Mellykat's Blog!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Why I Love Facebook...

First of all, I cannot believe it's been a week since Christmas. (Today is New Year's Day even though the posting date shows the 28th!) This post was started last weekend. The title reflects an awesome visit I had with a long lost friend I reconnected with on Facebook lately. We've known each other since we started school and our parents have known each other even beyond that. Here are a couple pictures from our visit:


Earlier that day, Mom rounded up all the available relatives for a Boxing Day lunch. What was planned as a simple meal of grilled cheese sandwiches, turned into an awesome smorg of grilled cheese sandwiches, ham, perogies, and salad. We all had a great visit!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Pink Christmas

I couldn't possibly say it was a blue Christmas. It's been a great day. From the morning where the boys didn't get up too impossibly early, to Santa's bringing exactly what both boys really wanted, to having family over for an awesome breakfast, to plenty of fun and wonderful gifts exchanged, to plenty of great food and games all day and evening. Yes, a very run-on sentence like I'm usually famous for, but it says much about the day. Even Mom liked her present and wore her new outfit today. :)

I'm going to try to recap all the cool gifts I received:
  • My favourite perfume
  • A down-filled winter jacket I've had my eye on
  • A yummy soft sweater (that replaces one that I've been missing SINCE MAY that was stolen in Kelly's vehicle! It's even softer inside than I remember!)
  • Books
  • Computer gadgets and games
  • Gift cards and gift certificates
  • Lotto tickets
  • Kitchen gadgets
  • Closet organizer
  • Pretty-smelling bath stuff and room spray
  • Yummy-smelling candles and candle holder
  • Chocolate
  • Bluetooth headset for the cell phone (new law coming into effect in the new year banning talking on cell phones while driving)
  • Christmas socks and ornaments
  • More chocolate :)
  • Escape hammer (this is among the nifty gadgets from Kelly. She HATES the ice road with much hatingness and wants me to be able to escape in the event that I sink.)
I'm pretty darned sure there's plenty more but I had to rack my brain to remember all the things I was spoiled with. :)

The kids received numerous (many many many) toys and games, clothing, and books. Because of all the activity all day, there may still be some things that our family received that I haven't even seen yet. I took a time-lapse video of our gift opening first thing this morning (which will be posted below), but I only set the camera for about a half an hour and it was just not quite long enough to capture all the gift opening and new coat tryouts.

Chris received a nice snowmobile suit, an iPod Nano (which I plan on borrowing :), gift cards, a haircutting kit (he needs me to cut his hair!) clothing, money, and assorted other games and gadgets.

We were really really spoiled. We had Chris's Dad and Laurette, my parents, and Chris's brother Jason over for breakfast this morning. I cooked a mountain of bacon and pancakes (the multitudinous quantities warranted some help from my Mom - thanks Mom!) I also had picked up a fruit tray complete with sweet yogurt dip to serve with breakfast. Something I neglected (because I forgot) to serve was the orange juice and eggnog. After my shopping spree yesterday, there were FIFTEEN two-litre (half-gallon)drink cartons in the fridge:

Three Tropicana Pure Premium orange juice (two with no pulp and one with)
Two cartons of eggnog
One carton of half and half coffee cream
One carton of chocolate soy milk
Five cartons of vanilla soy milk
Two cartons of whole milk
and one carton of 2% milk.

There were cartons every which way in that fridge. The drink population in the fridge has thankfully decreased a little since yesterday's shopping trip.

Jason stayed to visit us until late afternoon when we all needed to get ready for Christmas dinner. We and the kids had a great fun day with him. It's been a year since his last visit home. We've seen him only one other time in this past year when we went to Thunder Bay for my cousin's wedding at the end of June.

I toasted the noodles and almonds and mixed the dressing for the oriental salad I was bringing. I attempted a brief nap whilst Cooper slept, but that was short-lived. I got up and got dressed and ready and before I knew it we were headed out again to Cindy's for Christmas dinner. Bob's parents and brother and family were there along with us and our parents. We had an awesome dinner despite the fact that it was OMGTURKEYLESS! There were plenty of turkey substitutes that sufficed wonderfully, including a huge ham, meatballs with delectible gravy, and a Portuguese meat dish that Mom brought.

After supper there was a plethora of entertainment options. On the main floor the movie Mamma Mia was playing, while the kids downstairs were playing the new Sing Star game we brought them. Cindy bought some additional game discs with more song varieties. Cindy and I joined in on the singing fun and had a great time, tying score most of the time with our amazing song stylings (hahahahahahahahahaaaaaaaa). Our kids were sick of the grown-ups having more fun than they were and they wanted to come home.

We finally gave in and brought them home. They did a re-inventory of their new stuff, pausing briefly to argue over possession and use of Carter's skateboard. I put on the movie Horton Hears a Who. Cooper bailed shortly after and went to his room to watch The Lion King for the sixty-two-millionth time. I just now noticed that Carter has passed out in front of the TV. Chris has become an iPod junkie and synchs his iPod to the computer every time he downloads a new song. He also received an FM transmitter so he can play his iPod in his truck. Cool.

It's been an awesome day, full of blessings. I hope all my family and friends were equally or even more blessed. Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!!!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

No More Hustle, No More Bustle

Well, I was hoping not to have to go out on Christmas Eve, but thanks to Mom and Dad for hanging out with Carter and Cooper for awhile this morning, I got to finish up. I grocery shopped and picked up a couple last minute gifts. I brought the boys home and Cooper loaded himself up on those mini mandarin oranges. Among many other things, I also picked up some 'grapples', which are grape-flavoured apples. They definitely smell grapey, but the flavour is a little more subtle.

I picked up a ton of other groceries at the grocery store and Wal-Mart. Thankfully I picked up most of the stuff at the grocery store, because much of what I needed was just on an empty shelf at Wal-Mart. Chris worked until noon and did a little shopping of his own on his way home.

My last post was intended to be filled in. It was just a list of things I could remember doing on Friday. I was everywhere, including Wal-Mart THREE TIMES that day. I also forgot to mention in my sporadic blogging that I got my hair cut and coloured the Friday before last, with a streak of red just to be festive. Somewhere in my hustling and bustling I lost my favourite pair of mitts but I replaced them with a cheap fuzzy pair that are doing the trick just fine.

My last day of work before Christmas was Thursday. I still took the kids to the sitter on Friday, Monday and Tuesday in order to attempt getting things done for Christmas. I was not one of those brave souls who takes little children to the store right before Christmas.

I had a lunch date with Cindy on Monday, and with Silvia & Diane on Tuesday. Cindy and I did a little shopping after lunch. Silvia and Diane and I tried out the new Indian/Greek restaurant that recently opened and I LOVED IT. I had the buffet and it was fantastic, with plenty of deliciousness and spice. I finished all my print projects I needed to do, including Silvia's 7th annual calendar for her Dad, which is my biggest and favourite project of the year. I did whip up some Christmas cards to send out, but they just haven't been sent yet. ::sigh::

Well, it's been a busy week but a good one so far and I'm looking forward to getting together with all the family we can round up.

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Whirlwind!

Boys to sitter
Coffee
Office
Calendar to Silvia
Visit Kelly
Wal-Mart - great dint in shopping! Pajamas
Gift for teacher
Lunch with Shelly
Carter to school
More shopping. Toys
WalMart
Coffee
Wrap and ship presents
Office
Purolator
Perfume
Snowsuit
Kids
HOme
Bingo
Walmart

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Last Trip

I think I took my last trip today for my IT gig. I still have some stuff to do locally but I'll likely have the time to finish up all the details between Christmas and the new year. It was still bitterly cold out today (Angie...with the wind chill factor it's been -40ºC quite often, which is where Celsius and Fahrenheit meet, though I'm sure I've whined about this to you before :) The highway was covered in ice patches all the way but I had a good drive today, there and back.

I had lunch with a couple girls from the office. I left in time to make most of the return trip in daylight, which makes a humongous difference when driving these rural highways. I dropped off a few boxes of stuff at the office from my travels and headed home.

After supper I finished the calendar project I found because I finally realized where my hole punch was. All that stress and obsessing over something and then it occurs to me where it might be. Sure enough, it was inside a big Rubbermaid container in the garage. I had put a bunch of stuff from the back of the Jeep into the container since it was so big when I was bringing it home. We didn't bring it in the house right away and it's been there ever since.

So right now, all is well in Mellytown. I have a couple small Christmas projects to work on then I'm going to get all the rest of my Christmas shopping done, and maybe even Christmas cards that will likely get mailed two or three days before Christmas. Oh, and as of today? I'm off work for ten days. Niiiiiiiice.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas Concert

Today was Carter's Christmas concert. It was to start at one-thirty so I did the lunch hour coverage so that I could lunch later and flex some time to go to the concert and the gathering afterward. I arranged for Mom and Dad to take Carter to school.

Of course because I usually fly by the seat of my pants, I hadn't baked or brought anything with me to work to bring to the school for the snacks after the concert. I figured I would run to one of the grocery stores and pick up a tray of dainties or something.

Then when I was doing a Google search I caught a glimpse of a blog post on Amy's blog. She had found an awesome web site called chic cookies or something similar to that, and made the most adorable cookies. You use the white chocolate-dipped Oreo cookies and using an icing bag, draw on an orange carrot nose and black eyes and mouth. They are so adorable I decided right then and there that I wanted to bring them to the concert.

During coffee break I ran (yes, seriously ran, in my three-or-so-inch heels) to Safeway. 1) They did not have the cookies, and 2) They had no orange or black icing tubes. Feeling slightly defeated, I ran back to the office. I called Kelly to see what she was up to at lunchtime, hoping she'd have to go to Wal-Mart for some reason. She didn't need to go, but kindly went FOR ME to look for these items. Unfortunately she found none of them at either Wal-Mart OR I.G.A. and I made her late coming back from lunch. (Thank you so much again, Kelly!) She picked me up a couple icing tubes so I could make do if I could find those elusive cookies.

Once I ran out the door for lunch, I went to the one remaining grocery store, still not giving up on my quest. I finally conceded defeat when they didn't have the cookies either, and I purchased a tin of fancy chocolatey cookies to bring. I raced to the school and had to park 938745987 miles away because of all the other people going to the Christmas concert. I ran into the school and positioned myself in the gymnasium for the concert.

I found it odd that I couldn't see my parents since I had met them on the road along the way to the grocery store. After waiting a bit, I saw Mom come in the gym. I waved her over to sit with me and she told me the concert WAS NOT BEING HELD IN THE GYM. I'm not quite sure how I missed this detail. We trekked to the OPPOSITE end of the building to Carter's classroom, a very FULL classroom. I think they waited for ME before starting. Not only was the classroom FULL of people, probably about FIFTY adults watching the twenty-two children performing, but none of the multitudinous furniture was moved to make room for the hordes in attendance.

By this time I was quite frazzled from my running all over the place, and irked that it was in the classroom. I got a couple pictures and videos of the three or four little carols the kids sang. Then the teacher said that was the end of their musical stylings and that we could convene for the snacks. What? That's it? I mean, it was adorable but very awkwardly located and so very short! Parents had the option of taking the kids home or leaving them until dismissal time. I opted to take Carter back to the sitter and go to Tim Horton's with Mom and Dad. I had a sandwich, thankfully, since I was getting rather peckish by that time.
Photobucket
I still had a bit of time left and ran over to Wal-Mart to raise hell over the damn cookies. I'm pretty certain my OCD was in full force and I'm starting to think I need medication!!! It was crazy in there and I felt awful for sending Kelly into the throngs but I actually found the cookies right away. Not that I needed them anymore, but I bought the remaining four boxes on the shelf that was nowhere near the cookie aisle, and oddly found a tiny tube of orange gel icing on an end display. I grabbed it all and checked out at the jewelry counter and bolted outside. So completely obsessed with this ridiculous project, I made a snowman cookie right then and there in the Wal-Mart parking lot, feeling somewhat vindicated though way too late to be useful.

I went back to work and showed the girls what I had intended but failed to create in time for the concert. The afternoon flew by and it was time to leave and pick up the kids. I loaded up the Jeep with a few boxes for my last remaining trip for my computer project and went to pick up the boys. When Chris got home from work I went to the grocery store to pick up hot dogs for supper. I stayed up super late last night working on a Christmas gift for someone and was not prepared to make a real supper. Chris also needed work gloves so I slipped in a Wal-Mart run for gloves and soy milk. I also sneaked in a trip to the bulk food store and found the perfect orange and black icing tubes that I needed for my obsession-project.

I came home and decorated a couple dozen cookies. Santa Claus will be visiting our babysitter's house tomorrow and she's having a little party for all the kids she babysits. So there was a use for my cookies afterall and Carter helped me decorate them a bit. We had hotdogs for supper then I played with the kids for a bit before finishing up a calendar project. Shortly after printing was complete and I was fully satisfied with how it turned out, I developed something new to obsess over. This summer I bought a binding machine, with a hole punch that punches thirty-three perfectly round little holes and plastic combs that hold it all together. I remember using the thing at work but I could have sworn I brought it home. I tore the house apart three or four times then when I couldn't stand it anymore I went to the office to see if I could find it. I couldn't. I came home and dug around a little more, unable to ask Chris if he had any idea where it might be, since he was sound asleep on the couch.

So now I'm finally feeling relaxed enough that I might just get to sleep soon. I might even get five or six hours of sleep tonight, which I am eagerly looking forward to. But on my way to bed I'll be sure to have another look at those adorable cookies and probably rack my brain just once more to try to think of where the heck I put that hole punch. ::sigh::

Working My Way Back

Oh heavens. Why do I hurt my brain so? These past few weeks I've been all over the place, physically and mentally! I have a few pictures and even a video or two to post.

Last time I posted was Cooper's birthday, and my office staff party, where, as always, we had a great time. First we went bowling (glow bowling) and then to Dawn's house, where Chris and I experienced playing Wii for the first time. It's somewhere on our Christmas list but not before we get a bigger TV! It was hilarious, particularly after a few paralyzers and a couple liqueurs.

We had birthday cake for Cooper a couple days after his birthday. By the end of this week, I will have put in about a thousand MILES on my traveling IT gig. I'll be back in my regular job soon, once I'm done with the data entry I need to do for the project, and Christmas vacation.

The weather has seriously cooled down and the ice road is in full swing. Dad is in charge of the maintenance of it again this year, and it's perfectly groomed and a great shortcut to their house. Now to find the time to get out and visit more!

I'm going to let the pictures do a bit of the talking now... :)



The look of intensity and competitiveness on my face speaks hilarious volumes to me. There is also a video that could accompany this, but that will not be posted. Let's just say I really immersed myself in the game and apparently knocked an ornament off the tree with one of my spastic, awkward movements.

Of course Chris will not be spared in my Wii sharing moment.
Here he is winding up for a big Tennis serve...

Cooper enjoying his favourite hairdo, the ''faux-hawk''
on the day of his third birthday.



Cooper and his buddy-cousin Josh the night of the Santa Claus parade.


Another of the fine highways I had the (dis)pleasure of traveling recently.


Cooper about to partake in some festivities a few days after his actual birthday.


video
Here we are singing Happy Birthday to Cooper. For some reason,
he kept ducking under the table and hiding. But he came up in the
end to blow out the candle. Hilariously adorable!

Well, since Cooper turned three, I decided to officially attempt potty training him. This is something I've casually been working at since he was about six months old. Yeah, really! I encouraged him along the way and he's officially interested in wearing 'big boy gotchies' full time. Since the weekend I've only put a pull-up on him at bedtime. This will save us plenty in pull-ups

Carter's school concert is tomorrow. Chris can't make it but Mom and Dad just might. I'll be sure to take pictures and video and I promise I'll post them before Easter (insert eye roll here.)

Last but not least I will leave you with our third annual Decking the Halls video. This is a time-lapse video of decorating the tree with the kids. Below this video I will link the two previous ones, going back to the first, where Cooper had just started walking a couple weeks before. I hope my boys will always have their enthusiasm for the season and for helping Mommy decorate!




Saturday, December 06, 2008

Happy 3rd Birthday, Cooper!!!

(and Cecelia and Yolanda!)

OMGMYBABYISTHREETODAY!!!

Wow. It's almost the time of day where three years ago today my baby Cooper was born. At 8:41 a.m. our second son arrived. It's hard to believe he'll be starting school next year. This weekend is a logistical nightmare trying to assemble the family to have a party for him, not to mention it's also my office staff party this evening, so we're just going to keep it low-key around here and have everyone over for cake hopefully on Monday, since I'm hitting the road on Tuesday again for three days.

So far the kids have been decently civil to each other today, but Cooper is spouting off the word 'stupid' pretty much non-stop. It's better than the word he was trying to use last week, but he knows stupid isn't nice. I also have him in real underwear again today; I've been trying this every so often and he sporadically uses the toilet to pee, and most often to poop, which is a huge bonus for me!

The remainder of my travels this week was good. But on my way back from my overnight trip, I left town without any thought of how much gas I had in the Jeep. I thought about it after I left town, and figured that the quarter tank I had would be more than sufficient to reach the next town. When I got to the next town, I couldn't see a gas station on the main road, and didn't know where to turn off, so I kept going, knowing that there was definitely a gas station or two in the next small town. The next town? Had NOTHING OPEN. Anything there, if still operational, is seasonal therefore was closed. By this time I had about an eighth of a tank left, and sixty kilometres to the junction where I could definitely get some gas.

I called my Dad to comment on my situation since he used to work in this particular town and did the drive daily. He was a combination of amused and concerned with a side dish of 'duh what were you thinking?' and was prepared to rescue me if necessary. I phoned Chris too, to ask if he thought I could travel that far on that little gas, and to let him know I might need to be rescued. I was making good time at least and since it's not a great highway, it was a good thing to get as much daylight traveling in as I could. I trekked along, getting closer to my service station destination, but with growing anxiety. The fuel light came on when I had about seventeen kilometres to go, but by this time I had run out of windshield fluid too, and the traffic I caught up to had made my visibility limited by spraying up all the road salt. It got so bad that I had to pull over and throw some snow on the windshield to continue. ::sigh:: I was feeling very sheepish. I got going again and had to stop once more for cleaning the windshield, this time with a bottle of water.

I made it to the gas station with a heavy sigh and a little thank you prayer for my prayers being answered. But with the gas prices higher in smaller towns (part of the reason for my not getting gas in the first place!) I decided to just put in a few bucks to make it back home to the gas station. This last leg of the trip went fine, since I had also purchased some windshield fluid. All was well. I filled up the Jeep for my next trip which was the next morning (Thursday) and gladly went home. I was greeted with the smell of dinner (SUPPER!!!) cooking. Chris had put the extra meatloaf in the oven that I made last week. I cooked some potatoes and corn and we had a great meal.

Thursday was a day trip to a town I will visit twice to service all the computers there. Hopefully I will finish everything on my next visit, since I came across some of the worst computers I have had to deal with. Hopefully they're in the budget for a few new machines. I had lunch with a few of the girls from the office and with Michelle and her new baby Cambel, who is delightfully adorable. We had a great lunch and headed back to the office. I ended up staying a little late, which made no difference travel-wise, since it was already dark out at the end of the workday. I got on the highway and left town by five-thirty and had a good trip home, again without seeing any wildlife on a highway notorious for plenty of it.

Friday was a no-travel day, since I had no coverage available for my job. It was nice to get back to my own desk. It was a great day, including the Christmas pot luck luncheon we had with the other agencies in the building. Chris showed up with a coffee for me and announced he had taken the day off since it was quiet at the shop. I promptly asked him to run a couple errands for me so that I would have a contribution for the luncheon.

I did a quick eat-and-run and went to my eyebrow appointment before returning to work. The afternoon went well also. On the way to pick up the boys I picked up Chris and we ran a few errands before coming home. I rented a couple movies and we ordered pizza when we got home. First we watched Hancock (Will Smith) which was pretty good. Next we started watching Narnia but I was getting really tired and needed to work on a couple projects. I dozed off a couple times but finished off a couple little Christmas projects before falling into bed.

This afternoon when Chris comes home I'll do a bit of shopping. I need to get Cooper a birthday present, something for the steal-a-gift exchange at my office party and some type of hors-d'oeuvres to bring to the party. The babysitter is bringing over her easy-bake oven to bake some little cakes with the kids and since she's long outgrown it, she plans on leaving it here. The kids are going to love it. I'm going to pick up some little icing decorating tubes too so they can have fun decorating their creations. Sounds like good times ahead!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Potty Humour

Yeah, I'm collecting my thoughts...I'm about to blog after a whole week of shirking my blogging duties.

I have absolutely no excuse to skip blogging tonight. I'm sitting in a perfectly quiet hotel room with the TV turned low. I just had an awesome nearly-scalding (perfectly to my liking) shower after colouring my hair.

I'm still on my traveling computer project and this time the trip with winter weather and distance included warranted an overnight stay. This is our farthest office from home and there are too many computers to do in one day anyway.

I had a good first day and will hopefully get away by early to mid-afternoon tomorrow. On the drive up, which was very early this morning, I was having a great trip despite traveling in darkness on a very windy (as in twisty, not as in lots of wind) highway, with the potential to see plenty of wildlife. Fortunately I didn't see any wildlife on or off the road, but unfortunately I was starting to suffer a little gastrointestinal distress. Fortunately I was alone while expelling a bout of gas, but unfortunately I wasn't going to make it to the next town to use a restroom. Fortunately I had a pack of Kleenex with me, but unfortunately I was still in the boonies and simply HADTOPULLOVERIMMEDIATELY. Fortunately, I was able to turn off the highway onto a side road and unfortunately had to run into the bushes through the snow, (in my high-heeled shoes) and very quickly did my business. It was just starting to get light out and I was mortified at the thought of someone driving up that side road or even driving past on the highway. Once I composed myself and made a bee line for the Jeep, a truck drove by on the highway. Whew. Crisis averted, despite the desperation and embarrassment!

So now, I need to recap or try my bestest, this past week. The No-Tim Project was successful right through to the weekend. Thursday night was a fruitful Bingo night, and it was my turn to win a hundred fifty bucks. It's always nice to turn a profit!

Friday night was the Santa Claus parade. As usual because we're nearly right on the parade route, all our family congregates at our place for the best parking and of course a visit and some snacks.

The rest of the weekend I didn't even leave the house. I hung out with the boys on Saturday while Chris was at work. Chris took Cooper out for awhile in the afternoon. Sunday I didn't go to church again (heathen). Chris went out to visit Bob and brought me a coffee from Tim Horton's on his way, thus creating a slight hiatus from the No-Tim Project.

Monday I didn't have to travel out of town but I did have an all-staff workshop to attend in the afternoon. Monday night I did a few loads of laundry. I fell asleep in the boys' room, quite likely before they did. There was no coffee made in the morning so I did a Timmy's run.

This morning I got up just after five to get ready to leave town at six. Again, I picked up a coffee at Tim Horton's on my way and ventured down the highway. The roads weren't great but I almost made it to the office on time. I spent the day working on computers and enjoyed a lunch out with one of my coworkers.

After work I navigated my way to the grocery store for some snacks for supper and to my hotel in the next town. I had some snacks and zonked out for awhile watching TV. I got up and coloured my hair and had a shower. I'm sitting here with a towel on my head still contemplating blow drying or just leaving the towel on and dealing with it in the morning. Tomorrow I have a few more computers to work on then I'll hopefully be on the road by mid-afternoon.

Here are a few recent pictures including a few from the parade...