Sunday, October 31, 2010

10/31/2010- Evening

We practiced, and practiced, and practiced...  
"Costello honey, what sound does a lion make?"


"Right, honey...but what sound does a lion make?"


"Yes, that's a truck...but what sound does a Lion make?"


"Honey, can you tell me what sound a lion makes?"


"great, so pumpkin...what sound does he make?"


Happy Halloween from one roaring-less lion.  

until next time - ABCD
(D by the way stayed in...has a bit of a cold...he'll do it right next year)

Friday, October 29, 2010

nothing takes your mind off things like frosting

I think we all have romanticized, maybe even contemplated, the idea of moving to Paris intent on becoming a patisserie chef.  Or wished we had started a trendy cupcake store, oh say, five, six, years ago.  We all have, a little Barefoot Contessa in us. There's just something about baking that solidifies the "perfect mom."

But, let's be honest...for some, myself included, ambition far outweighs ability.  A "pinch," and a "dash," really mean nothing to me.  What?  You shouldn't use olive oil in brownies?  A given?  No, not really.  My cookies burn, my bread fails to raise, and my cakes turn to sinkholes.  I partly blame my utter disgrace to the baking community on two things.

1.  I'm Celiac, which means, for the most part, we have a gluten free home.
2.  I can't bake.

At all.  Things just don't turn out.  And, you know...I'm ok with that.  I will still try my hand at the daunting birthday cakes, and attempt fresh-out-of-the-oven cookies, even if it's just, buy log, feed cookie dough to child, drop, and wait.   It's ok.  Just because I can't bake, doesn't mean I can't surround myself with people who can.

Take my friend Sylvie for instance.  She's the type of person who after reading my last post fires off a you-need-a-distraction email, with a choosing of kid fun projects.  "Pick an activity," she says..."we are coming to you guys, supplies in tow."  And amongst the how-awesome-are-all-these-fun-ideas happened to be...drum roll please...cookie decorating.  And knowing that,

1.  I can't bake.
2.  Sylvie can.

It was a no brainer.


Costello also has a wee crush on Sylvie's daughter Annick.  The hold-hands-let-me-show-you-my-trucks type of crush.

And luckily for Dashen, Annick has a sister, Rémi.  

until next time - ABCD

Sunday, October 24, 2010

and we wait...

As I started this blog post, I originally intended to write about something fun and easy. But figured, I needed to address the big ass elephant in the room which currently is staring me down cold.  You've likely noticed it's been awhile since my last post.  A week in fact and a long one at that.  One with many distractions, appointments, and stuff. Stuff which I'm not quite ready to blog about, and in a way hope I never have to.  Luckily so far, aside from the caesarian, it's been pretty light on here.  We are fortunately blessed.

But last week, things got real...too real.  And since this new "realness" has been coupled with no blogging you're likely making some of your own conclusions which at this point I will not alude to either way.  What I can divulge is that this is a family matter and for now ask that you'll respect this privacy.  And for those of you out there who read along, which by the way...thank you...I love love love knowing that our circus has it's readers, know that I'll continue this topic if and when the time comes.

Which brings me to my first blogging dilemma...

Where do I draw the line?  Which life events are destined to mature in my little plot of internet and which ones stay personal, away from my readers, never to be retold in font-land?

So after a week of thinking I've come to a few conclusions.

I will never blog of things that could potentially offend or upset my family, purposely embarrass those close to me, compromise my career, or have you'll-regret-this-later written all over them.  Me being the type of person that often painfully realizes hindsight is always 20/20, the urge to blab on the blog, blabblog if you will, on topics which need to remain personal is something I'll need to consistently edit myself for.

I've been told more then once that the key for a successful blog is to make your conversations about your readers and for your readers.  And although I struggled with this initially I've recently come to the conclusion that I couldn't disagree more.

Everyone measures success in different terms.  For a food blogger, one follower's successful Saturday night recreation of a recently read post on the perfect filet mignon, can be all the reassurance they need to know that their blog in meaningful.  A friend of mine with a passion for corporate branding used her blog, More Then A Logo, to land her a dream job in London.  For me, my original intent when I started blogging was to capture the bigs and smalls of our lives.  That's it.  Simple.

So I'm not going to lie...we are currently in a "big" moment of our lives.  And as much as I'd like to share more, to be honest, I don't know more.  My Dad always says, "only worry when there's something to worry about," and for now we'll hold on to that advice and continue on our daily journey.

until next time - ABCD

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Sunday - 11:44 AM

If I could pick just one morning of the week to toss routine to the wind...

and linger a bit longer with bed head...

in footsie covered pyjamas...

 all while attempting over-the-couch pursuits
mixed with early sunrise smiles...

and big brother "here ya go's,"...

well before 9:00 am...

It would have to be a Sunday.  

until next time - ABCD

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

mazed and dazed in corn

I'm sure there is a way to write about fall without going all cliche.  A way to illustrate within words the feel of an autumn breeze, the sound of leaves crunching under your shoes, the smells of wet grass with a tinge of dirt.  I'm sure that if I weren't so tired tonight I'd have better words to depict what a wonderful day we had immersing ourselves in fall and all it's glory.  But, for today...(or tonight that is), these pictures will have to suffice.  And lucky for us there's some really fun ones here.

You just can't go wrong with babies and pumpkins in a maze of corn.

until next time - ABCD

Monday, October 11, 2010

Giving Thanks

At their core, families are a collection of stories with memories.  As we lose loved ones, or long to see relatives who spend more time apart then together, we relay on our families shared history of stories to keep the connections intact, our memories alive.

So many of my own family stories conger up around Thanksgiving.  I can remember as a little girl watching my dad lay out crustless slices of soft white bread along our kitchen countertops well past my bedtime.  Waking to the smells of tyme and garlic mixed with the typical morning coffee.  I can remember putting on a pink jog suit with painted cookies which puffed above the fabric.  I joined my parents in the kitchen, they were still I must have been around four or five.  I sat on the countertops and watched the celery being chopped, wiping tears from my eyes as my mom diced the onions.  I helped stuff the turkey, surprised at how cold and empty it felt inside.

Years later, as a freshmen in college, I can remember packing my bags for Thanksgiving.  Different from the person who left, reuniting with a home which had changed while I was gone.  Transitioning to the idea that "returning" was now a weekend visit versus an extended stay.  Home felt embracing, stable, warm.  I was happy to rejoin a world where parents made decisions, and yet after being independent for the past three months, the idea of being "parented" felt foreign.

I can remember the year where we ventured from our head-of-the-household prayer and opted instead to go around the table each reciting what they were thankful for.  When we came to my Grandpa we all bowed our heads.  He was well into his nineties and we knew our days with him were limited.  He gave thanks for his family looking each one of us in the eye as he spoke then took my Grandma's hand and with the upmost sincerity in his voice thanked the Lord for the love of his life.  This was our last Thanksgiving with him.  

There was the year that I waited too long to purchase my Chicago-Jackson train ticket. Shocked at the price of the few remaining seats, I decided to catch an "in-city" commuter going as far east as allowed, ending up about two hours shy of home.  I called my dad to come pick me up, and as we drove home I told him all about my adventures in Chicago, the start of my career, my co-workders, friends, the best place for beers in Lincoln Park, and the new love of my life...Brian.  I had purchased an outfit for my first homecoming since living in Chicago.  I felt confident in my designer jeans and heels.

My first Thanksgiving to be celebrated in October as an American in Canada came three years ago.  Brian and I were engaged and I was in charge of the soup.  Butternut squash soup.  I had grown up with this traditional prelude to turkey and looked forward to introducing it, an offering if you will, to my newly added family.  I spent two days on this damn thing...baking countless squash, pureeing pulp, brining everything together.  About half an hour before we were to leave for dinner I added what I thought was the last remaining ingredient, sherry wine.  Just a quarter cup.  Enough to bring out the sweetness of the flavours.  But, this wasn't sherry wine...sadly no....this was sherry vinegar.  And just like that the soup was ruined.  I called my Dad, master of the butternut, to see if something could be done, and his response was a long, "ooohhhhhhh".  We ended up dumping the entire pot in the garbage.  I can remember trying to conceal my smeared mascara as we drove to my future sister in law's home, empty handed, for Thanksgiving dinner.

I will be making the salad this year.  Leaving behind the now joked about high maintenance soup.  We will be celebrating with our newly expanded family with Dashen joining the mix.  We'll laugh as the kids try turnips and the adults drink wine.  Celebrating with those close and thinking of loved ones away.  Paving the way for generations of stories yet to be told.  

A happy wonderful Thanksgiving from our family to yours.

Until Next Time- ABCD

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Wednesday - 12:14

Some days it's all about the truck and hair.  

These are good days.  

until next time - ABCD

Monday, October 4, 2010

he cooks, cleans, and gardens (oh my)

Did you know it's possible to kill silk plants?

Yup sure is.  If placed within close proximity to a burning candle you'll end up with one hot mess of plastic, a college dorm of unhappy students who for the past 30 minutes have been waiting for the fire department to "deem" the building safe, and an "official" warning for having an open flame in the residence hall.

To say I have a green thumb would be pushing it.

However, green attitude, yes.  That I have.  We recycle, we are avid "grab the bags" canvas tote shoppers, we compost, drive one car, cloth diaper, and try to be as organic as possible picking up most of our produce from the farmer's market.  And we garden.  I say "we" but really I mean "Brian" who's green thankfully extends way beyond his thumb.

There's the flower gardens in front, and the edibles in back.  Both proving that it is possible to successfully grow something living in Calgary, home of the 60 day on a good year, summer.  And it's all Brian. He's out there every weekend in his old ripped jeans, (which in denim years are pushing 80), watering, pulling, weeding, trimming, dirtying the hands, working while beating his chest.....arrargh argh argh, and looking damn good doing it.

Ok, he doesn't really beat his chest, maybe a few good "arrghs" here and there, but no beating... it's not in him.

My intentions are green.  To be a gardening wife, spending quality time with her husband outdoors without having to constantly call for his reassurance that the body of life about to be pulled from the ground is indeed a weed.   I grew up around gardeners.  My grandma's vegetables spectacular, my mother's flowers immaculate.  Both providing knowledge and setting the groundwork in place for me to find my own hands manicured with dirt.  But, for the past two summers I've been pregnant.  Very pregnant.  And as much as I want to get out there and inspire our boys with the joys of gardening, who really wants to see all that...on all fours...bend over?  

In the meantime, thankfully I've married a horticulturist whose gardens have people go, "ohhhhhh..."  And with fall officially upon us what better time then now to give them a bit of love on this blog and bid them farewell till next June.

"goodnight gardens...sleep tight...don't let the bed bugs bite"

until next time - ABCD
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