Getting More Than You Bargained For!

There’s been a lot of changes around the house lately. I’m still having a hard time getting used to seeing this…

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not to mention this…

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It’s a rather unsettling feeling to have the person you gave birth to responsible for the safe delivery of you and your loved ones from Point A to Point B!

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It’s been just over a year and a half since First Born Son got his licence.

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From the time he was a wee lad, FBS has dreamt about the day he would have the freedom of the open road. It started with lawnmowers, then farm tractors, and finally…

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He spent the summer understanding the joys of manual steering, manual transmission and manual brakes, along with the pain that comes with filling a 40 year old truck with Premium gasoline, since it cannot handle Regular. I’m fairly certain he didn’t fill up for less than $1.47/L. His “coming of age” with regards to transportation didn’t actually come until the fall, when he realized that he could A) drive the old truck, rack up repairs and spend a small fortune in gas; B) buy a new used truck, reduce some of the costs of repairs or C) get a car.

After countless hours pricing used trucks, FBS realized he would get more bang for his buck by looking for a used car to drive throughout his college years, then save up for his dream pickup truck once he was a working man. A mature decision to be sure!

Countless more hours are lost over the Christmas holidays looking at various cars. His father and I veto a number of models due to their poor crash ratings, which, coincidentally, he wouldn’t be able to fit his lanky frame into anyway!

Ironically, he fell into a terrific deal. A 2003 Ford Taurus with moderate mileage, a V6 engine, summer AND winter tires, and only one owner; a older couple who have since stopped driving and therefore have no need for a vehicle. Their trusted mechanic was selling it on their behalf.


While this wasn’t the “coolest” of vehicles for a teenaged male, it did have the key factors for the licensed teenaged male in our household: four tires, an engine, and pedals that adjusted for his long legs. Grannymobile or not, FBS was willing to take on this four-door family car! Now should any of his buddies give him grief, he could always ask how many of them had not ONE but TWO vehicles?!


Once the deal was finalized and the ownership was transferred, FBS took to making the car his own. With today being a snow day, he pulled it into the garage and gave it a thorough cleaning. Which is when he came across this…


Funny, he didn’t pay for an Oil, Lube and Filter…

(The car has since been thoroughly disinfected!)

Baby – Teenager

2013-12-03 14.06.19These eyes tell it all.

You were meant to come into our family and bring your own brand of humour, love and caring. For that, I will be forever grateful.

Second Born Son, like his brother, arrived fashionably late. He was supposed to be a November baby, but held on (almost literally) until December 3, 2000. Two trips to the hospital an hour away. Twelve hours of labor YOU LITTLE BUM – but totally worth it for the dimples alone!

Now this little man was born at 5:55 a.m. and he’s been a night owl ever since. (Save for the times around 24 months when he would put himself to bed if we had company over! Boyfriend needed his beauty sleep!) He was the happiest of babies until he was PISSED. OFF. Then you needed to be jumpin’, people. You need to be jumpin’. My husband’s family is known for its blond, strawberry blonde and downright redheads. They didn’t know quite what to do with a black-haired baby. He loved the dog, and adored his brother. I need to find a way to download video of him laughing his tush off at his brother because the laughter is from another soul. SBS IS laughter.

Because we had a son already, many people thought we were hoping for a girl. We didn’t care. What was meant to be would be. We were meant to have this baby. And with his arrival, we knew we were a full family. So while his brother made me a Mommy, this little guy…

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…made our family.

Love you Tootie! Happy 13th Birthday!!!! xo


Catching Up

I think it is an unspoken law of blogging that one takes off the summer months, if not cut back the number of entries. In my case, I tried to pack as many things into each day as humanly possible.

It’s hard to believe that with the return of back to school and fall routines, that it was only two months ago that we were admiring First Born Son’s gardening abilities.


While the lettuce was impressive, his corn and sunflowers are MASSIVE. He entered the sunflowers in the local Fall Fair and won third. The tallest stalk was 10’4 ft so I cannot imagine how tall the winning entry was!!! I’m waiting to get sick of eating corn, since its on the table every night. Hasn’t happened yet!


It was a nice hot summer for swimming at Mom & Dad’s pond. I’m not sure who enjoyed it more, the kids, or Roman!! On a related note: this was one of the few activities Second Born Son could actually take part in – so he spent a lot of time in the water. His are is healing well and we go back down to the specialist in October for an update. This could be an ongoing pattern for a while.  



While you saw M&M’s photos, her sister, Lil’ O also played softball and we loved watching her year-end tournament. “The power is strong in that one, master!!” So nice to see the kids enjoying ball. Now if we could do something about the nut-job adults who organize their teams….SIGH.

FBS had a great season playing ball. It was great to see a team of players who wanted to play ball, and not simply signed up because of their parents. Unfortunately, there wasn’t a lot of structure to the team, and they didn’t perform well overall. “There’s always next year!”


SBS was my little fish this year. Since swimming was considered good therapy for his arm, and we normally do swimming lessons through to the end of elementary school, he enrolled at the local pool. PARENTING TIP: Try to get your child into swimming during the summer Olympics. I wish I had video of SBS splashing at himself and getting psyched like the big boy swimmers. HeeLARrious!!!!


What summer is complete without a wedding? It was a beautiful July day when this lovely couple made it legal. The painful part, to me anyway, is that I USED TO BABYSIT THE BRIDE! That’s right. That gorgeous creature you see there – I used to feed her snacks and keep her and her deliciously chubby little brother entertained. He’s not longer chubby and she’s beautiful. I’m taking all the credit.


Then there was the cottage. Easily the highlight of the summer. Due to the time restraints dictated by work, Lil Sis and I decided to split a week. She took the girls and our parents up from Monday to Wednesday. We all enjoyed Wednesday together, then she took her crew home, and my family stayed on until Friday. HEAVEN! Even when the weather was poor, it was nice to just be together and not have to do anything. This beach has special meaning for me and The Big Guy, since it is where he proposed. I love the fact that the cottage was on the beach, so we didn’t have to load anything up to enjoy the water!!!




I love how this summer turned out; with birthdays and sunshine and being outside. I just need two more months!!!




What He Said…

After a particularly exasperating exchange with Second Born Son, I exclaim in frustration,

Me: “LORD help ME!”

SBS: “I think he’s busy with someone else right now!”


We are watching First Bon Son’s hockey team. He’s the goalie, and it’s been a particularly busy night for him. Second Born Son’s only interest in the game is the fact that his brother is playing. He spends most of the time biting his tongue as we watch FBS stop second and third rebounds while teammates stand back in admiration.

One of mothers on our team is sharing her personal opinion of the official’s call, or rather lack there of. The word she uses rhymes with luck, truck, duck and schmuck.

SBS: Really…was that necessary? (Shakes head in disgust.) ADULTS!


SBS: “We played The Game of Life at school today. I love that game.”

Me: “Oh ya?”

SBS: “Ya, I saved all this money, because I didn’t get married, didn’t have any kids and I lived in a house trailer.”

Me: “Oh – that sounds kind of lonely.”

SBS: “It was AWESOME! I had the most money!!!”

Valentine’s Day in Three Parts….

It’s only two days after Valentine’s Day, and the Easter swag is on the shelves, but I’m still reflecting on the events of two days ago….


I’ve been watching the commercials that start in rotation every January 2nd. The message is the same. If you have someone special in your life, you’d better do something for them on February 14th.

Or risk not having someone on February 15th.

I will admit, when I was young and naive, I bought into this commercialism. I’m not sounding very romantic right now, but if you stand back and set aside the Pink coloured glasses, you will see that there is nothing romantic about being forced to show how you feel about someone. Even the most emotionally emotive man gets a heavy dose of insecurity in the days leading up to Valentine’s Day. The bar is set high. Anything less will result in disappointment and frustration, not to mention reliving the moment for years after – if you are “fortunate” enough to stay with your loved one.

What is romantic about that??

I remember dating The Big Guy and he brought me a Valentine’s Day arrangement. A teddy bear clutching a plastic vase with fresh cut flowers. I was thrilled – such an obvious gesture of love and affection! Totally cute at the time and it impressed several of my friends, because we know it’s all about the brag factor. Wouldn’t thank you for it now. I love the idea of the unexpected. What is romantic is not what happens on one day, but the connection, the listening you do, on all the other days, that makes that one day memorable. And it doesn’t have to be V-day.

*A special note for you guys – you DON’T have to buy a piece of jewelry to get her attention. <Cue the Crickets>

I’m serious here girls! What would you rather have? A piece of jewelry that you basically TOLD him to buy for you, or a night in with your man, your favourite movie in hand because he LISTENED to you when you said you desperately wanted to see it. He also has your favourite snacks!! One is forced, one is genuine. When it comes to relationships, I prefer the latter.

That’s not to say I will turn away a hinged furry box! But let’s put it in context….

I won’t forget my 12th wedding anniversary because I received my sapphire and diamond ring from The Big Guy. Not on our 10th or 15th…. Completely unexpected – and I LOVED IT.

Surprise is romantic. The unexpected, is romantic. Pressure, expectation, entitlement…..

No so much.


Second Born Son has taken an interest in baking lately. We made kick-ass peanut butter chocolate chip cookies. Not long after, we made cupcakes for a friend’s birthday.

Look at that technique!

In the fashion of all agonizing childhood milestones, Valentine’s Day rolled around for him in his classroom.

At his age, not too many kids are keen on demonstrating affection, so it’s an awkward situation. I’ve told SBS that if wants to take a Valentine to one person, he needs to give one out for each person in his class. Fortunately, he agrees.

But this year, when his peers were marking a day for love and affection, one little shit student was changing the rules.

He handed out his store-bought cupcakes to only a handful of students. SBS was not one of them. To add insult to injury, he walked past SBS’s desk and said, “Jealous??”

To which my son, my little sweetie – who had given this child a Valentine AND a box of Smarties, just like everyone else, came back with this gem.

“No. I can MAKE my own, any time I want them.”

Freakin’ brilliant.


It has been documented how our sons feel about our anniversary. Maybe because The Big Guy and I don’t gush over these holidays, we don’t expect much from the boys.

It was mentioned at one point that they had “something” for us, but honestly, with the chaos these past couple of days, I didn’t give it a lot of thought. I have a collection of sweet Valentine cards from my little men, and was looking forward to seeing what they put together this year.

But first, I had something else to attend to.

Made with Love - Half the Calories - ahahahahahahahahah

I always believe the motto “A way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.” So these little dreams were sinful!

It looks like The Big Guy had the same idea!

Poetry! Wow!

But for some reason, he thought I was going to share…THIS?!


I was ready to mow through dinner, just to get to dessert, but the boys has other ideas. Watch us get our minds blown!


It was a Valentine’s Day card with a dinner card inside. They plotted and planned with FBS slipping downtown on his lunch to pick up the cards. Who knew they were so thoughtful!

And that, my friends, is the definition of a loving Valentine’s Day.

True love is the soul’s recognition of its counterpart in another.

~ Wedding Crashers

Silver Balls…er Bells

So Roman weighs a little less now than he did last week.

Being the responsible pet owners we are, we had him neutered on Monday. We figured it’s a lousy day of the week anyway, so why spoil a perfectly good Wednesday…or Friday.

The food went away Sunday night and the water was dumped early Monday morning. The fur baby was not impressed. He enjoys a good meal to start the day, just like the rest of the men in this house.

I got a call after the “deed” was done. He did well and had no issues to speak of. I was to pick him up the following day.

When I arrived for check out, I was presented with enough reading material to intimidate a Rhodes scholar. This was all deemed “required” reading, although the Veterinary Assistant made a point of giving me a rapid-fire overview. All the while, Roman is out of sight, but not ear shot – he’s going nuts hearing me say “Uh-huh” repeatedly.

It takes myself, a veterinarian and the assistant to get the cone on his head. Not. Happy. Roman knows cones are SOOO last season. The assistant helps me get him in the back of my truck. “Roman should only have short walks on leas for the next seven days. Running, jumping and access to stairs should be avoided.”

Too bad Roman didn’t read the material.

As soon as we got home, he leapt out of the truck. He couldn’t fit his head through the back hall – instead sticking to the wall like Velcro whenever he touched something with the cone. If I didn’t take it off, I’m certain he would still be standing in the hallway.

“Sometimes the initial excitement of returning home after surgery causes patients to eat and drink excessively which may result in vomiting. To avoid this, we recommend allowing about one hour for your pet to settle down before giving food and water.”

As soon as I got the cone off, he beelined to his dish which had half a serving of food in it. Inhaled would be an accurate description of what happened next.

He then bounded up the stairs to the kitchen, looking for more food.

The boys came home and he LOST. HIS. MIND. Then the Big Guy came home and he LOST. IT. AGAIN. Trying to keep him calm and reserved was futile. The licking would not stop, and I mentioned I would need some help to get his cone back on.

“Don’t worry about it Mom, I’ll do it.” said Second Born Son.

“Oh hon,” I chuckled. “It would take more than one person to do it. He really doesn’t like it.” I replied.

But the little man was determined, so I thought, “Knock yourself out.”

In two minutes he came back….

A Boy and his Dog.















Blown away, I was.

How's the reception in there?












This is the happiest he looked all evening. It quickly wore off.

So this morning, the boys go back to school, the hubby goes to work and Roman is stuck with me…. The licking hit an all-time high around 10 a.m. I figured if SBS could do it……

I don't think we are speaking right now...
















Hitting a Milestone aka “The Grass is Always Greener”

Every parent looks forward to the firsts in their child’s life. First smile, steps, contracts with NHL franchises. Here in Boweryville, we enjoyed another milestone, just this past Friday night.

That’s the evening after Second Born Son faced his first exposure to drugs.

I’ll give you a moment to clean up the coffee that just shot through your nose. My apologizes for the nasal scalding.

And like so many things in my world – this impactful information was present in the most innocuous way possible.

“Hey Mom, did SBS tell you what happened on the bus today?” asks First Born Son. Let me add here that the boys have been in the house for OVER AN HOUR AT THIS POINT. I’d like to take this opportunity to emphasize how much I loathe “The Bus”. The stories I have from that period in my life make me a poster child for naivety shattered.

After hauling SBS from his father’s laptop, we had a detailed discussion about what happened and I used my journalist prowess to decipher every nuance of the incident. It would seem the little entrepreneur saw SBS board the bus with his box of elementary school fundraising chocolate bars and thought he could negotiate a trade of cocoa product for Grass.

At this point FBS is boarding the bus, and along with his friend, they punch the pusher and managed to hijack the conversation, as well as the proposition. I ask SBS what he’s doing while his brother is pounding the fellow bus rider.

“I just did this.” he sits at the dinner table, eyes as big as saucers, focusing on an imaginary bus seat in front of him, mute and unblinking.

In fairness, FBS has mentioned that this kid had marijuana on him in the past – he’s actually SEEN it on him. I would find out well after the fact and since it did not directly involve one of my offspring – I didn’t feel motivated to go vigilante on this kid. It’s part of the new era I like to call “I’m Only Raising My Kids.

This time, a call to the bus driver Friday evening, followed by an email to the two school principals Monday morning, was required. The high school principal contacted me in the afternoon to advise the student had been called into the office. Suffice it to say, his day got infinitely more shitty than his morning bus ride, when the driver instructed him to sit at the front – an embarrassment he pinned on FBS.

While we’ve had “the drug talk” with our kids for the past few years, it’s still unsettling that it’s come so close to us, with SBS at such a young age. I’m not naive enough to think my kids couldn’t do drugs. I know SBS could easily have swapped chocolate bars for an easy high – and we discussed whether or not he wants to go down that road. His horrified response reassured me.

For now.

I thanked FBS for being there for his brother, and together we discussed things SBS could have said, in the event that this happens again and his brother isn’t around to help out.

I’m not dumb enough to think that this won’t happen again.

You can only go day by day and hope and pray your kids know enough not to blink.

40…otherwise known as FORTY

I remember thinking when my mother turned 40, it was OLD. Oh the joy of youth.

I remember turning 15 and FREAKING OUT. Because I was half way to 30.

I remember years ago between diaper changes figuring out some time frame for some random reason and telling The Big Guy, “You know, when that rolls around, I’ll be 40, First Born Son will be 14 and Second Born Son will be 11!!!!!” Guess what…..

Perhaps its the fact that most of my friends are older than me, or maybe credit should go to Haley Berry’s pioneering efforts, but 40 ain’t no biggie. I’ve always enjoyed celebrating my birthday, and feel there is nothing wrong with taking a day to feel special, but in recent weeks, there have been a number of people saying something along the lines of “Oooh, FORTY! Getting OLD!”

I can honestly say I’ve enjoyed each stage of my life. The years with babies making way for the years with young men. It’s going fast and it’s my goal to enjoy every moment. Like this morning, when the boys stage whispered around the house and when I came downstairs, shouted “HAPPY BIRTHDAY” and guided me to my spot at the table where a tea biscuit dressed up with a candle waited for me. Balloons made my chair festive and the moment was recorded for posterity – bed head and all.

It would be nice not to get a cold for a present, but all things considered, I’m blessed and ready to admit it.