Thursday, November 26, 2009

Le Meme

@CocktailDeeva made me do it!

1. Name someone with the same birthday as you. Uh...I know George Burns DIED on my birthday...

2. Where was your first kiss? By a creek. I ran home and boasted to my mom and her neighbour that I had my first French kiss. (cuz that was my first kiss)

3. Have you ever seriously vandalized someone else’s property? Nope

4. Have you ever hit someone of the opposite sex? No

5. Have you ever sung in front of a large number of people? If by large, you mean a New Year's Eve party, then yes - they got to hear my rendition of Oh Holy Night

6. What’s the first thing you notice about your preferred sex? Shoulders. Leading to arms. Pride and strength are right there for the touching.

7. What really turns you off? Arrogance

8. What do you order at Starbucks? Chai latte

9. What is your biggest mistake? Acting impulsively

10. Have you ever hurt yourself on purpose? Every time I'm in a new relationship! I think I'll stick this one out.

11. Say something totally random about yourself. I sleep hugging my sham pillow.

12. Has anyone ever said you looked like a celebrity? Tom Cruise. Okay, no.

13. Do you still watch kiddie movies or TV shows? Saturday mornings in the kitchen when the kids are watching. I enjoy the humour - even Sponge Bob.

14. Did you have braces? No. My brother had the braces, acne, allergies, glasses, you name it.

15. Are you comfortable with your height? Sometimes I feel cute and elfin but it's easy to feel overweight when you're working with only so much spine.

16. What is the most romantic thing someone of the preferred sex has done for you? Climbed out of bed to go pick up my daughter after she lost her bus money.

17. When do you know it's love? When I'm talking to my mom about him and SHE gets all mushy.

18. Do you speak any other languages? I've lost most of the university French and German. I dabble in Italian.

19. Have you ever been to a tanning salon? Yes - it's the only place the kids can't access.

20. What magazines do you read? I have a lovely pile in my coffee table - does that count?

21. Have you ever ridden in a limo? No

22. Has anyone you were really close to passed away? My grandparents. So that makes my family now something like 13 people.

23. Do you watch MTV? No

24. What’s something that really annoys you? Red light left turners

25. What’s something you really like? A good meal with good people

26. Do you like Michael Jackson? I can't get past the face.

27. Can you dance? Of course! Everyone can dance!

28. What’s the latest you have ever stayed up? 5 AM

29. Have you ever been rushed by an ambulance into the emergency room? Yes. I fell out of a two storey window when I was 2.

30. Do you actually read these when other people fill them out? Yes

31. Tag 5 people!

Now stop your time wastin and get back to work....

(FYI: In case you’ve never done a MEME, just remember to link the person that tagged you, answer the same questions, and then tag five people to do the same. Have fun!)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

All They Want for Christmas

We asked our Hullabaloo fans on Facebook to tell us their children's #1 wish list item (or that of their niece, nephew, grandchild, or third cousin twice removed) and this is what they told us. Strangely, no Zhu Zhu pets!

"Kenzie wants a slide! I am hoping we get snow so she can use it!"

"Sydney would like Gator Golf, man I hate the commercials on Nickelodeon Jr Grrr"

"Brianne wants Super Mario for Wii (c'mon she IS my child LOL)"

"Megan wants a guitar and Hana wants a bike!"

"Miles wants a Barn for his animals!"

"My Zoe wants a Pink DS soo bad!!"

"Ryan would love a Transformer, and Erin wants dollies.... any kind of dolly stuff! Ryan would also like" a saw, with some wood, for buildin' stuff, ya know, me and Dad" (as stated at the breakfast table this morning!)"

"My child asked for a new 27" iMac - oh wait no that was me! Son wants iTunes card and a DS game, Daughter apparently everything in the Sears Catalogue. I think I'll buy her a new pen because after doing the catalogue she clearly must be out of ink!"

"Anything that says STAR WARS"

"A comfy crib for sleeping when the baby arrives!"

"Angel wants High School Musical 3"

"Syd's #1 item is the Strawberry Shortcake Berry Cafe"

"My little Princess also wants a sleigh for me to pull her around!!!"

"Kenzie (4) wants a sled, so we as a family can slide down big hills!"

"The only thing my daughter asked Santa for is a squeaky rainbow dinosaur!! (She also has the Playdoh ice cream shop on the list she made for us, though!)"

"A giant bone filled with bacon (I have a fur child) hahaha"

"My 6 yr old son would love to ask Santa for a firetruck from Playmobil"

"A hockey set (net with sticks) is what's on his Santa list!"

"Dinosaurs are a big deal around here. Son wants one that walks and growls ie the Imaginext ones. Babe is just turning one so I'm pretty sure her #1 thing is going to be the wrapping paper...but I'll jump in and say an activity table, lol."

"Michael (almost 4) wants a Tonka Bounce-Back Racer. And a snow globe :-) Santa's letter is on its way."

"Anything and everything Thomas the Train...or apparently a moo cow."

"Trucks, trucks & more trucks!"

"My four year old D really wants a Nitendo DS!! A PINK ONE!!!"

"Well daughter's #1 wish list item is a chemistry set...yes...a 6 year old wants a chemistry set. However, she is willing to settle for a Fur Real Friend since we can't get a dog anytime soon!!"

Thanks to everyone who contributed and congratulations to Sonya Jackson Marleau, winner of a $25 Toys 'R' Us gift card! (You can join our fan page and participate in contests by going here: Hullabaloo on Facebook)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Winter Parties

Surprisingly, our little neck of the woods has yet to see any significant snowfall. In the past, we have seen a blanket if white even before Halloween. So although it might feel too soon to start planning a Winter Party for your little one, the days will whip by and the snow in all its glory will soon be here.

I loved doing Winter Parties for my children because they helped to break up the monotony of winter. It was a great way to get a groupof kids together to frolick in the snow, play games, and enjoy great cold weather food. Here are some ideas for your own Winter Party:

Gather up as many plastic containers as your freezer will hold (that number is unlimited if it's really cold outside) and fill them with water. Add food colouring. Freeze the containers. On party day, tip the coloured ice onto the ground and make igloos.

This is a take on the Mummy game: with teams of two or three, have one person be the wrappee and ther other(s) the wrappers. They take toilet paper and wrap the teammate until all of the toilet paper is gone.

My kids and their friends LOVED this. Use a rice krispy square recipe and press the rice krispies into paper plates (one for each child). Have a buffet of ice cream, cream cheese, chocolate icing, and whipped cream for the spread. Have bowls of fruit like kiwi and strawberries to layer on top.

These are just some ideas to get you started. Do you have Winter Party ideas? Share them here!

Friday, November 13, 2009

The Shackles of Fear

It was a perfectly balmy summer night in July, half a lifetime ago, as I sat in a Canadian Tire parking lot in Etobicoke, waiting for my husband to finish work. I had the tunes blaring, the windows rolled down, and I was flipping through a Viceroy catalogue of house designs. In my rearview mirror, I saw two men approaching from the O'Toole's bar.

"Great" I thought. "A pick up." The men asked me for directions and then wandered over to another car where they spoke with the occupant for a while. The lights went out in the store, signalling its closure and the men reapproached my car. This time, as I pointed out my window to show them where they needed to go, one of the men somehow hauled me out of my car. I was a weightless object, flung onto the asphalt.

"Rape" was my thought. But no, they were climbing into my car. Too drunk to realize my keys were turned down in the ignition, the driver could not start the car immediately. I yanked on the door, senselessly thinking "James needs the car for work tomorrow!"

I was jumping up and down by the car, wanting my husband to see me from the store. He saw, but was fumbling with the store keys to unlock the door from the inside. By the time he made it out, I was somehow once again on the ground and the car was speeding away.

The car was recovered the following night, after two drive-by purse snatchings. The red hubcaps made the car easy to spot. The female policewoman who apprehended the men called me in, late at night, to identify them in an album of polaroid shots. They were younger than I was.

Weeks later, I received a victim impact statement but never filled it out. I didn't think I had been impacted. But now I know, as I lock my car doors, even now, 19 years later, in any parking lot, as I always look over my shoulder and as I never ever speak to a stranger through my car window.

That is one fear I carry. The other is that I will dislocate my knee yet again and feel the worst pain - the kind of pain that makes you vomit or pass out. I've done both, many times since I was 12. It got the point where I would angle my leg slightly the wrong way, and out would go my knee - eventually not wanting to go back in place. I finally had surgery fours years ago, but four years later I still lie in bed, flinching as I relive the moments of white lights and dizziness. Four years later I am too afraid to even run and gingerly watch each step I take, especially down stairs. Stairs don't like me.

I feel shackled by my fears. My experiences taught me to tread more carefully, figuratively and literally, but they also made me fear LIFE and LIVING. It affects my personal life and my professional life. Too many what-ifs. Too many reasons to just play it safe and hide.

I read "Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway" - a great book without even cracking the spine - and I ask myself "what is the worst thing that can happen?" I need to also ask myself "what is the BEST thing that can happen?" And unlock the shackles. And live.