Thursday, May 31, 2007

Dex is *7*

His first moment in the world:

A few moments ago:

Happy 7th Birthday, Declan!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Lazy Daisy Cake

Cake Ingredients
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
2 tbsp butter
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla

Topping Ingredients
1/2 c brown sugar
1/4 c butter
3 tbsp cream or milk
1/2 c shredded coconut

- Beat eggs until light. Gradually add sugar and vanilla
- Sift flour, baking powder and salt. Add to egg mixture, stirring until no lumps
- Melt butter. Add milk and heat to lukewarm. Add to flour, stir until smooth
- Pour into 9x9 pan and bake in preheated 350F oven for 25 mins

- Combine all but coconut in a saucepan on low to melt
- Stir well and add coconut
- Spread on cake once you take it from the oven
- Place cake under broiler until lightly browned


Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Jax's team lost their third straight baseball playoff game tonight. They've just one more practice (Friday) and one more game (Sat. morning) and we are done for the year. We finally has a warm day in which to watch a game (too bad they were annihilated!). Oh well. The kids still had a great time playing and we were not playing that team where the coach yells at all of the players, the opposing team's coach AND the umpire.

Dex's team still has three games and practices. Both he and Jax have a game at the same time on Saturday.

We have been checking on flights for the summer and it is outrageous how much the prices have jumped in the past few days. We should have booked a couple of weeks ago but we have been in "discussions" about the 4th of July and whether or not we will be around (now it just depends on the price of flights). We are considering a quick side trip to Minneapolis to see old friends and my brother who lives there.

Dex's b-day is in two more days. I bought him a book of trivia for kids. That kid loves spewing out facts and trivia. He wants a Lazy Daisy cake and spaghetti for dinner. I was hoping he'd ask to go to Red Robin for dinner. LOL

Monday, May 28, 2007

I think the hummingbird feeder is a bust. I saw a hummingbird buzzing around it one evening but other than that, nothing. And the nectar level never went down. I replaced it tonight with fresh stuff so we'll see what the next week brings.

Here's a picture of me and Lola from yesterday:

Sunday, May 27, 2007


We drove to Vancouver (and back) today to meet Lola! Long trip but it was worth is! She is so lovely. And sooooo tiny. It is so easy to forget how tiny babies can be. I cannot wait to see her again!

Friday, May 25, 2007

It's back!

Cosmo Friday, that is. Well for today anyway. Dex's baseball practice was canceled and since it is the long weekend we figured that Jax's was optional so we did not take him. Laurie hosted Cosmo Friday which turned into BBQ Friday. The dh's joined us about 6pm and we stayed until 9. The weather was nice, we ate, sipped Cosmos and chatted while the kids played in Laurie's HUGE backyard. It was so much fun. Just another three weeks and Cosmos Fridays will be back on for good!

We are thinking about driving to Vancouver for the day on either Sunday or Monday. Actually, Sunday would be best because of the line-ups at the border on Monday will be disasterous. We'll see how tomorrow goes before we commit to driving six hours in one day.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Dex started shaking his head a while back, as though he is trying to shake his hair out of his eyes (his bangs were long). We've had his hair cut yet he still does it. I asked him why and he said that his head hurt and shaking his head helped. I asked him about his head hurting and he says it hurts everyday. (EVERYDAY?!) I asked him why he did not tell me and he shrugged. So off we went to the pediatrician who said that the head shaking was probably just a tic. She suggested that we wait a few weeks to see if the head shaking goes away. I believe her words were "Tics can go away within 1-6 months".

I told her to please not take any offense but I just do not think that his head shaking is "just a tic". I asked her to remember back when he had a throat-clearing thing going on and we saw one of the other doctors in the practice who said it was "just a tic". I went back two weeks later and insisted that it was a sinus infection (which I originally had told them) and they put him on antibiotics and guess what? The throat clearing stopped. Just like the many other times he has had the throat-clearing thing. And now - this is not "just a tic" when he has headaches and he says that head shaking helps the headaches.

She asked me what I wanted to do then. She gave me the following options:
1) (again) waiting it out
2) getting a CT-scan
3) see a neurologist who "specializes" in tics

{banging head against wall}

So, I left with a referral to the neurologist and I figure that is the most proactive thing to do. Of course we cannot get in to see him until mid-July. The tic thing still does not explain or address the headaches. Hopefully we'll have some answers in, what - 8 weeks?!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Two weeks ago, Dex came home from school so excited about a hummingbird feeder that his teacher hung outside of the classroom window. Already they have seen many hummingbirds. This week, I noticed that the drugstore had hummingbird feeders on sale so I picked one up. Yesterday, Dex and I made the syrup (1 part sugar to 4 parts water) and hung the feeder up. Today we saw our first hummingbird! He (or she) just hovered around it but did not stop to drink from it. I think I was more excited than the boys about it!

My mom leaves early tomorrow morning. I will miss her but I will not miss her comments (she claims she means nothing by them but if so, why say them?! I mean if you cannot say anything nice...) And I guess it is not that she is mean really but just what is the point of saying something about my hair or my weight. I am 42 years old and shall do what I like TYVM. I lost 2.6 pounds this week (going to WW yet again) and she was incredulous that I lost any weight because I had some chocolate and popcorn for a snack a few nights ago. And the comment "You look so much younger with your hair pulled back". Aargh!

Anyway, I should focus on the positive. The boys loved having her here. She made me a meat pie and a whole slew of cabbage rolls. We played Gin almost every night. She brought Smarties and Mars bars. :) We celebrated her 72nd birthday while she was here and she loves to shop for bargains so we spent a lot of time in the stores.

Ok, I am off to bed because I have to awaken her at 5:15am so she can get ready for her train to Vancouver. Quick note to Jean-Paul and Marilyn (and Lola)! Watch out! Granny's coming!!

Monday, May 21, 2007

My mother's visit has been good. I haven't been on the computer much though because as soon as I touch my laptop she says "Are you on the computer again?!" or "See if Jean-Paul is on so I can chat with him on MSN". So no time to read blogs or post to mine! She leaves early Wednesday morning.

The kids have so enjoyed having her here. They love telling Granny all about their days and she was able to see one of Jax's baseball games and one of Dex's. Cars is really taken with her and she is eating that up!

I'll be back to blogging and reading more regularly after she leaves.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Way back when was free, I had reconnected with a few people from my high school. Then when started to charge, one of the guys created an alumni site for our school. Most of the people who had signed up originally to this alumni site were people who went to school around the same time as I did. Anyway, one of the teachers signed up too. He was an art teacher (my art teacher one year). He was also an avid photographer and was always taking photos of the students and staff. He had a bulletin board where he would post new photos every Monday (I think it was Monday). Anyway, recently, he sent me a link to many of the photos that he had taken during my years at the school. Lo and behold, there was a photo of Ramona and I:

(The girl on the right is our friend, Debbi)

I think this must have been taken when I was in Grade 11 (so fall of 1980 - yikes!). We were obviously out watching a football game after school. Fun stuff!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Food Allergy Awareness Week

It is Food Allergy Awareness Week (May 13-19). Do what you can to promote and educate people!

Some FAQ's from

What is a food allergy?
A food allergy is an immune system response to a food that the body mistakenly believes is harmful. Once the immune system decides that a particular food is harmful, it creates specific antibodies to it. The next time the individual eats that food, the immune system releases massive amounts of chemicals, including histamine, in order to protect the body. These chemicals trigger a cascade of allergic symptoms that can affect the respiratory system, gastrointestinal tract, skin, or cardiovascular system. Scientists estimate that approximately 12 million Americans suffer from true food allergies.

What are the common symptoms of a reaction?
Symptoms range from a tingling sensation in the mouth, swelling of the tongue and the throat, difficulty breathing, hives, vomiting, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, drop in blood pressure, and loss of consciousness to death. Symptoms typically appear within minutes to two hours after the person has eaten the food to which he or she is allergic.

What is the best treatment for food allergy?
Strict avoidance of the allergy-causing food is the only way to avoid a reaction. Reading ingredient labels for all foods is the key to maintaining control over the allergy. If a product doesn't have a label, allergic individuals should not eat that food. If a label contains unfamiliar terms, shoppers must call the manufacturer and ask for a definition or avoid eating that food.

Is there a cure for food allergies?
Currently, there are no medications that cure food allergies. Strict avoidance is the only way to prevent a reaction. Most people outgrow their food allergies, although peanuts, nuts, fish, and shellfish are often considered lifelong allergies. Some research is being done in this area and it looks promising. Click here for research information.

Should I stop eating the food that I think I'm allergic to?
Randomly taking food out of your diet can leave you with an unbalanced diet that can cause other health problems. Additionally, you may become frustrated because you reach a point where you believe that everything you eat is causing a reaction. Seek the help of a doctor before making significant changes in your diet.

What is the best treatment for a food allergy reaction?
Epinephrine, also called "adrenaline," is the medication of choice for controlling a severe reaction. It is available by prescription as a self-injectable device (EpiPen® or Twinject®).

What is the difference between food allergy and food intolerance?
Many people think the terms food allergy and food intolerance mean the same thing; however, they do not. A "food intolerance" is an adverse food-induced reaction that does not involve the immune system. Lactose intolerance is one example of a food intolerance. A person with lactose intolerance lacks an enzyme that is needed to digest milk sugar. When the person eats milk products, symptoms such as gas, bloating, and abdominal pain may occur.

A "food allergy" occurs when the immune system reacts to a certain food. The most common form of an immune system reaction occurs when the body creates immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies to the food. When these IgE antibodies react with the food, histamine and other chemicals (called "mediators") cause hives, asthma, or other symptoms of an allergic reaction.

What information should I provide my doctor?
Keep a food diary, for 1 to 2 weeks, of everything you eat, what symptoms you experience, and how long after eating they occur. This information, combined with a physical examination and lab tests, will help the doctor determine what, if any, food is causing your symptoms.

What is the difference between a prick skin test and a blood test or RAST test?
The prick skin test or a blood test, such as the RAST (or radioallergosorbent test), is commonly used to begin to determine if an allergy exists. The RAST can sometimes be called the CAP-RAST or ImmunoCap test.

A prick skin test is usually cheaper and can be done in the doctor's office. The doctor places a drop of the substance being tested on the patients' forearm or back and pricks the skin with a needle, allowing a tiny amount to enter the skin. If the patient is allergic to the substance, a wheal (mosquito bite-like bump) will form at the site within about 15 minutes.

A RAST test requires a blood sample. The sample is sent to a medical laboratory where tests are done with specific foods to determine whether the patient has IgE antibodies to that food. The results are usually received within one week.

Which test is better?
Although both tests are reliable, there are instances where one is better than the other. Many doctors use a RAST for young children or patients who have eczema or other skin problems that would make if difficult to read the results of a prick skin test. The results of either test are combined with other information, such as a history of symptoms and a food challenge, to determine whether a food allergy exists.
My mom is coming to town this afternoon. Wish me luck!

Today is the second day in a row of warm weather. Back to 60's and clouds for the rest of the week - just in time for baseball. I think I need a SADD light.

Last week's manic schedule was stressful for me so what did I do? Ate of course. I am up at least a pound now. I'll find out for sure in an hour when I weigh-in. :\

Yesterday at the park, one of my friends was noticing that my forearms are virtually hairless. I had to confess to her that I burnt the hair off my arms the week before last week when lighting the grill (did I write about this already?!). The ignite button on the grill broke (we've had the damn thing less than a year) and so I had to turn the gas on and light it with lighter. I had to click three times before the lighter lit and of course by then the gas was accumulating in the grill so there was a big fireball - WHOOOSH! And the hair on my arms were singed off. I am very lucky that I only lost the hair on my arms and not my eyebrows, eyelashes or hair on my head! I refuse to light the grill anymore so no grilled dinners for us this summer except on the weekends when Stephen is home to cook.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Introducing Lola!

P.S. She does not have deformed baby fingers like her dad and her aunt! ;) Jean-Paul did the same thing I did when Jax was born and check out the baby fingers right away.

Friday, May 11, 2007

It's a GIRL!

I am an aunt again!! Lola was born about 30 minutes ago. No details about her weight yet but both mommy and baby are doing fine. JP will send photos in the morning.
Dex's teacher asked for a "kind note" from her students for Teacher Appreciation week. Here is Dex's (A fine example of his left-handed chicken scratch):

Apparently she did not teach him spelling. O.M.G. I laughed so hard.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

This very busy week is half way over. Just have to:
- Take soy ice cream in for Cars' ice cream social at school
- Deliver "Teacher Appreciation" gifts to teachers
- Hang up paper background and then 20 pieces of art work after school
- Make something yummy for book club
- Attend Mother's Day lunch at Dex's class
- prep and teach art start in Dex's class
- buy b-day presents for Gav
- pack boys' things for sleepover b-day party
- baseball practice

Ok, I think that is it. I am just panicking a little because I don't know when I will get a chance to buy the presents! I will have to run to Target right after Cars' ice cream social tomorrow. Oh, but that is when I was planning to bake something for book club. Ok, ~breather ~ no baking tomorrow. Looks like I will be buying something.

Saturday we have the first of two baseball games that overlap Yikes! I just remembered that we are up for snack for Dex's team. Ok, add that to my list for tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

A little bit of this. A little bit of that.

My mother will be here a week today. Unless she decides to stay in Vancouver first.

Lola is still keeping her parents waiting. Come out to play, Baby! We are all eagerly awaiting your birthday!

Stephen's aunt's body was found and interred on Monday. Fortunately, one of Stephen's cousins was still in town for the very quick service at the cemetary.

I have told Jax and Dex that their long locks will be shorn this weekend. I am sick of them looking like ragamuffins.

Dex can manage to put a hole in any jacket, coat or hoodie within two weeks. I don't understand HOW.

The month of May is the busiest month of the year every year. Why do I never remember this?

Monday, May 07, 2007

100 Things About Pez

1. I love chocolate
2. I hate spiders
3. I am actually afraid of spiders
4. And bridges
5. I am Canadian
6. I have three boys
7. I cried when I found out the middle one was not a girl
8. It took two weeks to get over that
9. Fortunately, it was when I had an ultrasound and not when he was born
10. I have deformed baby fingers
11. I hate being late
12. I hate when people keep me waiting
13. I love looking up words in the dictionary
14. I love doing crossword puzzles
15. I love playing Scrabble but don’t play it often enough
16. I have grey hair
17. I stopped colouring my hair in 2005
18. It is still “growing in”
19. I hate peanuts because they can kill my oldest son
20. I hate tree nuts because they can kill my youngest son
21. I hate people who chose peanuts and nuts over my children’s lives
22. I think they are selfish
23. I am selfish (edited to clarify that it is not for reason #21!)
24. I am an Aries
25. My feet are always cold
26. My favourite things to wear are a pair of jeans and a long sleeved t-shirt and thick socks
27. I fancy myself an artist
28. I can make jewelry
29. I can paint
30. I can knit (a bit)
31. I can sew (badly)
32. I would like to go to school for graphic design
33. I teach art in my son’s class
34. I volunteer for the PTSA
35. Mostly I make (peanut-free) cookies for staff luncheons
36. I wish I had Shania teeth
37. I cry when I am very angry
38. When I was a child, I wanted to be a teacher (or an actress)
39. I would rather stick hot pokers in my eyes than speak in public
40. I am not very articulate when I speak
41. I worry that I will say the wrong thing so I often say the wrong thing
42. I skipped grade 4
43. I failed one class at university
44. I have a magenta cell phone
45. I want a Blackberry
46. I love the internet
47. I have met 10 people IRL whom I first knew on the internet
48. Most I first met via the SAHP forum on
49. I kissed Scott Baio when I was 14
50. I have a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology
51. I can kick anybody’s ass at Tetris
52. I like doing laundry (wash, dry, fold) but I hate putting it away
53. I love Christmas
54. I like tall trees that have coloured lights and a mish-mash of decorations
55. I like that my husband loves to spoil the kids rotten at Christmas
56. I like that my husband loves to spoil me rotten at Christmas
57. I have one sister and three brothers
58. My guilty pleasure is celebrity gossip
59. I love blue corn chips with salsa
60. I worry all.the.time about stupid stuff
61. Stephen calls me “Worst Case Scenario”
62. My favourite colours are red, purple and blue (not all together)
63. I have a cobalt blue glass collection
64. I collect Pez dispensers
65. I have over 350 Pez dispensers on display
66. I am obsessed with the weather
67. I check the weather at least three times each day but usually much more often
68. I get migraines from the weather
69. I get migraines from stress
70. I get migraines when I travel
71. I don’t like to travel
72. I belong to a book club
73. I hate it when people don’t read the book
74. I hate it when people pick lousy books
75. I picked a lousy book
76. Ok, two lousy books
77. The third book I picked ROCKED
78. I friggin’ Rock!
79. My favourite drink is ice cold Coca-Cola but I tell everyone it is water
80. I don’t drink diet pop because I think it will give me brain cancer
81. I had a breast biopsy for suspected cancer (it was benign)
82. I have had thyroid surgery
83. I had three c-sections
84. I played football in high school (ok, flag football)
85. I am too cheap to go to Starbucks but I love to go when I get coffee cards as gifts
86. I don’t drink coffee but I love tea (I guess I have to call it hot tea since I live in the States)
87. I once called it hot tea when I was back in Canada and my friends laughed at me – as did the waitress
88. I love Greek salad
89. I love souvlaki
90. Souvlaki and Greek salad were served as the meal at my wedding
91. I wish they made Cadbury’s Easter Crème Eggs year ‘round
92. I eat them by the dozen
93. I need to lose weight
94. I recently rejoined Weight Watchers
95. I replaced the 50 Things about Pez with 100 Things about Pez because some of the others were too honest and embarrass me now
96. I always spelt embarrass wrong for the first 35 years of my life
97. I miss Toronto but do not want to move back there
98. I would like to live in Vancouver
99. My favourite tv shows are Boston Legal, Heroes, Project Runway (Grey’s Anatomy recently fell off the list because it jumped the shark)
100. I love ribbon and could spend hours in fabric stores looking at it

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Woke up today feeling crappy. My throat is killing me and I keep losing my voice. I think my family is happy about that.

We had baseball today (big surprise). Jax's team lost by like 20 runs or something like that. Oops! Dex has a game tomorrow afternoon. That will end 5 straight days of baseball. Five straight days in cold weather.

Ash and I went to Glo's 40th b-day party in Gig Harbor. The drive was surprisingly easy compared to the drive last year that took 2.5 hours (only took slightly over an hour today). It was so cool to see the new Tacoma Narrows bridge that is almost complete. Last time we drove by the deck had not yet been installed. Anyway, for some reason suspension bridges are not as scary to me as floating bridges. Although, it is still a little frightening.

Today, there was to be a Mass said for Stephen's aunt who died (the one from Houston). Then her body was to be interred in a cemetery just north of Toronto. Well, her body did not arrive in Toronto when it was scheduled to do so (Friday) and no one seems to know where she is! Hopefully she will show up soon!

Friday, May 04, 2007

The bracelet craft went well yesterday. People really seemed to love them. The volunteers will get theirs with their "thank you" baskets at the next mom's club meeting. We have just two left for this year (and no crafts for me to prepare - yeah!). Now on to planning for next year.

I have a cold and after yesterday's meeting, I crashed. I napped for almost two hours. Ash was kind enough to pick up Jax and Dex and bring them home from school. Then we had to rush around, finish homework, eat and back to the ball park for Jax's game. Once again, it was cold and windy! It is about 10 degrees cooler than normal for this time of year. I was wearing my winter coat and sitting with a blanket over my knees while I watched the game. Cars, Dex and I left at 7:30 (Stephen met us there and he stayed until the game ended at about 8:15) so the kids could get a bath and warm up. (BTW, Jax's team won 14-11 - the scores would have been higher if not for those 5-run maximum innings!).

Today we have rain so perhaps both Dex and Jax's practices will be canceled. Jax has a game tomorrow and Dex has one on Sunday. And speaking of Dex, he seems to have lost his brand-new baseball hoodie that we bought for him. Aargh! Twenty-five dollars down the drain. I need to go and check out the school's lost and found box. Oh, I will have Stephen check the trunk of his car. Those are the last two places I can think of to look.

I desperately need to buy some groceries today but I just don't feel like going. I should make a trip to Costco but if I do go out, I am only driving as far as Safeway. Right now I am going to make myself another cup of tea.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Ok, my last mom's club craft is packed up in my market basket to take tomorrow. I think I spent close to 20 hours prepping this craft (deciding on beads/supplies, buying supplies, sorting 1000's of beads into little baggies, cutting beading wire, crimping beading wire, attaching charms and clasps to the bracelet (the moms will thread the beads on themselves), plus making 13 bracelets for the volunteers). well, now that I write it all out, I am sure it was well over 20 hours. Never again will I plan a craft as intricate as this one.

Anyway, here's a photo of some of the bracelets (one of each of the colours - amethyst, jade, rose quartz and blue quartz):

Again, next year's crafts are going to be simple, simple, simple!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

A couple of weeks ago, my SIL called me (she is married to my youngest brother's wife) to tell me that they just found out that her sister's 1 yr old son had a peanut allergy. Then today, another SIL (married to my oldest brother) called me to tell me that her sister's son, who turned 3 on Sunday, had his first taste of peanut butter and he broke out in a rash and his eyes swelled shut. Weird that we have so many people around us allergic to it?!

Yesterday, Stephen brought home a copy of USA Today. I knew there *had* to be a special since he declared before we were married that USA Today was never allowed in our house since USA Today published an article about Arthur Ashe's medical problems, forcing him to go public about his HIV/AIDS. He won't even read it when it is the free newspaper delivered to us when we stay in hotels (well, like that even happens often!).

Anyway, the front page of USA Today had an article entitled Marketers zooming in on your daily routines". The part about the big software company is what Stephen does and the two people mentioned in the article report to him. So, I guess that made it ok to bring a copy into our house.

I have soooo much to do for craft for the mom's club meeting on Thursday. In fact, I am so stressed out about it that all I can do is still and fret about it (rather than get going on it!). I think tonight (and tomorrow night) will be late nights. And I am so behind on my TV shows (Heroes and Grey's Anatomy and I won't be able to pay close attention to Boston Legal tonight!). What shall I do?!

This weekend, I am going to a 40th birthday party for Glo at her house in Gig Harbor. I will FREAK if the traffic is as bad as it was last year when we went to their house warming party. Anyway, it is a Cinco de Mayo party so lots of chips and salsa! Arriba!

Today is Lola's due date yet she has not arrived. Hmmm...just like her dad and grandfather to be late! ;)