Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Christmas Gift Wrapping

So this is what I do for Christmas gift wrapping: I pick a theme, and wrap everything accordingly. This year is red and gold, with little green tree-tags. Last year I did green and gold with coffee-dyed tags stamped with gold snowflakes. I did wrap two gifts differently this year. These ones are for our chinese gift exchange. I dressed up the plain silver dollar-store bag with ribbon. I just punched holes approximately equally spaced, and tied 8-inch lengths of silver curling ribbon in each. I'm quite pleased with how it turned out! And this is how JK woke from her nap just now: Poor baby is stressed out from all the shopping and house stuff that has been going on. We had the inspection of our new place this morning, and hope to get all the conditions removed by the time we go on holidays on Friday. Here is what our new house looks like, for those of you who don't remember way back to September when we first looked at it. Spending three hours in the house this morning just made me even more excited to live there. Unlike most of the other duplexes in the area, it has a corner lot and extra windows on the side. Oh, I can't wait!

Thursday, 11 December 2008

The Ghost of Christmas Past

I have been feeling a little blue about not having a Christmas tree this year, so I thought I would post pictures of Christmas 2006. It was the year that I was pregnant with Juliana. When we first got married, KD's mom took us shopping for Christmas ornaments, and I decided to go with red, white and silver. Now I would prefer gold instead of silver, but I still like the sparklyness of it. In a few years our tree will also have the usual mish-mash of child-made ornaments too. If any of you are having a hard time getting into the Christmas Spirit, go read this post of Rue's. Make sure you have your sound turned on so you can enjoy her lovely music too! And here is JK last year at about 5.5 months old. Now I'm off to find a Wii Fit for KD's brothers.

Monday, 8 December 2008

Fun with a Paper Shredder

This is what happened when I ran tissue paper through the shredder! Fun stuff! The little gifts are for the three sets of JK's grandparents. This is what is inside: I cut out little trees from some Balsa wood I had (harder than it looks! I recommend buying pre-cut shapes at Michael's or Walmart). Then I wrote on them with a fine-tip sharpie, and had JK colour both sides with red, green, and yellow crayons. Next I hot-glued on the ribbon, and packaged them up! In other news, JK is getting so big! Her hair is long enough for pigtails, and she's FINALLY WALKING! She is so much fun. And, most importantly really, the crack in our foundation is now fixed! No more basement lake. I was amazed both by how fast it was done, and how low the price was. Thank you Rick! OK, I'm suppsed to be doing my final project for school...time to stop procastinating.

Saturday, 6 December 2008

Cowboy Cards

Yesterday we went to a cowboy first birthday party for Juliana's friend "Kekker". It was also a party for his mom, so I searched through my Microsoft Word clipart, and made these two cards. It took me a while to get inspired. I haven't made a card in a long time. Our house sale was finalised (except for our final sign-off) on Thursday. The very next day I went to the basement to put some laundry in the washer, and there was more than an inch of water puddled on the floor in the laundry closet! Oh, the ironic timing of it all! At first we thought the washer was leaking (I wish!), but nope, the water is coming from a crack up the corner of the foundation. At least we (or the new owner) don't have to pay for the repair because it's the condo association's responsibility, but we still need to find a way to stop the water coming in until the engineers can come take a look at it (some time in January according to the condo board). Our realtor says we don't need to tell the new owner of the problem, since she's already signed off on the inspection report, and she won't have to pay to fix this. I think that's unethical. What do you think? I'm just glad we're getting out of this whole condo mess. Mike Holmes, come fix it!

Thursday, 4 December 2008

A Little Bit of Christmas

I'm having a hard time getting into Christmas this year. Which is strange, because I usually start thinking about it in September! We're not putting up a tree this year, since we're moving in January and I have to pack the house between now and then...and we won't even be home for Christmas week. But I had to do something to make the house a little festive. I copied some things from a friend, but she doesn't mind. I switched all the blue and brown books on my mantle with red and green ones. Old books are great to decorate with. My willow tree family got some mistletoe. My little grey bird got a pretty ribbon. She's been asking for one for months, but I didn't give her one until now. The red nicely complements my pretty green ipod, don't you think?And here is my little helper with her fuzzy hair-do. Today we are supposed to hear whether the buyer of our house has removed the conditions. She had some concerns regarding the condo documents, so we're crossing our fingers that she'll still want to buy the place. But if she doesn't, we have another showing this afternoon anyway. JK and I will be out of the house all afternoon! We're going swimming with friends, then we have to be out for the showing, then we have to leave KD in peace for four hours to do a practice exam. Crazy!

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Gift Wrapping Re-cap - Inspiration for Christmas

I was organising my picture files yesterday and I realised that I have wrapped a lot of gifts this year. Let this post serve as inspiration for your holiday gift-wrapping...just change the colours, and it's instant Christmas! A hot glue gun, fake flowers, ribbon, and paper are indispensible, and I just love using tulle as well. Natural things like twigs, pinecones, seed pods would look great on winter-themed gifts too. We just got a bit of snow yesterday, so I'll have to go out and look for things before we get any more. PS: Rue asked if the buyers from last week made an offer. I was planning to wait until tomorrow to say anything, but...yes, they put in an offer and we've sold our house! The conditions are supposed to come off tomorrow, so that's why I was waiting. We're currently negotiating with the sellers of the duplex we want. Wish us luck!

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Cozying up for Winter

I finally changed something around the house! Of course, it's something very minor, but it's something I've done every year that we've lived here. I took down my fall wreath, and replaced it with a quilted wall-hanging that my Nanny made. I have two, but the other has pictures of snow-men, so I don't put that one out until we actually have snow. And I bought something for my house: A pretty ceramic garlic-keep. I've been wanting one, but I didn't like the earthen-ware ones that I always saw. This one was about $7 at Safeway. I think it needs a tag and a ribbon. After I left KD and JK to go to school last night, they got a phone call from a realtor asking to show our house in 45 minutes. So KD had to finish feeding the baby and tidy the house and keep JK from messing it up again...all by himself. He did a very good job...for a man who generally doesn't notice whether the house is sparkling or not. He didn't polish and tidy quite to my standards, but I was quite proud when I got home and saw how he did. Besides, it figures that the one time the house isn't sparkling, the buyer is actually interested! Yay! Our house is in her top two. Finally we get some interest. PS: How does a baby sprout a molar without the mama noticing? Bad mama! And Happy American Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Officially a Housewife

Last night I officially became a housewife: I politely listened to my first in-home sales spiel, while thinking about all the other things I needed to be doing and hoping the baby didn't wake up. And, I've managed to successfully resist the family curse! I didn't buy a vacuum cleaner from the demo person! When I was growing up My mom bought a vacuum from every single sales person who came to the door and offered to dump a jar of dirt on our carpet. I remember her buying at least 3 or 4. She had a Kirby, which was awful. And there was one that didn't use bags, but just had a plastic jug that had to be emptied. The last one she had was a Tri Star, which is the company that tricked their way into my house with the promise of a "free gift". My younger sister recently succumbed to the curse and bought a vacuum from a salesman; she hates it and its expensive bags. No matter how miraculous, durable, and well-waranteed it is, I don't think I could ever stomach paying nearly $3000 for a housecleaning machine! That's a family vacation! Speaking of which, for my patience they gave me a certificate for 2 nights of accomodation, so that's pretty nice.
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On Monday JK woke up asking for "Kekker", which is how she says her friend's name. Later that day, he came over for a play date while his parents enjoyed some time together at a movie. JK was thrilled that he was here, but she did NOT want to share her toys. After he went home, she heard KD walk in the door and yelled "Kekker!" instead of the usual "Daddy!" Poor KD. It's ok though. She gets to spend the whole evening with daddy today.

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Air Mail

Every day I check the mail, expecting nothing more than the usual junk and bills and the odd newsletter for KD. But I always hope there will be something interesting for me. I love getting mail, but I rarely do. Today--surprise!--I got a card from my dear friend ebbyanne. Somehow the timing of her letters is always perfect and give me the encouragement I need. Someday soon I need to brew a cup of the white tea she sent, and sit down to write her a letter. Our written correspondence has become even more sporadic since the advent of Facebook...and Ebby's move across oceans. We had a showing of our house on Tuesday, and we haven't heard yet what the people thought of it. For the other showings we always found out the next day that they thought it was "clean and nice" but they weren't interested, so maybe this delay is a good thing. In the meantime, the duplex we want to buy is still on the market, and I doubt they'll sell any faster than we do if they don't lower the price. The marke is getting dramatically softer around here. One reason I really want this house stuff to be over with is so that I can do house-stuff again and decorate for the holidays! We had our first on-the-ground snowfall on Tuesday, and I am itching for Christmas.

Friday, 7 November 2008

My First Interview

Today, at 4:00 PM, I have an interview. No, I'm not getting a job. I'm interviewing an editor for my school final project (in lieu of a final exam...I think I'd prefer the exam!). I was lucky to be the first to ask the editor who did a talk about fact-checking in our last class...otherwise, I'd have to try cold-calling someone from the newspaper or something. I'm glad I was able to avoid that. And now, since I've already met this editor and I know that she is friendly and nice and bubbly and talkative, I'm not as nervous as I would be otherwise. I have to come up with some good questions, which have to be handed in with the profile I have to write. My instructor was going to email me some notes from her Magazine Writing course, but she hasn't. I'll just have to wing it with what I can find on the internet. I think I've come up with some decent ones. Today is the deadline for the contract of the house we want to buy. I don't know what's going to happen, and frankly, I don't care. Last night at supper, I was getting JK's highchair ready for her to sit in, when she reached up on the table and grabbed the handle of the roaster I had just taken out of the oven. I didn't think she'd be able to reach it. She has a little burn on her finger. It is a bit swollen today, but not blistered. Now she knows the meaning of "hot", which is one of her favourite words to say. It makes me sad.