Saturday, June 23, 2007

Another Year ... Another Ballet Recital!!!!

Last night I went to my niece's second ballet recital. Again I attended as the proud aunt.
Because I'm not involved in the ballet world, I don't take her to lessons (though I've been and loved it), don't know all the parents, etc, to me a ballet recital is the coolest thing in the world. I love watching my niece dance. I couldn't be prouder.
The school she goes to is really well organized in the show. They have tons of classes to get onstage, and they do it really quickly. I actually sat back and thoroughly enjoyed the show. They mixed it so that you would get a baby ballet class (adorable) followed by an older class, and then they would throw in a seasoned dancer. I love the way they lay it out. You not only get an idea of all the classes, but you don't get bored watching all of one level at a time.
Of course Kyla's routine was the best. Her outfit was adorable and she was totally excited to be going onstage.
(Soooo cute! Thanks, Ali, for the tip to smuggle a camera in!)

It was amazing for me to watch her this year compared to last year. A year makes a huge difference. She followed along better, they did more complicated stuff. It was pretty cute.
It's also hilarious to watch the teachers. Kyla's teachers (Miss Marlene and Miss Rebecca) are onstage with the younger groups, and they are fun to watch. They totally get into it. It's worth going to the show just to watch them.
And, the other funny thing is watching all the little dancers in the audience. They get into the show completely. They twirl in their seats, and bop along to the music. LOVE it. They had a little boys hip hop class. I think when Matt is older I'll put him in.
ENjoy the pictures!!!My sister, her husband and Kyla

My parents and Kyla - click to enlarge - Kyla and my dad have the funniest expressions

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Water for Elephants ... My Thoughts

Last week I wrote about any amazing book that I enjoyed. I'm not sure if it was a book review exactly, but i enjoyed it any wrote about it. Since then I've received some comments and emails suggesting that i should do this more often. And since i read a lot, i thought that is a great idea.
When i finished stuck in downward dog i started reading Leah Maclaren's book "The Continuity Girl". It sounded really good, but I could not get into it. At all.
My salvation from that drudgery came in the book "Water for Elephants" by Sara Cruen. One of my colleagues and I have discussed books at length. We disagree on several, however when she told me she enjoys Rebecca Eckler's writing, we figured a common ground could be found.
Enter her suggestion - Water for Elephants.
This book is not my typical read. It was dark and mostly humourless. It is haunting and chilling.
The story is about a young man who goes and joins a circus after his parents die suddenly. It tells of the circus life.
The book goes back and forth between a man in his nineties and a boy in his early twenties.
There were parts of the book I could barely stomach - stories of horrid abuse both to animals and people. There were sections where, if it were a movie, I would have looked away.
But the book is gripping. There were times i couldn't put it down. And the ending ...
The book is worth it for the ending, if nothing else.
I wouldn't say it was my favourite book ever. But i thoroughly enjoyed it, and it will haunt me for weeks to come.


The next book I'm reading is written by a comedienne. Check back soon - it looks like a good one!!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Girl's Night Out with my Niece

Tonight I went shoe shopping with my adorable, soon-to-be-5 niece Kyla.
When I asked her what she wanted for her birthday (July 1) she told me without hesitation pink, non-Mary Jane crocs.
Kyla is a very smart child. At the age of five she knows how to wrap me around her baby finger. She also knows that the way to my heart is through shoe shopping.
We went to the mall with a mission - to get crocs. We started off with a smoothie (for energy) and popcorn. I should point out that we would have gotten ice cream, but I had already been forbidden so we went with popcorn.
Once we were satisfied with all of that we went and got crocs. Choosing the crocs was the easy part - choosing the charms was not. She found 4 princesses, and I told her she could choose 2. I think she chose Belle and Cinderella. And then I decided to secretly buy the other two. But, apparently my tricky hiding the charms from Kyla looked like I was shop lifiting.
Once I cleared that up ...
We decided to go to Winners. Between us we tried on about 30 pairs of shoes. Kyla has mastered walking in heels of any size. We found some adorable high heel slides for her - but they were $25, and I was pretty sure that she would kill herself. But, I was impressed by her fashion sense. And, then we spotted some knock-off ballet flat crocs in hot pink. IN HER SIZE. How could we turn that down. They were too cute. So, then we decided she would wear those home and I will wrap the crocs for her birthday.
Of course, throughout the night we had lots of girl talk, some serious discussions about how you can not like the colour black or white but still have clothes with black and white in them. Seriousl business I tell you.
To top the night off I thought we should go to one of those photo booths. However, Kyla said to me "Aunt Laural, we can't do everything you want to do in one night. We need to save that for another day."
It would seem I've been told.
So, no pictures, but it was a fun night.

Bra Adventures in Buffalo

I will be the first person to tell you that I have big boobs. Not gigantic, freakish or Dolly Partonesque. Just big.
Here's the problem with breasts larger than a C cup - it's impossible to buy a strapless bra. And, given that all of the dresses out there that are made for women under the age of 80 require a strapless bra, I've been completely and utterly frustrated.
Here's the problem. My cousin is getting married in a couple of weeks (tee hee - Lisa did I just stress you out?) and while she is worrying about all of the last minute details, I'm worrying about what to wear.
I do have clothes I could wear. The problem is, all of my pre-pregnancy clothes, though I can at least squeeze into all of them, don't necessarily suit my body. Like I had this favourite blue dress that looked amazing and hugged all of the right curves. I can still do it up - it just doesn't look so right anymore.
I have clothes I wore post pregnancy, but they are huge.
And, who am I to turn down the opportunity to do a little shopping for a good cause.
But ... it's frustrating. All of the dresses this season are either strapless, spaghetti strapped or empire waisted. The empire waist does not flatter me, generally speaking. the empire waist held up by a stapless top is downright scary.
Basically, dresses this season are made for small boobed women. Seriously. I've worked my butt off to get into a smaller size, and now I have to go up to the largest size possible to squeeze my boobs in.
The good news is that having lost weight my breasts actually fit into the largest size - where as last year they would not have.
But, I still needed a strapless bra.
And, finding the perfect strapless bra is about 50 times harder than finding the perfect dress. It seems Canada does not sell bras, without straps, in anything larger than a c cup.
So last night we hopped in the car to go to Buffalo.
I had my sights set on Victoria's Secret. We got to Walden Galleria in record time, and made a beeline for V.S. (after we went to the toystore). Guess what? It was closed for some super sale. I almost cracked.
But, no, we went to Fredericks of Hollywood. I thought this store was only known for crotchless panties. But, no ... it's also known for bras made to fit women with implants. (the lady told me this). I don't have implants, but DD is a very typical implant size thanks to Pamela Anderson.
Anyway ...
They had strapless bras (see the extreme cleavage push-up) IN MY SIZE!!! It was a moment of pure excitement. I had choices. There was the strapless push up, the strapless non-push up. There were colour choices. I was in heaven. The sales lady was amazing. She confirmed my size, consluted on design, and brought me tons of stuff. And, not only did they have what I wanted. It was all on sale.
I ended up with 4 bras - 2 strapless, 2 normal (which are convertible).
I almost hugged the woman - and she told me that she gets this response from many Canadians - due to the lack of strapless bras.
Our evening was complete when we went to the Cheesecake Factory, where we had the yummiest dinner ever (though seriously, I ate a third of mine - and Mike ate half of his) and a waitress came over to tell us how adorable and well behaved our child was. Seriously. It was shocking!!!!
When we drove across the border we got stopped by customs. I knew we would, but I was not about to lie about my purchases because it would have been ridiculous. They inspected our entire car (which is a pretty scary thing), and then sent us on our way without making us pay anything.
Pretty sweet.
I love adventures like that!!!!

Sunday, June 17, 2007


It's father's day today. It's been a beautiful day. We went to brunch, we went shopping, we came home and set up an inflatable pool and enjoyed the sunny day.
A little later one of Mike's closest friends came over. They have gone off to the driving range. Matthew and I stayed home to make dinner, relax, and give Mike some time off.
Because it's Father's Day, and I wanted to make an authentic Father's Day meal I decided on homemade macaroni and potato salad.
So, I put 2 pots on the stove to boil.
We had a glass casserole dish sitting on the stove. I put our kettle on top of it to make some space. I put my pots of water on to boil.
I turned the wrong burner on.
I wasn't watching the stove. It takes a couple of minutes for the water to boil so I was cleaning off our dining room table.
And then I heard an explosion. It was so loud. I can't describe it.
The glass casserole dish exploded.
When I say exploded, I mean glass was everywhere.
Thank God - I had just turned on Treehouse and that Matthew was watching it far away from the kitchen
Thank God - I was in the dining room and didn't check when I was about to. If I had checked 5 seconds earlier I would have been attacked by spraying glass.
Thank God - that the cats were not around. Matthew had left his cup of slurpee drink on the stairs (even though I had told him not to) and Rosie Rose Petal was attempting to drink from his straw.
The kitchen's a mess. I have shards of glass in my feet from running into the kitchen, but really - could have been so much worse.
So grateful today. My heart is still pounding though.