Wednesday, December 28, 2011


Real name: Henderson. Scott wanted Henderson after his father's middle name. I wanted Henry after my grandfather. So on paper his name is Henderson but we call him Henry. Perfect.

Henry is smart and is really eager to please. Often too eager. He'll bring home a straight B/C report card and hand it to us with sad dismay in his eyes. For us, after dealing with his language processing delay, a report card like that is fantastic. He could never, ever disappoint us.

Henry makes me laugh every day. He's got the most deadpan sense of humour that you've ever seen. Sometimes I actually wonder if he's actually not joking and I'm laughing when he's not trying to be funny at all. Hello therapy bills and motherly guilt. Then I'll see the little twinkle in his eye. Whew.

Henry's most like me out of all my kids. He likes bright colours, he has dimples and he's overly super dramatic. He's adventurous and full of fun. Plus he's super cute and a little nuts. What's not to love?

So this is a post for my Henry. Yesterday was his 12th birthday and I hope he has the best year ever. I love you baby!


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Today is Henry's birthday!

We had a crazy day coming back from my dad's in Montreal and baking more stuff for his special day that I didn't have a chance to do the blog I would have liked for him. So this is a place holder for tomorrow's blowout birthday blog for my big boy. See you then!


Saturday, December 24, 2011

Seasons Eatings, Peeps!

Here's what's on tap today in terms of my slaving away in the kitchen. Oh, and just in case you are wondering, I'll tell you what passes for "helping" with my merry band. I'll be clanging grouchily around in the kitchen about 20 minutes after all the cooking, signing, ouching over the inevitable burn or dropped pan is actually over. I'll hear a tentative rustling in the kitchen doorway and someone will ask "can I help?" To which I'll answer through gritted teeth, "no thanks" and continue to pick at the stupid plastic wrap because I lost the edge. Again. It's a lot like the Little Red Hen story around here when it comes to helping in the kitchen. Except that they still get to eat. And I mustn't forget the "can I just get in here to make a coffee/get a bowl of cereal/make toast" thing that'll happen halfway throught the proceedings where they barely notice I have flour in around and on every orifice.

Wait... I started this post to talk about what I was going to make today. Here's what I should be doing instead of blogging:

  1. 6 pie crusts for 3 pies (sugar, apple and the tourtière for our réveillon dinner tonight)
  2. An enormous batch of pain-in-the-ass sugar cookies (that's not the actual recipe name, it's just that they are an actual pain to cut out and frost)
  3. Bacon jam
  4. Make a triple batch of egg nog
  5. Cinnamon rolls for our traditional Christmas breakfast.
If you say to yourself "Hey, Karen, that's only 5 things, it should only take you a couple of hours!", I'll respectfully invite you to bite me because, add to this list that I'm a mother on Xmas Eve which means I also have to clean, do laundry, pack bags for our trip to Montreal tomorrow, get Audrey's bangs trimmed and still wrap presents. So I'm predicting a 3 hour "sleep" tonight in a pile of tape and wrapping paper, aided by 4 or 5 glasses of butterscotch schnapps laden egg nog. 

And you wonder why I prefer to sit here blogging instead of getting right on this? So what are your plans for today?


Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas Quiz

What better way to make this glorious season of giving and generosity all about me?

1.Wrapping paper or gift bags?
Wrapping paper for ourselves, gift bags for friends and extended family. I love you but I hate wrapping.

2.Real or artificial tree?
Growing up we had a fake but since having my own house, it's been back and forth. This year since we won't be spending too much time here at home, we dragged the fake out of storage. I'm digging it after the Christmas tree incident of 2007. Plus it holds heavy ornaments better than the real one and the cleanup will be a needle-free breeze.

3.When do you put your tree up?
Depends on my Bah, Humbug spirit. One year I had it up at the end of November. This year I put it up last week. The older I get, the less motivated I feel. Now I understand my dad's position of not putting it up at all unless the grandkids are coming.

4.When do you take your tree down?
This has gotten complicated ever since Henry arrived. He was born on the 27th. Before that we took it down whenever we felt like it. Anywhere between the 5th of January and the 5th of March. Since Henry and my obsession to make his birthday all about him, I had at first insisted we take it down completely on Boxing Day. When my laziness and sloth proved too overwhelming, I devised the "birthday tree" dodge. We take down all the Christmas decorations and put on more wintry themed items. Then I add a birthday banner and balloons all over it and voilà... birthday tree. Once his birthday has passed, I lose the balloons and banner and the tree stays up until the spring thaw.

5.Do you like eggnog?
Oh yeah but only the one I make. The stuff from the store is vile.

6.Do you have a nativity scene?
Nope. The most religious we get around here is when Linus does his thing on a Charlie Brown Christmas. That and the first few minutes of the Life Of Brian.

7.Favorite Christmas Movie?
Ohhh, that's a toughie...  I love Scrooged and the Alastair Sim version of A Christmas Carol. But the girly girl in me absolutely adores Love, Actually.

8.Favorite Christmas cookie?
Soft ginger cookies and traditional decorated sugar cookies.

9.Where will you eat Christmas dinner?
This year at my dad's in Montreal but traditionally in my own kitchen.

10.Angel, bow or star on top of your tree?
We do a star.

11.Most annoying thing about this time of the year?
The crowds at the mall. Ugh.

12.Do you like Fruitcake?
Love, love LOVE fruitcake. But my favourite is West Indian Black Cake. It's unlike anything you've ever tasted. Dry is something you can never say about black cake. And you can get tipsy from the fumes alone. You know that giddy feeling you get pumping gas? Like that only tasty. I'm attaching the recipe. Check out the alcohol content. Yes, you read that right, that's 3 bottles of booze.

13.What are you most excited about the holidays?
I'm thrilled about our train trip to New York City. We leave on the 2nd for a week.

14.Do you open presents Christmas Eve or Christmas Morning?
We open the gifts from "The Sandman" (which are always pyjamas) on Xmas Eve and the big show is on Xmas morning. I got fed up with the photos on Christmas morning where the kids are all wearing stained, holey and generally gross jammies.

15.Will you still be wrapping presents on Christmas Eve? 
Yes. I have plans every year to finish it by the 20th (today!) and get to bed early but every year at 2am I'm still wrestling with tape and cursing the fact that I have no paper left.  

Merry Ho Ho, peeps!


Sunday, December 18, 2011

Stupid Costco.

I go through that place just for one thing and leave at least $150 lighter every single time. I see "deals" and I'm so easily tempted I can't help myself. Like the time I needed relish and saw a jar that could easily house a small crocodile. And for only $3.99! The problem was that I only use about a tablespoon of relish every time I need it and the jar was "refrigerate after opening". Where was I going to keep the thing after I used my tablespoon? It's too bad loose relish doesn't make acceptable gifts or sturdy packing material. Moving on...

So Costco did it to me again in the form of a pound of dried figs. Who needs a whole pound of chewy figs? But they looked so enticing and they were only 4 bucks. "How wonderful! So many recipes at my disposal with yummy delicious dried figs!", I thought excitedly as I threw them in the cart along with the jeggings I never wear and the 5000 count AAA batteries. Cue the sound:

Those damned figs sat in my pantry getting dusty until I finally found a recipe that'll use all the crunchy weird figs in one go. Feast your eyes on the Fig Spice Cake I just made:

Tasty AND good for the old digestive system. So bite me, stupid figs and dumb Costco.


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

It's been over a week since my last blog

And yesterday my stat counter told me I had over 100 hits! The fact I get more than four familial fleeting daily glances at this blog never fails to surprise me. So thank you for coming. If any of you newbies are so inclined, can you click on the comment box and tell me what brought you here? That'll help me blog about more things you may enjoy. Or not. The likely outcome is I will just keep blogging about whatever I want. But it never hurts to try.

So onto other things. I was quickly checking online this morning and ended up looking at women's naked bellies for 30 minutes, nearly making me late for work. I wish I was kidding. I had waded into xojane's "real girl belly project". Who knew that squishy, rock hard, tattooed, pierced, innie, outie, bruised, even stented bellies could be so hypnotising? Just the bellies photographed, no faces with an optional comment underneath. I'm officially addicted. I've scrolled through the gallery twice already.

So inspired was I by all these brave women that I whipped out my camera, set its timer, took a bunch of belly shots that I deleted so fast I must have wrecked the hard drive. Then I threw away the pieces of the camera I crushed under my shoe. Because clearly, it's defective.

Okay that last part isn't true.

I read a lot of captions the women wrote on that site which said that the reality of their photos wasn't as bad as they thought. Lucky them. Because after the retching and comical chest clenching stopped, I couldn't believe my own stomach looked that horrendous. Yes, I went in knowing it's flabby. I know it's pock-marked and I've been cut from stem to stern three times (and it looks it) to remove those damn kids, but even in comparison the the stomachs on that site, I just couldn't deal with what I saw. I work out and I'm super fit but what I got going on below the equator is unacceptable.

You know I have very little to hide from you all after blogging since 2006. You know waaay too much about me and my pretty mundane life. But I'll state this with all the certainty I can muster: You will never ever EVER see my unsucked belly. Never ever. Did I mention ever?

Again, it's a case of reverse anorexia that I suffer from. I think I'm pretty fly then I see a photo and I have to go out and buy yet another new camera. Oh well. I have other attributes. Like I bake a pretty mean cake. Please distract yourselves by looking at my favourite. Forget I ever mentioned bellies.


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Sometimes art irritates life

You know the saying "art imitates life"? Well, I misspoke it the other day and the title of today's blog was born. Now I'm tasked to think of a blog to go with it. Hm...

Got it!

I'm not an art lover. At least Not the kind that enjoys abstract art. I just spend the whole time complaining that I (or worse yet, my kids) can do a better job. Really, Picasso? Would you really want this staring over you in your living room? Brrr...

I don't think so, Jackson Pollock. It's like he failed preschool. I just don't get it.


But nothing makes me happier than a painting that looks like something else with a touch of the surreal. This is my most favourite painting in life. Aaah.

Plus I like French Impressionists:

Monet (look at the sunshine... you can just feel the warmth and smell the breeze)

And Degas

These make me so happy. At the Musée D'Orsay in Paris a few years ago I completely lost my shit and cried like a moron in front of a Toulouse Lautrec. For no other reason other than it was so darned purty. 

So that's my photo-heavy blog on art. Next time I crack myself up with a random trip of the lip, I'll be sure to let you know.