Monday, 31 January 2011

Attack of the Vaughnster

So... I finally swallowed my pride sold out gave up on all personal principles received my BodyAttack recertification package.

I popped the DVD into the machine, and Vaughn sauntered in during Track 9. Well.

This is the result:

GoodLife? Are you hiring?

A Toothsome Little Morsel...

Well, as Children of the Domestic Goddess, these poor kids have their work cut out for them. With Test Pig #2 being so far away (snif), and TP#1, so often out of town (snif snif), the Test Piglets get thrown into the mix all the time.

Good thing they're game.

Before dinner, I find it helps to keep them occupied with an "apple-tizer", which is either Cheerios or pieces of whatever I'm chopping up at the time.

Hey! What's that you're eating, oh watery-eyed progeny o' mine?

Tonights dinner was a Leftover Extravaganza!!!!TM. I burned up* some onions and garlic, added some ground turkey, and then emptied the fridge of every single tupperware from the few days before: a smashed potato (yum), some broiled tomatoes with parmesan, some green beans, some cheeeeeesy rice, and a fresh tomato too, just for excitement.

So, I presented them with some Hough HashTM** (Ailsa's, of course, was pureed a bit) - and, by golly, it was quite good. Of course, the DG had the luxury of washing it down with a glass of 2008 Wirra Wirra Church Block (a deeeelicious bottle, highly recommended, and available at your local LCBO for about $20).

Finally, speaking of teeth (which we sort of were, if you check the title of the entry), guess who has a new tooth???? ***

What do you mean you can't see it? Anyhoo, I now have deep marks in my thumbs from the new, sharp puppy tooth, and it looks like the adjoining tooth will make its appearance in the next few days (see footnote). Awww...

* This is a patented DG cooking technique, in which food is seared in a nonstick skillet without butter or oil, for health and/or I-forget-to-add-it reasons. Suggested motto: It may be charred, but it's healthy.

** Oddly enough, in this case, h-o-u-g-h is prounced "who".

*** The youngest Huffling is lucky that the tooth showed up when it did; being that cranky, day and night, for no good reason, is only acceptable as an Elder Huff.

Friday, 21 January 2011

Two Years Later

My little boy is growing up! Snif. And into a 2-year-old!


It's been quite the month for Vaughn: the ramp-up to Christmas, Christmas morning, Christmas afternoon with my parents, and all this followed by a vacation in Vegas to visit Grandma (Christmas again!)... so when his birthday rolled around just a few days after that, well, more presents weren't just de rigueur, they were demanded! They don't call them the Wonderful Twos for...waitaminute...

But first, a retrospective:

Remember when I complained about my little Tapeworm? Awww....

Somehow, this phase wasn't as adorable. I called this "GET. OUT. NOW."

The evening after his arrival, he was charming everyone with his cuteness. But mostly his hair.

So, here he is on his second birthday. He did quite well in sharing his toys (not that he had a choice - there was a house full of 2- and 3-year-olds (and Logan and Jodie too, of course!), and they all thought his toys were as cool as he did), not melting down, and generally hosting-with-the-mosting.

But don't try to take away his marshmallows. Too bad this photo doesn't have sound... it would be a very quiet, yet menacing, "rrrrrrr.....". The Marshmallow Snowmen segment of the birthday party (Yes! a Clipboard of Fun, Inc. Event!) was a much bigger hit than I expected, and it was hard to refocus the kids from that to the present-opening. Odd.

The original plan was to send them all outside for Snowman-Building with the dads. Alas, it wasn't sticky snow, but I managed to kick most of them out for about 20 minutes or so, anyway.

Vaughn, in yellow, outgrew his snowsuit at about 12:01 am on his birthday. We stuffed him into it anyway.

The cake was a hit. The recipe, of course, was for Mrs. Whitman's Birthday Cake, a family favourite, and it's mortared together with TWO batches of buttercream icing (for those in the know, that's a total of 8 CUPS of icing sugar), since there was an "incident" while transporting one of the layers from one table to another. More icing? More icing! Good! Now cover it with candy, too! Nice one, DG! (pat pat)

We even practiced blowing out candles the day before his party. He sort of got the idea of it, but in the process, lost a bit of hair. ("Eyebrows," he said, suddenly.) That's ok, he still has lots.
All in all, we still like him. His creative expressions of distaste and/or anger seem to be louder and more frequent than before, but we figure that, as he gets used to being back home, not being showered with gifts daily, and having to listen to Mommy and Daddy, he'll straighten out.
He has a year.
Also, thanks for the drum, Uncle Rob! Vaughn is looking forward to spending the summer with you.

This is a daily thing. Note the development of a "drum face"...on its way to becoming a guitar face one day.

Monday, 17 January 2011

...and on the 7th day, She lost it...

Today's rambles:

Is God a woman? The jury is still out.

However, I offer the following as definitive proof that God is not a mother: God takes Sundays off.

I've been on full-time duty for, oh, 2 years, 1 week and 1 day, or so. I'm pretty sure I haven't spent an entire day being worshipped since well before that, actually.

On a completely unrelated subject, can someone explain to me why more people don't use Family Services? Correct me if I'm wrong, but as I understand it, you just need to make an anonymous phone call, and they come and take your kids...


Now, where did I put my phone?

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Retro-post: Autumn Leaves and Digging Down to the New Digs

Wow, am I delinquent.

Finally, photos (a few, anyway) of the new house.

First, let us think fondly back to the autumn, when it was still somewhat nice and warm out. Here, the kids frolic on our front lawn, under our beautiful maple tree, in a rare moment that we were outside, instead of frantically scrubbing through layers of filth and smoke*.

The day that I picked up the keys, I opened the front door, and the smell of old smoke hit me, and I saw what we had bought. Oh dear, what have we done? The ceramic tiles in the entry hall were nondescript grey and icky-looking. The carpeting on the stairs was patchy dark brown with darker brown stains, the hardwood throughout the house was dingy and scuffed, the baseboards were in serious need of repainting, the windows were hard to see out of, and the bathrooms...oh, shudder.

But each layer that I take off (and am still taking off) reveals amazing things: the tiles are prettier each time I mop. They're actually a gorgeous, glazed clay, and it's a shame to cover them up with a front door mat, even for the winter. The carpet was vacuumed twice, sprinkled with baking soda, vacuumed again, and steamed twice with Mom's carpet steamer. WOW. Turns out, I have almost-new-looking beige berber. No kidding. The hardwood is a lightly-stained maple in excellent condition**, and has a nice, warm lustre. The windows, once cleaned (ever seen a paper towel turn black after washing ONE window???) let in so much light that, during the day, I rarely need to turn the lights on, and, most importantly, the bathrooms are no longer health risks. And the trim, well, a once-over with a Magic Eraser turned them bright white again.

The whole house needs a coat of paint, and there are several "projects" that we'll need to do to make it our own, but now that it's clean and livable, and our pictures are hung on the main floor(though the antelope may have to be relocated; we have a Medicine Hat corner in our living room with a lovely line drawing of the Monarch and the bridge (thanks, Scott and Jen!), but the antelope just don't seem to work there - Suffield folks, you know the antelope to which I'm referring... maybe the guest room is a better place for them), it feels like home.

Exterior improvements: BEFORE the first project.

I'm not sure if you can zoom in, but this is the front of our house. Note the cheap, stuck-on letters on the front door.

AFTER: Well, the Christmas lights are hung, there's lovely Christmas greenery (thanks, Laurel and Mike!), the house number is now the bright white shiny thing to the left of the door, the snow covers all the leaves, and we have removed the riffraff and his pumpykin from our doorstep.
Another neat thing: this is the view from our dining room/office.
To note:
1 - who are these kids, and why are they in so many of my photos?
2 - the candy basket (bottom left) is in its post-holiday wax phase - overflowing with goodies! Yay!
3 - and what's that in the background? Lettuce look closer, hmmm?
Whaaaat? A bonus kitty that came with the house? This kitty, we think, lives behind our garage (left side of photo), and comes to visit us on our deck every day at lunchtime. You can sort of see our yard, as well - it's a good size, and has a little garden patch.
I'll sort of try to promise to update this more often, but some kids (see photo) are driving me crazy.

*Note to self: when kids turn 10 and 11, send them to clean a smoker's home. That should discourage them from ever taking up the habit.
** Well, it was in good condition. Dinky cars are hard on floors, it seems.