Saturday, January 31, 2009

Your Backyard Friends

If you have small children, you probably already know what this post is about. Yep. The Backyardigans. This show is a favourite of Charlotte's, and my admiration for the writers is growing. At first glance, the show is about a group of kids who use their imaginations to create elaborate stories in their giant shared suburban backyard.

Upon closer inspection (with your music nerd glasses on) you see that this is a great show to introduce kids to different genres of music and dance.

We have been watching The Underwater Adventure DVD a lot lately and now my kids have an understanding of how Bollywood Musicals work thanks to some mermaids and Cousteau-esqe submariners. We moved into old-skool hiphop with some Coast Guard rescuers and then went back to the classics with a ballet dancing entemologist. I love seeing the characters bust out real dance moves. I also love that since Charlotte has been in ballet and tap lessons she is now dancing along with the characters.

Polka Palace Party is another favourite of mine. Uniqua's ode to her clarinet makes me giggle every time I hear it.

I also like how they don't shove the lessons down the kid's throats like they do on Little Einstiens (another show that we watch a lot) Of course, that in your face style of teaching does sink in. One day Charlotte was running through the house and telling me she was going allegro!

So what is my point? Do you watch what your kids watch? Do you really pay attention? You might be pleasantly surprised. (On the other hand, you might be shocked and appalled too. I sat down and watched a Land Before Time video once. I won't allow it in my house anymore. Those dinosaurs do not teach lessons I want my kids to learn--follow the crowd, listen to your friends instead of your parents, do whatever you need to do to fit in with the cool kids......)

What is in your DVD player right now?

Friday, January 30, 2009

Hello again!

Well, it feels like I have been neglecting this blog. We have been battling a stomach bug this past week--it moved from child to child very systematically. This is not blogworthy conversation. Do you really need to know that I spent part of yesterday morning scraping dried vomit off of Emmett's bedroom wall? Didn't think so. My washing machine and dryer have been my steady and loyal companions through the nastiness. As has the new Go! Diego! Go! DVD we have.

I started feeling queasy yesterday. I feel fine today. I guess I didn't catch the bug, but instead caught a severe case of being grossed out from dealing with the constant stream of yuck the kids have been giving me this week.

I tried to think of why this is so gross now, given my previous profession. I just realized. I NEVER had to wash the pukey blankets at the hospital. I have no problem cleaning up pukey people, but cleaning up bedding and pyjamas was not my job. I would do a quick mop up (usually by pushing a towel around on the floor with my foot) and then drop all the ickiness in a hamper that got carried away by some saint in the maintenance department.

I ventured out to buy more laundry detergent yesterday and as I was loading the van the cap came off the bottle and spilled all over the parking spot next to mine. Sigh. I am glad that it happened in the parking lot and not my van, I guess. I am also glad that the lady at customer service didn't have a problem with replacing my empty bottle with a full one. (I bought the 96 load bottle--that was a LOT of detergent to spill.)

So there you go. Maybe now that everyone is healthy again I can get back to writing about more interesting stuff. How about that school in New Brunswick that stopped playing our National Anthem?? Or the new octuplets that were born in California? Oh yeah, and didn't something really big happen to the South of us? Didn't some guy get a new job?? Even Emmett knows about that! He watched the inauguration in his classroom at school.

What's been on your mind lately?

Sunday, January 18, 2009


Tangent #1:

Well, sometimes if you ask for something, you get it.

Last week we were the coldest place on earth. My yarn froze solid for four days. It is now back in the house, safe and warm, with no further signs of you know whats. On an even brighter note, I called the company that sold me the yarn that started all of this and they are sending me a replacement ball for free! So I am here to tell you that if you need affordable yarn and are a fan of natural fibers, call Knitpicks. Their customer service is second to none. It all starts when a friendly PERSON answers the phone, not a robot and ends with you, the customer not feeling frustrated and annoyed. Their birch knitting needles are beautiful and once you have held them in your hands, your cheapo Susan Bates and Boye needles that were just fine before all of a sudden are hopelessly inadequate.

I did find evidence of you know whats in a really expensive hand dyed hank of yarn that was in long term storage in my basement. When you eat my Fleece Artist, I get a little testy. I broke out the poison--I will let them have a week of the vapours and then I will take it out, but oh man was that upsetting!!!!

Tangent #2

Charlotte made up a song last week. It has been firmly stuck in my brain ever since.
(Sung to the tune of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star)

Crackers crackers in my soup
Crackers crackers in my soup
Crackers crackers in my soup
Crackers crackers in my soup
(repeat until you run out of breath)

Don't come to my restaurant

I couldn't figure out where she got the last line from, but then I remembered:

It starts at the 3:00 minute mark. I watched this as a little girl and my parents sang it to me so of course I sing it to my kids now.

Tangent #3:

I updated my woefully ignored food blog last week. If you need a new lunch idea or are curious about my latest Handy Housewife Hint, head on over!

Tangent #4.

I am having a great time visiting with a friend who is visiting from Up North with her kids. Yesterday I took the boys to her hotel and we swam in the giant pool. (Char was a little under the weather, so she stayed home) Today we are taking our crew (My three and her four) to the giant indoor playground in my city.

Tangent #5.

This is a strange game that is oddly compelling. Emmett found it at the free game site he frequents. The music and graphics remind me of the Playstation Game Katamari Demacy, which is also strange and oddly compelling. Don't worry. The game is not violent and there are no inappropriate images or themes, so feel free to click on the link with kids in the room.

Games at - Doeo

Touch all of the Doeos quickly as you can.

Play this free game now!!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Trying to Look on the Bright Side.

This weekend I sat on my couch and worked on knitting a legwarmer for myself. I soldiered through 9 mind-numbing inches of 2 x 2 ribbing to get to the cake: delicious, textural cables.

I needed a new ball a few rows into the charts. As I reached for a new ball, I noticed the yarn looked a bit frayed a few inches from the end, so I joined the new ball well past the broken bit. I knitted a few more rounds, squinting at charts--this pattern requires you to keep track of two charts at the same time to maintain the pattern. I noticed another frayed bit in my yarn. I let it slide. It was only a little broken so I figured it might just be a bad spot in the yarn. Another, quite badly broken spot came up.

I put down the knitting and the charts to asses what I should do. Rip back to a good spot, break the yarn and rejoin the ball past the broken spot? It seemed like the easiest thing to do. I unrolled my ball a bit and every few inches found frayed ends. I poked my fingers in and dug around. More broken plies. Now I was getting worried. This is a telltale sign of moth infestation.

I walked across the room to the drawer I stored the yarn in. I picked up another ball of yarn that looked like it had sawdust on it (not uncommon in the entertainment unit Hubby built) The sawdust was stuck to the yarn. Uh oh. I couldn't find what was stuck to my yarn on Google, but I am assuming the worst. Moths. More Googling.

My plan of attack is the freeze/thaw method of abatement. Freeze my yarn to kill any live bugs and force eggs into hibernation. Thaw my yarn to get the eggs to hatch, and then freeze again to kill the newly born babies. Repeat. (Harsh, I know. I feel no remorse)

I feel dirty. Violated. I wonder if my knitting friends will still speak to me and knit with me. Are moths contaigous?

Bright side you ask? There is a bright side to taking your stash away for a week, including all current works in progress?
  • It gave me the opportunity to sort my yarn. Everything is outside in baggies, sorted by weight and project.
  • I looked at and put my hands on every work in progress I have. A good reality check.
  • I vacuumed some nooks and crannies that don't normally get vacuumed.
I checked my basement stash. It has been sealed in plastic bins with lavender sachets so it (touch cedar) seems ok. That is a relief.

Now, what do I do? I have five projects in baggies outside. I have Vest-uary coming up in February. Should I cast on something from the basement stash to bide my time with this week? I don't think I can quit cold turkey.

Friday, January 9, 2009

For My Mom.

Look what Charlotte pulled out of her closet! (For those of you who aren't related to me, these are dresses I used to wear when I was her size)

Clothing Wars.

To paraphrase Amanda Priestly from The Devil Wears Prada: Am I asking too much? Am I reaching for the stars here?

Charlotte has recently decided she will not wear jeans anymore. She calls them "hard pants" and finds them uncomfortable to play in. This wouldn't be such a big deal if it was May or June when she made this declaration. She instead decided this in December, during a cold snap. She essentially eliminated half of her wardrobe from circulation. I went shopping.

I started at Zeller's. I found some woven cotton elastic waist pants. I thought they looked a little low in the rise, but decided to give them a try (they were buy one pair, get one pair free) Charlotte tried them on and they mostly fit. She wore a pair to playgroup the next day and they would not stay up over her little derriere. They are pretty much unwearable. I lost the receipt. Anyone need some brand new pants, size 4, with tags?

I made my way to the Walsmart. The friend I went with was infinitely patient as I combed the racks for non-jean pants that I thought were appropriate. What is appropriate? Well.......
  • Regular rise
  • No licenced characters (eg, Hillary Duff, Hannah Montana, High School Musical........) They are not paying me to advertise, and most of the stuff is pretty ugly anyway.
  • Adjustable waist, or soft elastic waist
  • No cuffs on the sweats (looks sloppy)
  • No writing on the bum
  • Washable
I ended up with two pairs of pants. One pair of boot cut sweats and some soft woven cargoes that will need Char to wear tights underneath to stay warm in.

I am thankful tunics and leggings seem to be the style for Spring. Charlotte and I will both be happy then.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Out of the mouths of babes......

Emmett and Charlotte were playing together this afternoon--I saw bits of Charlotte's tea set out. Emmett told her to go make him some supper. She said no. He said "But it's your JOB to make me supper!"

Where did he get that from?????

I guess it is time to have a little chat about gender stereotypes, and the changing roles of men and women in the house.

I should probably get Richard to cook dinner for me, just for good measure.

(When pressed, Emmett wouldn't tell us why he thought it was Charlotte's job to cook him supper. When pressed further he said he didn't know how to say. )

Friday, January 2, 2009

Slices of Life.

Emmett practices his singing--he only really knows one song.

Char loves to sing!

Oh, and we noticed Matthew's hair was getting in his eyes. I decided it was time for a haircut. I got out my trusty clippers. I chose the wrong blade guard. Once you start you can't stop, though. Little kid hair grows quickly, right????

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

Well here we are, on the first day of 2009. We don't make a big deal of New Year's Eve around here. I feel like the real start of the new year is September anyway.

Southern Americans believe that you must eat black eyed peas on New Year's Day to ensure prosperity for the coming year. Cabbage is good to eat as well. (Both symbolize money and wealth)

I don't have any black eyed peas in the house. Do you think listening to them will have the same effect?