This is what it looked like this morning when I got up...
Doesn't look that much different in the picture does it?!? Take a closer look...
Just like it does every Moanday morning!! Drives me crazy!!! Sometimes I will just bite the bullet and clean it. Other times I wait and see if Callum will clean it. Funny, huh?!?!? You know he doesn't because, "my glasses are off, I don't see it" and I end up doing it anyway!!
It really didn't take that long. We almost have it totally finished. See those pictures on the floor, they need to go up on the wall but we ran out of 'putter-uppers'. Great thing is, it totally motivates you to do more. We even started on the next room.
Here is the next room to downsize and organize...
It is our playroom/office. Yesterday we actually got half way through. We are hoping to finish over the next couple of days.
This weekend we also added a new pet...
Meet Steve -he's a little bigger than Baby Geordie and there is a possibility that it might be Stephanie. The two seem to get along.
Not the best picture but he's still a little too frisky to come out and play.
When we moved down here, we moved from a 1.5 bedroom/1 bath apartment in Toronto to a four bedroom/three bathroom house. How is it that almost five years later we have...
TOO MUCH STUFF?!?!?!
Thing is we even got rid of a lot of it due to the incident. Moving out of this place into a two-bedroom town house made us get rid of a lot of [crap] stuff. Then moving back into there we deliberately tried to get rid of more...and then we didn't finish!
Is that really a surprise?!?! I am the never ending starter... and unfortunately Callum is not my finisher. Plus, we are also both pack rats.
The other day I was at my super-duper organized friend's house (you know, my southern BFF who is pretty much the exact opposite of me) and sitting in her house, seeing a real example made me really think that I could do this!!
It took me a while and I still have problems when I think about how the book I am holding was probably in someone else's bed but I'm doing it!!! Going to the library was the first step of this whole downsizing way of life. Not only do I save money by not buying books, I then give them back and I don't have to find a place for them.
What it comes down too is when the time comes and we move from here...which for all of our sanity better be sooner than later... we will never have a house this size again. Therefore we will not have the room for the amount of junk (and most of it IS junk) that we have. Plus, we will probably be the ones moving ourselves and paying for it!!
Did you know that the size of houses has doubled in the past 30 years?!?!?!
Minus our bedroom this is our worst room. It becomes a stopping spot for things that we don't have a place for. On this table includes pictures that we have yet to put up, reusable shopping bags that I have not found a place for some knitting stuff, mail and my purse/bags.
Here's to this weekend and my first room. The plan is to go room by room. Who knows, it might take me...
till we leave this place!!! but it will be done!!!
Since moving south of the Mason-Dixon line I have become quite the little Barbecuer [if I do say so myself!] Look at my resent steak...
- Barbecue is a type of food down here, much like Italian or Chinese. A grill is what you use to make the barbecue. When you are invited 'round for a BBQ you show up and eat chicken/pulled pork/brisket/beans/etc... The term 'grilling out' is also used.
- In Canada (and much of the non-southern States) barbecue is what you do to the food. The BBQ is the 'appliance' that you cook on. Most of the time when you are invited over for a BBQ it's usually hotdogs and hamburgers or you B.Y.O.M. (bring your own meat). You usually B.Y.O.B. (bring your own beer) as well. On the east coast [of Canada] many are known to B.Y.O.C. (bring your own cooler) that way nobody can steal your beer!
When we lived in Toronto, Callum used to do all the barbecuing. When we moved down here I quickly got tired of having to wait for him to come home from work so I took over.
I will tell you that I had to train Callum how to barbecue. How did I do this, you may ask?!?! Well, that leads me to ...
-if the barbecuer/griller is a little fire crazy and enjoys to cook cajun-style wrap the meat/chicken/pork in bacon.
One evening Callum was to grill and I wasn't in the mood for crunchy chicken so when I was getting everything ready I wrapped two or three pieces of bacon over (and around) each piece. The chicken came out amazing!! It was so juicy and tender and not a black spec on it. The bacon on the other hand, did not survive.
Now, I didn't tell Callum what I was doing. He didn't find out about this until years later...
Do you think that someone can tell your age by how you dance?
Geordie has been a dancing machine lately and we will join in. Callum breaks out all the old school moves. We say this like it's cool...but is it? For some reason using the term 'old school' now seems to be cool/hip/happening/choice/far out/sweet. Why?!?!? and is it just those over 25 who think that 'old school' is cool? Do those under 25 think that we're just trying to relive our past, or just stuck there.
Either way... here is Geordie's version of the running man. That would put Callum and I in our teens at the late 80's/early 90's...EARLY teens!!!!! He ends his 'dance' with the move that Callum does after getting out of the pool/ocean to get the water out of his head! Notice how Mariah Carey Someday Geordie's running man is.
Speaking of which I really need to change the music on my Ipod. It's all 'old school'!!!
We travel to Alabama a lot due to Callum's work. The plant where they put all the pieces together is there. Callum usually travels there once a week for the day to make sure that everything is running smoothly and (I'm convinced) to hang out with Vijay!! The plant is in the suburbs of Birmingham. We stay in the Hoover area and I LOVE IT!!!! It's quite pretty and there is great shopping there. This time we stayed in a hotel that just opened. When Callum booked the room they asked if we wanted the beautiful mountain view or the mall view. This was our view...
Isn't it beautiful?!?!?!?!?! Quite often I found myself in total awe of the topography!!
Geordie and I swam, checked out the shops, met Callum for various meals. We had a great time! Callum, on the other hand, worked until 9:00 each night (which was 10:00 for us) and had to go in on Saturday morning.
Saturday afternoon we went to the Birmingham Zoo. Geordie and I had been there once before, when he wasn't even two and it was a cold day in January (beginning of November cold for back home). Geordie was psyched to see the elephants. Unfortunately, there was none. So, then he was very excited to see the giraffes. We went, one minute later he was ready to move on. Callum couldn't believe it!! I loved it!!!
I am not an animal person at all. I really can't stand them. I like kittens, sometimes I like the look of puppy's but I rarely ever touch them. We have Baby Geordie so that Geordie can have a pet. [Callum too!] Just because I do not like them doesn't mean that I should ruin it for everyone else, right?!?!? So going to the zoo with a four year old is right up my alley!! We have the same attention span for looking at those damn animals!!! Actually sometimes, Geordie's is longer than mine!
I found someone who was just as enthralled with the animals as I was...
There was a carousel there. It was Geordie's first time on one...'ALL BY MYSELF!!'
...and no trip could be done without the ever present silly thingie to stick your head in!!
We were in Alabama for a few days. Callum had to go there for work so we went a long. It gives Geordie and I a change of scenery, some new things to do and then Callum doesn't miss us!!! 'Cause we are so miss-a-ble!
One time when we were dropping Callum off at work after lunch, Callum was in a rush and mentioned that he was busy...
Geordie; "You're not busy Daddy!!! You're going to work!! Me and Mummy are busy!! We have all kinds of things that we have to do!!! [*with a chuckle*] You're not busy!!!"
That's my Geordie!!! Gotta love his outlook on life!!!
Geordie loves to swim. Since he was a baby he's been in pools, oceans, lakes, bathtubs... okay not lakes!!! I really don't like lakes, they gross me out for some reason.
Geordie's first time in a 'pool', 2 minutes later he went head first into the water as Callum thought that he was strong enough to sit up on his own. I don't know who was scared more, Callum or Geordie?!?! 5.5 months.
Once Geordie was able to keep his head up (as in when you do not have to support his head day in and day out) we started 'swimming'. We would just carry him around in the water. Every so often we would put his head under. I was told that if you blow into a babies face that they would hold their breath; I don't know if it's true or not but it made me feel better about doing it.
Geordie's first time in the ocean. 7 months, Wrightsville Beach, NC.
By the next summer, when Geordie was around 16 months we started putting 'bubbles' on his arms and let him practice swimming on his own in the pool. (side bar; we did not leave him to swim on his own, we were either right beside him or still holding on to him).
Geordie with his flippers, goggles and 'snork'. summer 2007
Last summer, at age 3, Geordie was doing so well that we decided to put him into swimming lessons. We first put him into a Pre-school (3-5) class. That one didn't work out too well. He was the youngest as well as the most experienced in the class. At that age, that equals disaster!!! So, the next session we put him in a semi-private class. It was only $15 more and you get 10 minutes more each class. Well worth the money!!!!
This was last year...
This was last week, Geordie can now do the front crawl...
...and this is his 'trick'. He made it up all by himself!
Funny thing about the trick; yesterday Geordie was in a new class with a new teacher and the instructor didn't know about the trick. While they were out in the middle of the deep end with their 'boards' Geordie started doing his 'trick'. You should have seen the teacher move!!!
Meanwhile, Geordie can now swim above water, although it looks like he's drowning. He can also semi-dive for things. His instructor needs to give him a little push to get down to the bottom of the pool.
The Gray's (Kevin, Alaina, Nora Jane, Viviana & Noble)
In August of 2003 I was in our apartment in Toronto and the phone rang, it was Callum. He was down south checking up on the building of our house as well as doing some work stuff. He was incredibly excited. Up the road from us there was a couple painting a piece of furniture white...and they were expecting!!!
We were both incredibly excited. First of all, there would be a friend for our baby and second, they were painting their furniture white. We were also planning on doing that. They also drove a Honda accord and not a big truck, which we were thankful for!!!
We moved in November 1st and one evening, a little while later our doorbell rang . It was Alaina, welcoming us to the neighbourhood with a key lime pie. I think I might have scared her a bit with all my questions but it all worked out in the end. The pie was good as well. Neither one of us had ever had key lime and actually, come to think of it, I don't think Callum even had a piece because he didn't really know where it came from!!
Now, almost five years later The Gray's are moving. First of all...who would have thought that they would be moving away before us?!?!?! Kevin is going back to school. I am proud to say that when I received the news I was happy for them...then 30 seconds later, sad for us! At least I thought of them first!!!! ;)
The Gray's have been our translator for all things southern! They are also open to our eccentric ways and not only did Kevin and Alaina know where Halifax was... they have been there!!! Alaina and I couldn't be any different! I like to think that we compliment each other, but maybe that's only in my bubble. ;) We always have a great time together with or WITHOUT children!!! Truthfully I really do think that the reason we moved here was to meet them!!!
In the words of Geordie, "My Alaina, My Friend"
Great thing is that they are moving to a place that we have yet to visit in the States so we will definitely make sure that we will visit...and finally, when the time comes and we are back in Canada, I know that they will come see us!!! All I can say is, Thank Goodness for social networking!!!!!
So the other day I was up for worst mother award...
We were running a little late for Geordie's swimming lesson. He was being a little on the annoying side and suddenly I just yelled at him. We try not to do the yelling thing. It's one thing to yell for someone (I'm on the top level of the house, Geordie's on the bottom) but we rarely ever yell at him. We made that decision after witnessing what happens when you constantly yell at your child; they become completely immune to it!
Well, Geordie was beyond upset, he was shaking. I felt horrible, quickly apologized. Geordie was still shaking and crying but without sound... I felt even worse. Finally he sad, "Mummy, I am mad at you". Although it took him about 30 seconds to get it out. I told him it was okay for him to be mad at me, I should not have yelled at him, blah, blah, blah.
Finally we're in the car and Geordie's still a little upset. After 2 or 3 minutes;
Geordie: *with chin trembling* "I think I'm going to be a little mad all day, Mummy."
Me: "That's okay Geordie, you are allowed to be mad. Is there anything I can do to make you happy though?"
Geordie: *with chin still trembling* "You need to make good choices 'bout me, okay?"
Me: "okay, Geordie, I will try my hardest!"
two minutes later...
Geordie: "I happy now!"
----------- Later that day, my friend Alaina came down to pick Geordie up. Geordie decided that he wanted to wear a different pair of shorts. So, he went into the laundry room and got a pair out of the dryer. Alaina watched and then burst out laughing;
Alaina: " I can't believe that he knows to go into the dryer for his clothes. I mean, I do it but NJ doesn't know to go and get them."
The secret is out...I am horrible at laundry!!! Just don't get Callum started on it. He can go on for days!!!!!
------- Speaking of which, moving into my worst wife award... yesterday, on Father's Day Eve, Callum did about 6 loads of laundry and put them away while I was knitting like a banshee trying to finish a birthday present for a party that day.
Another of my flaws, I am an optimistic timer!! When I plan things out I seem to think that I can do things in half the amount of time that they can actually be done by any human being!!!
------- Finally, the worst daughter/daughter-in-law award!!! Guess who didn't send even a card off to the father's?!?!? That would be me!!! At the beginning of the week Callum was in Toronto and I mentioned it to him and then for the rest of the week I was caught up in my own world (a.k.a. Helen's Bubble).
Geordie loves the Flight of the Conchords. He actually hasn't seen the show, he just hears the music as we have their CD. Here is footage of him watching the video of one of his favourite songs. It was the second time he had seen the video. Please notice the use of dynamics...
Yes, Baby Geordie is still alive and kicking for those who have asked. I still have yet to touch him/her but I have stopped jumping on chairs whenever they are out of their 'home'. I also find myself saying good morning, goodnight and throwing a piece of apple in for the crickets now and again. Really, I have come a long way!!
Geordie took this look off of his friend N.J. and would you believe that this didn't bother me!!??
The other day Callum was away and I had to go and get the crickets, which we make Geordie pay for out of his own money. Before you get all 'that is so mean'...the money that he uses from his piggy bank is money that he 'finds' around the house. Plus it's only a dollar a week, AND it is Geordie's pet!!!
Notice the foot in the background...yup, that's mine! Not freaking out at all!!!!
So Geordie and I go to the pet store, they bring us a dollar worth of crickets. They hand it to me [silly people]. I quickly put my hands to my chest and say, "oh no, I'm not touching those things. Geordie, get your crickets!". Then Alaina had to come down to our house and let them loose in B.G.'s 'home'.
Baby Geordie enjoys playing on the train table. Here he is playing air traffic controller.
Baby Geordie pretending to be King Kong
Geordie decided that Baby Geordie needed some friends to play with...
GIRLS!! Geordie's into girls [now]!! In more ways than one!! He's always been a bit of a flirt. One time I caught him winking at a girl two or three years older than himself at the post office.
Then there was the time a couple of years a go when we were having 'tea' in the coffee shop and there were about four or five other guys at different tables. One of the guys was a friend of ours (Kennie) and we were talking to him over a couple of tables. Two young, quite cute, university students come in the door which was pretty much on the other side of the shop from us;
Geordie: "hi girls!"
girls: "*giggle, giggle*"
Geordie: "hi girls"
girls: "*giggle* Hi!"
Geordie: "that's Kennie" pointing at Kennie
Problem was Kennie is happily married with two children and a minister (have to put that in because it makes the story so much better!). But think of what could have happened if he was single!!
Then there was the time (summer 07, so Geordie was 3) that we were home and went to visit my brother Russell at his work. While my parents and I were talking to Russell, and watching him while he worked Geordie was talking to Keliegh (the announcer on after Russell);
Geordie: "we going for ice cream, wanna come with us?"
Yes, my friends he was/is that smooth!! He was also picking up someone who could have been his mother!! Notice I didn't write, 'trying to pick up'. If she hadn't been working I'm positive she would have gone!! Who can say no to the Geordie charm!?!?!?!?!?
Moving on to female 'parts'. I wrote before about it, but I have some to add. A couple of years a go Geordie started pushing on my chest;
Geordie: "what are those? I like those!"
I was at a loss for words and trying not to laugh.
Geordie: "I know, lady bumps!!"
So for a while Geordie would call them that and every so often would point to someones and say, "I like those!"
Yesterday, he asked about them again. It had been so long he had forgotten what he used to call them.
Geordie: "what are those again? I think the are big 'squito bites"
Back to girls... the other day he was telling Callum that Nora Jane and Olivia are his girlfriends (girlfriends being said like Lightning McQueen says, "lightning".)
Here was the conversation yesterday;
Geordie: "I want Nora Jane and Olivia to come over to my house."
me: "okay, when?"
Geordie: "anytime, I want them to sleep with me."
Question is...when do you think we should have 'the talk'?
I'm trying to stop saying the word 'hate'. Callum's not all that fond of it and the other day Geordie said it and I really didn't like the sound of it. So...trying to take it out of my vocabulary which, unfortunately, is limited already. Either way wish me luck!
This weekend, along with last week, saw temperatures WAY TOO HIGH!! I heard some mention that on some days it was higher than ever before recorded. Again, WAY TOO HIGH!!!! I always thought that I was a 'summer girl' so I thought I would love the south. I have found out that for once in my life I was *gasp* wrong! Can you believe that, me?!?!? Wrong?!?!?
I have now come to the conclusion that I would rather freeze my arse off than sweat to death! I know that you really can't die from sweating but I'm willing to take on that experiment and prove it wrong! Yes, 8 months of summer sounds nice but I feel that it is too much;
First of all 3, possibly 4 of those months it is way too hot to do anything anyways (must show my east coast roots and add the 's' on anyway).
Second; you loose out on the anticipation for summer. You know when it's sunny, 9 degrees C/ 48 degrees F for the first time of the year and you throw on a turtleneck, sweater, jacket, shorts and prance around enjoying the 'warmth'. I miss that!!!!
I REALLY dislike heat!!
On to brighter things...I thought life was complete a couple of years a go when Jordan Knight and Debbie Gibson got together and recorded a song... then the recent reunion of The New Kids was announced. Well today...wait for it... I got tickets to the show here in Atlanta. I'm thinking this is the reason why we are still/stuck here...for me to go to a New Kids concert!! Oh...if you could have seen my walls almost 20 years a go!!!!
Joey McIntyre, about 5 years a go when I met him at MuchMusic in Toronto! He hugged me...we had a bonding moment. I can't wait until we reconnect Oct. 29!!!
Callum was either going through the old video tapes for the camera or various footage on the computer and he came across this. It's way too cute. We both couldn't get over how much you forget!!! Thank God for all the new 'technologies'. I used to think how could you have children without Ziploc baggies now I see that there is much, much more that I should be thankful for!!!
remember to click on the triangle
This is what happens when you cross a Scot with a redneck and a punk. Please note that it is not a 'skirt' that Geordie is wearing, but a kilt (in the MacKenzie tartan of course!). Check out the moves!!!
Last night I was showing Callum some pages of a blog I came across the other day. I couldn't get over how her stories about her husband are so similar to mine. Or maybe it is just how similar our husbands way of thinking are.
Lately whenever anything happens around here that is funny and has to do with Callum he quickly will say, "don't write about that!". After reading a couple entries of the other blog Callum says, "okay, you can blog about me then, if that's going to make your blog more interesting. You can get all of your best material from me. I'll allow you..."
Thing is Callum can be funny but 55% of the time you are laughing at him and 50% of the things that he says that you 'laugh with' he gets from me. So really he is only 22.5% funny. [$20 (Canadian!) says that he will comment on this part!]
Callum has a much different outlook on some things (okay a lot!) from me. For example, a while back he was packing to go away for work, suddenly he started to freak out, we didn't have a bag that would fit just his stuff. We either had something that was too big or too small. Most people would think, okay either we pack two small bags or just have a lot of space in a big bag. Not Callum!! His first thought is; we NEED to go out and buy a brand new bag. I burst out laughing. If I hadn't been there at that second or he had been out he would have gone and bought one!
We joke all the time that Geordie is a negotiator. Well, this one takes the cake!!! The other day Geordie was out front playing with his friends, Callum was in the backyard working on something. Geordie wanted to play on his (newly made by Callum and Geordie) ramp. Callum prefers to be there when the ramp is being used as Geordie is...well, he's Geordie. Finally, Geordie comes back and says...
Geordie; "okay Dad, here's the deal! You finish here and then you can come out front and get my ramp."
Callum was speechless, and trying not to laugh! Dad?!?!?! Here's the deal?!?!?!
Friday night a friend and I ventured out together. We went to watch a play that our friend Megan was in. The play was... interesting?!?! while Megan was great! After the play my friend and I went back to her house and were just sitting around chatting. My phone rang, it was another friend who had been with Callum and Geordie earlier in the evening, knew I was out and was wondering if I wanted to catch the late movie of Sex and the City. I was completely torn. Besides seeing Callum for a couple of minutes to switch cars (and Geordie) I hadn't seen him all day. Plus, it was 9:30 and I was feeling a little guilty already as two weeks prior to that I had gone to a dinner and movie with friends. When was the last time Callum went to a movie?!?!? Anyway, called Callum and he told me to go ahead. So, my friend and I quickly got in the car and met my other friend at the theatre.
It's funny, you don't realize how easy it is to make a decision or to do things when you are on your own. Ten years a go I wouldn't have thought twice and would have gone to the movie...and then gone out for a drink afterwards!! Or the fact that at 9:30 I would just be starting to get ready to go out for the night. Five years a go Callum and I would have just gone to the movie ourselves, without a thought. Now, it feels like you have to go through a pros & cons list just to out by yourself!!!
I did have a great time on Friday night. The movie was great!! I wasn't a regular watcher of the show but I did watch it! I highly recommend it to ALL!! I think even Callum would like it!