## Tuesday, December 26, 2006

### Christmas Photos!

Check out my photos from Christmas at MyPhotoAlbum!

## Monday, December 25, 2006

### Merry, Happy, Cheery, Best

Happy Holidays everyone! Merry Christmas to you today. I sit at the computer eating a mid-morning snack of holiday goodies, like fudge, sweet marie bars, mudpies...yeah, baby. It's all good.

Had the big in-law dinner here last night. It was great. The kids were wonderful and had a great time. Ty lasted until 8:30, just long enough to open his presents and pass out. The other boys were up until about 10:30, but the nice part is, they slept in until 8:00 am this morning!

So yesterday was part one. Part two was the Santa presents this morning, and part three is this afternoon when Grandpa (my dad) and Uncles Mike and Paul arrive for another present opening-frenzy. (Part four is tomorrow when Uncle Tom and family arrive).

Kids got very spoiled. Lots of nice new clothes to wear. They all decided to wear their fuzzy warm tracksuits today. (Most likely because when it got so hot in the house last night, we turned off the furnace, then forgot to turn it back on before bed and woke up with icicles in our nostrils this morning!)

I hope you are all having a nice holiday and are enjoying your time with friends and family. To you and yours from me and mine, we wish you the best holiday ever!

Shannon-Claus

## Saturday, December 23, 2006

### 'Tis The Season To Be Busy

Today was the official start to holiday busy-ness. This morning we bathed the kiddies, gelled their hair into submission and spruced ourselves up and made the trek out to Brooklin to my cousin Cyndi's house.

She put on a great spread of appetizer munchies including stuffed mushrooms, crab pastries, breaded wings, skewered BBQ pork, shrimp, veggies and the list goes on. It was all very yummy. The kids had a great time playing with their cousins. I promised them that they could open their cousin Christmas gifts after dinner. They were so excited. (Except Ty. He was just tired).

Phoenix got a cool Hot Wheels set, which he was extremely happy about, and Keegan was ecstatic about his gift, which was a set of three Thomas books, plus the stories on CD, a McQueen/Mater t-shirt and a McQueen baseball hat. He insisted on wearing both the t-shirt and hat to bed. Cute. He is so excited about Christmas this year. He got out of bed 300 times tonight to sneak down and gaze at the tree lights and ponder over the presents surrounding the tree. Ty got new pants and two great shirts to match. (Thank you cousins!)

Mark is feeling like crapola tonight and has retired to the couch to convalesce. He is now sipping gingerale and watching the Sound of Music. Me? Well, no rest for the weary. After the kids went to bed, I started the laundry, and am now on load three. I got out all of my Christmas linen and set the table in the dining room with the good china and wedding silver and crystal stemware. I found and washed all of the serving dishes for the desserts. Did the prep work for the dessert I am making tomorrow morning (Nanaimo Bar Cheesecake). Cleaned the downstairs bathroom. Swiffered the basement floor. Tidied the toy room in preparation for vaccuuming tomorrow. Got together 3 last-minute Christmas gifts and now I have to go wrap them and fold the next load of laundry. Whew!

Thank God that last night I was able to escape for a few hours and run away to the hairdresser. Man was THAT a necessary appointment! I had such a skunk-stripe happening that I was "this" close to committing barbacide!

That being said, off to do a few more chores, then I am going to collapse for a few hours before it all begins anew. So long, farewell, auf wiedersehn, good night!

## Friday, December 22, 2006

### When Good Parenting Bites You In The Ass

One of the things I love best about Christmas is the Santa-threat factor. If used properly, a parent can use the Santa-threat for up to 6 weeks leading to Christmas. For example:
"That's fine, boys. Don't go to bed. But Santa is watching you. He's always watching you. And if you don't go to bed right now, he's going to put your name on the naughty list, and all you will get on Christmas morning is a lump of coal in your stocking!" (Cue children running like hell to get in bed before Santa edits his naughty/nice list).

However, I had a shocking thing happen to me last night. My perfect and awe-inspiring parenting skills (snigger...) came whipping around to bite me in the ass. After delivering the Santa-threat to Phoenix when he kept getting out of bed, Phoenix says to me, "Mom, it doesn't matter if Santa doesn't bring me anything on Christmas morning. Christmas isn't about presents. It's about being with your family and loved ones."

KRIPES...

So what do I do to shore up the crumbling wall of perfect parenthood? Do I hug him in the joy of his having learned a very important moral message in this season of commercialism and greed? Nope. What I said, albeit sweetly, was this: "That's wonderful Phoenix. I am glad that you will have the comfort and joy of your family and loved ones. I hope that makes you happy as we are all sitting there opening our presents from Santa, because we were good, and stayed in bed when we were supposed to."

Chalk it up to stress, bah-humbugism, or what have you. I admit, sometimes my sarcasm gets the better of me, as countless friends and family will attest to (no comments from you, Leanne!) I should know better than to unleash it on a helpless child. My excuse is that I am a Scorpio, and a bit of a bitch. So I just can't help it. Plus I read somewhere that children that were not breast-fed as babies (as I was not) are sarcastic due to lack of oral gratification as infants. So there.

But as I lay in bed last night, I did feel a tiny glow. That when all was said and done, I must be doing something right, if beneath all the gimmee-gimmee of the season, my son knew what was important. And he learned it from me.

PS. He got the good-boy hug and kiss this morning...

## Wednesday, December 20, 2006

### That's One Unhappy Looking Shepherd!

Keegan, the unhappy shepherd....

## Monday, December 18, 2006

### Do You Have Someone Missing At Christmas?

I heard a song on the radio today, strangely enough while I was thinking of my Mom, and how much I miss her at this time of year. As much as she complained about the stress of pulling the day together, she loved it, and always made the day so special for us, both as children and as adults. The song was called, "Someone Is Missing At Christmas", by Anne Cochran. I heard it at lunch as I was feeding Ty, and balled my eyes out. I just had to share the lyrics with you. If I was more blogger savvy, I would provide an audio link, but as I sadly, am not, here are the words. Grab a tissue:

Someone is missing at Christmas
Someone I loved all my life
Someone I played with and laughed all night long
Someone I think of when I hear that song

Someone is missing at Christmas
Someone has left me alone
Someone so close even though we’re apart
Someone who’d finished the sentence I’d start

Someone whose love is my favorite gift
Someone whose presence is my Christmas wish
Someone who always was here
Someone is missing this year

Candlelit snapshots of Christmases gone by
Memories like snowflakes melt in my eyes
I look and you’re not sitting there

Someone whose love is my favorite gift
Someone whose presence is my Christmas wish
Someone is missing at Christmas

Wait… someone is touching my heart…
Someone has heard me and answered my call
Someone I love is not missing at all

Someone is with me at Christmas
Someone’s right here in my heart
Someone I love is with me this Christmas
And will be each Christmas to come!

******************************************************************************
Sigh....I miss my Mom. But you know, the song is true for me. I know that she is touching my heart, and will be with me this Christmas and each Christmas to come.

## Saturday, December 16, 2006

### Move Over Betty Crocker

Today was Christmas baking day, part one. I made Toblerone fudge (okay), Score-bit shortbread (yum!), mocha butter balls (dee-lish) and Jello cookies (surprisingly good). My back is on fire from standing at the table all day.

I still have more stuff to make, but I'm going to spread it out through the week. I will be making Score Bars, chocolate/raspberry jam bars, and for Christmas dinner dessert, a Nanaimo Bar Cheesecake. Spent $70 today on baking supplies. Kripes! It's the butter that does me in. Time to buy our own cow. Just think of the money we'd save on whole milk alone! Still haven't found a present for my Dad, but I have an idea now, thanks to my cousin. He occasionally reads this blog, so I won't spoil it for him here, but I think he'll like it. Tomorrow is the church Christmas kids pageant. Phoenix and Keegan are dressing up as shepherds. I will post pictures after the event. I will be happy when it is over and I don't have to listen to Keegs singing at the top of his lungs, "GO! Tell it on the MOUNtain!" It is a very busy week coming up. Tuesday, I have to take Bun to the dr's for a checkup, and to pick up a vaccine sample to bring back to the allergist for Ty. Also, in the morning, one of the moms in Bun's class is having a seasonal tea party for fellow-moms, so I might go to that. Wednesday morning, my friend Christy is hosting a kaffee-klatch for the Healthy Snack Program moms, and since I contribute in a teeny way by writing a blurb about food in the Parent Council Newletter, I get to go to that too. Wednesday night is Phoenix's school Christmas concert, so we have that to attend, and Friday morning is Keegan's concert. After that, Mark's office is having a little lunch thing, and since Phoenix's class has early dismissal that day, we'll go to that, then later, I'm getting my hair done (YAY!). Saturday, we are off to Brooklin to my cousin Cyndi's house for some Christmas cheer, and then Sunday is Christmas Eve. Mark and I are hosting dinner for his family (as they do the big present/dinner thing on the 24th every year and his sister and I trade houses for the event every year and this year is my turn). Christmas Day, we are having my Dad and my brothers Mike and Paul over for dinner, and on Boxing Day, we are having the same crew plus my brother Tommy and his family over for brunch. Whew! Wow. Holy run-on paragraph, Batman! (Ha, I just typed Barman by mistake. God telling me I need a drink, I think). Anyway, I'm tired and my back is giving out, so I think I'll go curl up with my book and the heating pad and then go to bed. How are your holiday preparations going? Busy week for you too? Drop me a line, give me some competition for busy-ness... ## Friday, December 15, 2006 ### Things Just Keep Getting Better and Better!!!! Yeah, that's sarcasm alright. Ty has picked up the wonderful world of pink eye, and now has an infection in both eyes. Gross, creepy mess. Try cleaning green gunk out of a 18-month old flailing-contortionist-child's eyes by yourself, and administer eye drops with out the aid of 15 tie wraps and a straight-jacket. NOT FUN!!! But, let's get all of this nastiness out of the way before Christmas so we can (knock-on-wood) have a happy, HEALTHY holiday. Whew! Just finished wrapping the latest load of presents. 88 wrapped and ready to date. Still need something for my Dad. Any ideas? I made the mistake of going to the mall yesterday and browsing children's wear. I mean, for my kids, I was finished shopping. So explain to me this: 2 pairs of pyjamas, 3 pairs of mittens, one shirt and 4 pairs of pants. Kripes! Well, the sales were so good, I could not resist. Two pairs of polar fleece pants for$12? Come on! You'd have bought them too. Pyjamas? Licensed?> Thomas and Spiderman> for $8.00 each? Too good to be true. So my kids are spoiled Johnny Rotten yet again. (In the spirit of giving and sale admiration, I also picked up a sweater and two shirts for my self. Oh yeah, and a t-shirt for Mark.) Don't worry, my hubby never reads this blog, so..........hey..........I could write virtually ANYTHING about him........and he would never know......unless you tell him. HUSH! Still have not done one crumb of Christmas baking yet. But Mark has next week off from work, so I plan to do a lot then. Hey honey! You're on baby duty! (Ok, you can tell him that.) Well, guess I'd better go tidy or do something similiarly industrious (or maybe just have another cup of tea, and read for a bit). Taking Tyger for his allergy testing this afternoon to see if he is allergic to eggs. Will update when I know. Happy last-minute stress! I mean, shopping! PS. I am still hacking up a lung, but feel marginally better. I'd say I'm about 63.2%. PPS. A VERY HAPPY 69TH BIRTHDAY TO MY DADDY!!!!!!!(Yesterday). You don't look a day over 68. I love you! ******************************************************************************* Ty Allergy Update: DEFINITELY allergic to eggs. Moderate to severe reaction. Allergist said that if he eats something containing eggs, like a cookie, or a piece of cake, or bread etc, he probably won't react. (As he eats none of these things anyway, it's not really an issue!) However, he would definitely have a reaction if he ate something with a high egg concentration such as meringue, or angel food cake or eggnog, or plain eggs, for that matter. So if we avoid those types of things he should be okay in daily living. Regarding his vaccines, some of which contain egg protein like the MMR vaccine for measles, mumps and ruebella, I have to bring a sample of the vaccine to her office. She will do a skin test on Ty with the vaccine to see if he reacts. If not, she will inject him with a 10% dose. If he reacts to that, no vaccine. If not, then he can get it. Poor little bug. One thing after the other! ## Tuesday, December 12, 2006 ### A Few Tidbits To Tide You Over Hi. I'm sick. Here's what's new: Keegan has finally come to the top of the list for OC (occupational therapy), so finally he will get assistance with fine motor skills like cutting with scissors and writing. Phoenix got his second stripe on his karate white belt yesterday. We are very proud of him. Ty has a new word. "Sorry!" Unfortunately, he gives himself many opportunities to use this appropriately. So, to parrot Ty, sorry. That's all I have energy for today. More soon, I hope. PS. Recommendations for food and drink this season: Starbucks' Gingerbread Latte and Eggnog Latte AWESOME! Do you like chocolate? (Umm..yeah!?!) Cinnamon? (Bring it on!) Then you MUST try the new KitKat Chunky Cinnamon bar. Mmmmmm... ## Wednesday, December 06, 2006 ### Twisted Sister? Oh Brother! Last night Mark and I went to see Twisted Sister's "Twisted Christmas" show, at the Danforth Music Hall. I have a lot to say, so I'll just jump in and get started. First of all, we left early so that we could have a nice Greek dinner on the Danforth before the show. Busted...took us over 2 hours just to get into the city. Effing traffic!!! So, we got there just in time for the show to start, and we were freaking starving!!! I've never been to the Music Hall before, and at the risk of offending fans of this venue, the place is a hole. I froze my ass off all night! Think of 1973 movie theatre seating and you'll know what I mean. No leg room either; poor Mark had his knees practically to his chin when we were sitting down. When the show started (1/2 hour late, another thing that frosts my flakes), Dee Snider comes out dressed as Santa and jumps right in with a heavy metal version of a Christmas song. It was really good, I have to say. Actually, all of the holiday songs they did were great, especially O Come All Ye Faithful which had us all fooled because the beginning sounds like "We're Not Gonna Take It". That being said... Let me state plainly that as a rule, I am not a fan of heavy metal (aside from the cheesy 80's ballads that every band put out in that decade). I won't listen to that kind of music if given a choice. I only know two Twisted Sister songs, "We're Not Gonna Take It" and "I Wanna Rock", so whenever they played any of their other tunes, I took to people watching instead. I have to say, it was quite a bizarre variety of fans. You had the younger punk set, with the half-shaved heads and Kool-Aid hair. Then there were the "hair-band fans" with hair down to their asses and head banging to every song (sadly, my husband creeped into this category). Then there was a startlingly large crowd of guys that I would bet my life are in their 60's, pushing 70, and they knew every song, lyric and gesture. Next was the covertly drug-smoking, alcohol fumed slobs with beer guts hanging over their skull belt buckles (like the creep that was next to me who yelled out every two minutes "Stop the Christmas crap, play the old shit!"). I seriously wanted to whack this guy over the head with a Yule log. Umm, hello, it's a Christmas show? Effing jerk! And the occasional woman like me: one who was there with their boyfriend/husband in an attempt at making an effort to solidify the relationship bond, or was dragged there against their own will or good judgement. Reading this back, it sounds like I was miserable. I wasn't. Well, maybe I was cranky with claustrophobia, wheezy with polluted atmosphere, a little stoned by association, foot and back sore from standing, and annoyed as hell with the losers in the crowd who wouldn't shut the hell up, but other than that, it was great. After the show, Mark asked me what I thought. Honestly, I said that I like the seasonal songs and the 2 songs I knew, but all in all, I thought the whole thing rather sad. It almost always is, when you see these great hair-bands of the 80's, and here they are 20-odd years later, still going at it, but with badly shagged wigs, paunches over spandex, and a singer that has to duck behind the Marshall stacks for oxygen 3 times in every song... The Twisted Christmas CD? A must buy for any metal fan, or even a fan of holiday music, I think it's great. A Twisted Sister concert...I think it would be kinder to pull out your VHS tapes of the weekly Video Hits and remember them as they were: young, hot, toned, and ready to rock! ## Tuesday, December 05, 2006 ### Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.............. Baby! It's cold outside! Winter has decided to arrive. Snow began last night around dinner time. Not a lot, mind you, we're not Buffalo or anything, but enough to cover the sidewalks and grass, picnic tables and tree limbs, in a Christmas-y coating. Rewind to 11:30 pm last night, where you see Shannon frantically pawing through the cedar chest (aka the respository of shoes that don't fit, used to fit, and will fit someone someday) in search of a pair of boots for the boys. Result? Damn. Need to buy the boys new boots. Phoenix's will do until I can get to the store. Keegan's are a size too small and hurt his feet. Ty has a pair that are pretty much new, so he is golden. Boot shopping has been suspended until Wednesday evening, as Mark is taking me out tonight. Remember I stated on my birthday post that I had received tickets to a seasonal show? I was all excited, thinking that it was the Rockettes Christmas Show. Ah, no. Not even close. But very cool all the same. We're going to the Danforth Music Hall to see "A Twisted Christmas", starring Twisted Sister. I think it's my husband who's twisted, but that is neither here nor there. I am sure it will be a great time, if only just to flee the house of illness for a few hours. It is really cold here today. (Compared to last week, when we had a balmy 12 C going on). Today it is -2 C (-11 with the windchill). Brrrrr...frosty! Keep warm! I'll update about the Twisted show tomorrow... ## Friday, December 01, 2006 ### The Black Cloud of DOOM! I am not merely referring to the awful weather...which by the way is torrential rains. Time to build the ark! Instead, I refer to the increasingly awful state of the members of my household. As previously reported, Phoenix has a double ear infection and bronchitis, but now also has an eye infection too (caught, no doubt from Keegan, the walking plague)! Mark spent over an hour at the clinic with him last night, only to have the doctor (who was Doogie Hauser-like in his youth) say that he didn't need drops, because the antibiotic he was on for his ear should clear it up. Oh yeah, Doogie? Explain to me why a kid who has been on antibiotics for over 48 hours has developed an eye infection in the first place! And clearing up? Then why does Phoenix's eye look like he went 12 rounds with Mike Tyson? It is swollen almost shut, the sclera is bright red, and is yellow-green weepy. Gee, maybe drops would help? So I called my own doctor who actually went to medical school instead of taking correspondance medical courses from the back of a matchbook cover, and he has called in a prescription for eye drops. Jeez! Will the fun never end? And to top it all off...only 24 more shopping days. As my cousin Lori said, "Happy FREAKING Holidays!" PS. On a more pleasant note: Happy Birthday to my friend Teresa, and my sister-in-law Julie!!! ## Thursday, November 30, 2006 ### Just Call Me Catherine Willows My Auntie Cathy called me a few minutes ago. I told her that I was in the middle of investigating the C.S.I. crime scene that I like to call Keegan's bedroom. Starting at the bed...sheets and underlying mattress soaked in blood. Bloodspatter on wall and bedframe. Drops of blood on the carpet leading from the bed, out of the room, into the hall, into my room, and onto the bathroom floor. Scene analysis? Major nosebleed with intermittent sneezes with resulting spray. Kripes! The poor little kid is plagued with nosebleeds. This morning's episode brings the total since Sunday to a record breaking 7. And it's only Thursday. With a combination of allergies and a cold from hell, even a tiny sneeze is enough to rupture his fragile nasal mebranes. I would therefore like to take this opportunity to do a plug for the best laundry product known to woman for removing a variety of bodily fluids, including snot, vomit, round-trip milk, and blood. Yes, it's "Spray 'n' Wash Dual Power". I can't say enough about this stuff. It has saved many a ruined item of clothing and in Keegan's case, lots of sheets and pillowcases. Get it. I swear it works! That being said, I am off to try to scrub the spatter from the carpet and furniture. I hope you have a great day, and thanks for tuning in to CSI: Keegan the Victim's Unit.... ## Wednesday, November 29, 2006 ### They Say Things Come In 3's First Keegs. Then Mark. Yes, he's been coughing up a lung for the last two days and nights, making it an unpleasant sleeping situation for me, his bedmate. And now, Phoenix. Double ear infection and bronchitis. Kripes! Had Ty checked out too, just in case, but for now, he's clear. I feel like a soldier braced for war. I am battening down the hatches, and fortifying my defences. Prime rule #1: Moms are NOT ALLOWED to get sick. It's mind over matter. I have too much to do. Just yesterday I wrapped 37 Christmas gifts. Today, I wrapped 4 more. (That's all I could do. Out of paper and tissue.) So much more shopping to do and less than a month to do it in. So far I've finished shopping for all of my kids, 2 nephews, a niece and 2 second-cousins. Plus two December birthday gifts. Whew! Still have one nephew, 2 brothers, a dad, two in-laws, a brother and sister-in-law and a husband left to shop for. Not to mention gifts for the "school people". I get off easy with Phoenix, only one teacher. Keegan has 3 teachers, a resource consultant and 2 bus drivers. Kripes! School is an expensive business! I think I'll go cry now at the sheer enormity of it all. Happy Holidays! ## Sunday, November 26, 2006 ### All I Want For Christmas... ...is three healthy kids. GOD! I am tired of the never-ending viruses that seek to search and destroy all that I hold dear. Poor Kegs has a cold from hell. Horrible cough, low-grade fever, and eyes that leak tears all day. I just hope that if the other guys get it, that it is over soon, and gone from the house before the holidays. This Christmas is a VERY busy social season for us. We are hosting a friend-pot-luck dinner on the 9th. Hosting Christmas Eve for Mark's family. Hosting Christmas dinner for my family. Hosting Boxing Day get together for more of my family. Plus there's the Santa parade; our charity, Field and Stream Rescue Team, is having a float this year, and Mark and maybe a kid or two may be on that...Kids' Santa party for employees of my Dad's office and their kids/grandkids...dinner with my cousin and his family...gee, good thing that Dad filled our freezer, eh? Finally started my Christmas shopping. And although the corner of my room is filled with presents yet to be wrapped, I have SO MUCH more to get. Too many kidlets! And we really cut down our list this year too. Crazy. I know my house will look like ToysRUs on Christmas morning too. All those toys that take 1 1/2 hours just to take out of the packaging, let alone assemble. Ah, tis the season! And baking! Can't even think of that yet! No room in the freezer! ARRGGHHHH! And how are you doing? Everything okay? Family doing well? Everyone healthy? Haven't heard from you in a while. Let me know how your holiday preparations are going... ******************************************************************************* PM Kegger update By 11:00 am, he had a fever of 100.3. His right eye was leaking tears constantly. By 3:00 pm, his fever had climbed to 102.5, despite the Tylenol. His leaky tear stream had turned from clear to a disgusting yellow mucous. Ewww....Mark took him to the clinic. Apparently, he had an ear infection that was so bad, that the doctor couldn't believe that he wasn't crying all day and night. (Not one word of complaint to me about ear pain). The doctor said that the infection had moved into his eye from the ear. Talk about gross. Poor little punkin! So now he is on antibiotics and eye drops. Took a 2 hour nap and refused dinner. Hope the antibiotics kick in by tomorrow... ## Thursday, November 23, 2006 ### What Came First? The chicken or the egg? Well, in Ty's case, the egg. I have reason to believe that he has developed an egg allergy, which would really suck for two main reasons. One, there are so many foods out there that contain eggs in some form (can you say cake?) that he would be denied, and more importantly, some vaccines contain egg protein. (See picture of the first time Ty tried eggs. This was when a piece of scrambled egg touched his lower lip...) It's kind of hard to see in the picture, but those red/pink patches were blotchy hives with small blisters around his mouth. Very simliar to the skin contact reaction he had to a trace of peanut butter that was on a cloth. Yesterday I took him for his 18 month shots (OMG! A year and a half already!) and after discussing things with the Dr., decided to only get the one shot, as the MMR shot contains egg. So now Ty has to go for allergy testing on Dec 15 to see if he adds eggs to his allergy list. Poor little guy. ## Tuesday, November 21, 2006 ### Christmas Comes Early For the Carnivores/TMI Christmas came early around here for us carnivores. Dad said that he would fill my freezer. Now I can barely shut the door! 3 HUGE roasting chickens. Massive prime rib. Enormous rolled pork roast. Chicken breasts. Butterfly pork chops. Sausages. Bacon. And 4 of the biggest sirloin steaks known to man since the Flinstones (see picture). Woo-hoo! Won't have to shop for a year! Now, who' s coming for dinner? ********************************************************************************* Mark sat me down last night with the intention of giving me a serious lecture regarding the amount of credit card spending I did last month, particularly at the book store. I gave him a calculating look, and then said casually, "Will morning sex call this even?" He said, "DONE!" So, this morning I got my cardio workout done without having to leave bed, and avoided a lecture at the same time. What can I say? I'm a book-whore. Anything to satisfy the addiction...Oh sorry. What that one of those "too-much-information" moments? ## Sunday, November 19, 2006 ### Birthday Round-Up Well, all in all, an awesome birthday. I always love to hear what people got for their birthdays, so if you are one of those people as well, here is the sum and total of my loot. From: Dad: $$Paul (my brother): 2 Laurell K. Hamilton books Mike(my brother): 4 bottles of Pop Shoppe Black Cherry Cola-my all time favourite soda-, a Chilly Willy t-shirt, and three pairs of chenille socks (one blue, and two pink) Mama & Papa:$$ Mark: tickets to a show on Dec 5. Don't know what it is yet. It's a surprise! Phoenix: black chenille sweater and DVD of The Real Ghostbusters cartoon (more for him, than me, but it's the thought...) Keegan: red chenille sweater and the new Weird Al cd Ty: CD Buddy Holly's Greatest Hits (which I've listened to so much that my kids go around singing "Pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty Peggy Sue!") Christy(my friend): baklava and a tea rest Darra(my friend): home-baked pumpkin muffins-YUM-and hey, Happy Birthday Darra!!! Leanne (my friend): dinner and a movie-we saw...um....the name escapes me. The new will Farrell one. It was really good. He was brilliant. Oh yeah! Stranger Than Fiction. See, my brain still works, even though I'm a year older! Auntie Mo: beautiful china teacup & saucer, 2007 Herb Calendar and a new address book Auntie Helen: the new Philippa Gregory book and a gift certificate for Chapters Auntie Cathy: 4 martini glasses and an awesome penguin shaped martini shaker Auntie Susan: a gold "Shannon" necklace, a la "Carrie-from-Sex-In-the-City" from her trip to Ireland Lori (my cousin): a beautiful moss green chenille sweater and 3 pairs of black chenille socks (can you tell I'm into that fabric these days?) Dana (my cousin-in-law): gift certificate to Kate's (where I have my hair done) All in all, an awesome haul. Thank you all!!!! Today was my and my Auntie Susan's birthday party. Usually we do a dinner, but this year we decided to do something different and had a tea party instead. It was great! Auntie Susan went all out, and the food was de-lish! Little sandwiches of ultimate decadence-yum! I tried my hand at scones, at they turned out really well. If anyone wants recipes, leave a comment and I'll e-mail them to you. I made spice ones (with cinnamon, cloves, allspice and nutmeg), lemon and cheddar. The spice ones were my favourite, served with wild strawberry jam and Devon cream. I also made a "Teapot" cake. It turned out really well; I was quite happy with it. I ended up doing an impromptu tea-leaf reading too, and that was fun. Altogether, a great afternoon. ********************************************************************************** Mark went on a bit of a cleaning/reorganizing frenzy today. As a result, I now have four new shelves in the basement, a reorganized laundry area, and a MUCH tidier toy room. When he gets an idea in his head, he goes to town...now if I could only get him to magically make my closet bigger! Well, day is done, gone the sun...and whatever the rest of that Girl Guide taps song says. Time to curl up with a cup of tea, and dig into one of my new books. TTFN! ## Thursday, November 16, 2006 ### Happy Birthday to Me! Last, but not least, me at age 6. The caption on the back of the photo reads "Shannon all dressed up for a birthday party". I'm wondering now if it was a costume party. With that dress and those shoes, I look like Dorothy Gale! And with that, Happy Birthday to me! All dressed up, and ready to go! My girlfriend Leanne, from Rye High, is coming to see me today, and we're going for dinner and a movie (weather permitting...it's raining so hard that I may have to cash in my presents for an ark...). I'm looking forward to seeing her, as the last time we got together was 1 1/2 years ago, when Tyger was born. Last night, someone asked me how old I was turning today. I quoted from a recently read book and said, "The same age as my tongue, as a few months older than my teeth." All kidding aside, today I am 29. Again. Shut up. That's my story and I'm sticking with it. I figure I can get away with it until Bun turns 10. I still get carded at the LCBO! So no comments from the peanut gallery. ## Wednesday, November 15, 2006 ### Birthday Photo Countdown 7 This picture should have been a sign of things to come (aka three babies!) for me! The note on the back of the photo penned by Mom reads, "Shannon as a "Fat Lady"". She obviously didn't realize that I was determined to be her when I grew up (having lots of kids, that is)...and still, she beat me by one...the most important one. Me! And speaking of things to come, and babies....Jenny had her baby today! (Finally!) 7 pounds, one oz, 19 inches long. He's here! Name to come... Congrats babe! Welcome to the world of three kidlets. ## Tuesday, November 14, 2006 ### Birthday Photo Countdown 6 Another Halifax shot. Note the coordinating ribbons, barrettes and turtleneck. My mother is the reason why, to this day, my socks always match my shirt. And see those trees in the background? Gone! I went back to the old 'hood a few years back and all those trees are now history and have been replaced with monster homes. Can't even see the Basin... I'd also like to wish my brother Michael a very Happy 37th Birthday!!!!!! Have a good one, brotha! ## Monday, November 13, 2006 ### Birthday Photo Countdown 5 I am 4 in this shot, outside of our place when we lived in Halifax. I'm pretty sure that the coat I am wearing is exactly the style I saw at Old Navy the other night, minus the 70's belt. But still...CHEESE! ## Sunday, November 12, 2006 ### A Surprise Literary Find I was tidying up my bedside table today (insert gasps of shock from the readers at the thought of Shannon voluntarily tidying anything here) and found a notebook. Only two pages had been written on. It was a story. Last year Phoenix had woken up from a rare nap and had found me industrially scribbling away at a short story in my notebook. He expressed to me that he wished that he could write down stories when he thought of them, but he didn't know how to write yet. So I told him that whenever he had an idea for a story, to tell me, and I would write it for him. The following is the story that he proceeded to tell me, and I wrote in "his" notebook. Superfriends Story by Phoenix Once upon a time, there was a bunch of people called the Superfriends. They were superheroes and friends, and that's why they were called the Superfriends. One day they went for a walk in the forest. It was called the Warm Forest. Captain Cold was up in a tree and he froze them but he missed. Superman threw a rock at the tree and it fell on Captain Cold and he was trapped. He was there for ages and ages and ages and ages and ages. It was five whole days. And then you know what happened? Captain Cold's team came and started throwing trees at the Superfriends. But they missed because they all flew away. Well, some of them flew away, and some ran, because not all of them can fly. The Flash runs. He runs really fast. So they ran and flew away and they came to a big ditch. They all jumped over it. Then Captain Cold and his friends came and they jumped over the ditch too. And then you know what happened? There was a big ball, a big rock ball, that fell from I don't know where, and made another big ditch and the Superfriends jumped to the other side, but it was too big for the bad guys. So then the Superfriends went home and had lunch. The End. Just goes to show that literary genius can start at any age. ### Birthday Photo Countdown 4 This is me on my 3rd birthday. Mom made me a Barbie cake. I was so excited. So were my brothers, who battled amongst themselves as to who would get to lick the icing off of Barbie's chest... This was also the beginning of the pretty much permanent hairstyle for the next 7 or 8 years. Two pony tails or braids, with ribbons and/or barrettes to match whatever shirt I was wearing, with the slight side-part to accomodate the stubborn cowlick. ## Saturday, November 11, 2006 ### Birthday Photo Countdown 3 In the 3rd installment, a rare photo! Here I am performing my first piano composition, at the tender age of two. Sounded a lot like the Sesame Street theme song...and man, did I love those shoes! ****************************** Happy Remembrance Day to all of the brave Canadians who fought for our country in the wars. We salute you! ********************************** Happy 34th Birthday to my hubby! I love ya! And Happy 34th Birthday also to my friend Melanie! ## Friday, November 10, 2006 ### Birthday Photo Countdown 2 Second photo in the countdown, the kiddie family portrait, starring me and my brothers. From the left, Tommy, Paul, and Michael and a pretty grumpy looking me, front and centre. (Let's take a moment to comment on the wardrobe and hairdos. Boys? Nice hair! Did Mom use the same size Tupperware bowl for all three cuts? And Michael, can't say enought about that groovy t-shirt. I think I saw Bobby wear that one on the Brady Bunch...) ## Thursday, November 09, 2006 ### Birthday Photo Countdown As a fun way to count down the week leading up to my birthday, I thought I'd do a photo journey of my first 6 years, the same age that my eldest son is now. That being said, here is a photo of a very young me, with my Auntie Susan, who is also my Godmother... ## Monday, November 06, 2006 ### Happy Birthdays! Wishing a very happy birthday to my aunt/Godmother, Susan! You're the same age as me this year! 29, right? Also, happy birthday to my girlfriend Jackie! Have a good one, sista! ## Sunday, November 05, 2006 ### Someone Gets A Visit From The Tooth Beaver Yes, the event that changes the smile forever: the loss of the first baby tooth. Bun was so excited, especially about the prospect of a visit from the Tooth Beaver. Mmmhmm. You heard right. The Tooth Beaver. Mark started that story when they were first getting teeth. How if you didn't brush and floss your teeth really well, the Tooth Beaver would come and drill holes in your teeth to make them fall out. However, if you were really good at brushing and flossing, and your teeth fell out on their own to make way for adult teeth, then the Tooth Beaver would trade your first baby tooth for a coin with his picture on it. So, I am sure Bun is going to be elated tomorrow when he brags about his Tooth Beaver coin. Or more accurately, his new shiny nickel. (Don't worry folks. The Tooth Fairy came too, and left him 2 bucks.) ### What Makes Me: What makes me exhausted: I tell you, I getting mighty tired of this cough from hell. I cough all day. I cough all night. When I start coughing, I can't stop until I either choke or throw up. This sucks. What makes me frustrated: Just realized that I am down to my last diaper. Not good. What makes me worried: Mark took himself to emergency this morning. Also not good. Severe lower abdominal/groin pain. As I am at home with the kids, I know nothing of what is going on now with him. He's been there over an hour. I hope he's at least been triaged and has been given somewhere to lie down. Will update when I hear from him. What makes me proud: In other news, Phoenix got his first stripe (blue) on his white belt for karate. He also has a really wiggly tooth that is threatening to fall out at any time. His new tooth has already started to come in behind the loose one. My adult teeth came in the same way; always behind the baby ones. He chose 6:25 am this morning to wake us up to give us the tooth-wiggling status. Kripes. Joy of parenting. What makes me check my weblog 3000 times a day: My pal Jenny is due to drop her third child any minute now. She is hoping that this baby will be considerate enough to come inbetween her husband's business trips. I hope he complies, but babies seem to follow Murphy's Law. Wish you the best of luck, babe! Two pushes and glory! What I hate: people that have finished their Christmas shopping already. I haven't done a bloody thing. Well, not entirely true. I bought 2 books for Ty, and a game for Keegs. That's about it. What makes me feel like I've accomplished SOMETHING: Did go out yesterday and pick up some November birthday gifts for my Auntie Susan, my brother Mike, and my hubby, so that part is done, at least. I always have to put the b-days behind me before I can focus on Christmas matters. What makes me sad: As I was picking Ty up to get him away from dismantling my spice rack, he reached over and grabbed my teapot off of the shelf and threw it to the floor, where it smashed into 999,999,999,999,999,923 pieces. Eff. I LOVED that teapot. It was beautiful. I got it for my birthday about 6 years ago from my Auntie Mo. Damn damn damn. What makes me happy: Keegan starts going to school 5 days a week starting tomorrow. I think that the continuity will straighten him out, temper wise. He does not react well to breaks in schedule, and I think that going to school daily as opposed to 3 times a week will help to settle him at home. I have hope, and as my friend Martha would say, that's a good thing. Update later. TTFN. 11:34 am update: Just called the hospital. They've done bloodwork and are waiting on an ultrasound. 1:26 : waiting for the ultrasound report. 3:55: still waiting. No food. No drugs. Lots of pain. Shunted him from 5 rooms and is now relegated to chair in the hallway. Really pissed off at this point. 5:15: Came home. Apparently, there's nothing wrong. Here's some Tylenol 3 and an ice pack. Bye now! ## Tuesday, October 31, 2006 ### My Kidlets On Hallowe'en Soundwave, Batman, and the lamb. Cuties. ### Creepy Hands Pretty gross, eh? I should mention, that this is a "good" hand day. They usually look a lot worse, if you can believe it! ### HAPPY HALLOWE'EN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! BOO! Happy Hallowe'en to all you tricksters out there! Currently, it is raining here, and although the Weather Network calls for light rain this afternoon, this evening is supposed to be clear, so there is hope for decent trick or treating. Phoenix is beside himself with excitement over the prospect of FINALLY being able to wear his Soundwave costume. All month I've been telling him not to touch it so that it is in one piece for him to wear today. I told him, after today, I don't care WHAT you do to it. And after a month, the glue-gun burns are just about healed. On a separate note, I have contracted Mark's cold from hell. He's had it for two weeks now, with no sign of leaving. It is terrible. 30,000 tons of sinus pressure, never-ending nose blowing, and a cough that feels as though my lungs are being torn in two. What the hell? Has no one heard of the "Moms aren't allowed to be sick" rule? I should be immune! And my hands hurt. Really, really, really, really bad. I look like I've been soaking them in battery acid. I'm taking vitamin E, and Omega 369, but nothing is helping. All of the prescription creams and ointments I've paid through the nose for aren't working. I finally talked my Dr into getting me an appointment with a dermatologist. Yeah, January 16, 2007 is my appointment. It's going to be a long, painful 2 1/2 months, especially when the cold chappy weather sets in. If someone has a miracle cure, I'd sure love to hear it!!! I should take a picture of them today and post it. It will go nicely with the holiday. Creepy, leprosy hands. Eww................. ## Monday, October 30, 2006 ### Guess I'm Doing Something Right.... Well, I suppose that I'm doing something right. Ty's dr's office called today and said that his bloodwork came out ok, no problems with any iron or other vitamin levels. Whew. So, I guess I'll just keep feeding him love, milk and KD, and hope that the vitamins he gets from Vegetable Thins crackers are sufficient. ## Sunday, October 29, 2006 ### Living On Air I'd like to thank my friends and family members who have e-mailed me about their own "child-lives-on-nothing-but-air" stories. As these kids are now several years older than Ty, and are healthy growing children, perhaps I shouldn't be so concerned. My brother Tommy called me this morning to remind me about his son, Hunter, who lived pretty much on rice for three years, and is now happy, healthy and taller than me. Funny, I remember a craft at his school where they made a cornicopia for Thanksgiving and had to write inside what they were thankful for. All of the other kids were writing stuff like, my parents, my friends, my toys...Hunter wrote "I am thankful for rice." So, I am hopeful now, that things are okay. I think that with Bun and Keegs bringing home new viruses every week from their respective schools, that Ty's immune system is just taking a beating. By the time he hits the school system, he will have an iron-clad immune system, and a perfect attendance record. (Cross fingers!) The kiddies are quite excited about Hallowe'en. I hope the weather holds up. As long as it doesn't rain or snow, we're good. Mark's going out today to stock up on candy, and Keegs is dressing up in his Batman costume for his Hallowe'en party tomorrow. Speaking of costumes, I had a bunch of craft foam, so I made a whack of superhero masks for the kids to play with. Keegan had on a retro-blue Batman one last night. He was running around with it on for about 40 minutes and got quite sweaty. Unfortunately, the sweat from his face reacted with the base dye in the foam, and his face is now hot pink, including all the the formerly white-blond hair around his forehead. I scrubbed that poor little guy within an inch of his life last night, and again this morning in the tub, and he's still pink. I told Mark that we'll just say it's windburn! Kripes! No way I'm wearing my Hawk-girl mask now! That's all I need is to walk around with a purple complexion! Always something around here. Daylights savings time has arrived, and with it, the screwing up of sleep schedules. The kids don't know that the clocks are back an hour, so now when they get up at 6:00 am, the clock says 5:00 am and that makes me even more freaking tired! Wish there was a way to turn their internal clocks back an hour or two as well! ## Friday, October 27, 2006 ### Tyger Update (and other stuff) Took Tiggs to the doctor this morning. He weighs 26 3/4 pounds, which is slightly above average for his age, so he IS gaining weight. Dr indicated that although he may be getting sufficient caloric content, his nutrient level probably sucks (to paraphrase). So, poor little Tyger had to have 4 vials of blood taken. I have to say, he was a trooper. The lab tech was calm and confident and got the job done in minimum time. So, I guess we'll hear about his various levels by mid next-week. My doctor is a bit of a putz when it comes to suggestions, so if anyone reading out there has any ideas of how to get Ty to eat anything, please share! In other matters, we got confirmation today that Keegs will be joining the Tues/Thurs class, so as of the first full week of November, he will be going to school 5 mornings a week, which is awesome, and not only for me! He will greatly benefit from the constancy of routine, and his resourse worker and teachers agree that the more the better, especially if they want to get him at SK level upon graduation. Ty went to bed at 11:15. He is still sleeping at 2:31. He has not had lunch yet. His schedule is fubar-ed today! Gotta go. Will update when I know more. PS. Keep those legs crossed JuJu! Keep that baby in until Nov 16! ## Thursday, October 26, 2006 ### Ok, Now I'm Worried.... There's something wrong with Tiggs. He is sick 3 weeks out of 4, either with a cold or cough or general malaise. He doesn't want to eat anything, and to get him to consume anything, I have to hold his hands to keep them from swatting the spoon away, and sing songs to get him to open his mouth. He is living on crackers, Kraft dinner and Alphagettis. My other boys were great eaters. If we were eating it, they wanted it too. Ty wants nothing. I don't get it. How is he surviving? I mean, he's growing. He's gaining weight. He laughs and runs and climbs and chatters all day, but his immune system seems to be non-existant. I went to give his milk about 1/2 hour ago, and he refused it. He has NEVER done that. 10 minutes later he was asleep. He NEVER sleeps in the afternoon. I just made panicky call to his Dr., and got an appointment for him for tomorrow morning. I am going to get him to run bloodtests or something, if only to ease my mind. Maybe he has some magic cure to get him to eat? Or a supplement that I can give him? HELP HELP HELP ! Help my poor little babe... ## Friday, October 20, 2006 ### What's Up With The Wonder Pets? What a strange kids' show. And my children (Tyger included!) are addicted. A turtle (Tuck), a duckling (Ming Ming) and a guinea pig (Linny); classroom pets that are dedicated to saving baby animals in trouble across the world, using teamwork. Okay, good premise. The animation is a little creepy, with real-looking animals that are 2 dimensional and talk, and of course, break out into operetta at the slightest provacation. "The phone! The phone is RINGING! The phone! We'll be right THERE! There's an animal in trouble somewhere!" This has led Keegs into bursting into song whenever the phone rings. (Actually, that part is pretty damned cute, so I don't mind). As I don't have TIVO or cable on demand, unfortunately this show isn't on when they want to watch it. So I came up with the brilliant idea of taping the episodes whenever they were on so in a Wonder Pets withdrawl situation, I would have one on hand. This backfired as I am now at the point where I have 2 hours of the show on tape, and I feel it is going to snap soon from such frequent replay. I am also at the point where I am singing everything. Mark does too, and he's rarely seen the show! It's like an episode of COP ROCKS around here! Bonus? Well, at least it's a break from Transformers and Thomas the Tank Engine episodes... ## Thursday, October 19, 2006 ### Ode To A Glue Gun Ode To A Glue Gun Who needs a sewing machine Or a bedazzler or same ilk? I have a toy; it's really keen Works on paper or raw silk A hem came down? No worry! School project with wooden sticks? My toy will fix it in a hurry It's how I get my kicks I truly love my glue gun It is what every crafter needs And while getting burned is never fun, At least my finger never bleeds! One day I made a super-hero cape The next day fixed the shade It'll smooth the hair down on your nape I tell you, I've got it made! Oh glue gun you are quite a joy With you, I have no excuses When I bring out my triggered toy It has so many uses! So get yourself a glue gun now Honestly, you won't be sorry Present your projects with a bow And tell your glue gun story! *********************************************************************** Gee, that "ode" sounded a lot better when I composed it on my morning walk with Ty this morning. Oh well. Never said I was a poet...but really. Get a glue gun. I use it for everything. Tape? Who needs it? Thread? Needle? Who needs the hassle? Glue gun. That's all I have to say about that. ## Wednesday, October 18, 2006 ### Happy Anniversary!!! Happy 9th Wedding Anniversary to my dearest hubby. As you are comotose in bed with the latest illness to infiltrate the household, I will celebrate by myself, and with your (unknowing) blessing, will shop on-line :) Thank you to our parents, who remembered our day, and were thoughtful enough to send cards. To my wedding party...hmmm...where are you? My matron of honour wished us happiness when I saw her a few weeks ago...my cousin...I know she's out there, being super mom like me! My sister-in-law...the ultra super mom...my friend Lucinda? Apparently has dropped off of the face of the earth since I haven't spoken to her in two years, and she never responds to any of my e-mails or letters. I hope you are doing well... Mark's side? Best man...I don't know...falling out in the friendship by multiple means...my brother Paul, still kickin'...brother-in-law Fern? Just got a new job...congrats! Our coolest usher; Sandy? Where are you, girlfriend? Another one that moved with no forwarding address. Strange how when we get married, we surround ourselves with people that are so important to us, and yet less than a decade later, 3 members of our wedding party are off of our social map. Sad. I miss them all... On that cheery note! Just wanted to point out that Mark was clueless as to the significance of the day until I wished him a happy anniversary. Bastard! (Just kidding..sort of...). But he did remember that it is his mom's birthday tomorrow. At least there's hope. After all he's known her for 21 years longer than he's known me. Maybe by our 30th wedding anniversary, he'll remember today's date too! Just another reason why I want our 10-year anniversary to mean: VACATION SOMEWHERE HOT WITH ALL-INCLUSIVE BAR! Mark, all kidding aside, you are the love of my life. We have been together over 13 years, and married for nine of those years, and I adore you more every day. You have given me 3 beautiful boys, and the best in-laws one could hope for. Here's to many, many, many years more. XOXOXO Wife ## Monday, October 16, 2006 ### Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa-CHOO! Kripes! It seems like we're always getting over sickness around here! This time it was Keegs that brought home an evil cold from school. He was sick as a dog all weekend, better today. Mark came down with it on Saturday night. Ty got it yesterday. And now, it seems like it's trying to invade my body as well. Phoenix (knock on wood) is still safe. You know that feeling you get in your head like you are going to sneeze, and then you don't, so you have that permanent skew to your eye and a pain in your sinus cavity? That's me today. And seriously cold. The older boys are at school, at Ty just went for his nap, and I plan (in between loads of laundry) to curl up under a big comforter on the couch. Kids are cute, aren't they? I just love the things they say sometimes, especially when they're been such little buggers that you want to give them away to the first taker, and then they say stuff like Keegs did this morning: "Give me a hug, Mommy!" (I did). "Oh Mommy! I love you so much! You're my best girl!" (Took me a while to get up after I melted into a pool of emotion on the front porch). My one ray of optimism on this frosty, snot-infested morning, is that hopefully we will get these colds out of our system and will all be healthy for Hallowe'en. Every year, one of the kids has been sick. Last year, it was Ty with pneumonia. This year, I want happy, excited, non-hacking-3-pack-a day-kids. That's all I have to say about that. My Dad just came back from Florida, were he was sunning himself for 2 weeks. Rude awakening with this weather, I tell you. The ground was covered in frost this morning! Brrr. Where's the Indian Summer? Well, my hands are turning blue. I'm off to fold hot laundry in hopes of thawing them out. Have a healthy (aaaa-choooooooo!) day...sniff....cough...pathetic sigh... ## Sunday, October 08, 2006 ### October Means Candy Ah, October. Quite possibly my favourite month of the year. The weather is crisp and perfect for family walks, and the kids and I love the crunching of leaves beneath our feet. Of course, October also means Hallowe'en, a.k.a CANDY! Oh yeah, and costumes. I have a cute little lamb costume ready for Ty, and Keegan made it easy on me this year, saying he wants to be Batman. We have a mask, and he has Batman pyjamas, complete with a cape, so he's done too. Phoenix, on the other hand, issued a costuming challenge. He wants to be Soundwave, from the Transformers. For those of you that are unaware, Transformers are "Robots In Disguise". They change from robot to various modes: vehicle, animal, insect etc. Soundwave transforms into a ghetto blaster. I rose to the challenge by heading off to Fabricland, and picking up some assorted fabrics and thread and attachment items. Got quite carried away while I was there, and picked up a length of polar fleece and made pillow cases for Keegs and Bun, with their monograms. I must mention at this point that I don't sew. Or rather, I don't own a sewing machine. So, I sew by hand. Halfway through the Soundwave project, my carpel tunnel syndrome kicked in, so I went to plan B. The glue gun. Yes, the crafter's best friend. Well, when all was said and done, I came up with a nifty costume. Phoenix loved it, and that's the important part. My mom always made our costumes. We would have costume contests at school. My brother Mike and I invariably won for our grade. A memorable year was when he went as Darth Vader and I was Princess Leia, complete with the cinnamon-bun hairdo on the sides of my head. I must see if I can dig up a picture of that, because it was pretty awesome! Mom, you were so cool. I will spend the rest of my life trying to be the kind of mom you were to us. Today is Sunday, and Mark has taken the eldest boys off to church for Sunday school. I (darn-it-all-anyway!) have to stay here with Ty, while he naps. This afternoon, we're off to the in-laws for turkey. Tomorrow we're having two of my brothers over for dinner for Thanksgiving. Then it's back to the daily grind of work and school. Phoenix is doing really well at school this year. He reading is coming along nicely, although getting him to read is like bamboo shoots under the fingernails. What a complainer! When he resigns himself to the inevitable, he does a great job. I miss the Mr. Muggs readers we had as children. My brother gave Bun some Dick and Jane primers for his birthday or Christmas last year, and now he's able to make his way through there, although he thinks the stories are lame! Keegan is loving school this year too, and hopefully we will get the call soon to put him in 5 mornings a week instead of just three. Ty....is still a bugger! Climbing, destroying, wreaking havoc! All with a sweet smile, and self-applause. His saving grace is that he is so damned cute! Anyway, I guess I'd better go finish decorating the bay window with Hallowe'en decorations. BOO! From me to you. PS. If anyone has not discovered the following blog, you must visit. It is freaking hilarious! This guy, Joe Mathelete, explains Marmaduke cartoons. Too funny: http://marmadukeexplained.blogspot.com/ ## Friday, September 29, 2006 ### Ouch! madeleine • \MAD-uh-lun\ • noun 1 : a small rich shell-shaped cake*2 : one that evokes a memory Example sentence:The long needle and inappropriate amounts of anesthetic were madeleines for Mark, calling up memories of the horror of his vasectomy. As you can see by the example sentence...OUCH! He just called me from his Mom's house (funny who we run to when we are ailing) and said, and I quote, "Yeah, it FUCKING hurt!" So, now I am wracked with guilt. Will update later when he gets home. ****************************************************************************** Well, I think it is safe to say that Mark will not volunteer for that assignment ever again! And his recommendation to any guys that are about to embark on this endeavour? "Make sure you're fully frozen before they start. Right side good. Left side...OH MY HOLY GOD!" Yeah, ouch. But he is okay now, a little achey(sp?), but nothing ice packs and Tylenol 3's won't cure, I suppose... ********************************************************************************** Ty has now moved into the realm of "Let's give Mom a heart-attack every 10 minutes". I've said before that he's a climber. On top of tables, up bookshelves, etc. Well, today he discovered how to open doors, AND, once open, how to navigate the stairs! I turn my back for 2 seconds, and he's two levels down! Kripes, at this rate I'll have to dye my hair every week! ********************************************************************************* Flashback: Graduation Day 1995. My journalism grad friends and I chatting on the forecasted dream careers that we will achieve within the next, um, three days or so. "I'm going to have my own radio show" "I'm going to be the hot new newspaper columnist" "I'm going to have my own monthly page in a leading magazine". Hmm...somehow, I don't recall saying that I would be, 11 years later, writing a blurb in my son's school newsletter about food...but there you go. Some dreams take radically different paths. Always good to know that those 4 years of university paid off! Seriously though, other than Blogging and writing the occasional kid story for the boys, I haven't really done much writing over the years. (And the novel that I will finish when I'm about 65!) It's nice to get back into it, if only for 100-250 words a month. Thanks, Christy, for not letting my brain melt away into writer's block land too soon. (And in case you are dying of curiosity, this month's sample was on peanut- free snacks, with a recipe for nut-free granola bars!--Leave a post if you want the recipe. It's really good). ## Wednesday, September 27, 2006 ### Wedding! Hubby and I attended our first out-of-country wedding on Saturday. We went to the tropical villa of West Seneca, New York. Okay, yes, I am joking. West Seneca is NOT tropical, but the place the wedding was at was beautiful, and the dinner was awesome. Congratulations Rob & Ginny! I wish you a lifetime of wedded bliss. ***************************************************** And, after almost 9 years of wedded bliss, and 3 boys later, Mark is having the "Snip" this Friday. He is quite stressed about it. So we are currently employing the denial method of "speak no evil. If we don't talk about it, he can pretend it's not happening. Well, for a few more days, anyway! Well, I guess I'd better be off. Got to get Keegers off to school, and settle in with Ty to watch back episodes of Smallville. Educate yourself! Here are some new words for ya: Word of the Day: Sept 26 gadarene • \GAD-uh-reen\ • adjective : headlong, precipitate Example sentence:Mary has criticized her brother for his gadarene rush into marriage with a girl he has known for only 2 weeks. Word of the Day: Sept 27 mellifluous • \muh-LIFF-luh-wus\ • adjective *1 : having a smooth rich flow2 : filled with something (as honey) that sweetens Example sentence:Lucy recognized the actor's mellifluous voice immediately from the many voice-overs he had done for 800-sex line commercials. ## Saturday, September 23, 2006 ### Sept 23: Word of the Day Word of the Day: schwarmerei • \shvair-muh-RYE\ • noun : excessive or unwholesome sentiment Example sentence:Her boyfriend's later love notes were refreshingly free of the schwarmerei that hobbled his earlier efforts. ## Friday, September 22, 2006 ### You Were A Kid in the 80's if... You Were a Kid In The 80's if: 1. You've ever ended a sentence with the word PSYCH. 2. You watched the Pound Puppies. 3. You can sing the rap to the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and can do the Carlton 4. Girls wore biker shorts under their skirts and felt stylishly sexy. 5. You yearned to be a member of the Baby-sitters club and tried to start a club of your own. 6. You owned those lil' Strawberry Shortcake pals scented dolls. 7. You know that "WOAH" comes from Joey on Blossom 8. Two words: Hammer Pants 9. If you ever watched "Fraggle Rock" 10. You had plastic streamers on your handle bars... and spokey-dokes or playing cards on your spokes for that incredible sound effect 11. You can sing the entire theme song to "Duck Tales" (Woo ooh!) 12. It was actually worth getting up early on a Saturday to watch cartoons 13. You wore a ponytail on the side of your head. 14. You saw the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on the big screen..and still know the turtles names. 15. You got super-excited when it was Oregon Trail day in computer class at school. (Ok, help me out here...first of all, we didn't have computer class. We had one computer, a Commodore 64, that loaded the game BLIP by tape and took the entire recess to boot...what the heck is Oregon Trail day?) 16. You made your mom buy one of those clips that would hold yourshirt in a knot on the side. 17. You played the game "MASH"(Mansion, Apartment, Shelter, House) 18. You wore stonewashed Jordache jean jackets and were proud of it. 19. L.A. Gear....need I say more? 20. You wanted to change your name to "JEM" (She'sTruly Outrageous.) 21. You remember reading "Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing" and all The Ramona books. 22. You know the profound meaning of "WAX ON, WAX OFF" 23. You wanted to be a Goonie. 24. You ever wore fluorescent clothing. (Some of us...head-to-toe) 25. You can remember what Michael Jackson looked like before his nose fell off and his cheeks shifted. 26. You have ever pondered why Smurfette was the only female smurf. 27. You took lunch boxes to school...and traded Garbage Pail Kids cards inthe school yard. 28. You remember the CRAZE, then the BANNING of slap bracelets. 29. You still get the urge to say "NOT" after every sentence. 30. You remember Hypercolor t-shirts. 31. Barbie and the Rockers was your favorite band. 32. You thought She-Ra (Princess of Power!) and He-Man should hook up 33. You thought your childhood friends would never leave because you exchanged handmade friendship bracelets. 34. You ever owned a pair of Jelly-Shoes. 35. After you saw Pee-Wee's Big Adventure you kept saying "I know you are, but what am I?" 36. You remember "I've fallen and I can't get up" 37. You remember going to the skating rink before there were in-line skates. 38. You ever got seriously injured on a Slip and Slide. 39. You have ever played with a Skip-It. (Or Lemon-Twist) 40. You had or attended a birthday party at McDonalds. 41. You've gone through this nodding your head in agreement .42. You remember Popples. 43. Don't worry, be happy 44. You wore like, EIGHT pairs of socks over tights with high top Reeboks. 45. You wore socks scrunched down (and sometimes still do...getting yelled at by younger, hip members of the family) 46. You remember boom boxes and walking around with one on your shoulder like you were all that. 47. You remember watching both Gremlins movies. 48. You know what it meant to say "Care Bear Stare!!" 49 You remember watching Rainbow Bright and & My Little Pony Tales 50. You thought Doogie Howser was hot. 51. You remember Alf, the furry brown alien from Melmac. 52. You remember New Kids on the Block when they were cool...and don't even flinch when people refer to them as "NKOTB" 53. You knew all the characters names and their life stories on"Saved By The Bell," The ORIGINAL class. 54. You know all the words to Bon Jovi - SHOT THROUGH THE HEART. 55. You just sang those words to yourself. 56. You remember watching Magic vs. Bird. 57. Homemade Levi shorts.. (the shorter the better) 58. You remember when mullets were cool! 59. You had a mullet! 60. You still sing "We are the World" 61. You tight rolled your jeans. 62. You owned a banana clip. 63. You remember "Where's the Beef?" 64. You used to (and probably still do) say "What you talkin' 'bout Willis?" 65 You had big hair and you knew how to use it. 66. You're still singing Shot Through the Heart in your head, aren't you? Man, talk about the making of a generation...98% of those applied to me! ************************************************************************************ Word of the Day: lotusland • \LOH-tus-land\ • noun *1 : a place inducing contentment especially through offering an idyllic living situation 2 : a state or an ideal marked by contentment often achieved through self-indulgence Example sentence:With its selection of white, dark and bittersweet offerings , the Walker's Chocolate store is a lotusland for women suffering from PMS. ## Thursday, September 21, 2006 ### Word of the Day: diapason • \dye-uh-PAY-zun\ • noun 1 *a : a burst of sound b : the principal foundation stop in the organ extending through the complete range of the instrument c : the entire compass of musical tones d : range, scope2 a : tuning fork b : a standard of pitch Example sentence: She didn't realize that she had left the bathroom with her skirt tucked into the back of her pantyhose until she heard the diapasons of laughter echoing through the office. ## Wednesday, September 20, 2006 ### Budget,Shmudget! My hubby and I are attending a wedding this Saturday. With that in mind, my thoughts turned to clothes. With being a stay-at-home mom, I don't often have call to shop for fancy dresses, and my hubby wears work-clothes (aka, clothes meant to be destroyed by dirt and chemicals), so we were in need of some wardrobe updates. I wanted a new dress, shoes and some matching jewellery. Mark needed a new suit with all of the stuff that goes with it. So, we budgeted. We know a suit will cost in the general ballpark of$300-$400 (hey, we wish we were Armani folk, but get real!), and a dress about$100-$150. With shoes and other necessities, we figured about$600 between the two of us.

Mark calls me from the suit shop after work yesterday to tell me that he's getting suited up and will be home soon...Later, he walks in with a description of his nice new black suit, and a bag containing 3 new shirts, 2 ties, a belt and a shoe-shining kit. Oh, and two silky hanky things for the suit pocket (salesman saw him coming a mile away!). To get to the point, in the bag was one more item. The bill. $798. Kripes! To his credit, he was a little sheepish about having blown my dress budget, but now it was time to think. I have a beautiful dress; I wore it to our friends' Jay and Alison's wedding. It will do nicely. But I really did need new shoes. So I jetted off to the mall. On a side note, the last time I went shoe shopping, there were 7 shoe stores in the mall. Now there are 3. Naturalizer (ah, no....), Payless (great for kids, not for dancing shoes) and the Bay. (Actually there is one called STEPPS, but the heels in there are all 7 inches high. I want wedding-dance shoes, not pole-dancing shoes!). So, I trudged around the Bay. Saw a perfect pair of black sling-backs. I just knew that there would be no 7 1/2's there. Murphy's Law and all...but no! The shopping gods were with me, and they had my size and they fit! And they were comfortable, and...ON SALE! With such savings, (even with a -$200 budget) I knew that this was a call for some jewellery. Hey, if I can't have a new dress...so I found a great necklace and matching earrings that are PERFECT for my dress. So, all in all, it turned out okay.

But the next big event, I fully intend to blow the budget. ON ME.

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On a separate and sad note, I was holding Ty on my lap yesterday, and noticed something dismaying about his hands. Gone are the sweet little baby hands of infancy. He now has real big-boy toddler hands. No dimples. Sigh...I miss the baby hands...

And speaking of the word baby, and lack thereof, Mark goes for the snip it two weeks! Sucker! (Just kidding, honey!)

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And as a new tradition on my blog, the word of the day: improving your vocabulary the fun way!

insuperable • \in-SOO-puh-ruh-bul\ • adjective : incapable of being surmounted, overcome, passed over, or solved
Example sentence:My refusal to iron one more freaking shirt for my husband proved to be an insuperable obstacle for the housework-impaired male.

## Tuesday, September 19, 2006

### What I Really Want To Say Is...

Got this idea from my pal Jenny's site...and thought I'd post my own:

LIST TEN THINGS YOU WANT TO SAY TO PEOPLE YOU KNOW BUT YOU NEVER WILL, FOR WHATEVER REASON. DON'T SAY WHO THEY ARE. USE EACH PERSON ONLY ONCE.

1. You should leave him. He's dragging you into a hole, and you could do SO much better.

2. It's not all about you. Occasionally, I'd like to get a word in edgewise.

3. Friends are important. If someone is making an effort, you should return it. One day you will need me. I hope I'll still want to be there.

4. What comes around, goes around. I am a firm believer in that. Will you want to be alone when you are sick or dying?

5. Being a mom is the toughest job there is. You are doing great. Don't dispair. When things get tough, look around. There are people that are a lot worse off, and you are the lucky one. You have love.

6. Sometimes people do things they regret. I am one of them. I am sorry for the grief I put you through.

7. I love you to the end of the earth, but you are really stupid sometimes. Think before you speak, and you'll save people a lot of pain.

8. It is hard to forgive and forget. I am trying, but you wounded me. I think forgetting will take me the rest of my life.

10. I think your husband is really hot.

So, I guess you're out there wondering which one applies to you, eh?....Well, as my friend Carly Simon once sang, (sort of) "I bet you think this post is about you...you're so vain!"

This was a great exercise. Very soul-lightening. Thanks for the idea, Jenny.

## Sunday, September 17, 2006

### Excuses

Well, I suppose that I could make lots of excuses as to why I haven't posted in a while, but why bother...just busy and blocked, I guess.

My Tyger-tot is 16 months old today! He is just so darned cute! He is a little monkey; climbs on anything and everything. I turn my back for a second and he's on top of the dining room table trying to catch our betta fish, or on the edge of the bookshelf, three stories up. Reminds me of stories I used to hear about my brother Paul. My mom took a picture of him climbing the racks of the refridgerator once. Genetics will out, I suppose. He is a little chatter-box, and a copy-cat at that. Repeats a word you say, and then never again. Just storing in the back of his brain to spill out at a later date. He finally figured out how to clap, and does that all day long, then looks around for praise at his accomplishment. He is so proud of himself.

Phoenix, or rather Phoenix and I, just finished his first school project. He had to do a time-line of all of the important events in his life thus far. I was saying stuff like the births of his brothers etc., and he said with disdain, "NO, Mommy. Not that kind of stuff. IMPORTANT stuff. Like, the first time I saw a movie in the theatre, you know. Life-changing stuff." So, we loaded it up with his six years of important stuff, with pictures to go with his one-liner sentences. He has to present it in front of the class tomorrow. I hope he doesn't get stage-fright!

This Wednesday, Keegan starts his grammar group at speech therapy. I think there are 3 or 4 other kids in the group working on the same language goals. It is an 8 week group, every Wednesday afternoon for 45 minutes. Should keep him busy!

That's about it for news around here, I think. I'm sure there's more, but I have dinner on the stove and a baby, no, toddler now, crying on the monitor, so I'd better jet for now! Have a good week, and feel free to drop me a line to say hey! Jenny, where are you, sugar?

## Tuesday, September 05, 2006

### First Day of Grade One!

I can't believe that another year has flown by, and my little baby is starting Grade One! (He would absolutely KILL me for calling him my little baby...). Phoenix was quite excited this morning, and was happy to see all of his friends again. He said he was looking forward to seeing what his class looked like, and to getting his very own desk.

Keegan was a little lost without his big brother to play with this morning. He's been so used to having Phoenix here all summer as a playmate. And Ty just annoys him by taking all of his toys and shoving them in his mouth!Well, tomorrow is Keegs' first day of school, and he is really looking forward to going.

I called Keegan's school this morning to see if the fees had changed and got some great news! Apparently, I had overpaid them a few bucks a day all last year, and now I have a tidy little credit, to the tune of three free months of school. Sweet. That's definitely news I can stand to hear!

I hope all of my readers had a good Labour Day weekend. Weather here was absolute crap, so we really didn't do much. Yesterday (Monday) was a decent day though, and we had a BBQ for some of Mark's baseball team mates. They came for lunch, took a break and showed back up for dinner, along with my Dad, and my sister-in-law and her family. Party didn't die until 11:30 last night.

I threw in the towel about 11:00, and headed off to bed, but Mark and his buddy hung out in the hot tub. I'm sure they're both hurtin' today. All well and good to get sauced at a party, but not so good if you have to get up at 6:00 am to go to work the next day!

Last night we had a rare wildlife sighting in our backyard. A possum! I took a million pictures. I know, I know, it's not like it was a Bengal tiger or anything, but I had never seen one before so it was a bit of a novelty to me.

The skunks must have been out in full force last night. I woke up this morning and the whole place reeked! Must have floated in through the window...needless to say, I had the scented oils and candles going this morning to clear the air a bit.

Well, with Bunny at school, Ty snoozing and Keegs planted in front of his favourite movie, it is laundry day for me, so I guess I'll get to it. Pictures of Bun and Mr. (or Mrs., I didn't get THAT close) Possum to follow...

## Saturday, September 02, 2006

### 3 Days Until School!

Can you tell I'm excited for school to start? It should be fun this year. Phoenix starts grade one, so this is his first year of being at school all day, 5 days a week. He is happy to have two of his good friends in his class with him this year, and by all reports, his teacher is excellent.

Last night Mark and I went to a dinner theatre to see the Buddy Holly Story. It was really good. I had quite a crush on Buddy by the end of the show. Helped that I was quite tipsy too. I really am such a cheap date these days when it comes to alcohol. I had one Long Island Iced Tea, and was a giggling idiot. Probably shouldn't have followed it up with a B-52 coffee...anyway, it was a great show, and we had a good time. It so rare that we get out without the kids. It's fun to "date" every once in a while.

In a few weeks, we are going States-side to a wedding in West Seneca, New York. Any excuse to hunt for a new dress, is good enough for me.

As I mentioned, the kids are gearing up for school. Keegan will still be at preschool, even though normally he would be starting JK. We are keeping in preschool for a year so he can access the resources that would be cut off once he enters the public school system.

Keegan's resource person came over last Friday on a fact-finding mission, basically just to get background history on Keegs and what he has done so far. We also went to speech therapy this past week. She was impressed with his improvement over the summer, and has set a bunch of new goals for him, like using "he" and "she" in sentences, as opposed to "the boy" and "the girl". We are also working on "they" and putting sequential stories in order. Enough to keep us busy for a while. At the end of the month, he will be joining a speech therapy group. He will go once a week, for 8 weeks, and I think after that, there is a social skills one that he can join, which is like the summer group he was in.

Phoenix is not looking forward to the work portion of grade one, but told me he is anticipating recess...funny kid. Should be a joy getting him to do homework! It's going to be really weird with him gone 5 days a week now, instead of every second day...Keegan will start off going Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and is on the wait list for the Tues/Thursday classes. I have been told that he will probably get into that session in January. Boy, what are Ty and I going to do with all that free time?

Well, as far as Ty goes, most of it will be spent in nap. I think Mark is hoping that the extra time I will have will be channelled into housework for a change, but...I don't think you can teach an old dog new tricks. I vow to put forth an effort though. Don't think, Mom, that I don't see you shaking your head at my pathetic housekeeping skills. I guess I didn't get that gene. Only the cake decorating and knitting one.

Have I ever mentioned how much I hate my bed? Or rather, my mattress? It cost a fortune, and is only 2 years old now, but it cripples me. Mark has always had back problems (sciatica etc) and opted for the extra firm mattress, but even with the pillow top, to me, it's like lying on the Flinstone bed. Which is why, more often that not, my kids find me snoring on the couch downstairs most mornings. I dream (when actually sleeping, and not tossing and turning) of the perfect mattress! One day! I will find you!

Ty has turned into a monkey when I wasn't looking. I turn my back for two seconds, and he's dancing on the coffee table. My friend over the hedge commented that it might be a good way for him to make money in the future, but maybe not something you'd want to see your son doing...I said that as long as he signed a few calendars for me to sell on E-Bay, that I was alright with it...

Writing that made me remember a skit from long ago from Saturday Night Live, with Patrick Swayze and Chris Farley, and they were both trying out to be Chippendale dancers. I thought my mom and I would pee our pants watching that one!

Anyway, speaking of bladder accidents, I am about to have one if I don't run right now, so bye for now!

PS. Happy belated birthday to my brother-in-law Fernando! (Do you hear the drums?)

## Saturday, August 26, 2006

### Another Birthday Greeting!

LEANNE! Happy Birthday, girlfriend! Wishing you luck and happiness this year and always. Best of luck with the new job and congrats on finding some living space!

XO

Me

## Friday, August 25, 2006

### Happy Birthday Mommy!

Happy Birthday to my Mom. I love and miss you more every day. I swiped this picture of her from my aunt's blog. It was taken in Florida in 1960. She was 19.

(Thanks Auntie Susan, for the picture).

Carolyn Frances McMahon Carroll

Always loving; always loved.

## Monday, August 21, 2006

Well, the count-down to school is officially on (15 days!)...got Phoenix his new Superman backpack with matching lunch bag, so he's happy. I had discovered $250 worth of GAP gift certificates lurking in my kitchen a few weeks ago, so the boys have some nice back to school wear. This Friday I am meeting with Keegan's resource worker. She will be the one going into his preschool to work on his various issues. So I now have to come up with a series of goals for her to work on with him over the next three months. Also discovered a gift certificate that my Dad had given Mark and I for Christmas for Stage West dinner theatre. We are going next week to see the Buddy Holly Story. Should be fun, and the food is always really good there. On Wednesday, I'm finally hooking up with my friends Alison and Teresa and their daughters. It has been such a busy summer, that with our various holidays, we've been missing each other. On Saturday I had left a post wishing my eldest brother Tommy a happy 43rd birthday. He was quick to respond that he was only 42, thank you very much...at least now I know he reads the blog;). I have since corrected. Sorry, brotha! I can't believe how busy August is for birthdays. 3 cousins, 1 brother, two friends' kids, one grandparent, two friends, and a brother-in-law. Busy fall for those people's parents! Mark's grandfather, if I'm not mistaken, will be 95 this Friday. Wow! Power to ya, Dzia Dzia! That's about it for now. No exciting news, really. Pretty boring post. Feel free to erase it from your mind....NOW! ## Saturday, August 19, 2006 ### Hey, Hey Tommy! Hey, hey, Tommy Happy 42nd Birthday!!!! Hope you have a good one! XOXOX Your much-younger sister, Shann ## Wednesday, August 16, 2006 ### Shout Out To My Girlfriend YO YO YO Kris! Happy Birthday! XO Me ## Tuesday, August 15, 2006 Some pictures from our vacation at the cottage. Note the mouth-full of sand in Ty's mouth as he smiles with Mark...Phoenix's six pack on the beach...Ty in the sink-tub...and Phoenix, Keegan and Mark doing the "dead llama". (If you've seen The Emperor's New Groove, you'll know what this is...). See how Phoenix is putting an X over his eye to indicate cartoon death. Yeah, they're pretty sick puppies... ## Monday, August 14, 2006 ### Lots Of Thoughts Yesterday was the four year anniversary of my mother's death. I had a cramp in my heart the whole day. Four years. Seems like forever, and yesterday, at the same time. My son Phoenix said to me, "I'm the lucky one, because I knew her for two whole years!". Yes, my son, you were the lucky one indeed. Keegan knew her for only three months of his life, and Ty, not at all. We went to the cemetery to visit her grave, and I did my little update monologue and shed many tears. The kids came and gave me a hug, and gave their updates too. Pretty sweet. Ty was fascinated by all of the markers, and decided that it was a great green space to run around in. We also took the opportunity to visit my grandparents, who were recently interred together in a wall niche. My grandmother passed away in 1991 and my grandfather in 2004, and you might think that I had my grieving process well in hand. But seeing their names together; it made it suddenly real. I was surprised at the rush of tears that came. I looked at my husband and just whispered, "Oh my God, it still hurts!" Keegan came and took my hand, and looked at the plaque and said, "Look Mommy. It says Thomas!" I think he was quite impressed that GG and his favourite train share the same name. ********************************************************************************* We arrived home on Friday evening from a week at the cottage. The kids were great. Phoenix is now swimming like a little fish, and all three of the boys would have been quite content to stay in the water all day long. Keegs was not impressed whenever I would tell him it was time to get out. Can you say, "TANTRUM!!!"? The weather for the most part was fantastic. The last two days were a bit cool, but it made for great sleeping. Bugs were virtually non-existant. We didn't get any bites until Thursday, when I took the boys blueberry picking in a forested area. But even so, only 2 or three bites each. We met a lot of nice families and there were plenty of kids for our guys to play with. We took a day and went with another family to Santa's Village, where it's Christmas all summer long. Weird to walk around in tank tops and shorts and listen to Jingle Bells at the same time. I went on 4 or 5 rides with the kids, and they got to ride on the train. Oh, and see Santa and the wife too, which was neat. Having said all of that, I now say, been there, done that. It was great for the kids but very expensive. It was over$80 for us just to get in and that was with Ty being free! Jeepers. Thank goodness we brought our own food to eat, or we would have had to take out a loan to cover the costs!

It's nice to be back home though, and I will be glad to get Keegan back to his school routine. It seems that all that he learned at his summer camp has leaked out his ears. Major behavioural issues, I tell you! Well, as with everything Keegan, one step forward, two steps back.

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Took Keegan to the pediatrician today for a check-up. Regarding his development, she seems to think that Keegan may have Asperger's Syndrome, which, in layman's terms, is like saying one has a touch of autism.

From what I understand, it is characterized by lack of social skills, or rather, inappropriate social skills. Like when someone says, "How are you, Keegan?" and he responds inappropriately, "Thomas is blue." Kids like this are often obsessed with a particular thing, like cars or trains or parts of objects.

Kids with Asperger's are usually extremely bright. This has nothing to do with intelligence, and actually, many who are diagnosed as such are gifted in certain areas. As adults, they may be geniuses in their chosen fields of work, but may be seen as eccentric, because of their lack of social skills.

To make a long story short, he seems to meet a lot of the critera, and she is recommending him to a developmental pediatrican for testing. The wait list is, yeah, two years long. However, she said that once a positive diagnosis is made, it makes additional resources available to him that wouldn't be there otherwise, like having a full-time EA (educational assistant) at school, if required.

Have I mentioned lately how much I hate these freaking waiting lists! Anyway, gotta help with the potty run. Feel free to leave comments. I love to hear from ya!

PS Happy belated birthdays to cousins Hailey and Rachel, and their mom Lori, and to Sophie and Brynn.

## Wednesday, August 02, 2006

### It's A Bird! It's A Plane! Nope...Just My Lousy Computer...

ARRGHHH! Sometimes, I really hate computers. Like the one I am currently typing on. From day to day, I don't know if it will let me onto the internet. I have been without for a while. Today, it decided to work, so I thought I'd throw in an update while I can.

This week, I am gearing up my stress level preparing for our yearly trip to the cottage. It really is so much to organize. I mean, it's not that I just have to pack clothes for 5 people. I have to pack clothes for all weather, footwear for all weather, sunny day activities and rainy day activities. Playpen. Bedding. First aid stuff. Toiletries. Food, food, and more food. Toys. And on and on. I actually have three lists going, if you can believe it.

I thrive on lists these days. My memory is shot. Mark's is worse. If I don't write things down, they won't get done. I'll end up at the cottage and think, F*&%! I forgot a kid! So, I am list Queen this week.

I am putting off laundry, and therefore packing of the clothes, until Friday. I just can't seem to get motivated. I always have a great time when we're there, but I hate the lead time. Must be my inate procrastination. Always put off today, what you can find an excuse not to do tomorrow, that's my motto.

Keegs is still enjoying his summer program, and is doing quite well, I think. He is really starting to verbalize his needs and wants, which makes for a lot less tantrums around here.

I don't know how the weather is wherever you are reading this, but it is freaking HOT here. Like, lung-searing hot. Brutal. I cringe to think of the energy bill when it comes next. Can you say, Kraft Dinner for a month?

Anyway, I am feeling the blahs setting in. Need some chocolate. I do have a lot to vent about and news to share, but can't seem to focus my brain. I'll try again tomorrow.

If my computer lets me into Blogger, that is.

Later, taters!

PS Happy belated and upcoming birthdays to Spencer, Sophie and Brynn!