Tuesday, November 30, 2010

happy december!

as you know, i recently discovered the variety of christmas music out there and wondered how to put it all together into one compilation. what i've done is grouped the categories so that you can hit skip skip skip to get the section that best suits your mood. i've put all my songs here in bold if you just want to scroll through and see what i've picked but my thought processes are italicized for the handful of you who thinks my through processes are funny.

(drum roll please...i know you're wracked with anticipation...)
my mix:

1. all i want for christmas - mariah carey : you might laugh but when this song comes on, i can't help but get excited. i've placed it here as the first song so that you can put in the cd and press skip right away before walking away from the ipod doc/cd player if you're not a fan.

2. christmas all over again - tom petty: another great upbeat, non-traditional christmas song. the feel of it works well after mariah.

3. christmas (baby please come home) - U2 : keeping with the upbeat theme but moving into more familiar carols.

4. God rest ye merry gentlemen - barenaked ladies feat. sarah mclachlan : a classic christmas song, bringing the upbeat song section down a notch but not cutting straight to mellow.

5. baby, it's cold outside - willie nelson feat. norah jones : one more notch down on the "upbeat", mellowing out, classic christmas carol.

6. what child is this - matt wertz : now we're at mellow, traditional carols.

7. o holy night - avril lavigne & chantal kreviasuk : too bad avril is in this song but chantal is amazing and there are some beautiful harmonies. i listened to probably 10 versions of this song and still kept picking this one as my favourite.

8. it came upon a midnight clear - sixpence none the richer : a pretty version of this song in the same mellow-ish tones of the previous two songs.

9. silent night - house of heroes : never heard of this band before but definitely liked their version - mellow without being mournful...and there are LOT of mournful silent nights out there.

10. holy, holy, holy - sufjan stevens : the last of the traditional carols but sung in a style that begins to prepare listeners for some more alternative christmas music.

11. the christmas song - catherine feeny : familiar christmas with jazz undertones.

12. peace - norah jones : unfamiliar but jazz christmas nonetheless. this song also marks the mellowist section of music in the compilation.

13. snowfall - ingrid michaelson : my current favourite artist - couldn't not have her in this list. mournful wintery song.

14. christmas is near - charlotte martin : a second non-traditional but mournful wintery song that works with ingrid.

15. christmas song - dave matthews & tim reynolds : non-traditional but picking up the beat a little as well as coming back to a bit more familiar as we near the end of the cd.

16. happy x-mas - sarah mclachlan: this song is in the non-trad. section but is so familiar to everyone that it's preparing us for the final, traditional song.

17. auld lang syne - variety of artists from the cd, "the hotel cafe presents winter songs" : this song is a fitting ending to any christmas cd as it always makes me think of "it's a wonderful life". there's another beautiful version of it on the "sex and the city soundtrack" but i liked this acoutic version.

and there you have it! days of listening to christmas music and scribbling on scraps of paper to create my perfect mix. i'd love to hear songs you'd add, take away, switch spots, etc.

**also, i'd like to say that i enjoy "charlie brown christmas" as a whole cd by itself which is why none of those songs made it on this list. we also listen to sarah mclachlan's "wintersong" a LOT at christmas therefore only one of her songs made it on here.

rookie mom stressors

things that stress out moms of one: your child's sleep/lack of sleep, your child being sick, and your child not eating. today i am the latter. ben is turning into the pickiest little non-eater i've ever met. i remember when i didn't have kids and i'd think judgemental things to myself like, "if you just feed the kid everything, he'll like everything." when i started feeding ben solids, i started with vegetables. you know how that went. in desperation to get him to eat, i quickly switched to fruit. and one day, of course, he started eating both. but then the food was supposed be getting more solid and he was "supposed" to be eating the same foods as us. we'd go to other peoples' houses and their kids would just be eating whatever came off the table but not ben. i wanted him to eat what we were eating but for some reason, i could not get my act together to have a meal ready by the time it was dinner for him. so at 5:00 - 5:30, i'd whip up some pasta or a scrambled egg etc. for ben's dinner. then when tim and i were eating at 6:30 - 7pm, ben would either already be in bed or be playing.

so let me tell you: i take all my judgemental, pre-baby thoughts back. (i often think this about many pre-baby thoughts) post-baby thoughts? i'm making this harder than it should be! i've gotten better at having dinner ready at 5:30pm (though it's taken me over a year) and yes, on the nights that tim and i eat delissio, i still make ben pasta or a pbj sandwich. but lately, when trying to just feed him what we're eating, he won't eat. and everyone says, "they won't starve". yeah, yeah, i know. but it doesn't make it easier to let them not eat dinner. :)

and that's the latest on ben these days.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

first snow

seeing as ben's first winter did not have any snow, this week was ben's first time outside in it! the afternoon of the snow day, tim, ben, and i drove to superstore, bought ben a proper snowsuit and a sled. in the store, we set him on the sled and pulled him around a little and he was keen. so we got him home, got him all dressed which was a feat of strength for sure, and got out into the cold. ben loved riding on the sled. he didn't move a muscle once we put him on there.
walking around the neighbourhood

ben and i at the top of the hill...

i was screaming so loud here but ben was all smiles.

tim and i took turns going down the sled with ben and he loved it. we're looking forward to the next snowfall.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


this morning, ben spent at least an hour picking up odds and ends around the house and moving them from one place to another. key chain, necklace, plastic piece of watermelon, small tupperware container. then he began gathering everything that he could find into a little basket that has a handle. he carried that basket around the house and by the time he brought it to me on his arm, it was full. books, play phones, play food, blocks, my cell phone, metal play pots.

putting something from one container to another or emptying a container then re-filling it - this is the play of a one year old. the other day, tim said, "maybe he's ocd" but i'm pretty sure this is just what little kids do...right?

Friday, November 19, 2010

christmas cd

every year i think that it would be great to make a christmas cd. i'm not a huge christmas music fan (except for amy grant's tennessee christmas, of course) but i think if i could just get a more consistent selection of good christmas music, i'd like it better. you know what i mean - you're at the mall and a great song like "Mary's Boy Child" by boney m. and then your christmas spirit is squashed with a christmas song by n'sync.

so i began my quest to create a great christmas cd. and here is my discovery: there are a lot of styles of christmas music that will not all work together in the same cd. there's the classic christmas carols, then there are christmas songs that we don't know. there's upbeat christmas and there is calm, sometimes mournful christmas. what i've discovered from listening to so many songs on itunes and grooveshark is that i like the classics. and i lean towards the mournful which i'm fighting against because christmas is not a mournful season. but so far, it's a fairly mellow selection. so here's a handful of songs that will be in my compilation:

baby, it's cold outside - with willie nelson & norah jones
what child is this - matt wertz
o holy night - avril lavigne & chantal kreviasuk (i know - but chantal's harmonies are awesome)
it came upon a midnight clear - sixpence none the richer (remember them?)

what would be in YOUR christmas compilation?

gap canada

you know how i love sprize at gap and i get lots of emails from them with sales and specials and such. my favourite sale is always "40% off all sale items" - the BEST time to stock up on baby clothes for sure! and then i got an email this morning: this saturday - 40% off YOUR ENTIRE PURCHSE INCLUDING SALE ITEMS! new favourite sale. so if you're in canada, check out your local gap on saturday - christmas is right around the corner. i guess my family now knows what they're getting for christmas...shoot. gap clothing and tupperware.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


today, i requested christmas books at the library to wrap up in preparation for our first annual book advent calendar...we will see how it goes with a one 1/2 year old. photos to come when it's all prepared!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

gratitude sunday

joining A Journey to a Simple Life, a weekly post to remember all that i am thankful for...

while it hasn't been weekly, but i've still been thankful. this week, i'm thankful for...

> having found a church that we enjoy and are beginning to feel a part of in our own town

> our new care group

> chocolate covered pretzels

> low drama

> the discovery of "a little bit of french vanilla" in my tim horton's coffee

> thoughts of christmas planning

> bonus sunny days in november

> a new 2 player board game

> that my mom gets to spend some time with family in ontario this week

> ben's increasing communication skills - yesterday, he was whining then he left the room and came back with a piece of playfood bread, saying, "be, be"(short vowel sound). i went to the kitchen and got him a piece of bread. he signed, "thank you". love. it.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

saturday morning gaming

give ben 5 soothers, bucket, and his own container of dice - he's good to go.

Friday, November 12, 2010

motherhood is all about going from moments of "i'm the greatest mother ever" to moments of "how could i have been entrusted this this child?" in 30 seconds flat. always humbling.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

the ball pit

if you're my friend on facebook, you saw the picture of ben sitting in his mini ball pit. i actually got that idea from my fav mom blog: rookie moms. they suggested putting plastic balls in a pack n play. i told my mother in law to keep an eye out for plastic balls when she was out shopping and a few days later, she came over with a few bags of balls! i set up the playpen in our dining room and poured the balls in - i was pumped. i put ben in and he was totally distraught. he hated it. i left it set up for a few days thinking that he might get used to the idea but after putting him in it a few times, he never warmed up to the idea. i cleaned it up and put away the playpen. i started feeling like that was a really silly idea anyways - i mean, why would i want to have my playpen set up all the time anyways? and then where am i supposed to store these balls?

a few weeks later, ben was climbing in and out of our ottoman that was filled with his toys. i was wishing that the toys didn't have so many sharp edges and such when it occured to me that this would be the perfect ball pit! we emptied the toys and now ben plays in the ottoman daily. plus it's a place to store the balls!
we hooked the top onto the edge of the ottoman and made it a slide.

inspired haiku

november sunshine
makes the fallen leaves sparkle
don't forget your hat

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

where is zoe going?

cover cover

this little series of board books are some of ben's favourite books. every book begins with "where is zoe going?" and each double page spread has one short phrase that describes the day. barbara reid is an amazing artist who creates every picture with clay and the details that she includes are so intricate. ben can spend so long (whole minutes! long in ben time) looking at each book. he seems to recognize more and more things in the books each time - like he started by pointing at all the dogs in each book but then he started noticing other things like the hat that blows away from the garbage man or zoe's dad's coffee cup is hot (he makes an h sound when things are hot like my coffee or the oven). the books are small which makes them perfect for bringing along in the car or stroller. and now when we go outside and it's windy or rainy, i refer to the books by saying, "ben, it's so rainy out! it's like zoe's rainy day!" and he always looks at me intently like he's trying to understand what i mean. tim likes reading these books to ben at bedtime because they're very short. haha. i definitely recommend them for toddlers as early as 1 year. and when your kid is in kindergarten and learning to read, i figure they'll still be great books!

Monday, November 08, 2010

uncle matt

ben's current favourite word is "matt". we discovered he could say one night when matt stopped by to go to a abbotsford heat hockey game with tim. once ben figured out he could say matt, he hasn't stopped. when matt's around, he says "matt! matt! matt!" constantly. lately though, when matt's not around, ben says it over and over. the other day while we were driving in the car, he was pointing out the window and shouting, "matt!" so we're not quite sure if it means other things as well. but he definitely knows who matt is and is happy when matt is around.

christmas is coming?

i've already got some presents bought for christmas and have ideas for those i haven't bought for! i've never been this on top of gift buying. pretty pumped. :)

(my mom gave me these willow tree nativity figures last christmas and i can't wait to set them up for THIS christmas...)

Saturday, November 06, 2010

one of my many food quirks

i go through bagel stages. for awhile, i was getting them often at tim hortons. but what i don't like about bagels is that they're too bready. i know, weird. but i look at people who eat bagels without toasting and i get a terrible taste in my mouth just thinking about it. yuck. when i toast bagels, i toast the heck out of them. they need to be quite crunchy so that the breadiness on the inside isn't overpowering. at tim hortons, i ask for "double toasted" and they're usually not toasted enough. in fact, i once got a bagel "double toasted" with cream cheese and when i bit into it, it was all bread. yuck. so i went back to the counter and said politely, "i know this is crazy but i'd asked for this toasted twice and it barely tastes toasted at all. would i be able to get another one?" the girl was like, "are you serious?" i nodded, "yeah, sorry. i just can't eat it like this." (i've paid for it, i'm going to get it how i'd wanted...i also send back slightly warm fries for hot ones - tim hates it) the girl rolls her eyes at me and says, "we're going to have to throw this away." "yep." "there are people who are starving and you're asking me to throw away this bagel?" "yes, i am. i'm not going to mail my bagel to the starving people." she made me another one and i ate it guiltily. gee. service at time hortons - yikes!

where am i going with this post? bagels.

my favourite ceo, galen weston has done it again. he invented thin bagels. okay, maybe he didn't invent them but now, at superstore (or loblaws for all you eastern canadians), you can get bagels that are skinny. have they always been around and i've just never seen them? maybe. but i bought a package of them yesterday and they are the greatest! toast them up and they're the perfect amount of breadiness! i will never go back.

Friday, November 05, 2010

bad mommy moment

last night, i actually remembered to brush ben's teeth. i usually hold him up to the sink, do the initial brush, and then let him chew on the toothbrush while he imitates the spitting noises that daddy makes. he loves to dip his toothbrush in and out of the water running from the tap. mid-brush last night, the phone began to ring. now that i wait expectantly each night for calls from vice principals to TOC the following day, i set ben down and ran to get the phone. it was not to TOC but it was someone calling in their credit card number for a Tupperware order. we chatted for a couple minutes. i probably wasn't gone for more than 2 minutes. when i returned to the bathroom, ben was opening up the toilet seat and fishing out his toothbrush. i guess he wanted some more water to dip his brush into! augh! who knows if he'd ever gotten that brush to his mouth or not before that moment but he sure wasn't happy that i threw his toothbrush away and then made him wash his hands again! note to self: don't leave an unattended toddler near a toilet.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Writer's Block

Yes - no posts for a week. I try not to do that so often but the last month or so seems to have some gaps. Most of my extra blogging time has gone to Tupperware this month and it has paid off as I moved up from being a consultant to being a Manager with my own team! Pretty fun. I just laugh at myself sometimes for being a Tupperware consultant because I would have NEVER thought I would do this, let alone enjoy and be pretty good at it. There's just too much potential to make money at this and when TOCing hasn't been really panning out for me as I'd imagined, we need that extra money. So yes - this is where I have been...just so you know. But since I'm here blogging about Tupperware, let me direct you over to my Tupperware blog to see the latest deal - good until this Friday. It's a smokin' good deal for anyone who is always throwing away rotten fruits and veggies from their fridge and freezer burnt meat and meals from their freezers. And for all you non-Tupperware peeps out there, regularly scheduled blogging will be back this week, i hope.