'Up', an ice-cream cake, and a new 7-year-old boy

Lam turns 7 today!!! Yay! It seems like just yesterday that he looked like this...

I know, he's super adorable. He can't help it. He was born that way.

Unlike last year's boys-only, testosterony dude-fest at the aviation museum, Lam wanted to celebrate this year's event with friends of both genders. He even invited his sister!

So, I used the super-awesome magic all parents have and arranged a movie party at Silver City Polo Park over the weekend. We all watched ''Up", then had the customary cake post-movie.

Now, Mini has a peanut/nut allergy, as does one of Lam's buddies. So, I wanted EVERYTHING to be peanut-/nut-free and to have not come anywhere near anything else that touched peanuts/nuts. Seriously, I'm over-the-top anal about this type of thing.

Case in point: Roomie's allergic to some types of fish/seafood. (Okay, you may be wondering why the hell did he marry a sushi-lovin', patis-in-everything Filipina? Pfft... well, I think we all know the answer to that question.) When we dine out, I always tell serving staff that "my husband will die if he has anything with fish or seafood in it".
See? Anal. Hey, it's better to be safe than pushin' daisies I always sayz.

Okay, digressing. Where was I? Oh, yeah, no nuts/peanuts.

My safest bet to avoid any nutty accidents was to make the birthday cake myself. This idea also appealed to my control-freak side. Joy all around!

Then, my oven died. Totally because of Roomie's bad tech-equipment karma. I swear. He should stay away from all things with electronics -- VCRs, DVD-players, PVRs, dishwashers, washing machines, stove/ovens, etc. Our computers are constantly going tits-up! He's totally in the wrong industry and totally to blame. Gah! If he weren't so great in the sack...

Good god, digressing again! So, ice-cream cake it was to be. Lam gave the idea a thumbs-up, and off I went to ping the internets for a good recipe.

To make an already crazy-long story less long, I found an awesome recipe, bought totally nut-free ingredients and a spring-form pan, made hot fudge sauce, threw everything together on an also-homemade chocolate wafer crust, froze it all overnight, and BAM! - ended up with this...

Oh, yeah, totally yummy. Even Miss Mini, aka "She who doesn't really like chocolate", decided it was so tasty! (Yah, about the chocolate thing, I'm still wondering if she's really my daughter. Because, hello? CHOCOLATE!)

But OMG, I was stressing about this cake the night before. Totally "it will melt everywhere", "everyone will hate it", "they'll throw rocks at me" kind of stress.

Apparently unfounded, of course. The screaming, sugared-up, bouncing-off-the-walls kids loved it.

The adults enjoyed the cake too. In fact, one parent -- who shall remain nameless -- suddenly appeared behind me, grabbed a fork, and gave me a look that said, "I want to be alone with this cake now." Truth. See?

That's my sister on the left, sugared-up Lam on the right, and in the middle, my dear trying-to-blend-into-background buddy with the pan in her hand. Thanks to her, I didn't have to bring anything melty/sticky home with me.

All in all, the kids had a great time, the parents had a couple of hours to themselves while we sugared up their children, and Lam celebrated his birthday exactly how he wanted: watching an awesome movie with his awesome buddies.

Happy 7th Birthday, dear Lam! We love you!

Roomie and I give special thanks to Kevin (one of the awesome dads) and Edna (my super big sis) for being such great help on such a chaotic event. You both rock!

when you can volunteer to party

As y'all know, my kids have had the mindnumbing horror delight of having Momma show up at their school to wander around their class, get all chummy with their teacher, quiz their friends in Math, lead them and their friends around a maze of floating decks dodging lunatic geese, and spy on them see what they're like on their turf.

The ability to volunteer at my kids' school anytime I want to is certainly a perk of being a SAHM.

My very last volunteer event was less in-my-kids'-face and more in-other-kids'-faces. I volunteered to corral and queue-up the talent acts for the school's Annual June Barbeque.

This event is a big deal. See all the people? Yeah.

And because this year is the school's 60th Birthday, the party's an even BIGGER deal.

So, in addition to the customary hot dogs, smokie dogs, chips, drinks, and water melon, we had birthday cake too!

They even rented a huge inflatable slide. I swear, I didn't see my kids for a good long time. They lived on that slide!

Harmzie's Pepper spotted Mini and off they went to tackle that monstrous slide of fun and slidey goodness. I was pretty dang lucky to stop them long enough for this picture. Aren't they cute?!

The dude sliding down the left on this slide picture is Lam. He still hadn't built up all his strength from fighting the flu the week before, but that didn't stop him from tackling that slide several times, blowing up balloons, and running after of his friends... at least, for a little while.

This was his last slide of the night, and he was wiped... even anxious to go home and relax.

But long before that happened, I had a job to do. As mentioned, I was to line up all the talent so they would be ready to perform on cue.

Here's Harmzie's Norah dancing on stage with her friends. They were the first act, so I didn't have to round them up...

... which is totally unfortunate because they were the only kids I knew from the school. Seriously, my kids are in Nursery and Grade 1 -- I know none of the kids in Grades 4, 5 & 6. The rest of the acts had kids in those grades.

Yeah, I was pretty useless.

The organizers didn't mind though. They just appreciated the moral support and the fact that I was there just in case they needed me.

The last act was a performance by the Principal and his band. Yup, our school's principal knows how to rock!!! He's an all-around nice guy, very friendly, and he tries to do his best by his school and students -- like last year when he told the students that if they raised enough money to hit goal for one of the fundraisings, he'd camp on the school roof. So motivating. And yes, he totally did.

Anyway, the band played a "Happy Birthday" song, and we all noshed on angel-food-vanilla-icing-nut-free cake. Yum!

It was a beautiful evening, warmer than I'd anticipated -- I'd brought my black jacket, and we had a great time socializing with our neighbours and some great friends, like these folks...

fries are made from potatoes. it's true.

Me: "Holy moly, son! You have to present your Class Expert thingy on Tuesday! That's 4 days!" Okay, I said "moly", but I was thinking "shit".

Lam: "Oh, no." He looked at me, eyes huge, and I knew he was thinking "holy shit" too.

Yeah, that's my 11th hour kid. Just like his mama. My 6 year old son will be pulling all-nighters in no time! I'm so proud. I didn't perfect that until I was at least 14.

For an end-of-school-year project, the kids of Room 17 -- aka the Alternative Class Grades 1, 2, & 3 -- were to each choose a topic they'd research, become an expert on, and present to the class and their parents.

In the end, Lam decided to talk about his favourite topic of all: french fries.

I helped him a little -- yes, helped -- because this was his very first ever project, and well, he's only in grade 1. However, he did all of the Googling himself.

Together, we displayed in pictures on a board the 8 steps of "How Potatoes Become Fries".

Here's Step 1 where he plants the eyes of one potato to grow a new potato plant. Yeah, that's staged. Roomie doesn't want potatoes growing in his veggie garden... for now.

And here's Step 5 where Lam cuts the potato into fries. No, he didn't really cut the potato himself.

Because of the stabby and burny potential, I did the actual peeling, cutting, boiling and frying. (Yep, I boil my fries before frying -- makes it lighter and crispier. )

For most of the steps, he prepared something to pass around to show the kids... a potato with the eyes circled, raw cut fries, boiled fries, homemade fries, and fries from Burger King, for, you know, comparison.

Lam didn't actually present his work on the 9th as scheduled. He came down with the flu, and ended up presenting the Monday after. Sadly, I didn't get to watch it because Lam's flu made its way to Mini, so I had to stay home with her while Roomie went to represent and document.

If I'd gone, I would've seen my super-awesome, cool son like this...

updated: guess what these people are doing...

UPDATE: What we're REALLY doing...

This photo was taken in the morning about 3 weeks back. Lam was still sick from the flu, so he and I had slept in the family room on a high state of Barf Alert. I woke up earlier than usual because I has such crappy sleep. Lam had insisted I sleep on the couch with him, which was wicked uncomfortable.
Anyway, I started to do some surfing and blogging. Mini then woke up and came downstairs to join me on the couch for a cuddle and a quick snooze. Roomie, who was walking around in the kitchen getting ready for work, took the picture.

That's all! :)

mini's review from the land of lemonade...

Mini and I made lemonade for the first time EVER.
Actually, the making of lemonade came after a whole bunch of Mommy, can we make lemonade?... Mommy, can we make lemonade?... Mommy, can we make lemonade?... Mommy, can we make lemonade?... Mommy, can we make lemonade?... Mommy, can we make lemonade?... Mommy, can we make lemonade?... Mommy, can we make lemonade?...

So, we did. Finally.
I consulted the "magic information box" and found a great recipe. Then I consulted the "magic Nenette brain" and changed it a bit. Here it is...

1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
5 cups more water
mint (optional)

1: Boil 1 cup of water. Turn off and add sugar. Stir until sugar has dissolved. This is your simple syrup that will perfectly sweeten the lemonade.
2: In a pitcher, mix the lemon juice with the simple syrup. Stir.
3: Add the rest of the water to the sweet lemon mix. Stir.
4: Pour some of the lemonade into an ice cube tray. Put tray into freezer, and chill the rest of the lemonade in the fridge.
5: Once lemonade in the ice tray has set, drop cubes into the lemonade and serve.
6: I think some mint added into the lemonade would also be nice.

Mini's Quick Minute Lemonade Review:
The awesomeness shows up at the 0:52 mark. It's the face that she uses to scare her father when he thinks she's sleeping -- makes him think she'll someday follow in her mommy's stabby ways...

Apparently, we made lemonade that turns little girls into all manners of crazy. She makes Mama proud.

poll results: your must-see movies of Summer 2009

Thanks to all who voted for their must see movies of the summer. I'll be making one for the Fall/Winter season (with New Moon, Where the Wild Things Are, etc.), so stay tuned for that!

The results are as follows:

Star Trek (13)
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (12)
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (11)
Night At The Museum 2: Battle Of The Smithsonian (8)
Up (7)
Other (6)
X-Men Origins: Wolverine (4)
Terminator Salvation (4)
Year One (4)
G.I. Joe (3)
Land of the Lost (1)

I'm a little miffed that I'd forgotten to add Angels & Demons to the list. It was an accident.

I've had to update my list with an unexpected new release (already viewed movies are marked):
1. Star Trek
2. Angels & Demons
3. My Life in Ruins
4. Year One
5. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
6. Up
7. X-Men Origins: Wolverine
8. Terminator Salvation

Thanks again for participating, and enjoy your nights at the movie!

the good, the bad, and the OMG.

Good: I'm finding more time to relax and watch the DVDs I've wanted to watch for a while.
Bad: I have to watch them on the livingroom DVD player, because the one in the familyroom is old and unreliable.
OMG: Roomie broke the one in the livingroom.

Good: I've discovered the joys of chocolate/vanilla ice cream in a sugar cone.
Bad: I gained 3 pounds.
OMG: I've discovered the joys of Tim Hortons' Iced Capp with chocolate milk.

Good: I did a full body weights workout on Friday.
Bad: I was too sore on Saturday to do my interval/tabata workout.
OMG: I was too sore on Sunday to get up off the couch without wanting to scream.

Good: I spent a couple of hours at the crafts store and mall while Lam was at his buddy's party.
Bad: I spent over $50 on stuff at said craft store and mall.
OMG: Sephora just opened at the mall, and I will probably spend much more than $50 there in the future.

Good: Lam went to his buddy Christopher's birthday party at the Western Canada Aviation Museum.
Bad: He didn't feel well in the car on the way back home.
OMG: As soon as we got home, he threw up all over his father and the Twister mat that Roomie and Mini were playing on earlier. He has a stomach flu.

Good: The boys enjoyed the beautiful spring weather.

: The Evil Cat who's been in cat-jail more times this week than we can count for pouncing on the kids.

: Some things just can't be unseen, so I'll spare you. Aren't I nice? :)

unfinished projects including my un-hot ass

I'm notorious for not finishing projects. The only 4 I managed to complete were:

1: the engineering degree - still don't know how I managed that.
2: the wedding - since I did all the badgering and the naked proposing, I figured I had to see the job to the end.
3: & 4: the births of Lam and Mini - I bloody well couldn't say "this is getting tiring; I'll just put this pregnancy off for another couple of months" at, I don't know, month 4. Gestation just doesn't work that way. And you know, with all the badgering and naked proposing, I had to see the job to the end.

See? This is me at 8 months pregnant with Mini. Beside me is my lovely sister. At this point, I was all "get me off this train, and give me my baby!" I was beyond done.

So, yeah, I need to finish things. Without a gun to my head.

Anyway, one of my more important projects has been to sexify myself for the summer, or at the very latest, my 40th birthday, which is in... holy crap, 5 months!!! I had announced my intentions here and on the Canada Moms Blog and planned my workouts.

Then, I stopped.

I'm awesome at the planning -- rotten at the execution. What I really need is for someone to kick me in the ass, grab me by the shoulders, shake me violently, and scream in my face, so that I'll want to workout, muscle up, and get revenge on the asshole who did all that shaking and screaming at me!

But since revenge really isn't my thing, I decided to join a support group instead.

A bunch of lovely ladies on Twitter have made a Hot Ass Pact for 2009 to give up our vices and get all hot-assy. If you're on Twitter, you can follow our conversations with #hotasspact2009.

Does this mean the end of the Bikini Project? Nope. Still doing it. I just now have some awesome ladies with whom to share the journey to goal.

I have *One Lovely Blog* -- oh, yeah :)

And I know this to be true because Lisa told me! The maven of Retro Housewife Goes Green picked LifeCandy as one of her lovely, newly-discovered blogs.

I'm so honoured! Lisa's a lady after my own bloggy heart with all her awesome earth-loving green-ness. Be sure to check out her blog. Really. Go! Go now!

I've been fortunate to have discovered some lovely new blogs as of late myself, so now it's my turn to pass on the "One Lovely Blog Award" love.

Here are the rules to receiving this award:

1: Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award, and his or her blog link.
2: Pass the award to 15 other blogs that you’ve newly discovered.
3: Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

Here are the 15 blogs I've chosen to nominate -- listed alphabetically: (These are blogs that are new to my brain. If you're not listed, I've most likely already loved you long time.)

1: Becoming Something
2: Cheaty Monkey
3: Daily*Quel
4: daysgoby
5: Dirty Tricks
6: Dutch Blitz
7: If That Ain't Country
8: In Three Words
9: Kyooty Centre
10: markbanaag.art
11: Planning with Kids
12: temporarily me dot com
13: The Adventures of Cody
14: The Gratton Grapevine
15: Winnipeg, MB

Thanks again, Lisa!

the list of things that I think are totally the tits

It was a very productive weekend of getting drunk (while Roomie, who -- in his totally not-drunk state -- watched me be all cute and drunky, then kept me from falling flat on my face on the walk home) and writing my latest article for the Canada Moms Blog, which I totally did NOT do at the same time.

I was hungover when I wrote my article for CMB. NOT drunk. There's a difference, people.

I also sorted through my kids' old clothes, gave the girls' stuff to one friend, and some of the boys' stuff to another unsuspecting friend (still have more stuff to bring over, my dear!), and folded laundry.

Anyway, productive... drunk... hangover... unsuspecting... oh, yeah, so I've finally caught up on most of the things on my TO-DO list. Instead of there being 50 things on the list, I now have 40. Yay, me!

And because I'm just feeling so happy about this, I decided to share with you the list of things I think are totally the tits. Yes, the tits -- as in "awesome", "incredible", "wish I had this everyday single freakin' day". And it doesn't necessarily have anything to do with boobs. But, if you happen to find "boobs" on my list, it's a complete and total coincidence.

Once again, I totally stole this from my lovely internet friend Ali, because I told her I was going to steal it, and she was all "yeah, steal my tits!" (No, she didn't really say that, but I can't find the email of what she actually said.) So, anyway, can't disappoint my friend!

Okay, hang on to your boobs, 'cause here's all the tits:
  • lists
  • chocolate pavlova
  • your comments (wish more lurkers would delurk and say hi... hint, hint...)
  • Good Eats with Alton Brown
  • Scottish and British accents
  • when famous people tweet me
  • the episode of Firefly where we get to see Nathan Fillion's naked ass (mainly because we get to see his ass -- the rest of the episode is just okay)
  • Fruits & Passion's Jasmin (my signature scent)
  • logic puzzles
  • Sarah McLachlan's Possession
  • hula & tahitian dance
  • Grease 2
  • my hair after a shower when it's still damp and wavy
  • metal roofing
  • Aveda Lip Tint SPF15 in CocoPlum (the perfect burgundy-brown, moisturizing)
  • shopping alone
  • Fringe, Supernatural, Smallville, Stargate: Atlantis... I love me my sci-fi
  • cute, scruffy, Gerard-Butler-type guys, like my Roomie
  • weight-training
  • standard transmission
  • when my little girl wears her hair in ponytails
  • garlic
  • green tea lemonade from Starbucks
  • Jack Black
  • the first two seasons of Friends
  • flower roll from Sushi-Ya:

Now, you. What do you think is totally the tits?!