monkeys and marbles

Archive for June 2007

I Rock!

Posted on: June 24, 2007

So says Jenny from Absolutely Bananas. And you know what…I so do! Jenny’s obviously a great judge of character!

Now it is my turn to pass this award on to other deserving Rockin’ Girl Bloggers. Since I read so many girl bloggers who rock, I am going to list all the Rockin’ Girl Bloggers I read whether they have or have not already received this most prestigious of awards…’cause even if they’ve already received the award, they at least deserve another mention! (please pick up your bloggity bling at the bottom of this post…)

Here goes!

Absolutely Bananas. Obviously this girl rocks ’cause she recognized that I rock! I love reading her blog…man, she gets me laughing! And this girl’s got mad Photoshop skillz!

Families are like fudge… This mom, who has the same name as one of my fave aunts, is honest and funny….and has a small addiction to baby carriers! 😉

In the Trenches of Mommyhood… I love reading about her and her boys. She’s a real mom!

Pass The Chocolate. I love Shauna and her blog. Her SIL stories are a hoot, and she’s one of the friendliest bloggers I know!

Plain Jane Mom I love this girl! I don’t know where she gets the time to do all of her GRITs, but I love them! I don’t comment as much as I would like…I don’t have time after reading it all!

Playgroups Are No Place for Children I can’t say enough about this girl. She’s funny, she’s smart, she’s honest…she rocks!

Suburban Oblivion Sara’s blog is one of the first I started reading on a daily basis, and I loved it from the start. She’s funny, brutally honest and pulls no punches. And funny doesn’t begin to describe her! This girl’s got “balls”!

Temporary? Insanity
I just started to read this blog recently, but I feel like I’ve known her forever. Really cool mom!

The Queen of Shake-Shake Yet another brutally honest blogger…this girl lets it all hang out. Fantastic! The Queen is a strong woman, a real mom, and makes me laugh till I pee! I love this blog!

Tumble Dry One of the most eloquent writers I know. I love her stories. And her girls….man, they’re gorgeous! Smart and funny. I’ve loved her blog for a long time. In fact, she’s the second blog I started to read on a daily basis.

‘Twas Brillig A recent find, but one of the best. I love this blog. Her story-telling skillz rock!

Untangling Knots Karla…what can I say. She’s the first blogger I ever followed daily…well before I started blogging myself. She is one of the strongest people I know. This girl is funny! She’s an amazing person and, though I’ve never met her in person, I definitely think of her as a friend.

Velveteen Mind I haven’t been reading Megan’s blog for long, but I was hooked instantly!

And now for the bling. You can choose from the original Rockin’ Girl Blogger bling


or you can drop the “Girl”, and get some Rockin’ Blogger bling thanks to Oh, The Joys (she has a couple more than the ones here)



In the words of Jenny of Absolutely Bananas fame, DOWN with Blogger! Up with WordPress!

My mother wanted to print my tribute to my dad on our birthday so that he could read it. Such a simple request. But would Blogger oblige? Of course not. It prints the first page fine, but the next few pages are nothing but my avatar. WTF?

So I imported the post to my WordPress trial blog and guess what. It prints fine from there.

It seems my exodus from Blogger will be sooner than planned. Stay tuned…

DOWN with Blogger! Up with WordPress!
DOWN with Blogger! Up with WordPress!
DOWN with Blogger! Up with WordPress!

Feel free to chant with me….

Make that three pees….three pees in a potty.

After rethinking our potty choice (upon closer inspection, the potty bench had some “features” that weren’t suitable for our boys), we decided upon this plain ol’ potty which was the one I had originally wanted anyway.

Introducing the BABYBJÖRN Potty Chair

It’s a great little potty chair. Colourful for the kids, lightweight, nothing to distract the boys from the task at hand….and best of all, it’s sooo easy to clean.

Yesterday was the first day we tried Zander on the potty. At first he was a little uncomfortable. Imagine sitting on what is basically a hole for the first time. Now imagine Zander squirming from side to side, backwards and forwards, trying to get his bum on “solid ground”. It was all I could do to not laugh out loud!

Once he got in a comfy position, I distracted him by turning the TV on, reading a couple of books to him, and talking to him about the potty. And suddenly he looked down and said “pee”. Never has “pee” sounded so sweet!

The best part for him was helping mommy flush the pee down the toilet…that was a big moment. After washing his hands and returning to the toy-filled wonderland living room, he saw the potty and said “a pee i’ poddy”. So proud, he was.

So the first potty day yielded three pees…three pees in a potty. Not too bad. Hopefully his interest in going on the big-boy potty will not wane.

Who am I kidding…of course it will….

Happy Birthday to me (and my dad)!
Happy Birthday to me (and my dad)!
Happy Birthday dear Ca-ate (and Cate’s dad)!
Happy Birthday to me (and my dad)!

Yup…it’s my birthday today. But it’s also my dad’s birthday. Rather than bore you with yet another story about me (although I know you all l-o-v-e them…don’t deny it!), I would rather tell you about my dad.

My dad was born in Denmark a couple of months after the Nazi occupation began in 1940. He was 5 years old when the Nazis finally retreated from Denmark…I have heard many stories from both my dad and my grandmother about that day. It gives me chills.

He and his family moved to a farm in Canada in 1955. Since he was the oldest and his help was needed on the farm, he stayed home and worked while his younger brother and sisters went to school. Dad and his family learned English just by being around English-speaking people. That amazes me.

Dad met my mom, who is also Danish, through a mutual friend. And the rest, as they say, is history.

I was born on my dad’s 34th birthday. I love that. There is no one I would rather share my birthday with…even though he sometimes pretends to forget when my birthday is. Nice try, dad!

my dad and a freshly new me

my dad adored me…who wouldn’t?

me and my dad…hangin’ out

my dad’s 35th birthday, my 1st

I have so much love, respect and adoration for my dad. He is one of the most generous and caring people I have ever known. He’ll give you the shirt off his back if you need it.

He is also one of the most intelligent people I’ve ever know. I am continually amazed by how smart he is. He knows more history and world geography than I could ever hope to know. He can take a tractor completely apart to fix it, and put it back together just by common sense. I’ve seen it! There were piles of nuts, bolts, washers, thing-a-ma-gigies, what-ya-ma-call-its and everywhere, and he still managed to reassemble it. Incredible.

He once helped my brother with his University-level mechanical engineering class. Andrew had been struggling with a calculation…dad stepped in and just….did it. Amazing.

All of this with no formal education or training. He’s either learned through reading, life experience, or he….he just knows. He’s that smart.

He’s the guy we ask advice from for anything home reno or car related. He’s also our most trusted weather man. He watches the weather on all the local channels, and the Weather Network. He’s fascinated by weather, and knows all there is to know. If you’re wondering what the weather is gonna be like on the West Coast of Canada on Tuesday, in New England next week, or pretty much anywhere in the world….call my dad….he’ll know.

His nickname is MacGyver. This man can build anything out of anything. Seriously….I kid you not.

My dad has an awesome sense of humour….he’s a silly silly man! And because of that he’s the perfect grandfather for my boys. Really, he’s just a big kid at heart.

my dad gives the best hugs

my dad’s a cool cat

my dad kept me from totally breaking down right before walking down the aisle

I am so very lucky that my dad and I are so close, and I will always be grateful for that

my dad can always make me smile

Every June 22nd, my dad and I get to call each other and say “Happy Birthday!” and “Happy Birthday to you too!”. How many people get to do that?

My dad turned 67 today…and he has more fun than most people half his age. He’s incredible.

Happy Birthday dad….you’re truly the best, and I love you so much!

It’s been a busy couple of months for birthdays, with Zander turning 2 in May and Logan turning 1 a couple of weeks ago. But today there is another Birthday Boy…my little brother.

Yes, today is my brother Andrew’s 32nd birthday. I thought this would be the perfect day to tell my bloggy friends about my amazing bro.

He was born the day before my first birthday….that’s right…I turn 33 tomorrow. He is the reason I never had a proper 1st birthday party, since my mother was in the hospital having him…and I’ve never forgiven him! Just kidding!

my parents proudly show off their newborn son the day he came home from the
hospital, while I plot my revenge on this stealer of my attention/adoring audience

my first attempt on his life…
actually, I was giving him a kiss…I couldn’t get enough of him from day one

Andrew and I grew up being extremely close. We were so close in age, and we grew up in the middle of farmland Ontario….which translates to the middle of nowhere. There were a few cousins in the same age group who lived close enough that we played with on a regular basis. But mostly it was just us. And that was great. In fact, our closeness in both age and friendship is the reason I chose to have my little boys so close together.

reading a story to my little propped-up-by-pillows bro
if you ask my mother, she’ll tell you how I taught him to read when he was three & I was four

man, we were cute….not sure what happened 😉

the quintessential grew-up-on-a-farm tractor shot

As kids, we didn’t fight much. At worst there would be a couple of minutes of name-calling…perhaps a little smack or two on an arm…and then it would be over, never to be thought of again.

In high school we seemed to get even closer, which some people found odd. We travelled within some of the same circles, so we ended up hanging out together a lot. Which was always fun.

how many people not only go to the same Prom as their brother, but sit at the same table as their brother?
that’s me in all my locks-of-blonde glory with my date…
Andrew is at the right edge of the photo in his schnazzy bow-tie…handsome, no?

When it was time for University, we both moved to Ottawa to attend U of O. We moved into an apartment together. And we lived together, surprisingly harmoniously, for 5 years. Jaws still drop when I tell people that my brother and I loved living together for that long. Not sure why…isn’t it normal to get along with your sibling?

I am so grateful that he came to Ottawa with me, because those were some of my toughest years. Less than two years after moving here, I lost my hair. The following year was when my sun allergy cropped up. I remember that first burn…my face so swollen I couldn’t open my eyes…so much pain…the burning was incredible…the fear…what the hell was going on? He borrowed a friend’s car and took me to the emergency room…and waited with me for hours. He never left my side. He was always there for me. I have thanked him many times, but I don’t think I will ever have thanked him enough. I honestly don’t think I could have made it through all of it without him. He was by my side through it all.

left-right: my sexy man Carlos, baldie me, Andrew, Chris-Anne
this photo was taken at my parents’ house

He and his girlfriend (at the time) had to be part of my wedding party, and when he married her Carlos and I were right there by his side. The four of us have become so close, and that makes me so very happy.

Andrew and I with our better halves
I’m so glad that we’re all friends!

Andrew was the most handsome groomsman at the wedding
sexy double chin on the bride, wouldn’t ya say?

I’m so glad that they let us be a part of their day
left-right: Carlos, my big bad bald chubby post-Zander (who was 4 months old) self,
Chris-Anne (who was 6 months pregnant at the time…and somehow she had the energy to dance the night away!), my bro Andrew, my beautiful mother in her homemade gown, and my dapper dad!

Even though his work as a Mechanical Engineer at a paper mill keeps him so busy that he rarely gets time off and is on-call most weekends, he made sure he was here right after Zander was born. That was so important to me. I’m not sure he knows how much.

Andrew holding an oh-so-tiny 4-day-old Zander for the first time

As we’ve grown and started our own families, we have ended up in different parts of Ontario. There are almost 300km of highway driving between us. But we still manage to keep in touch as often as possible. Thank God for email and digital cameras! It’s so important to me that our kids growing up knowing each other. It’s harder to travel now that we have kids, but we try to visit as often as possible. I want the cousins to be close.

Andrew with Georgina (his baby girl, my beautiful niece) – 6 months old,
Carlos with Zander – 12 months old

All of us and the kids at Christmas
Andrew and Chris-Anne are expecting their second child in July…I’m so excited!

After 32 years of ups and downs, he is still one of the best friends I have ever had.

Happy Birthday Andrew…I love you so much!

  1. purge/sort/organize every room in the house
  2. marvel at all the crap we have jammed into this tiny house
  3. pack all non-essentials
  4. marvel at all the crap we keep that we never use or didn’t even know we had
  5. install new carpet on stairs — CHECK
  6. install new vanity and counter top in main floor half-bath — CHECK
  7. paint main floor half-bath — CHECK
  8. sod front yard — CHECK
  9. build large planter under tree in front yard — CHECK
  10. find homes for our three adorable cats, since it appears that all of use have become allergic to them (hubby with hives and itching watering eyes, me with my asthma, and the boys’ eczema seems to get worse when the have touched them)
  11. cry, and come to terms with losing our furry little friends…our first babies
  12. paint all ceilings
  13. go to chiropractor to get back/neck fixed from painting ceilings
  14. install new exterior light fixtures
  15. repair and seal driveway
  16. pack-up/organize and clean garage
  17. paint upstairs hallway and stairways
  18. paint cabinets in both upstairs bathrooms
  19. drop dead from exhaustion
  20. install tub wall surround over hideous 80’s tile in both upstairs bathrooms
  21. “come down” off of fumes from wall surround adhesive
  22. paint master bathroom
  23. install new towel bars in upstairs bathrooms
  24. paint all interior doors
  25. paint all window trim
  26. paint kitchen cabinets
  27. paint hideous kitchen backsplash tiles
  28. drop dead from exhaustion again
  29. dig up weeds “lawn” in backyard
  30. lay patio stones in backyard
  31. paint fences in backyard
  32. take a week to recover from excruciatingly painful sun blisters
  33. wait to regain feeling and use of arms and legs
  34. clean constantly in order to be ready for showings at the drop of a hat
  35. pray that someone wants to buy this house

My mother is coming on Monday and staying for another week to look after the boys while we work our way through the to-do list. If you don’t here from me for a while, call an ambulance check the local hospitals I’m probably in a coma recovering from a near-death experience just resting…

Thanks to all of your wonderful advice, we have a plan of attack for this whole potty training thing. I’m actually quite excited about it…although I’m sure that excitement will soon turn to exasperation. So I’m holding on to this feeling for dear life.

After searching through the myriad of potty solutions available, we believe we have made a decision. The Boon Potty Bench.

It’s as bare-bones and sans-bells-and-whistles (literally….no bells, no whistles, no flushing sounds, no songs…this is a silent potty) as you can get and still be loaded with features. Since we are living in a tiny minuscule walls-are-closing-in-on-me small townhouse, the fact that this thing has storage and can be used as a step stool is great. It is also one of the only potties we saw that is actually big enough for Logan’s chubby, wider-than-most little bottom…we’re thinking to the future here. Don’t get me wrong…I love my chubby boy wildly, but let’s be honest…kid’s got junk in the trunk.

Now, if anyone has reason for us not to go with this potty, my ears and eyes are open to reviews/comments….both good and bad. I hold mom-bloggy opinions in very high esteem.

So barring any horrifically bad comments about the potty bench, we will probably be getting it soon so that we can familiarize Zander with it before the training begins. And then….well…expect many a poop story in the future.

Let the poop fly!