Words To Live By:

"The work will wait while you show the child the rainbow, but the rainbow won't wait while you finish the work."

Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Vintage Pearl: BIG giveaway!

I love my monkeys and my hubby. They mean the world to me. So once upon a time I ordered a necklace from The Vintage Pearl with their names on it. Everytime I wear the necklace, people comment on how much they love it. And it reminds me how much I love them (the boys). And then I remember how much I love the products offered at The Vintage Pearl. So I browse the site and want to get more custom jewelery. Or buy gifts for people (my mom got each of the grandkids' initials on hers for Christmas.) Ooooh, I love shopping! Anyhow, check them out - they're doing a fabulously huge giveaway for their blog readers: The Vintage Pearl: happy birthday to me. (BIG giveaway!) Good luck!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Breakin' In

It's March Break/Spring Break here and woohoo - the weather, with the exception of today's off and on drizzle, has been cooperating!  What gorgeous SPRINGlike days we've been enjoying.   The kids (my monkeys and a couple of daycare sidekicks) were so thrilled that we got to spend hours outside on Monday - the playground was damp & spongy but with rain boots, who cares? And we broke out the chalk (it looks like we had a rash of bodies dropping dead on the driveway!)  We went for a walk and just enjoyed the fresh air without freezing - we even survived without mittens - wow!

Yesterday was a trip to the mall to buy new runners for the boys - we tried their 'old' ones on and it resulted in tears and squishy toes.  I think they've both had growth spurts.  Can you believe that with just a tad more than 18 months between them, they've got the same size feet?  And wanted the same shoes?  And they're both in that awkward phase between 'toddler' shoes and 'junior' shoes?  And they like labels?   Shoe shopping with two little monkeys ≠  fun times!  Luckily, we found what we wanted at SportChek (always buy one, get one half off on kid shoes) so we limited the chaos to one location.   We found the cutest little DCs (phooey expensive!) for Kaleb - with real laces, yikes - and some Lego shoes for Justin (half price).  Ended up being about $35 each but I figure it was reasonable for 'labels' when you consider you can spend upwards of $30 at Payless for kids.  Sheesh!

We also hit the library and the rec centre (same building).  Boys are both registered for lessons - semi-private for Kaleb and group for Justin.   Different days.   I waited too long and got stuck scrounging for whatever spaces I could get.    (Remember that recent post about neglect and procrastination?)

Today we had some sidekicks spend the day again.  Because of the wet weather factor, we opted for an indoor day   The kids broke out board games, coloured, played Wii Family Game Night 2 from the library (free = fantastic!), watched "Diary of A Wimpy Kid" on Netflix, begged me to make chocolate chip banana muffins, exercised their fantastically amazing imaginations, did a little "freeze" dance and we experimented with making our own Chinese Yo-Yos (you know - those strips of paper wound tight around a dowel that you flick out and they coil back in?   Note:  scrapbook paper is too heavy but strips of wrapping paper worked great.   Tape it to an unsharpened pencil, wind it up and let it fly!   Cheap entertainment.)   Overall a busy day.   Although busy, I didn't find it stressful per se - it's amazing how different personalities contribute to different group dynamics and besides a few brotherly squabbles, they all got along pretty well.

Tomorrow is a playdate in the afternoon and I'll probably head out to the local party store to look at some shower tea party supply options in the AM.   Hoping the hall I've rented doesn't have a no-decor policy!  Didn't see anything in the contract so fingers are crossed!

Friday, I get to wait in the passport office with the monkeys - more fun times ahead I'm sure.  Thank goodness for those wonderful, portable, easy-to-keep-them-amused gadgets also known as "DS's".  After that, we'll see... and finally to kick off our last day of the break, Sunday afternoon we'll be heading to the Rogers Centre to see Disney On Ice:  Toy Story 3.   (Coupon code:  SING on the $34 tickets.)   Note to anyone in Durham:  We don't have a Ticketmaster outlet anymore.... you're stuck driving to Scarborough or Lindsay.  I say save the gas money and pay the fee to print your own.  Seriously wish I had known all this before checking out - whoops!

Here is our menu of sorts for the week:
Monday - frozen pizza (we needed something fast before our 6:15 dental appointment)
Tuesday - Kev treated me to Boston Pizza, with 2 free kids meals, it was a nice treat.
Tonight - Spaghetti with meat sauce
Thursday - Italian sausage, roasted potatoes, mixed veggies  - where's the green in honour of St. Patrick's Day - hmmm we'll have to think on that one!
Friday - Chicken of some variety
Saturday - ????  Your guess is as good as mine!

But hey, it's been 2+ weeks since the big grocery shop and I just did a small top-up on the weekend so we're doing okay.   Here's hoping you're all breakin' out of your routine and breakin' in your smiles!  Happy March Break!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Potty Talk

I've reached a new low and will be dedicating today's post to toilet seats.  In my own defense, when you're outnumbered 3-1 in the male/female ratio, 'potty talk' becomes the (unfortunate) norm. 

Today we took a quick trip to Home Depot to buy a replacement seat for our ensuite toilet.  (We also had to replace the patio door handle because I broke the actual handle right off last week - but that's another story!)  The builder-grade seat that came with the house has turned colour and started to peel - odd considering it's the least-used bathroom in our home.   

We thought it would be a quick in and out - I mean how many toilet seat options can there really be?  And then reality hit and we remembered that nothing is ever a quick in and out with two monkeys in tow, multiple bathroom trips, an overwhelming level of energy and a wall of toilet seats.     We found what we needed - budget friendly basic white but this is what caught my eye:

Kohler Transitions(R) Quiet-Close(Tm) Toilet Seat
I know - it's a toilet seat!  It's not really worth getting excited about especially because we're through the major potty stages, but, geez!, someone was thinking when they came up with this (apparently not unique according to Google) concept. 

I don't think the picture I've shown is the exact model we found as the monkeys flip-flipped up every toilet seat on display, but the idea is there:  a toilet seat with built in potty!  The one in store was cheaper and the potty insert stays tucked into the lid magnetically.  Great idea and I wish I'd known about these when we forayed into the overwhelming world of potty training.   If budget was not a concern, I'd still consider replacing at least two of our toilet seats to avoid little bums splashing into the bowl and the ick-factor of the removable potty inserts.  Hmmm....

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


I feel like I've been neglecting my blog.   I think that sometimes life just gets busy and alot of things get the out-of-sight-out-of-mind treatment.  (You don't even want to imagine the piles of laundry I have stashed in my room awaiting the closet?)   I know I also ebb and flow in regards to what gets that precious slot of free time - somedays I want to browse, somedays I want to craft, somedays I want to write, somedays I want to organize and clean (what!?!), somedays I want to curl up with some good books.  

So no regularly scheduled programs this week (or last for that matter.)  You're just out of luck until my frame of mind changes, I suppose.   On a side note, my meal plan this week is semi-existant... but because it's week 2 of the big grocery shop, it's not exciting - pasta, chicken, chicken soup, pasta again, chicken again, and whatever else I can scrounge up from the freezer and my pantry.

Here's some of the cards I've completed recently but haven't shared:

The bridal shower invitations took time - I had to make more than 40 of them!  And silly me didn't think of running the blank cards through the printer to include all the vital info before I crafted.  Whoops!  I made them with blank cards (Walmart), pink & black cardstock - it's a nice bright pink but it looks more salmon-y on my screen - ick!, charms & ribbon from Michael's, and I stamped/heat embossed the sentiment.   Then because of that above mentioned mistake, I printed the details on paper and adhered inside.  Yup, I'm brilliant!

Blank inside, made from basic cardstock and then I used some of the fun dollar store papers I got in my stocking from my sister at Christmas.  Appropriate because she and her fiance were the recipients of the card - made for their engagement party.  Hardware was from Winners or Homesense, purchased in a good sized pack - but I don't remember who made it and I'm too lazy to go look!

This sweet little card was made for my niece - although I think she's still just a little too young to appreciate it.

And last but not least, the "dream big" card  was crafted for my brother's birthday using scraps - but it's one of my favourite to-date!

The boys continue to countdown (in months - less than 3) the time remaining until our big California trip.   What with shower planning, multiple birthday parties, day-to-day mundane and still fighting off miscellaneous bugs in our house, I feel like I haven't been on the ball with planning or researching our destination.   I know we'll be in Palm Dessert/Palm Springs area at the first leg of our journey and we have to hit the beach and Disneyland at some point after that... but as to logistics (i.e. our flight!) we're at a stalemate.  I still need to apply for the monkeys' passports too! 

On top of that, we can add spring rec programs & registration to my list of neglected items.  What with the need for hats, mitts and down-filled coats, it's hard to believe that spring programs start up soon.  Also, with the tight budget I've been placed on, I'm waivering on whether to enroll them in anything at all. That big family vacation mentioned above means no Sport Ball and no semi-private swim lessons this spring.   I'm leaning towards group swimming lessons followed up with tee-ball & 4-or5-pitch in the summer.   Great plan, fun for the kids and softer on the wallet, but I need to get on the whole enrollment thing.   Decisions, decisions...  what are you family rec plans this spring & summer?