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Archive for September 2009

day 273 {new car}

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Today was a pretty good day. Things started off with a good breakfast for everyone. Ava was my guinea pig for the new recipe I tried: "Beary-Berry" Banana Split. It was a HUGE hit. She had two bowls like this:



That recipe is a definite keeper. And so is the one I tried this afternoon while the boys were sleeping: Mother Load Layered Cookie Bars. OH. MY. GOD. I don't have pictures of the finished product as I had to leave for the car dealership before it had cooled but will post some tomorrow. Check out the pictures on the Picky Palate blog to see how fabulous the finished product looks. Unfortunately mine doesn't look as fabulous, but it tastes the same so who cares.

I made one substitution to the recipe. The recipe called for Pillsbury sugar cookie dough for the bottom layer. I couldn't find any, so I used a Betty Crocker sugar cookie mix instead. Another tip I have? Pressing the layers down was impossible in the pan without everything shifting and lifting all over the place. Instead of using a spoon which was frustrating and took forever, I placed a piece of parchment paper on top of the batter and pressed it down with my hands. It was a lot easier.

Anyway, the final results are delicious but to be honest they took a long time to make. I'll bet they took me an hour and a half to make plus 45 minutes in the oven because there were a lot of steps.

First there was the sugar cookie layer:



Then there was the double chocolate chip cookie layer:



Followed by the peanut butter cookie layer:



And the final layer - the chocolate chip cookie layer:



They also suggest drizzling chocolate on the top. That would have been perfect but I didn't have time to do it because we were off to pick up the new car. We found out Monday that Toyota was giving an extra $500 discount on cars bought in September. The problem was in order to get it they needed to locate a car and you had to take ownership of it in September. The other problem? They didn't have the car we ordered sitting on the lot. Somehow they managed to find one Monday night at another dealership in the area, get the rust proofing done and have it waiting for pickup tonight (that's it on the right). From the looks of things, magnetic grey appears to be "in".



How ironic. Look what was also waiting for pickup and parked directly behind our car? A 2009 magnetic grey Venza. Buggars.



The plates were switched and the papers were signed as Black Betty looked on quietly from the parking lot. Number of kms at trade: 161,433. Number of kms on the Corolla S when we left the lot: 215.



Number of minutes she was allowed to sit grill-less in with all of the new cars after we left? Zero. We weren't even out of the parking lot and she was whisked away to the back lol.



The final verdict? It's a very nice car and it was nice regardless of the speed we were going or who was driving it on the way home as we took turns. It drove just as nicely whether we were going 80 or 100. Anybody who knows me knows which of those speeds was mine. ;)

Thanks for looking!

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day 272 {so long, farewell}

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Today was the RAV4's last day in our driveway. It was the first brand new car I had ever owned. We bought it in 2003 and it was cutting edge at the time because it was a special edition called the "Chili" that came with a CD player that played MP3s. As a sign of the times, the new car not only comes with a CD player that plays MP3s, but it is also wired for satellite radio and has special auxillary plugs for an iPod.



Anyway, on this very sad occasion I give you the official tally:

Number of grills lost along the way: 1

Number of weeks we had it before it was dinged in a parking lot by some jerk in a white car: 3

Number of times I almost took the side out of it backing out of the garage: 1. (I slid coming out of the garage during a snowstorm.)

Number of payments made: 60 payments of $603.75

Amount of time we owned it free and clear: 1 year and eight months.

Number of days I hated the RAV4: 60. Every day the payments came out of my bank account.

Number of trips it made racing to the hospital with a swearing pregnant lady in labour inside: 1

Number of trips it made in a snowstorm racing a massive pregnant lady to the hospital to be induced: 1

Number of nights I slept in it because I refused to sleep in an ant infested camping trailer: 2

So long my friend. I will think of you fondly when I get stuck in the driveway on my way to work and have to shovel my way out. I'll remember the good old days when I was able to just plow through it and drive on.

Thanks for looking!

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day 271 {and the winner is...}

Monday, 28 September 2009

The 2010 Toyota Corolla (which coincidentally Jason makes five days a week at work). Lower payments and fuel efficiency won over all wheel drive and sitting up higher on the road. Here's the car we bought in silver:



We ordered magnetic grey and signed papers at the dealership tonight. We loved the Venza but couldn't justify the extra money considering that its primary purpose is for commuting and we won't be able to carry the three kids in it until at least Ava is out of a car seat. We are still 4.5 years away from that happening.

The finance guy seemed surprised to hear we had three kids. As much as I would love to think it's because he thinks we have a youthful appearance, somehow I suspect it was more along the lines of him wondering how in the hell we are going to fit all of our kids in it.

Thanks for looking!

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day 270 {three years}

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Today is three years since my grandmother passed away after her surgery for esophagus cancer. Ava and I went to visit my grandparents' grave at the cemetery. It's a hard concept to explain to a three year old. Luckily she founds lots of dandelions to pick and busied herself doing that.





After that Ava and I went grocery shopping and the kids and I hung out while Jason was golfing. After the boys had their nap it was game time again in the McDougall household. The boys are fascinated/terrified of our robotic vacuum. They can spot it from a mile away and constantly point at it and talk in their own little language. First they stare at it from afar.



Then they get a bit closer and more daring. They keep getting closer until one of them gets the guts to press the button and turn it on.



The second the music plays and the roomba leaves the dock, they run away kinda like this (this is Owen):



Except with a more terrified look on their face. The other highlight of today was discovering that Charade was on tv. I love Cary Grant and I love that movie. Here's Ava watching the famous scene where he takes a shower with his suit on. She found it pretty entertaining.



That was it for today. Thanks for looking! Miss and love you Nana. xo



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day 269 {high chair races}

Saturday, 26 September 2009

Another uneventful day at our house. Halloween dressup continued. Here's Ava talking to Auntie M on the phone:



I caught up on my soap operas, much of which I watched in black and white. The boys kept pressing buttons on the satellite receiver and pushing it around and the cable at the back kept popping out. It was no big deal as EJ looks hot in colour or black and white. :)



A recent favourite game in our house - high chair races. When the boys are done eating, they pop their trays off and throw them on the floor (it drives me crazy). Then they rock back and forth really hard to shift their high chairs along the floor. Before you know it they are on the other side of the room. Tonight we let them race each other. That's Owen in the lead.



That was it. Another slow day. Thanks for looking!

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day 268 {halloween fashion show}

Friday, 25 September 2009

I worked today so I didn't take many pictures. I did get to the mall on my lunch hour though and found one of the boys' Halloween costumes. Ethan LOVED it:



It didn't take long before they were fighting over it so five minutes later the old Halloween costumes came out. Suddenly there was a chicken, giraffe and bear running around.



Ava and her grandad:



That was it. A pretty uneventful day. Thanks for looking!

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day 267 {camping out}

Thursday, 24 September 2009

On Wednesday night Ava asked if she could sleep on the carpet in her room. I told her no problem never figuring she would since I've set her up on the floor in her tent a few times only to have her go back to her bed five minutes later. I was surprised to see she was still on the floor in the morning. Here she is crashed on the floor surrounded by her library books and toys.



And here she is pretending to be asleep.



Thanks for looking!

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day 266 {cheerio squares}

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Today Ava and I did some baking. We made Peanut Butter Cheerio Bars. The verdict? Delicious. I had two squares and the only negative I could find about this recipe is that my jaw was sore halfway through the second one. They are very chewy but a nice alternative to rice krispie squares.

The hardest part of the whole thing was keeping the kids out of the bowl of honey nut cheerios. Every two seconds they were in it and shoving fistfuls in their mouths.



The finished squares (excuse the terrible picture):



I've noticed a real change in Ethan over the past few days. He has become very affectionate with everyone. He now grabs a hold of both sides of my face with his hands and gives me a big kiss on the lips repeatedly. He's been very snuggly around bedtime and was snuggled up against me for at least a half an hour last night before bed. That's not out of character for Owen, but it is for Ethan who doesn't usually sit still for more than thirty seconds.





Thanks for looking!

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day 265 {bedtime story}

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Today was a work day so I was scrambling for subject matter. Here is the book I read to Ava before bedtime: Meet Kai-lan. She's similar to Dora but teaches you how to say words in Japanese.



Number of words I couldn't pronounce: 5
(To add insult to injury they are each repeated several times. I'm also mad because flipping through the book now I discover that there is a pronunciation guide at the front of the book that I didn't see.)

Number of camping chairs squashed and destroyed by our automatic garage door because I kept looking out wondering why the door was still up and pressing the button to close it: 1

Number of dried ketchup handprints on the back of my white shirt as I type this: 2 (Ethan's)

Number of decisions made on car purchase: 0

Yes it was one of those days. Not particularly bad, but frustrating and very little went right.

Thanks for looking!

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day 264 {decisions, decisions}

Monday, 21 September 2009

Today was a busy day. After work we went car shopping again. I think we had given up on the RAV4 and were totally sold on the Corolla S until we drove this: the Toyota Venza. We are now undecided again. :(



Anyway, that was it for today. We came home to find the kids fed, bathed and ready for bed (thank you mom and dad!) and in time to watch Ava's new favourite commercial ten times before bed. Have you seen this commercial? I don't know who finds it more entertaining - Ava or me. I think it's hilarious. The girl rocks.



Thanks for looking!

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day 263 {car shopping}

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Today was a busy day. Ava and I had a Stampin' Up party at my mom's house (thanks ladies!) and then we were off to do something I thought we wouldn't be doing again for a long time: car shopping. The RAV4 is headed for major repairs, so it's time to trade it in unfortunately. We don't have much of a choice.

First we had dinner. We ate in the restaurant which is an event for us. We rarely do it and I remembered why three seconds through the door. First we need two available high chairs so I have to run in and check first. Ethan is crazy and constantly stands up. When he's not doing that he tries to chew on the edge of the table. When he's not doing that, he and Owen kick off their shoes. So you have to chase four shoes. And during all of this, Ava's taking advantage of the fact that we're distracted and instead of eating her chicken fingers, she's eating condiments. Anyway, dinner out isn't relaxing, but I didn't have to cook. Awesome.



Then it was off to three Toyota dealerships to check things out. We've got it narrowed down to four different options. Option 1: Pros: sporty, cheaper, fuel efficient. Cons: very similar to my parents' car (not a con for me, but maybe for them), hard to go back to a car when you are used to sitting higher up in a sport utility and a van, can't fit three car seats.





Option 2: Pros: heated seats = warm bum in the winter, no crack of dawn shovelling - just drive over it. Cons: can't fit three car seats.



Option 3: Pros: tinted windows, moon roof, cut through the snow with no problems, look pretty damn cool while doing it. Cons: cold bum in the winter, can't fit three car seats.



Option 4: Not shown. Pros: fits three car seats, similar RAV4 to above except you can cut through the snow and six friends can sit inside with you while you do it.

I have no idea what we are going to do. Not thrilled we have to do this as our intention was always to drive my RAV4 into the ground. :( Thanks for looking!

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day 262 {josh & andrea}

Saturday, 19 September 2009

Today was a busy and long day. Nana came over to help us get going this morning.

Ava taught Owen "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" at the breakfast table



followed by "Pat-a-Cake".



Then my mom tried to read the kids a story which is hard to do when all the boys want to do is knock the book out of your hands:



Then I was off to do a wedding with my dad. It was a beautiful wedding and I felt very inspired, so it was a great afternoon and evening. Here are some shots I took:





The wedding was at my church (and yes - it is still my church even if I only go there at Christmas and Easter...). You can't beat a big old Catholic Church with a centre aisle for weddings. There's just something about the first picture below that I liked. The bride was pretty nervous and was hiding off to the side so the groom wouldn't see her in the open doorway. This was a quiet moment she had with her dad just before they started up the aisle. There's just something about the light and them standing there quietly with their heads down. Probably my favourite picture of the day.



A small break and a warm up beverage with my dad before the group shots. This is my dad's orange pekoe bag tea which by his estimation is better than the steeped tea ::cough cough:: whatever ::cough cough:: . It tastes the same to me. It's definitely a lot hotter but that's the only difference I can see. ;)



Random shots just wandering around doing my thing:



Meet Morty, the bride and groom's dog. He had on a tux with tails and a bowtie. :)



The bride wore her grandmother's shoes and I have to say that the groom's ring is one of the nicest I have seen. The picture really doesn't do it justice:



Anyway, just a small sampling as I have hours of editing ahead of me for the rest. Congratulations Josh & Andrea! Thanks for looking!

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