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!


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."


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
You in your favorite chair
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


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


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!!!