Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas

Wishing each of you a magical Christmas filled with wonderful memories and happy times. Wishing each of you a Happy New Year and a healthy and happy 2012.


Thursday, December 22, 2011

You Don’t See This Much Anymore

Yesterday I was dusting my knick-knacks and books in my library when I pulled out my husband’s shoes from when he was a toddler.

The shoes, more than 40 years old, still look good and if I didn’t know that those hard-soled shoes were actually bad for children’s feet, I would still use them.
I flipped them over when I discovered this:

Yes, these beautiful shoes were made in Canada. It’s rare to find items made in Canada these days. And that is kind of sad.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Never Doubt a Salt Truck Operator

This morning on the way to my son’s daycare provider, a town truck was spraying the roads with sand.

The temperature was zero degrees and I thought to myself that it was a waste of resources sanding a road that was wet.

As I got out of my car to walk over to my son’s side, I slide across the driveway only catching myself by grabbing onto the door handle.

I should never doubt a salt truck operator. I believe they may know what they are doing.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Sarah’s Key

I just finished reading Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay.

What a fantastic book. I couldn’t put it down. I can’t stop crying. I can’t get Sarah and her story out of my head.

I can’t stop thinking about all that was lost during the Holocaust. I can’t stop wondering how we can be so cruel to each other.

Friday, December 16, 2011

A New Toy

My guy is a big drinker. Since he started eating, he has also been drinking water from a sippy cup.

When he first went to daycare, I told his provider he was to only have water and milk. No juice. Other than juice at Nana and Poppa’s and in the morning, we drink only water.

Yesterday I received a press kit from Brita. In addition to a red Brita pitcher in celebration of Chinese New Year Jan. 23, I also received a Brita bottle with a built-in filtration system.

I was most excited about the Brita bottle.

At home we drink water from our well. It’s delicious water. However, when we visit my brother-in-law in the city or friends who are on town water, we hesitate drinking their water because of the strong chlorine taste.

According to the Brita, the filtration system reduces the taste and odour of chlorine. The other bonus is the bottle is dishwasher safe, BPA free and reduces the amount of water bottles produced.

And my guy loves the bottle. Last night he drank an entire bottle and this morning brought it to daycare to show it to his friends. A system that reduces the taste of chlorine is good for the environment and is a fun, new toy.


Thursday, December 15, 2011

This Is What a House Should Look Like

It might have been the request to see a new one on this blog or the fact the kit was there waiting for me, but whatever the reason I again attempted to build a cookie house with my son.

In December 2009, I thought I would test my skills and my patience and make a gingerbread house for my son.

It was a disaster, and that is being generous.

This year, through work, I interviewed a woman who suggested people should have a gingerbread house making party rather than a traditional cookie exchange.

It would be more fun, she said, to gather your friends together, provide created gingerbread houses and decorate as they wished.

Once the interview was posted, KS said she would like to see a new gingerbread house picture posted on my blog. I didn’t think it would happen this year.

But then, this weekend, we went to the local apple orchard’s customer appreciation event and what did I spot – an apple spice cookie cottage kit. I bought it.

And this year I was smart enough to let my husband do the building and my son do the decorating.

So here you go, K, this house is for you.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Christmas Wish list

This Christmas, my husband and I would like -10 C weather with no snow and no wind so the swimming pool in our backyard will turn into the skating rink it is supposed to be.

Friday, December 9, 2011

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

I received an email from a colleague who said he is a cynic at this time of year.

I replied that I love the Christmas season and it’s not so much about the gifts but the memories and traditions that come along with the season.

It’s listening to Christmas carols in my car and watching Christmas movies at home. It's reading Christmas stories about love and redemption.

It’s going to get our tree the first weekend of December, pulling out the ornaments and decorations I haven’t seen in a year and placing them throughout the house.

It’s making cookies with my family and making more cookies at home.

It’s finding the perfect gift for everyone I love and then wrapping those presents beside the twinkling tree.

It’s deciding what to make for Christmas Eve, Christmas morning and Christmas dinner.

It’s hanging out with those I love.

Merry Christmas. I hope you find beautiful memories, too.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Now That Was A Parade

At the last moment, we decided to take our son to the local Santa Claus parade Saturday night. I am so glad we went.

Now that was a parade.

The last parade we went to was OK. I was disappointed about the lack of effort parade participants put into their floats.

I didn’t feel the same way about this parade.

Wow, what a great time.

All but two local businesses had great floats, lit up with hundreds of Christmas lights. The local Home Hardware had four floats, which each had a live band with great musicians. A local towing company also had four floats, each different from the other.

There were lots of local service clubs such as the Scouts, the Kinettes, who were collecting for the food bank, and the Optimist Club, and there were bands, both local and from Toronto.

Local businesses were open late and handed out hot chocolate and other treats and the food bank had a barbecue going by donation.

The street was closed off so my guy could run up and down it while waiting for the parade to come to us.

I want to commend the organizers of this Santa Claus parade for creating an event that celebrated what the season is suppose to be about.

Merry Christmas.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Here’s Something You Don’t Want For Christmas

Last week an illness struck.

Two visits to two different emergency departments, three X-rays, a half-hour long ultrasound, some IV fluids, two types of painkillers, including morphine, and a week lost with my son later and it turns out I had some sort of viral infection.

You do not want whatever I had this Christmas. Nor do you want another virus that is making its rounds in this part of the world – it affects your breathing for four weeks.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Santa Came to Town

Santa came to the nearby town on Saturday. It was E’s first parade. He loved the people who gave out chocolate and candy canes.

He waved to the firefighters and police officers and he fell asleep to mommy rocking (literally rocking not rocking out) to the music.

He stayed asleep through the marching bands, to driver blowing his big rig horn and to Santa wishing each of us a Merry Christmas.

The parade itself was OK.

I was disappointed by the local stores that used the parade as a marketing vehicle rather than a Christmas parade to get us into the spirit.

If people can’t put effort into their floats, do not bother attending. So to the local florist, the larger grocery store and the trailer rental place, don’t participate next year. Find another way to advertise your business.

Friday, November 18, 2011

It’s Mittens Time

My little guy hates bundling up for the snow. I don’t say I blame him.

Last year he was moving much better than the year before but it’s hard to walk, never mind play, when you have bulky snowpants and jacket, boots and mittens that never stay on.

Summer is much easier.

As the temperature has dropped this fall, my guy refused to put on his mittens despite cold hands and fingers.

He told me he wasn’t going to wear mittens until there was snow.

Well little guy, it snowed last night. Welcome back mittens.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Move Over Chinese Pre-Folds, There is a New Cloth Diaper in Town

Readers of this blog will know I love using cloth diapers, and I don’t hesitate to tell anyone I talk to that they, too, should go cloth.

My guy has been toilet trained for months. He does, however, still use diapers during naptime and overnight. And because E is a heavy wetter, he uses disposables during those times.

So when I received an email from Mohammed at Lil Helper asking if I still used cloth diapers and if I would be willing to try his version, I jumped at the chance.

If Lil Helper’s diapers would keep E dry, I would buy a set.

I wish I could have captured E’s expression when I put on Lil Helper’s charcoal bamboo cloth diaper.

Super soft, the diaper and its two bamboo inserts with seven layers of absorbent cloth, stayed in place with snaps.

Mohammed also provided me with additional cotton inserts that went inside the diaper. Snaps are also used to keep the diaper on.

Once on, my guy jumped up and paraded in his new blue diaper. ‘Look, Mommy,’ he said before dancing around in the house. Cloth diaper bum is the cutest thing around, but Lil Helper cloth diaper bum is even more fantastic.

Sadly, E didn’t make it through the night with the Lil Helper diaper, but in fairness, he often doesn’t make it through the night in disposables either.

Last night, while getting ready for bed, he asked to wear his Lil Helper diaper. We plan to try it during naptime on the weekend.

I think for a child who is not a heavy wetter, these diapers would work wonderfully. If I discovered Lil Helper before E was potty trained, I would have bought them. If we ever have more children, Lil Helper is where we will turn to.

In addition to being beautifully made, Lil Helper’s diapers are:

* All In Ones. You do not need to buy an additional diaper cover.

* One-size fits all. The same diaper will fit your baby from seven to 35 pounds.

* The outer layer is made from waterproof, yet breathable materials.

* Through Lil Helpers Baby Do Good program, for every three diapers purchased by its customers the company pledges to gift a new cloth diaper to a family in need.

* Mohammed and his family are down-to-Earth, easy to talk to and funny. Nader is also an owner and founder of this company. Both men and their families live in Toronto.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Since you Asked...

I have started listening to Christmas music in the car on the way to and from work.

I have started Christmas shopping and have started to think of creating new Christmas traditions for my family.

I think I may watch a Christmas movie with my guy, who has already watched a Christmas movie at daycare.

I love Christmas.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Giving Credit Where Credit is Due

You know, you have to give Canadians credit. If I saw someone like this walking down the street, I would do a double take:

Instead, most people just walked by me on Halloween. Some looked past me; some glanced and then looked away like I wasn’t dressed in a Maleficent costume; some people smiled; some people stopped to talk or let me know I looked fantastic; and one little boy gave me a wide berth while never looking away.

I hope you had a happy Halloween, too.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween

Pumpkin picked. Check.
Pumpkin scooped out. Check.
Pumpkin decorated. Check.
Pumpkin seeds roasted. Check.
Costumes ready. Check.
House decorated. Check.
Count down over. Check.

Happy Halloween.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Happy Birthday Little Boy

It was three years ago tomorrow my little guy arrived bringing me as much joy as I had imagined.

It was three years ago tomorrow that my life became more complicated, but in a way that I am thankful for every day.

It was three years ago tomorrow that me time, means us time and for that I am grateful.

Tomorrow my little guy turns three. It doesn't seem that long ago that we drove to the hospital and my little guy was placed into my arms bringing with him daily joy and often worry.

Happy Birthday, little man. Guacamole and a campfire with marshmallows and hot dogs await.

Love Mommy

Monday, October 10, 2011

Dear Grandma,

Dear Grandma,

Despite my professional, words often escape me. Or at least words I think are good enough to honour a woman such as yourself.

Instead I will list some memories:

Accented names; red check; brown; sleepovers; warnings about Teddy; dislike of chickens (yours); those same chickens pecking at my shoelaces; oversized boots; straw hat; working Grandma; getting in trouble for sleeping in; the Look; handmade sweaters and skating outfits; church; Thanksgiving blessings; large family gatherings; laughter; oillenbollen on New Year's; Dutch hail both fruit and chocolate; chocolate letters; gas stoves; your laugh and smile; your acceptence and love for extra people; holding little boys; love; short jokes; silly bands.

I love you my Holland-travelling partner.

Love Lisa

My grandma, Geesje ter Steege, passed away Oct. 7. The head of the family, the one every child used a a marker for trying to be taller, was 85. As a note, the only one who almost didn't make it - other then the great-grandchildren of course - is my full-grown cousin S. Bad luck with the gene pool there, S.

Monday, September 26, 2011

OK, Now I am Ready For Fall

Before I can accept it’s fall and love the season for it’s beautiful colours, crisp days and woodsy smells, I have to mourn the loss of summer.

And this year I have been particularly sad to say goodbye to hot days, long periods of sunshine and a more relaxed pace of life.

But this weekend I have accepted summer is over and welcomed in fall.

It could be that this weekend was fantastic. The prediction of rain didn’t come true and instead it was blue skies and warmer temperatures.

Welcome fall.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Cinnamon Lovers Take Note

Finally there is a product out there that claims it has cinnamon in it and delivers.

I love cinnamon. When a recipe calls for cinnamon, I at least double it. I put cinnamon in my hot chocolate, cinnamon in my apple pies, cinnamon in baked goods and as I child I enjoyed it on toast.

You can never have too much cinnamon in my mind.

But apparently not everyone feels this way; particularly companies that claim to make cinnamon products but only but small amounts in.

I have not found a cinnamon raisin bread that actually tastes like cinnamon. I enjoy a coffee cake that claims it is cinnamon and while the topping succeeds, that cake does not.

But a couple of weeks ago, I discovered Oatmeal to Go Cinnamon Roll granola bars.
I was hooked after the first cinnamon bite and have gone through two boxes since.

Way to go Quakers.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

It Must Be Fall

Because I am beginning to go into hibernation mode. I just want to sleep.

Monday, September 19, 2011

A Great Weekend For A Wedding

My brother-in-law got married on the weekend, and what a wonderful weekend it was.
The wedding was at Patterson-Kaye Lodge, a fantastic place for a weekend or weeklong getaway; kudos to the family who owns it.

The wedding took place on the beach, with my now sister-in-law arriving by boat. Of course, I didn’t notice this happening as I was busy chasing after two little ‘ring monkeys’ who thought running toward the water in their suits was much more fun than staying with their aunt and sister.

With toys and sand and little boys in the sand, the wedding, I am told, was as beautiful as the day – warm, but fall cool and lots of sunshine.

The reception was lovely, the food was fantastic and the details were perfect.

By 10 p.m., my guy was ready to go back to our cottage after an evening of playing with his new friends, and was asleep as soon as his head hit the pillow.

The next day included more visits to the park, more turns on the zipline and 45 minutes spent in the hot tub with his dad.

Congrats to the happy couple. And congrats for creating a beautiful wedding.