Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Back to School Cheat....

I did something the other day. I staged our 'back to school' photos. Why? Because it was 29° and gorgeous outside, and the forecast for Thursday called for 15° with the possibility of rain. Besides, I try to cram so much into the morning of the first day of school, I thought why not just loosen up, and not get all carried away with my camera. [If you believe me right now, have I got something I could sell you] Because of course I'll be snapping pictures like a crazy woman tomorrow morning.

But, it poured rain all day today, and the temperature was at best 9°, so for the time being, I'm patting myself on the back for having these pictures already done!

Two kids are bathed, clean and in bed. [It's 10:27 pm right now, and Miss Madelyn is still talking in her room, she is so excited about tomorrow] Clothes are laid out for the morning. Back packs are ready to go. Muffins have been made, lunch boxes are out. Snacks are ready. Breakfast has been decided [french toast] and tomorrow they start back to school. Phew.

I'm undecided about how I feel... I mean, I know they're ready to get back into their routines [as am I] We had a great summer, and it's time to wrap it up. I just can't believe Mason is going to be in Grade 4, and that my baby will be starting Grade 1. Now having said that, I'm wondering if I'll be the only Mummy there in the morning, that will be ready to pop the cork on a bottle of champagne when that bell rings... I guess we'll see what tomorrow brings.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Busy Weekend

We had a busy weekend. One of those weekends, where you have something lined up, for pretty much every hour of the day. We haven't had many of those this summer, and I'm glad we have a few days off before school starts, so we can catch our breath.

My favourite part of the weekend, was spending Saturday out in Kananaskis with some friends. They have a cabin there, and we were invited to come out and spend the day. The weather was amazing, it was a little windy, but thankfully the wind was warm. The thing that strikes me the most is how utterly quiet it is in the forest. Well, except for Madelyn's constant chatter that is. When she wasn't talking, for a moment here or there boy, was it quiet.

At the lake, there is a sheltered little area, that we tried our hand at paddling a canoe. We've never done that before, and Mason absolutely loved it. In fact, it was hard to keep him out of the canoe. He loved paddling, and both Barry and I took turns taking the kids around and around. Barry and I both paddled until our shoulders burned. [Let's face it, that didn't take too long for me!] And still Mason wanted to go again. Here are some pictures of our day:

Madelyn walking down the path to the beach below the cabin. You definitely wanted to navigate this carefully. We figured it's about a 30 metre elevation drop in about 100 steps... Eeks.

Getting their bearings, it a little pond, before venturing into the big lake. The current was pretty strong, and with the wind blowing, you had to paddle pretty good to get to your destination.

Mason and Barry were a good team. Mason just loved paddling. [Madelyn is talking, if you're wondering]

Madelyn, still talking...

Guess who was also there! Me! To be honest, I was quite content to just sit and watch. Then Madelyn decided she was starving, and Barry took her back up to the cabin for a bite to eat. [We were taking turns going back and forth, because if you have kids you KNOW you go back and forth multiple times, and did you read about the elevation? Seriously, when you get to the top, and your heart is beating in your temples, you need to take turns] So Macy begged me to go in the canoe with him. And so...

There I am. Right here I just splashed Mason with water from the paddle... Who could resist? Seriously. We paddled, and paddled. We went back and forth. Not getting too awfully far from shore. Mace and I paddled around the little island, and on the far side we did encounter waves... But we calmly navigate them without tipping over.

We came back, got Madelyn and went back to the little island, which we explored with bug catchers and nets.

Here, my shoulders were definitely staring to burn...

Back out with Dad again.

I just love that Mason had so much fun. Maybe there will be more canoeing in our future.

Then some splashing and fun, in the ice cold mountain water. [We decided the temperature was similar to the temperature of Mara Lake at the beginning of July]

The view from the deck at the cabin.

Madelyn and Kayley. I have to say I have forgotten how much work a 1 year old can be... Especially somewhere not especially child-friendly. It made me glad my kids are 6 and 9.

We had a great day, we couldn't have asked for nicer weather. We were all pooped from the paddling and fresh air.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Just Around the Corner

Say it isn't so.....

Is that spook-tacular time of year creeping up on us again? Indeed it is! Whoo-hoo!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Texture Tuesday - August 23rd

It's been awhile since I've played along with this. Here is my take on this weeks Texture Tuesday. The theme is 'Back to School'. Well, we're not back to school yet, we go back on September 1st. And I don't have to get supplies yet, because it's included in our school fees. So I
used a picture from Mason's first day of Grade 2, 2 years ago. It's one of my favourite photos:

The textures I chose to use were stamped softly and pourvous.

To play along or find out more, click here.

Monday, August 22, 2011

I haven't done a great job of blogging this month.

My kids are finally fed up with each other. Not every second of every day mind you, but when it starts to go down hill, it does so in a nano-second. Hitting, pushing, pinching, name calling, tattle-tailing and crying have all reared it's ugly head. And do you know what goes hand in hand with that? Yelly Mummy. And I have to tell you, Yelly Mummy is on edge these days. She's tired of the squabbles. She's tired of a couple of kids that wake up way too early, and go to bed way too late. She's tired of making breakfast, lunch and dinner for a couple of kids who turn their little noses up at so much stuff. She's tired of sounding like a broken record that constantly natters things like "pick those up, put that way, make your bed, put your laundry in the basket, turn off the light, FLUSH the toilet, turn off the TV, put away your video games, clean up the toys you were JUST playing with before you start something new." She's tired of negotiating EVERYTHING. She's tired of a particular little girl who does EVERYTHING the HARD WAY. She's tired of dragging kids out of the house because they 'don't wanna go'. She's even a teensy bit tired of being corrected by her 9 year old, who is indeed his Daddy's little boy...

Yelly Mummy has grounded her children from watching television, because we have finally [sadly, I might add] said good-bye to Treehouse. We have gone from Miffy and Friends to The Amazing Spiezs... We've gone from Dora the Explorer to Johnny Test... We've gone from Wonder Pets to Phineas and Ferb [whom I'm pretty sure I hate...] I was kind of okay with the move to the Teletoon channel... I don't love all the shows, but there are some oldies the kids love like: Scooby Doo, Tom & Jerry, The Bugs Bunny & Tweety Show, Looney Tunes. Mason loves Star Wars the Clone Wars. A lot of the other cartoons, I'm just not crazy about. The last month or so, the sass and back talk have flared up around here, and their Dad and I are not taking too kindly to it. After a Mum/Dad huddle trying to figure out 'why the change', we realized, perhaps it was the shows they were watching. Lightbulb, or A-Ha moment, if you will. Seriously, did my Mum worry about what I was watching? [Did you Mum?] Then again, the extent of our cartoons were Flintstones after school and a few Saturday morning shows, end of story.

Don't even get me started on the family channel. I am NOT READY in the slightest bit to have my daughter wanting to emulate any of the girls on those shows. [Madelyn has already asked for her next birthday to be a Justin Beaver party] And yes, I tried to correct her with the name, but she refuses to believe me. So Justin Beaver it is.

I get that these shows are supposed to be funny. I also know they're directed towards kids, not adults. But they make adults/parents out to be complete morons... I mean, don't get me wrong, I watched The Facts of Life.

Every one, sing with me now....

You take the good,
You take the bad,
You take them both and there you have the facts of life.
The facts of life...

I watched and Different Strokes.

I'm pretty sure I walked around the house saying things like "Whatchyou talk'in 'bout Willis?" thinking I was H I L A R I O U S. Both these shows starting airing late in the 70's, Different Strokes ran from '78 - '86 and the Facts of Life from '79 - '88. So, suffice to say, I shouldn't have a problem letting my NINE year old watch a show, not of the cartoon variety, when I started watching these when I was 8-9. [Oops, I just gave my age away ;-0]

But I just don't like the shows today... Is it okay to say that? I mean when we watched those shows mentioned, it was a family affair. We ALL watched the shows. Back then we had ONE television in the house. One. Not a telly in every room. Not a telly on every floor. ONE telly, for the entire family. So of course my Mum and Dad watched with us. It was a Friday night thing. And lucky them, they were able to censor exactly what we were watching, and I didn't even realize that's what they were doing. Now, there are so many shows to choose from and the kids think that just because it's called the Family Channel, I should be okay with them watching whatever they want to. "But Mummy, we're only watching the Family Channel" The fact that they're both still calling me Mummy should say it all. [Or if the truth be told, they still call me Mummy because I told them they had to until they were at least 15...] They don't know any different, yet...

I would like to get rid of the TV entirely, well maybe that's a bit extreme. I would like the kids to not want to watch so much TV. I need to have more control. I'm thinking I'd better look up the information on blocking channels. Now is a good time to do that, I'm already Yelly Mummy, so Wicked Witch Mummy isn't such a stretch from there really. I would like them not to watch so much TV, but at the same time, sometimes the quiet it affords me is blissful. Such a contradiction.

I guess what I'm getting around to, is this Yelly Mummy, who adores summer vacation. Who loves to have no schedule. Who sleeps in and wakes up with a smile most mornings... This Mummy is looking forward to school starting next week. It's taken 8 weeks to get to this point . I wonder if that's why summer vacation is in around the 8 - 9 week mark... I'm pretty sure that 2 weeks from now, we'll all have cooled off a bit, and look forward to spending time together again. [Maybe without so much TV]

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Vintage Pictures

I've been watching, for quite some time now, people posting pictures on blogs and websites that are intended to look old, or vintage if you will. At first I thought, "Gee, really... Why would you want all your new pictures to look old?" I mistakenly thought it was a fad, but it has proven to be one of those "fads" that just seems to go on and on an on.

What I'm saying is, as time has worn on, slightly I'm more intrigued by the vintage look. Don't misunderstand me, I think it's highly unlikely that I'll change ALL my pictures to 'vintage'. But I suppose there is just cause to alter a few pictures... Or is there? I can't get my head around it. So, with out saying anything more, here is my take on vintage photos:

And I think the vintage idea looks neat, but the vibrant color of the original photograph looks awesome... So why am I changing these pictures? I don't know yet. And the jury is still out whether I love the look of it or not...

Friday, August 12, 2011


A conversation last night, between Mason and Madelyn. I love it when they're just talking so freely with one another, and they don't even know I'm right there...

Right out of the blue I overheard this:

Madelyn: "Mace, when boys are adults they have to find beautiful flowers and give them to their favourite girlfriends"

Mason: "They have to?"

Madelyn: "Yes, they have to."

[Personally, I'm wondering how she would have come across this tidbit of information in the first place...]

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

11 on the 11th - August 11, 2011

1. When the alarm goes off in the morning [and this week it's gone off every morning at 6:42...Eek] it's much darker than it was a month ago. Already we're headed toward the longest day of the year... I just love summer.

2. The kids were in camps last week, and again this week. So far they're loving it. I mentioned something to Mason the other day, about the Park 'n Play camps being in an area close to us next week... He very gently said "Mummy, I think I've had enough camps..." Well said, little buddy, well said.

3. This morning, our yard was alive with Waxwings. They're such an exotic looking bird.

4. Madelyn is on 2 wheels!

5. If you can wait until the 11th of August, to do any planting, EVERYTHING is on sale. Up to 60% off. You can get a ginormous planter for $10.

6. As we near the middle of August, I wish we had another 2 months stretching out before us. I've enjoyed time with the kids and time alone while the kids were at camps.

7. Corn on the cob was on sale, I picked up extra ears and made this refreshing salad. It's got corn, red peppers, tomato, cilantro, lime juice and olive oil. It was very tasty.

8. I could eat an egg salad sandwich for lunch, every. single. day. I don't joke about this, I could. It's nice though when you have it at someone else's house once in awhile, it always tastes better when someone else makes it.

9. Tonight we celebrated Baba's birthday. Happy Birthday Baba!

10. Full moon is coming up on Saturday. Our moonlight walks have not taken off at all this year. First of all, winter is not that much fun to walk in. And the weather is a huge factor. Believe it or not, most to the full moon nights have been over cast, or dreadful weather-wise. One thing we have done a lot more this year though, is spend time at Nose Hill. Can't wait until both kids can ride their bikes up!

11. It's getting darker much earlier in the evening. Noticeably so. How sad. And I'm not ready to think about 'back to school' stuff. I'm grateful to just write a cheque to the school and not have to worry about supplies.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Weird and Wacky Weather

Yesterday we had another wild storm rage through Calgary. The sky was dark, I'll give it that, but it wasn't freaky looking or anything. Last week, they sky looked dark, ominous and scary, and it went right past us with nothing but a bit of wind... Here's a look at last weeks sky:

This seemingly innocent looking sky, hit us good. Later, we found out that around 5 pm or so, there was storm advisory issued for Calgary. I have NEVER seen it rain like that before. [Don't we always say that?] But it poured, for over an hour. There was so much rain and lightening [I try to be brave in front of the kids] The kids took cover in the basement, but it happened right during dinner, so we did sit at the kitchen table. The rain cascaded off our roof, below Madelyn is watching, you can see the stream of water coming off the roof. [Later we found our door leaking... We took baseboards off, and the dry was was soaking wet... NOT a good sign] Obviously water got in somewhere...

Madelyn watching the rain pour down.

Our drainage canal in the back yard was a raging river.

Upon closing kids bedroom windows, we discovered this bedroom window leaking... And I'm not sure leaking is the right word. Every time we moped it up, more just seeped in behind. We soaked a number of towels. This people, is not a good sign. Two in one storm, not good.

This picture isn't great, because the windows were wet, but our street looked like a river. Thank heaven's we're on a slight hill. Beddington Trail was filled with up to waist deep water in some places.
There was so much hail, that our gutters backed up. Again, the picture isn't great, but every seam in the trough had water shooting straight up. It was crazy. I looked for pictures on the web, but the only one I could find was this:

Let's keep our fingers crossed that we're done with these wacky storms.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Month in Photos Catch Up

My intention this year, was to keep up to date [at least monthly] with my favourite photos from each month. Rebecca Cooper offered her handy-dandy templates here. I realized, that I have completed a few of the previous months layouts, but for some reason they didn't get posted on my blog. I find it hard to narrow it down to a just a few pictures, and then when I look at the favourite pictures, most of them I have already posted individually on my blog. In any case, I'm half way through the year, so I might as well keep going!

Here they are:

1. Daddy helping Mason with his slap shot. 2. Madelyn and I celebrating Gigi's 94th Birthday. 3. Madelyn loving Gigi's wiggly arm skin. 4. Reading this book to me, actually reading it! 5. Trip to the zoo to see that new baby giraffe. 6. Our little gymnast. 7. Silly Bandz boy [they were Star Wars, he was in heaven] 8. Little girl, cleaning up the batter. 9. Mace racing his Cub Car. 10. Mason helping shovel snow off the back deck. 11. Looking the part of a hockey player. 12. I crocheted a cup cozy.

1. Miss Maddy G turns 6. 2. Glasses for Mad's party. 3. Birthday cake. 4. A little charm of Chip or Dale [Madelyn's favourite] though I can never remember who's who. 5. Our shadow family. 6. Mason playing his home made flute. [Many thanks to Baba that helped Mason make it] 7. Me and my kids on Mother's Day. 8. Blooming crocus on Nose Hill. 9. The paper cranes, hanging in the atrium at school. This was a grade 3 initiative to raise money to help the Tsunami victims of Japan. 10. The kids up at Nose Hill. 11. Madelyn with curls in her hair, she requested this 'do' on her birthday.

1. Little bug girl, note the pink nail polish. 2. A rainy day fort. 3. Lego man head sugar cookies I made for Mason's birthday party. 4. Mason totally lost in the 1st Percy Jackson novel. 5. Ama & Baba and the kids, downtown after Madelyn's dance recital. 6. Barry and the kids on Father's Day. 7. Getting a surprise birthday smooch from his adoring sister. 8. Birthday Donut Cake! This was a huge hit, because he doesn't really like cake all that much [whose kid is he?] 9. He's 9. 10. Macy and his Momma. 11. Two very excited little people on the last day of school.

1. Jeff and Lisa, newly married. 2. The happy couple [their outdoor wedding was SO beautiful] 3. Mason at the lake, devouring the 2nd Percy Jackson novel. 4. Barry and I, all dressed up fancy for the wedding. 5. Our family picture at the lake. Chris got to come and spend a few days with us this year. 6. The little diva sunning herself. 7. Mason playing in the sand [and yes he knows his shirt is on backwards and he doesn't care] 8. A picture of me out in the boat... 9. Macy and Ama on the river. 10. Maddy and Baba on the river. 11. Yes, she has a milk moustache, but I love this picture anyway.