Wednesday 31 March 2010

Shut Up and Eat - Day 3 - Easy Easy Easy Chicken and Rice Casserole

Look at me being all Suzy Homemaker, eh? Domestic Diva? Cookin' Queen? Anyhoo, yes, I made another one of @KathyBuckworth's recipes from "Shut Up and Eat".

Last night I made Easy Easy Easy Chicken and Rice Casserole. And the name does not mislead. It's frickin' easy. Rice, chicken, cream of chicken soup/water, top with onion soup mix. Cover with foil. Bake. Serve. Eat. Easy peasy. So, what was the verdict? Hubby and I liked it. (He's eating it again tonight, too. He took the leftovers to work.) The kids ate some of it. I'm going to try it again without the onion mixture. I know. We're a blaaaaand family.

Tuesday 30 March 2010

Shut Up and Eat - Day 2 - Ham & Cheese Cakes

In my previous post I talked about @KathyBuckworth's very funny, easily digestible, newest book "Shut Up and Eat".

The first night I made an easy dessert that made Mommy look like a hero. Pudding in a fancy cup topped with an Oreo. Who knew?

Last night I used the Fish Cakes recipe and subbed in ham and cheese. It's simply mashed potatoes, an egg, ham, cheese mushed into patties and coated with bread crumbs. Fry 'em up and..... yummy dinner.

I ate... um... a bunch of the cakes. The kids got to use their knives and forks to cut them up (they loved having an opportunity to use knives!) and dove in, too.

I think I put in a bit too much ham, but... Yay! Another hit.

Monday 29 March 2010

Shut up and read... then laugh... then eat

Those of you who know me know I love Twitter. It has opened so many doors and given me the opportunity to get to know some GREAT people. One of those amazing people is Kathy Buckworth (simply @KathyBuckworth on Twitter.) She is now a five-time author and her latest serving is titled "Shut Up and Eat". The kids and I took a road-trip to Mississauga on Saturday to Chapters Square One to go to her book signing - and go to Taima Zone after.

I had met Kathy on a few occassions before and she's always funny and welcoming. I picked up a copy of her book - and of course, had her sign it. There were a few other Twitter people at the signing. I got to see @optimom Laurel, @MississaugaKids Anne and @sarahcasm Sarah - and she just happened to be there! She didn't realize the book signing was going on and had just dropped in - all the way from Ajax. Go figure me from Kitchener and her from Ajax would just bump into each other by pure happenstance in Mississauga. :)

Kathy's two youngest kids were also at the signing with her - and all the kids were very good the whole time, mine even helped at the end. And thanks to her daughter for drawing my name as the winner of the P&G gift pack including a pretty cool Swiffer Sweeper Vac.

All four of our kids had a great time helping her after the signing was over. She signed a bunch of copies of "Shut Up and Eat" and her previous book "The BlackBerry Diaries". Alex and Zach loved helping. :)

After the signing was over, Kathy and her kids headed over to Taima Zone, too. They'd heard the kids and I mention we were going there and thought that was a pretty good idea. So, Kathy and I got to chat a bit while our kids played and played. After she and her kids packed it in, I was on my own and got to sink my teeth into "Shut Up and Eat". (See what I did there? I made a funny.) I read half the book while I was there. It is broken down into easily digestible chunks (again with the funny) and is so hilarious I didn't want to put it down. It's a great combination of tales, anecdotes and recipes - recipes that are so easy even *I* can make them! AND it's nice to know I'm not the only who says "idiot" in her head a lot when referring to the husband. ;)

Last night I made my first dish from the book. OK, "dish" is stretching it. This is her easiest recipe. Actually they're all pretty simple, but this one? Pudding in a fancy cup. Oreo cookie. Done. I didn't have any parfait cups as the recipe called for, but my kids were pleased with the dessert nonetheless. Easy peasy and mom's a hero.

Didn't get a picture of Zach's quick enough!

Alexandria and Zachary's were made with butterscotch. And Mommy and Daddy's were made with chocolate. And I crushed up some Oreos for the bottom, too. Mmmm.

Tonight I'll be trying the Fish Cakes recipe - subbing in ham and cheese instead. In fact, I'm finishing this post while the patties cool in the fridge. Tuesday's going to the be the Easy, Easy, Easy Chicken and Rice Casserole. I feel all "Julie and Julia" here!

Saturday 20 March 2010

24 Things Every* Child of the 80s Should Know

Lemme know if any of these stump you. Or add your own in the comments!

1)  You know how many sick days Ferris Bueller's day off brought his total to that semester.

2)  You know who was f#$%ing Tessa Campanelli.

3)  You know Smurfs living in mushrooms was questionable considering how tall they're supposed to be.

4)  You know what doesn't mean what he thinks it means.

5)  You know what Spike's real name was.

6)  You know who the lead singer of Twisted Sister is.

7)  You know the name of the Smurf's underwater rip-off cartoon.

8)  You know where you were when the Challenger exploded.

9)  You know which one you most identified with:  the brain, the athlete, the basket case, the princess or the criminal.

10)  You know his hands were not nestled between two pillows.

11)  You know who Cringer really was and you used the power of Greyskull.

12)  You know Goonies are good enough - and never die.

13)  You almost fainted when Gordie pulled a leech from... down.... there.

14)  You know Definition was an awesome game show before it was a hit song.

15)  You know why March was a very special month at McDonald's. Yum!

16)  You know Noheart was no match for the Care Bear Stare.

17)  You know Elizabeth was the brainy one who faithfully dated Todd, while Jessica was the wild one.

18)  You know ICONs had the biggest. trackball. ever.

19)  You know 1, 2 he's coming for you.... and couldn't sleep because of it.

20)  You know which one you had the crush on**:  Donnie, Danny, Jonathan, Joey or the ever-so-dreamy Jordan. (**or wanted to be.)

21)  You know you're good enough, smart enough and doggone it, people like you.

22)  You know odometers don't roll back when you put a car in reverse.

23)  You looked forward to Uncle Traveling Matt's adventures just as much as Gobo did.

24)  You know what happens when you hit 88 miles per hour....

(*some of these you may not know unless you lived in Canada - or were obsessed with Canada - or were dating a Canadian)

Friday 12 March 2010

New and improved address, same great blog

Ok. I think it's "great". That's because it's all about us and our pretty awesome kids. This blog was started in 2007 as a way to keep family and friends in the loop. As a way for the ones that are overseas or we only see once a year to hear about the little things that happen. A place to post pictures and videos.

Since then, more and more of "me" seeps in. Every once in a while something other than family stuff makes its way to the blog. I'm constantly inspired by the world around me and the other amazing bloggers out there.

The original address of this blog - monkeyngobo - was created because Alexandria's nickname is Monkey. She was born in the year of the monkey. When she was brand new, we would put our finger under her toes and she'd hang on like a little monkey. Incidently, the first hurricane of her birth year was Hurricane Alex. :)

The Gobo part is for Zachary. When Zach was still in my belly, Alex took to referring to him as Gobo (from The Fraggles.) Who knows why, but it stuck.. for a while anyway. Now it's very outdated, so I decided to change the blog's address to Our World from A to Z - same as the blog name.

So, here it is: The original address will still redirect here, too.

Thursday 11 March 2010

The video of the pink carpet screening of Barbie: A Mermaid Tale

You can catch us a few times on the video. You can see me over Erica's left shoulder at the beginning. We're surfing on the boards a bit and make one more little appearance. It was such a fun event. Thanks Yummy Mummy Club!

My awesome date with Zachary

This past Tuesday Zachary and I had a mommy-son day and it was fantastic. Unfortunately I didn't remember to bring my camera that day, but here are some cute pics of him when we were at the museum a different time. And just some cute pics in general.

We started the day out by taking the bus downtown. It was out of necessity since my car was shimmying something fierce and the front passenger tire was dangerously close to blowing at any point. It has since been fixed.

I knew the bus would be a hit, though. He LOVED it! We sat right at the back and he watched out the window the whole time. "Mommy! We just went over train tracks!" Awesome :)

We walked a couple blocks to the Waterloo Regional Children's Museum. It was an absolutely gorgeous day. Zach walked in through the kids' doors, which he thought was so cool.

We went and hung up our coats and then headed toward the admissions counter. This my absolute favourite moment of the day: Zach was running full tilt toward the counter when he stopped, turned around, ran back at me full tilt JUST TO GIVE ME A SPONTANEOUS HIGH FIVE before turning back around and finishing his sprint to the counter. He was just so happy and so excited he was about to burst. I. just. melted.

He got choose where we went, what we played with, when we had snack. He was in his glory. We played at the Germs, Germs, Germs exhibit.

Went to the water table (always a favourite.)

Had a snack. Played downstairs for a bit. Then we went for a walk downtown for a while. Did I mention it was gorgeous outside?! We even took our coats off. We had a little bite at McDonald's downtown before heading back to the bus terminal to come home. About halfway home I told him he could lay his head down on my lap. I swear he was asleep before his head hit my leg! Bliss. I just want to freeze that whole day and replay it again and again. It was perfect.

My awesome date with Alexandria

This past Saturday Alexandria and I had a mommy-daughter day and it was awesome.

We attended the pink carpet screening of the yet-to-be-released Barbie: A Mermaid Tale. (It was available three days after the screening.) The event was put on by the fabulous, which is run by the awesometastic Erica Ehm.

We arrived at the theatre and joined the line of excited little girls and boys and walked the pink carpet.
Alexandria was hoping there would be a dolphin in the movie. Not only was there a dolphin, there was a PINK, SPARKLY dolphin!!
We surfed for a bit and then headed upstairs. (The surfing pics were taken by Erica.)

Alexandria was in her absolute glory. Even posing on the escalator on the way up to the theatre. :)
She got to meet Barbie! But even better than that was a complimentary kids' combo with a Kinder Surprise egg. Just what she wanted!
She even met some new friends. And I got to hang a little bit with some of the fantastic women of the Yummy Mummy Club. I've made some GREAT friends via Twitter (but that's another post.)
After the blast we had a the screening, Alex and I went and toured the grand prize home for the Princess Margaret Hospital Lottery - worth over $3 million!
The house is obviously amazing. Alex wants to live there. Can't imagine having to clean it, though!

That's the master CLOSET that Alex is sitting in, by the way! I'm in love.
And this? That's one of the TWO toilets in that bathroom. It has TWO showers, a bathtub, two sinks, TWO toilets, a urinal and a bidet.
The princess decends the grand staircase.
She thought this might have been a cat :)
The double-sided fireplace in the main foyer and into the dining area.
Alexandria's favourite part, though? The unfinished basement. It was (obviously) huge. She could just picture what could be done with it. A whole village a la the London Children's Museum, she thought. She was running around down there and yelled, "Woo hoo!" A guy walked by and said, "That's exactly how I feel, too." And that pretty much sums up how I felt that day. A great, GREAT date with my baby girl.

Wednesday 10 March 2010

Will we survive? Only time will tell...

We did it. We finally did it.

We cut our cable. It's gone. This will be an interesting experiment...

We told Alexandria we were going to be getting rid of cable and she came up with some pretty good arguments in its favour.
Alex: What about the weather?
Mommy: What do you mean?
A: You like to check the weather on the tv.
M: Yes, we do.
A: You won't be able to do that anymore. (crosses arms, pauses) Don't you want to keep cable now?
M: Nice try, Sweetie. We can check on the computer or go outside to find out the weather, though.

After that argument was shot down you could see the wheels turning. :)

Over the past few weeks, we've been taping kids' shows like crazy. We have every possible Dinosaur Train that has aired so far. Yup. We got them all. The first 20 episodes are now on tape. Along with a bunch of Dino Dan and not enough Peep and the Big Wide World. VERY cute show!

I'm sure we'll manage. We still get TVO, CBC, (sort of) CTV and a couple others. (Can I trade C-SPAN for Treehouse or A&E or something?!) We still have the internet and many networks have their shows available online after they air. We also have a gazillion DVDs and, of course, all the taped shows. There's also the library for movies and kids' DVDs. Oh right, and books.

I have never not had cable. Ever. This will be interesting....

Saturday 6 March 2010

Right now...

Right now someone is crawling into bed after a 12 hour shift, just to have to wake up in 5 hours to do it all over again.

Right now an 8 year old is looking in the mirror and thinking she's too fat.

Right now a young man is speeding along the highway, thinking he's in full control of his car. In two minutes he will lose control, wrap his car around a tree and never walk again.

Right now someone is enjoying his hamburger, completely unaware he will be sick with food poisoning for the next 24 hours.

Right now a woman is scratching her third $10,000 space on a scratch lottery ticket.

Right now a woman is scratching what she thinks is her third $5,000 space on a scratch lottery ticket. She has a brief period of euphoria and then realizes that third one has an extra 0 and isn't a match.

Right now someone is being beaten simply because he's gay.

Right now a teenage girl is getting into the car with a couple of cute boys she just met. Nothing bad will happen, but she'll look back years from now and think of all the things that could have gone horribly wrong.

Right now a 25 year old man is learning he will be a father. He is looking at his wife in amazement and awe at the life growing inside her.

Right now a father is standing in a hospital wondering how the hell he is ever going to go home and tell his 6 year old girl her mommy is not coming home tonight. Or ever. All because a woman got in her car after having too much to drink.

Right now a 51 year old is being told he no longer has a job.

Right now a 13 year old girl is about to have sex for the first time with her "cool", older 20 year old boyfriend because she thinks he won't love her anymore if she doesn't.

Right now someone is contemplating suicide, fully believing his loved ones will be better off when he is gone.

Right now a teenager is trying to get pregnant so she will have someone to love her.

Right now a little boy is riding his bike without training wheels for the first time, thinking his daddy is still holding on.

Right now a teenage boy is partying the night away, unaware of the hell that will be unleased when he walks in the door at home in a couple hours. His dad found his stash.

Right now a little boy is wishing his mommy didn't drink.

Right now a new mom is wondering when she'll ever sleep again.

Right now two groups are fighting a war that has lasted for decades, both sure that God is on their side.

Right now someone is hearing 'cancer' come out of her doctor's mouth and has gone completely numb.

Right now two parents are watching their not-yet 2 year old slip further and further away and wondering how many days? hours? she has left in her short, precious life.

Right now a father is holding his arms out as his baby boy takes his first ever steps. Both so fabulously proud of the accomplishment.

Right now a mom has just cut her baby's fingernail a little to close to the skin, drawing blood. She feels horrible and will bite those little fingernails from now on, never picking up those clippers again.

Right now a couple are looking deeply into each other's eyes and saying 'I do', knowing they will never cheat on each other.

Right now a woman is lying in bed with someone other than her husband, wondering how she ever got this dissatisfied with her marriage.

Right now a man is walking away, knowing if he stays he will destroy his family forever.

Right now a girl is experiencing her first kiss. Bliss.

Right now a woman is on a plane, on her way to a whole new life. She's never been so scared or excited.

Right now a little boy is crying, wondering what he did to cause his parents' divorce.

Right now someone is seeing snow for the first time.

Right now a man is watching his house burn to the ground. As horrible and unbelievable as it is to see, he is thankful to be holding his family in his arms. Everything else is just 'stuff'.

Right now a blogger is tapping away at her keyboard, listening to her beautiful little boy breathe through the monitor behind her, knowing her amazing daughter is tucked safely and soundly in her bed upstairs. That same blogger is eternally grateful for all the blessings in her life.

Thursday 4 March 2010

My humble little movie list

Inspired by Loukia and her recent LouLou's Views blog post "Best movies ever!", I decided to do my own list. (I love her list - and had to duplicate some of them, as they make it onto mine as well.)

Two caveats.
1) By "best" I mean "I can watch over and over and over again".
2) I wouldn't call this list "little" really. I got on a roll when I started this - and I did pare down the list...

Ferris Bueller's Day Off

My best. movie. ever. Love the cast. Love the writing. John Hughes?! Come on. Brilliant. I have seen this movie so many times I'm surprised I haven't worn out my VHS copy. Yup. VHS kiddies. I've had this movie for quite a while. I can pretty much recite the entire movie verbatim. In fact, being able to do so helped me get through labour with my daughter. Yes. I watched Ferris and the gang while my daughter was trying to make her way into the world.

Also, when I first joined Facebook, I used 'Sloane Peterson' as my nom-de-facebook.

And of course, that brings us to more John Hughes.

The Breakfast Club

Classic. And to watch it edited on tv. Hilarious. "Forget you. Forget. YOU!"

Uncle Buck

Again. Brilliant. Watching Macauley Culkin interrogate his Uncle Buck going a mile a minute is awesome.


(Can you tell I'm a child of the 80s?!) Who doesn't love this motley crew of kids bonded together in their quest to save their homes? Chunk's life confessions? Hilarious. Data's inventions? Brilliant. Sloth? That loveable ugly bastard.

Bon Cop Bad Cop

First off, I love Colm Feore. He is hands down my favourite actor - on stage and on screen. Funny. Brilliant. Sexy. This Canadian movie is centred around hockey and they don't try very hard to cover who the characters are actually supposed to be. A body is found right on the border between Quebec and Ontario - literally on the sign - and the two cops must work together. Francophone/Anglophone animosity is used right from the beginning with the half-truth jabs continuing throughout the movie. The movie itself is bilingual, which adds to its realness. Great movie.

Stand By Me

I think this movie is where I fell in love with River Phoenix. He was a teenage crush of mine. I even had a framed - yes, framed - picture of him in my room as a teen. I was in disbelief when he died. :(
This movie, though, is one of the best coming-of-age dramas you will find. They go off as friends and bond in incredible ways through some great dialogue. "Mickey's a mouse. Pluto's a dog. What's Goofy?"
Along with River, we have an almost unrecognizable Canadian - Jerry O'Connell. Of the bunch, he's changed the most. And went on to partner with Rebecca Romjin. Rounding out the four-pack are Corey Feldman and the always amazing Wil Wheaton.
(And on a side note having nothing to do with the movie... Dear Joaquin, You will always be Leaf Phoenix, River's little brother to me.)

Running on Empty

Another River Phoenix movie about a family whose parents are on the run from the law for something they did decades earlier. The movie follows them as they land in a new place, with new names, new identities... This movie is when I fell in love with James Taylor's Fire and Rain. I LOVE that scene.


I chose this movie to represent Kevin Smith movies. I love (most of) his movies. This was my introduction to him. I was immediately a fan. "I'm not even supposed to BE HERE TODAY!"

Good Will Hunting

Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Robin Williams (who I love in dramatic roles), Minnie Driver... All amazing performances. Love the writing. Great story. Are we so afraid of being somebody that we try to be just anybody? Are we programmed to just try and fit in? What holds us back from realizing our potential?


"Cow." That is all.

Nightmare on Elm Street

To me, this series is WAY above Friday the 13th in quality stories and characters. Freddy's awesome. You are killed in your dreams and it happens in real life? Awesome. And those around you can see what's happening to you but not how it's happening? Cool.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Pizza-loving, gnarly, overly testosterony turtles? Brilliant.

Army of Darkness

"Shop smart. Shop S Mart." Ha! Love it. "This is my BOOMstick!" Army of Darkness is a hilarious romp from beginning to end with the always brilliant Bruce Campbell (who plays Ash.) Ash's hand gets infected with evil so he lops it off with a chainsaw, THEN uses said chainsaw as a replacment arm? 'Nuff said.

The Adventures of Milo & Otis

A curious cat and a pug-nosed pup. My brother and I loved this movie growing up and I'm rediscovering it with my kids. Dudley Moore narrates and voices all the characters. I'm not sure how many cats they went through in the filming, but the end result is loveable and funny...

Grease 2

Come on... You get to see Michelle Pfeiffer singing as the head of the Pink Ladies. This is a so-bad-it's-good kind of movie. They're in a bowling alley singing "We're gonna scooooooore tonight. We're gonna sco-o-ore to-ni-ight.... " See what they did there?

Some honourable mentions that I want to get in, but need to cut off the post before you all bail:

Grosse Point Blank - John Cusack. Looove him.

Little Miss Sunshine - Brilliant satire.

The Money Pit - Tom Hanks hanging, stuck, through a hole in the floor. Funny stuff.

Spaceballs - "Your schwartz is bigger than mine." Classic.

What are YOUR favourites?