Monday, December 31, 2007


That is how many new Christmas photos I have just posted to Flickr....Check out Christmas, Storrie Style!

I promise a real post very soon...can you believe it is almost New Year's Eve?!?!?!?

Wishing everyone all the best in 2008...may all your dreams, wishes and needs become realizations. May the new year be the best year ever for you and your loved ones.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Where is Baby Jesus?

Christmas, is a wonderful time of year! I have so many wonderful memories of childhood Christmases past. So many great and wonderful stories, to share and to remember and to pass on to generation to generation!

I would like to share a few of my fondest childhood Christmas stories with you this Christmas eve.

Growing up Christmas meant driving from Guelph Ontario to Windsor Ontario to spend Christmas with my extended family. Each year right after school got out, we would load up the car and make the 3 hour drive.

Every year just as the car started to roll down the driveway, my mom would suddenly shout, "OH, I think I left the iron on!" My dad would stop the car and my mom would jump out and run inside. I always thought she was actually unplugging the iron...instead, she was running around the house throwing hidden presents under the tree, stuffing stockings, gobbling down the cookies, and slugging back the beer we left out for Santa! in the moments it would take to unplug an iron, my mom would make it look like Santa arrived and delivered all our gifts. Thanks to her efforts, I believed in Santa a few years longer than most!

We would spend our time visiting relatives, eating, visiting and eating!

After Christmas eve mass we would go to my Meme and Pepe's house for a traditional meal of tourtiere, pickles, and plates and plates of goodies. My Meme was a wonderful baker and if I close my eyes right now, I can actually taste her famous rum ball or butter tart.

Then, every year, without fail, just as we were getting our PJ's on at my Grama and Papa's house, the phone would ring. You could here our squeals for miles! My brother and I, along with any of our cousins also visiting would race to the phone. Me, being the eldest grandchild was the first to get to talk. With huge eyes and a grin from ear to ear, I would slowly raise the phone to my ear and softly inquire, "S-a-n-t-a?" You see, every year, Santa would call us at Grama's house. He would inform us that he just arrived in Guelph and would be leaving all our gifts, and if we were asleep when he flew over Windsor, he would leave one gift for each of us under the tree. Just thinking of those calls makes my heart swell and a rush of warmth tickle my being. But it also makes me sad - you see, no matter how long we kept Santa on the phone, my father never got to talk to him. My dad was always out walking the dog or getting milk at the corner store. Thanks to that annual call, I believed in Santa a few years longer than most!

Every year, we would take great care to set up our nativity scene. Setting up our creche was such a wonderful family time. With great care we would place Mary and Joseph, and all the angels and animals in their proper places. When we were done, my father would lovingly place the Baby Jesus back in his box and place the closed box on the fireplace mantle. You see, Baby Jesus could not be placed into the creche until Christmas morning. That was the rule.

Unfortunately, not everyone else has that rule in their household. And during our annual Christmas visits, my father would help enforce that rule by taking out the Baby Jesus and hiding Him. Oh, how my Grama would get upset to discover Baby Jesus missing! And my father would use creative hiding spots and would never announce that he took Baby Jesus - he would just quietly place Baby Jesus in a safe spot till Christmas day. Thanks to his actions, my Grama, some time Christmas morning would yell out, "Where is Baby Jesus???? Gary!!!!!! Where the F*ck is Baby Jesus?????" My father would calmly walk over to the ice box, or into the pantry, or front hall closet, or open the top dresser drawer and retrieve the missing Baby Jesus and place Him in His proper place within the nativity scene. So, if your Baby Jesus ever goes missing - give my Dad a shout, he may know where He is hiding!

Oh, what memories!

I must now run - and help create some wonderful Christmas memories for my three children. And you should do the same!

Merry Christmas and I wish all of you and your families a wonderful 2008!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Wordless Wednesday

DJ placing the angel on our tree.

I am having blog withdrawal! I have not updated in a week due to our Christmas travel. I am really missing posting and especially missing reading posts by all my blogging friends. I promise to spend some time tomorrow going through and getting caught up on all your great blogs and getting mine back in order! This is what a cross Canada trip will do if you are not careful! See you on the fringe really soon - with lots of stories of the Trilogy and our Christmas adventures!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Eat my dust!

I am no Betty Crocker.

My role model in the kitchen growing up was my mom. She was a great cook - but not a baker. In our house, Christmas baking was green and red jello. No lie.

So, when the kids became toddlers I decided to take the bull by the horn...or, well, the cake pan by the spatula. I have been improving and now we have baking Thursdays. Usually the boys and I make cookies or muffins. It is great fun and they now do most of the work in terms of pouring and stirring. This is great since it teaches them new skills and allows me a scape goat if our project is a flop!

December is the universal baking month. Many of my friends actually start earlier than December and turn out dozens and dozens of cookies.
I have no time for that! I have birthday parties galore to prepare for and even Betty Crocker knows cakes are more challenging then cookies - heck, cakes are about 100 times larger, of course they are more difficult and puny little cookies!

So, now that my December baking is completed, I wanted to brag a bit and show off my baking and culinary skills!

1) Birthday Meal like no other!
We kept with our annual tradition and made our now famous meatloaf cakes for the boys' birthday party! Here are the two finished meatloaf cakes...yep, they are meatloaf, iced in mashed potato!!! I use food colouring on a bit of the mashed potato to decorate the cakes. When you cut into the cakes they look like real cake since each layer is iced with mashed potatoes!

2) Birthday cakes for real!
This year the cakes turned out great, if I do say so myself! DJ had requested orange icing and chocolate cake and Anderson wanted a chocolate cake and blue icing. I think I nailed both! No cake pan molds were used...all my own if you could not tell!

3) Christmas Open House Cake
This evening we are having a bunch of friends over for a Christmas gathering. I attempted to be cute and artsy with my baking. I used a ring cake pan to make a Christmas wreath...I hope people can figure that out!!!

Oh...and we also made chocolate cookies this morning...Betty Crocker - eat my dust!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Wordless Wednesday

The Storrie Trilogy

Monday, December 10, 2007

There are way too many Davids

I met my husband in July of 2000. I knew immediately that we would marry, have children and live happily ever after - but that is another fun story for another time.

After only knowing David for three months, I travelled across the country to meet his parents and extended family. We had not yet even mentioned marriage - but I think we both knew this was the direction we were heading.

We had spent a lovely, yet long, afternoon and evening visiting David's grandparents. David and his Grandpa had spent the majority of the time upstairs tinkering with the computer. I, the new girlfriend of the eldest grandson, was caught on memory lane. David's grandmother took out photo after photo pointing to each figure and explaining the event, doing a character sketch of each person and reminiscing on people, events and happenings. Do not get me wrong, I did enjoy myself. I learned so much about my then future-husband. But every photo had a David in it. Yes - EVERY PHOTO. You see, my husband is David, his father is David and his father is David - who knows how far this naming tradition goes back! By the end of the evening my head was swimming! David. David. David. I could not keep all the stories (or Storries - hee hee!) straight.

We said our goodbyes and headed out. I was sitting quietly on the passenger side as David drove along the coastal highway taking in the surreal scenery. What a beautiful site. The stars were so bright, flickering along the ocean water. Simply breath taking.

David turns to me and asks, "Whatcha thinking?"

I do not comment on the absolute beauty surrounding us - the stars, ocean or mountains. Nope. I do not comment on the wonderful time I had been having on this trip. Nope. Instead, I blurt out," There are way too many Davids in your family!"

With a very sad voice, David replies, "Oh". And then he is very silent.

We drive a few kilometres in silence. Then I ask David, "Whatcha thinking?"

David is quiet for an extra moment. Then seeing a highway look out, he pulls over. I look at the magnificent view, then turn to look over at David. He has a sad look on his face. He takes my hands, leans towards me and innocently asks," Does that mean we cannot name our first son David. I would really like that."

And at that moment, only one David really mattered. My David - the love of my life.

I threw my arms around him and replied very softly," Yes, my love, if you wish to name our first son David, we can. I love you more than anything."

That was over 7 years ago. Today, "my little David" turns four years old. Where has the time gone? Happy Birthday David Joseph!

Dear DJ
Today you turn four. I cannot believe it! You had a very shaky start to life and we almost lost you. You are indeed a medical miracle. But you are more than that. You are a smart, witty, and outgoing little boy. You make my heart sing! You are funny, careful and very deliberate in your thoughts and actions. I am so proud of you. You are kind, loving and a perfectionist. You have kept us on our toes and have caused us many sleepless nights - but it has all been worth it. I pray that I can teach, support and love you enough to empower you to be the man you are meant to be in this world. I am certain you are destined for great things.

You are named after many Davids and I hope that you grow and nurture all the best qualities of these great and wonderful people. May you always be as caring, loving and as emotionally strong as your amazing father. May you always be as outgoing and charismatic as your grandpa. May you be as hardworking and quick thinking as your great-grandpa. May you be the best person you can be and may you always be happy.

I love you Kook-a-boo!

David Joseph Gary

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Could-of, Should-of, Would-of...

...taken two seconds to get a stool or step ladder
...seriously injured, lamed or even permanently incapacitated myself
...endangered one of my children

...been more safety conscience
...not been so damn lazy
...thought of being a good role model for my kids

...killed myself if the chair was a few inches to the right (note the stairway)
...died if I had injured one of my kiddies
...been pinned there for hours if my two boys (3 years +1 day old and 3 years+361 days old) had not used team work and freed their bruised, battered, and dumb-ass mom

On Friday I was cleaning up from the huge double birthday party we had on Saturday for my boys. (yep, 6 days later still cleaning!) In order to remove some party posters from the wall I climbed up onto a chair. I removed the poster and when I returned from pinning it up in the boys' room, the boys had commandeered my chair and were helping by taking down balloons. Instead of going to get another chair - or even a proper stool - or even instructing the boys to get off the chair - I grabbed our "bad boy's chair". This is a dinning room chair with a booster seat. BAD MOMMY! In the heart beat I was badly injured.

Upon yanking the poster down the chair tipped backward throwing me back against the fireplace brick wall. The back of the metal chair actually pinned me up against the wall - 4 inches above the ground. Every movement I made caused the chair dig further into my stomach. The pain was excruciating. With tears streaming down my face I had to instruct my little boys on how to free me. It took over 5 minutes!

I have been left with a bruise that is four-inches wide and runs from one hip bone to the other. My entire tummy is varying shades of red, black and blue. Walking, twisting, lifting and sitting are all very painful.

All because I was too lazy to get a proper stepping stool.

This is a warning to everyone out there. Accidents can happen at anytime. In a blink of an eye.

I could have been seriously injured. I could have become incapacitated while home with three young children.

I am so ashamed.

Take care. Be smart. Think safety.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Look at the monitor and wave!

We had fallen into a routine. Monday morning was our walk day, Tuesday afternoon play group, Wednesday morning infant massage, Thursday morning cina-babies and Friday lunch with daddy after our Mommy-and-Me fit class. We did one big outing a day - and did lots fun things in between.

We would snuggle, read books, watch trashy day-time TV. We would dance around the front room. Splash in the bath. We would share our deepest thoughts, hopes, dreams. We would each stare at each other with wonder.

Oh, we had our battles and our struggles. But life was good. DJ was home from the hospital, fully recovered from the life-saving surgery he had at 10 days old. I was his mom and I was loving every moment of this new journey.

But the edges started to fray. Late afternoons, I had no energy. I became weepy and overly emotional. I became anxious. I wondered if I was a good mom. Did I have what it takes to be a good mom? Deep down, I knew it, but slowly I became a ball of emotions. I felt so helpless. Why did all these conflicting emotions seem to fester now? We had already been through hell - if I was going to have post partum depression, why did it wait till DJ was six months old? The long, hard, at times unbearable time in the NICU of the children's hospital was over. DJ was healthy. All was good. All was great. But, I was tired. So tired. I knew caring for an infant was tiring, but could it really be this tiring?

We read pages and pages on the internet. POST PARTUM DEPRESSION. It all fit...but at the same time, it did not fit. I seemed to have many of the symptoms, but at the same time, the diagnosis did not seem clear. We needed expert advice. A doctor's appointment was made - earliest appointment available, the following Thursday - eight days away.

A cloak of tiredness seemed to be wrapping around me. Smothering me. My emotions were high, unpredictable. But through it all, I offered wonderful care to my 6 month old babe. I loved being a mom.

My most wonderful husband could see the toll this was having on me. He offered to take Thursday and Friday off to be with me and DJ. We spent five days cocooned up in our house. My only job was to sleep, rest, pump and do light-mothering duties. David took care the rest.

Monday came quickly. David was a bit leery about going back to work. I assured him I was feeling so much better - much rested. It felt very June Cleaver-y: me holding the baby kissing Daddy as he headed to work. I felt refreshed. Reborn. Wonderful. Wonderful that is until my tummy turned.

David called home at noon to see how we were doing. I told him I was not as tired and everything was great, except that now I thought I was coming down with the stomach flu! I had gotten sick twice already.

David came home to an energized wife and a very happy baby. Life was good. Perhaps we were wrong to think PPD. Perhaps a little rest was all I needed.

Tuesday morning came alive to the hungry cries of the babe. I rolled out of bed, and as I passed the washroom door my stomach turned. Within seconds I was flung over the toilet bowl. David came into the washroom. Very lovingly, he pulled back my hair while balancing our little guy on his hip. In a calm voice he asked said, " Dear, I do not think you have post partum depression, or the flu...I think WE are pregnant!"

A solid blue line confirmed his speculation.

So, when the doctor entered the examination room with oodles of PPD pamphlets and resources we all shared a laugh. An ultrasound appointment was made.

As I laid on the table, with my husband holding our infant son, I wondered if I was ready for a second baby. The ultrasound technician asked when my last period had occurred. I laughed and replied, "Two Februaries ago!". We all had a chuckle. She then said," Well, moms usually have a feeling, how far along do you think you are?" Hmmmmm. Well, since I got morning sickness six weeks into my first pregnancy. "Maybe 6 weeks?" The technician begins her examination. She chuckles and says, " Nope, you are not 6 weeks along". I look over at her and cautiously ask, " 8 weeks?" And she turns the monitor so I can see and says, " No dear, look at the monitor and wave at your baby, you are 13 weeks and about 6 days!"

There in front of me was not a lima bean, but a real baby! OH MY GOD!

We left that appointment excited and nervous. As we got into the elevator a nice grey-haired woman commented that our son was very cute. I looked at this perfect stranger, waved the ultrasound photo at her and declared," And before he is one years old, he will be a big brother!"

Anderson, that is how we found out that we were expecting you. It seems like just yesterday! But, here we are, December 6, are 3 years old today! WOW! Time has just flown by! On this day, and every day, I want you to know how much you are loved. You are an amazing little guy. So full of life. You are very energetic, happy, fearless, and wonderful. You are such a little boy - loving your cars, trucks and trains. You adore your big brother, your little sister and Bob The Builder and your Pepe. You are smart, funny, athletic and so cute: your big brown eyes could melt any one's heart! You are also very stubborn, a bit of a dare devil and very strong-willed. You are also very caring, empathetic and quick to offer hugs and kisses. There are days when you have me laughing and there are days when your behaviour is trying and frustrating for me as your Mommy. But, my little Ander Pander-Bear, the world is a much better place because you are in it. May all your dreams and hopes come true. And may I, as your mother, friend, supporter, cheerleader, and confidant, help prepare you to be all that you can be.
Anderson Garant

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Wet and Icky Bums!

OK...I have been dealing with wet bums for 1454 days. Yep, changing wet and icky bums for almost exactly 4 years.

For the most part, it has not been too bad for me...if you do not count the terrible morning sickness I got every time I changed DJ's bum while pregnant with Anderson. Or, when I started fretting that with Madigan's arrival I would have three in diapers - thank goodness DJ got back on the saddle, errrr, toilet seat!

I thought the next big wet bum milestone would be Anderson finally committing to using the potty 100% of the time. Nope! That is coming, but we are not quite there you would think I would be dealing with 2 wet bums icky bums - Anderson and baby Madigan. Nope! I am dealing with three now!

Recently DJ has switched from sitting to pee to standing. And last night I came to the cold, wet, icky realization that in our house, the potty-trained males out number potty-trained girls and it will always be that way.

How did I come to this realization? When I went to sit down on the toilet and fell in!

I admit it, I have been spoiled. My husband was trained well for putting down the toilet seat. He had to be, coming from a house of 4 females and only 2 males. So, now, as soon as I thought I was done toilet-training DJ, am once again toilet-seat-lowering-training him.

When, oh when will wet and icky bums be a thing of the past?????!!!!!!