Sunday, February 27, 2011

Getting One Step Closer to COLOUR!!

The walls are scraped and the holes are patched.  Just have to sand down the walls and Brian will start painting the ceiling.  Then, come the next 2 weeks, I can get my wall paint.  I did buy a sample jar to's a big space and a bold colour, so I want to be sure!

What do you think?

Friday, February 25, 2011

Ginger Abuse

I had to write this post!

It has nothing to do with people who use too much ginger in their cooking.

Ginger abuse is a form of bullying directed at people with red hair.

I was watching ABC's What Would You Do on Tuesday night.  This is a great show.  I don't watch it often, but do tune in if there is nothing else to watch.  If you haven't caught it, it's a show that puts actors into real life situations involving events such as being harassed in public and then records the results of by-standers and if people step in. 

Anyway, the episode ideas all came from viewer submission and the one that caught my eye the most was from a 12 year old boy who gets picked on because of his hair colour.

Now, I come from a long line of red heads on my mom's side, and I have heard her stories of being picked on.  I can understand the being picked on part...story of my life!

Now, as a mother of a ginger boy, I could not imagine someone picking on this lovable little boy!  Granted, I am the first one to jokingly comment to people who say how cute he is that they should just wait until he is about 12, when he's pimply, gangly and looks as awkward as you can get. But I would never say that to him or make him feel bad for it.

Kids can be so cruel!  I will admit, I remember all the people who picked on me and most of the things they did or said still stick with me.  Not to say I am innocent, I did the same thing to others a time or to.  To those people I do apologize and regret it everyday.  I have had the opportunity to "clear the air" with someone who bullied me, and it was liberating! 

As a mother, I will defend my children tooth and nail!  This momma bear will come out a-roaring!  The part that also bothered me is they were talking about the show "SouthPark" and in one episode, they have a "Kick A Ginger Day", meaning kick someone with red hair!!  ARRR...I just DARE someone to kick my guy because of his hair!

Now, tell me...could you kick this?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Let The Decorating Begin!

OK, so I mentioned in a previous post my desire to personalize my house and make it a home.  Now that Christmas is over and I don't have to spend extra cash flow on gifts, I am focusing on getting ready to paint.

Now see, we did paint when we moved in....we painted the kids rooms.  Much to our chagrin, the paint started peeling off in large chunks within days of painting.  This is what I figure an effort to make the house look fresh for resale, the previous idiots owners must have painted latex over oil, with no prep work first.

So, I knew we would have to do some major prep work before we just painted.  I phoned around, did some research online, but in the end, no matter how much I hoped all the info was wrong, the only way to do the job right is to scrap off all the paint, rough up the wall surface with sandpaper, prime and then paint.  So much for the bonuses to a large house.  In reality, we are looking at about 1000 square feet we need to prep like this.

Anyhoo, I tested a couple spots on the kitchen where paint was already starting to peel.  Easy peasy!  It came off like nothing!  I told my dear hubby that I would peel and sand.

Now, this is the part where I GUSH about how fabulous my husband is!  Honey, if you are reading this blog, stop now, I don't want your head to swell too much.  You are a fabulous, hard working man!

OK ladies, listen up.....this is a tip I learned from my momma, and boy does it work!  You asked your husband to hang that picture a few weeks ago and it has yet to be completed, this is what you do....go and do it yourself BUT bring in the wrong tools.  For example, come in with a hand saw and a screwdriver.  You then hold them up to your husband and say "this is what I need to hang that picture, right?"  I promise you, within minutes, he will be out of that chair, getting the proper tools, and will have the task completed! 
So, after my little bit of test peeling, I said to my wonderful husband (in case he did keep reading) "honey, this paint is going to come off real easy.  Heck, I could use a butter knife to do it!"  Next thing I know, he's in the kitchen, scraping paint.

I am hoping by next weekend, the walls will be scraped and sanded, and we will start by tackling the ceiling.  Soon after that...HELLO COLOUR!!

What would a blog be without photos!

Just the beginning
Daddy's helper...he loved to peel off the paint
Another little fart eager to help daddy!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Formula For What Just Happened In The Last 20 Minutes

A quick breakdown of how the occurrences of the last 20 minutes all started!

  1. 2003 - Met Brian
  2. 2004 - We got a home of our own
  3. 2004 - An unexplained desire for an orange kitten
  4. 2004 - Got said orange kitten
  5. 2004 - Realization that he has a hankering for trouble
  6. 2006 - Hayden born
  7. 2009 - Abby born
  8. Today @ 4:15 pm- Hayden makes snowman out of Styrofoam balls
  9. Today @ 5:00 p.m. - Puts said snowman on the bakers rack, out of pesky sister's reach
  10. Today @ 9:19 pm - Said orange cat decided to try and steal hand made snowman
  11. Today @ 9:21 pm - Amy's computer time disturbed by HUGE glass shattering crash from upstairs
  12. Today @ 9:22 pm - Discovery that decorative mason jar full of popcorn kernels is now broken and  ALL over the kitchen floor
  13. Today @ 9:23 - Choice words said while I sweep and Vacuum entire kitchen
  14. Today @ 9:39 - Complete surprise that popcorn didn't pop, between steam coming from my ears and the cyclonic action in the vacuum
  15. Today @ 9:51 pm - This post with included photo

    2 Cats Free To A Good Home
    (I think the sidekick is guilty too!)

Story Time

Almost every night before bed is story time for Hayden.  I am sure this is a common occurrence in every house that has children. If you have children and it is not part of your bedtime routine, I suggest you try it.  A book only takes about 2-3 minutes to read and it's great to see the "light" come on as they get older and start figuring out the plot line.

Tonight I read one of my favorite books we have to Hayden.  I picked it up through his book order last year. 

This is my recommended read if you have kids (Heck, it's even fun to read as an adult) Or if you are looking for a great book for a gift, consider this one.  The colours and pictures are great.  Hayden even helps me read it!
Down by the Cool of the Pool
Photo Courtesy of

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

My Personal Tribute

I have been rolling this blog post idea around in my mind for a bit.  I wanted to write it, but I wanted to think about it first.

Just a little over a month ago, my grandfather on my mom's side passed away.  It was terribly sad, even though we had been prepared for it.  It's the finality of it.  I no longer have any grandparents.

I am comforted with the knowledge that I spent lots of time with him growing up and have countless memories, that he met my husband and attended my wedding.  I also feel blessed that he met both of my children and spent some time with them.  My last memory of him is a simple one, and not one I have shared with anyone else until this very moment.  The family got together for Christmas, even Grampa, despite the fact I know he wasn't feeling well and probably wanted nothing more than to hole up at home and relax on the couch.  This by the way, was the day before he was admitted to hospital where he eventually passed about 2 weeks later.  He had just arrived a few minutes prior and he was in the doorway between the kitchen and the living room, he was taking everything in and Abby toddles by.  He smiles, reaches down and does that little hair ruffle thing with his fingers on her head.  That warmed my heart and actually brings tears to my eyes as I write this.  She looked up at him and then kept going.  He mentioned how big she was getting and how well she was moving around.

I was fortunate enough to assemble the photo boards to be displayed at his funeral.  I went through countless albums, smiling over old photos of him and my grandmother.  Others sent me their photos to remember him by.   I also felt I wanted to say something at the funeral, to share just a few of my memories.  Below is what I put together in tribute.

My name is Amy; I am Howard’s second eldest grandchild.  I am also Lynne’s daughter.  When I learned about grandpa’s passing, so many memories came to my mind.  I really wanted to share some of them with everyone.

Growing up, I spent so much time with both of my grandparents and I assure you, nothing was more important than family.  It was such a joy to have all the family gathered together and Grandma and Grandpa loved being that central hub where we all converged.  Not unlike most families, Christmas was the biggest event and over the years as the family grew, so did the number of seats at the table, but that didn’t matter, the meat just got sliced thinner and more water added to the gravy.  Just recently, Grandpa was spending some recovery time at moms and I was there for the day.  At one point, I decided to put up mom’s Christmas tree for her.  As the decorating started, Grandpa came to join us in the front room and we had so many laughs discussing Christmas’s past.

Of course, my memories just don’t surround holidays.  I remember Grandpa falling asleep on the living room floor and snoring so loud, I’m sure the windows shook, but he would wake up instantly if you changed the channel.

The dinner table rule:  If you sit beside Grandpa, you have to eat everything on your plate, but the reality was it was probably the best place to sit, because if you couldn’t finish it, there was a good chance Grandpa would.

He was notorious for changing the channel on the TV and then leaving the room.  I know I had many moments of stunned silence as Disney was switched to the news and then he was gone.

He was a jack of all trades and if you needed something, there was a good chance he had the parts somewhere or could cobble something up that would work. 

He was generous to a fault and would put everything on hold to help you out.

Our sadness at his passing should be comforted with the knowledge that his death is not an end. He lives on in his children and each generation that comes thereafter.

I didn't make it through my name before I started crying.  Each time I practiced at home I at least made it to the end.  But in the end, I was proud of myself for standing in front of that crowd and sharing.  I was also glad to have 2 of my other cousins up there for support, crying along with me.  Our memories similar despite our age differences.

There were also 4 songs played during the ceremony and when I hear them, I smile and sometimes shed a tear as well.

I Believe - Diamond Rio
Love, Me - Colin Raye
You Can Let Go Now - Crystal Shawanda
Voices - Chris Young

I hope you enjoyed my tribute. 

What would a tribute be without a photo!

Taken in 2007, Hayden was 6 months,
It was Grampa's 80th Birthday

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

I Didn't Know I Was Such A Worthy Valentine!


That sums up Feb. 14 for this gal.  Ok, well actually, it started on the Friday, but who am I to split hairs.

In our house, Valentine's Day is one of those hit and miss holidays.  If we think of it or there is money for it, we get each other something.  No divorce papers will be filed if someone comes home empty handed.  A kiss and a "Happy Valentine's Day" is all I need to be happy.

I got way more than that this year! 

Friday night, as a family we went out for dinner.  On Sunday, Brian came home from town with a dozen roses and then yesterday, he came home with chocolates and a card.
The Chocolate and Card
(the yummy chocolates, I had to
rearrange them so you couldn't
tell we already had some!)

The Roses

So, just when I thought my gift receiving was complete, my dad pops over.  BIG surprise, he had Hayden hand me a gift box from Mappin's Jewelry.  Inside was a lovely silver heart pendant! ( mom got one too, just in case you thought he better look after his own sweetie instead)

The Bling from my daddy!
Monday night was filled with heart shaped goodies.  Last year I bought a heart shaped baking sheet and intended to make the most of it.  We had heart shaped pizza and each of the kids had a Valentine's Day party today (Tuesday) that I had to make treats for.  Sorry, no pictures of the pizza.  We were too hungry for a photo shoot.

Hayden's treat, mini rice krispie squares

Abby's treat, heart shaped Chocolate Chip Cookie
I spent all night in the kitchen baking and cleaning up, but it was worth it :-)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Worthy Of A Photo Shoot

Last week at Hayden's school, they were having a cupcake sale as a fundraiser.  I WAS PUMPED!!! I love doing this sort of stuff and now that Hayden is in school, I look forward to all the class parties and bake sales that will come my way. 
You know those commercials where the parent finds the flyer in the child's backpack that says they must bring 5 dozen cupcakes by tomorrow and the parent freaks out?!?  I would be in my GLORY!! Get out of my way, I'm heading for the kitchen!

So, I made some awesome cupcakes last year for Hayden's nursery school.  The woman in charge of the daycare called me about 10 minutes after I dropped them off to see if I bought them or made them.  I was so pleased to hear that.  And I think I know why, my mom ALWAYS made stuff for parties at school and I was always so proud to take my treats. (well, except for the year dad put the cupcakes into the car upside down and he had to send me with chips)  These are memories that will stick with me a lifetime and I want my children to have the same experience.

Anyway, back to my, how can I make my cupcakes even more awesome?  Suddenly, I remembered having seen somewhere that they can be made in ice cream cones.  Yup, I was going to try that!  I bought all the stuff and prepared to make a sample batch. I didn't want to screw them up for the sale.

Here they are all baked up

And here it is, all finished and ready to eat
Hayden really liked them and thought they were tasty, however, I didn't love them.  I had to think on it.

Then, I ran into the woman who runs the day care and she said to me, "are you making your awesome cupcakes for the sale?"  Yup, I said,   With a smile she replied " I thought so, I want to see them when you bring them in"   My mind was settled, I would make my "standard" cupcakes. I think they turned out pretty great, what do you think?

I will let you in on a secret...use a piping bag to ice them.  If you have never used a piping bag for cupcakes, put away the butter knife you use to slather on the icing.  Go to the store and get a # 22 star tip.  You also need the coupler that holds the tip in.  Then, just put the icing in the piping bag ( I just use disposable ones), twist the top and evenly apply pressure as you circle around the cupcake from the outside towards the centre. Voila!

Hayden thought these ones were pretty tasty too of course.  According to him, he had one of mine at school from the sale and also picked one of mine to bring home.  Guess it's a compliment if out of all the cupcakes to choose from, your son picks yours.  Guess I can't go wrong in his eyes!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Tiny Tootsies

Abby is now 14 1/2 months old and I JUST bought her a pair of shoes!  GASP! I know, but hey, it's winter, and she doesn't go out in the snow, so she doesn't need boots. Plus, she does have a pair of Robeez that she uses all the time.  But, she LOVES shoes.  If mine are off my feet, she has them on.  One day, she even bugged me to put Hayden's size 9 running shoes on her feet.  Despite the fact that they would only stay on if she was standing, she was in heaven and did manage to walk around the living room in them.

So, I went to payless shoes and picked her up two pairs.  In my mind, I had a vision of the photos I would take and the post I would create out of them.  I am not a photographer, and I didn't manage to capture exactly what I wanted, but here it goes anyway.

Abby checking out her new boot, it's an "Ugg" style boot

In infant size, it's an "Aww" boot

Before the fashion show
The "Uggs"
Every little girl needs a pair of brown and pink sneakers..
plus, Abby can run like the wind!
She was excited to see them and wanted them on right away.  She knew exactly what to do and pushed her little foot in.  I put them on and she just stomped her feet.  Then, for the rest of the night, she just ran circles around the furniture in the living room.  One pair on her feet, the other pair in her hands!

And just because he is spoiled..
a brand new pair of Buzz Lightyear running shoes for Hayden
that light up when we runs "super fast",
they just make a lot of noise at 6:30 am when he decides to put them on for the day!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

It's A Mystery

The above are 3 words you never want to come out of your 4 year old's mouth.  This is Hayden's latest saying, whether it's because he is looking for a missing sock or you ask him how something happened.

My son's most recent fascination is monster trucks...ok, it's not recent, but this week, he has ramped up his pretend play.  He is the monster truck "El Toro Loco"  For those of you lucky enough not to have a 4 year old son, who is obsessed with Monster Trucks, below is the amazing "El Toro Loco"

Go to fullsize image

Now, don't get me wrong, he loves any monster truck that comes along.  But this week, El Toro has won his heart.    A few weeks ago, he had 2 empty toilet paper rolls that he used as horns.  He played Monster Jam outside with dad, and stuck the "horns" in his hat.

This is how my "mystery" for the week started.  Now, let me set the scene....every morning, Hayden is allowed to get out of bed and turn on the tv, already set to cartoons.  He is usually up around 6 and that is earlier than I would like to be up.  Most mornings I don't hear a peep from him.  Monday was not really any different, UNTIL....I got out of bed.  I walked into the kitchen and he follows in behind me.  The first words out of his mouth are "I was going getting this out of the bathroom".  I turned around and said, "getting what?"  "Just this" and he holds up an empty toilet paper roll.  The rest of the conversation went like this:

"where did you say you got that?"
"the bathroom"
"and was it in the garbage?"
"no, not in garbage"
"where was it then?" (already having a sinking feeling in my gut)
"on the back of the toilet"
"was it empty?"
"where did the toilet paper go that was on it?"
"I took it off"
"and where did you put it?"
"in the garbage"

This last was a bit of relief, I had visions of the jumbo roll we got at Costco filling up the toilet.  Seeing it was only 7:30 in the morning, I was in no mood to fish toilet paper out of the toilet before it got flushed.  He was quite upset that I took his "horn" from him and wound up a good half roll of paper out of the wastebasket.

My mystery continued this morning...this time it started with Hayden looking me in the face at 6:30 saying, "I just have this" was a spoon and the apple sauce.  Ok, not an odd request. He is often hungry when he gets up and finds a snack in the cupboard.  As I walk out the bedroom door, this is the site I am greeted to.

Hayden is in front of the bathroom door, standing "spread eagle" so I can't go in.  The words out of his mouth..

" I wasn't doing nothing in the bathroom"

Now, any mom knows that is code for:  I am pretty sure you will get mad at what I have done, so, let's just pretend I didn't do anything and all is good!

Ever experience Deja Vu?  I did.
"what did you do Hayden?"
"I was just getting this" (he produced an empty toilet paper roll)
"and where did the toilet paper go?"
"oh, ha ha, in the toilet"

Luckily, it went down without any trouble.  I gave up, let him have his horns.  BUT, after the sitter got to the house and I talked to her for a few minutes...I solved the mystery of the horn fascination this week.  Yesterday, he had a playdate with his other monster truck obsessed friend. While playing in the closet, they came across 4 empty toilet paper rolls (apparently, he is stock piling them).  The sitter told him they would save them for crafts.  But I think it jarred his memory that they make perfect horns to be El Toro and if he couldn't have the ones in his closet, he would just have to find some more.

Kids, gotta love them :-)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Grass Isn't Always Greener

So, I was reading through a couple blogs today, one of a friend who has 2 children of her own.  I met both her and her husband (at the infancy of their relationship) while we were all staff at a summer camp.  We have managed to keep in touch for about 12 years, through letters.  However, the lack of communication slowed as our families grew....I will take complete blame for that one though!  I recently found her on facebook and got reacquainted with her life.  Her most recent post was on the emotional struggles she has been having with one of her sons, knowing something wasn't quite right, but not sure where to find answers. 

That got me thinking, one should never judge another.  You never know what that person is dealing with.  We tend to think that so many others have it better than us, that if we could only have what they do, our life would be complete.  Well, I feel no one is without struggle, it just varies.

My family has had our share of struggles, some more personal than others, but I will share the struggles we have had with our son, Hayden.

We welcomed our son on December 19, 2006.  The pregnancy was pretty easy, just the regular complaints.  He was big, 9 lbs, 5 oz. and after a full day of labour, which included an hour of pushing....ended up being born via c-section.

Things were great, he seemed to be progressing every way needed to, except in one area...SPEECH!  Now, don't get me wrong, he was able to communicate, but not verbally.  By the age of 2, his vocabulary was pretty limited to about 20 words, but thinking back, those words were more sounds (ma ma, da da, ba ba, etc). His comprehension was bang on, because he could follow direction and understand what we were asking of him.  I found out through a contact at work that you could self refer to the speech therapy program at Five Counties Children's Centre here in Peterborough.  I did that the same day, as I was also told by the same contact that the wait list was about 6 months.  At this point, we were not overly concerned, and were going to give it until he was about 3 until we really worried. (that would be about the waiting time)  I went with the theory that we could cancel if we needed to.

Suggestions came from everywhere and so many people said "my son/daughter was a late talker, it will come" or "don't give him the cookie until he says cookie", but my motherly instinct told me that was not the case.

We finally had our first speech therapy appointment and got some answers.  The therapist gave me a hand out on Verbal Dyspraxia (Verbal dyspraxia is also a neurological disorder and affects the production of speech. There is no actual damage to the nerves or muscles used in speech, but the child cannot voluntarily coordinate their muscles to produce the right speech sounds or words. )  My initial thought was no, my son does not have this, the write up she gave me didn't feel right to me in describing Hayden.  Then I found a book that had an actual case study of a child with Verbal Dyspraxia. I closed the book and said THAT IS MY SON!!  We bounced back and forth for a few months of going just once a month, trying things at home and reporting back.  I was getting frustrated because I knew we needed something more intense. We started going for an hour every week and the progress he made was remarkable.  In the past year, he went from this limited vocabulary to the non-stop talking boy we have now.  There honestly are days when I think "remember how quiet it was before we taught him to talk"  We still have speech therapy and will now be focusing more on clarity and using the proper tense of words.

I must say, there is no better tempered child to deal with this.  He never got frustrated by not being able to tell you what he needed.  He used gestures, pointed to things or showed you what he needed. To this day, he will repeat himself 100 times if necessary to get you to understand.  I would do anything to help my children succeed, even if it meant flying them to the moon. I would find a way to make it happen.

Perhaps this is something I have learned from my parents.  They would do anything for me and have helped me out as an adult more times than I can count or even express enough thanks for.  I hope you have stuck with me though this rambling blog.  My point is..the grass isn't always greener on the other side, and don't judge others because you never know what they are dealing with and how they cope may be difficult for us to comprehend.