Thursday, December 31, 2009

What Will The New Year Hold?

2009 was an exhausting year. We had our second child and discovered that adding another boy to the house made the work load increase exponentially while sleep became non-existent. We spent three months, 1/4 of our year, out of our home either waiting for the baby to arrive or on holidays to show off the boys to friends and family. The year passed by so quickly I think it is going to take me until June to remember to put 2010 on cheques instead of 2009.

So what do I see for my family for 2010?
  • more outside time, especially quadding, as Cavan grows and can stay out in the cold for longer periods of time.
  • lots of camping in our lovely truck camper. This year we plan on hitting the North Canol road in addition to our favorite drive down the South Canol.
  • a visit from the East Coast grandparents in late spring.
  • a trip down to Dawson Creek in summer for shopping/visiting
  • lots of hunting trips with me included as the kids are both old enough to stay home with a sitter now
  • fingers crossed- more sleep as Cavan gets older
  • berry picking in the fall
  • trying some new sausage recipes in my new Bradley smoker
  • teaching Hunter how to use a fishing rod
  • finding and buying myself a pink lever action .22 and getting some grouse with it
  • of course the husband sees a new rifle in his future as well
So no real resolutions other than for us to continue to focus on doing things as a family, staying away from negative people and to do the activities we all love. I see a great year ahead for my family.

Happy New Year Everyone!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Traveling Thank-Yous

We arrived in Faro this evening and if feels so wonderful to be snuggled in my favorite blanket on my super comfy chair. I want to send out some thank-yous before I hit the hay tonight, mainly to the wonderful strangers we always come across while out and about.

Thank you to:
- 8 year old Hannah who not only read two books to Hunter, she also acted them out while we sat at a kids play spot in the Vancouver Airport.
- 4 year old Alice who ever so patiently tried to get Hunter to play Polly-Pocket with her and then let Hunter play with her toy horse also at the Vancouver Airport.
- All the parents we chatted with at the Airport. You helped us pass our five hour layover quickly and all of your children were so much fun to be around!
- every ticket agent with AirCanada who were so accommodating and were able to get us all seats together
- the gentleman who so gladly moved a few seats up so I could have two seats to myself with the baby. (I think he was extremely happy to have the opportunity to move!!)
- to all of the friendly folks who sat around our boys on the plane. Thank you for smiling, waving, play peekaboo and not getting upset when the baby got a fistful of your hair!!
- to the young woman who picked up Hunters favorite blanket and ran it up to me after we dropped it unnoticed while pretending to drive the stroller like a race car in the Vancouver airport.
- to the gentleman who picked up my bag of flour in the parking lot of SuperAFoods in Whitehorse after it fell of my shopping cart (again, I never even noticed!)
- to the bag boy at the SuperAFoods for packing my groceries so nicely, bringing them out to the truck, and running out with my box of bread that yes... I forgot.
- to all of the friendly people working check-outs at the stores over the holidays. Every single one I chatted with was happy and entertaining (too bad the same cannot be said for other shoppers...)

And a couple of more personal thank-yous:
- to my baby for holding your barf until we got to the hotel instead of unleashing it on the plane
- to Hunter for sleeping on the floor of the Whitehorse airport while we got the luggage and strapped it into the truck
- to my amazing sherpa husband for heaving everything around
- to my folks for awesome holiday and the drive the airport (sorry about bringing the plague to your house for the holidays!)
- to my sister-in-law for being such a riot to be around and putting up with me when tired and miserable
- to my nephews for being so damn cute

Sunday, December 27, 2009

A Christmas To Remember (but not for the best reasons)

We are still down in northern BC at my parents place, but I thought I would do a quick post. It has definitely been a Christmas to remember... **** don't read any more if you get queasy easily!

Hunter started yakking the day we arrived and did that for three days. He christened two beds, the living room rug, the sofa, the bathroom mat, me, Matt.... and more. Nasty projectile yakking to boot.

My nephew ended up with thrush. The doctor screwed up the prescription and the poor kid was taking five times the regular dose, so he kept throwing up after he would take the medication. After Matt read the bottle, he had my sister-in-law reduce the dose and he improved. But then he seemed to get a bit of Hunter's flu and was yakking more. The medication also gave this little guy (10 months old) the worst smelling liquid shit I have ever been around. And it would overflow his diaper. We had two shit-explosions. One under the kitchen table and another on the living room rug.

My parents little dog had pus/bloody squidge coming out of its butt onto the living room rug. So nasty.

Corrienne, my sister-in-law, got the worst of the flu on Christmas day and spent most of it in bed.

Matt was feeling sick Christmas Eve and Christmas day, but he didn't get it anywhere near as bad as Corrienne.

Cavan started yakking yesterday, but seems to be on the mend today. Again, the living room rug took its share of the action.

Hunter has been sleeping fairly well, but he has been in a bed with Matt the whole time. The baby wants to stay up until 11pm and then sleep until 8am, and he screams if we try and lay him down in the playpen to sleep on his own. I want my evenings and bed back.

And the worst? Are you ready for it? Cavan has some nasty diarrhea and had just filled his third diaper in about 10 minutes this morning. I had him between my legs (on the living room rug) while I was changing his diaper, when the shit exploded out of his ass like it was under a couple hundred pounds of pressure. It shot about two feet through the air and hit me in the crotch. I thought I was going to yak. Then Matt comes in, throws me some paper towel and starts to walk away!! Nice try husband. I gave him my scrotum shriveling death glare and he then gladly came to my rescue.

I think we will be buying my mother a new rug for the living room... it just has a funky smell to it now.

So this is definitely a Christmas to remember. I will post again about the fun we did still manage to have and the lovely presents Santa brought once we get home to Faro in a couple of days. I have some great pictures to share and some non-stomach turning stories to share!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Leaving For Christmas!

It has been seven years since I last celebrated Christmas with my parents in their home! Where did that time go? Oh yeah.... I spent it roaming around the north! The only reason we are headed down this year is because my parents were super generous and are flying us down. I absolutely hate traveling at Christmas, but I cannot turn down free flights!

Tomorrow we are leaving early in the morning to head to Whitehorse. I have yet another dental appointment early in the afternoon. We fly out on Sunday morning down to Vancouver and then up to Fort St. John. Then just a nice hour and half drive and we will be there. I know... you are wondering why am I not just driving?? Well it is about 2000km each way. That is 2 and a half days each way, in the cold, with screaming kids and only 10 days off for the holiday. Just doesn't work.

My brother and his family will be joining us there as well. Their boys are nearly the same age as ours, so this holiday is going to be a riot! I envision the boys destroying the tree, eating so many cookies they yak on Grandmas new and expensive sofa, sneaking sips of eggnog with rum and then yet again yakking on the sofa.... Ahhh.... this is how Christmas memories are made!

We will be back just before the new year as Matt has to work. I am sure I will find myself on the computer between now and then!

And sorry all of those recipients of our Christmas cards... the nifty photocards I ordered this year have still not arrived so they will be sent out in the new year. Something to brighten up your mail box full of bills in January!

We wish everyone safe travels for the holidays!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Cookie Recipe!

For those who asked!

The squirrel cookies are a recipe from a Country Woman magazine and are called Tea Cookies.
1c butter, softened
2/3c sugar
1 egg
1tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2c flour
1/2tsp salt

In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Combine flour and salt; gradually add to the creamed mixture. Cover and let refrigerated for 1-2 hours until the dough is easy to handle.

On a light floured surface, roll out dough to 1/8" thickness. Cut with floured cookie cutters. Place 1" part on ungreased baking sheets at 350 for 8-10 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool.

Glaze
1 1/4c icing sugar
2tsp meringue powder
5tsp water

For glaze, in a small bowl, combine icing sugar and meringue powder; stir in water until smooth. Divide among small bowls; tint colours and spread over cookies; let stand until set.
********

I do a couple of things differently.

First off, I at least triple the recipe. I make these cookies about double the thickness it calls for which helps for the icing technique I use. Plus they are addictive and everyone will want a dozen. Each recipe makes about 2 dozen if cut out thick.

Second I only bake for the 8 minutes and I don't like to let the edges brown at all. I like them to stay nice and white!

Third I add much more water to the icing recipe. I think there might have been an error in the printing of the recipe in the magazine. I think 5 tablespoons is more accurate than 5 teaspoons. But make it to a nice fairly runny consistency.

I have no clue how to ice cookies. My mother never made cookies like this when we were growing up. I have tried to spread it with a knife, but it always looks messy. So by making the cookies thicker, I can hold the sides, and place the cookie directly into the bowl of icing!! I pull it out and let a little drop off, then place on paper towel until the icing dries. That way it covers right to the edges!! Although, I was rushed with Hunter helping and was running out of icing, so some squirrels had bare patches (hehehe almost like they have mange!)

And the animal cutouts are from Ikea.

Happy Baking!!

Cookies!

On the weekend I baked about seven dozen cut out cookies and yesterday I finally found the time to decorate them. The baby was asleep and Hunter was ready to be my assistant. He decorated about six of them himself and then happily ate three!

I know squirrels aren't very festive, but the cookie cutters are new and I was looking for an excuse to use them!

A Christmas Moose!
Most of the cookies! They were packed up along with the whipped shortbreads I made last week and are ready to go to some of our friends in Faro.
And this is what happens when you feed a little boy three iced cookies and let him run like a wildman at playgroup- sheer exhaustion!

A Favorite Toy

We have purchased very few toys for the boys as we have very generous grandparents, family and friends. Last Christmas I ordered a few wooden toys for Hunter and this one is still played with everyday. I have to admit it is noisy as all hell, but every kid that has walked through this door loves to tow it around the house. I love simple toys like this so much. No batteries and excellent construction. Now if only I could convince the grandparents to not send the battery operated irritating toys to us!!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Going To See Santa!!!

On the weekend Santa came to Faro with a present for each child in town under age twelve. There were also games, food and lots of visiting with friends. We all had a fantastic time! I had been practicing with Hunter for a few days prior what he had to do when Santa arrived in Faro. It was pretty simple- just sit by Santa, say Hi Santa and Thank You Santa. He was all prepared and really wanted a "prize" as he calls it.

Well when the time came, Santa walked into the rec centre and Hunter went and hid under a table!! It had everyone there laughing. I was able to coax him out. He was positive Santa was going to bring him a new car, as you will be able to hear in the video. Even cuter, as Santa handed him the present Hunter asked him outright if it was a car! Santa had a good answer about the elves wrapping this present and he would have to wait and see. Thankfully it was a barn, complete with animals and a tractor. He was very pleased with his prize!

Cavan sat with Santa no problem and was just in love with the Christmas tree nearby. And he was also very happy with his jingling, moving crab!

Santa brings the best gifts to the kids in Faro.
video video

The Toys Are Out To Get Me!

On Friday I was in the middle of putting Hunter in a time out when the phone rang. I finally spied it on the table as it was nearly the last ring before the answering machine would pick up. I leaped over toys and blankets to grab it, however I missed seeing the John Deere Front-End Loader in my path.

I stepped on the bucket and then nearly fell on the floor. I quickly grabbed the phone and was about to let loose a string of my favorite curse words when I realized it was the Pastor's wife asking if I was coming to our bible study this week!! I managed to keep the naughty words in my head long enough to get off the phone, and then I let loose. With some tears as well. I sat on the floor and watched my foot bleed and bleed! I am crying.... the kids started to cry... Oh what a mess.

Good thing I married a nurse! The rest of the family might make fun of me for hauling home a nurse, from the East Coast to boot, but he sure does come in handy. I called him home from work to check out my foot. Now, the picture just does not do it justice. Sure, I probably over-reacted a bit, but there was a lot of blood!! So the gouge goes in on an angle so I have this flap of skin that sticks out now. And there is this nasty dark purple bruise around the area now. It still hurts a heck of a lot.

It is now three days later and it still hurts. This just has not been a good month for me at all. No sleep, huge dental infection, and now the toys are out to get me. I sure hope this is it!

The offending toy and my boo-boo right after Matt cleaned it up:

Friday, December 11, 2009

Music Request From Hunter

Tonight I was playing a new song for Matt on the computer when Hunter came up and asked for his favorite song, "Please F*ck*r Dance, Mom!" Oopps! The song he loves... You're Going To Go Far, Kid by The Offspring.

I was laughing so hard! That has been his favorite song for months and he dances like a little lunatic when it is on. I love his taste in music, but I might have to download the beeped out version for him tonight! He has never asked for it like that before, usually he just asks for his dance song.

And the new song I was playing for Matt? Easy by Deer Tick. A free download from itunes that is quite catchy!

A Travel Agent That Understands Northern Needs!

I want to pass on some contact information to everyone, especially those living in the north. I have a friend in Hay River, NWT who is a travel agent. Not only does she understand how hard it is to travel in and out of the north she understands what it is like to travel with kids as she has two of her own.

So if you want some amazing personal help and great deals please contact Christine Smith to book your next work trip, family trip down south or a hot vacation.

Baking with Toddlers

A friend of mine sent me a recipe for some yummy looking gingersnap cookies, so yesterday Hunter and I gave them a try. They end up not looking anything like the sample picture and I have some theories as to why:
1. Used butter instead of margarine
2. Hunter insisted on measuring out all ingredients himself while I attempted to monitor what went in the bowl
3. Baking soda kinda spilled...
4. Hunter liked to play with the speed on the mixer and I am pretty sure it did not need to be on a level 5 speed for mixing in the flour!

I am pretty sure number 1 was not the big issue...

Sample Picture of Cookie:
Our Super Flat Cookie:

But they tasted delicious and we had fun making them. Even when the power went out in the middle of it all. Three dozen are heading to a cookie exchange tonight. This weekend Hunter and I are going to attempt shortbreads and decorated sugar cookies. Should be interesting!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Exersaucer Transport

This is a video of what Hunter does everyday. He tows his little brother all around the house and for the most part Cavan has been unscathed. Although Hunter has flipped over the exersaucer on purpose with his brother in it on three occasions. Cavan is going to be one tough kid after going through all of this!!

video

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Shoot Me Now. Please.

For the last couple of months I have been dealing with some dental issues. I saw the traveling dentist here in Faro in the middle of September. I had a cavity fixed and an old filling repaired, both on the right side of my face, top and bottom. That dentist did such a horrible job that my teeth on the other side couldn't even touch when I bit down. So on our East Coast vacation I saw another dentist who filed it all down. I was in a lot of pain at the time, and that dentist said it was just from the right side banging down. Okay. We get home from our east coast vacation and the pain persists. So I head into Whitehorse to see another dentist. Turns out the dentist in Faro did a really shitty job. One tooth he had worked on now required a root canal. And the filling he fixed? Will it isn't fixed at all and need to be done again. The three hour root canal ended in me learning that my tooth was shot and the whole molar had to be pulled. I almost cried in the chair. It doesn't help that the freezing doesn't work well on me and I can feel a lot of what they do to me.

So that was over a month ago that my tooth was pulled. I had an appointment for the 18th of this month to go back and get that cavity dealt with. But the pain was getting to the point that no amount of tylenol or ibuprofen was helping. Matt (thank god I married a nurse), brought me home penicillin on Friday figuring I had some sort of infection. But by Friday night the whole right side of my face was swollen and I was bawling my eyes out in pain. Luckily Matt was on call so he went down to the health centre to get me fixed up. A call to the emergency doctor in Whitehorse and he came home with lots more drugs for me. I am now on two antibiotics, Tylenol, ibuprofen, and Demerol. Even with all of that I am still in a lot of pain. I cannot chew anything, drink anything hot/cold, and the cold air outside is excruciating when I breathe in.

I am absolutely miserable. Although, last night after two Demerol pills I was loopy as all hell and could barely walk to my room at 1am. Hurray for a double dose of the happy pills. As of now I have an appointment for Tuesday with my dentist to see what can be done. I have to call Monday morning because I heard that a dentist cannot do any work if there is an infection. I have my fingers crossed that this concoction of drugs does the trick

Another crappy point- I have now used up my allotted dental insurance money so everything from here on out I have to pay out of my own pocket. I wish I had never seen the dentist here. His screw ups are costing me a heck of a lot of money.

Drugs!

But Mummy...

I don't like the crusts!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Happy Birthday Matt!

Today my wonderful husband turned a whopping 34! My gosh he is getting old. I fed him a delicious supper that included a prime rib roast, garlic mashed potatoes and this amazingly moist chocolate cake.

Hunter helped me bake the cake before we went to playgroup. In the afternoon we added the icing. I made the mistake of leaving the room for a few minutes. I returned to see he had pulled up his stool, grabbed a spoon, and was stealing the icing from the cake! What a kid.

The best chocolate cake ever!

The Candle War!
video

Matt enjoying his cake:
*side note- check out that X-Ring! He got that bit of man jewelry 8 years ago today. Sadly, no super powers come with it like the guys from the movie X-men. Although, Matt insists that his witty sarcasm is a super power. I still disagree.

Hunter in a chocolate induced stupor:

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Hair!

Okay.... So I had a bunch of compliments on my hair from yesterdays post! Thank you! I had actually taken the time to blow dry it. But I felt like I was leading you all astray. My hair rarely looks nice. I have hair envy issues. Everyone else always looks so put together and I look like I was hit by a freak wind storm.

I used to have very long hair but had it all chopped off when we lived in Kugluktuk. It would never fit under my quad helmet and would attack me while I was skidooing. Plus I didn't want to get barf in it once we had kids.

My sister in law said to me this summer, "You would look five years younger if you grew your hair out again." Five years younger! Well hell yeah then! I dislike 30, of course I want to look 25 again. So I have been growing this disaster out. Ugggggg!

So here is what I usually look like:























1. Crazy side bangs that have a funky wave to them. Always have and probably always will.
2. Cowlick. And irritating chunk of hair that likes to hang straight down in front.
3. Side wing.
4. Even bigger side wing.
5. The rest of the bangs. I made the mistake of trying to cut them myself, but now they are super lopsided. Yep, I should never be allowed to touch scissors.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Comfort

Cool Dude

Sorry Mom, Hunter found the sunglasses you left and has claimed them as his own!