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Italian Sausage Tortellini, HBear is 8 & Christmas Begins!

Once again, we come to the Holiday Season, a deeply religious time that each of us observes, in his own way, by going to the mall of his choice. 

Dave Barry

8 years. I have been a Mom for 8 years. That still sounds so freaking weird to me. 

This is the longest I've kept a job… ever. 

It's also one of the only jobs I haven't been fired from… Yet. πŸ˜‚

HBear has had some growing pains this year. Although she is talented, intelligent, and confident I find that she falls into the role of a follower more easily than the role of a leader. It could be that her 2 Besties also display those same traits. I feel like we have hit the teen years even though she has only just turned 8. HBear is a sensitive little girl that has a hard time focusing… Squirrel! Seriously, Squirrel should be her nickname! However, because she excels at everything she tries perhaps I can be a bit tough on her. I expect a lot out of her because I know there is a lot that she can give. I'm pretty sure that's exactly what every parent of a gifted child says… Right before they bail them out of jail. LOL

She has very strong views. I wonder where she gets that from? 😳 When she has something in her mind, it is very hard for you to try to change it. For example,

You know when cakes are rolled up into logs? I'm not exactly sure what they're called but I know what they're not called, casseroles. One day we were talking about cakes and she called a cake log a casserole. πŸ™„ I explained to her that a casserole and a cake roll are 2 completely different things. She did not believe me but I let it go. It came up again the other day so I Googled it up LOL. I read her the dictionary definition. I showed her pictures of all types of casseroles. She studied them for a few minutes and then turned to me and said, "well now, how did the computer get it wrong too?"


On November 30 everything we did I ended it with saying, "this is the last time as a 7-year-old. " We left swimming and I said, "this is the last time you'll ever leave KISU as a 7-year-old." We got out of the van and I said, "this is the last time you'll ever get out of the van, as a 7-year-old." She giggled every time and thought it was the funniest thing I'd ever said. As I was putting her to bed I said, "this is the last time I will put you to bed as a 7-year-old."

She crawled up her ladder and looking down at me from her top bunk said, "get real Mommy I will probably get up at least 5 more times." πŸ˜‚

She has a memory that just won't stop. I have heard that elephants have great memories, well HBear may have been an elephant in her past life. It's incredible, she remembers directions of places we haven't been since she was 3 years old! Lately, she has been questioning a lot about Nana. It's weird how she can remember what she wore to someplace when she was 2 but is having trouble remembering things about my Mom. Not really though... I mean she was 4 when Mom died. Anyways, I apparently have a terrible memory and forgot to sign both Girl's birthday cards LOL SBean was opening up her presents when I yelled, "crap" and ran into the bedroom quickly to sign her card. Funny enough 4 days later I did the same thing while HBear was opening her presents! 😜 I ran in and wrote something lovely and raced back out with it. When HBear opened it up, she read it out loud to Grandma, Grandpa, Papa, Ninja, SBean, and Me. As soon as she was done, not even taking a breath, she looked pointedly at me and said, "you wrote that exact same thing on SBean's card!" 😳 yikes! Busted!

She is also very particular. Especially when it comes to fashion and style. We watch every Project Runway but she just isn't getting it LOL. Honestly, she picks the weirdest things to go together! She is very conservative… Very. LOL she loves uniforms, matching to her is, if I wear blue I must wear another shade of blue to match. We'll continue to work on that. 

When it comes to planning parties and details, she is very... hands-on πŸ˜‚ She very much wanted black and white as her colours for her birthday this year. Apparently black-and-white is so much more mature than rainbow or pink and purple LOL. I printed up beautiful black-and-white invitations. She loved them! Point for Mommy! She wanted to address them in beautiful handwriting so I told her that I would write the girls names and she could decorate it with crystals, she liked that idea! Another point for Mommy! So, in my "fanciest" handwriting I wrote each girl's name on the back of their invitation. I then traced it with a Sharpie to make it more dramatic LOL. She loved it! Another point for Mommy!

Then we turned them over.

OMG the Sharpie went right through and you could see black marks covering up the invitation wording! 😑

I guess she could see all over my face how disappointed I was so she gently put her hand on my shoulder and said, "don't worry Mommy you only ruined my birthday party you didn't ruin my life." 

Game over. 

Mommy loses. 😳

Remember last week when I had to fit a Staples trip into a crazy busy day? Yeah, I had to get new invitations printed! I glued them onto the ruined sides right before Hot Lunch and got them out to HBear during her lunch break.

I hate goody bags. A bunch of shit that goes in the Girl's drawers that I later have to throw out or shit I have to vacuum up. I apologize if you have given my kid's goody bags and I just called them shit... sorry/not sorry. It's not just you lol did you see the shit I gave out for SBean's party last week? πŸ˜‚ This year I suggested Lush bath bombs! As we don't have a bath HBear had no idea what a bath bomb was LOL. So I took her to the store and she totally loved the idea! She picked out 7 bath bombs for each of her girlfriends. When we were up at the register I said to her, "and we can make cute little tags that say 'thank you for coming to my party you're the bomb!'" She just looked at me like I was absolutely crazy! Then she looked at the girl behind the counter, who may have been a couple years older than HBear LOL they both shrugged and HBear said, "whatever that means Mom." πŸ˜‚

This year HBear decided on a movie birthday party. Moana just came out in theatres last week and we thought that would be a great movie to take the kids to. My YBesty suggested buying package deals at Costco instead of doing the party option at the theater. Movies are expensive! So, we went all the way to Costco and bought 8 children's tickets and 2 adult tickets! Score! The night before the movie I realized that we could not book our seats online using the tickets. Dad graciously offered to run down to the theatre and book our seats in person. I had tried going earlier but the box office didn't open up till 6 PM. Small town LOL. Half an hour later he came back and said, "I hate to tell you guys this but these tickets are for Cineplex Odeon and not the Landmark theater."


I know we had Landmark boards, the lady at Costco must have given us the wrong tickets and I didn't even notice! So, we went online and purchased 8 kids tickets and 2 adult tickets and realized that we would have to suck it up and buy each child a kids package. Almost doubling what he had expected to pay. 😞

On top of that we cannot find the receipt! I have been told though that Costco will honour our membership and find our receipt in the computer to give us our money back so at least we're not out the cost of the original tickets.

We decided to have HBear's party after school on Friday. This is a busy weekend in Penticton and this was the only night that we had free. All the girls came over at 4:30. While Ninja got dinner ready the girls played freeze dance and basically ran wild through the house LOL

HBear chose her favourite food for dinner, fettucine Alfredo with garlic shrimp and French bread. I had texted all the Moms earlier in the week to see which kids liked shrimp… Apparently all of them! Is that weird? I don't even like shrimp as an adult I'm shocked that 7, 8-year-old girls love shrimp! I bought between 160 and 190 shrimp and didn't have many left over!

By request Ninja baked a 4 layer chocolate cake with frosting between each layer and the number 8 on top, made out of rainbow sprinkles of course. Ninja was a freaking trooper this week LOL with the weather being rainy, he was off work so I got to go out and do some last minute running around and all my usual taxi driving of children, while he prepped HBear's family dinner of tacos and nachos, he baked a giant chocolate chip cookie pizza for dessert plus he prepped her party dinner and baked her 4 layer chocolate cake!

After dinner was present time! Her friends know her very well because there were lots of stuffies, lots of books, lots of accessories and Lego!

Lego. We will be dealing with Lego in another post... I promise 😑

After presents we were off to the movies! We divided into 2 vans. 4 girls were in the blue van and 4 girls were in the white van. The whole way to the movie theatre we listened to Riptide. Because I don't listen to Riptide enough (read: I have been listening to Riptide on repeat... daily... for the past few weeks. I hate to see when she's dealing with a break up!)

When we got there it was like we had unleashed Hells fury on the Landmark theater! They all looked like Kevin from Home Alone when he first finds out he's home alone.

As soon as we walked in I saw the doors open as other patrons came inside. I turned around to say sorry to them and it was my Mom's cousin with her 2 daughters and granddaughter! We all have the crazy gene so they completely understood. In fact, they explained to me that the last time they were at the theatre another boy was celebrating his 10th birthday and the Mom had given them all slide whistles! Apparently because I didn't… I am winning. 😜

Once we got each child their box of popcorn, their choice of drink and their choice of snack we all filed into the theater.

Insert long exhale here.

Oh wait… Someone has to go to the bathroom. Oh, and another… And another… And another.

After everyone had gone to the bathroom, we all settled into our seats. Did you know that Moana is almost 2 hours long? It is. It is a fabulous movie especially for 8-year-old girls! It was a clear winner, the kids had a fabulous time!

When it was over though… Oh man. It seemed like every theatre got out at the same time plus new shows were just beginning so the front lobby was packed! The kids had just been sitting for 2 hours and they were hopped up on skittles, pop and probably still buzzing from the chocolate cake. They were like little pinballs bouncing around the lobby. One young lady had forgotten her jacket in the theatre so I raced to go get that while Ninja tried to rein them all in 😳.

Well that was fun.

HBear was allowed to pick one friend for a sleepover. She wanted to invite them all but we just don't have the room. Her and KBesty spent a half an hour writing a letter to Maynard, our Elf on the Shelf and of course they had to leave him candy?? SBean was super lucky and got to have a sleepover with Mommy and Daddy. We put her in our bed and she was asleep within minutes. I didn't realize that she sleeps sideways. LOL my Fitbit told me the next morning that I got a whopping 2 hours and 17 minutes of sleep. She snores like an old man! She was wrapped around me with her legs over me breathing hot sleepy breath in my face while snoring and coughing.

The things we will do for our kids. πŸ’›

Speaking of The Elf... We start Christmas the day after HBear's birthday. Maynard comes that day too. You know what else arrived this year… Snow! Of course it only lasted 15 minutes but it really helped us move from birthdays to the spirit of Christmas.

Speaking of birthdays while I was doing running around this week, I had to get a tablecloth from the $ Store. The woman in front of me had 50 boxes of Betty Crocker cake mix! As the girl put them through I asked, "what are you baking?" The lady told me that she runs the Sunday school. She explained that for Christmas each child receives a boxed cake and some candles. As a family they can bake a birthday cake for Jesus. I replied, "isn't that nice!" And then I literally bit my lip to keep my mouth from opening again. However, it was 50 boxes! That takes a long time LOL by the time she got to 38 boxes I couldn't help myself… I turned to her and said, "when you give them their cake please remind them to bake it in August at the time of Jesus of Nazareth's true birthday."


Happy birthday HoneyBear! Mommy is so proud of the beautiful young lady you have become... yes I know I wrote that on your birthday card... and SBean's LOL but it is the absolute truth. Not only do I love you but I actually like you, I enjoy your wit, your humour and your thought process. I can't wait to see how much you grow this year into an even more amazing young lady. Thank you for being you. You make it very easy to love you. Happy 8th birthday My Love.

HBear's 8th birthday Smilebox slideshow

HBear loves pasta! She also loves sausage! So, in honour of her birthday, this week I am going to share a fabulously easy and delicious recipe for sausage tortellini! This is very good. So good we had didn't have leftovers and HBear actually licked her plate.

Italian Sausage Tortellini
Adapted from Kevin & Amanda

1 tablespoon oil
2 cups onions, diced
1 lb mild Italian sausage
2-3 cloves garlic, pressed
3/4 cup chicken broth
1 can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup heavy cream
9 ounces tortellini (fresh or frozen)
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups fresh baby spinach, loosely packed

Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onions. Squeeze the sausage from the end of the link to remove it from its casing and add to the pan.

Break up the sausage and increase heat to medium-high and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sausage is browned. Reduce heat to low, then add the garlic and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Add broth, tomatoes, cream, and tortellini to the skillet. Stir to combine. Increase heat and bring to a boil.

Cover, then reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes until tortellini are tender and heated through. 

Season with salt and pepper and add spinach and stir until softened and wilted.


On the day of HBear's birthday she woke up… Excited. Yes, we'll go with that. LOL she wanted to wear a gown but opted for a more school appropriate birthday outfit.

After we dropped her off we went and picked her Gifted teacher up a small Christmas gift at Starbucks. This year Christmas break begins earlier than usual and because we are still in birthday mode… We have not even started Christmas crafts/gifts for teachers and classmates. However, it was her last day of Gifted until the new year so I quickly had to think of something. After we picked up the gift card, Ninja and I took SBean to her last music class. SBean was incredibly stoked to have Daddy there! I am super sad that this will be our last year with Little Tree Music Together. Maiya is absolutely amazing and SBean has learned so much. However, next year she will start kindergarten as my MBesty keeps reminding me, only 2 more months until I have to register her. 😳

Over a month ago we were going through the Wholesale Club buying hot lunch supplies when SBean started yelling and pointing. She was yelling, "over there! That's what I want to get HBear for her birthday! Over there!" She took me to a book that HBear had pointed out in one of the Scholastic book orders earlier. So we purchased it and SBean was so proud of her present for her big sister. Apparently she picked well because HBear was over the moon excited!

Another present that she asked for was the game Operation. I was not down with it. I remembered all those little pieces and imagined myself fishing them out of my vacuum canister. πŸ˜‚ However my Dad doesn't vacuum so he thought it would be the perfect gift! She apparently thought so as well 😊

Grandma and Grandpa came over for HBear's Mexican dinner and giant chocolate chip cookie cake.

Guess what? I won this weeks step challenge! I'm pretty sure 2 birthdays, hamburger day, and Christmas prep may have had something to do with it πŸ˜‚ either way, that is my second win and I'm looking forward to perhaps another one this week 😊

After HBear's KBesty left on Saturday morning Christmas began in full swing. Ninja went down to the crawlspace and began pulling up boxes. For the rest of the day we Christmasized the house. As HBear had a major birthday hangover LOL there was a few emotional outbursts, a little bit of crying, maybe just a tad of screaming with a side of frustrated meltdowns… But all in all I think we made some "memories" πŸ˜‰.



This year I picked the Girl's out cute angel elves for their annual Christmas ornament. It isn't my favourite but I had a difficult time picking out the "right" ones so I picked out the cutest ones that I could find.


After the house was looking like Santa's workshop, it was time to get bundled up for the Santa Claus parade! So... yeah... we wore snow pants. The wind was super cold, it was super cold! To sit there and wait for the parade to start and then sit through the parade and then walk back to the van … It was mother freaking cold LOL. I know the pictures are a bit deceiving as there is nice green grass behind us, but honestly I swear it was cold! We have turned into Okanagan marshmallows. I don't think I could handle going back to Winnipeg in the winter. The parade was nice and the girls had a blast.

When we got home the Girl's made snow because come on, no snow for the Santa Claus parade? That's bunk. LOL speaking of bunk, one of SBean's friends got her a game for her birthday that we already have. I took it back and picked out a game I used to love as a child, Perfection. How surprised was I when we opened up and saw that they had totally revamped it. How freaking cheap is this? It says for 4+, as if! SBean did it on her first try and still had a ton of time ticking on the ticker before it popped up. Lame-o!


We ended our weekend with the Girl's Christmas dance recital. This was SBean's first show and I was curious to see if she would have a little stage fright. Nope. LOL she did great! She is in musical theatre and they sang Here Comes Santa Claus and did a little dance. After they sat on the stage while Santa came out and sang It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas. SBean sat staring up with at him with her mouth open the entire time! The magic of Christmas is strong in that one.

After this week, Ninja and I gave each other a big high-5! We did it! We got through another birthday season! I'm feeling like I have so much time on my hands now LOL of course I don't but I feel refreshed and ready to start Christmas!

Let the season begin!



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