Sunday, November 7, 2010

Don't Ask, Don't Tell

There's some quote regarding questions for which you really don't want to know the answer. It's something like "if you don't want to hear the answer, don't ask the question." OK, that's almost exactly what I wrote in the first sentence...obviously I'm exhausted and the one hour of gained time has now caught up with me - at the sadly early hour of 8:45 p.m. I'm attributing the exhaustion to my earlier cleaning frenzy, not the fact that I woke up at 5:30 a.m. I washed all the bakeware that doesn't fit in the dishwasher (cupcake tins, sheet cake pan, etc.) from my Thursday/Friday baking extravaganza (all in the spirit of fundraising for my kiddos' school's bake sale). I put away all the Halloween decorations. And that's a lot. To quote one of my cherub's friends who saw the pile of decor that I consolidated in the living room before boxing it all up in the 5 orange Rubbermaid totes: "Holy Halloween - that's a lot of stuff." Then I proceeded upstairs to finish cleaning up and re-organizing the boys' bedrooms. Last week-end I had the genius idea to switch Ryan's room with Alex & Owen's room. Ryan's old room is better suited for the bunkbeds Alex and Owen sleep in, plus the layout of the closet was better. And Alex and Owen's old room looks out into the backyard, which will hopefully be a bit quieter for Ryan, who sometimes hears noises that cause him to have bad dreams.
Anyway, it was during the cleaning and organizing frenzy that I came across a couple of things that caused me to pause and wonder. I wonder, but I don't really want to know the answer, because I'm afraid.
First of all, I wonder how on earth scrambled eggs ended up on the floor of Alex & Owen's bedroom. I just scrubbed the floor earlier this week, go figure! I walked in today to gather the dirty laundry and hand up a few more pictures when I noticed a tiny little bit of something. I knew it wasn't from the "I accidentally barfed in my bed, mom" incident from last week-end - because (a) we hadn't switched the rooms yet and (b) I did scrub the floor this week. I'm pretty sure the scrambled eggs were carried upstairs via a pajama shirt (or maybe socks - one of my darlings is a pretty messy and energetic eater - granted, he doesn't eat with his feet, but he's pretty wiggly so I could see how it would happen). But really? I don't want to know how scrambled eggs ended up on a bedroom floor. I just wiped it up with a Kleenex and will scrub the floor at a "later date."
I moved on to my eldest's room and was putting away a bit of laundry. Once again, I noticed his underwear drawer was empty. It seems I've been finding it like that alot lately. Yet he never tells me he has no underwear. Does that mean he finds it in the basket of clean-but-not-yet-put-away laundry? Does he wear a pair that is dirty? Does he go sans underwear? Do I really want to know? I think not.
So, here's my new philosophy: don't ask, don't tell.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

When Life Hands You a lululemon Warehouse Sale...'s time to get a job.

Last week I had my first experience going to a sample sale. Well, technically, it was a warehouse sale. With any luck, it will also be my last experience (although I'm told this was atypical and I would really, really like to buy some discounted North Face stuff when their sale comes to town). It was lululemon warehouse sale in Hamilton, Ontario. My friends and I drove nearly an hour to get there. It was set to open at 10, so we left after school drop-off at 9, getting us there just in time for the doors to open.

Not so fast, frantic shopper! When we arrived in town, the line to get in was around the block. There was security (yes, security for a warehouse sale of over-priced "yoga inspired" athletic wear). The public parking lots were full. We parked in a suspect parking spot, paid our parking fee and went to meet other friends who had left at 8 to get a place in line. The line was even longer. People driving down the street to ask what we were standing in line for...Obama? Nope. The Queen? Nope. The Pope? Nope. Yoga wear. It was hard for me to say that with a straight face. Seriously.

We arrived at 10, we stood in line, we advanced a few steps, we stood in line some more. The security guard came by and asked us to line up single file so people could actually walk on the sidewalk. We moved a bit more. We finally got to the sidewalk in front of the convention center (yes, Not a store, a convention center). Sweet! Almost there, right? Wrong. The line snaked around a snack stand, then down some stairs, up some stairs, another sidewalk and then the door. The woman in front of us found out the wait from where we were was another 2 1/2 hours. The time was now 11. The kids get out of school at 3:30, we had to drive nearly an hour to get back home. That's ok, there's still plenty of time. But really, all this for some yoga pants? We waited some more. Then, the lululemon cheerleaders came out to "perform". Seriously? This is what my life has become? We waited a bit longer. We chatted amongst ourselves. I said I couldn't believe I was going to stand in line at least another 2 hours. One of the women I was with said "What else do you have to do this morning? Might as well stand here." And that's when it hit me...what else do I have to do? Is this the best thing I can come up with? Standing in line for 3-4 hours to buy discounted yoga wear? The yoga pants I bought at Costco were $19. I stood in line for about 10 minutes, but I came home with yoga pants, milk, dog food and a couple of Christmas presents. I did have better things to do with my time. Even scrubbing the toilets at home was better use of my time than this. Yes, reality hit me across the face: it's time for me to get a job, because I really do have better things to do than stand in line.

Friday, September 24, 2010


So, a friend of mine told me last week that I could save quite a bit on my electric bill if I started doing laundry and running the dishwasher during off-peak hours. Here's how my experimental week went:

Sunday Night - towels in washer and washing during off-peak hours. Yeah Me! That was easy. Dishwasher set and ready to go with delayed start. Yeah Me again! At this rate, the electric company will be paying me to use their electricity.

Monday Morning - go to fold clothes in dryer and move clothes from washer to dryer. Then remember new plan, so decide to leave everything alone. I can fold the clothes tonight, right?

Monday Night - getting kids back into routine is hard, really hard. We have a little homework, a lot of paperwork...let's get the dishes into the dishwasher and get to bed - after we read our required 20 minutes.

Tuesday Morning - no laundry, it's peak time!

Tuesday Night - ewww!!! Wet towels need to be re-washed. Load dishwasher, set it for time delay right before going to bed.

Wednesday Morning - oh, thunderstorm during night caused brief power outage, resulting in dishwasher being turned off. Dishes are still dirty and must wash, even though peak time. Bummer.

Wednesday Night - meeting at school, but cannot leave towels until tomorrow. Throw clean but now wrinkled clothes that have been in the dryer onto the top of the washer and finally dry towels. It was a good tv night, so I would much rather watch my DVRed shows than go upstairs and get a load of laundry to wash. Besides, I just tucked the kids in and wouldn't want to disturb them.

Thursday Night - Don has a dinner meeting. We have spelling tests and French tests to study for. Who has time for laundry?

Friday Morning - youngest cannot find clean underwear...this new system isn't working. Peak consumption be damned! I've got laundry to do - all day! I'll just wash in cold water instead:)

PS Everyday I try to remember to thank God for creating people smarter than me to invent things like electricity, automatic washing machines and clothes dryers. Without these things, my children would wear even dirtier clothes...

Monday, September 13, 2010

A-Weigh I Go

I am on a diet. Well, maybe not really a diet. I'm on a quest to fit into all the clothes in my closet that are too snug right now. I'm trying to eat better and exercise more. And lose the flabby upper arms and avoid the old lady "extra wave" that occurs every time she waves her hand and her upper arm continues to wave for 30+ seconds.

I weigh myself nearly everyday. I wrote down my weight in a little notebook. One month per page, days 1-15 in one column (16 if there were 31 days in the month, 14 if it was February and not a leap year) and 16-30 in the other column (17-31..well, you get the picture). I still have the notebook. It dates back to 1991, I think. The bummer is, the point where I was at my lowest weight I didn't record it. I was a little over-stressed and weighing myself didn't even register as a "to do" item.

Well, I used to weigh myself everyday. Back when my scales worked. Then the battery died, I gain some weight and I didn't want to know how much I weighed. I bought a fancy scale that measures body fat and tracks your weight and three other people's weights (note to bookclub: that might have been handy one night when we drank more wine and discussed way more than books). It's so complicated that I have to get the owner's manual out just to figure out how much I weigh. I decided to go "old school". I've given up my older, digital scales that required a battery (because I keep buying the wrong size). I've also given up the fancy one that I've owned for 6 years and never figured out how to use. I'm going old school with a scales that only requires me to step on it. No tap to turn it on, no instant read weight. No BMI. No 30 day history of weight. Just a scales I step on and the dial swings ominously as my weight is determined. It's like the Wheel of Fortune wheel or the Price Is Right Showcase Showdown wheel. Where will the final number stop? Is the low number just a teaser? Is the high number that it jumps to before it settles on a slightly lower one just a reminder that "Hey girlfriend, that will be your weight if you don't step away from the chips?" Yep, old school scales are so much easier. Scales, paper, pencil. History of my weight. The high, the low, the acceptable.

And now, I'm off to bed because I did The Biggest Loser Body Sculpting DVD earlier today and I'm beat!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


Today I did a little yoga video with a few friends. And now, I hurt. In places I didn't think I could hurt. Like my feet. Seriously. My feet. It's that downward dog thing. And the other one that requires me to lay on my stomach and the lift up my torso and thighs. That's a lot of pressure on the tops of my feet. I may or may not be able to get out of bed tomorrow morning.

Baseball for the boys resumes tomorrow after a summer break. Hat? Check. Pants? Check. Shirt? Hmm...I think that's a check. Baseball Glove? No where to be found. I've searched and searched and searched the house, the garage, and the yard. It hasn't been found yet. This is a problem. Why do they give the kids the summer off anyway? So they can lose their stuff. That's my theory.

And on the topic of baseball, I'm hoping that scientists soon confirm my theory that baseball caps are capable of reproduction. In my search for the baseball glove, I didn't find the glove, but I did find four baseball caps throughout the house. And that doesn't count the caps that are actually hanging where they belong.

You many wonder why my post is so discombobulated today. Well, for one thing, my blogging inspiration, The Pioneer Woman, wrote a list of ten tips for bloggers and aspiring bloggers. One tip was to keep writing, even if it was just something short. So, here you go. The second reason my post is discombobulated is because after the whole yoga thing, my brain feels a bit discombobulated too.

And now, I'm hobbling off to bed with dreams of being able to spring out of bed in the morning.

Monday, August 30, 2010

It's The Most Wonderful Time of The Year

I'm almost ready to turn the calendar page to September - my favorite time of year. I love back-to-school season. I loved school when I was a kid - perhaps it's because I grew up in the country and lived pretty far from most of the kids my age.

I loved going to school.
I loved learning.
I loved reading.
I still love learning and reading.
I love freshly sharpened pencils.
I love to open a brand new box of Crayola crayons.
I love the smell of paste (do they even make paste today? I never understood the kids who ate it, but I definitely loved the smell - just not in an appetite-stimulating sort of way).
I really love new tennis scuffs, no dirt...I take a picture of my kids' new school shoes every year.
I love that Halloween is right around the corner.
I love the incredible colors as the leaves change.
I love the crispness in the air.

I think the thing I love most about back-to-school is that it's an opportunity to start fresh again. I like it better than New Year's Day. New Year's Day is all post-holiday let down, post-overindulgence of food and beverage, post-too-much-family, -too-much-travel, -too-many-parties, -too-much-money-spent, etc., etc. When I flip the calendar from December to January, I'm still living too clearly in the past...all those "posts" are still fresh in my mind, my clothes are still too snug, the holiday spending bills are just being received, my lost luggage is just being returned by the airlines. January is a clean month, but there's all those leftovers to deal with.

But September...that's a different story. September follows a glorious summer of fun. Even when I was working full time and didn't have children, summer was fun. Week-ends away, a vacation to visit family. FUN! When I flip my calendar to September, it's really a chance to start fresh. There aren't as many leftovers in my life. I buy a new calendar. I set new goals. I start fresh. It's a new year in my mind.

So here's to Fall! Here's to the kids going back to school! Here's to me taking a writing class! Here's to a new plan for getting in shape, organizing some closets, finishing some scrapbooks and enjoying life! Happy Back-to-School!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Pop Quiz

It's back to school time for some (not us, of course...we go back September 7th), so in the back-to-school spirit, I thought I would spring a pop quiz on my small readership. Good luck, and may the force be with you:)
1. There is supposed to be a photo here, but it didn't really turn out, so picture this in your mind: kitchen table with three cereal bowls and an opened box of Fruit Loops, floor littered with Fruit Loops - some whole, some crushed - at 8:30 Monday morning. What was the last date that I vacuumed this floor?

A. Sunday evening, after everyone had gone to bed.
B. The last day of school, June 28th.
C. 11:00 Friday morning...I vacuum the same day and time every week.

2. Who was eating breakfast at this table?

A. Pigs
B. People
C. Little People

3. At one time was the floor vacuumed again?

A. It hasn't been. It looks the same.
B. 8:35 a.m Monday
C. It hasn't been yet because I'll vacuum again at 11:00 on Friday morning, just like always.
D. It hasn't been vacuumed, but it looks like it since the dogs cleaned up the Fruit Loops for me.

4. The photo below (ok, again, picture is not that great, so visualize it, please) is a paper chain we made to count down the days until school starts. This is clearly an example of:

A. A mother who has way too much time on her hands.
B. Children who are ready to go back to school and ask on a daily basis how many days until school starts again.
C. A desperate cry for help.

5. The paper chain was made:

A. by the children, all by themselves.
B. me cutting the paper with my paper cutter so that all rings were the same width and length, then the kiddos stapling and labeling the rings.
C. solely by me because I'm such a control freak.
D. same as B, but the fact that the numbering is all wrong is making me completely crazy.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Rainy Days & Mondays Always Get Me Down

Rainy Days & Mondays Always Get Me Down....not exactly true, but this rainy Monday has.

I'm feeling a bit homesick. I miss walking out my front door and seeing someone I know and having a pleasant conversation about kids, the real estate market, renovations, and what new stores are in Linden Square. Here, I walk out my front door to an empty front yard and a quiet neighborhood. I miss having the neighbor kids walk right in without even ringing the bell because they feel at home here. I miss having an impromptu cookout in the driveway on a Friday afternoon. I miss my friends.

To add insult to the homesick injury, I learned today that the people who bought our house have trimmed the front yard tree and removed the tree swing. I know. I know. It's not my house anymore, it's theirs. And since it's their house, they can do what they want. I know. I know. It's perfectly reasonable. But still. The tree swing. The tree swing...we required the boys to wear a bicycle helmet when swinging so they wouldn't hurt their head while swinging when they were really little. The tree swing...where the neighborhood kids would line up and wait patiently for their turn to go "really high" and have a "super duper spin" when Don gave them a push. The tree swing...where all the great summer memories started and where fall would wrap up with one last swing. The tree swing...where even the mommies would take a little break and go for a swing. It's a loss for the neighborhood, but an even bigger loss for the new people....they will miss out on so much fun.

I am certain that the sun will come out tomorrow, we will meet more people, and turn this house into our home full of memories...but for now, I'm feeling a bit lost.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

No Comment...or if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all

I'm baaaaccckkkk. Sorry, it's been awhile. Vacation will do that to you. Or is it really vacation if you spend the entire time at your in-laws, making your own bed, refereeing your children, doing seems to me it's just same stuff, different location. I think I read once, "Same circus, different tent."

Anyway, I was avoiding cleaning and organizing the craft room for another day by trying to catch up on US news on the New York Times website. And it happened again, I read one tiny article (this one on the new movie starring Annette Bening and Julianne Moore)...and spent the better part of an hour reading all the readers' commentary that followed. People are frightening. The hatred and vitriol that is spewed in these comments are awful.

Then, I was checking Facebook to see if my friends are doing more exciting and fun things than I am (which, of course, they are - people are on the Cape, snapping adorable pictures of their cute little munchkins while I am at home refereeing my children), when I saw a post from Lands' End announcing a "Design a Tshirt" contest for kids. Seems innocent enough, doesn't it? Yeah, you would think so. But, you would think wrong. Canadians are complaining because they aren't allowed to participate (and I join those complaints, silently of course, because it just doesn't seem right - I am still an American). Home schoolers are questioning what happens to the prize money if their cherub wins, since the prize is to be awarded to the art department of the child's school. Parents of younger children (age 2-3) complain because their children aren't eligible - this is direct quote: "There are some really smart and talented kids their age, too. It's amazing what having artistically talented and educated parents that are involved can do for a young child." - seriously, get over your artistically talented and educated self (and by the way, I'm not a grammar expert, but I think it should read "who" not "that"). Those over the age of 14 complain because they are too old to participate. And then there's the whole group of smarty pants who are quick to point out that penguins live in the ANTartic, not the Artic. Umm....people? it's a drawing contest for children. Have your little mini-Van Gogh whip out his/her Crayolas and draw a cute little picture and mail it in. Shut up already. If you have that much time on your hands, book a trip to the Gulf and go wash the oil off a couple of birds.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Regrets, I've Had a Few

So, a friend from high school wrote a stirring essay about growing up in the small town of Gibson City, IL (pop. 3,600 - allegedly). This essay got me thinking about my days in GC and things I would do differently if I were given the chance to do it all over again...Regrets? Yes, I have a they are:

  • I would have never gotten the home perm in 6th grade. That was a big mistake. And, thank you, Kurt Tjardes, for asking if I stuck my finger in a light socket. Forgiveness is not one of my strong points, and as I may have mentioned to you at our 20th reunion, those words are still burning in my ears all these years later.
  • I would not have tried to run, down a small hill, to chorus, in Dr. Scholl's shoes. The wipe out was quite painful. Luckily no one saw me and the pain of my hair distracted me from the pain of the fall.
  • I would not have worried obsessively about not having a boyfriend. It clearly was not the end of the world.
  • I would have worked harder to overcome my shyness. Other people can mistake shyness for being a stuck-up bitch, and I think many people may have been confused. Honestly, I was just shy.
  • I would have definitely taken more risks. I was (as I said) shy and very conservative.
  • I would not have taken myself so seriously. It was high school, for crying out loud. I have had a long time to be serious, I didn't need to start then.
  • I really wish my introduction to alcohol was not Boone's Farm Strawberry Hill wine. I wish I would have waited until I could have afforded (and legally purchased) a "closer to the top shelf" wine.
  • I wish I would have appreciated the body I had rather than trying to hide it under knock-off Izod polo shirts. Now I appreciate it, but the girls are only where they belong when I shell out $90 for a bra from the "bra whisperer." A girl's body changes after 20 years and 3 children. I really wish I would have appreciated my power back when I had it.

So yes, I've had some regrets, but they really aren't that major I guess. Lucky me!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

I Have A Problem....And It Is Me...

My name is Lisa and I have a procrastination problem. And a problem starting projects that never get finished. I have been thinking a lot about these problems these last few weeks and think I have figured out part of my issues. I'm a perfectionist. Perfectionists can be paralyzed by fear - fear of failure, fear of less than perfection, fear of inadequacy...these fears can cause a person to not act at all because no action is better than trying and failing. Perfectionism also causes a person to expect the first try to be perfect...if it's not, the project/activity is deemed to be a failure and is abandoned. That's pretty much me to a T.

I'm working very hard at starting things and finishing them. I'm working very hard at finishing things I've abandoned. I'm working very hard on breaking up big, overwhelming projects into smaller, more manageable mini-projects.

I started and finished the master bath curtains in one day. I've started the master bedroom curtains and hope to finish them this week.

Bigger hanging up all the pictures left to hang up in the new house, losing weight, keeping up with cleaning the house, catching up on scrapbooking...I've decided to take baby steps every day. Instead of saying I have to hang up all the pictures and since I have only 15 minutes today I can't do anything, I'll see what I can do in 15 minutes. Instead of starting a major diet and exercise program, I've decided to walk the kids to and from school everyday and add at least 15 minutes of exercise would be better to do an hour and have it structured, but 15 minutes is better than none. Instead of waiting until I have a huge block of time to do some major cleaning, I'll take 15 minutes and clean all the mirrors in the house. Instead of spending a week-end scrapbooking, I'll spend 15 minutes labeling digital pictures while I watch t.v. at night. It may take me longer, but progress is progress, and I may surprise myself with how much I can get done in small increments of time.

I hope to beat this procrastination problem and get some things done so I can move on to other, more exciting adventures. We'll see how that goes!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Shopping Requirements

I like to shop. I used to love to shop; but then we had three kids, moved to a better suburb and spent all our money on our house, I got a little older, gained a little weight, and now, well, I like to shop but I don't love it as much as I did.

Where I like to shop has changed as well. In my younger, thinner days, I enjoyed shopping for clothes. When my boys were babies and I was in complete control of their wardrobes, I enjoyed shopping for kids' clothes and supplies. Now I like shopping for food and kitchen gadgets. I could spend hours in a well-lit, big grocery store. Days in Williams-Sonoma.

After exploring some grocery stores around here, I have decided that I have shopping standards (which apply to any store, not just grocery stores):

  1. Your store must be clean. I do not want to leave and feel an immediate urge to shower. I don't want to feel like I need to Purell my hands (and, if I'm wearing flip-flops, my feet) after I walk out of your store. If you are a grocery store, you sell cleaning supplies, therefore you get them at cost. Please use them on your own store. Thank you. [Sidebar: My favorite store is, big surprise, Target. One day when I was in there, I overheard a store manager tell a customer something to the effect that their floor cleaning budget for a month was more than many stores' budgets for the whole store for a year. I may be exagerating a bit, but the point is, their floors are always clean and sparkly because they are willing to shell out the big bucks. I appreciate that. And so do my flip-flop clad feet.]
  2. I want to be able to get down the aisle with the big-ass cart you provide. If you have the semi-truck sized cart with seats for toddlers, please make sure your aisles are wide enough to maneuver such big carts. And for crying out loud, don't stock the store during morning hours when moms are shopping with their children. Even if you are open 24/7, don't you think it would be better to stock during off hours when there (a) aren't many people shopping and (b) almost no one using the gigantic shopping carts?
  3. Please don't make me pay for my shopping cart. OK, so I get my quarter back when I return the cart, big deal. I usually don't have a quarter with me. If my children haven't "borrowed" it from me to buy a bubblegum ball, then I've tossed it in the change jar at home. Also, I'm a bit embarrassed that I can't figure out how to put my money in and get my cart. I don't want to ask the 80 year old grandmother who just whipped the quarter out of her change purse, said "abracadabra" and got her shopping cart what I am doing wrong.
  4. Please, please, please for the love of God, make your cashiers be polite and friendly. I know they are probably only making minimum wage and don't want to be there. That, frankly, is not my problem. I don't think it will kill them to say "Hello." "Thank you." "Have a nice day." It's called manners...good manners, no less.
  5. If you have carts for shopping and carrying purchases out to my car, please have a "cart corral" in the parking lot. After spending money in your store, I don't want to walk the cart all the way back to the store. I'm an American, I'm a bit lazy. But I'm also Catholic, so I feel a bit guilty abandoning the cart in the parking lot.

I know I have more, but that's all I can think of for now. What about you?

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Score: Tilex - 1, Bathroom Rug - 0

There was a most unfortunate incident involving Tilex Mold & Mildew and my chocolate brown bathroom rug from Restoration Hardware. Never leave a spray bottle of Tilex on an expensive rug. It will tip over and do this:
It completely bleached the rug and ate through the fibers as well...the bleached spot is not as thick as it was. (Of course, if you leave a spray bottle of Tilex on a cheap rug from Target, it will remain upright and the rug and the Tilex will be fine.)
The incident got me thinking: if Tilex does this to a rug, what is it doing to my lungs? That's when I decided I'd had enough with toxic chemicals (except Clorox Bleach and Clorox Wipes - I have 3 boys and a husband, all with bad aim when it comes to peeing in the toilet...I need Clorox Wipes). So I've switched to some green products, including Martha Stewart's Bathroom Cleaning Spray. The bottle says to spray down the shower every day, then rinse. The first day, I sprayed the shower then got ready to rinse. I have the handy dandy shower head that you can take off the wall and spray where you want (the good Catholic in me cannot fathom why you would need to do this or where you would possibly spray it, but it does come in handy to spray off the cleaning product). This seemed to work well until I accidentally dropped the sprayer, which of course landed with the sprayer facing up. Well, if my ceiling was dirty, it isn't anymore.
From now on, greening is not enough. I need people to clean my bathroom. I wonder if I can convince Don that this is something I need or if I can convince him to clean the bathroom? I'm thinking no to both.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to serve as a horrible warning. - Catherine Aird

Note to self: Next time you use a personal care product, read and follow all directions. Did you learn nothing from the teeth whitening fiasco?

Some of you may have heard my teeth whitening story, most of you haven't. No, I did not attempt to whiten them myself using products advertised on the side of the Yahoo's horoscope site. I went to the dentist and had laser whitening. The whitening process itself went teeth are a little whiter, do not look stained like those of a Diet-Coke-addicted 40-something year old, yet not a day-glow white that could blind a person if viewed in direct sunlight. The problem did not, in fact, have anything to do with my actual teeth - it was my lips. I had a reaction of some sort to either the cream they put on my lips to keep them from drying out during the laser treatment, or to the laser itself. The hygienist isn't sure, since she never had it happen before or since it happened to me. My lips were big. Really big. Picture Angelina Jolie's current lips + an injection or two to plump them up. I now know how Angelina stays so thin - you can't eat with lips that big. It hurts. Worse yet, you can't even drink out of a aren't able to pucker up. Maybe that's why Brad looks so angry and depressed lately...kiss free since he dumped Jennifer Aniston. So, while the lip reaction was completely not my fault, I should know to be careful with chemicals...

...after sticker shock over a pedicure up here ($28 plus tip, only one coat of polish, and no massage chair or anything extra), I decided to save myself a few bucks and do my eyebrows myself. I was coming off a successful do-it-yourself bang trim (they were relatively straight and what wasn't straight at least looked like it was meant to be a little choppy), so I thought I was up to the task. Off I went to the drug store, and after a couple minutes of perusing the shelves, opted for Veet instead of Nair (which I have used in the past). The package said "test in inconspicuous area and wait 24 hours to ensure you have no reaction" (not a direct quote, but close enough). Now, in my defense, where is there an inconspicuous area ON YOUR FACE? Especially after I had just trimmed my bangs...they no longer cover my Brooke-Shield-circa-1982 eyebrows. So, I skipped the test and watched the clock so I didn't leave it on too long. Hmmm....several very red, dry and a little painful patches - including the bulls-eye right between my eyebrows.

My advice? Don't be cheap when it comes to your face. It's worth a little money.

*Catherine Aird - according to Wikipedia, my favorite source for *almost factual* information, is a crime novelist.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Happy 10th Birthday - Part Deux!

Today is actually Ryan's 10th birthday. This morning, I asked him the age-old question: "So, do you feel any older today?". His response? "I don't know yet. Ask me at 5:33 this afternoon. That's when I'll be officially 10. Do you know you many seconds it was?"

Tonight was a family-only birthday party. He had a friend over for lunch (open campus at the new school) and baseball practice earlier this evening. I tried to make him a Star Wars cake and was very disappointed with how it turned out, but he thought it was great. Joy! Joy!

The double digits! How did this happen????

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy 10th Birthday!

Ten Mother's Days ago, Don and I brought home our first bundle of joy. I could not have asked for a better Mother's Day. The weather was beautiful. Ryan was healthy. We were thrilled to be parents.

Ten years later, we have 2 more boys, 2 dogs, a new house, and a new country of residence. And now, I finally start a blog to chronicle some our adventures and misadventures in our new home.

I was invited to a "Muffins for Mom" breakfast for Owen's kindergarten class. It was a garden-themed breakfast and we were told to dress in our finest. So, since I rarely have the opportunity to dress up in my VIP role of stay-at-home mom, I was thrilled to put on my "Sunday Best". I even found an awesome sun hat when I was shopping at the outlet mall a few weeks ago. I was going to look like I would be at home at either a Derby Day party or a Muffins for Mom breakfast...until Owen took one look at the hat and said "No, mom. You can't wear that. You will embarass me." This, from my 6 year old. I find it so ironic that two hours later, he and I were attempting to buy some groceries at Loblaw's (my new favorite grocery store), and he started chanting "Can we go? Can we go? Can we go? Canwego?Canwego?Canwego?" over and over and over. Yeah, right. I embarass you with a hat, but your behavior makes me look cool.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Just How Lazy Are Americans, Anyway?

So, my plan for this blog is to document our (mis)adventures here in Canada. However, sometimes I just might have to go on a rant or ask some questions or just post random thoughts. Today, lucky you, is rant day.
I wonder, just how lazy are Americans anyway? I've always wanted to do a pictorial essay entitled "This is why we are fat, Americans!". The picture would be a vast nearly-empty mall parking lot. There would be one car parked at the closest spot to the mall entrance with the tail-lights on (obviously, the car is preparing to back out of the parking spot). Another car would be waiting with the "courtesy blinker" blinking, ready to take the spot when the car leaves...even though there are a million other spots open. God forbid you walk more than necessary to get to the mall...or the gym...or McDonald's...or anywhere!
So, in this spirit, I want to talk about the latest commercials I've seen for people too busy or too frazzled to add laundry detergent to the washing machine or dishwashing detergent to the dishwasher everytime they fill up the appliance and turn it on. Since we are all, clearly, so super busy, we cannot possible take two seconds to scoop out the detergent and put it in the dispenser. I don't know about you, but this would completely stress me out. I have enough trouble remembering to open a new pack of contacts once a month, give my dogs their heartworm pills once a month, etc., etc. To add another thing to remember once a month instead of sticking to the routine of dirty clothes in, detergent in, turn on machine.
And another thing...I keep seeing the ad for McCain's microwave-ready potatoes...seems we are also to busy to rinse, peel and dice potatoes...come on's not like we a cooking for 10 doesn't take that long.
OK, I'm done now.