"Noah was a brave man to sail in a wooden boat with two termites." - Anonymous

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

A New Blog? and Financial Ramblings

Hi everyone, I realized this morning it's been a while since my last post. It seems every time I have a moment to update, I have no inspiration, or spend the time reading everyone else's blogs! Today though, I find myself in the unanticipated position of having a child happily occupied and the other napping, napping, napping.


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

Bringing Order

Thank you to Maya for inspiring this post. She linked this article entitled “Stuff”, which really spoke to me about steps I’ve been engaging in recently to make our home more live-able.

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

Happy New Year! January Resolution

Happy 2008 everyone. I hope this year brings you all much peace, happiness and new knowledge.

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.