Thursday, 31 December 2009

2009 - A Year in Review

January : Boy Oneder won his first game!

February : I got adjusted

March : Boy Oneder freaked us out

April : Threepeat turned two

May : Rashes and gardens and neighbours OH MY!

June : I became the mother of a teenager and Middleman joined the double digit club

July : I got re-inked

August : I turned 40, Mom threw me a great party and she sent Hubster and I to Vegas!

September : We went to Maryland for Madi's Bat Mitzvah

October : Pig Flu attacked

November : We had a neighbours' night out...LONG overdue

December : Boy Oneder's hockey team STILL had not won a game

Happy New Year everyone. I pray that your best day of 2009 be the worst day of your 2010! Pin It

Wednesday, 30 December 2009

In other news....

I am getting my hair did today...

Mary, hair dresser extraordinaire, will attempt to make me look like Mary Jane Watson from spiderman...



Not the style...just the colour.

You like yes? Pin It

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Living with anxiety...

It was pretty much inevitable...

My Mum's Dad suffered from it, my Mum suffered from it and therefore, I suffer from it.

Anxiety. Panic. It's awful.

Stress affects people in different ways...for me, it manifests itself in health anxiety. The Christmas season always carries with it a large amount of stress...buying and wrapping gifts, preparation for visitors and decorating all on top of a very busy time at work makes it a very, very difficult time. Add to the mix that it seems to be the worst time of year for missing relatives who have passed away and you have a HUGE breeding ground for anxiety.

I have joked before about having survived every cancer known to man, as well as several brain aneurisms and numerous heart attacks...but it's really not funny.

Living this way sucks. Every time I get some kind of ailment, I convince myself that it will kill me. I focus on every little symptom, just KNOWING I am going to die. I lose sleep, I can't eat, I can't concentrate...it's horrendous. And don't even get me started on the kids. If they get sick, even a little cold, I am a complete wreck.

I have been to group therapy, individual therapy, I've tried medication...it all works just fine...for a while. But, the fear always comes back. Right now, it's consuming me.

I have had chest pains for two weeks. It started with a sore throat and what seemed to be a cold coming on. The cold never materialized, but the slight cough and chest pains didn't subside. I was convinced it was lung cancer (again...wink wink). I finally went to the doctor yesterday, shaking all the way, expecting to have a chest x-ray that would confirm my "diagnosis". Instead, Dr. G simply listened to symptoms, checked my chest, looked in my throat and ears and declared, "It's nothing serious. Probably a bit of bronchitis. Antibiotics won't help you at all. Take any cough medicine with 'DM' in the name and expect it to last up to a month...I have had many patients with the same thing."

Wow. I would live to see another day!

But seriously, living with anxiety is a struggle. Every.single.day. Oh how I would love to be one of those carefree, happy, confident people who dance through life without a care in the world. Nevermind...I'd love to just have a carefree week, let alone a carefree life.

If you live with anxiety, you are SO feeling my pain right now. You know exactly what I am talking about. On the other hand, if you've never had a panic attack or convinced yourself that you are dying, you are probably laughing at me and telling me to get a grip.

I wish I could...believe me.

A grip would be great right about now. Pin It

Sunday, 27 December 2009

For Kate...

Here she is:

Pin It

Saturday, 26 December 2009

Anticipation, Excitement, Jubilation...

And so, Christmas is over for another year. Well, kinda. We are still eating, drinking and visiting, but the gift part is over.

The anticipation was fantastic. I was thrilled about the cell phone that we bought Boy Oneder, the Maple Leaf tickets that I searched the world over for for Middleman and all the Spidey gear we got for Threepeat. The kids were uber excited on Christmas Eve...I think they were thrilled with their gifts.

Hubster was very happy with his Dexter DVDs...Seasons 1, 2 and 3 and his Sopranos Season 6 Part 2 DVDs. My Mom was thrilled with the Nintendo DS Lite and Brain Academy game we gave her and MIL was very excited with her new flat screen TV.

*I* was very lucky too! Hubster got me a new digital photo frame (MIL accidentally broke the one that my Mom got me for Christmas last year, although she still will not admit it ;o) )

The boys got me a beautiful, pretty new digital camera...it's gold and very pretty. Rosie got me a pink case to keep it in. It takes such nice quality photos and videos too! I actually have video footage of Hubster singing "Rio" on karaoke at BIL's house last night, but he has made me swear not to post it anywhere. Sigh...it is priceless.

Anyway, all in all, a great Christmas. How was yours? Pin It

Thursday, 24 December 2009

It's the MOST wonderful time of the yearrrrrr.......

Gosh I love Christmas. Have I mentioned that before? ;o)

Today is Christmas Eve...when you are a child, it is the LONGEST day and night of every year. The anticipation of what will be waiting for you on Christmas morning is almost unbearable. Will Santa bring me all I asked for??? For adults, it is a day of preparation, cooking and more preparation. Most exciting indeed!

As Catholics, today, we do not eat meat. Tonight will be a feast of fish, fish and more fish. We will eat till we nearly pop and then snack all evening while we watch Christmas specials and play board games. Tonight, we will each take turns with Grace before meals, thanking God for all of the wonderful blessings in our lives, especially, for the gift of His only Son, Jesus Christ...the real reason behind all of our celebratory gorging. In our society, it's easy to forget that Jesus is the Reason for the Season.

Tomorrow morning, we, along with millions of others, will gather in our family room, still in our pajamas, opening our gifts that we have so tediously thought about, purchased and wrapped. Within mere moments, all of the preparation will be out the window and the gifts will be done for another year. The kids will play with their new toys, I will trek out to the local gas station to pick up my Timmy's (my regular Tim Horton's is closed on Christmas Day) and we will spend quality time together, eating and drinking excessively...oh it is INDEED the most wonderful time of year.

May your Christmas Eve and Christmas morning be as wonderful as I expect mine to be. Pin It

Monday, 21 December 2009

Jesus is the reason for the season...

I got this email today and had to share...

Kate...this one's especially for you, because of all my friends, YOU will appreciate it most.


Twas the month before Christmas
When all through our land,
Not a Christian was praying
Nor taking a stand.

See the NonReligious Police had taken away,
The reason for Christmas - no one could say.
The children were told by their schools not to sing,
About Shepherds and Wise Men and Angels and things.

It might hurt people's feelings, the teachers would say
December 25th is just a ' Holiday '.
Yet the shoppers were ready with cash, checks and credit
Pushing folks down to the floor just to get it!

CDs from Madonna, an X BOX, an I-pod
Something was changing, something quite odd!
Retailers promoted Ramadan and Kwanzaa
In hopes to sell books by Franken & Fonda.

As Targets were hanging their trees upside down
At Lowe's the word Christmas - was no where to be found.
At K-Mart and Staples and Penny's and Sears
You won't hear the word Christmas; it won't touch your ears.

Inclusive, sensitive, Di-ver-si-ty
Are words that were used to intimidate me.
Now Daschle, Now Darden, Now Sharpton, Wolf Blitzen
On Boxer, on Rather, on Kerry, on Clinton !

At the top of the Senate, there arose such a clatter
To eliminate Jesus, in all public matter.
And we spoke not a word, as they took away our faith
Forbidden to speak of salvation and grace

The true Gift of Christmas was exchanged and discarded
The reason for the season, stopped before it started.
So as you celebrate 'Winter Break' under your 'Dream Tree'
Sipping your Starbucks, listen to me.

Choose your words carefully, choose what you say
Shout MERRY CHRISTMAS ,
not Happy Holiday !

Please, all Christians join together and wish everyone you meet during the
holidays a MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Christ is The Reason for the Christ-mas Season! Pin It

Working from Mississauga...

The boys are home from school for two weeks (lucky ducks) for Christmas, and therefore, I have lost my home office peace. In anticpation of two weeks' of fighting, arguing, yelling and just plain driving me nuts, I decided to step away and work from Mississauga today and probably tomorrow. I love getting out once in a while anyway, and considering that the weather is OK, I will get alot more done here than there.

I have a couple of last minute gifts that have popped up thanks to last minute requests for a big man in a red suit, so I will have to pop up to the North Pole to pick those up at some point, but otherwise, I am ready for the big day!

FOUR MORE SLEEPS!!! Pin It

Saturday, 19 December 2009

Busy times ahead

and I can't wait!

Christmas is coming!!! Christmas is coming!!!

Our basement is well on the way to being finished. Studs are all up, electrician is done, plumbers are here now and then after Christmas, the drywalling begins!! I'm really hoping that it's done for March.

I have a very busy week at work, but the light at the end of the tunnel is creeping ever closer. Most of my clients will be live in the first week in January, so there is a little reprieve coming my way.

We leave for our cruise on January 10th...Joanne's birthday funnily enough. BIL and the girls, Future SIL and her kids, Hubster, myself, the boys and my Mom...14 of us in total, will enjoy a week on the Carnival Victory, sailing from San Juan to St. Kitts, Mt Maarten, Barbados, St. Thomas and Domenica (not necessarily in that order). When we return, we will spend some time with my cousin, Mike, who is currently backpacking around the world! You can read all about his travels here. What an experience for him!!! We are pumped about him spending a few days with us!

Christmas festivities will be fun...they always are. I just LOVE to see the boys' faces on Christmas morning...this year, I'm sure Santa will bring them everything they wanted! YIPPEE!!!

What are your next few weeks looking like? Pin It

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

The struggle

Although it's years since you've been gone,
The hole you left is gaping.
The emptiness, the lonliness,
For me, there's no escaping.

At Christmas time, the pain renews,
I miss you oh so much.
Your pretty smile and funny laugh,
Your warm and gentle touch.

My heart is aching through my chest,
My eyes are wet with tears.
My friends say I should pray to God,
But I wonder if He hears.

Why would a loving God so great
Take my only sister away?
It's just not fair, you were so young.
Why couldn't He let you stay?

I'll dry my tears and pretend I'm strong
I'll do what I must do.
But nothing in this lonely world
Can take the place of you.
I love you Joanne with all my heart
And wish you were still here.
Merry Christmas in Heaven babe,
Please let me know you're near.

Pin It

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

blah.

blah, blah, blah.

I hate winter.

blah, blah, blah.

I miss my Daddy.

blah, blah, blah.

I'm blue.

blah, blah, blah.

I miss my sister.

blah, blah, blah.

Work is really tough right now.

blah, blah, blah.

blah, blah, blah.

blah, blah, blah. Pin It

PTPA Media




A while back (must be about two years or so now), I happened upon a company called "PTPA Media" - Parent Tested, Parent Approved. I wish I remembered how I found them, but it escapes me. Anyway, the idea behind this company is to have real parents try out products with their real children and then give real feedback on the products. What a concept! Actually getting human beings to test and evaluate the products! I was lucky enough to try out a few things when I found them...a wonderful sling, some fantastic juice, a couple of really cool toys...A couple of months ago, I was chosen to test a few more products...a Wii game for little ones, a really cool hover craft toy...fun stuff...and we got to keep all the stuff after we evaluated them! Sweet!
I wanted to share this great company with you because there is something for everyone...pregnant moms, infants, toddlers, school-aged, teens, even for Moms! Head over to PTPA Media and get yourself set up as an evaluator! BUT....before you do that, check out these press releases, that will give you some fantastic last minute gift ideas...
and
Hurry....Christmas is almost here!!
Pin It

Saturday, 12 December 2009

So sad....

Boy Oneder's team *STILL* awaits their first win of the season. They were eliminated from the Nottawasaga tourney today after their third and heartbreaking loss. :o(


Last night's game was a deserved win. The boys just didn't try. They were floating around the ice like ballerinas and had no drive or desire. They lost 6-0 and deserved it.

After the game, we all headed back to the hotel...we gathered the lobby/cafe area and ate like pigs. The kids bonded and had a blast while the parents got acquainted. At 9:30, Middleman, Threepeat and I headed home. Middleman had a practice and his Christmas party with the team this morning and he REALLY wanted to be there...at 6:30 am...so he came home. Hubster tells me that the party last night went on until well after midnight, and that the adults had just as much fun as the kids. Sigh....

After Middleman's party this morning, Threepeat, Middleman, MIL and I headed back up to Alliston to see Boy Oneder's second game at 12:30. They played very well, but lost again. Boy Oneder scored their only goal and the final score was 4-1. The difference between last night and tonight was unbelievable. Clearly, the night at the hotel was a great bonding session and worked wonders. Well, either the bonding or the porchetta....but who is really counting. HA!

We went to Wendy's for lunch and then headed back to the hotel so the boys could have a swim...Threepeat and Middleman included. They had a blast.

Boy Oneder's last game was at 5:30 and they played UNBELIEVABLY!!! We were actually in the lead for about 2 minutes! LOL! With about 5 minutes left in the third period, we were down 4-2. We scored 2 goals in less than 2 minutes and it was tied up at 4-4. With 17 seconds left in the game, the other team scored and ended up winning 5-4. A devastating loss for a team of boys who truly, 100% deserved that game. Bad officiating aside, the other team was much bigger and much better than we were, but those kids put their heart and soul into that game, even knowing that the win would mean nothing in the tournament...they were out regardless.

I amSO proud of those kids tonight. They are hopefully enjoying every moment of the Barrie Colts game and I hope they have a blast back at the hotel afterwards!

They will be home bright and early tomorrow morning for Middleman's game at 11:00...then off to Grandma's for a movie tomorrow afternoon.

Way to go Devils! We are inching closer and closer to a win! HUGS!

Pin It

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Christmas is coming!!

And for the first time in MANY years, I am *almost* ready!

  • All of my shopping is done;
  • Half of my wrapping is done;
  • Christmas cards are all written and half of them have been mailed (I ran out of stamps);
  • Plans for the Christmas week are confirmed (our house with MIL and Mum on Christmas Eve, Midnight Mass and then Mum will sleep over and then lunch here with Franca, Mike and the boys, snacking at Mark's house in the evening, Boxing Day at Mum's, Scott and Mich coming on the 27th, Kath and Bru's house for dinner on the 28th) New Year's Eve is still up in the air, New Year's Day, we are at Mum's for turkey lunch with Mark and the girlies and Patricia and her kids.

I am very pleased with my purchases this year and I am sure that the boys will be thrilled with my choices. I can't WAIT to see their faces on Christmas morning!!!!

It feels good to know that everything is nearly done and I won't have that last minute panic to get something finished in time.

I would, however, be remiss if I didn't mention that this is the hardest time of the year for me. I miss my Dad and my sister very, very much. This was their favourite time too and they are in my thoughts almost all the time. I also miss my Nanny and Pampy...I miss knowing that we will all talk to them on Christmas morning...I miss their Christmas card sitting on my mantle. My heart aches knowing I can't talk to them anymore. I miss my Grampy, my father in law and my Nanna-in-law as well. They are so top of mind at Christmas time. Sigh...

Pin It

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Adventures in groceries...

I am blessed enough to live in a subdivision with large grocery store in the actual subdivision...or so I thought. We were even lucky enough to have a 24 hour/7 day a week grocery store...until about a year ago.

See, about a year ago....give or take...Metro took over all Dominion and A & P grocery stores. I don't know if any other stores were involved in the takeover, because frankly, it's all about me, and MY grocery store was a24/7 Dominion. Now it's an "open when we feel like it" Metro.

I started to notice a difference in the quality of the produce at Dominion about 6 months before the takeover. The lettuce was wilted, the bananas were green and the grapes looked more like raisins than fresh grapes. I thought that perhaps Dominion had changed suppliers and after a few weeks of really bad produce from my "Fresh Obsessed" grocer, mentioned my concern to the manager. She advised that they had, in fact, changed suppliers and that they were "working on it." Pfffft! Ev.

Suddenly, my world was turned upside down. The 24/7 sign had been removed from the wall...Lord knows that tbe best grocery shopping is done at 2:35 am! I began to suspect something sinister was going on. Imagine my surprise when I went to my Dominion one normal Saturday afternoon and noticed that the sign had changed to "Metro". "Qui est cette 'Metro'???!!!" Certainly, no friend of mine!!!

Here we are a year or so later and the produce gets worse by the week. They have completely rearranged the whole store, so I have no idea where ANYTHING is anymore. The only thing that keeps me shopping there are my BFF cashiers, Josie, Christine. Maria and Ramjeet. They love me...but I digress...

Metro sucks. It really and truly sucks. Notonly does it suck, but they have the BALLS to charge five cents for a bag. Fortino's doesn't charge; Longo's doesn't charge. Metro is almost ALWAYS empty, and when they are not empty, there are two cashiers open and the line ups are enormous...and they charge for their bags!!!! Longo's produce is as fresh as if I just picked it off the tree, or out of the ground...and with my Farmville/Farm Town experience, let me tell you, I KNOW PRODUCE. And guess what?! Longo's gives you FREE bags! HA!

Guess where I do my grocery shopping these days...

Oh yes friends...I take the LONGO way home! Pin It

Monday, 7 December 2009

Online safety...Parenting 101?

Boy Oneder and Middleman both have Facebook accounts. Yeah, I know that anyone under 13 is not supposed to have an account, but I have their passwords (shhh...don't tell them) and I monitor their every move. In fact, I monitor ALL of their online moves. I have their passwords for their email accounts, I have a "Net Nanny" type program on their laptops and know what they are doing all the time. So far, knock on wood, there's been no wrongdoing. They love Farmville and Farmtown and Fishville on Facebook almost as much as I do. I know it's only a matter of time before Boy Oneder figures out that he is, in fact, a boy, and finds inappropriate websites, but we have discussed his online privileges and he knows that one wrong move will take him offline so fast his head would spin.

But clearly, not all parents monitor their children as closely as I do...or not at all. Boy Oneder has over 100 friends on Facebook...most of the non-family or mutual friends, I know from spending alot of time at his school. Most of the kids are really, really good kids. There are a few that I have asked him to not "unfriend" on Facebook, but to "unfriend" in real life too. They are bad news, showing signs of heading down the wrong path, and we all know that hanging with the wrong peeps can, and usually will, get you into trouble as well. He knows what's expected of him and he, so far, has made good decisions (with a little nudging from Hubster and I).

The thing that makes me so sad (and what prompted me to write this post) is that there is a specific girl on his friends list that I have known since she was in grade one that is really heading down the wrong path. She has always been very polite and respectful and I've really enjoyed her company when she has come to Boy Oneder's birthday parties or at school events. She is absolutely STUNNING. I mean BEAUTIFUL. She is developing, physically, and looks alot older than her 13 years. The fact that she wears makeup makes her look even older. She is on my friends list and so is her mother. She has taken to posting extremely revealing and, in my opinion, inappropriate photos of herself on Facebook. These photos show her in very provocative poses, wearing string bikinis and t-shirts and underwear. Almost every photo is bordering on kiddy-p*rn (not typing the full word so as to keep the sickos away from my blog, but you know what I am saying). The comments from the other kids on her friends list are sickening. Boys saying that they'd like to "f*ck her (that's a quote), boys fighting over her in their comments about who would do a better job of it, etc. It is absolutely disgusting.

The worst part of it all? Her Mom is her friend, her Mom must see these comments and her Mom hasn't, at the very least, removed her child's photos from Facebook, and even better, completely deleted her entire FB account. In fact, one of her mother's comments on one of these photos is, "Oh...look at my sexy girl!" What the HECK????? Now, considering that the Mom's profile pic is one of herself and her two daughters (her older daughter is about 16) in string bikinis may speak for itself, but I must admit that I thought she was a better parent than this.

Far be it for me to judge others' parenting skills (or lack thereof) but my GOODNESS, what are you teaching your daughter in allowing this stuff to be all over the internet for the world to see? Privacy settings mean NOTHING on Facebook. Whatever you post on your page is fair game for anyone who has access to your page to save to their computer and use wherever the heck they want to. In today's messed up society, the last thing I would want would be to have my 13 year old daughter's photo in the hands of some freak in a basement doing who knows what while he oggles at her photo!

Please people...PLEASE monitor your children's behaviour online. PLEASE guide them. PLEASE teach them self-respect and dignity. Teach them to be proud of themselves and to present themselves in an appropriate manner. Teach them safety. Teach them so that they will be oustanding adults. Pin It

Friday, 4 December 2009

Big Sigh....AAAAAAHHHHHHH!

I just finished my most excellent lunch from Druxi's...roast beef on an onion bun, small Greek salad and a bag of Miss Vicki's Sea Salt and Vinegar Chips. Ah yes...that hit the spot.

But that is not the best part of this post! You see my dear readers, I am coming at you from my company's Mississauga office today. I have gotten SO much accomplished this morning that I think I need to take next week off! (I'm kidding Shelley!) (She's my boss). Being able to work in silence, uninterrupted is BLISS. Bliss I tell you!

Today is a PA Day, aka teachers' slackorama day...yeah yeah...you had to write report cards...I feel your excruitating pain and TOTALLY understand your need for a full day off. 'Ev.

So since all of the boys are at home, I can only imagine the yelling, fighting and interruptions that would be my day today, so I started work at 5:54 am...yep, 5:54 AM. I got some stuff done and then at about 7:15, I decided to have a shower and head over here. What a great decision!!!

I love having a productive day!!! Pin It

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Strike three.

Back to the doctor today with Boy Oneder...he has had a cold for three days and last night, took a bit of a turn for the worse. His cough sounded AWFUL and he was complaining that it was hardto catch his breath. He took his puffer and almost made it through the night, but woke me at 4:30 to say he couldn't stop coughing. I re-applied Vick's Vaporub, gave him some more cough medicine and turned his cold mist humidifer from low to high...then while he rested peacefully, I lay awake listening. I think I fell back to sleep at about 6:20, but had to be up at 7:00 because today was a "Jordanna day". Jordie is our neighbour and she comes over on Monday, Wednesday and Fridays before and after school.

Anyhooooo....

Today, he started running a fever...lowgrade, but there. His cough is still really crackly and awful, so I called the doctor's office at about 4:30 and got him in for 5:50 with the on-call doctor. Dr. B checked his throat and listened to his back. She told me he was "quite wheezy" and checked his temperature. At that moment, he had no fever, but because he is borderline asthmatic and because Swine Flu has been in the house, she didn't like that he had a fever this afternoon and that he has started to have aches and pains. She wrote us a prescription for Tamiflu and told us to keep using his puffers. She looked me in the eye and said, "Watch him. Keep a very close eye on him. I have seen some very, VERY sick children." Great. Just effing great. Sigh. Clearly Dr. B doesn't know me like most of YOU know me. Madam Hypochondriac, Mrs. Panic, Ms. OMGHe'sgoingtodie. Yeah...she clearly doesn't know me.

So, I filled his prescription and he's had his first dose. He just had Advil too for the aches and headache...poor dude.

Problem here is that Boy Oneder is my Drama Queen...hmmm....wonder where he gets THAT from...a common cold is a HUGE deal. A headache is a brain tumor and a leg cramp means certain amputation. Again, I say, I have NO idea where he gets this from....snicker.

Please, if you are a prayer, please say a prayer for my Drama Queen. He is the one I worry most about when it comes to H1N1 because of his lungs.

Thanks guys. Pin It
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