I am feeling full.  It could be the brownies that my mom brought today that I can't stop snacking on.

The house is full of gifts and I am grateful.  I hope my children are grateful.

Courtland has been waking at night lately. We begged him to stay asleep on Christmas eve. Kevin and I woke to the children's chatter...Court had gone into Charlotte's room to not wake us and instead woke her up. We were downstairs by 6:30 am.

Many lovely things were opened and enjoyed.  Blissful time spent with family and friends.

Lots of fun.  Lots of food. 

I'm full.

Christmas Eve Eve

Today was a holiday from work and I was torn.  Should I spend the day with the kids, being Christmassy or should I get some last minute shopping and running around done?  In the end, it was a bit of both.

I met my mom at the hill for a little tobogganing and some hide and go seek.  Once their cheeks were really rosy, I left them with Nana and went off by myself for almost two hours.  Lovely.  It was back home for dinner and then that I realized I didn't have any milk...or flour...or enough eggs...etc. etc.  Kevin was going into the city for dinner and that meant I would have to go to the grocery store with the kids in tow.  I was lucky this time as Courtland brought only two things - Buzz Lightyear and his lasso from Halloween.  Poor Buzz.

With Kevin gone for the evening we were going to try and get Daddy's presents made and/or wrapped.  We had attempted this at least two times before this...it didn't go so well.  I'm happy to say this project is now complete.  Court wrapped his presents in Kleenex and they are hidden all around the house?  Charlotte wrapped hers in pretty Christmas paper and they are hidden in her room. 

It is now 10:50 pm and I still have to make cookie gifts for my colleagues to take to work tomorrow.  Yes, bleh, I have to work tomorrow...but only for half the day.  Can't wait until 1 pm tomorrow...

Saturday Morning

me: "Charlotte, where is your pajama top?"

charlotte: "It had syrup all over it."

charlotte to court as he maneuvres under her arm: "What are you doing?"

court: "It's just 'cause I love you."


Sunday afternoon was our annual trip to the orchard to pick up our tree and go on a sleigh ride...this year it was a wagon ride as it did nothing but rain.  We were the only ones on the wagon.  Even in the rain, with the horses and the jingle bells, it was enjoyable...because it only lasted about 3 minutes.

Our tree went up...and then came down with a crash.  There were three casualties...a glass cow, one glass pink ballet slipper (a second one was spared) and a glass snow man.  Not too bad considering...

I found another broken ornament...a glass Spiderman...hiding behind the desk in the hallway.  It couldn't have got there on its own.  A four year old Venom took him out.

We eventually did get the tree stable and it has filled the house with the smell of Christmas...


I love these guys.

They both love me too.  They both tell me I'm beautiful.  They both can drive me CRAZY.

Only one of them is taking me to NYC on New Year's day....shhhhhh....it's supposed to be a secret...but someone couldn't keep it.  How did he know that was just what I wanted for Christmas?

What we're up to

I am weary today.  I go and go and go and go and then it hits me.  Both of the kids were up last night.  Well, actually just Court was and then he woke Charlotte and Charlotte woke me and of course by then we were all up and playing musical beds.

And I still got up and ran this morning before going to work.

Running is something I do for me...just me...well and maybe a bit for Kevin....

Court doesn't like it when I go and sometimes he cries but not so much any more.  I try and sneak out really early before he wakes up.  Sometimes I can get away with saying I'm taking the garbage out...and then the garbage takes me 40 minutes and makes we sweaty and stinky.  I used to find him sometimes, in his pjs, outside looking for me...thankfully that only happened a couple of times.

Last Thursday Santa came to town...he arrived on a firetruck...and our village tree was lit.  Always a magical night. 

We were crafting this weekend and decorating the house for Christmas.  Charlotte found a pom pom critter kit that was in her stocking last year and we cracked it open.  I wasn't sure how it was going to go...you know...would it be too frustrating, would she insist on trying to make it look exactly like the picture and then be tremendously disappointed...but it was fun and it worked.  I can remember my mom making pom poms with me...I remember being really bored and bugging her about what to do...and we made pom poms.  Sweet memories.

I got to go to the One Of A Kind Show with my mom just last week.  What fun to spend the day with her and just her!  I used to love that as a child.  My mom to myself.  We were inspired by so many lovely things. 

Here are a few:




grapevine tree

I was inspired by a Canadian House & Home magazine article years ago that showed an old farm house at Christmas time with 2 or 3 grapevine trees on the porch....

and decided to make my own....

with wild grape vine.

This stuff was plentiful near my home and from what I could tell a nuisance...it covered everything.

I would go out for a walk with my baby and the stroller and then pull at some and put it in the bottom of the stroller.

I did this for a long time...

when your in-laws ask about the growing ball of vine in your back yard just assure them that you have an idea...

I didn't do anything special but keep winding the wild vine around and around...

and I still have the tree...

it's been at least 6 or 7 years now...

you can probably buy these things easily now...that happens with a lot of things I try and do myself...eventually they are a dime a dozen at the local Home Sense

Every year I pull out my fake wreaths and add some real stuff...

this year I had to take out the real stuff that was still in the wreaths from last year first.

I hadn't bothered to do that at the end of the season....

I make a bunch of these wreaths and put them up everywhere...in and out...in windows, over mirrors etc

and each year I pick up a couple more wreaths at Michaels when they are on sale to add to my collection

this weekend we are going to start decorating inside...Charlotte insisted we wait until December...

Nooks & Crannies

Our old house is interesting...there are lots of odd spaces to fill...

Our office is just off our bedroom and there is a door out onto a little balcony...

At the top of our stairs, there is a spot where a second staircase was at one time...the previous owners built a rather shabby cupboard in its place...it becomes a dumping ground for all our stuff...

I've managed to keep it somewhat organized by turning it into a laundry station...the cupboard has become a library for our books and is our go-to place a bed time...

someday, I envision a bathroom where this space is, with a transom to let light into the hallway...

a big soaker tub under the windows...

a bath just for me & Kevin...

in the meantime it is a family space and well used and that makes me happy...

Some good news and some bad news

I work outside the home - 4 days a week.  Mondays are my day away from the office and I treasure them.  It is a day I can be a homemaker, and they are special.  I can't help but have GREAT expectations of my Mondays...walking to school, cookie baking, library visiting, tire swinging...

It was on a Monday that Courtland decided to stick a rock up his nose.

I had gone to the local vegetable stand and picked up some sweet potatoes - yum - I was going to make a healthy, delicious dinner for my family...
the flu virus was rampant and Charlotte's class was down by half....
so far my family had managed to stay healthy....
I was a proud mom....

then Courtland stuck a rock up his nose.

it happened in the school yard when we went to pick Charlotte up...he just wanted to "see if he could put it in and get it out"...well he couldn't get it out, and neither could I

we raced home (of course we were walking - that's what I do on Mondays) and I thought we would never get home

I tried the tweezers but it just kept getting further away...and then his nose started to bleed

there was no choice but to abandon the dinner, get the kids in the car and head to the last place I wanted to be in the midst of an influenza outbreak....the Emergency Room

I tried to tell Court not to touch ANYTHING...and he was pretty good...for awhile...but after about 3 hours his head was down in the seat, and his legs were up in the air....and I didn't get care

I refused to get upset...there were families all around us...with babies who were really, really sick.

I felt ridiculous.

Finally at about 8 pm we saw a nice Dr. who with some difficulty and some large forceps managed to procure the stone from Court's nose.

My nerves were shot.  I had to pay $20 for parking and I was trying to maneuvre my way out of the basement parking garage.  I looked back and Court looked sleepy...no, no, no, please don't sleep now, I'm thinking - please wait until we get home.  Court says to me..."Mom - I've got some good news and I've got some bad news"..."The bad news is that I'm tired but the good news is that guy got the stone out of my nose."

big win

I was having kind of a crappy weekend...one of those ones where your expectations are high and then this happens:

your four year old decides to practice his letters in permanent marker on your mud room walls.  Permanent marker...what mother actually has permanent marker in the house you say...well, not this one.  But the father of the 4 year old brought home a dry erase marker from the office and it somehow made its way into the hands of the 4 year old - dry erase does not erase off of walls, or doors for that matter.

My day got brighter when I checked out Restyled Home and found out I won the Cath Kidston give-away!  But it was the lovely words of Linda and so many bloggers that really made my day, my weekend, my life at that moment.  Thank you to everyone who commented.  I am so humbled.

I was hoping to have my urns and window boxes all updated for the coming season this weekend.  I managed to get one box done...

while the others still look like this....

I collect greens and twigs and rosehips in the wooded areas around our home - I can't bring myself to pay for them - to make my holiday urns and boxes.  Many of the things I use, like the birch branches and the pine cones, get stored and I use them year after year.  I added apples this year...but they were gone the next day.  That might be one thing I might try and find that is "faux".

Thank you to everyone who has checked out my new blog...it is a work in progress.  I love the comments...please don't stop.  I have so many new blogs and bloggers to check out this week!  Thanks to Restyled Home...for so many reasons...and for the fact that I may just get to this


"Oh an eyelash!" I said recently to Charlotte after her bath.  I don't know where I got this but a loose eyelash means you can blow it away and make a wish.

"My friends say that is dumb" said Charlotte looking at me with those big, beautiful, gentle, 8 year old eyes.  I struggle with what to say at these times...she is getting older, maturing, do I try and hold on desperately to these silly little games that she used to get such a kick out of?

I can't remember what I did end up saying...."who cares - make a wish" or was it "why do you care what they think"...I don't know.  But she looked relieved and made a wish.  She won't tell me anymore what she wishes for...she thinks it won't come true. 

But I'll always remember her first "eye lash" wish...

"What did you wish for Char" I ask my cherub of a 3 year old....

"I wish that there is grass everywhere so that if anyone falls they won't get hurt."

Love, love, love...

She is my sweet, my dear, my Charlotte.

My green shirt

When I was preparing to have my son, I went out and bought a pair of XXL yoga pants and this green shirt to wear from the hospital.  I don't know why I picked out this shirt, it isn't a very pleasing shade of green but I have green eyes and I was probably hoping people would admire them instead of my large behind.  It is a very comfortable shirt.  Fast forward 13 months later and I reluctantly went back to work.  This was of course devastating for me but a necessity and I was proud to leave my kids in the care of their loving grandmothers.  One morning as I raced around making Charlotte her lunch and trying to make up my face, Court came into my room and said he knew just what I should wear that day.  He went over to my dresser and fumbled in the drawer and pulled out this green shirt.  He knew that if I was wearing this green shirt, with the stretched out neck and the bleach stains, I would not be going to work.  He wanted me to be home.  He wanted it to be a "mommy day".  I just crouched down and wrapped my arms around him and told him how much I wished I could wear the green shirt. 
Today, after missing him (and Charlotte) all day, I put on the green shirt.  I came downstairs and he looked at me and smiled...."the green shirt" was all he said. 


the end of October means two things...Courtland's birthday and Halloween.  It is my most favourite time of year - the fall.  My sweet boy turned 4 and loved every minute of it.  Finally it was his turn.  It was pumpking carving at last minute as usual, even though Halloween fell on a Saturday this year.  I really thought I would have had it more together.  The kids drew on the pumpkins and I carved.  They were proud. 

Toilets and Turkey

Kevin came home from a long business trip in time for Thanksgiving and to a perpetually running toilet. He was tired, jet lagged and my suggestion was to call a plumber. His was to do it himself. Our powder room toilet has long been a problem. People who don't live in our home thought it was great...different...perhaps in keeping with the old house...but when it comes to toilets, I don't want to go vintage! It was in the old style, with the tank high on the wall and a pull chain. Sometimes it didn't flush at all and most of the time it was consistently flushing....water down the drain.
After removing the offending toilet and placing it on the front porch - I'm sure just what our neighbours wanted us to decorate with for fall - we needed to install a shut off. After two attempts by Kevin to install the shut off without leaks- we went to bed - without water. How was I going to bake apple pies the next day or more importantly how were we going to go to the bathroom with no water in the whole house? It was I in the end who soldered the shut off - I must say I'm proud of it. I told Charlotte that girls can do anything!
Here are the kids making "tarts" at Thanksgiving from the leftover pie crust and jam.  They worked that dough for about half an hour but they thought their tarts were delicious!

First Post

Tonight I lied down under the huge maple tree in my back yard. It is starting to turn red and I wanted to appreciate it. Court nuzzled into my neck. Charlotte was reading a book on the tire swing. It was nice and I was missing Kevin. Then Charlotte started yelling that there were bugs all over her and we all ran inside. The sweet moments don't last very long but they are lovely. I will try and find more of these in every day.