Sunday, August 30, 2009


Makes everything better.

My husband wrapped asparagus in bacon then grilled them. Heaven!

Friday, August 28, 2009

A Monster Thank You

Earlier in the summer, my son had his 5th birthday party. I'm just now getting his thank you cards out. I know, I know. I have a greeting card shop and I'm just now getting my personal ones done. But, I figure I have some excuse. Two out of town trips and three ER trips. That's what I'm sticking to here. Ok, on to the cards.

I figured this little guy would be fun for a boy thank you card.

Now, I just have to get Stas to sign them...

Thursday, August 27, 2009

A Dentist, an iPhone and Laughing Gas

I am afraid of going to the dentist for cavities and other work involving a drill. I'm fine to get my teeth cleaned, but start that drill and I shake so bad it is hard for the dentist to work on me. In 1987, I had my first experience with laughing gas and dental work. It was amazing; it made getting work done more bearable for me.

Since I've had my children, my not so good teeth have gotten worse and I need a couple of crowns. My sister-in-law recently went to the dentist with her iPod and I thought I would take my iPhone since I've not had the opportunity to actually listen to more than a few songs at a time on it and to distract me from the work. I learned 3 very important things during my recent work yesterday:

1) Apparently, even with laughing gas, my anxiety is so high (no pun intended) that I squeezed my iPhone so hard I turned the volume down just as the doctor was about to drill. I heard the drill, their conversation and my music was just in the background. I forgot the volume button was just on the side and couldn't figure out how to raise the sound. I eventually did.

2) Laughing gas and an iPhone, now with the volume turned up, still means I can feel it when the first novacaine shot isn't enough.

3) I distincly remmeber four songs. I was there for an hour and a half. Granted, there is an amount of prep time, oxygen time for coming off the nitrus and time to fit me with my temporary crown. I know he drilled for more than 12 minutes.

I guess the laughing gas works pretty well after all.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Conversations with a Five Year Old

My son is pirate crazy. As in loves-everything-pirate. We've had a pirate birthday party, a treasury hunt, he has a hat plus tons of pirate legos.

Today, we had the following conversation:

Stas--Mommy can you make me a pirate costume?


Stas--No, tomorrow while I'm at school will be fine.


Stas--Yes. I'll remind you tomorrow so you don't forget.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Garden Finds

A couple of days ago, the kids and I were out playing in the yard and came across some great finds.

This bee flew into the deck and knocked itself silly. We put it on a leaf on one of the chairs so the puppy wouldn't eat it then let it go. It is very cool looking, isn't it?

I thought my Rose of Sharon blooms were moldy. They aren't. As the blooms die they seem to get these fibers on them that are a darker version of their blooms. I have no idea what they are, but they are very cool looking.

I happened to catch a moth on one of my lantana as well.

Now if I could just get that hummingbird to hold still for a second so I could get a picture. I know, wishfull thinking.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Mornings at the Park

Since Big Brother started school on Wednesday, my friend Jenn and I met at the park that morning to let the younger kids play and wear them out for naps.

Bohdan had a great time on the slides. He even learned to climb the ladder thanks to Jenn.

He followed Jaina around everywhere she went.
Putting some moves on her.
It's easy to see why; she's beautiful.

I hope once I get Bohdan down to his new nap schedule, I can post more cards and such.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

First Day of Kindergarten

Yesterday we went to meet Stasiu's Kindergarten teacher and see where his classroom is. The classroom is awesome! They have multiple cubbies for their things, a home center, a puppet theater, computers, tables, and a great floor rug for story time. The door you see in the picture below has a birdfeeder right outside.

That is his teacher, Mrs. VantLeven.

Bohdan had a great time playing in the home center and with the blocks.

This morning, Bohdan was not happy Stasiu was going off to school.
Stasiu loves his Lightning McQueen backpack.
I thought there would be tears or shyness. Instead, he went right in to the class, put his backpack and lunchbox in the correct cubby and started talking to his teachers.
They gave him something to do right away. As I said bye to him, I got an absentminded wave over his shoulder.
He's going to love Kindergarten.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

New Blog Look

What do you think? I finally figured out how to use a couple programs and with The Cutest Blog On The Block, I now have a header.

Do you like it? Is it too dark? That's my only worry.

And just because I can't do a blog post without a picture, I give you this:

The boys were playing with bubbles in the yard yesterday and this is one of the ones they managed to not catch. The reflection is my crepe myrtle tree behind me.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Send in the Clowns

My firstborn, Puck, had his eye operated on today. He came home looking like this and all I could think of was the circus. I guess it's better than the old style gramophone cones.

No More Babies

Yesterday, my youngest turned two. I have no idea how it happened. It seems he was just a baby not too long ago. I can't say "baby" anymore since he is officially a toddler.

Here he is blowing out his candles.

He loved his cake. This is his "happy with the food" face.
At some point, the fork was just not shoving it in fast enough and he started using his hand.

He really does like his bike helmet.

It must have been a great party. He awoke with awesome bed head!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Now You See It...

My hair. Fuzzy, damaged and very stay-at-home-momish. If I can't fix it--assuming it will stay fixed--it just gets pulled up in a clip. I was ready for a change--and healthy hair. How was it damaged, you ask? Well.... I tried to lighten it myself. I know, I know, not the smartest thing to do.

So, here it the "before"

And the "after"

I really like it!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Grocery Game Bonanza!

Late Monday night and Wednesday morning I did my shopping. I know some of you have read my past posts on The Grocery Game and how I use it to lower my grocery bill. I won't go into it again, just click the link if you want basic information about it.

My latest haul was great! Here are my totals:

OOP $4.17 Saved $2.98 $3 in RR (they are doing the same thing that CVS is doing with the ECBs)
OOP $28.57 Saved $$24.44 $8 in ECBs
OOP $38 Saved $64.55
OOP $19.34 Saved $20.79
OOP $19.48 Saved $48.04

That's right I got $270 worth of groceries for $109. For this I bought

4 cases of diet coke
2 packages of huggies diapers
3 cases of bottled water
2 bags of goldfish crackers
2 3pound bags of white rice
12 yoplait yogurt
orange juice
3 hamburger helpers
2 frozen pizzas
8 bags of knorr side dishes
2 large jars of Helmans' mayonaise
3 bottles of Dawn
3 boxes of cookie crisp cereal
6 boxes mueller pasta
3 tins of pillsbury biscuits
2 french's mustard
plastic cups with lids
6 boxes of pop tarts
3 bottles of All detergent
4 packages of kraft cheese slices
8 eggo waffles
15 pounds of chicken breasts
2 tins of altoids
colgate toothpaste

I've not shopped like this in a while. Usually I spend about $50 a week getting milk, juice, fresh fruit and veggies, cheese and a few items we are low or out of. But, with these deals, I just couldn't pass them up.

Some of you have asked how I organize my stockpile, but blogger isn't allowing me to upload pictures at the moment. I'll do it as soon as it lets me.

Etsy Twitter Treasury

This beautiful treasury was done by HuayruroPeru, one of my Etsy Twitter members. She has done a great job, hasn't she? After you visit the treasury, go on over to her shop and take a look. It is beautiful!

My birthday card is the top middle one.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Julie, Julia, Butter and Waistlines

I love food. So does my husband. We are what people call "foodies". We dislike chain restaurants, with the exception of a handful, and prefer the independently owned restaurants where there is someone cooking, not following a corporate recipe. One of the things we do when traveling is trying new restaurants and visiting old favorites.

I also love food. I love how it smells, I love the different flavors and textures, I love trying new things and going outside of my boundaries. I love learning about new foods and new ethnicities of food. Recently, for example, we had sweatbreads. We have some friends that we go out to eat with when we can and they were trying to find a place to go. She said, "do you think Beth and Chris will like...?". He said, "there isn't anything Beth and Chris don't like.". And that's true.

I also enjoy cooking. When we moved to Canada, I wasn't working then, when I found work, was only working part time. One of the things I did was cook. A lot. And from scratch. But, kids came along and I didn't have time to spend hours in the kitchen and my cooking took a back burner.

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of seeing Julie and Julia. What's not to like? Julia Child, cooking, Meryl Streep and an afternoon with good friends. It's a wonderful story based on blogger Julie Powell's year of cooking her way through Julia Child's cookbook. It was an hilarious, stomach-rumbling, sweet story. And, it made me want to cook again. I'm not talking about taking up the mortar and pestle and journeying through Julia Child's cookbook, I'm talking cooking a fabulous meal when I can, saving the leftovers, then cooking again a few days later. I'm a realist. Between school, soccer, dogs, housework, my business and everything else I do, cooking A Meal every night is not attainable at this point.

Now, here is my problem; I started Weight Watchers a few weeks ago. I haven't seen my waistline since the birth of my first son. You know what I'm talking about; the subtly feminine curve that starts just beneath the ribs, goes in, then comes out again just above the hips. I said curves, IN, not OUT as mine does. And if you read Julie's blog, she says she gained weight during her year of cooking. As I'm contemplating French cooking a la Julia Child and Weight Watchers, I realize those two things do not go together. Has anyone ever put Julia Child and Weight Watchers in the same sentence? Without their computer imploding? Probably not.

So, what is a food loving, waistline desiring, middle age ( I can't believe I just typed "middle age" in reference to myself) woman to do? I have a plan. It's a multiple step plan, but we will see how it works.

1. Dust off the wii and get back onto a exercise regimen
2. Buy Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child
3. Buy butter. Lots and lots of butter
4. Hope that Cooking A Meal two or three nights a week while exercising ( literally, I hope) my butt off works

I'm sure my husband's heart just leaped for joy. He reads my blog, you know.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

And So It Starts...

Every Mother longs for this. A child's first unprompted word. A word uttered on his own without Mommy saying "say momma" a hundred times. Tonight, my youngest said his first unprompted word to me.

Can you guess what it was? I'll give you a hint; it wasn't "momma".

I told Bohdan to stop doing something and he looked right at me and said "no!". Daddy and Wok were no help. They were laughing to hard.

Wok's Card

Today is Wok's birthday. Wok, in case you didn't know, is my mother. Once my husband and I settled down and quit moving around, she packed up and moved to our state and bought a house on the next block. We love having her so close. The boys get to see her all the time and have a really close relationship with her.

I've been asked about her name. We aren't sure where it came from. My oldest named her. We think it was because when he was around two, she would come over and ask if he wanted to go for a walk. We think "Wok" may have been his two-year old way of saying "walk". He would say it every time she came over and it stuck. And she absolutely loves having a special name that the was chosen for her by her grandson.

I made this for her today. Her friend, Helen, is up and we are going to cook out tonight after they are done doing girly things.

Happy Birthday, Wok!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Testing, testing...

I wanted to see how my images would look on my blog at full size. Feel free to ignore this post.

Kids and Gardens

We had high hopes for our garden this year. We watered, planted, tended and the like. It's not doing so well. My husband thinks it's us. We just can't grow a garden. I'm willing to try again. Maybe next year when the baby is a bit older, I can spend more time and attention on it.

In the interim, our lantana grows like a weed. These are blooms the kids brought me. Nearly every time we go outside, the boys bring me blooms.

My roses aren't doing well either. I only have myself to blame. I haven't given them the attention that they need. They are still producing a few blooms. My Falstaff rose produced a beautiful bloom a couple days ago. The smell is just divine!

We do have some tomatoes coming in. These may make it into the house if the kids don't pick them and eat them right away.

Our tomatillo is blooming. My husband is hoping for a good crop for cooking. I'm hoping for salsa!

This is the baby. Naughty, cranky boy that he is. Good thing he is cute and sweet also. Daddy helped him climb a tree. Basically, he puts him up in it and holds him there. He is very pleased with himself when this happens. You can see his boo-boo on his chin. It's much better now although he keeps pointing to it as if he still has the steri strips and band-aid.

This is how I love him and his brother; sweaty, dirty and happy.

My oldest. He will be starting kindergarten this year. How did I get a five year old? He is so sweet, tender hearted and a lot of fun. He looks like such a boy here; the baby is gone.
Our newest family member. She would spend all day outside with the boys if she could.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Wonder Pets Save the Day

My youngest son is crazy for the Wonder Pets. C. R. A. Z. Y. On Sunday, he had Daddy singing the theme song to him over and over again. By the end of the day Daddy had used up so many animals that he was on to saving the baby giant squid and the baby Sasquatch.

That night, Bohdan just would not go down. He was fussing till after 9. I thought maybe his molars had started bothering him again and was going to snuggle him and give him some Tylenol to help. Daddy said I had to go up because he'd have to sing some more and he was done for the day.

Sure enough, I got up there, snuggled him and he wanted me to sing. I sang a verse then told him that Lenny, Tuck and Ming Ming were all asleep so they could get up the next day to save another animal. I asked him if he was ready to go to sleep like the Wonder Pets. Yup, sure was. He laid down, stuck his thumb in his mouth and was out.

We told him that again last night and it worked like a charm. Genius!