Friday, December 19, 2008
Thursday, October 2, 2008
I've been following the US Presidential race lately, especially since the introduction of Sarah Palin to the mix. I'm not very informed as to the whole process or system, but it has been quite interesting. The length of time it takes to get from start to finish though? Let's just say I'm glad to be a Canadian.
So, tonight it is a tough choice. Do I settle in and watch the fun of the US VP debate? Or sit down for a serious Canadian discussion with the English-language Leaders debate? Not that the US debate isn't serious, or shouldn't be taken seriously. I'm not saying that at all. Quite the opposite. I think Americans should be very concerned about running mates that they had nothing to do with choosing.
And beyond that...shall I make popcorn to munch on while the politicos are going at each other? Or chocolate chip cookies?
Friday, August 1, 2008
As I'm sure all of you moms out there can relate, I luuurrrv having the house to myself. Seriously, I think I started purring when hubs told me his plan. I've been able to get some cleaning done, eat what I want, not worry about leaving the office on time or what the traffic is like, things like that.
Sure, I missed them. Who wouldn't? I think I've got the two cutest, most lovable kids on the face of the earth. But, maybe I'm biased. And hubs is pretty great too (see above comment that it was his idea). So, needless to say, the first few nights I was a little sappy when bedtime rolled around and there were no little sleeping children to kiss goodnight, no one to tuck in or lay down with and no one to sneak in on in the middle of the night just to watch them.
Then Tuesday hit.
I had just finished getting ready for bed and I walked past my oldest son's room. So empty. No little body curled up beneath the blanket. No little head on the pillow. No soft rise and fall with tiny breaths. No little sighs or quiet snoring.
I am not an emotional person by any stretch of the imagination. At least I don't think I am. Am I?
I was not ready for the onslaught of feelings and tears at that moment. The quiet of the house was overwhelming in that instant. I'm not sure there are appropriate words to describe it all. I don't think I ever realized just how long a week can be.
Needless to say, the cat has gotten a lot of attention this week. I'm sure she's loving it and will be extremely disappointed when those boys walk through the door tomorrow afternoon.
I was going to comment that I'm not sure I'll let them go away for this long without me again, but wait and ask me that next year.
Friday, July 25, 2008
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
It was easy when there was just 1 child. Now there's 2 and for some reason, it feels like there's triple (or quadruple!) the amount of stuff to get done by the end of the day. And hubs is still on holidays! What's it going to be like when he starts back at the office?
I'm sure it's not that bad. Some mornings I feel a bit overwhelmed. I think because hubs is home, I haven't felt the need to be as organized as I normally would. He can pack the kids bag for the day. He can go grocery shopping and make dinner. And he does. It's so wonderful to come home to a house buzzing with activity and a fresh meal. I will miss it come August.
But, so far it has been fantastic being back in the office. The people are just as great as ever, and we're in a new location, right in the core of the city instead of on the fringe of the core, as we were before. Closer to our clients, closer to the action.
So, now, I'm going to pose a question to you all. What are your favourite organizing tricks and resources? Anything that you find invaluable in your quest to smooth out the wrinkles of your routine? I'm looking forward to hearing from you.
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Melissa and her partner are aquaintances of my parents, so we watched and prayed from the sidelines of this ordeal, hoping for news, any news, as the weeks went on. Every night we held our children tight with teary eyes, so grateful and thankful that they were safe at home. And finally, we cried tears of joy when Melissa and her family returned home and got down to trying to obtain some semblance of normalcy.
I highly recommend it. Especially to mothers and fathers. It's quite easy to read in a literary sense, but you will laugh, cry, love and hate through all its pages.
And you will never look at a dragonfly in the same way again.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Yes, it's been a while. No, no excuses, no reasons.
Life happens, right?
We now have painted wall, lino and carpet in our basement. The doors have been hung and the baseboards have been cut and are anxiously waiting for their bare hides to be painted.
The flu hit. Not pretty, won't say any more.
We had a garage sale. Yay! More stuff gone.
Hubs took me went shopping for work clothes yesterday. I am terrible at buying clothes. He literally has to throw stuff at me from the racks, and actually his taste is pretty nice. However, I am not comfortable at my current weight, and hate spending a lot of money on clothes that I plan on falling out of in a few months. (Trust me, if I'm happy with the way I look, I can spend with the best of them)
So, a suit, linen pants, a skirt, two blouses and a pair of jeans later, hubs was satisfied and I can at least go to work for a few days without wearing the same thing twice in a row.
Why the Calgary Stampede, of course! The week I return to work will be filled with pancake breakfasts, BBQ lunches, corporate events and general debauchery in the after-work hours.
Good times, good times...
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
- Reusable bags have become a staple in our home. I use them for all groceries and will start taking them with me for all my shopping. Thanks Kami for the idea!
- Last year we signed up for curbside recycling (not yet offered by our city). It's amazing how much our garbage has been reduced.
- As our light bulbs burn out, we are replacing them with compact flourescents.
- Last year we wanted to get an SUV for our expanding family, but I was having issues with emissions and gasoline prices. The solution? A hybrid SUV (which rocks, by the way!) I could commit a whole post to how much I love my SUV.
- I use vinegar and baking soda for as much of the household cleaning as possible.
- Only environmentally friendly products make it into my dishwasher and washing machine.
- Being aware of how much we consume. I've posted before about our recent purging efforts. It has really made me realize how much of a consumer society we are and how much I don't like it. While I'm not ready to try the 100-thing challenge yet, I try to be aware of what comes into the house.
- I try to go to the organic store first and but what I can there and then go to the regular store for everything else.
I would love to have a front load washer. We have a water saving dishwasher that I love. But, our current washer works perfectly fine, so I will wait. Hubs will have to put up with the occasional whine.
I've been trying to sneak more vegetarian meals into our repertoire. So far I've been pretty successful, and encouraged to try more. Hubs (who is very meat-and-potatoes) is pretty good at trying my latest experiment with this or that vegetable or grain.
Driving less and walking more. There is a grocery store that I can get to with just 20 minutes of walking, while pushing a stroller. But, I prefer the one further away so I end up driving. I'm going to try to only stop there when I'm out anyway and start walking to the closer one more often. We are also planning on moving closer to our workplaces once I go back to work and we have some money once again.
Buying locally made and grown products. This is not always easy in the cold prairies (uh, -8 Celsius today and still lots of snow on the ground), but it can be done. Especially in the summer when the farmers markets are abundant with fragrant produce, blooming flowers, freshly made baked goods and so much more.
Any tips others would have for me would be great. I hope I've inspired some of you to make at least one positive change in your life. It's amazing how easy it is!
Sunday, April 20, 2008
A view of Palm Desert from the first lookout on the Palms to Pines Highway.
Our route took us through Saint Ysabel, one of the homes to the Julian Pie Company. Seriously yummy. I think we ate 3 of them over the course of the week.
We arrived in Ramona to find my parents looking more relaxed than I had ever seen them. And very at home. I understand now why they bought the timeshare there. Many of their Calgary friends are in the same place and it was very down-to-earth, roomy and comfortable.
We went shopping in Carlsbad at the outlet shops (ya for the Le Creuset outlet!) and met up with my brother and his wife there before they joined us in Ramona for Easter. My sister-in-law lives in Los Angeles, while my brother lives here in Calgary. They are currently working towards being together in LA. Having been married for just over 1 year, they have one of the strongest relationships I’ve ever seen. Not many couples could survive that kind of separation. But, I digress…
After Easter we took the boys and my parents to SeaWorld and the San Diego Zoo. Apparently I was there a long time ago, but I don’t remember so it doesn’t count. It was so fun to view these places with my children and my parents, taking in a multigenerational experience. We also drove down to see the Hotel Del Coronado, then further south for a while, letting the boys nap in the car before heading back north to Ramona.
A day trip to Temeculah led to a personal discovery of a local olive oil company, some great local wines and a great cheese shop. The final days brought us back to stay in Palm Springs with my folks before flying home again. My parents proceeded to drive from Palm Springs through Death Valley and north back to Calgary over the next few days.
Monday, April 14, 2008
Well, the timer thing didn't work, but, judging by the state of my home, I did spend considerably less time on the computer than I did in January and February.
And now, all of a sudden it's the middle of April and I haven't even thought about a resolution yet, much less work on it.
But, my baby boy is at my feet, playing with papers from my 'recycle bin' (a shoebox). Do you think that's a sign? I do.
Other signs...my inbox is overflowing, I have 5 other piles of paper, books and miscellaneous items that I spend a good bit of time searching through each week to find things. I have an unopened panini grill pan in the corner. A bag full of manicure items that was supposed to be a Christmas gift for my sister-in-law in 2006!
My favourite part of the room, though, is the trio of pictures we took before Baby Boy was born last spring. The framed pics are currently resting on the window sill, waiting to be hung in a place of honour.
My goal for April is to clean out and organize and decorate my office (yet again) and work on developing a system that truly works for me.
I'll post before and after pics at the end of the month.
Wish me luck.
Friday, April 11, 2008
I, on the other hand, have a very inflammed eardrum and was put on antibiotics right away. I haven't taken antibiotics in over 15 years.
I would much rather take them than try to give them to a 2 year old though. Wouldn't you?
Thursday, April 10, 2008
I haven't had an ear infection since I was a child and I don't remember the pain being like this.
I've been suffering from a sinus cold since Friday. Today I was finally starting to feel normal again, being able to breathe somewhat regularly through my nose again, when I over-did it trying to get some of that crap out of my sinuses. Something popped in my ear and the pain has been steadily getting worse. I was able to fall asleep for a little while, but woke up hot and uncomfortable. And, of course, now, I can't get back to sleep. I normally do not take medications, especially when breastfeeding, but this week I've been adding Advil Cold & Sinus to my diet (minimal amounts, of course) and have now just taken two Tylenols. It will be interesting to see how this works, considering half of a Tylenol would be my normal pain-relief dose.
I'm considering climbing back into bed to try to sleep again, but I'm sure the baby will be up in an hour to nurse, and I'm tempted to just wait up for him.
Thank goodness I'm going to the doctor tomorrow anyway with my son.
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
Today I'm starting with a physical load. Cleaning out my son's closet.
Monday, March 31, 2008
We were in the San Diego area for 9 days and returned to snow and below freezing temperatures. Ugh. And, I have to drive on the highway today to run an errand for my Mum (who, along with my Dad, is slowly making her way back from San Diego via automobile).
I will post some pics from the trip soon, I am currently working on organizing my backlog of photos. Needless to say, we did and saw a lot, and realized just how much there is to do down there. "That's something to do when the boys are older." we'd say.
Among the highlights...SeaWorld, the San Diego Zoo, the pool and hot tub, Easter egg hunts, spending time with my parents who will have been away over 6 weeks by the time they return. They are quickly becoming snowbirds, and have earned every day of it.
A quick rundown: flew into Palm Springs and drove through Cathedral Ciry, Rancho Mirage and Palm Desert, over the mountain to Ramona, passing Anza and Saint Ysabel on the way. Stayed in Ramona for 7 days, doing daytrips to Carlsbad, Escondido, Temecula, La Jolla, San Diego, Coronado and San Marcos. Drove through many suburbs and small towns. Got lost a little, but always found our way back. Saw some amazing homes, sights and countryside, tried some fabulous food and discovered some great shops, chains and local. Then, drove back to Palm Springs to stay overnight before flying back to Calgary.
Plan to do it all again next year.
Monday, March 10, 2008
I am a little frustrated that our budget is so tight I really shouldn't go buy shelving and nice boxes for the closets and cabinets to help with the organizing part of it, but those will come in time.
Just out of our bedroom, I found 1 large garbage bag full of clothes to donate to the Cerebral Palsy Association, and 8 books to take to the used bookstore, plus several small baby items to donate and give away.
I think I'll start documenting the process in pictures. How satisfying would that be?
Thursday, March 6, 2008
The boys are just getting over their colds that hit them last week. What is it about kids that allows them to keep going when they have a cold? You would never know they were sick by their energy levels. I, on the other hand, could barely get out of bed this morning. Bleh.
I just finished reading "Dish" by Barbara Moses, PhD. An interesting read about women in midlife, but I think I could not relate to a lot of it. I think because I have reached some of the viewpoints in my 30's that some women reach in their 50's and 60's, and because a lot of what I was reading seemed very self-indulgent. But, I know that if I read it again in 20 years, I would probably have a different reaction to it.
So, I have now plunged whole-heartedly into "Healthy Aging" by Dr. Andrew Weil. And so far I am loving it. It has the perfect blend of science, theory and spiritual outlook for me. He doesn't talk about how to stop aging (not possible, and not desirable, in his view), but instead how to bring our physical bodies and spiritual minds and selves through the aging process in the best condition possible to as to shorten the actual decline in the end. The idea is to live as healthily as possible as long as possible and quickly decline, as opposed to living with years of age related illnesses.
I will be spending a lot of the next week getting ready for our trip to California for Easter. Any tips on how to keep a 2 1/2 year old occupied in an airport and on a 3-hour flight? Eeep!
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
So, I have revised my February resolution into a new one for March...instead of cutting myself off completely during the day, I will set a timer for 10 minutes at a time. However, I am only awarded this 10 minutes after doing 20 minutes of work around the house (also regulated by a timer).
I will also be returning to my weight loss efforts that I started back in September. I lost 10 pounds and then got derailed, and have almost gained all those pounds back. But I'm not just interested in losing weight. I am hoping to work on a lifestyle change that will include eating more healthily, being more aware of my portion sizes, and exercising more (sorely lacking in this department!) Now that the weather's getting better, part of that will include training for the Weekend to End Breast Cancer.
I am now off to visit some of my favourite places and catch up.
Saturday, February 2, 2008
As I look around my house, I think I've hit that point. Our decluttering efforts have come to a standstill as hubs works on the basement. Recent participation in an organic food co-op has brought even more boxes into the house, some of which are, a week later, still sitting by the back door. I can see them as I type. Yet, I seem to find the time to catch up on blogs, play computer games and surf the 'Net. Laziness? Denial? A bit of both I think.
So, for February, my goal is to check my e-mails and blogs at the end of the day after the boys are in bed. Then, the computer will be turned off (I usually just leave it on so I can quickly check something during the day). I don't like waiting for it to turn on and go through all its machinations just to check an e-mail.
My hope is that by doing this I am making time for the things that truly cause my eyebrow to twitch. Moving those boxes, organizing the food shelves in the basement, ironing, cleaning out the kitchen cabinets to make room for my new grill! And I know I need to start being ruthless when it comes to decluttering. I may need to call in some help on that one.
By the way, the water drinking is going fairly well. Never did get the water bottle, but I find that I can drink a good 2 or 3 glasses just while making dinner. Coupled with a glass at each meal, I'm doing well.
Friday, February 1, 2008
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
I have been tossing around the idea of starting another blog, this time being food based. When I am on maternity leave, it is my chance to try new recipes, experiment, spend time creating. By no means do I consider myself an accomplished cook, but I am constantly on the search for new recipes, variations on old classics and ways to get healthy food into my family (as I'm sure many of the moms here can relate!)
And, our attention has turned to finances at this time of year as tax information starts arriving and being put into its special file for ease of tax reporting. Not that our finances are particularly complicated. But even the smallest amount of disorganization can make an already unpleasant task downright horrifying. I'm trying to remember to be thankful that we are in a position to be doing this. Better than having no income to report.
We're also in the process of renewing our mortgage this week. Thankfully (?) the bank screwed up royally a couple of years ago with some of my account information and they have been trying to make it up to us ever since. There's nothing like threatening to pull savings, chequing, RRSP's, RESP's etc. to get amazing customer service. Too bad it got to that point to begin with though.
We are in no way at a happy point in our finances right now, after back-to-back maternity leaves for the main breadwinner. Hubs also is in a new job that brings in about half of what he used to make. I'm not upset about this in any way though...the lack of headaches and general upswing in mood are so worth it. There's no point sticking to a job that makes you physically ill. And he loves his new position, the industry change, the people he works with. So I'm happy with the move.
Anyway, off to load QuickTax. Man, this coffee is tasting good today.
P.S. The water drinking is going great! I find if I drink while I'm cooking, I can get 3 glasses in just preparing for dinner!
Tuesday, January 8, 2008
Since the arrival of our second son, we’ve quickly started to feel like we’re outgrowing our home. Which is a bit ridiculous, considering it’s 500 more square feet than the homes either of us grew up in with our siblings. Not to mention that we are planning to move from the ‘burbs closer to the downtown area, which more than likely means a smaller house, due to the difference in prices.
We are in a constant struggle to keep our basement tidy. And it’s not developed, just a big storage room with some space for food storage and a laundry area. We’ve been wanting to develop it for a while to give our kids a big open play space and so I can have a TV-free room upstairs. When done, it will consist of a large open area for TV and play, an open office space, a laundry room, small bathroom and storage room.
So, the cleaning out began and the garage sale pile was started. I think we did quite well. But I think we can do more. I’ve started work on my current office space, and it’s coming along nicely. Next will be the kitchen, then the boys’ toys again.
Before Christmas I cleaned out our oldest son’s toys, putting most into storage for when our younger son is old enough for them. But I still can’t believe what’s left! So, I think I’m going to implement a new rule for all of us. For every new thing that comes into the house, 2 things must go.
Which then brings up the whole consumerism argument. Do I want to be that much of a consumer? Do I want my home to be a constant rotation of ‘things’ and ‘stuff’, each just as disposable to us as the last? No.
So, in addition to the new rule, when something new comes in, we shall do our best to ensure its quality and longevity is up to our standards. That it is something we will love to have with us for a long time. We should be surrounding ourselves with things that bring us joy. And when something leaves the house, it will either be sold or donated, so long as it is in reasonable condition. Otherwise it will go in the recycling pile if possible. The landfill is the last resort.
I see the effects of clutter on our moods, how we deal with each other, even on my son’s behavior. We are calm, easygoing and generally on time more often when our surroundings have an order to them.
Friday, January 4, 2008
I don't ever remember making New Year's resolutions. I always thought 'why wait until the new year to better myself?' However, this year there is so much I want to accomplish, yet trying to do it all in one shot will be self-defeating and pointless. It's hard to bring new things into your life, especially without establishing a plan.
Many of my goals are health and wellness related. And in my opinion, life changes need to be done gradually and one at a time. After all, they are intended to be permanent. Doesn't it take something like 28 days to form a new habit? So, this year, I have decided to establish monthly resolutions (man, I'm having trouble typing that word today!)
How will I be held accountable? By making my goals and plans public and reporting on them. And, I hope I can inspire someone out there to start making healthy changes to their life as well. Journey along with me each month or create your own monthly goal.
My resolution for January is to drink 6-8 glasses of water daily. On Saturday I am going to purchase a pretty, eco-friendly, non-toxic water bottle (metal I suppose?), that I can carry around with me. This will serve as a reminder to drink, drink, drink, in a way that I can enjoy.
I think of my toddler walking around the house with his sippy cup full of water, constantly, almost without thought, drinking from it. He's probably the best-hydrated person I know. This will be my big, adult sippy cup.