Saturday, September 27, 2008

That darned hand of mine!

Ooops, I did it again. Just when I thought I had my mind-of-its-own, do-gooder, no-problem-I'll-do it volunteering hand of mine under control, it snuck out from under me (literally - as I do tend to sit on my hands when I feel one of those "hey, who can we suck into doing this thing" situations coming on). And now, I am my sector's Team Captain for the Government of Canada Charitable Campaign.

I accepted the challenge on the day my department launched the campaign. Usually, team captains are picked months in advance of the launch. Accordingly, we had picked a team captain months ago, but (lucky for her, unlucky for us) she got promoted and left for another government department right before the start of the campaign. Still, I kept silent. We sent out emails looking for a replacement. We held staff meetings. We begged, we schmoozed, we pleaded. We came up empty. So I said to my boss, who just happens to be the campaign champion for my department, "gee boss, if no one else steps up, I'll do it". Gah. Because of course, I am really not busy enough and really needed something more to do. Because they have miraculously found an extra 3 hours in every day for me, and my day now has 27 hours to work with, aren't I lucky. Because my assistant, who takes work home already as things stand, really isn't busy enough and has plenty of time to support me in this endeavour. Gah.

Ok, pity party over. I stepped up to the plate, and I am going to give it my all, as always. I actually really love this kind of thing, and the danger here is that I'm going to neglect my "real" job in favour of this really fun campaign stuff. Good thing I don't run a government program where lives are at stake, 'cause Canadians would just have to suck it up while I organize penny drives and karaoke contests. Oh well, the Public Service will just have to renew itself at a slightly slower pace until the campaign is over :o)

So if you have any really groovy fundraising ideas, could you please share? We have a few activities planned already, but I can always use more ideas! And more importantly, if you have any tips on how to control out-of-control hands that pop up in the air whenever anybody is looking for a dedicated individual (aka sucker), share those with me too, please!!!!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Hockey on my Mind

Ah, the stinky/stale coffee smell of a minor league hockey arena. I LOVE IT. Yup, we're back in the rink! Try-outs started last weekend; we should know by Monday whether the boy will be playing PeeWee B or C this year. He's really hoping for B and has been giving it his all on the ice. I am **such** a hockey Mom - I can't wait for the season to begin so that I can cheer my lungs out from the stands. Trust me, people look atcha funny when you cheer like that during tryouts (blush).

Last year's team picture:

My thoughts last year about a new hockey season:

Yup, I'm a year behind in my hockey scrapbook ... and in just about every other scrapbook I'm working on! Yikes! So much scrapbooking, so little time. I really wish someone would come up with a way for me to scrap all day and still bring home the (same amount of) bacon.

Happy Thursday everyone! :o)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

If a picture is worth a thousand words ...

here's six thousand words for ya!

The view from our room at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel:

Me sipping tea in Old Montreal:

The girl sipping tea in Old Montreal:

The splendour inside Notre Dame Basilica (Old Montreal):

Extreme cuteness in the back seat of my car:

Extreme cuteness in the back yard (wonder what she'll do when she doesn't fit under that table anymore???):

Thanks for coming by!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Bad, Bad Blogger!

It's been almost 3 weeks since my last post. What a bad, bad blogger I've become! I'm trying not to feel too guilty about it though, since real life really does need to take precendence over virtual life once in a while. I've thought about blogging lots, but just haven't had much time to sit at the computer. So here's what you didn't read about over the last 3 weeks (sorry - no pictures; haven't had time to upload any!):

Trip to Montreal - My trip to Montreal with the girl was a blast! Everything went well from the get-go. When we arrived in Montreal by train around 11:30 a.m. and went up to the Queen Elizabeth Hotel to store our luggage til check-in time, we ended up getting a better room (same price) available immediately (bonus!). We went from a room with one queen-sized bed on the not-so-great-views side of the hotel, to a room with two doubles and a terrific view. The girl was very impressed with our accommodations. After we checked in and settled in somewhat, we set out to discover the famous underground city ... an unbelievable number of inter-connected shopping malls! We are not shopping queens, though. We were pretty tired after just a couple of hours, and started to notice that the stores weren't all that different from the ones back home, and not even all that different from one mall to another. We came out from underground and shopped on Ste Catherine a bit, but it really was more of the same. We ended Day 1 with the following purchases in hand: 2 pairs of shoes, one notebook and some sort of asian cookie stick treat (the girl), and 2 pairs of shoes and two notebooks (me). Don't get excited about the shoe purchases - mine were flip flops and walking shoes, nothing to write home - or on my blog - about. After a brief post-shopping rest, we consulted with the concierge re where to go for dinner, and ended up eating at a lovely Italian restaurant on Bishop. The food and service was superb, and to our surprise, after our meal, we were offered drinks compliments of our hotel's concierge. We ended our lovely day by watching an in-room chick flick. Day 2 started with coffee in bed, breakfast at the hotel, check-out, and a long walk through Vieux Montréal including a visit of the Notre Dame Basilica where I lit some candles in memory of my sister, mother and father. When we stepped out of the Basilica a street musician was playing the Avé Maria (one of my mother's favorites, and the song we played at her funeral). An easy coincidence of course, given the venue, but still, I feel like I connected with my mother somehow. Later, the girl and I had a lovely vegetarian lunch at a really cool asian tea room. We then proceeded to walk all the way back up to downtown, and then all the way up to the McGill University campus, and then all around the campus ... by which time we were sore, blistered and ready to go home. We spent our last couple of hours before boarding the train resting in the Queen Elizabeth hotel lobby and grabbing a quick bite to eat in one of the hotel restaurants. Despite our exhaustion, we were very thrilled with our short girls' trip.

A week at the cottage (also known as The Vacation From Hell) - Our original, pre-dog plan was to take a trip with the kids to New Hampshire to visit the boy's godparents, including a side trip to Cape Cod so the husband and I could celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary where we honeymooned. Post-dog, this plan had to change, since Lexi is too young for the kennel and taking her along was out of the question. We decided to rent a cottage in the Rideau Lakes area. We've rented this cottage before, but only for weekends. Turns out it's not the best venue for an entire week of cottage-ing (not right by the water, not a very well equipped kitchen, not enough space - and honestly, not that well maintained). Add to that the fact that the husband suddenly got extremely busy with 3 different real estate deals requiring immediate attention, and therefore basically commuted for the first few days; and the fact that the daughter hated it there from the point of arrival and kept going on about how disgusting everything was; and the fact that the boy loved it there so much and always wanted to be at the beach or fishing but couldn't go as much as he wanted since we weren't right by the water and he needed to be accompanied/supervised; and the fact that we have a dog now, a puppy that needs constant supervision; well, it wasn't the most restful vacation. We ended up bringing the girl home a couple of days early (she went to her grandmother's) and then we ended up coming home a day early ourselves (we were just ready to head home). The husband and I have promised ourselves a weekend away later this fall so we can properly celebrate our 20th.

One year older, and one year old - I celebrated my 42nd birthday last week (yes, during the vacation from hell). The dog gave me a card (totally cute - she brought it to me herself). The kids gave me some great presents ... fashion jewelry, nail polish, lip gloss, candy, scrapbooking stuff and a certificate from the girl for breakfast in bed and cooking one full dinner. The husband knows what makes me happy ... a gift card to the spa that I probably won't be able to spend all in one shot (woohoo!). As for the "one year old" - this blog turned one on September 1! Can't believe I missed it!

Back to school - Both kids went back to school on Tuesday. The girl is in her last year of high school now. They totally screwed up her schedule, gave her two spares next semester and, horror of horrors, added math to her schedule for this semester. Math. The.Worst.Subject.Ever. Within a day it was all worked out though, turns out math was just a big mistake, she has a spare instead, and next term one of her spares is actually because she is taking an online course. So all is well with the world. The boy is now in Grade 7 (the biggest change appears to be having a locker). Happily, he is in the same class as 2 of his 3 best friends. Unhappily, he started feeling sick a few hours after getting home from school on Tuesday and by evening he was barfing every half hour or so. He was still sick the next morning, and had a fever as well, and had to stay home from school That doesn't start out the year on a very good foot!!

Back to hockey - The boy got back on the ice Monday night for conditioning camp. Boy, was he tired and sore afterwards! As far as I'm concerned it's a good thing he stays away from hockey during summer; it shouldn't become an obsession, kids should take a break. Unfortunately though, it does make for a rough start when the hockey season rolls around. He had to miss a session yesterday because he still had a fever. I hope he is well enough to attend the last session tomorrow night. Sort-outs (house league equivalent of try-outs) start September 14th. In NHL news ... the season is almost here! Pre-season starts this month, and guess what - the husband got me tickets in his company box for the Sens-Canadiens pre-season game on the 27th! Woohoohoo!

Back to scrapping - Good news! The thought of going back into the hockey rink motivated me to scrap a couple of hockey pages this week. Haven't had time to scan them though, but I will soon, and will post them here for you.

Our little baby is growing up - So we've now had Lexi for almost 2 months now. She's come a long way but she's still a puppy who needs lots of attention! In the last 8 weeks she's more than doubled her weight .. she's settled in fairly well into a routine ... she's doing much better on walks now ... she doesn't nip as much anymore, except for the boy, who she nips as often as she can get away with it. Happy to report that she's still utterly cute, which continues to save her behind when she is being a nasty dog.

Living with one less bathroom - Ever since our bathroom renovations began over a month ago, we haven't been using the master bathroom (we had no sink in there, and there was a bunch of tools and plaster dust etc. all over the place). Well with the first week of school under our belts, we quickly realized that 4 people simply cannot all get ready for the day in one family bathroom (ok, they can - many people do it - but we've been spoiled for years, and just can't hack it). So tonight the husband finished hooking up the new sink and by Monday my new bathroom will be fully up and running (after a few finishing touches from Home Depot and Home Sense tomorrow).

So I hope sincerely hope y'all haven't completely given up on me, and that you're still coming by and reading my blog! I promise I'll update soon with pictures of Montreal, the cottage, the dog and maybe even the bathroom!

Meanwhile, have a great weekend!