Saturday, December 11, 2010

It had to happen sometime

Do you remember that feeling, that ugh kind of feeling, that you really really just didn't want to go to class?
I am one of those students who absolutely rued the times I had to miss school due to illness (or bad weather once I reached post secondary)

But once in awhile, when there was so much else to do, so much else going on in my life, I would just want to skip. And very rarely I did.

I now have some more perspective on things, seeing as its been over 7 years since I graduated the last time. Class is not quite as important as simply learning about my future profession.

I am feeling this especially so since one Thursday night when we were expecting some bad weather. My professor had emailed me, saying I could email in my written assignment, and postpone my presentation that night in order to not get stuck in freezing rain. I, needing desperately to complete those two assignments, negotiated that I would indeed attend, but then leave early so as to avoid the worst of the coming storm.

Now, with the last class on Thursday, all of the main learning completed, and a goodly chunk of class time devoted to our end of the semester supper, I am wavering. I really really really am having a hard time convincing myself that I need to be in class. There is so much to do for Christmas at the daycare and at home that the time really would be better spent at home. I could, as told before, just email in my assignment.

But, me being me, I will go to class. That is unless Mother Nature keeps up her Thursday theme and pelts us with some unpleasant weather that would give me an appropriate excuse to not drive two hours up, sit in class for four hours, and drive two hours home.

One can only, sickly and twistedly, hope.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Whew that was a busy week ending in a busy weekend

The girls turned 6 on Friday. I had a group presentation Thursday. I am sure you can see where this is going.

We had the girls birthday party Friday night, about 14-15 people were here as far as I can count. I made homemade lasagnas earlier in the week, and got a friend who does cakes as a side job to make the girls a castle cake. By the time the guests showed up, everything was done, everything was good, and I was absolutely exhausted. I had been to class in Ottawa the night before and didn't get home until after midnight. I'd had about 4 hours sleep.

Pictures of the party and the great birthday cake to follow

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Monkey see, monkey do

Hmmmm, I wonder who they've seen behaving like this lately.
Laura even looks like me when I'm doing a reference page for one of my essays.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Bad Motrin, Bad Bad Motrin

I love my motrin. The stuff you buy over the counter is perfect for me when I have a headache or my back is really killing me.

Recently I had tooth problems that ultimately led to the extraction of said tooth. For pain and inflammation, I was prescribed what the dentist called SUPER MOTRIN. I was all for it.

I was taking it sporatically, as needed, for the first week. Then after the tooth was pulled, I took them round the clock with food as prescribed. By the third day after the tooth, I was experiencing some problems. Lightheadedness, a lethargic feeling. Just not good. I thought it was the tail end of the tooth problem.

I was wrong. On day 4, I missed work. Stayed in bed the entire day watching movies and sleeping off and on wrapped in a down comforter AND a furry blanket shivering uncontrollably. I was okay ish on Saturday, but looking back I didn't take any Motrin until later in the day. Sunday, day 6, I was feeling really really bad. I did an internet search, and I stopped taking the drug.
Needless to say I stayed home again on day 7, and called the doctor.
She saw me on day 8. this is the 5th day since the symptoms started, and less than two days of not taking the drug. She checked things out, and confirmed that my internet search was correct.

She said to never take the high dose again, and to use an alternative to the over the counter stuff whenever possible to help my system recover.
She also said that had I continued to take it, my system would have been damaged, and it wouldn't have taken much longer.

Then she said it could be two to three more days until the symptoms really started to go away as the medication cleared my system. Fluids and tea to help flush was all I could do.

Remind me never to take any kind of painkiller for a prolonged time again, cause this really sucks.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Oh, and I forgot

When I wrote yesterday's blog post, I forgot about wrapping presents.

Yeah, I need to find some time to do that too.

Let's start with the birthday ones, and go from there.

When exactly am I going to do that?

Perhaps I should invest in some extra bold extremely caffeinated coffees since apparently I am getting close to cutting into my sleep time.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

I can't wait for December 27th!

Wow. I just laid out the calendars for November and December.
Keep in mind I still only have 24 free hours per week, and my part time job is retail, so I will be working more hours.

Here's a rough outline of how things will play out.

I have 4 out of 5 assignments for Education and Development due between November 4 and 25.

I have a card making workshop on the 13th (YAY! I didn't think I'd get to do one)

I have new menu rollout this month at work

The twins turn 6 mid November

That same weekend is my store Christmas get together. I usually make a couple of treats for this.
Mom and Dad will be away early December for a week

Extended hours are on at the mall, meaning I work an extra 4 hours per weekend, hopefully more if the boss says I can pick up some hours on my Saturdays off.

There's also moonlight madness in there that I can work, which is 6-11 pm. Crazy. Yes, I am CRAZY!

I need to bake cookies and other treats for the daycare party, which means staying late or doing some at home for the first few weeks of December.

There's a staff meeting, final class with essay due, and the Christmas Party at the daycare I work at all in one week

I also need to fit in some Christmas baking for ourselves, and some Christmas crafting with the girls to compliment what we are giving for Christmas.

Thankfully, Dec 18th things will slow down considerably. And then on December 27th, I won't know what to do with myself.

Breathe in, breathe out. This is do-able. Really, it is.
I think the only thing saving me is that I have all my Christmas shopping done (and Birthday) for the kids. And I will be doing minimal shopping for everyone else.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

What I do in the tiny amount of spare time I have

I try once a month or so to spend a few hours doing something fun. I really enjoy crafting, and was recently introduced to card making by an old friend whom I have reconnected with.

She hosts workshops regularly in her dining room, and does classes as well. (Workshops are free, classes, etc usually have a fee). Below is the first card I ever did embossing on. I am in love with embossing. I have always loved the cards with the metallic accents or writing. Now I know how to do it myself.

Next up, the other half of my paper crafting obsession..... scrapbooking.

Oh, and if you want to see what else my friend can do, click here to view her blog of wonderful cards and other great ideas.

I will admit, I did screw up his head, but that's how I learn, by screwing things up.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Halloween 2010

Hello all,

Just thought I would share a couple of pictures of the girls from Halloween. Laura was a vampire, but by the time she got home after trick or treating with her dad, she didn't feel very good and couldn't put her teeth in for me.
Mackenzie was a ballerina. Her outfit was modified, due to unforeseen inability to get it off to use the toilet. Daddy found out the hard way.

Sunday, October 31, 2010


Sorry folks, but as you can see from this post , I haven't really had a lot of time to devote to doing things that aren't "required" (homework, class, eating, sleeping, bathing, etc.) so I thought I would take the time while the kitchen floor is drying to post an update.

I started my first SUNY MST Ottawa course (you can check it out here) on September 2nd. The driving was really annoying at first, the 416 is an awful highway. There is about an hour or so where you don't pass any easily accessible services, so if you gotta go, well, your out of luck in finding facilities close to the highway. I have since found a geat route that cuts cross country and seems to have shaved some time off my drive. I use a completely different route at night, to keep things changing.

I also have a great cell phone plan that means I can use my bluetooth to call friends and family when class is done early and catch up while I drive home. (Its handsfree people, get the dirty looks off your faces)

It would appear I have the driving part figured out. As for the course, the first one was Foundations of Education, we had a lot of articles to read, did some interviewing, and generally got acquainted with the nuances of the profession and the current pedagogy. It was a great start, the professor is excellent, and I got a fantastic mark, 92.1%. The next course in the series is Development and Education, which I started this past Thursday. I already am loving this course because my major interest while doing my undergraduate degree was development. I also repeated development while completing my ECE requirements.

Should be a good review and expansion of my previous knowledge. I am looking forward to looking at development from the education angle.

Other than that, the girls are well settled into our new routine, they enjoy their Thursdays with Grammy, are doing very well in their new school, and have gymnastics again this year. They also participate in karate class during one lunch hour a week at school.

Well, the floor is dry, I need to get back at it. I have seriously neglected many aspects of cleaning whilst studying lately.

With any luck I will get back on here sooner next time.

Sunday, August 15, 2010


I'm not sure how to start this post. There is so much going on right now, so much I am trying to do, and so much I must get ready for.

For the last two years, I have lived this life of complete and utter FLY BY THE SEAT OF MY PANTS existence. And while that is how things needed to be for me to work through the stuff that has happened in recent years, and figure who I am as a single person, and a single parent, its time I get back on the "I'm so organized I make people sick" bandwagon.

I have been attempting the math to figure out just how much time I am going to have to devote to things when I add graduate school to my schedule on Sept 2.

Here's how it breaks down.

In a week, there are 7 days, 24 hours per day. That's 168

I tend to be an eight hour kinda gal, so lets take out 8 hours per day for sleeping

168 - 56 = 112

I work about 32 hours a week at the daycare, so that leaves 80 hours. 6 hours a week at the store, leaves 74. Lets say I use 4 hours a week going to and from work, and shuttling children.

Down to 70.

3 hours a week on the real estate stuff, leaves 67

5 hours of class, plus two hours there, two hours back, that's 58.

When I was in university I was told to plan for at least 2-3 hours of work outside of class for every hour you spend in class.

Lets say 15 hours per week devoted to studies - now we're down to 45

I get up at 6 every morning, do my banking,etc, then get the kids ready. We leave at 7:30. That's an hour and a half every day to get up, get ready and have breakfast. 5*1.5=7.5

Okay, so now I have 37.5 hours

Two hours per week for going to gymnastics, gymnastics time, coming home,


An hour and a half per week for going to swimming, swim, coming home


Um, so that's 34 hours including weekends to cook dinner, hang with my girls and clean my house.

It sounds like a lot, until you realize that I have every other weekend off. That's a full 48 hours. But with everything I have to plan in my schedule, I have less than that leftover.

Oh, and an hour and a half taking the girls to their father pretty much every week.

Down to 32 1/2.

Thank goodness I only have to keep this up for 10 months out of the year. I'm going to need that two months to regroup, refresh, and prepare for the next ten months.

Now to just stop the panic attack from thinking about all of this.......

Friday, August 13, 2010

On burns and wonder remedies

Well, I was in the kitchen (where I spend half my life these days!) and I had put a large cookie sheet in the sink to cool. I didn't wait long enough. Burnt the crease of my palm, and a bunch of finger pads.
The fingers didn't bother me so much, but the crease was pretty painful. I still had all the lunch dishes to do and a bunch of prep work for the afternoon. Not pleasant.
On my lunch break I stopped in at the drugstore, thinking I'd get something to put on my burn.
On the shelf were these bandaid pads made for burns. They have a gel pad that cools. I spent the few bucks on them and hope they worked at least a little.
I put the pad on the burn in the crease, and the burn felt like it disappeared.
I love these things.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Ahhh now I get it

In my last post I said I had expected that my girls would come home toothless. I thought this was strange. I didn't press it, but wondered why they hadn't asked to have their teeth pulled at Dads. They were literally hanging out when they got home.

So in the car yesterday, they were talking about their teeth. Laura said Daddy was going to pull her tooth with tools. Aha, that's why the teeth were still in. Both started to go on about how no way was Daddy putting squeezy tools on their teeth to pull out. Laura's statement was actually "mommy has way better ideas about teeth pulling, no tools, never."

I find this funny. I didn't realize they would have this reaction. I understand why my ex would use pliers gently - his fingers don't fit in the girls mouths very well. And he would have a hard time getting ahold of such tiny teeth.

I guess that means I get to pull all their teeth, at least until they start trying it out on their own.

Monday, June 21, 2010

FINALLY I get to pull another tooth!

Over a month ago I announced that Mackenzie had her first loose tooth.

Finally the tooth was ready tonight, and with a little encouragement from my anxious girl (anxious to be a BIG KID that is), I yanked it out.

I was pretty sure that when I took them to their father's this weekend, they would both come home less one tooth each. Guess I was wrong. My girls waited for Mommy to pull their teeth.

Laura went first, hers second tooth was being pushed by an adult one, so it was very ready.

Then Mackenzie's turn. I must admit, Mack is more squeamish, and she frets over blood, but she bore up, let me pull, and sponged up the blood with a Kleenex while BOUNCING on her sister's bed. She was just overjoyed at finally losing her first tooth.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

This is just one of those nights...

One of the reasons I started this blog was because writing about some of my experiences is cathartic. It calms me down when my world caves in.

So, I have no idea what to write, because, well, sometimes the world seems like it is exactly the opposite of what it should be. This is one of those nights.

Its the kind of night that when I was married, or even before, I would soak my ex's shirt, just to get it all out. Now I soak my own shirt, with the labrador watching close by. I do miss those t shirts on night like this.

But, we all have to let it out sometime. And my girls aren't here to see me upset and get upset themselves, so its a good time. It was a rough week last week, and on a few occasions, I was so frustrated or overwhelmed that the tears threatened, but, well, I just didn't have the time or the energy. Now I do. A hot bath, a sappy movie, a cold cloth, and my soft bed will all make me a new person by morning.

I just have to remember to breathe in and breathe out. Everything else will follow.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

I finally saw Parliament Hill

Its funny, I've lived an hour and a half from Ottawa for 20 years.
I went to school an hour and a half from Ottawa for 20 years.
Everyone I know has seen, been inside, or taken a tour of Parliament Hill.

Then why the heck haven't I been? Its kinda like I lived in Toronto for almost 9 years, I visited every summer for so many years after that and never went up the CN tower.

So yesterday, my Mom and I took a little road trip. The basis of the trip was to find the building where the classes I am starting in the fall are housed. Get timing on the trip, and a general sense of whats nearby.

Then we had the rest of the day to do whatever.

We were in the Byward market, when Mom pointed out the building where my cousin works. On a whim, I plucked my phone from my purse, texted him, and discovered he was not that far away, and not busy. He would finish what he was doing, and meet us in the market in a little while.

We hung out, grabbed something to eat at the Patisserie where Barack Obama bought cookies on his visit to Ottawa, and looked through the stalls. Some were very tempting. Especially the one with Disney princess dress replicas.

Then we split up, and Cousin S took me on a walk around Parliament Hill. Doesn't sound that exciting, but its been something lacking in my civics education since I was in elementary school. And my cousin, he knows a lot about Ottawa, the history, and some really neat little facts.He's in the media, so he is often on the ground when interesting things are happening, and he has a knack for sharing his knowledge and his experiences that makes it all really enjoyable.

Like I said, we ate where Obama stopped for cookies, he showed me where the PM pulls up with is motorcade, gave me some of the history of Parliament Hill, and the refurbishment of the exterior, showed me where he was during the riots when Bush was in Ottawa, took me to the "cat house" where the stray cats from parliament hill live, and some other neat little things that you never know about until you live there.

It was an enjoyable day. I don't often get to spend time with this particular cousin, the last time we spent time together without distraction was when we were writing a very difficult eulogy, which we would deliver together the next day.

We ended this day in a Scottish pub, watching the England - US match of the FIFA tournament, waiting for my mom to find us. Cousin S's theory, Scottish pub would be supporting England, and Mom could find us by smelling for the single malt.

I am so glad I pulled my phone out of my purse and texted him.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Loose tooth update

Well, back in about the middle of May, Kenzie got her first loose tooth. Its still there. She barely even wiggles it. Its going to take forever to come out. Laura will have lost more teeth before Kenz loses this first one.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Um, Mr Fireman, Sir... I'm sorry,

Today was one of those days when you want the world to open up swallow you whole.

The children at the daycare love these little miniature hamburgers I make. I usually cook them on the griddle, but I was advised that it was a safety concern as I don't have a proper commercial extinguishing hood. I was instructed to start making them in the oven in a shallow pan on high heat.

So, the little burgers were almost done, but the grease all around them was smoking slightly. I kept an eye on them and had the exhaust fan on the highest setting. I was winning the battle. Then, as I pulled the pan from the oven, a plume of blue smoke rose up, I watched it go straight up the fume hood, and assumed I was okay. I grabbed 6 little burgers and went to feed the youngest room of children - I was a couple of minutes behind owing to the new cooking method. As I returned to the kitchen, I realized it was FULL of smoke. I tried to hop up on the counter to reach my window and open it, but too late.

BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP Strobe lights flashing, tons of noise, and me surrounded by the clearing smoke, dreading the moment the truck pulled up (and also the razzing I know is coming from my coworkers).

We cleared the building, I informed the person in charge there was no fire, that it was my fault, the burgers had smoked too much. I waited for the fire truck out front while the children enjoyed to sunny grass park next to our centre.

The first truck pulled up, the Captain (the man in the RED hat) looked at me sternly as I explained. I damn near cried. His only words were "Okay, show us."

So with me leading the way, the captain fireman and two hottie fireman (and I mean calendar material) examined my kitchen, and the baking sheet with the burgers. Needless to say my face was as RED as the captains hat.

They cleared us to re enter, we thanked them profusely, and parted ways.

I'm never making mini burgers EVER EVER EVER AGAIN!

Note: when I made them my way, we never had to evacuate, so please be kind. It is rather humiliating as it is. I'm thinking Sloppy Joes is a great substitute.

Monday, May 24, 2010


Well........ I have been pretty busy with things around here. Thus far, in between the three jobs and the twins - including the twins being sick - I have managed to paint 3 walls of my house. One wall is a milk chocolate colour, and the rest will be taupe. I am loving the way it looks in here, the chocolate and taupe go great together (they were on the same swatch sheet). Well, back to the painting and all the extra cleaning that goes along with it.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Sigh...where have my babies gone?

Well, as anyone who has been reading along knows, Laura lost her first tooth on Mother's Day. She got $5 for it and has been talking about it non stop ever since.

Tonight, as I was yet again taking a sip of coffee, I hear the all too familiar words "Mommy my tooth is wiggly!"

It was Mackenzie this time. Same tooth, same degree of wiggliness. However, with this child, I doubt the tooth will be worked on until it is ready to be pulled. I think, in this case, it will take the two or three days, possibly even a week, like it should.

Stay tuned, I see a tooth fairy visit in the near future.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Loose tooth part deux.

As I thought, last night Laura's tooth did pull rather easily around 6pm. She couldn't stand the feeling of a wiggly tooth and worked it like crazy until it was ready. I was really hesitant to pull it for her when it came down to it. I didn't want to hurt her, I didn't want this experience to be a bad one for both her sake and Mackenzie's. I seriously considered driving to Mom and Dad's place to have Dad pull it for her. This picture was taken about two minutes after the pull.

I gave a lot of thought to what the tooth fairy should bring. I did a little facebook poll, and my Aunt gave me a great idea. $5 for the first tooth, then $1 for each tooth thereafter. I thought it was a good idea to recognize the first tooth as being extra special - and thankfully I had a five in my wallet since it was 6 pm on a Sunday.

Here she is around 5:30 this morning showing off the "paper money" the toothfairy left her. Her tooth magically gone from its special box.

Tonight, she said her mouth felt funny again. I checked and the tooth directly to our right is now loose. I think this is the beginning of me keeping a roll of loonies hidden somewhere, and a fiver for my other big girl for her first tooth.

Laura, ever generous, asked me after supper today if we could go spend her paper money on something special that she and Mackenzie could share to play with.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

A big milestone for my big girl

Sigh. Its Mother's Day, and I am home with the girls.

We were watching TV when a moment that made my breath catch occurred. Just after 8 am, Laura yells "Mommy, my tooth is loose!"

She had been complaining of sore teeth in the front for a few days. I was beginning to think a visit to the dentist would be in order, since she does appear to grind in her sleep and the teeth are rather worn out.DUH it never even occurred to me to check and see if anything was loose in there!

She is five and a half, prime age to begin to lose teeth. I never even clued in. Judging by its wigglyness, I should go make sure I have a coin or two in my wallet, because the tooth fairy may have to visit tonight.

They grow up so fast!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Sooooo......there's not too much to say at the moment

Soooo, I am out of bloggable stuff. Life has been a little bit boring for the 3 weeks since vacation ended, History ended and life fell into place without massive amounts of homework.

Whats on the agenda for the next 3 1/2 months til I start grad school?

I haven't gotten organized enough yet to nail that down completely. Perhaps that is item # 1 - re organize everything, and purge while I am at it.

I do need to come up with a system that will support my increasing workload. I need to start experimenting with make ahead meals - I found a really great website where the stay at home moms have a cooking day once per month, and make most of their meals on that day. This also includes gathering resources for the $ for school once the savings runs out, assembling my "team" for the nights I am at school - and the Friday/Saturday combos for the summertime and ensuring I have done everything I can to make sure my car is in tip top shape for all the travelling.

I need to PAINT! I have been here well over two years, and I desperately would like to end the rental white blahness that we wake up to everyday. (I do believe I have chosen a paint colour, with an accent colour on exactly the same swatch). I cant be around paint fumes too much, but once the windows can be opened, and I can go outside if it gets to be too much, I should be okay. I figure it'll take me quite awhile since I will be doing common areas, and will have to move furniture away from one wall at a time, clean the wall, fix the wall, paint the wall, let it dry, paint the wall again, and move the furniture back. Yes, this even sounds tedious in type.

I think, that despite not having any schoolwork for the next few months, I will be a very very busy girl, and there will still be lots of research and "homeowork" involved.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

The most horrible History Course EVER!

Okay, so History started in the third week of my new job in January. YUCKO

It was the last of the pre requisites that I needed to complete for SUNY

I was not looking forward to it.

Then the textbook arrived, and I began to dread it. Smallest print possible, tons of information crammed into every page. No colour or variation in text. No veritable chapter summary to reinforce learning. From the perspective of a psych major, the textbook defied everything I knew about effective learning materials.

The course started, I did my best to keep up. The weekly workload was equivalent to the 2 chapters per week, short discussion question assignment, test and short essay every 3 weeks kind of stuff I had done in my second and third year university courses. Ouch.

I plowed through, missed one discussion due to misuse of my dayplanner (like, not opening it and reading it), hated every minute of it, but managed to keep a mid 80s mark. Didn't do so hot on the essay, but who cares, still had the mid 80s mark.

Then, after my week long vacation (first ever) I hit the books hard, studied as much as possible despite many setbacks, and headed into the exam. It was worth 35%. If I didn't do well, then it would have a huge effect on my mark.

The exam was yet again, awful. I have never written an exam where the answers were all long essay, no choices. I forgot how the French Revolution changed France - duh, democracy stupid. I forgot the name of the Bastille, calling it some important government building. According to my recollection the cold war was pretty much over after the cuban missile crisis. Hmmmm, not so according to my mother and uncle who lived through it. And I really didn't think I could compare the totalitarian regimes of Stalin vs Hitler. The only difference I could identify was that Hitler didn't attempt to brainwash all people, just those who fit his mould, the rest got to be killed.

I dreaded getting that mark. My mom said she'd never seen me so genuinely sick about an exam before.

I flinched everyday I checked the system, waiting to see my 81 turn into a grade that would mean I had to repeat the course. I refreshed, and rechecked, refreshed and rechecked.

Then one day, BAM, all the marks were displayed.My grade was slightly better than 80. HUH ?! I scrolled, my discussion mark was where is should be, and then.........

76% on the exam. WTF? Excuse me Lambton, I think your instructor is broken. She graded a poor excuse for an exam as well as an essay at the B level. I personally thought low c for both. But hey, what do I know.

Anyhow, I ended up with an A-. AMAZING and definitely a good enough mark that I don't have to repeat. Thank goodness, cause I don't think I would have survived another month of it.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

On the flip side of vacation...

Ew. I always think taking a vacation is so much more work than just not. So true. I had to catch up at work, study for an exam that was only 4 days away, and clean the house again, even though we weren't home for a week.

The week after vacation, something went wrong every single day. Surprise, we changed your gas meter so now you have no heat until we come back and turn it on for you! We'll be there between 4 and 9 pm so please be home - NOT! After my phone call, they returned within 20 minutes and we had heat. Surprise, the staff meeting is changed to this week, sorry but I can't be there on account of no sitter (lack of notice to get one) and I have a HUGE exam the next night. Surprise, that meeting that didn't get confirmed is actually happening, hope you're ready (I wasn't but it was okay) Surprise, the exam for the most horrible course you have ever taken is following suit, 3 essay questions, no choices, answer em all - sorry you don't remember more than half of one answer. (thankfully this turned out beyond OK!) Surprise, we are turning off your the hydro to your place of work (I cook for 40 two snacks plus lunch) today, sorry about your luck.

Was I ever glad the week following vacation was over.

I have doubts as to whether I will take a vacation again.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

I need a vacation from my vacation!

Whew, four days, 2 parks, 1 beach, a half dozen restaraunts, one tank of gas, and about 16 hrs sleep from Sunday to arriving at our house on Friday around 3:15 am.

I hurt everywhere, I was exhausted, and Laura came to my room at 7:30 " Mama can I watch cartoons with you?" Yes, just let me sleep please

8:15 ish Kenzie joins us.

8:30 Mama we're hungry
You know those granola bars in the cupboard, go get yourselves one. I'll make breakfast soon.

9:00 Mama, we're hungry again and we want to go play.
(Keep in mind I have slept in my own queen size comfy bed for about 4.5 hours, 1.5 of which was interrupted by my darlings.

"K, lemme make a coffeeeeee, and I'll cook you pancakes"

10:00 (2 coffees later) Mama, are the pancakes ready?
Crap, I knew I was forgetting something.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Kenzie and Laura Invade Orlando - Day 4

Thursday, our final day, began with loading up all our crap into the jeep. I don't travel light, and I spent every penny I had set aside for this trip, meaning that we had more stuff to bring back. Thankfully, the twins acutal stuff took up a small corner of my suitcase, and their baggage allowances made up for all the new things.

We hit IHOP again - what can I say, spinach & mushrooms wrapped in an omellete drizzled with hollandaise, then spattered with cholula hot sauce is my new fav breakie.

On to Sea World for day 2. We had already fed sting rays on our first day ( I forgot to write about that), so on this day, we took in a different show, fed seals & sea lions, and dolphins. This is one of the dolphins we fed, they were all really cool, well trained, the girls got to touch them a bit. I managed to pet them as much as possible. It was a short day, as we needed to be at the airport around 5:30 - 6 ish to check in for our 8:10 flight home.

The girls had a nap in the jeep while Mom and I cruised unintentionally around the airport. We kept going under over passes on the service roads (now keep in mind before I tell you this, I have only ever been to 3 airports other than Pearson) I mentioned how neat it would be if the overpasses were for planes. Enter my travel naievety. Planes were going over these overpasses. They would taxi away from the terminal, head out to the runways using the overpass to reach it. Cool. (Our plane went over one, which was even cooler)

We checked our luggage, ate McDonalds for dinner (Grammy was having a puff and getting a starbucks) and headed for the gate.

It was a great trip, I just finished the scrapbook, so many smiles, so much excitement got caught in those pages. I would do it all again in a heartbeat ~ but maybe add more beach time.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Kenzie and Laura Invade Orlando - Day 3

Ahhhh, this was our down day. Well timed too, since the first two days had been a whirlwind. We headed for the beach. Daytona Beach that is, which legally is actually called Volusia Beach now (there is only a very tiny portion called Daytona, which means the Tom Tom couldn't find it).

We had breakie (Shoney's this time) and made our way to the bee line. The hope was that two little girls would snooze on the way, but to no avail. We needed to make a pit stop about half way there, and saw a Super Target. Woohoo shopping pit stop! We got some snacks, a coffee, and some new clothes.

We got to Daytona, paid our $5 all day parking/usage fee, and cruised down the sand. The girls were just becoming extremely impatient when we spotted what we were looking for, the Sanddollar, where my family used to join my grandparents for some September beach enjoyment. There was a spot to park not too far away, and a main guard tower, complete with change rooms and shower. PERFECT.

There was a purple flag (biological warning, in this case very small jellyfish that sting) and a yellow flag (meaning use caution, strong pulls and potential rip tides were happening) so I personally didn't venture beyond my waist with the girls since I found dragging them through the pull a little difficult. They loved it, except when they got salty water in their mouths ~ I told them and told them, but they kept on screaming wide mouthed when a wave hit.

At our Super Target we grabbed some cheapie sand toys, and the girls made a sand flower with grammy. (I really really don't like sand, so much so that I made us all set down my beach blanket below the tide line so we'd be in wet, packed sand which isn't as offensive as the dry stuff)

After the beach, we decided to have an early supper, since the girls would likely crash out on the drive back to Orlando (its 1 - 1 1/2 hours). We had checked online before heading down, and my favourite restaurant from when I was a kid had been closed for a condo development, but Mom managed to find Aunt CatFish's which was great.

The girls did crash out, I had to carry them up the stairs again from the car. Mom and I spent the evening packing up and sorting so that we were ready for the airport after Sea World part two.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Kenzie and Laura Invade Orlando - Day 2

Well rested, we dressed, ate breakfast at IHOP (SO YUMMY) and headed to the Magic Kingdom.

After a photo shoot with Walt and Minnie, with Main Street USA as a backdrop, we headed straight for the Emporium to get ballcaps for the girls, and then onto Adventureland to get Fast passes for the Jungle Cruise. We visited the Tiki Room, Swiss Family Robinson Tree House, and rode the magic carpets of Aladin.

After lunch, and a visit to the Country Bear Jamboree, we headed to Liberty Square. We took in the Haunted House (thanks to some jack a$$es in the car ahead of us, the ride stopped and didn't continue for over 5 minutes) then the parade. After the Parade, we found Princess Tiana and Prince Naveen from The Princess and the Frog. After a short wait, we got to spend some time with them, and got some wonderful pictures.
The girls were getting pretty tired by this time, so we had some frozen lemonade and a seat in the shade on on the roof of the entry gates where the train station is. From here we saw the retreat of the flag, and the Street Party (a short 5 pm parade featuring characters not seen in earlier the earlier parade). We decided we needed more rest if we were going to make it to the fireworks, so we rode the steam train around the park. We still hadn't met Mickey, Minnie, the Princesses, or the Fairies, which meant we went back to get Grammy at the main train station and rode to the Toontown stop.

Our first order of business was to head for Mickey Mouse's house, then on to the "Judge's Tent" to meet the big cheese himself. The girls were very good, Laura napped on my shoulder while we waited in line. When they were called, both twins rushed poor Minnie before I could slow them down, nearly knocking her over. They hugged Mickey, and then posed for this photograph. Then it was on to Minnie's house to play.

Grammy had been waiting outside for us, and while she waited, she had found face painting and the girls had their faces done. Laura was a cheshire cat, and Mack was Minnie Mouse. We really enjoyed Minnie's house, especially her living room. After checking her baking, looking in the fridge and listening to her messages, we left Minnie's to accomplish our biggest objective: Meet the fairies and the princesses. First we met the fairies, having to shrink down to fairy size to fit in pixie hollow. Iridessa met us at the entry, then we chatted with Tink, and examined the fall sceptre. The girls made sure to chastise Terrance for breaking the blue moonstone. We spent some time with Cinderella, Belle, and Aurora. After meeting our favourite characters, we headed back to the castle to watch fireworks. Tinkerbell streaks through the sky, heading home to Peter in Neverland. (Its a real person, up impossibly high, on a zipline jumping from a window way up in the main tower of the castle. CRAZY!)

Friday, April 30, 2010

Kenzie and Laura Invade Orlando - Day 1

So, the plan on Day 1 was to get the car, and head to Sea World. They have a great offer right now. You can buy your tickets online, save $10 per adult, and then you qualify to get a second day free, you just have to go to the ticket window inside the entrance and get your day 2 tickets.

We got to Sea World, having enjoyed some subway enroute, and headed for the first show. Here we are waiting. Laura doesn't do well off routine, so she was fighting a case of grumpiness. We had warned the girls ahead of time that if we sat in a certain area, we would be splashed by the whales, and would get VERY wet. They were all for it, until.............

Yep, that's right, they were all for it until it happened. Man was Kenzie MAD. From there we headed to Shamu's Happy Harbour. We each took a child on the Shamu coaster, which the girls loved, and mommy.... well..... let's just say that roller coasters are what Uncles and Grammy's are for. I don't do coasters. Then they went on a high ride with Grammy - the main reason I don't do coasters is height. I like fast, I like circles, but NOT height. A spin on the merry go round with mommy and supper ended our day at the park.

We checked in to the hotel, and of course, the girls saw the pool. So we had to go swimming. Turns out, the pool was heated, and a salt pool, not a chlorine pool, which was wonderful. It was warmer in the water than in the night breeze.

Stay tuned for Day 2, I took TONS of pictures since this was our Disney World day.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Kenzie and Laura Invade Orlando - the Pretrip

So, the almost two months flew from the time I booked the trip to the time we went on the trip. Part of what kept me busy was a horrible History of Western Civilization course. I had to get a test, and assignment, two discussions and a major essay done before I could leave, and when we got back, I would have a few days before the awful exam.

We headed to Toronto the Sunday afternoon, hung out with Uncle Ricky - the girls loved playing with all the stray golf balls in Ricky's yard. We had supper, then headed to a hotel to sleep until we had to head to the airport at 3:30.

Can you find my children sleeping in this massive King size bed?

The girls were amazing, they got up and grabbed their stuff to park the car and catch the shuttle (we had put them to bed in their travelling outfits). They went through security, and US customs with ease, then settled into a bagel and milk before getting on their very first big plane!

It was really nice, because the gate we were at gave us a view of our plane. And we met a pilot waiting to deadhead to Orlando. (Unfortunately I was not coherent enough nor organized enough to take a picture of their first big plane :(

And this is what they looked like on our way to Sea World and hour and a half after getting off the plane. We let them sleep for a bit while I grabbed some subway, and we scoped out the little groceteria for some of our favourite south of the border snacks and drinks - sadly I did not find any yoo hoo the entire day.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Close your eyes, bend your knees and jump in with both feet!

Near the end of February, I did my taxes. Then I decided something, and before I could reconsider, I jumped in with both feet and acted on it.

I booked a four day vacation with my girls (and mom) in Orlando.

One of my dreams has been to be the first to take my girls to Disney World. To see the look on their faces when they saw the castle for the first time, and met their favourite Disney character for the first time.

So, thanks to Revenue Canada my dream was realized.

Monday, April 26, 2010

March started to pick up a bit....

So, with all this new work happening, the kids and I haven't been getting a lot of quality time together. So on the first weekend in March, I was off, and kept the kids home with me. The weather was supposed to be quite nice, so we headed for the zoo to use our new membership for the first time! It was a nice sunny cool day. A few words of advice though if you go to the zoo in the off season: take your own lunch. The only foodservices open are the cafe at the entrance and the Africas outdoor restaurant. The line up here was over 30 minutes long, we were squished, squashed and otherwise mistreated by all the other squished squashed people in in line, and the staff were downright rude - who has to care about one sale, when you have 100 other people waiting. Then there was no where to sit with 2 children and a tray out of the wind, so we sat in the muddy, wet, goose infested picnic area trying to keep our lunch from being stolen, our napkins from blowing away, and getting cold in the wind. Not a fun time.

BUT with the sunny but cool weather, many animals who are normally snoozing when we see them were alert and active. The lions were romping around, the elephants actually outside and moving, it was great.

I think our latest favourite animal (formerly the giraffe) is the Orangutan. There are two places to watch the Orangs from, and the lookout is the best. A nursing mother brought her tiny baby to the window for all to admire, and juvenile played dress up with a blanket, making itself a nun, and the alpha male even treated us to a hello, right up to the glass separating us. It was a great day.

And even better, we arrived home to homemade sloppy joes that warmed in the slowcooker for our late night dinner.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

So, February at a glance.

Not much happened in February. The kids swam, did their gymnastics, went to their Dad's house. I cooked, cleaned, worked three jobs and did the stupid History course. Really, nothing much to say about the entire month of February. Heck, according to my camera, I didn't even take a single picture this month.

Sorry folks, this makes for really boring reading.

Whew, I'm glad that's over

Whew, I'm glad that's over, or at least for now.

I wrote my History of Western Civilization exam last Wednesday night. The course was a really bad course. Horrible textbook, LAZY instructor who didn't provide any feedback on assignments so you couldn't improve. I usually like to learn about history, but this was awful. But its done, at least for now, cause I'm not so sure I passed the final exam. Just putting that out there, I may have failed the final. I have never had a final like it though, so I don't know if it was me, or if it was poor exam structure.

So, I will need to blog about a lot in the coming few weeks, since we have been to the zoo twice, we have been on a family vacation to FLORIDA and DISNEY WORLD and SEAWORLD, and there have been many other developments as well.

So stay tuned, I took lots of pics, have lots to share.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Cooking in Daycare

So, I have been at this cooking thing for 4 weeks now. I must say I love it. And I don't hate cooking when I get home, either. I am going to start working on my Spring menus soon. Can't wait to break out my idea box.

I am going to start sharing my absolute favourite daycare recipes from time to time, including the surprise hit Black Bean Brownies. (believe it or not, they are amazing!)

On fire drills and such

So, this totally ruined my entire day.

Daycares are required to have fire drills once per month, even in the winter, and you can't do it halfway.

So, Thursday as I am cooking pasta for lunch, there goes the fire alarm. I knew it was coming, in the winter, the supervisor gives the infant teachers a couple of minutes heads up so they can quickly grab blankets or coats for the babies. We were supposed to have this Friday, but with the forecast of -20s before windchill, the supervisor decided it best that we complete the drill in the single digit negatives. (Let's face it, Friday would have been dangerous)

So, the alarm goes off, I reluctantly turn off my pasta pot, off the oven, stop the microwave, turn off my dishwasher (all heat bearing appliances must be turned off) grab the medication boxes, grab a baby and swath her in blankets and head outside.

The breath leaves my body. I AM INSTANTLY COLD. There were snow squalls that day, and a very bitter wind ahead of our deep freeze was blowing. And when you cook in a kitchen with a dishwasher that blows 190 degree F steam all over you every three minutes, your clothes and skin get damp. Hadn't really noticed this fact until the cold hit me.

Wowsa. By the time we went inside, I had stopped shivering, and ice crystals had started forming on my arms and pants.

I hand back my baby who is NOT IMPRESSED, and head back to the kitchen, telling everyone that lunch will be LATE, very LATE. It is almost 11:00, and the pasta isnt cooked.

Between the extra hour added to my day and the stiff sore muscles that had been shocked first heading outside, then coming into 20+ degrees of warmth, I ended the day miserably.

Monday, January 11, 2010

On cars and birthdays


This year, right around the time that everyone was doing the Christmas scramble, I received some mail from the Ontario government. Now I should have seen it coming, really, if I had thought about the last time I received this mail, the twins are 5 now, so logic should have followed...

Not only did I get my plate renewal, requiring e test none the less, I got a license renewal requiring picture AND a health card renewal requiring picture. EW! Thankfully we don't pay for our health cards, if we did I'd be flat broke this month.

Now when I took the new job, I planned on replacing all four tires this month. They aren't completely worn to the wear bars, but with all the snow we've gotten so far, I need to swap them now. The little green bomb just can't get decent traction on snow these days.

Then, last weekend, I went to the store to work, I got out of my car, shut the door, and Nickelback continued to blare from my speakers. I checked my pockets, and my keys were in one. WTF!

Oh wait, this happened last year too. The door switch must be frozen again. Monday afternoon, I talk to Bob at my in laws shop, and reminded me that last year, we had to eventually replace the switch. He told me where to get one, and that he would fix it once I got one. Great!

Last year this same part cost me about $7, this year, almost $13!

So, with tires being done Sunday, the door switch and the merry birthday for over $225 for your driving privileges from the Ontario government, we're looking at, in the span of 40 hours blowing almost $700!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I think I need an advil!

Sunday, January 10, 2010


So, I've been remiss in my posts again. We had Christmas, New Years, and the start of my new job. Also, I've had to set up my new computer with all my school stuff, all my work stuff, and all my personal stuff. This was one of the last items to be done, and I am still working on it. Speaking of which... anyone know if its possible to import your email messages from Outlook to Windows Mail? I have done a small amount of searching and cannot find anything that works.

I love my new job, but it is taking awhile to get the hang of it. A couple of days I went way over my time limit. Great for my pay cheque but not so great for the daycare.

More updates to come, as time allows.