Jul 8, 2008

The Benefits of Jetlag

As of 7:30 this morning, I had:

- completed two loads of laundry
- run 6 km
- finished an entire day's worth of work
- weeded the front garden
- emptied the dish washer
- tidied up the house.

Whatever will I do for the rest of the day?




Jun 26, 2008

Boy Stories

It's been difficult to keep up with my blogging following our re-entry into Canadian life (love that word - re-entry. Like a spaceship coming in for landing). In addition to the usual time constraints of a hectic household with two adults working and kids in elementary school, we've had to hammer out renovation plans, not to mention catch up on our social life after a year of hermit-like existence.

Progress has been made, however. In addition to the kitchen being ordered, we've started dealing with the mess that was the outside of the house. We still have major demolition to do on the inside, but this won't start until the second half of August. I'm dreading it, but happy to have a few weeks of reprieve in July.

Today is the last day of school for the boys. It's a half day only, after which we are going to a local Italian restaurant for a buffet lunch. Do all kids love buffets, or is it just mine? The empowerment of having a choice, I suppose.

Christopher's developed this incredibly irritating habit of saying 'what' all day long. In the vein of:

"Christopher, it's time to go to bed."

"Christopher, come eat please."

"Chistopher, don't talk like that to your brother."

All said in that tone of annoyed incredulity. Like he is so hard done by, and the rest of us are out to get him.


So this morning I implemented the "A dollar for every 'what' out of your mouth" strategy. In fairness, it was implemented across the board, we will all pay when the word is used improperly. After 10 minutes of eating breakfast, Christopher is already 4 dollars poorer.

I'm optimistic the message will get through this way - if there is anything Christopher is fond of, it's his cash.

This is in stark contrast to Benjamin, who freely gives away his money to anyone who asks.

Sounds cute, doesn't he?

I used to think so, but not anymore. It's a problem that Benjamin is willing to give anything he owns to anyone who asks. Some of his friends have started to take advantage of this opportunity to score freebies. One friend in particular is always asking for toys, candy, anything he can get his hands on. Just last week, Mike caught him red-handed, as he tried to leave with 10 of B boy's dollars after a play date.

We're trying to teach Benjamin that it is not appropriate to give your things or your money to friends. And of course, it is not appropriate for friends to be asking, but if they do, it is OK to say 'no'.

All while striking the right balance and maintaining Benjamin's natural sense of generosity.

My fear is that Benjamin feels he needs to buy his playmates' friendship. Where does he get that from, and how can I make him see that this is not the right way to make friends? Any words of wisdom from you, my internets?

We are jetting off again today. A week somewhere warm. I will be online for most of the time, and I plan on finding a little time for bloghopping.

Hope everyone's having a good week!

Jun 21, 2008

Look What The Mail Man Brought!

My bloggy friend Jen on the Edge is one of the coolest ladies I know. Not only is she incredibly witty in her writings about Jenworld and its inhabitants, she is also a superhero when it comes to conservation and the environment, currently in the process of building her very own, eco-friendly house. A visit to any of Jen's blogs never disappoints, which is why I am one of her many avid fans.

So imagine my excitement when Jen hosted a bloggy giveaway and I actually WON it. You have to understand that I never win anything. This is the first time I have ever won anything, ever! After many Canada Post-related delays (don't ask), I am now the proud owner of

With my very own message from Jen herself:

Fortunately, today is rainy here in Toronto, allowing the boys and me to bake without feeling guilty about how we 'ought to be outside'. Here's what's just gone into the oven:

(Sorry. Blogger is acting up, and insisting on showing this picture sideways).

I can't wait until it's ready, so I can sit back with a cup of tea, a slice of this yumminess and a good book.

Thanks, Jen! You rock!

Jun 20, 2008


Did you read this?

Obviously, this report is too short and one-sided to tell the entire story. But if there is even an ounce of truth to it - well, colour me shocked and appalled. As a mother of a child who doesn't always fit the norm, this is truly my worst nightmare.

Holy smokes, people!

Jun 13, 2008

And The Winner Is...

I love it. We've ordered it. Now we have to wait 12 - TWELVE - weeks for it to ship from Italy. In the meantime, we have floors to fix, plumbing to organize, walls to repair, bulkheads to remove, appliances to buy...

Can you see the dollar signs floating out of our front door? It's a little stressful, but really, the leak gave us no choice but to renovate the kitchen. So instead of worrying too much about the massive dent in our savings account, I am going to focus on the fact that I am getting a BRAND NEW kitchen. Woo-hoo!

This weekend has been designated 'family only weekend', meaning we are going to hang out with the boys and do as little socializing as possible. We've been on the go pretty much 24/7 ever since we left Norway at the end of April. A little bit of downtime is definitely what the doctor ordered. Maybe we'll catch the new Indy movie. Or perhaps just lounge by the pool. Nothing's planned, anything's possible. Including, I hope, a bit of time for blog hopping. I'm looking forward to catching up with everyone out there in blogland.

Happy Weekend!

Jun 6, 2008

And Now For Something Completely Different

Thanks again for your lovely comments on my last post. I know that the next adventure is just around the corner...and that it doesn't need to involve air travel or even leaving my house. It's all about perspective...and sometimes mine just isn't where it should be.

Speaking of perspective, I'd love to hear yours on the following:

Dark brown and white...

Lighter brown and glossy white...

All white (yes, please throw in the view)...

We are leaning towards dark brown accents/bottom cabinets, with glossy white uppers, but I am stumped as to the flooring. I can't do wood (though it would look lovely), and I don't want to spend a fortune on natural stone (that fortune is already being spent on cabinets, thankyouverymuch).

Help? Anyone?

Jun 4, 2008

Wherein The Author Whines...

They keep telling me it's like we never left. That we've all just slipped right back into Canadian life again.

And for two weeks that's been great.

I've been on the go pretty much since we returned to Canada, trying to nail down our reno plans, getting the kids settled in school, looking at new cars, organizing play dates and sleepovers, fixing things around the house.

It's kept me occupied and darker thoughts away.

But I didn't sleep well last night. I didn't really sleep at all. The reality of the situation could no longer be pushed aside by fatigue after a busy day:

It's all done. The adventure of a lifetime. Our big gift to our children. It's over.

We planned for it and looked forward to it for years. I even dreamed about it, imagining how idyllic it would be. And now it's come and gone. 10 months of my life that just flew by in the blink of an eye.

I know we took full advantage of the time we had, and I don't feel like we left anything undone. But it's still difficult to accept that it's done. Finished. The End.

The air is not the same here. It is hectic. It involves a lot of driving and shopping. Everything is large, the roads, the stores, the portions. It's a little overwhelming after the small-ness of Europe.

My children's lives are different now. Less independent, more organized by adults. Their school is much more academic, for sure. But I'm not sure it's as much fun, and it certainly doesn't involve as much outdoorsy, physical activity.

Mike's life has taken a busy turn, as he's been inundated with requests and offers of new and exciting challenges at the university. He's got important decisions to make over the course of the next few weeks, some of which could seriously impact the amount of time he is able to spend at home.

My work hasn't changed, but my social agenda has. I've had fun catching up with my friends, but I already miss those quiet days, where Mike and I could work for a few hours, then go for a walk. We'd pick the boys up early from school and either invite their cousins over for dinner, or walk up to my parents' house for a glass of wine. Or pack the car and head for the mountains.

Oh, those mountains. They are still there. Waiting. What I wouldn't give to head up into the mountains this weekend. Breathe in the fresh mountain air, and maybe hike that one peak the weather prevented us from reaching last time.

Instead, I'll probably spend some time looking through the photos from the past year. Maybe I'll get some printed out and framed for display around the house. And reminisce about the year we conquered the Vikings.