Monday, June 29, 2009

Jack: the answers.

Here are the answers to the quiz presented in my previous post. I anticipate a lot of forehead slapping and "Oh Yes!" after reading it.

Jack Be Nimble

Jack and Jill

Little Jack Horner

Jack Sprat

The House That Jack Built.

Jack and the Beanstalk

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Do you know Jack?

This was our bedtime story last night. The kids picked it up during a recent trip to the library. I was sceptical at first, expecting a politically-correct, watered-down version of an old fairy tale.

Truth be told, there is quite a bit of sugarcoating and tweaking of the story, but there is also a great surprise. The giant takes you on an adventure through Fairy Tale land, where you meet all sorts of Jacks. I forgot how many Jacks there were in this world.

This book introduces you to six Jacks (including the one who climbs the beanstalk)

Could you name them all??

I'll post the list in a day or two.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Yep. Colour me superstitious.

First, let's backtrack a bit.....

The transmission died in our washing machine yesterday. Our trusted and reliable repair guy gave me a $200 quote for repair. Crappy. Forget the fact that going a day or two without doing laundry can make a pile taller than Emmett, we wanted to include a washer and dryer with the house when we move. We are planning on buying shiny new HE machines for the new place since the washer and dryer are not included in our offer to purchase.

Now, if I was to buy a new machine to replace the broken one, I would want a shiny HE model. It of course would come with us when we move, and then we would have to take it off the bargaining table.
We could buy a secondhand one and pray it limps along until we move or swallow the $200.

We are opting for the last option. Repair the machine we have and hope it lasts at least another month. This didn't stop me from doing a bit of poking around for deals on new machines. I found a pretty great sale. I mentioned it to Richard. He wondered out loud if they would hold the machines for a month. (Is there such a thing as layaway anymore?)

This is when I stopped him. I said no. We shouldn't buy appliances for a house we don't have yet.

Where did this come from? Usually I LOVE shopping! I got the go-ahead to price out appliances I have been coveting for a very long time and I stopped it?????

I don't want to jinx anything. We have already lost one house and the last time our house was on the market (when I was pregnant with Matthew) we had no takers.

I KNOW this is a different market. I KNOW we have made many improvements on our place since then and I KNOW that in this little corner of the world, the recession hasn't hit as hard as other places.

I am still not ready to start counting chickens.

(I do have a shopping list in my head know, just in case.)

PS--if you want to be a Nosey Nelly and peek inside my house, email me and if you are a regular reader who comments frequently I will send you the pictures of our listing. I just don't want my address published here, of course!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

It's nail biting time.

It happened. We made an offer on a house this past Friday. By Saturday the owners countered. We accepted. The blood drained from Richard's face as we filled out the paperwork and promised a purchase price that is kind of staggering to us.

Tomorrow our house hits the market. We have a month to sell and counter any other offer that may come. Yesterday started the month that I will be insufferable to be around.

Do you know what it takes to keep a house show-ready with three kids, a stinky hairy dog and a stinky hairy husband? Nagging. Yelling. Constant cleaning. More nagging. More yelling.

Please hope our place sells fast.

Friday, June 19, 2009

I'm dating again.

What???? Oh no! I'm not dating PEOPLE. I am dating HOUSES.

It hit me a couple of days ago. House hunting is just like dating. Richard and I have realized there is not much more room to grow in our current "relationship", and that we need to look into finding something new to make a commitment to.

I have been hitting the personal ads (ahem, mls listings) and then setting up dates with our matchmaker (realtor). Just like in dating, first impressions mean a lot. The suburban bungalow that had a pretty picture in the personal ad absolutely did not measure up when we met. When I opened the door the first time I was hit with a wave of air freshener and stinky dog. I looked down and notice the hairy, filthy carpets. Perfume does not hide what a good bath could have fixed.

Some days, the first meeting goes surprisingly well so a second date is in order. You start to picture what your future could be like together. Sometimes a first impression is so good you decide to dig deeper and are ultimately left feeling disappointed. (Excessive drinking, a wife, party animals next door and a crazy lady who yells at children playing two doors down.)

Some times there is heartbreak too. I was hit with love at first sight with one place. I introduced it to Richard. He loved it too. We proposed. We were rejected. I passed the house yesterday just as it's matchmaker was putting the sold sign on for someone else. My stomach did a little flip.

I even went on a blind date last night. My grandma spotted it in the newspaper. We took the kids for a walk past to scope it out--it is quite close to where we are now. There was an open house (what a hussy!). I think I need to introduce the place to Richard.

In the meantime, I am keeping my options open. Tonight, after introducing Grandma to the one Richard and I met together a couple of days ago, I am meeting a new house too.

Just like with marriage, there is no way to explain it. You Just Know when you have met your soul mate.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

The worst five minutes of my life.

I lost Matthew today. Don't worry. I found him. He wasn't missing long. I don't even know how long he was gone--it couldn't have been more than five minutes, but you know how when really really really horrible things are happening time seems to stretch out?

Picture this: a beautiful sunny day. The first real hot sunny day of the year in my area. I decided to grill burgers for supper. I spent some time running in and out of the house, turning on the grill, prepping the burgers, gathering supplies. All the while Charlotte is asleep on the couch, Emmett is watching Star Wars and Matthew is playing on the floor nearby. Richard is out running an errand. As I run in and out I can keep track of everyone out of the corner of my eye. During one of my trips through the house I lose sight of Matthew. I think "No problem. He is just playing somewhere." I run through every room, calling his name. Nothing. I run outside and do a lap around the house. All the doors are closed. The gates are closed. I think he must be in the basement then. I run through the house again, a sick feeling growing in my stomach. No Matthew. I run outside and look up and down the street. No Matthew. Panic is rising inside of me. I run over to the barbeque and quickly turn off the gas. I look down the back lane. I look again. I see at the very end a woman holding Matthew. I run. She sees me and walks towards me. She hands me Matthew as I burst into tears and start saying Thank you over and over. She told me he was about to walk out into the second busiest street in our city. I say Thank you some more. Matthew spits out some rocks he picked up on his journey. She sheds a few tears when she realizes the gravity of the situation. We part ways. I cry some more.

Matthew must have a team of guardian angels watching over him. They definitely have their hands full.

I need to padlock the gate. Tonight. Then, we have to find a house with a six-foot security fence and install razor wire around the top.

Friday, June 12, 2009

I hope she remembers this when she has a boyfriend....

Richard and I live with a PDA police officer.
This is what happens if we to steal a little (G-rated) affection in front of her:

No kissing!

Stop hugging my father!

You! Go back to your chair! Now!

(Ok, so I may have provoked her yesterday for blogging purposes...does that make me a horrible person?? )

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Simple Things

Remember when all you needed for a good time was a fresh puddle and some rocks?

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Good News

I got a letter in the mail today. It was from Emmett's Occupational Therapist. She doesn't want to see Emmett anymore. He has progressed far enough that the small challenge he has with pencil grip can easily be handled by the resource teacher at his school.

I remember when we started our therapy journey and had to pick up all these specialists on the way, and now they are dropping us off.

It feels good. I am bursting with pride for Emmett and all the hard work he has done.

Nestle Noir Mousse

Hello Regular Readers: The following is a product review I am committed to writing. If you are not interested, come back some other time. This won't happen very often, I promise.

Fellow blogger Mama Bear recently offered the opportunity to sample a new chocolate product made by Nestle. I never say no to free chocolate, so I signed up. All I had to do was eat the chocolate and then write about it. Easy!

This candy is Nestle's attempt to make a more upscale product; something you could set out with coffee for friends as opposed to something you scarf in the checkout line at the grocery store while waiting your turn.
I was given two flavours to sample: 70% dark and milk.

Upon first glance, I found the packaging very pretty--not your typical candy bar wrapper. It is obvious their design department took careful note of how Dove packages their candy. As opposed to individually wrapped squares, this candy is displayed on a tray inside the box.

I tried the milk chocolate first. The chocolate is definitely not the highest quality. I did detect a hint of waxiness that is typical of cheaper candy bars, and the chocolate did not melt on my tongue as quickly as a luxury brand. The mousse filling was smooth and very sweet. I wouldn't say I was blown away, but it was pretty good for Nestle.

Next, I popped a square of the dark chocolate in my mouth. I found I liked how the slight bitterness of the dark chocolate contrasted with the sweet mousse filling in this candy. It did not have the waxy quality the milk chocolate had, but it was missing a fullness of flavour the luxury brands have.

I served the chocolate (with a plate of strawberries) to my Grandma and Mother-In-Law. They said they liked both kinds, but did not get specific. Hubby said through a mouthful that he liked it too.

Bottom line: I enjoyed sampling the candy, but probably won't buy it. My life is too short to eat waxy chocolate!