Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Is It Only Me?

I have the best of intentions... really, I do!  I buy them at the store, envisioning how they will be the easiest side dish to pair with my lovingly home cooked meals.  I even use a few of them while my motivation is high.

And then I forget about them.  Closed away in their recommended dark, cool place.

Until one day... a day like yesterday, perhaps...

I think to myself, "Hmmm.  Scalloped potatoes and ham might be a nice dinner.  And I have potatoes!  And onions!"

 Oh no... How long ago did I buy these?

My onions!  Ack!  Hmmm... maybe I can transplant this to the back garden and grow an onion tree?  Onions grow on trees, right?  :-)

My potatoes!  I'm sorry little guys.

I've tried keeping them in a bag out where I can see them.  I've tried only buying a few at a time, but then I always seem to not have them when I need them.

I need help.  And some easy ways to use potatoes.  I'm serious... if you have any, I'm all ears.  And my potatoes are all eyes.  Bwahahahaha!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Kaycie Sez...

We haven't had a Kaycie sez in a while, so here goes:

I asked Kaycie the other day, "How would you like to have something really different for dinner?" thinking maybe we would have tacos.  She excitedly said:  "Yeah.... like dog food!"

Kenny reported that when he called us at home the other day and I put Kaycie on the phone for a moment to go take dinner out of the oven, that Kaycie loudly sighed and said:  "Daddy... sometimes people are tired and just don't want to talk.  OK dear, let me put you on speaker phone." (and then successfully put him on speaker phone!)

When having dinner with her Aunt Julie and Uncle Mike, she turned to Mike, whacked him with a chopstick and declared, "I am the Princess of Generosity!"

While pretending to be a cat sleeping on my lap:  "When a cat is sleeping, that means that they've had a tough day of eating food, so they need to rest."

When I asked her if she thought her brother was cute:  "Yup, Knolan is sure going to grow up to be a handsome prince."

I told Kaycie the other day that she was a really smart little girl, and she said: "Yup.  I'm smarter than a cutie-pie, and that's why I joined your family."

Overheard while she was playing with her dolls in the next room:  "Well you need to stop worrying about your hair and start worrying about crowd control!"  (Don't ask me... I have no idea.)

Monday, March 28, 2011

Monday Memories: I've Fallen and I Can't Get Up

I'm not loving the title of this post, but honestly, I couldn't think of anything better.  This Monday Memory will be a short one, but only because there really isn't all that much to tell!

In high school, whenever I had a spare or lunch hour, generally, my friends and I would simply roam the halls of the school chatting.  From what I can recall, pretty much everyone did the same thing.  The only exceptions that I can remember were the guys who hung out at the stairs near the water fountain.

Now, anyone who knows me well knows I am EXTREMELY distractable, and prone to drifting into la la land.  I don't necessarily consider these traits negative ones, but they certainly can land me in some trouble if I'm not careful.

One particular day, my friends (who will remain nameless unless they care to out themselves and admit that they associated with me that day!) and I were walking the halls on a busy lunch hour.  I was walking closest to the wall.

Now, if you went to high school, you may recall that most high school walls are covered with rows of lockers.  You may recall this... I, however, had apparently forgotten.

As we were walking along, I was gabbing away about something and somehow managed to walk right into a locker.  It wasn't open or anything like that.  Oh no... I managed to walk into a closed locker and jam my elbow into a combination lock as well! 

Being the dramatic, accident prone teenager that I was, it didn't end there.  I kind of rolled along the locker door and then lost my footing and stumbled a few steps and then wiped out onto the floor.  Classy.

As you know, the pressure to be accepted and well-liked in high school is intense, and so of course, I was living every teenager's worst nightmare.  How did I cope?

I just stayed on the ground.  For a long time.

I am rolling my eyes at myself as I type.  In that moment, I had somehow convinced myself that if I just stayed down on the ground that people wouldn't notice I had fallen.

Yeah... that was solid logic.  If it weren't for the huge bottleneck of students piling up behind the scene of my accident, I might just have gotten away with it.  That, and the Vice-Principal was walking right behind us.

Anyway, there isn't really a great ending to this story.  I think I just got up, dusted myself off and carried on while my friends grilled me on why I decided to lay on the ground for so long.

Suffice it to say that I wasn't really one of the popular crowd in high school.  LOL

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Royal Wedding: File Under Bizarre Souvenirs

Okay... I am completely psyched about the upcoming Royal Wedding.  April 29th is booked off on my calendar and I am getting up early with a cup of tea and I'm going to watch it with the rest of the anglophiles out there.  I have really fond memories of waking up early with my mom to watch Charles and Diana get married - it was like watching a story book - and I am eager to see what it's like watching a royal wedding as an adult.

I am also acutely aware that this celebrity status we attribute to the royals causes a lot of trouble.  Diana's death was tragic. So, there is a part of me that feels a bit guilty for taking part in this mass hysteria.

Which is a good segue into what prompted me to write this short little post:  The "Wills and Kate" side-by-side.

Can you believe this!??  People will buy anything commemorative.  You can read the whole article about the launch of this fridge at Get Connected Magazine's website.

I love this quote from the article the best:

“As expected, the Royal Wedding has really captured the UK’s imagination and it was no surprise that a William and Kate commemorative fridge was a popular choice,” commented David Garden, Commercial Director for GE at Glen Dimplex Home Appliances. “It certainly wipes the floor with your usual commemorative tea towels and mugs and is most definitely one of the most novel Royal Wedding products we have seen. Who knows, it may appeal to die-hard fans or maybe even Prince Charles and Camilla will order one as a wedding gift for the couple.”
I'm pretty sure Charles and Camilla picked something else as a wedding gift.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Hawk, The Raccoon and The Circle of Life

*Just a warning... this post involves roadkill.  Don't want to ruin anyone's breakfast!   :-)

This past weekend, I was out with the kids driving around looking at the local scenery and enjoying a beautiful day after a morning of playing outdoors.  Knolan fell asleep, and so to let him enjoy a little nap, Kaycie and I decided we'd drive out to the countryside and see what we could find.

We saw some beautiful trees, a few horse farms, some almost-mansions for Mommy to drool over, and a train.  It was a successful afternoon drive.

Then I heard Kaycie say from the back seat, "Mommy, why is that bird eating that raccoon?"

(At this point, I would like to apologize for the paucity of pictures in this post, but I really didn't think anyone would be keen on looking at this particular back roads spectacle.)

I looked out her side of the van and saw a gigantic hawk perched on top of a dead raccoon.  Kaycie was right - the hawk had stumbled across a giant meal and was clearly enjoying every bite.  Ewww.

Have you ever had to explain something like this to a pre-schooler?  It's not easy.  Especially when said pre-schooler has recently begun realizing that animals die.  I was unprepared for how many abstract concepts that this roadside attraction embodied!

I am also a chronic over-explainer, so that doesn't help.  I tried to sound as upbeat as possible as we drove past the crime scene and I said to Kaycie,

"Well, honey, you remember watching The Lion King, right?  That movie was about the circle of life, remember?"

Lots of nodding from the back seat.  Good, good... I must be on track.

"Well, that raccoon was probably really old and ready to go to raccoon heaven.  He probably got really tired one day, laid down and thought about what a nice life he'd had and then closed his eyes and died."  (I was not ready to explain roadkill quite yet!)

Eyes just staring at me from the back seat.  Must keep talking.

"So, that's just the raccoon's body on the side of the road.  You don't have to worry because the raccoon's soul is gone to heaven.  The part of the raccoon that made him happy and laugh and live isn't there any more... just his fur and body are there now."

Eyes still staring.  I am doing it again... talking too much... can't stop explaining!  More cryptic crap about to burst out of mouth!

"So just think how wonderful it is that the hawk was flying around and was probably so hungry that his little tummy was grumbling, and then he happened to see the raccoon's body lying on the ground.  He was probably soooo happy to find some food, and it was just PERFECT because that really isn't the raccoon anymore... it's just his body!  Even though the raccoon is gone, he's still helping nature... isn't that great, honey?"

Somebody PLEASE muzzle me!!!!

There was a lot of silence for a moment, and then I hear:

"Mommy, I want to see the bird and the raccoon again."

"No honey... let's just keep driving."  Finally, I was having an appropriate parenting moment.  Yes!

"Mommy, I really, really want to see the bird and the raccoon again!"

"No sweetie.  Let's keep going."

Panic and tears starting to emanate from the back seat.


Well, you know what happened last time Kaycie wanted met to turn around and look at roadkill (for those of you not familiar with the tragic tale of the Gingies, please click here).  She got closure!  OK... it worked last time, maybe it would be ok to just drive by quickly one more time.

So, I turned the car around and headed for the hawk's breakfast nook.  As we drove past again, Kaycie just stared.  She was very quiet for a long time, and then she said,

"Mommy, can we go back and see the bird and the raccoon again?"

"Absolutely not.  We have to go to the store and do some errands, and I think you've seen enough of the hawk for today."


More silence.  I look in the rearview mirror, and she is deep in thought.

"Mommy, I know what we can do."

"What's that, sweetie?"

"I think you should turn the car around and go back to the bird and the raccoon.  Then, you should go over to the bird and say: 'Hey!  Look at that weird thing over there!' and then when he goes to see what you're looking at, then I can go and pick up the raccoon and let him lay in my lap for a while and you can GRAB the bird and stick him in a tree so he can't get the raccoon ever, ever, EVER again."

There was much emphasis on the word "grab".  Can you even imagine me trying to wrestle a hawk into a tree?  I am 500% certain the hawk would win.  It would probably look something like this:

Yes, yes... I know these are seagulls.

Poor Kaycie... she is just so kind and sweet, and I looked at her in the mirror.  She was pleading with me with her eyes.  I knew she was worried about her cute little raccoon buddy, and I am almost certain that if I had any birding aptitude at all, that I would have risked having my eyes beaked out to help her save that raccoon.

However, I have no birding abilities.  I was unfortunately not prepared to tackle a hungry hawk on this particular day.  I had to muster up all of my mommy powers and reassure her that everything would be ok.  I told her how proud of her I was for wanting to help the raccoon, but that she had to remember that the raccoon wasn't alive, and so she didn't need to worry that he was getting hurt.  This seemed to help, and after thinking about this for a minute or two, she summed up her feelings on the situation by saying:

"Yeah... I'm proud of me too.  But that bird really needs a time out."

I kind of felt that way too.  :-)

By the way, Knolan successfully slept through all of this.  Thank goodness... a crying baby added to the mix would have been delightful!  I can only imagine what it will be like in a few years when I have two sobbing kids in the back seat challenging me to explain the universe.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Monday Memories: Somethin' Wrong With Your Hand?

Well check me out!  It's Monday and I actually have a Monday Memory posted.  You can thank the bizarre forces that decided to swirl together and form the longest night EVER!  Baby waking over and over and over and over again (if you don't like jamming your head into the corner of your crib, then here's a tip:  Don't Do It!). Daughter visiting regularly throughout the night for reasons unknown.... and poor, poor Ken up all night sick.  I gotta do something to keep myself occupied when sleep just isn't in the cards, so might as well write, right?

I really should call upon my sister to write this Monday Memory as I was so terrified during most of the event and I'm sure I'm not recalling everything correctly.  She was the driver and I was the passenger in this little adventure of ours.

We were in high school at the time, and we had driven up to the school to attend an evening function (possibly we were singing in a choir, or playing in a band, or watching someone graduate... just can't seem to recall).  We were circling around trying to find a parking spot in front of the school.

It will help to know that when I say circling, I mean that we were cruising along the one-way road in front of our school.  There were cars parked along the right side of the road, and then one lane open to drive through and look for parking spots.

As we drove through, with many cars behind us, we suddenly came face to face with a monster truck (well, maybe not a monster truck, but a big truck) driven by the surliest, meanest, retired-wrestler looking guy I've ever seen.  Sitting right beside him staring us down was his girlfriend.  Or at least I thought it was his girlfriend until I took a second look and realized it was his crazy looking junk yard dog!  Oops.  :-)

He was going the wrong way on this one-way road.

And he was just sitting there glaring at us.

He wouldn't move!  We had at least three cars waiting behind us, and we were going the right way.  He had NO cars behind him, and he was going the wrong way.  Yet, he continued to stare and glare... not backing down.

Here is where I'm fuzzy on the details.  I can't remember how we actually ended up getting past this guy.  Maybe we backed up, maybe we drove on the lawn to get past him, maybe somehow we squashed by each other.  No matter, we got past and decided to swing around again to try to find that elusive parking spot.

My sister and I were kind of in disbelief and kind of peeved.

Now, if you are my mother, or father, or mother-in-law, or father-in-law, or anyone else reading this who believes I am a sweet, nice, lovely person, you may want to brace yourself.  I am ashamed to describe what happened next, but I can assure you, it was the first and last time I ever did this.  I hope this won't be a permanent blemish on my report card of life!

As we circled the block to come back and try again, we saw the Man In The Truck again.  He was driving past us on a regular side street as we turned toward the school.  On top of being in disbelief and being peeved, we were also giddy teenage sisters.  We loved driving around together and hanging out, and 80% of the time we were just being doorknobs.  I think that doorknob factor  basically explains what I did next.

As we drove past him, I flipped him the bird.

This was completely out of character for me... in fact, this should tell you something.  I couldn't bring myself to do it for real, so I made this awful hand gesture waayyy below the dashboard so that only my sister and I could see it and have a big laugh about it.

Or so I thought...

We drove along the school and finally found a parking spot.  Yay!  As we went to exit the car, however, we found ourselves trapped.  We looked out of my sister's window.  Waaayy up there, looking down on us was... the Man In The Truck.

He just kept staring at us.  There was nowhere to run.

My mind was racing.  I was silently and frantically calculating the odds of survival if I just bolted out of my side of the car, leaving my sister to fend for herself. 

Or maybe we could drive up onto the lawn and away from this lunatic.

Or maybe we could...

And that's when I realized that my sister had rolled down the window.

What!?!!???  (She always had been much braver than me.  I'll give her credit for that)

I think my favourite part of this whole story was the way that she ever so subtly leaned back so that I could talk to this guy.  Of course, I had no idea what to say, so I just looked up at him.  It was quiet for a long time, and then he gruffly said:

"Somethin' wrong with your hand?"

I was dying inside.  I would have given anything to be anywhere else at that moment.  Maybe someone else would have argued with him, or pointed out that he was being a gigantic jerk, but all I could muster was:  "I'm sorry."

He continued glaring at us for what felt like an eternity, as did his drooling dog, and then he simply drove away.

The phrase, "somethin' wrong with your hand?" is now legendary to my sister and me.  We have used that phrase a million times to get a laugh from one another, and when one of us says it, you get the same feeling you do when you find a $20 bill in an old jacket pocket.  That's nostalgia at its best!

I will say, however, that I've learned my lesson.  No matter how upset or angry I am at someone when I'm driving, you'll never catch me so much as batting an eyelid in their direction.  I like my kneecaps too much.  :-)

Friday, March 18, 2011

Breaking News: Messy House Inspiration to People Everywhere!


Kaycie is out on a date with her dad at the movies and I am revelling in the silence while Knolan is napping.  Sometimes a quiet house is so very relaxing.  I will say, though, I will love every loud minute of Kaycie stampeding into the house to report on every detail of her outing.  The quiet just recharges my batteries, know what I mean?

Anyway, I am so thrilled because there seems to be a theme going on in my life this week.  I think someone out there wants me to be at peace with my messy house (besides my mom - she's always encouraged me to stress less about it).  I think that unconsciously I've always tied my self worth to the cleanliness of our house.  Our house isn't always a complete disaster, but it is very rarely the way I'd like it to be.  Let's put it this way - most of the time I'm a bit worried what people would think if they just showed up unannounced at the door.

But this week I had some revelatory moments.  Not one, not two, not even three, but FOUR people said things to me that made me think that it isn't so awful to have an imperfect house. 

I had a couple of days where friends and their kids came over to play this week.  The first one I actually cleaned up for, but I didn't get a chance to clean my "Shelf of Shame" - the one I've been wanting to clean and organize for about 9 months now.  I decided that instead of worrying what my friend Jen would think, I would just made a joke of it.  As it turns out, we joked about that shelf most of the morning, and Jen confessed to a few problem spots in her house too.  This brought me much comfort, as Jen's home is so lovely and peaceful and organized... if she has some trouble spots then it must be normal and ok!

The second visit from friends was completely unexpected.  We had taken our kids bowling and to the park, and then attempted lunch with the kids at a local restaurant, only to discover that it was no longer a family friendly pizza parlour, but is now a fancy schmancy restaurant (In hindsight, we kind of think we were politely encouraged to leave!  ha, ha, ha).  With none of us loving the idea of all going home to make our kids lunch, I invited everyone to my house which was super close by, and we brought pizza from another restaurant back with us.  Secretly, the whole way back to my house I was frantic.  Did the cats barf on the floor while I was out?  Are there underwear in the front hall way?  Why haven't I changed the Christmas wreath on our front door!?!

When we all arrived at the house and I offered my customary excuses for the house being kind of a mess, we all just sort of fell into a comfortable afternoon of pizza and playing - the kids were a bit like elastic bands, stretching to the far corners of the house and then periodically checking back in.  Both of my friends at some point in the afternoon made some comment about how it was great that I didn't mind having people over without worrying about the house being perfect.  I can't remember exactly what they said.  It wasn't a comment on the state of my house.  It felt more like they could both relate to that pressure we put on ourselves when it comes to the state of our home.  Wish I could remember what it was they said, but I felt a bit like a superhero after that for just letting people past our front door!

And finally, yesterday I shared a video on my Facebook profile of our daughter while I was pulling a St. Patrick's Day prank on her.  After I posted it, I lamented in the comments section that everyone on Facebook could now see the sink full of dirty dishes that I hadn't realized was featured so prominently in the video.  In response to this, one of my childhood friends commented: "Kirsten, it only makes the rest of us feel better!  Thank you for the dishes!!!"

Huh?!  Am I actually inspiring people with my messy home?  I guess when I really think about it, how many homes actually stay pristine and clean for very long once they're clean.  After all, a house is a home, not a museum.  I'm starting to feel grateful for all of the life and laughter in my home - if the mess is a signal that life is being lived in this house, then I think I should be less embarrassed of it.

So, I've decided today that I am going to inspire all of you and share with you some of spots in our house that I've been most embarrassed about.  Instead of being embarrassed, I've decided that there have to be a few people out there in blog world who will feel better when they see this!  I'll still strive to clean them up, but I think that from now on whenever I walk past one of them I'll stop berating myself and thinking I'm the only one who lives this way. 


Because no one judged me this week - everyone could relate!  If I'm not the only one, then it can't be all that bad.  :-)

So, without further ado, I present to you, "Our House - The Unedited Version":

The Shelf of Shame - to be known as "Creativity Central" from now on.  Full of arts, crafts, books, markers, paper, and lots and lots of googly eyes and glitter pens!

Picture of our Christmas Village - taken on St. Patrick's Day.  LOL  I don't care because my kids love to play with it and I still can see snow on our lawn in one small corner of our lot, so winter can't quite be over yet, right?

Our toaster oven.  This picture does not do it justice - it is simply laden with crumbs and burnt cheese and dried up olives.  Now, all I see is a history of meals made with love for my family.  Bwahahahaha!

The ever-present pile of crap on our stairs.

Did you know you could hang this much stuff off of a banister?  I am pretty sure my library card is in there somewhere, so this pile now represents concepts like "hope" and "reading" instead of concepts like "testing load bearing capacity" and "despair".

Our basket that is supposed to be the landing spot for our mail and keys.  Bless Kenny, I told him that's where he should put mail and keys, and he dutifully places them precariously on this pile every day when he comes home.  This pile now makes me think of my wonderful husband.

The Christmas spirit is still alive and well at our house!  I love this wreath.  It makes me happy, but I really do think I have a spring wreath that I love just as much.  Maybe I'll lovingly switch up my door wreath today.  No matter what, my house will still look welcoming.  After all, that's the goal, right?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Monday Memories: Close Encounters of the Kenny Kind

You people are going to have to get used to disappointment if you think my Monday Memories are actually ever going to land on a Monday.  :-)

I must start by saying that when I told Kenny what I was going to title this post, he immediately started campaigning for me to change the title of the post to "Close Encounters of the First Kind" because it would be "more accurate".  When I reminded him that I am not a blogger for a scientific journal, he insisted that I look it up on Google so that I understood what the phrase "close encounters of the first kind" actually means.  As it turns out, there are SEVEN types of close encounters.  Who knew?!  Apparently Kenny!  A close encounter of the first kind is: "a sighting of one or more unidentified flying objects."  Which brings me to my Monday Memory...

To preface this memory, you must understand that Kenny is of sound mind and body.  Well, sound mind anyway.  Well, lets just say he isn't totally crazy.  What Kenny has is, what some might call, an over-active imagination.  He watches too many sci-fi movies and then for the next couple of days lives in fear of what might be out there, or in the deep, or even in the closet.  Nothing ever comes of it, and  it just drifts away like a long to-do list.  Then it's business as usual until the next alien movie comes along to start the cycle all over again.  Given his reaction to things he sees on TV that are conjured up by teams of writers, you can imagine what the reaction was the night that he saw something with his own eyes.

It was a chilly spring night, and Kenny and I were outside in my parents' backyard gazing at the many wonders of the sky with our telescope.  We were young nerds in love... newly married, I think.  I believe Mars was a target that night.  I remember vividly that we found our first galaxy and we saw this cool triangle of lights fly across the sky.

I also vividly remember turning to high five Kenny about this cool triangle of lights only to find myself completely alone in our back yard!

As I looked around for my built-for-hockey, 6'3" husband, I heard him practically shrieking at me from the window to "get the hell inside the house!"  Perplexed, I remember reaching for the telescope to take with me, and Kenny madly whisper-shouting at me to ditch the telescope and get inside.  So, I hustled myself inside to find out what the big deal was.

When I got in the house, Kenny was wild-eyed and frantic.  He ushered us upstairs as quickly as he could and closed all the curtains.  Apparently what I thought was a super-neato-flying-light-thinger was, in Kenny's opinion, a U.F.O. possibly piloted by who knows what.  (Please do remember that he honestly is of sane and sound mind... he's just easily freaked out)

The more he described his theory about this potential U.F.O. sighting we'd experienced, the more weirded out I became.  No matter how many alternate possibilities I suggested, he had fairly convincing arguments for why they couldn't explain what we'd just seen.

So... I started getting dressed for bed.  I put on track pants, socks, a t-shirt and a hooded sweatshirt.  Kenny stopped mid-sentence, looked at me, and said:

"What are you doing?"

"Getting ready for bed," I replied.

"Why are you putting on so many clothes?

"Well... because you've kind of freaked me out, so if something is going to show up in our bedroom, I want to be ready to run."

Kenny looked at me with complete and utter terror and said, "Why did you just say that to me?!?!!"  I tried to explain that I didn't mean to freak him out, but nothing I said seemed to help.  Apparently MY job in this relationship is to talk Kenny down to earth whenever we see U.F.O.s, not to join his camp and make him more paranoid than ever.  :-)

I apologized profusely, but seeing as it was about 1:00am, I decided to go to sleep, leaving him staring at the ceiling.

The next morning, as the sun shone through the curtains, I turned over to say good morning to Kenny and guilt instantly shot through my body.  Kenny was sitting there, dark circles under his eyes, wrapped in a blanket with a stack of Archie and Jughead comic books about 3 feet high beside him just staring at me.

He hadn't slept all night.

He'd read every single Archie and Jughead, Betty and Veronica and Josie and the Pussycats comic book that my sister had ever owned and squirreled away in my parents' guest room.  (Editor's note:  It should be noted that this collection was very impressive, and ultimately impressed a Kijiji buyer enough to purchase it from my sister for a hefty sum!)

I felt sooo bad.  However, the good news was that upon making it through the night to greet a new day, and upon seeing that I was awake and hadn't abandoned him for safer pastures, Kenny was finally able to fall asleep.

And so, I tip-toed out of the room, leaving Kenny surrounded by a pile of teenage-girl-genre comic books, snoring away, perhaps dreaming of his friends at Riverdale High.

He's a big chicken, but he's my big chicken and he keeps me laughing.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Kaycie Sez...

Tired...   Here are some Kaycie quotes....   Night nite!

A declaration at the dinner table:  "Here are everyone's names - Kaycie, Knolan, Mommy and Daddy.  Don't forget... those are our jungle names."

Upon finding Sir Prance-a-lot, the stuffed toy horse:  "Hey!  It's Captain Rides-Him-All-Of-The-Time!"  (Backgrounder:  Sir Prance-a-lot belongs to Henry and Peter - twin sons to our good friends Cathy and Rob.  Well before the Christmas holidays, Sir Prance-a-lot accidentally spend a month or two at our house after a visit from the twins.  When Kaycie stumbled across him while we were at Cathy's for a visit this week, both Cathy and I were impressed that she did as well as she had at remembering his name.)

After lovingly putting about 5 grapes in a ziploc baggie and TAPING it closed for her friend Maddie to take home with her after our playdate, Kaycie yells out the door at the top of her lungs to Maddie as she gets into her mom's car:  "DON'T FORGET TO SAY 'THANK YOU' TO ME FOR THE GRAPES!!!"

I overheard Kaycie in this bizarre baby talk voice talking to Knolan (who you may recall is a mere 8 months) who was sitting in his Einstein in the living room while I was making dinner:  "Knolan, what do you think of this dress?  Come on... you can tell me... come on you little cutie!"

Said to one of the moms at pre-school:  "See my brother?  He's so cute.  He came from my mommy's belly.  Her belly was gigantic!  And her butt was normous."

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Monday Memories: Calling All Talent Scouts

First off - yes, I realize it's now Tuesday (probably Wednesday by the time you are reading this!), and Monday Memories is supposed to happen on Mondays. Monday just got away from me... so sue me.  :-)

Anyway, on to the memories!  My intention with these Monday Memories is that they be accurate, but it's possible that I've skewed events a bit in my head.  No matter... even if they're a little bit historically inaccurate, I'm glad I'm finally storing them somewhere!

I think that when I was younger in some ways I was a bit of a narcissist.  Which is hilarious when you consider that a lot of the time I looked like this (minus the extremely strange face paint):

I think I was a decent blend of nerdy kid/well liked by most people.  I was never part of the popular crowd, but some of them would hang out with me from time to time if the occasion arose.

I did, however, enjoy hanging out by myself.  A lot of my childhood memories are of me doing things on my own.  It's not that I didn't enjoy playing with the other kids in the neighbourhood.... in fact, I did lots of that!  I think that it's just that my most vivid memories tend to be ones of me hanging out on my own.

One of my preferred solo activities was practising gymnastics in our front yard.  I spent countless hours doing cartwheels, one-handed cartwheels, round-offs, splits and bridges.  I also spent plenty of time practising "looking cool" after I'd finished what I considered to be a perfect execution of the aforementioned gymnastic moves.

This might be considered somewhat normal until you consider my motivation.  I was spending all of this time practising in our front yard because I thought that this would be the best way for a talent scout to see my work.

Yes, you read that correctly.

And in case you aren't already wondering how I got it in my head that talent scouts discovered their biggest stars on their front lawns, I should also mention that I grew up in a town of about 3000 people.  So, not only did I think talent scouts regularly patrolled front lawns looking for the next big thing, I also apparently thought it was a sure thing that talent scouts would be coming to our town!  You know talent scouts... always hanging around hamlets and villages.  :-)

I'd change things up every once in a while.  When our school hosted a Skip-a-thon, suddenly I figured that skipping would be the way to get my big break.  I'd head outdoors after dinner to use the last couple of hours of daylight to put in valuable time developing skipping routines... always facing the street... just in case.

There was a very short-lived span of time where I thought I might be discovered for my unsurpassed tire-swinging skills, but - in a rare moment of lucidity and self-awareness - I decided that there probably weren't many talent scouts out there who would be interested in backing a tire swinger.

I clearly remember the day, however, where my innocence was crushed.  I think I was older than I'd care to admit, but I was still trying to figure out how to get "discovered".  Our family had this cool little toy that I think was called a Roller Racer.  I'm not sure how to describe it, but here's a video clip of a commercial for one:

I am pretty sure this is what we had... even if it isn't, we had something pretty similar.  Anyway, I practised coasting up and down the side walk in front of our house as often as I could, feeling super cool and super talented.

One night, I was roller racing along, probably taking turns with my sister, when I heard an engine revving right behind me.  I turned around and found myself face to face with a car full of teenagers in a Trans-Am or something like that.  Face to tire tread is more like it... I had to look waaayyy up to see them from down on my little Roller Racer.

I wish I could remember exactly what it was that they said... I can't seem to, though.  It was definitely mean, and it was definitely intended to embarrass me.  My cheeks went beet red, and I got up and quit playing.  In an instant, I felt like all of the things I loved to do were stupid, and all of the time I'd spent day dreaming about talent scouts and child stardom was ridiculous.  It was awful and I would never wish that feeling on anyone.  It's a terrible thing to crush someone's spirit.

BUT... I've always had a vivid imagination, and I feel grateful that my spirit is resilient.  Have no fear... I did bounce back at some point.  I seem to remember taking a trip with my family sometime after that to the east coast, and our parents took us to see the play "Anne of Green Gables".  I remember going to the play, hoping upon hope that the auburn in my hair was enough to convince the talent scouts in Charlottetown that I was a redhead.  I'm also pretty sure I was purposely wearing something pink to clash with my "red" hair - because Anne was resigned to the belief that girls with red hair couldn't wear pink.  My strategy here was that the talent scouts would no doubt see that by clashing pink and red hair, I had the spunk and spirit they would be looking for in the girl they would ultimately cast as Anne Shirley in the next season of the play.

Sometimes I scare myself.

... and sometimes I hope with everything I've got that my kids will turn out a bit like me.  :-)

Saturday, March 5, 2011

I Want To Make Your Life Easier!

Hi all,

Just a short housekeeping post while the little guy is asleep and I've got the house to myself (wheeee!!!).  I've been getting some questions and feedback about the functionality of the blog, so I'll address it all below.  Also... testing a way for you to get email alerts when I post a new entry - hope it works!

So... read on!


I have made a change to the comments section so that you don't have to sign up for some sort of new account to leave a comment.  I actually had no idea that it was set up this way, until my sister tried to leave a comment and mentioned to me that there was no way to leave a comment without logging in to something.  Oops!

Now, if you would like to leave a comment (and please do!), you can just click on the link just below the post that indicates the number of comments, and it will open up a comments field for you.  To leave a comment without logging into something, just pick the option near the bottom that says "Name/URL".  You can then just type in your name (and a link to your website if you have one, but that's optional) and follow the prompts to leave a comment.  If you'd like to comment anonymously, there's an option for that too.

Side note:  If you click "subscribe by email" when you leave your comment, you will be updated by email if there are comments left after yours.

I love comments!  It's very motivating to hear from you, so comment away!


I have been getting questions from people about what it means to "follow" my blog.  I used to think that if you clicked on the 'follow' button at the side of the blog page that it meant you would be alerted by email if a new post was up.  Not true.  If you'd like to get email alerts, please see below.

If you decide to "follow" my blog by clicking on either the Google link or the Networked Blogs link at the right side of the page, that is a way to let me know that you are out there and a fan of the blog!  I would simply LOVE to see who's out there reading.  I know that I've had visitors from over 20 countries, but I have no way of knowing who they are.  So.... I would love to see more followers... it is very motivating!!!

If you have a Google or Networked Blogs account, "following" my blog will also start listing Flippity Floo on your account homepage so that if you login to your account regularly, you will be able to see if I have updated the blog recently.

Email Subcription:

I am trying something new.  Go me!!!  Apparently there is no easy way or magic button for you to click on that will allow you to type in your email address so that you will be alerted whenever a new post is up.  Soooo... I did a little research and found a way I can kind of create this function on my own.  I have added a new tile to the right side of my blog called "Want to be alerted by email of new blogposts?"  (great title, right?!).  If you follow the link, it will allow you to join Flippity Floo's Google Group, and from there you can set your account so that you'll get an email every time I post a new entry.

I just hope I know what I'm doing!  If you're willing to give it a try, I'd love to get some people added to the group to help me figure out if this little pilot project will work.

That's it for now!  Thank you sooo much for reading this blog.  Writing it lets me have a little "me" time, and it's such a bonus to know that there are people out there enjoying it!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Knolan: Son of Jor-El? Pavlov's Dog?


I looooove my baby Knolan.  I love him unconditionally and with all of my heart.  One of these days, however, he is going to send me screaming into the night in search of safe haven where uninterrupted sleep is king.

I swear he has some sort of super-human powers that allow him to:

A. Sense my presence
B. Sense the moment I drift off to sleep

I have just experienced super-human power B, and now that I'm wide awake, I might as well write about it.  Oh 2am... you and I are becoming good friends.

Ask my husband.  Knolan has this uncanny ability to sense things.  For instance, at night time, after the kids have gone to sleep, Kenny could thunder back and forth past Knolan's room a dozen times with no effect on the boy.  When I finally decide that I am tired and want to go to sleep, I do my best to glide silently past the baby's room undetected, but the moment I walk past the door and slip quickly into bed...  "Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!"  Sigh.  He somehow knows it's me.

Or there is his ability to detect the moment I fall asleep.  Just now, for example, I decided enough was enough, and I was going to go to sleep.  He hadn't cried all night.  He was sleeping beautifully.  I laid my head down, and felt myself drift off.  I looked at the clock just before I fell asleep and it said 1:29am.  Suddenly I am ripped out of dreamland by the screams of my son.  I look at my clock... 1:32am.  Sigh.  How does he know?!  This happens practically EVERY NIGHT! 

I do have hope, however, and this hope takes 2 forms.  First, we actually did some sleep training with Knolan in January, and it worked beautifully.  Before sleep training, I would have to cuddle him and feed him until he drifted off to sleep and then gingerly lay him in his crib, and then watch as he woke up crying the second he hit the mattress, and then repeat the whole process 3-4 times until he finally stayed asleep.... after which he would wake up screaming and crying and often difficult to console about 5 times a night.  After the sleep training, he is now a happy, happy baby - we read, sing, cuddle, and then lay him in his crib awake, and he just dozes off on his own.  He was even sleeping through the night until he decided to sprout a baker's dozen teeth (ok... it was only 6 teeth) and get sick at the same time.  This all lasted about 6 weeks - during which time, the night wakings returned.  Thank goodness he will still go to sleep on his own, but we are going to have to repeat our training to get the poor little guy back into his routine.

The second sign that there is hope is a bizarre sign.  I have learned that Knolan associates his medicine dropper with sleep.  When he was teething, I'd give him a bit of Tylenol or Advil to help with the pain.  Well, he must have figured out the connection, because out of desperation the other night, I pretended to give him some medicine (I know... I don't understand half the things I do, but honestly, if you've ever been sleep deprived, you know... it does things to you.)  To my utter surprise, Knolan opened his mouth, sucked on the empty dropper for a moment, and then rolled over and went to sleep!

So, I've been testing this for a few nights, and apparently Pavlov was on to something!  This trick works every time!

Now, this doesn't solve the little matter of me actually wanting to sleep without being woken up multiple times, but this at least has helped to get him back to sleep quickly.  And now that he's finally shook this latest cold, and his teeth seem to be taking a break, I'll go back to helping him learn how to go back to sleep at night, and we should see a big difference shortly.

But at least I've got a trick up my sleeve in the meantime!

Anyway, Knolan is a funny little guy, and thankfully i am able to laugh at all of this during daylight hours.  I am, however, totally looking forward to that wonderful moment  when I am awakened by the sun shining in and then I slowly realize that I got a full night's sleep.  I can't wait!!!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

As Seen On TV

Anyone out there a fan of The Big Bang Theory?  I am new to the show, but it took hardly any time at all for me to fall for the socially inept Sheldon.  It's so refreshing to see a sitcom that celebrates intelligence and nerds (not that the two are necessarily linked!).  And Sheldon has got to be one of my favourite television characters of all time.  Can't get enough of that guy!

I was watching an old re-run yesterday and in one of the scenes Sheldon was packing for a train trip to San Francisco and creating a database of his clothes and tagging them so that dressing himself would be simplified.  That made me internally horrified because there are some days that I could see myself doing that!  Once I got past being horrified, I jumped right to sheer delight after a flash of bright blue caught my eye.  There it was... right on his bed... Sheldon has a FlipFold!!!!!  I have a FlipFold!!!!!

Now maybe it is common knowledge that Sheldon has a FlipFold - I haven't been watching that long, or in chronological order for that matter.  What I do know is that I love my FlipFold, and I have been mocked for owning one, but somehow, knowing that Sheldon has one too makes me feel better!

As my sister will happily confirm, I have a reputation as being a bit of a sucker for infomercial purchases.  It's not that I'm necessarily an impulse buyer (although I can be!).  I find that infomercials suck me in and wear me down slowly until one of two things happen:
  1. Finally it's 2am and I decide that after succumbing to my reckless consumerist tendencies carefully weighing the pros and cons, I will remain disorganized and inefficient unless I order whatever it is they are schlocking.  OR... 
  2. I stumble across a booth at a mall or some other public place where they are selling the exact item I've been obsessing over and then I'm done for... somehow unable to defend myself from their pitch men/women!
Over the years I have amassed an array of infomercial purchases.  Shall we take a stroll down 'As Seen On TV' lane?

The FlipFold
I feel so happy just looking at it!
I remember one day when my mom came to visit and help me out around the house when Knolan was younger.  She offered to fold laundry for me.  She started folding, and then she looked up at me and said, "you want me to use your folder thing, don't you."  That was such a funny moment for me, as I truly do love my FlipFold... I love it so much and I'll never get rid of it.  BUT... the funny part is that I only use it in fits and starts.  Truth be told, I hadn't used it for about 6 months, but when I saw mom sitting there folding, all I could think was how great it would be if she would use the FlipFold.  I swear moms can read minds!  That thing honestly makes me feel like we have some order around here.  Occasionally I will haul all of the clothes out onto the bed and flipfold them all and put them away again.  Looking at a perfectly Gap-store-folded closet is good for my soul.

The Food Saver
This was definitely a long, drawn out decision.  I had been watching the late night infomercials for the Food Saver for weeks.  We had also been throwing out a lot of food that had gone bad before we got to it.  It's those darn examples of ways you can use it that get to me.  I was sitting there watching the commercial thinking, "wow, I could fit a whole trout in there!"  Do we ever eat trout?  Noooo.  I watched as they showed how you can re-seal a bag of chips.  Have we ever had leftover chips in the bag?  Noooo.  We really didn't need this, but I will say that we used it a lot for the first year.  Then we ran out of sealer bags and didn't buy any more for the next 4 years.  That's a whole other story.  We bought the new bags at a Pro Bass store - talk about a nightmare for someone like me!  By the time we'd walked through the whole store, I'd convinced myself that I needed a new boat and a crossbow.

The Magic Bullet
This is hands down the greatest infomercial item in our house!  All credit goes to our friend Fab who bought it for us as a housewarming gift.  Having said that, it was only a matter of time before I bought it... Fab bought it because he'd seen me oogling the infomercial many times!

The Original Dryer Balls
These balls are supposed to eliminate the need for fabric softener and are also supposed to cut your drying time down.  They might work, but it probably would have helped if I actually stopped using my dryer sheets and also if I had actually set the dryer to run for less time.  Basically all I did was throw the balls in the dryer and the rest was business as usual.  Why, you ask?  Beats me... I'm a mystery even to myself!  Now the balls are somewhere in our house - maybe under a dresser somewhere - and I'll be surprised if we ever see them again.

The Miracle-Fibre Mop

To be fair, this was actually my husband's doing.  I had seen ads for this many times on TV, and I had often thought it would be a good idea to buy a mop and actually start cleaning our floors, but Ken was the one who took action.  After watching the pitchman at the Home Show do his demo, Ken simply couldn't leave without this gem.  It worked well for a while, but as is often the case in our house, the mop has gone missing - likely during a move.

The Play and Freeze Ice Cream Ball

I must add a disclaimer here - I actually bought this as a gift for Ken's dad.  This was the ultimate in rationalization.  I wanted this ball so badly.  You put all the ingredients in and then you play with it until the ice cream has firmed up.  You can shake it, roll it, toss it... it's fun!  Ken's dad had once showed us how to make this crazy cottage drink called Yukkaflux (not sure on the spelling) where you dump a bunch of fruit and alcohol into a jar and pass it around the fire shaking it for an eternity until it's good and saturated and ready to drink.  I thought to myself that this would be the perfect way for me to get my hands on this ice cream ball without the guilt of buying it for myself - after all, Ken's dad clearly likes to shake things and pass them around... he'd love it!  Well, we have made ice cream in this contraption and it tasted great... buyer beware, though - it's a lot of work!  Probably a good way to work off the ice cream before you even eat it, though!  :-)

The Sobakawa Pillow

I saw the ad for this buckwheat-shell-filled-pillow many, many times.  Since I'm constantly on the search for a pillow that stays cold (I love to flip the pillow over to get the cool side) and feels good to sleep on when you're a tummy sleeper, I simply had to try this.  Again... no idea where this pillow is now.  It wasn't really all that comfortable to sleep on, but it did provide some good airflow!

The Furminator

With 2 cats, I am also constantly on the hunt for something that will easily remove cat hair from our furniture.  Then I saw the infomercial for this little gadget - the Furminator!!!  Apparently this pet grooming comb would basically remove 50% of the fur from our cats so that the amount that would end up on our couch would be greatly minimized.  I wanted to buy it for so long, but never ordered it.  Until one day I was at our local pet supply store and saw that they were on sale for half off!  Wheee!  When I bought it, the cashier warned me to brush the cats in the garage.  He wasn't kidding!  I'm surprised the cats didn't end up hairless by the time I looked at the pile of hair that this thing generated!  Again, this is one of those items that works exactly as advertised... as long as you remember to use it.  (FAIL!)

The Gripper Flipper Whisk
I regret to inform you, dear readers, that this is "the one that got away".  After watching this infomercial for weeks on end, I finally decided that I had to have it.  After all, it flipped like a spatula, it gripped like tongs, it whisked like a whisk, and it apparently strained too!  You could whisk pancake batter, then flip the pancake with it, and then grip the pancake to serve it!  It was actually a cool little gadget.  So, at 3am one night, I ordered it.  And I waited, and waited.  Until one day I forgot I was waiting for it.  Then months went by until one day Ken asked about it.  It never came!  And I had no idea how to contact these gripper flipper people (it must have been before these infomercial types seized the internet).  I kept looking and watching for the commercial to see if I could track down a number, but alas, I never saw that commercial again.  I suppose if I had been really resourceful, I could have gone through my credit card statement and tried to figure out how to contact them that way, but I think by then I was just tired of the whole thing and wanted to move on with my life.  But... if I ever see this thingy in the As Seen On TV store at our mall, I will do a little happy dance and buy it on the spot!

Anyway, it has actually been a very, very long time since I've ordered anything from an infomercial - probably has a lot to do with the amount of money that having kids requires!  But, I have to admit, every once in a while, I will sit through another Magic Bullet commercial - it's got a bunch of wacky characters and great snack ideas.  What more could I want?

Wait... don't answer that.  :-)