Monday, October 25, 2010

Bye Bye Soo-Soo

Well, we did it. Fly 4, who will be three this week, has a serious addiction to his soother. There are as many nicknames for pacifiers as there are babies, but in our house, they are called soo-soos. Fly 4 is deeply attached. So yesterday at hockey he was playing with a baby and when Fly Man got home, he told Fly 4 that we were giving soo soo to the cute baby. That the baby needed it and Fly 4 was now a big boy who was going to be three and didn't need soo soo anymore. Fly 4 did not agree. However, he went to bed last night relatively easily, only a few minutes of crying for soo soo, and slept very well. Usually we are up three times a night helping him find soo soo, and we know he will sleep better without it, ultimately.

So this is our morning conversation today:

Fly 4: "we go get my soo soo back today?"
Me: "No, the baby needs the soo soo."
Fly 4 (loudly): " I want soo soo back."
Me: "but the baby will be sad"
Fly 4: " I yike the baby to be sad"

As Fly Man said, if he had the words, he'd say "*&^% the baby, gimme my soo soo!"

Monday, October 11, 2010

Glass Turkey

This is Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada. As always during holidays, I am caught in a dilemma. My husband and I love to entertain, and we have a large country property that lends itself well to summer gatherings. We've hosted weddings, anniversaries, and tons of barbecues and other parties. But once the weather gets cooler, we really don't have enough space inside for large gatherings. We both come from large families: either family represents at least 25 people, usually more as the neices and nephews are now old enough to want to bring dates. We can handle that many buffet style or for an informal party, but not for a sitdown dinner of turkey and trimmings.

So...this year we hosted a "Glass Turkey" party: cocktails and hors d'oeuvres at 5pm on Saturday night. It was a hit! At one point there were 19 of us, and a smaller group partied on until about midnight. There were plenty of beverages served, and I followed the cleaning plan I laid out in my last post.

The menu:

sweet & sour meatballs
pizza dip (recipe below)
baked brie with red pepper jelly
veggies and dip

One guest brought a cream cheese & veggie pizza, and another these great little phyllo bundles of turkey and veggies.

Everyone seemed to agree that this may be a new Thanksgiving tradition, as
non-traditional as it was. It was a good reminder that what really matters is being together, having a chance to catch up on each other's lives and enjoying good company.

Pizza Dip Recipe

Large package of cream cheese (softened)
2 teaspoons of dried italian seasoning
1/4 cup of sour cream
one small can of pizza sauce (approx 1 cup)
one cup of grated mozzarella
1/2 cup of grated parmesan
1/4 cup of chopped green pepper

Combine cream cheese, sour cream and seasoning until smooth. Spread on bottom
of pie plate. Top with half of the pizza sauce, then half of the cheeses. Do a second layer of pizza sauce and cheeses. Garnish with green pepper.
Bake at 375 for about 20 minutes, until hot and bubbly.
Serve with bagel crisps or other crispy crackers.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

What Martha never told you

As Thanksgiving nears, I thought I would, in the spirit of public service, share with you Mama Fly's Guide to Entertaining. There are some tips on my list that you will not find elsewhere. Martha Stewart has done a lot for home decorating and entertaining, but in some areas she clearly lacks expertise.

Here we go:

1. Go to the Liquor Store. Buy lots.
2. Force small children to clean the bathrooms. In a pinch, skip your ensuite if you have one. Only people who know you extremely well will ever go in there, and they do so at their own risk.
3. Ask husband to do the cleaning job you hate the most. In my case, it is vacuuming. Men are more enthusiastic about jobs that involve an electrical appliance or engine of some type.
4. Tidy all the important school papers (and random crap) off your countertops and pile it in your room. Just like the ensuite, no one goes in there.
5. Force small children to put away their junk and tidy their rooms.
6. Make lots of food, and make it good.
7. Check bathrooms and put out fresh towels, etc.
8. Check kids' rooms, sigh and close the doors.
9. Open the booze.
10. Copious amounts of wine or other alcoholic beverages are the most effective tool for entertaining successfully. Carefully evaluate the condition of your home in order to determine what type of beverage to serve. If things are particularly sketchy, you may want to start with hard liqour. Several shots of vodka or rum in a blender full of fruity drinks can be your fallback in extreme situations. A beer or glass of wine will be sufficient for the times you really have it together. The goal is to have your guests tipsy enough that they aren't sure if they tripped over a dust bunny or stumbled over their own feet.
11. Your level of concern over your home's cleanliness is inversely proportional to the number of glasses of wine you consume at the event. Just be moderate, unless you prefer your guests to leave discussing your drunken state instead of your dusty coffee table.
12. At first glance this may appear to only work for guests who imibibe; however, it works for non-drinkers too - they will be too busy watching the other guests get tipsy to look at your baseboards.

Happy Holidays, everyone! I sincerely hope this helps you relax at that upcoming family dinner.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Fill in the blanks

This is a fun little "Friday Fill-in" from Carmen:

1.I'm going out to dinner.

2. Laughter is music to my ears.

3. Perhaps today you can make it a point to reach out to someone who needs you.

4. It's hard to know how much wine is too much :)

5. Compassion is in short supply some days.

6. I need to run, no matter how difficult.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to hanging with my husband, tomorrow my plans include dinner at a friends and Sunday, I want to cook a great meal!"

Substitute your own words where I have italicized and show me in the comments. Have a great weekend!

Friday, September 17, 2010

What I did today

My sidekick (Fly 4, the only one not in school full-time) and I were busy this morning. What we have done so far:

Zellers - rubber boots and MORE school supplies.
Grocery Store - $150 worth of assorted stuff, including more items we need for our Weight Watchers diet
Liquor Store - Wine, Wine, Wine
My brother's house - drop off some stuff, follow him to drop his car for repairs, then brought him home, coffee and a visit
School - cheque and order form for tickets had to be in today or else
Music Studio - very large cheques for the oldest 3 to take guitar, piano, and piano in that order
Home - unload groceries, on second load of laundry and made lunch
Fly 4 now napping, I am thinking of doing the same.

Bet you are glad you waited weeks for me to do a new post!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

My Top Ten List

I saw this on from this side of the pond, a blog I enjoy, and it was fun to think about. Joyce was asking what your top ten books of all time list would be.

Here's mine:

Little Women, Louisa May Alcott
Anne of Green Gables, L.M. Montgomery
A Prayer for Owen Meany, John Irving
Postmortem, Patricia Cromwell
A Soldier of the Great War, Mark Helprin
A Suitable Boy, Vikram Seth
The Thorn Birds, Colleen McCullough
The Pillars of the Earth, Ken Follett
London, Edward Rutherfurd
Angela's Ashes, Frank McCourt

Send me yours in the comments, or post a link to your blog!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

I May Survive

Last week of summer vacation is mercifully over. Oh my lord, how many more days could these children and I stand each other for? Actually, it has gone by so quickly and we have had a lot of fun, but they are SO ready to get back to school and get away from each other. Big party here with the family on Sunday, up to my ears in back to school prep for Tuesday, so next week the posting will begin. As will the dieting, the running, the cleaning of the house, the finishing up of a work project, and all the other tasks I have put off all summer. "The kids are home, how could I possibly get that done"? Will have to find a new excuse. Fly 4 and I will be home alone. Play wif me, mommy, play wif me! Hope you have a great long weekend, everyone!

Thursday, July 29, 2010


Ever seen the show Mantracker, where the grizzled cowboy tracks hapless hikers through the wilderness? Fly 1 enjoys it. Well, today I am introducing a new series, Frogtrackers. It's exciting, suspenseful, dirty, wet and messy...all the things you and your family look for in a tv show. Starring four appealing little tykes, aged 2 to 10, who romp around their rural homestead hunting and trapping amphibians. Will the frog jump high enough to escape from the sandbucket? How many toads will mommy's juice pitcher hold? Do frogs eat begonias? If you drop a large rock from head high will it kill the frog or break your sister's big toe? You and your budding scientists will find the answers to these exciting questions and more...just tune in next Thursday at 8:00 am to see the whole family on the front porch in their pyjamas!

Seriously...what do city kids do for entertainment?

Monday, July 12, 2010

A day in the life ... sort of

5:30 am, husband leaves for airport kisses me goodbye
8 am, husband calls from airport, wakes me up, kids all asleep
8:30 am Fly 3 comes in, asks to turn on tv
8:33 am Fly 4 calls out MOMMY
8:35 am I get up
8:40 am change Fly 4, get people juice, try to keep things quiet for older two who are still sleeping
8:45 am shower
9:00 am coffee, laundry, read and eat breakfast, kids in front of TV
9:15 am thunder wakes Fly 1
9:45 am Fly 2 awakes
10:00 am check work email, read a couple blogs, realize we need to get it together
10:30 pm realize I lost track of this 24 hours in the life post about 12 hours ago
10:31 pm give up and go to bed

Thursday, July 8, 2010

What's Gonna Work? Teamwork!*

Email sent today:

TO: Auxiliary Caregivers One, Two and Three
FROM: Mama Fly
RE: My attempt to escape my children for 48 hours

Thursday evening – Auxiliary Caregiver One to pick up the three oldest children from the Day Camp bus at 4:30, then pick up Fly#4 at daycare. Bring them here for the night.
Friday - AC One will drop the three oldest back off at the bus at 8:00 am, deliver Fly#4 to Nana (AC Two) and then pick the kids up off the bus again at 4:30 and bring them home.
Friday evening - Auxiliary Caregiver Three will come here after work and stay with the older three until we get home Sat. evening.

Nana to return her charge at her convenience. Thanks guys, if any of this won’t work let me know. Love, Mama Fly

* for those of you without children, this is from "The Wonder Pets" theme song

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

If I had a memory...

...My family would have traditions. Today is the last day of school for the two biggest flies and Fly 3 had her last day yesterday, so I was trying to think of something special to do after school. We have soccer tonight, so it couldn't be anything too elaborate, but I wanted to do something fun. We have already set aside a big bag of school papers, etc. to burn as an end of school bonfire, but we don't have time for that tonight either. It occurred to me to wonder what - if anything - I had done in the past. I mean, we have had kids in school for six years. Surely I have marked the end of school in some way? But no, no recollection whatsoever. This is my only - well, one of my very few - weakness as a mother. I have a poor memory. Maybe not poor, inconsistent would be more accurate. I really need to write things down in order to remember them. But I do pretty well at remembering the minutiae of my family's life, thus using my brain cells up and crowding out more important things like happy family memories.

I read posts on traditions from mothers like Chris at Notes from the Trenches, and Mary at Owlhaven, and I feel quite inadequate. It's not that I lack ideas, or even the motivation, I just simply don't remember what we do from year to year. Of course we have SOME traditions, but it seems odd that I can't recall things like previous last days of school.

Oh well, maybe this blog will help me remember. I'll at least have a place to look up what I did the prior year.

This year's solution? An ice cream cone. Seemed to be a hit.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

A little shaky

Just felt a tremor here from an earthquake several hundred miles away. Very strange. It' s a bit of a shaky day around here anyway. Today was to be Fly # 3's graduation from kindergarten. Unfortunately, she woke around midnight vomiting and running a high fever. Her sister woke up this morning with the fever. So...I have two kids home with me on a day that was to be spent doing work, errands and exercising. Managed to squeeze in a quick walk this morning and have accomplished a few things on my to do list. Loving listening to the girls play Wii baseball. Apparently my Mii looks old. Among other things. Having some friends in for coffee tomorrow, think I will make this I think there is a way to shortcut that link, but I don't know it yet!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Why "The Flyleaf"?

"Flyleaf n. a blank leaf at the beginning or end of a book."

Webster's Dictionary of the English Language, 1987

Why "The Flyleaf" you ask? It all comes down to this ongoing fantasy I have had for years, in which I own a quaint little bookshop in a charming Victorian building on a cobblestone street in some lovely city somewhere. I spend my days running my little store, reading, surrounded by the books I love. And once I close this charming little store, I go home to my beautiful cottage on the nearby lake (within walking distance, ideally) where I spend my evenings and off time writing bestselling novels. Not JUST novels, critically acclaimed bestsellers. Modern literary masterpieces. Generally, somewhere in the background there is a handsome husband and some charming little children, all far too absorbed in their own books to interfere with the creation of literary masterpieces. The charming little store is, of course, called The Flyleaf. There are a number of problems with this scenario, not least of which is the unlikely combination of a cobblestone street in a lakefront village.

Now comes the reality. I spend my days caring for my family and doing some part-time consulting work. My office is in my living room, which is nice enough, but definitely not Victorian. It overlooks a gravel road, not a cobblestone street. There is no lake, unless you count the swimming pool. There is a weed-choked pasture, however. I have yet to write the modern literary masterpiece, largely due to the demands of my handsome husband (that part is real) and my charming little children, none of whom are that absorbed in their own books. This is only partially because some of them can't read yet. They are significantly more demanding than my fantasy family. They are loud, at times (well, often) obnoxious, and expect to be fed, watered, and clothed on a regular basis. Yes, this goes for my husband too. Their needs are endless. They buzz around me like flies. See, I do have a point.

So The Flyleaf represents both: the fantasy and the reality. The Victorian bookstore and literary masterpieces replaced by the image of myself as Mama Fly, attempting over and over to land on a pleasant green leaf, only to be shooed away by the demands of one little fly or another.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Is it really this easy?

I think I just created a blog. I say I think so because it seems too easy. I've been thinking of it for years, and kept putting it off as being too much work, and now it seems it really is that easy.

My reasons for writing are many: writing has always been my thing, the talent others have commented on over the years, something I do well. But now that I don't use that skill at work anymore, I worry that I will losethe ability to form coherent sentences. Don't laugh, this has happened to my verbal communication skills already. No reason writing shouldn't be affected too.

Also, I would like to chronicle various things that are happening in my life - the antics of my children, my attempts to become more healthy, including starting to run. Can you believe that? Several months ago someone asked me if I ran and my sister in law howled, answering "she wouldn't run if someone was chasing her with a gun". And I agreed. But now...I feel the need to do something drastic in terms of my physical fitness and running is certainly that.

I need to think more about my next post. It is 11:00 pm and I have had a long day.