Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Resolution Report - May AND June

Here's how things are going with this year's resolutions...

Complete one anti-Hoarding project per month until December.
Actually got four things accomplished in May and June. So proud of myself!
1. Filing – done! What a chore that was, but all the paperwork is carefully filed FINALLY.

2. Purge Kids’ rooms – oh, wow. This was indeed a chore as they are very reluctant to part with toys, even though they haven’t played with them in years! But I ended up donating 3 boxes of kids’ books and 6 large boxes of kids’ toys to charity. And their rooms look awesome!

3. Kitchen cupboards and pantry – YEY! Cleared out! I took a few dead appliances and disposed of them, and completely cleared and reorganized the pantry. Found some good food back there, too, and now we know it’s there we can eat it all up!

4. Bathroom cabinets – all un-hoarded. I got rid of a pile of old cosmetics, rancid bath stuff and expired medicine. My drawer that used to be nothing but a big hairball is now actually accessible!

Finish all 3 runs in the Diva series.
OK, so I did the Earth Run (same course) instead of Diva #1 due to our Maui holiday. Now Diva #2 conflicts with us going away overnight to a wedding. So I’ve chosen a similar race mid-August instead to substitute in for Diva #2. Hopefully I will be able to do Diva #3 in October!

Make 5 Green switches this year.
It was a late spring so it’s been slim pickings at the farm markets this year. But now we can eat local again and I plan on trying a few new canning recipes this summer. Composting is still going well. I've also switched household cleaners to eco-friendly, bio-degradable solutions. Another green switch is that I am in the process of getting my motorcycle license. That will be a lot easier on the environment if I pass my test and can ride to work instead of driving!

Get 5 items done off 40 before 40 list.
I've done 4 so far this year! Trapeze, Poker, Shower under a waterfall and Make pasta from scratch…
In May and June I worked on 2 more: adding some portraits to the Photograph 40 Faces (I'm 1/4 done there), and did some genealogy research to finish the family tree. Briana is bringing me some documents at the end of this month to finish this off.
I’m also planning on buying something from an infomercial and making tortillas from scratch this summer! So I’m actually on pace to have 30 out of the 40 done by the end of 2011, which will leave 18 months to get the last 10 items!

Celebrate Fridays.
May Week one = Worked.
May Week two = Sick kid.
May Week three = Sports Day all day.
May Week four = Finally, time for me! Had brunch with friends and later went for a motorcycle ride.
June Week one = Was at the school all day.
June Week two = Worked.
June Week three = Pedicure! Yey!
June Week four = Field trip.
So the last two months of celebrating Fridays was an absolute fail with time for myself on only 2 of the 8 Fridays. And now with the boys home from school for the summer I will just have to wait until fall to resume this! That’s ok, though, I will enjoy the time with them this summer too.

That's all for now; more to report in a few weeks!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Summer 2011

Hello - long time no post!
The last month of school was very busy for the boys and I. Mike was in Brazil for work for 7 weeks, and I was working a ton as part of the team rolling out new computer hardware and software to all our locations. That project is still ongoing until the end of this month, but the boys are out of school and Mike is now back, so we are able to relax into summer a little bit.

Actually today we have ZERO on the calendar. Absolutely nothing! This is so rare that we have no idea what to do with ourselves. Ethan was sick last night so we are able to take it easy.

We think it was something he ate because he is fine today - all the puking happened between about 9:30 pm and midnight. Oh, he is a horrible barfer. If the word "spew" could apply to anyone it would apply to Ethan. All right, that's probably enough details about THAT.

What I'd like to do this summer is post a few photos each week to show you what we're up to. Here's a shot of them on the beach; I can tell you this was when they were with their Gramps because I tend to dress the kids in swimshorts when WE go to the beach. But maybe that's just me?

That's all I've got for this first part of the holidays. We've done some fun stuff but just haven't documented it in photos yet. After the kids got out of school, we picked Mike up from the airport the next day. Then the day after that was Canada Day, and we celebrated with a BBQ and pool party at the Buckdill Ranch. We actually had great weather this year! Other than that, we've gone on some bike rides (with my new birthday bike!), had loads of birthday cakes, and went to a Whitecaps soccer game. I'm pretty sure Mike has a picture of us at the game but it's on his new phone so I can't get to it here yet. The boys were in a day camp this week as well, so they had a lot of fun playing each day.

Starting tomorrow they are in a Sports camp for the week so I will try to take some more photos of these monkeys. Until then!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Mother's Day

I am stealing a few moments to write this as Ethan snores on the couch and Jack is occupied. E's been home sick for a couple of days and has slept just about all of it. I'm jealous! Would love some snooze time for me, too...
And Jack is in his room after having announced to me that "If you want to come in, you definitely have to knock first" which is more than slightly alarming. Maybe he's secretly cleaning his room? Ha! Maybe I should go knock. (But I like the momentary quiet)

My Mother's Day last weekend was very sweet. Mike was away overnight, but the boys prepared breakfast for me and brought me a lovely tray (at 6:45 am, but who's complaining?) They'd made hot buttered toast (emphasis on the butter) and orange juice, and added two mini Aero chocolate bars for good measure. Jack had made some tissue paper flowers in a toilet paper tube vase, and they'd placed those on the tray too. Ethan had made a lovely decoration for my garden, wrapped in hand-made wrapping paper, along with a very sweet card:
Let me translate what Maman (Mummy) means to him:
Merveilleuse cuisiniere = Marvelous cook
Aime courir = Likes to run
Mange beaucoup = Eats a lot
Aime ses enfants beaucoup = Likes her children a lot
N'aime pas magasiner = Does not like to shop

Does my kid know me or what?
I got lots of cuddles and kisses, and it was a fantastic start to the day even though it was damn early.
Love those guys!!!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Resolution Report - March AND April

Complete one anti-Hoarding project per month until December.
Did an awesome job of the garage although that always feels a little futile. Every time I clean it up, it only takes a couple of weeks before it's out of control again. May is going to be a filing month for sure, though! I've got everything in piles in the office and will be getting it all away as soon as we've finished this year's taxes. I'd also really like to get the kitchen and bathroom cupboards tidied this month. Just need to find the time somehow! Still, I WILL get 12 areas tidied by year-end!

Finish all 3 runs in the Diva series.
The first Diva run happened only hours before we left for Maui, so I registered for the Earth run instead. It was held on the same course as the Diva, but almost a month later on Easter Sunday. I had a good run - it was only 5k, but it was pretty chilly so I ran fast because I wanted to get to brunch and a large steaming mug of tea at my parents' place. One Diva down, two to go! (summer and fall)

Make 5 Green switches this year.
Sorry, nothing new to report except that I found a couple of blogs that have suggestions for how to make small but significant changes for your family.

Get 5 items done off 40 before 40 list.
2 more done in March and April!
Learn to Play Poker - Learned how to play Texas Hold'Em from Tracy and Shannon while in San Diego. Took copious notes. Lost ALL my pennies. Resolved not to play with those two sharks again. Shower under a Waterfall in an amazing tropical setting - Did this in Maui! Swam in a shady pool under the cool water cascading off tropical vines from the rocks above. Was caught slightly off-guard by the fact that water CASCADING off ROCKS quite a way above was actually quite forceful! And noted that swimming can be a little scary in a murky pool where CERTAINLY there were many miscellaneous pool-creature monsters lurking. So far this year I've done 4 items off my list and I'm now at 25 done out of 40. I should actually get at least 6 more done this year, since they are partially done already.

Celebrate Fridays.
March Week one = Cup of tea and a magazine.
March Week two = Hemlock for Megan's stag!!!
March Week three = Library. All alone!
March Week four = Pedicure. Lovely.
April Week one = Maui, baby!
April Week two = Crawled back into bed for two hours after dropping the kids at school
April Week three = Dress shopping with Kim for spring/summer weddings
April Week four = Motorcycle lesson
April Week five = in San Diego for Jen's 40th birthday!

Now to plan for May, and into the summer... :)

Monday, April 11, 2011

Define: Pid

I am working late but must slip in this conversation I had with Ethan today in the car:

E - What does "pid" mean?

T - Can you spell that?

E - P - I - D.

T - Never heard of it. Was it in a book?

E - Yes, Mummy, PID!

T - Give it to me in a sentence.

E - My name is Stu Pid.

T - (chuckle chuckle) Say it faster, E.

E - Stu Pid.

T - Try it again.


T - Faster!

E - Stupid. Stupid Stupid STUPID!

(looooonnnnng silent pause)

Suddenly - insane laughter from Ethan, Jack and me once they finally get it. Oh, it was awesome! None of us could breathe!

Friday, April 8, 2011

MeMe from Cathy

It's been ages since I've written, and I have plans to post about March and resolution tracking, and also our recent fantastic trip to Maui over spring break! In the meantime, here's a quick and dirty post, courtesy of my friend and faithful reader, Cathy, who tagged me in a meme. Here are my responses!

1) How many naked people would it take to freak you out?
Ooh, it would only take one naked person. I am not freaked out by my naked children, though.

2) What is your favorite card game?
Solitaire, in all of its forms!

3) Are the undies you're wearing right now age appropriate?
Actually I may be too old for this pair, which may be more appropriate on a 25-yr-old. But it's fine because that's what I pretend to be anyway.

4) Five things you can touch right now without getting up.
Laptop, can of Coke, chessboard, toes and nose.

5) You have to be somewhere on the fourth floor of a building. Do you take the lift/elevator?
No, if by myself I'll take the stairs. If with the boys, it is just not worth the time involved to walk up the stairs!

6) How do you feel about your reflection?

7) What are you thinking about right now?
Katy Perry. Weird, right?

8) How young is too young to give a child sushi?
As soon as they can eat rice and chew a little! My boys love kappa maki!

9) Dog person or cat person?
Cat person. Love those little furballs, although we can't have either cats or dogs with the allergies in our house.

10) If you came across $2,000 (or other currency) would you keep it or turn it in?
Turn it in. I am far too honest.

11) What was the last thing that you bought?
Motorcycle boots and a Groupon for surfing in San Diego. I will not, however, be surfing IN the motorcycle boots.

12) If you could afford to go anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Russia first, then Peru, then Japan once it stops shaking and radiating.

13) Beverage you can't live without (besides the literal and obvious "water")?
Definitely tea. Hot, with milk and sugar.

(Pause to brew tea and settle back down)

14) Last book you've read?
I think the title was True Blue - a crime thriller that I enjoyed in Maui. I also read a Harlequin romance that I found in the condo but it was so terrible I have banished it from my memory.

15) What are you doing this weekend?
Chilling with movies tonight, Jack's hockey game tomorrow and watching the Masters at Meg and Eliot's on Sunday.

16) If you could play any musical instrument, which one would you play?
The first one that came to mind was actually bagpipes. No idea where THAT came from! Piano, I guess?

17) How are you?
Actually kind of bored at the moment. It's sad when you bore yourself!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Resolution Report on February

Ethan's Resolutions
Keep my room clean.
Well, the floor is tidy right at this second. Does that count?

Not to stash things in my room.
FAIL. There is stuff stashed EVERYWHERE in his room.

I will try not to hit Jack.
Sigh. Do I really need to report on this? I think you all know how brothers work.

I will not yell at anybody.
Oh, Ethan. Did you really set the bar this high?

To not get mad when I lose.

To be nice to the environment.
OK, here he does actually shine. Well done on the composting and the recycling, o child of the Earth!

To Ethan From Jack: Play Beyblades with Jack.
He has played with him a few times, but the Beyblades craze has died down a little for Jackers.

To Ethan From Mummy: Control your emotions and be nice to your brother.
See above under yelling and hitting.

To Ethan From Daddy: Don’t lose your temper.
Ditto to comment above.

Be respectful.
What does respect mean to a 6-year-old? I think it may mean “forget you, it’s all about me” or something like that. Sooooo respectful. Hmpf.

Do what my parents say.
Well, if he is listening to us in order to play Club Penguin, then yes he is doing what we say. But with no incentive for him, well then it’s just exactly NOT doing what his parents say.

Try to not fart.
Did he really put this down? Because he had NO intention of EVER not farting. He is the worst farter I know.

Keep my room tidy.
Actually he can be surprisingly good at this. He’s making an effort anyway.

Be good at school.
Oh my gosh. He is doing so amazingly well here, and I am actually not being even slightly sarcastic. He is a changed boy since Christmas. Madame had some great suggestions for helping him behave in class, and we started those in January. He has gone from a couple of warnings a day, with zero or one block of rewards, to zero warnings and up to six blocks a day! I am very VERY proud of him. And Madame is awesome and amazing with him.

To not scream in people’s ears.
This has calmed down a bit too. Thankfully.

To Jack From Ethan: To not punch me.
Brothers, remember? What do YOU think?

To Jack From Mummy: Listen the first time and be nice to your brother.
Listening is NOT Jack’s strong point. I’m not sure it ever will be.

To Jack From Daddy: Listen the first time.
Yeah. See above.

Complete one anti-Hoarding project per month until December.
Living room now complete, since I did the coffee table cupboard and drawers in February. So three projects done in two months! Yay!

Finish all 3 runs in the Diva series.
Still haven’t registered but I have implemented the 6 week training program to the first race Mar 27. It’s week three and although I missed my run today - so far, so good!

Make 5 Green switches this year.
Still doing composting and trying to eat locally as well. This will get easier as things actually start to grow in this neck of the woods. C’mon, spring!

Get 5 items done off 40 before 40 list.
Yay! Two done this month! Trapeze and making pasta from scratch! I also started photographing 40 friends’ faces. Five of forty done there!

Celebrate Fridays.
Week one = unexpected houseguest arrives. I spend all day cleaning. NOT a celebration.
Week two = Pro-D Day – no school. Stick and Puck for the boys at the rink, then a couple of playdates before Ethan’s basketball. Totally not about me but a pretty fun day nonetheless.
Week three = had a good run in the morning and then made pasta from scratch as part of 40x40.
Week four = run first, an hour-long phone catchup with a friend and then organizing stuff! Made me very happy…

To Mummy From Ethan: To try to lay down with me every night.
Yes, I have been making an effort. Not that it’s an effort as much as a timing issue! I actually enjoy having the quiet time to chat with him.

To kiss and hug me at least 10 times a day.
Yes, we have been faithfully meeting this goal. No great stretch here!

To Mummy From Jack: Play Beyblades with Jack.
Yes, I have done this. Yes, I have pretended to enjoy myself while doing this.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Here it is - the 40 Before 40 list! New Year's Resolution is to get 5 done this year, but if all goes well I should get 11 in 2011!

1. Read up on Religion 101 or Religion for Dummies
2. Perform one random act of kindness every month, anonymously and without recognition
3. Swim with sharks
4. Learn to scuba dive - vetoed due to potential explosion of the heart
5. Sample more cuisines of the world – try something new each month
6. Surf
7. Go one week without watching TV
8. Spend an afternoon at the driving range, and try not to be a spaz
9. Start and continue an exercise regime for three months, even if it kills me
10. Read 3 classic novels I should have already read
11. Get rid of all the things in my house that are just clutter and would benefit someone else
12. Buy a plant and keep it alive, instead of treating plants as if they are meant to be disposable
13. Organize a box for each child to hold their special childhood memorabilia
14. Stay connected with my girlfriends
15. Try archery
16. Do an all-day movie marathon in a movie theatre
17. Watch all the movies (that I have not yet seen) on the IMDb Top 100 List
18. Check into a very nice hotel by myself for a weekend and order room service as often as I want and order pay per view movies (but not dirty ones) like they're going out of style
19. Go to the Olympics
20. Volunteer time with the children or without
21. Become debt-free (other than mortgage)
22. Learn how to make pasta from scratch - NEWLY ACCOMPLISHED Feb 18, 2011***

23. Learn sign language - started but would like to learn more. Don't remember anything of what I learned 2 years ago.
24. Learn to play poker - April 2011 in San Diego with the girls - they're going to hone my "skills".***
25. Learn to accept my body and all its imperfections - Working on it.***
26. Visit a country for every letter of the alphabet (except O, Q, XYZ) – done 13/21; have 8 letters left to visit (D,G,H,J,K,L,R&T).
27. Take a trapeze lesson - Feb 26, 2011.***
28. Go through all our photographs and select some to mat and frame like they’re real art - began sorting and will print them this year.***
29. Photograph 40 of my friends’ faces - 5/40 photographed.***
30. Begin genealogy research and update family tree - must find documents and continue with online research.***
31. Shower under a waterfall in an amazing tropical setting - Maui trip booked. Waterfalls scoped and ready.***
32. Buy something from a TV infomercial - have tried this several times but didn't want what they were selling. Will try again.***

33. Walk in one of the 3 day walks for breast cancer
34. “Compete” in an Olympic distance triathlon
35. See the northern lights and/or experience the 24 hr sunshine or 24 hr darkness of the far north
36. Track down and help some of the AIDS orphans that I met in South Africa in 2001
37. Strut on a Catwalk unselfconsciously
38. Sew myself a garment that I would wear out in public
39. Learn to start a fire without matches or a lighter***
40. Learn how to make tortillas from scratch***

***No problem, right? I should get these 11 this year... that will only leave 8 to do in the 18 months from Jan 2012 to Jul 2013.

I've also documented everything so far in photographs so I will have one kick-ass scrapbook when all is said and done. Yee-haw!
I have made a few amendments to the list since its inception. Not many, but those involving travel will need to be prioritized over a little longer time period. I will still get to Asia, South America, and Russia one day - just likely not in the next 2 years! See the original 40 Before 40 list here.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Resolution Report - January

OK, one month in and here's where I'm at:

1. Complete one anti-Hoarding project per month until December.

Actually did 2-1/2! Trunk and ottoman in the living room both cleared out. Added two new storage cubes – one for piano books, one for Wii/xBox controllers. Cleared out my closet. Bonus! also totally reorganized the shed when I was packing away the Christmas decorations.

2. Finish all 3 runs in the Diva series.

Found out the dates and marked them all in my calendar. Thought about, but did not start my training.

3. Make 5 Green switches this year.

New curbside program is helping me here! Our city is switching from weekly garbage and biweekly yard waste / recycling pickup to biweekly garbage and weekly yard waste / recycling. They have also expanded the yard waste program to include all food waste and table scrapings, which is very exciting! Our family of four has been really good at keeping our amount of garbage to a minimum, but these new changes by the city have already made a big impact on the amount we’re putting in our garbage can.

4. Get 5 items done off 40 before 40 list.

I began geneology research online but I don't really want to pay anything at the moment. I know that somewhere I have a family tree I started about 12 years ago, with the help of my grandparents and my aunt, all of whom have since passed away. So I need to recover that treasure and build on it. Also, I signed up for a trapeze lesson! Actually it's a circus training session so I will also learn to hang from those long silk Cirque du Soleil things and a bit of trampoline, too! This also reminds me that I need to post the whole 40x40 list and its updates. I'll put that up in a few days!

5. Celebrate Fridays.

Went for lunch with friends twice on Fridays during the month of January. (Worked one Friday) Got roped into kids’ school activities twice – skating field trip with Jack (where I actually had a blast), and robot-making with Ethan (sorta frustrating, but since he really wanted me there it was worth it). But even on those days I did manage to take an hour and read a magazine or something that I never normally take the time for while the kids are in school. I WILL do better in February!

All in all, not a bad start to this year, but there will be some work involved in the months to come!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Boys by Alphabet

A - Awesome. Both
B - Busy. Both
C - Cute. Jack
D - Demanding. Ethan
E - Ethan
F - Funny. Jack
G - Generous. Jack
H - Hot-tempered. Ethan
I - Inattentive. Jack
J - Jack
K - Kind. Both
L - Loving. Ethan
M - Memory. Ethan
N - Nice. Ethan
O - Outgoing. Both
P - Personable. Jack
Q - Questioning. Both
R - Reliable. Ethan
S - Stubborn. Ethan
T - Thoughtful. Ethan
U - Unique. Both
V - Vain. Jack
W - Wild. Both
X - Xcitable. Both
Y - Young. Jack
Z - Zany. Jack

2011 Resolutions

#1 - post resolutions on New Year's Day - FAIL. Oh well. At least it's still January.

Christmas was lots of fun, and although the week leading up to Christmas was quite busy, the week after was calm. The boys really enjoyed their vacation, and so did I! We chose to stay home New Year's Eve and let the boys stay up until midnight. They made it, although it was a close one for Jack - we had to nudge him a lot in the last 15 minutes! They were both snoring by about 12:12am...

On New Year's Eve, we did a Resolution Activity. We privately listed five resolutions each, then one resolution for each of our other family members. Here are the boys' results (they both decided to do six instead of five):

1. Keep my room clean.
2. Not to stash things in my room.
3. I will try not to hit Jack.
4. I will not yell at anybody.
5. To not get mad when I lose.
6. To be nice to the environment.
From Jack: Play Beyblades with Jack
From Mummy: Control your emotions and be nice to your brother
From Daddy: Don't lose your temper

1. Be respectful.
2. Do what my parents say.
3. Try to not fart.
4. Keep my room tidy.
5. Be good at school.
6. To not scream in people's ears.
From Ethan: To not punch me
From Mummy: Listen the first time and be nice to your brother
From Daddy: Listen the first time

Oh, they make me laugh.

As for me:
1. Complete one anti-Hoarding project per month until December.
If something happened to me tomorrow, I would hate people to find out what the cupboard in my coffee table holds, the state of my closet, or the boxes in the garage. I'm no Hoarder, but still. I've already reorganized the shed as my January project - I did this as I packed all the Christmas boxes away.

2. Finish all 3 runs in the Diva series.
This year, they are planning an 8k on Mar 27, a 5k or 10k on Jul 24, and a 10k or 1/2 marathon on Oct 16. I think I'll do 8, 10 and 10. Which means I should have started training already. oops. But my only real goal for the 8k in March is to better my time from my previous Diva 8, which totally sucked.

3. Make 5 Green switches this year.
There's plenty I do for the environment, but I know there is more that I CAN do. So every couple of months I'll introduce a new habit until I've made five green switches this year. For instance, I've fallen off the local eating program this winter, so one of my green switches will be to renew that committment.

4. Get 5 items done off 40 before 40 list.
I'll repost the list on here soon, with the amendments and updates since last year. But this year I think I will focus on the following five: photograph 40 friends' faces, buy something from an infomercial, learn to make pasta from scratch, learn to play poker, learn to start fire without matches. But in case you hadn't noticed, I turn 38 this year, and I still have 19 left. I don't want to leave 14 items for 18 months so I'm going to try for 10 this year!

5. Celebrate Fridays.
Remember the Year of Tamsin? I really only had 3 or 4 Fridays this fall where I was able to make the 8:35am-2:35pm time slot truly all about me. So I'd like to celebrate Fridays a little better, starting now! The first Friday after school started again, I had a nice lunch with Susanna. This past Friday I was on a course downtown so it was a write-off but next Friday I will do something wild and crazy. Guaranteed.

From Ethan: To try to lay down with me every night. To kiss and hug me at least 10 times a day.
From Jack: Play Beyblades with Jack.
From Mike: (Nothing. Guess that means I'm perfect.)

So I plan to recap these resolutions at the end of each month to keep myself on track and honest. C'mon, 2011, here we go!