunate souls startle themselves in every mirror and plate glass window thinking that Dennis Rodman is stalking them. What? The age thing again? Ummm... Mary J Blige, then.

Favourite food?

What is the last movie you watched?
Dr. Horrible's Sing-A-Long Blog on the big screen yesterday at the Mayfair. I totally got my geek on.

Favourite day of the year?
It's a tie between Christmas and my birthday. Any day I get presents, really.

How do you vent anger?
I'm very passive aggressive. I'll write venom in a blog or in my diary then delete or tear it up. Then I'll pout or just sleep on it.

What was your favourite toy as a child?
I loved my "Fabulous Fred" (google it). I still have it downstairs but it doesn't work anymore. I think if I could ever get it fixed, my family would never see me again.

Favourite Season?
Summer, bar none.

Cherries or Blueberries?
Blueberries but cherries are a close second.

Living situation?
Husband, 3 kids, occasional baby, a cat, 7 fish and 3 gerbils.

When was the last time you cried?
Last night when my long lost nephew/godson contacted me (thank you Facebook!). We've missed him so much and haven't heard from him in at least 7 years.

What is on the floor of your closet right now?
Where do I start? Among other things, shoe boxes, shoes, dustbunnies, clothes that fell off the hanger, boots that don't fit and slippers.

What are you most afraid of?
Being disfigured or having an illness that withers the body but not the mind.

Plain, cheese, or spicy hamburgers?
The spicier the better.

Favourite dog breed?
I'm a cat person but if there was a law passed that I didn't have to pick up and walk around with my dog's warm poop in a plastic bag, I'd go for a dog like Benji. What again with the age thing? I give up. Google him.

Favourite day of the week?
Believe it or not, Monday. I love getting back to schedules and routines.

How many states have you lived in?
0. Provinces, 2. Quebec and Ontario. I visited 3 states, though: Delaware, New York and Florida.

Diamonds or pearls?
Are you kidding? Diamonds every time. Pearl is an old lady's name.

What is your favorite flower?
Not too crazy about cut flowers (they're great in gardens) but I love anything that comes in a gorgeous, rich, purply fuchsia or orange.

Did you get an H1N1 vaccine?
No way. I've never had the flu of any kind so I don't want to push my luck. I lined up with the kids to get theirs, though.

And there you go. Pass this on to all of the people in your address book or you'll have humiliating gas for the rest of the day. Hey, I don't make the rules...


Friday, June 25, 2010

Last day of school

Uh oh. Stick me squarely in the horrible mother category but I hate summer holidays. How do I hate them? Let me count the ways:
  1. The lack of a schedule. As much as I bitch about waking up at 6:30 every weekday, I'd rather do that then somedays 8am, somedays 9.
  2. The constant togetherness. I love my kids but I'm over them already after just 10 days in Europe.
  3. It's too long. Why can't we have two week holidays every couple of months all year long instead of this patience-sapping quarter of a year break?
  4. The "I'm boreds". Really? You want to go there with me, kids? You guys are preteens with friends, your own bikes, have 2 amazing parks and a swimming pool within a 5 minute walk/bike, but if you're still going to insist you're bored I have a rag and bucket with your ungrateful names on them and a garage that needs some attention...
  5. The fact that we have only one car and a 9 month old baby. Scott will take that car from time to time and leave me alone with the kids with no means of escape. And even if I could get away, I can't leave the kids alone and go shopping or meet a friend like I used to. So long sanity. I hardly knew ye.
  6. The money. When we can finally get out and do activities like museums or zoos, it invariably costs a small fortune. And for some reason these kids need feeding when they're out. Another King's ransom. Why, oh why is this lottery win taking so long?
So I'm trying to think of some solutions. I need to look for free admissions, activities they're interested in and and bring packed lunches. I'll have to suck it up and picnic (I hate eating outside) and beach (I hate sand in my shoes and/or stuck to my toes). I can set my alarm clock... now that I think of it I have to; the baby arrives at 8. And I'll just send the kids out a lot and fob them off on their friends' parents. Barring those ideas, there's a lock on the bathroom door and a bottle of cough syrup in the medicine cabinet. Desperate times, people. Summer = battle stations.


Thursday, June 24, 2010

Can you cook? Got a kick-ass BBQ sauce?

Like to read? Want to win a Chapters gift certificate?

My good friend over at the Chicken Farmers of Canada wants me to spread the news about a contest they're having. What? That's not a link to their website? That's a link to my commercial for them? Oops, my bad...

Anyway, every July 1 (Canada Day), they set up on Parliament Hill in Ottawa with a row of barbecues and dozens of coolers full of chicken, and spend the day dishing it out to the people on the Hill who are celebrating this great country. This year is no different, but they wanted to bring you in on the action as well. So, they’re holding a little contest with a bit of a barbecue theme. To enter, all you need to do is head to this page and give them your favourite BBQ sauce or spice rub recipe. They’ll randomly draw a winner from all those who enter, and the winner will receive a $500 gift certificate to Chapters for the ultimate cookbook shopping spree! I could do some serious damage at the bookstore with that, I can tell you.

The deadline is noon on July 1, 2010, and the full rules and regs are here.
Actually, I'd kind of like to see any recipes you enter... can you post them over here too? I'm a big fan of chicken with something sweet and savoury like maple and dijon. Mmmmm.... Get going, time's a-wastin'!


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Ack! An emergency cake!

This is so typical. Elliott's last day in Middle School is Friday. On Tuesday, he tell's me that his friends "have all voted" and they want me to make their graduation cake. Who-what-now? Are you kidding me right now?

So watch me as I scramble trying to bake something half decent in a kitchen that's still ravaged by the fact that I haven't done a proper shop since we got back from our trip. It'll be a German chocolate number with chocolate ganache frosting. Sorry kids, no real decorations will be had but I can pipe something in white. That's all I got.

Oh, these kids. But I couldn't resist when he told me they voted for me. I'm too vain to resist. Sigh.


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Airplane movies

I have to admit that one of the things I love the most about plane flights is the movies. Nowadays you aren't stuck watching what everyone else is watching on a big screen in the middle of the aisle. Everyone gets their own choice of what seems like hundreds of channels. There were sports, contemporary, classics, avant garde, family, comedy and kids. Let alone the tv shows. I was in heaven. Whole movies all the way through with no interruptions for phone calls, medical emergencies or drinks of water. Like I said: heaven.

So here are the movies I watched and a mini review...

500 Days Of Summer- How did I let this movie get past me in the theatres? I loved it like I love cake and I vow to buy it on DVD now that I'm home.

The Daybreakers- Not as good as I'd hoped. I actually fell asleep during this one. You'd think a movie about vampires would keep my attention.

Percy Jackson and the Olympians- Cute, but I should have gone for something a bit more mature.

How To Train Your Dragon- Oh hell, another keeper. It was fantastic and I'm not ashamed to admit that I choked up at the end. It was completely predictable but so well done I didn't care.

So there you have it. Thousands of dollars spent, 10 days in Europe, and all I get out of it was a bunch of movies under my belt. Not bad.


Monday, June 21, 2010

Golden Girls!

A great big thank you to the people who donated to my boat for the Tim Horton's Ottawa Dragonboat Festival that took place over the weekend. It was a complete and total joy, even though I had to set my alarm for 5:45am both days. One word about that: yawn. I don't want to bore you with the details but I have to mention that the Dames (that's the name of our team) won a gold medal in the Girls and Women in Sport Challenge cup. And there's an actual cup where our name will be engraved. Forever. Yes!

So here is the list of people dipped in awesome, rolled in terrific and served with a soupçon of you rock, who donated to the wonderful charities involved:

Lori Gibbs
Lisa, Holden and Sean
Jennifer Kay
Michelle Parkinson
Pat Amundrud
Kathryn Knight
my husband and;
my Daddy

Thank you all so much! Thanks to you, the charities nearly reached their $350,000 goal. And I reached my goal of earning a gold medal at something besides eating so it's a win/win.

kxx (our cup is filled with Beau's beer and yes, we all got a swig)

Friday, June 18, 2010


I was so happy to have been able to watch the season finale while I was in London. It was a perfect end to a perfect season. But I just want to mention something from a few weeks ago that cracked me up then and the image of it still cracks me up now.

Remember when Will Schuster sang Chaka Khan's "Tell Me Something Good" to Sue Sylvester? So funny. Later he asks her on a date and she's shown in a fancy restaurant. Let me mention for those of you who don't watch, that Sue wears a rainbow of Adidas track suits. Besides the Madonna episode, I've never seen her in anything else. So on this romantic date what is she wearing? The ever-present track suit (this time in red) but with a string of pearls to dress it up. I think it was a throwaway bit but exactly what her character would do.

Something about that image. That anyone would think pearls added to an outfit was fancy dressin' still makes me giggle days later. It's going to be a long summer without my Glee.


Thursday, June 17, 2010

Happy Birthday Diva!

My baby girl, my only daughter turns 12 today. She and I have been on rocky ground for years. Mostly my deal as I found it difficult to relate to a baby girl. Lately we've become allies in the testosterone battleground that this house has become. She has turned me from a tomboy to a complete girlygirl, actually loving pink after years of thinking it was vile before she was born.

We save each other from hobby shop hell and war museum madness by sticking together for shopping trips and pedicures. She's my safe haven and she rocks my socks. Now if only I could get her to shower more often...

A: Amazing
U: Uncooperative hair
D: Diva
R: Reliable
E: Emotional
Y: Yellowish? I don't know... y is hard


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

We're home!

We had a wonderful trip to London and Brussels. The kids got a great taste of foreign life and foreign foods... hey, why are they willing to try new foods in restaurants and planes and never when I cook it?

Moving on... I was telling the family in the hotel yesterday that this is the first time I've really been looking forward to coming home after a trip. I had dragonboat practice for a big festival this weekend. I couldn't get back fast enough. I actually went to practice 2 hours after my plane touched down.

And the weather? How strange. While the temps on paper were the same as here, 22C over there is freezing. When the clouds came out or the sun went down it was flipping cold. I haven't had warm feet for 10 days. I look forward to wearing a tank top again.


Monday, June 14, 2010

Let's hear it for hotel internet!

We have only about another hour left so I better keep it short. I'm enjoying myself, I ate fish and chips in a pub, Audrey and I shopped at Primark, my favourite store, I got to wear a Christian Louboutin shoe like I do every year and we're off home tomorrow. Three words: Best. Trip. Ever.


Sunday, June 13, 2010

I saw the baby!

Oh hell, my STB (soon to be) godson is adorable. He truly is and I'm
not biased in any way shape or form. Nope.

I got to see my "sister" too and we had a super visit. Short but
sweet. In fact, now that I think about it, Scott and I both got to see
our sisters on this trip. I'm a very happy girl right now.

And just to let you know, after reading a recent comment by flask, I
realize that she's right. You pretty much know everything about me
including that I'm away. I think I wanted to stay close to the letter
of the law Scott laid down but I suck at it so bad that I'm done
trying. I'm in London right now after being in Brussels for a week.
I'll be back Tuesday and to be honest, I'm ready for a home cooked
meal and weather that's 27C with 110% humidity. And dragonboat. So
take that Internet stalkers.


Sent from my iPod

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Transition day

Today we are leaving one city to go to another. We are enjoying the
pampering we are getting on this second mode of transportation. It's
quite a surprise, frankly. See how I'm cagily avoiding where we are
and what we're doing? It's pretty tiring, actually. I can't wait to
get back to tell you where we are and show off my photos. To be honest
I don't think I've been doing a very good job of keeping this secret.
Any guesses as to where we are or are going next? And no guessing if
you're my facebook friend. I've been posting status updates all week...


Sent from my iPod

Friday, June 11, 2010

We are eating AGAIN.

I was supposed to lose 5 pounds before the big dragonboat race next
Saturday but it's impossible what with all the rich food here. Don't
get me wrong, I'm not complaining but seriously I may capsize the
boat, I'm getting so lardy. I apologise to coach Bevin in advance,
but man the food here is so gooooood....


Sent from my iPod

Thursday, June 10, 2010

One thing I've noticed

I'm a very smiley person. In fact, I've been known to smile to myself
even when I'm alone. My own thoughts amuse me. Go figure.

So I find it very off-putting to catch someone's eye here, smile big
and get... nothing. Sometimes worse than nothing: a frown. Yikes. Most
people look away, a few just stare back but some actually look like by
smiling at them, I'm somehow offending them. Not cool, Brussels. Not
cool. You're making it difficult to warm up to you...


Sent from my iPod

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Good Morning Peeps!

This morning we're lazing around the hotel waiting for noon when
Scott's conference is done and my SIL Jenny arrives from outside town.
She lives here and promised to show us around and feed us a home
cooked meal. I'm looking forward to it and can't wait to see what's in

I actually went to the gym today! I ran 45 minutes on the treadmill.
It's a great way to not feel guity about all the creamy, greasy, fatty
foods I've been forced to consume.

Oh hell, no! The Flintstones just came on the hotel TV! gotta fly.
It's been ages since I've seen it. I'll check in again with you


Sent from my iPod

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Day 2

So we spent half a day touring around and seeing the sights. The kids
whined a bit but were troupers after walking many kilometres around
the city.

We saw a man wearing a skirt, a beagle that was easily 100lbs, a car
blasting Justin Bieber and gypsies begging in the most pathetic way...
with families and kids so you feel horrible saying no.

All in all, we had a great day despite the sudden drenching downpour.
What will day 3 have to offer?


Sent from my iPod

Monday, June 7, 2010

I'm so tired!

After hours and hours of travel, we're finally here and it's beautiful
but cloudy and cool. I have to admit that I prefer our weather (am I
the only one that likes 27 degree heat and 100% humidity?) but I'm
looking forward to touring around. Now let me get some sleep, will ya?


Sent from my iPod

Friday, June 4, 2010

We're off...

Okay so here's the deal. We are all going on a trip. For the next little while, expect short, weird little posts with no links or photos. If you get posts at all. I've tried to bring everything electronic I need for blogging but some days it just may be too difficult.

Some of you who know me IRL know where I'm going and for how long but Scott expressly told me not to blog it. He's in security and is freaked out about my blogging in the first place, let alone telling virtual strangers about our travel plans.

The house will be well looked after. Neighbours and friends will be in and out every day taking care of our stuff as well as Taz the cat, Bob and Doug the gerbils and the five fish of various and ever-changing names.

So know that I'm thinking of you all and I'll blog as much as I can until things get back to normal at some time in the near future. I'll be checking my email and facebook from time to time so I won't be completely incommunicado. So bon voyage to us and we'll see you soon.


Thursday, June 3, 2010

More of me!

Day 3: Your favorite television program

Coronation Street. When I went into labour with Elliott, I stayed home in pain to see the outcome of a trial. And never call me during So You Think You Can Dance. Here's my favourite routine over all the seasons:

Day 4: Your favorite book

The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole (the whole series... to me it counts as a book). I started reading these hilarious books when I was 13, the same age as the boy writing the diaries. I somehow could relate even though he was a lower middle-class white boy living in England. The author, Sue Townsend, kept writing more diaries remembering Adrian was the same age as I was and it was wonderful growing up and experiencing life together. I still read the books every year and I still laugh out loud even knowing what's going to happen. Do yourself a favour and read them.


***If you are reading this on Facebook and can't see the links I've added, please click "view original post" in the row where you comment and visit my awesome (to me) blogspot blog.***

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

30 Days of MEEEE!

And who else but someone as self involved as I am would do something like this all month long? Since I didn't do it yesterday, you get two today. You lucky readers, you!

Day 1: Your favorite song
This song is my all-time favourite of all time. In fact, I requested that it be played at my funeral. I know, morbid, right?

Day 2: Your favorite movie

I could watch Auntie Mame twice a day until they play the above song at a certain ceremony to be named later.

Day 3: Your favorite television program
Day 4: Your favorite book
Day 5: Your favorite quote
Day 6: Whatever tickles your fancy
Day 7: A photo that makes you happy
Day 8: A photo that makes you angry/sad
Day 9: A photo you took
Day 10: A photo of you taken over ten years ago
Day 11: A photo of you taken recently
Day 12: Whatever tickles your fancy
Day 13: A fictional book
Day 14: A non-fictional book
Day 15: A fanfic
Day 16: A song that makes you cry (or nearly)
Day 17: An art piece (painting, drawing, sculpture, etc.)
Day 18: Whatever tickles your fancy
Day 19: A talent of yours
Day 20: A hobby of yours
Day 21: A recipe
Day 22: A website
Day 23: A YouTube video
Day 24: Whatever tickles your fancy
Day 25: Your day, in great detail
Day 26: Your week, in great detail
Day 27: This month, in great detail
Day 28: This year, in great detail
Day 29: Hopes, dreams and plans for the next 365 days
Day 30: Whatever tickles your fancy

What a great bloggy idea! Thank you Southern Domestic Goddess! I love your blog.


Tuesday, June 1, 2010

"Mum, you have the loudest laugh in the room."

This is what Elliott said to me over the weekend at his cadet promotion ceremony. At first I was kind of put off by it. I thought maybe I'd embarrassed him or myself. But as he shovelled cake into his face, he sputtered crumbs at me and continued: "But that's a good thing. I heard you laughing while I was in ranks and I knew you were out there even though I couldn't see you". Aww...

So even though I have an insane giggle and if you surprise a laugh out of me, the resulting bark can frighten birds from trees, it's somehow comforting to my children. Good to know. Because now I have to find another way to passive-aggressively humiliate my children in public.