Tuesday, March 31, 2009


My BIL just called from Canada to talk to me. Normally he calls and asks for "Arnold", his nickname for DH.

He asked me if I had checked on my NCAA tournament picks lately. I hadn't. He informed me that right now I'm in the 99.4% for the ESPN tournament challenge and if Michigan State manages to beat Connecticut, then I will do really well.

I couldn't believe it because I normally do really bad in my picks. I stick to the picks like, my best friend's husband went to Gonzaga so they should make it to the sweet 16 or Butler is in Indianapolis and both my parents grew up there so I'll pick them to win. The hardest picks are one like Michigan is playing USC and I have to decide which football program I detest more. (It is USC, I think.)

So I made my picks this year and I guess my very intuitive picking method out okay this year. I checked the espn website and he was right.


I think the best part of it all is that I will beat DH no matter what.

spring planting

Sunday was a beautiful day so the whole family headed outside for some yardwork. DH took care of the lawn weeds and mowing. Kids & I took care of the dirt digging and planting. We put in two tomatoes, 1 bell pepper and, for the first time, planted carrot & bean seeds. A made signs to mark the rows for the seeds.



We had a big spring storm blow through last night. Luckily the hail missed us but A's signs are now all soggy.


While we were digging the dirt & searching for worms, I noticed some bird nests in the tree. I was so excited to see this picture.


The nest has a piece of fabric that I left out for the birds a year ago. I'm so excited that it actually worked.

Here's a close-up


Monday, March 30, 2009


On the trip to Canada I bought yarn to make a wool peddler's shawl. My inspiration was shawl #2 at this post.

I have a few other projects that need finish. I never finished sewing down the binding on J's quilt we made last Easter. I started a bag last summer that needs to be sewn up on one side and then lined. Not difficult to do, but I haven't done it. I promised myself no knitting the shawl until I finished up these long lingering projects.

The yarn sat in the bag teasing me all last week. Saturday I finally gave in. No I didn't start knitting. I wound the skeins into balls instead. I did the first one while holding the yarn over my shoulder. That was a pain. I had to stop every few turns to unravel some more yarn and it kept getting knotted. I needed to make a swift out of tinker toys. It worked pretty well. I needed some assistance because it moved to much. Luckily I have children for such tasks.



Now, the yarn is wound and waiting for me. I need to start working on the bag & the quilt before I give up and break my promise.

Friday, March 27, 2009

End of Canada Trip

It has taken me until tonight to post about the end of the Canada trip.

Friday - we spent the day skiing then hopped in the hot tub


Kids decided to make snow angels


DH being artistic with the camera, after a couple of Kokanee

Saturday - more skiing of course

twin cousins

Sister #2 & J

The gang

Sunday - going home.

This wasn't the greatest part of the trip. A got carsick, 4 times bad carsick. J got sick watching A get sick. Thank heavens I went back into the condo and asked for grocery sacks before leaving the condo and before leaving the gas station.

It snowed, a lot. I was nervous but we made it to the airport in time. A survived the lines at customs & security without getting sick again.


boys on the plane

We made it home safely and everyone survived going back to work and school. We're all looking forward to going back again someday.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

More Canada Trip

Wednesday - To Kimberley

We took off to Kimberley. We stopped in Canmore to do some yarn shopping. I bought some skeins to make a Wool Peddler's shawl.

The drive was beautiful.





We took it easy that afteroon. We went to the grocery then searched for a restaurant that was open after 5pm. Eventually we ate and headed home to bed.

Thursday - skiing again

I decided to try B on skis again. DH & A skied with Sister #2 and niece #4. I took the boys on the bunny slope. J skied all by himself. He went up and down the magic carpet all morning long. I convinced B to hold onto my pole and ski down the hill that way. It worked out well.




We're back at the condo now and headed out to swim in the pool. We had to reassure A that it was heated.

BIL and the rest of the nieces are on their way for the rest of the weekend. It should be fun.

Never take a 3 year old skiing

Today we took the kids up to COP to get some more skiing practice before we head to Kimberley tomorrow.

DH & A headed for the lift and the big hill. I stayed back on the bunny hills with J & B. For the most part it went well. Eventually DH & A showed back up and we took B on the big bunny hill. That kept B happy until he started getting tired. He would fall over and not get back up, he was a like a wet noodle when you tried to pick him up.

Here are the pictures for proof. DH tried to take a family picture and B ended up laying in the snow.



We got back down the hill and took his skis off. That really set him off. DH and A took off to go to the lift again. The plan was to have me watch J on the big bunny hill and left B run around in the snow. B didn't agree with the plan.

He ended up throwing a huge fit in the snow. I turned my back to the hill while B was crying. All of the sudden, I heard someone shouting, watch out. I turned around to see an out of control snowboarder headed right at us. I couldn't react fast enough. He went right over b. I pulled B out from underneath the kid and he was screaming. I walked him over to the ski lesson place. He was okay except for a bit tongue. We shouldn't have been standing there at the bottom and I should have been watching. Luckily he wasn't hurt.

When J came down he decided that he was done too, so we started back toward the main building. B threw another fit. I had 3 sets of skis, 1 pair of poles and a 3 year old throwing a massive tantrum in the snow. I couldn't carry all of them. I had to portage, taking turns carrying the skis and B. At one point I went back for B and there were 3 employees of the ski place standing around him. I got up there and they said, "You know he's crying." I said, "Yes, but I can't carry him and the skis at the same time." Part of me was hoping that one of them would actually offer to help me out but no such luck. After another stop of carrying B and the skis, some random man picked up B and brought him to me. I thanked him profusely. It took me almost 45 minutes to get the boys and the skis back to the ski rental place. It was hard, very hard! We'll have to see if we'll put him back on skis again.


We had a lovely morning planned. We were going to watch my niece in her Irish dancing performance. We were going to check out Tim Horton's for breakfast because it is a Canadian thing to do. Best of all I managed to talk DH into taking me to Make One, a LYS I had read about a long time ago.

The Irish dancing was nice. The niece O danced well and the performance wasn't too long.


We took off headed toward downtown hoping to spy a Tim Horton's on the way. Unfortunately, we didn't find one. We passed the LYS and drove around looking for one until A started complaining that she was feeling car sick. Instead we went to a little place called Heartland Cafe next to the LYS. We had a great breakfast. It was a lovely place.

We finished up at 10:55, just in time for the store to open at 11:00. We walked down the few stores to Make One and it was still dark. There was a bakery across the street so we wondered over there and bought a couple of loaves of bread. We got back at just after 11:00 and the store was still dark, absolutely no activity. DH went to get the car so the kids could at lease keep warm while we waited for the store to open. We drove around the block a few times and then waited more. Finally at 11:25, I told DH that we could leave. We had plans to take the kids skiing and I couldn't make them wait around all morning.

I'm really disappointed because DH went skiing in Lake Louise on Sunday but I stayed with the kids. He promised me that I could buy yarn in place of my lift ticket and rental instead. I had over $100 to spend in yarn and I missed out! Oh well. Maybe it will go better on our next trip to Calgary.

Trip to Canada, so far

Friday - the trip

The highlight was riding what my children believed was the world's largest escalator.


They are there at the very top! J is in the middle with his arms out. DH, A & B are to his left.

We sat on the plane at the gate for over an hour while the fixed an electrical problem which made the 4 hour trip a 5 hour trip but other than that everything was fine.

Saturday - skiing in Nakiska

After the beating of getting rentals for everyone, we spent some time on the bunny hill.



The kids took lessons while DH & I went down a run with BIL & nieces. I quickly remembered that it was 4 years since I had skied and didn't do so hot. I collected the kids from ski lessons and found B pouting, tired and grumpy with his skis off. I thanked the instructor for putting up with him and then he did a great impression of a spoiled rotten American child who screams very loudly. I did my best to ignore it.

A went with BIL & nieces to niece E's soccer game. DH & I took J & B up a small lift and down a green. Bad idea. DH & B went down the hill while I took J. Let's just say I'm okay when skiing by myself, but I shouldn't be helping a 6 year old down a hill. J was pretty good and saved the day by offering to scoot down a large portion of the hill on his bum while carrying one of his skis. I finally got myself up on my skis and met him at the bottom with his other ski.

Sunday - Banff

DH & BIL went skiing in Lake Louise. Sister #2 & I came later with the kids. We went swimming in the Hot Springs and walked around the town. We met DH & BIL for dinner and darts at a pub. It was a nice day.

Monday - Car trouble & sledding

We started the day with the neighbor knocking on the door letting us know she had just backed into the rental car. Of course we denied the damage waiver, let's hope her insurance is good. After DH went to the police station & the car rental agency to sort it all out, he took A skiing at the COP.


Sister #2 & I took the boys and youngest niece sledding at a park down the street. Sister #2 said most of the snow had melted but there was one spot on the hill that still worked. My Texas boys didn't know any different and loved it.





So far, the trip is going well. My shoulder is messed up from falling over J in Nakiska & DH is sore from skiing so much, but we're all having a good time.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

the essentials

Tomorrow we leave for our spring break trip to Calgary to visit the cousins. Everyone is extra excited. I had a long day planned of getting stuff done before the big trip. Of course, today was the day things had to go wrong with work. I spent hours scouring the database figuring out what data was wrong. It was user error not me error. That's a good thing.

DH decided to go to Dad's Club meeting tonight. He worked all day, packed his bags, fed the kids the dinner I cooked (okay, it was microwaved easy mac, so it wasn't special) while I went for Chipotle, then he ran out the door.

I was left to get the kids ready. Well, that went really smoothly. If only!

J broke the toy that his school buddy gave him for Christmas. Tears ensued. All children fought over stuff that I tried as hard as I could to ignore. I got all of B's clothes together to pack when he had hysterics over the shoes I wouldn't pack. He thought they were his shoes when in fact they were hand-me-downs waiting for J's foot to grow. In his hysterics, he threw all of the clothes all over the room. Meanwhile J remembered his toy and lost it again. I had to calm him down and convince him to try on clothes because none of his current pants fit him.

While I dealt with J, B decided to pack. He packed his essentials.


The essentials to a three year old are Texas Rangers batting helmet, a webkins reindeer, blankies, a hotwheels garage and all of the cars we own. He is going to throw a big fit when he realizes that we aren't actually going to take this bag with us!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

patiently waiting

I first became aware of the "Twilight" craze when the final book was published last year. Both my niece and Sister #5 were going to release parties at book stores. The next thing I know everyone was reading these books, a mother from A's soccer team, my friend in Austin, a woman in the grocery store. All of them gushed over how great the series is. I finally decided to read them but I wasn't going to buy the books. I went to the library. I got Twilight and New Moon off the wait list fairly quickly and enjoyed them both.

I requested the next book awhile ago. It had been so long that I forgot I requested it. Two days ago I went to the library website to request another book and saw that Eclipse was waiting for me. This morning I got a chance to go by the library to pick it up.

I was excited as I walked out book in hand. I opened it up to read a page or two as I walked to my car and discovered it was the Spanish edition. I took many years of Spanish classes in school, but there is no way I can read a novel written in Spanish. I walked back into the library and turned it back in. Once I got home I made a new request making sure it was the English edition of the book.

Now I'm patiently waiting again. I guess the good thing is that I will actually get some work done today instead of reading all day long!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Lowal the birthday owl

Here's my birthday present to my mother.


Monday, March 2, 2009

The joy of boy

I grew up with all sisters. I didn't spend much time around boys until I had a couple of my own. This past week B has shown me how much fun it is to have a toilet trained boy.

Last week we went to soccer skills camp for J. I was helping A study for her spelling competition. B was running around with another little girl. All of the sudden all of the mothers start yelling my name. I look up to see B standing in the middle of the field, pants at his ankles, "making a rainbow" with the wind blowing it all right back at him. I'm such a good mother, my response was yelling for him to pee in the trees.

Saturday we decided to go to 5:30 mass at 5:20. I was running through the house looking for shoes for J and a coat for A, DH sent B out to the car. I finally walked out front to see B standing in the doorway of the car making another rainbow. I don't know how long it had been, but it took forever to for him to finish. I laughed. Hard.

Today, I went into the bathroom to discover that B had pooped and not called for me to wipe him. He says he is a big boy who can wipe himself. The fact that he got a strep infection "down there" tells me that it is not true. I told him I needed to wipe and I went to go find the wipe box. I turned around and he was standing there holding out his fingers. He said, "Smell, Mommy, you don't have to wipe. It doesn't smell like poop!" Ooh, gross. I wiped him and we both washed our hands well.

What fun boys are!