Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Things to do on a Snowy Day

1. Look Cute.


2. Shovel that gorgeous snow.

3. Put snow on you head.

4. Make happy faces in the snow.

5. Make some snow angels.

6. Take pictures of the local flora.

7. Finally capture on film that darn loud Blue pretty.

8. Go for a toboggan ride.

9. Look cute some more.

3:30 am...again

Here I am. Up at 3:00 am for the fourth day in a row. Not because of a kid this time. Nope.
I got throat hurts, my chest is heavy.
I'm covered in vicks from head to toe...literally as I've heard vicks on the feet is an amazing cold buster. So far all it's done is make me fall on my ass. Damn slippery stuff.
I'm not being a baby, but can this mommy be babied for today instead of doing the baby-ing? Please?
If I could snap my magical fingers right now I'd sure love some Echinacea and Vitamin C.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A Teeny Tiny Village without the Snow

 I just got back from a quick trip into Lloyd to the ER, and this time it was for Jacelyn. She's had a fever for over 72 hours and I just couldn't get it down. This morning at 4 am it was just shy of 40 C, so I decided to sponge her with cool water and give her acetaminophen by suppository as she tossed up the oral tylenol I gave her. She's got a chest and throat infection and here's to hoping she'll be on the mend soon. The nurse jokingly asked why I was there as I had done everything right, even having suppositories in my medicine cupboard which is usually not a household staple. I told her I couldn't write a perscription.

The house is decorated, and this year I didn't have as much fun doing it as I usually do, though I don't know why. It sort of felt like a chore. A bit of me feels detached from it all, like I'm outside looking in, and I'm hoping I can pass it off as a touch of the Holiday Blues and get on with it.
Holiday Blues: the by-product of a combination of the over-commercialism of Christmas and the stress induced anxiety one may experience before gathering with family during holiday season. That's my definition; Webster can use it if they want to.
The commercialism I can deal with and actually kind of like: have you seen my yard at Christmas's the Griswolds all over again. Part 2. The pushing and shoving, over-priced items and long line ups I can do without, hence online shopping makes up 50-75% of my gift buying.
But the sometimes tense or stressful family gatherings are something one really can't avoid, unless you are willing to avoid spending any kind of time with your family. Which I am not.
The fact is you can pick your friends, but you can't pick your family, and I'm not just speaking for myself but for everyone I know. I absolutely love my family. Both sides. I couldn't imagine my life without them and they mean the world to me. That isn't to say there isn't tension from time to time during family gatherings, not just at Christmas time but at any given time. I think people just feel more blue during the holiday season because they want it to be special, perfect, and filled with wonderful, traditional memories. If you add tension and stress to the mix, then eventually that warm fuzzy holiday glow will disappear over the years to be replaced by continuing stress.
If you start talking to friends or other family members you know, you will learn that everyone has a story about differing levels of holiday blues, and the stress it creates. Some people will tell you they don't know what you are talking about because they have perfect families, perfect holidays, with perfectly cooked turkeys every year. Either they are extremely lucky, extremely clueless, or liars. I pick the latter. Besides, they may just have a polite family who keeps resentments or complaints firmly locked away behind their lips. Not a bad thing, all in all, I have to agree.
Bottom line is this: no one is perfect; everyone has flaws that get under another's skin from time to time. But the secret is remembering that you yourself aren't perfect either, and knowing what your flaws are don't flaunt them. Having the maturity and heart to love each other despite or even because of these flaws are what make individuals a family. A unit.
Think of it this way: each individual in that unit was raised a different way with different ideals, traditions, and up bringings. When we marry we start a new family and new traditions and ideals are the result of mixing the ones we grew up with, thus creating a unique dynamic all our own. This being a fact, when everyone gathers under one roof, dynamics may clash and sparks may result.
Does knowing all this lessen your Christmas stress? Not really? Mine either. But it helps me to deal with it, put it in perspective, and move on. Why? Because I love my family and they love me too.

Just in case I depressed you, here's some things to get you in the Holiday Spirit!

One of the many angels my grandma made and passed on to me quite a few years ago.

Some kids in the village display building a snow man

Santa's long lineup in the village square.

Love the little guys on the hill...the kids make them crash into the carolers below every year.

Downtown in the village.

Isn't this a postcard?

See I told you...The Griswold's Part 2

The scene almost looks ludicrous without any snow...we have zip, nada, none.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Four cussings and a Funeral

I'm attending a funeral today.
Oh no's really no one any of you know.
Today was the last day I will ever lay eyes on my H2O Mop again. And this time I mean it.
In the history of the worst present ever, this one takes the cake. Not because I got it, no, I even asked the hubby for it. I really wanted one during my environmental kick and so he bought me one.
It didn't take long for the excitement to wear off.
The H2O Mop uses steam to clean, and you put on these terry cloth pads and tighten them with a toggle to the bottom of the mop. Easy enough, and it is user friendly too.

Then you start to push it around, and you realize, hey, this is pretty hard to push, but it's ok...I'm killing all the germs on my floor!
Ok, now is the right time to wonder if this mop is a gimmick or is it for real. Because, the steam actually only comes out for 3 or 4 seconds before the pad is drenched. Try mopping with that! Nope, it doesn't only will leave these huge bubbly-streaky lines all over the laminate floors. And am I really killing germs with only one puff of steam every few minutes? Probably not. I'm sure I was just pushing them around.
After the living room is finished, I then need to replace the soaked pad with another one. I do this THREE times. And seriously by now my arms are like jello because the effort of pushing it across the floor is back breaking.
I used it in vain for months because I was in denial, and I was too proud to go back on my new environmental outlook on a chemical-free life.
Today, or rather now as I type, it is sitting in the garage. Waiting for it's trip to the dump.

Bring on the Lysol...I miss my lemon-y smelling house.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

An Attempt at a Family Photo

I bit the bullet yesterday and set up my tripod and camera. Reason: I wanted a nice holiday photo of the kids without paying for it at a studio. What can I say..I'm lazy and a bit cheap about that, and I feel guilty considering I used to be the one taking the pictures at Sears Portrait Studio.
That being said, I decked out the fireplace in full holiday regalia, and these were the shots I came up with. Thankfully Mike rescued me after the 10th attempt at getting Jacelyn to sit still and Charlie to look at the camera. I deleted the hilarious ones before thinking I was going to post about it.
Here's what I got:

These two were the practice runs I tried out in the morning

Then I tried my hand at taking the kid's pictures in the evening:

Then, since it was over fairly fast, we sat in with the kids and I put the camera on a continuous setting that took 5 pictures in two seconds:

That over and done with, this morning I picked the best out of the bunch and this is what your gonna get for your fridge:

After seeing the last Twilight movie "Breaking Dawn", I'm not going to leave much of a review because my friend Melissa will just laugh at me. So I'll just say that I liked it alright. :)

Friday, November 18, 2011

Girl's Night Out

First off I'd like to say, "BRRRR" it is cold out there! For certain winter has arrived to Saskatchewan. It has been blowing snow since yesterday and while it hasn't amounted to much, it is freezing outside...-27 in the wind! It will be colder before Sunday rolls around too, I hear. Hopefully it will warm up a bit next week like it is supposed to, although warming up from -20 to 4 degrees is quite a jump...the flu bugs will be loving it.

Tonight is Girl's Night Out.
We have planned to go to part one of the last movie in the Twilight Saga "Breaking Dawn". It should be a good movie, as we've all read the books and are curious to see how close to the story line it will be.
My mom will have to eat her supper in the van on the way as I'll be picking her up from work, unless she saves her appetite for the popcorn.
For theater popcorn, I just may forgo supper too!
Tomorrow we're heading to the Christmas Craft Show, and will rest up before heading to the city on Sunday for a pre-holiday trip to Costco.
Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Christmas Crafting

Well I've started crafting a few things for Christmas to keep myself busy when I wasn't feeling the best this last week. The kids and I made an advent calendar from a kit I picked up at a scrapbooking store, and I filled it full of secret surprises and advent activities to do each day of December, such as go ice skating, and make popcorn and watch 'Home Alone'. It turned out great and was easy to make, and the kids had a good time doing it.

I dug out my hand painted houses so that I could clear coat them all, something I should have done years 13 years ago when I first started painting them. I used to have more but over the years some have broken, and some I painted as gifts. Now they don't sell them in stores and so they are hard to find. I had two kicking around and painted them up to add to the collection. I hope they last for years and will be a part of our traditional decorating every year.

I love Christmas greenery and so added some to a vase that Dad and Sam sent to me from Nova Scotia. I had some bits left over from the wreaths I made to hang outside. They are made from two embroidery hoops wrapped in cheap plastic pine garland, and then I shoved one through the other. I secured the top and bottom with wire, then embellished them with berry picks and other greenery, and a flameless candle too. They turned out cute and I really like them.

This little snowman is sitting on some words of advice.

I haven't decorated the rest of the house yet as it's too early, but it's never to early to get into the swing of things as far as I'm concerned! After this weekend is over and I've gone to the Craft Show in the city I'm sure I'll be full of Christmas Spirit and the house will come alive with Christmas sights and smell.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Michael J. Fox fans??

If any of you, dear friends, are fans of Michael J. Fox as my hubby and I are, check him out jamming to "Johhny B Good" on the guitar last night.
I was just amazed as his Parkinson's is so advanced but he was still able to wail on it pretty darn good!
     *Just highlight the above link and right click...there should be a "Go To" option to click on. If not, copy then paste in the address bar.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Normal Life...whatever that may be!

We are back on track this weekend, meaning Brandon got his homework caught up (except a Social Studies test we still need to give), and his spots are almost gone. Yay!

 The receding rash has left his nerve endings super sensitive however, and so he's been caught a few times with his shirt off, rubbing his back all over the carpet. It looks quite funny actually, and better than him using his nails and giving himself scars. I wish I had a picture of him for you all, but you'll just have to take my word for it. He had a friend over yesterday and today, and spent the rest of the day bored. Typical. He went to the movie store and rented the last Harry Potter to watch tonight, and had a visit with grandma, who came over to see how he was doing.
Mike gets so very bored on days off, and it's so bad it drives me crazy. While I love having him here and around, he can't handle being idle. When boredom sets in he gets in my way, and that sets my teeth on edge.  So he went off putzing with Christmas lights in the garage for half of the day. He spent the evening being bored too...not too bored though, as there is still some laundry to fold. And it's only Friday! I'm in trouble.
I think tomorrow he's going to figure out how to put the Santa and reindeer we made onto the roof. The lights are all out on the house and ready to be turned on during Santa Claus Night...which is December 1st this year. People in town drive around and look at lights, and they can cast a vote at various businesses for their favorite display. The winner receives a prize as well! I wasn't aware of this until last year, when surprisingly we won. We enjoy the kids in the town coming by to look, and our kids love making believe as they walk through Santa's Village. Who knows if we will win this year, but we don't care if we do or's just worth it to see the smiles on the kids' faces. It keeps the Christmas spirit alive in our hearts, and brings back a warm and anticipatory childhood feeling.

yes my Santa has a caught-in-the-headlights look. don't judge me. :)