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

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Come On! Let's Play!

This is what my oldest son called to his baby brother as they rolled balls along the floor and crawled to chase them. It was absolutely heartwarming.
More and more they are interacting with each other. The other day they had me in stitches as they laughed together. I watch as my baby studies his older brother, watching and learning so carefully.
I love it.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Earth Day...A Reflection

I've been inspired by all the Earth Day posts I visited yesterday and decided to take stock of all we do and think about how we can improve.

  1. 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!
  2. Last year we signed up for curbside recycling (not yet offered by our city). It's amazing how much our garbage has been reduced.
  3. As our light bulbs burn out, we are replacing them with compact flourescents.
  4. 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.
  5. I use vinegar and baking soda for as much of the household cleaning as possible.
  6. Only environmentally friendly products make it into my dishwasher and washing machine.
  7. 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.
  8. 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

California, Here We Come (There We Went?)

So, we flew into Palm Springs just before Easter. The weather was absolutely beautiful. The boys were angels on the flight and in the airports. It was interesting trying to explain just why we had to take off our shoes, empty pockets, and put Teddy (oh no!) on the belt to go through the machine. After a bit of a misunderstanding with the car rental, we were finally on our way to my parents' timeshare in Ramona.
We drove from the airport down to Palm Desert and turned west into the mountains. Over 4000' elevation at some points and roads that looked like a small intestine on our GPS made for some wonderful scenery and a couple white knuckle moments on my part.

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.

Spring greets us in Ramona.

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…

Caught in the act! Picking oranges on the way to Escondido.

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.

Our oldest son on our last day in Palm Springs.
In all, it was a fabulous trip, and we are excited to be going back next spring. Hubs even got in a round of golf with my Dad, so he was more than satisfied!

What happens when a 2 year old gets a hold of the camera on the plane.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Signs, signs, everywhere signs

What the heck was my March resolution? Oh yeah.

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

Well, At Least He's Not The One...

...with the ear infection, I mean. I took my son to the doctor yesterday after 2 days of him waking up at the beginning of the night crying. The doctor informed he had some minor swelling and redness, but to just keep an eye on it and watch for any other symptoms.

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

Middle of the Night...

...and I'm wide awake with an earache.

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

April 28-Day Journey

So, my dear friend Paula has started her latest 28-day journey, and I'm very excited about this one. Her theme is "Lightening the Load". The Load can be physical, emotional, spiritual, mental. It is whatever is making your days heavy.

Today I'm starting with a physical load. Cleaning out my son's closet.