Monday, December 26, 2011

Datebook - Boxing Day

Well Merry Christmas! I was so bad, as usual, for getting cards sent out this year.

Today - is Boxing Day. Unless it's not. But it is here. We have one more big family dinner this afternoon - 40+ people over at Mom and Dads. It will be fun. I am bringing crockpot stuffing, green bean casserole, tortellini salad (been getting some good potluck mileage out of this one), and Better Then Sex cake for dessert.

Yesterday - was Christmas. It was a wonderful day. We had a lot of fun with the kids. Duncan was "upgraded" to the Thomas Trackmaster stuff, and our entire living room is the Island of Sodor right now. This is the motorized Thomas stuff. Cordie got some very musical gifts - a microphone, keyboard and mini drum kit and she just loves it. There were also books, puzzles, pjs and bath robes, and both kids got this huge pillow for their beds. Of course they were spoiled by the family - which was wonderful.

Tomorrow - well the rest of the week really - we need to gut both kid's rooms and go through everything that will now be passed on to other kids, or sold online, to make room for the new stuff. I find they let go of their old stuff a bit easier when they have new stuff. We're taking Duncan mini golfing tomorrow afternoon. Bill works on Wednesday. Thursday Cordie and I are going to take my friend for coffee for her birthday, and in the evening we're going to our new Pastor's house to game with them. Their youngest and Duncan have been getting on very well - they only moved here a month ago - so nice they get on. I went to College with both Tim and Andrea, so it's fun they are now here.

Outside - rainy and chilly. Typical Wet Coast Christmas.

Right now - I am drinking some tea. But the kids need a light lunch, and Cordie needs a nap. And I need to get on with cooking of things.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Where have I been hiding?

Peek-A-Boo! I see you!!

My Mom was bemoaning the fact that no one blogs any more... myself included. Well it's true. And I admit that even if you have blogged I have probably missed it b/c my blog roll goes unread a lot lately. Hey, that's how it is when real life wins out.

When I had my gall bladder out I admit it was fun pretty much sitting on the couch for 2 weeks with my laptop and catching up on the world of the internet. But it's just not a pace I can maintain when I work full time. And hey, I don't apologize, hanging with the kids should get priority.

So where have I been hiding? Well the biggest thing is that we all survived 6 house guests for over a week and a half. Bill's entire family came to stay with us, and yes it was insane. But it was also awesome for the kids to meet Auntie Kelly and Uncle Robbie, whom they hadn't met before, and their cousins Erik and Oskar. Duncan and Erik got on famously, and it was so awesome they could meet. Kelly and the kids came all the way from Sweden, and Grandpa Bob and Uncle Robbie and Uncle Frank came from Newfoundland. Uncle Robbie was totally won over by Cordie - not a big surprise - we knew that would happen! He took some great video of her dancing and singing, but unfortunately his camcorder was stolen on the way home, so he never got to share it :(

We're still trying to get the house back in order and get our garage functional for the car again. Yes, we actually like to park the car in the garage. It's given us (read: Bill, because honestly, he does all the work) a chance to move a bunch of stuff around, and we really like how it looks.

What else is going on... well still going to Weight Watchers - lost 30lbs so far. I was down to 33 gone, but I'm still recovering from Thanksgiving and visitors. I have not weighed in in about a month now due to company and other extenuating circumstances, but I still journal daily, and I walk my 10,000 steps a day, if not more. I plan on going to aquafit at least once a week again, but as something always gets in the way... Last night Bill went for his swimming lessons, and had just jumped in the pool when everyone was evacuated due to a chemical spill in the pool. Um... oops! And Duncan was supposed to have swimming tonight, but the pool is closed for an unknown length of time. So this also means no aquafit this week for me. No, I'm not so motivated I am willing to drive to PoCo or Langley to go :) I'll still with my walking thanks.

And that's a snapshot of life. We're all good. The kids are good - loving the new daycare. School is good for Duncan - loving Kindergarten, although he doesn't like the fire drills :) Cordie is Cordie - our free spirited princess who loves to dance. Bill is good - we're hoping to get away for a few nights in November if we can swing it.

And that's it!! How are you?

Monday, September 5, 2011

Sitting here with my feet up

Hello friends! It's Labour Day, and I am doing anything but labouring :) I am sitting on the couch with my feet up - and that's about it!

Recovery from surgery is getting better every day, but I had a bit of a complication this morning. Saturday I over did it a bit - I know that. Sunday I noticed I was quite sore and there was a lump near one of the incisions. Well this morning Duncan accidentally elbowed me in that spot and caused a bit of a set back.

I guess it goes to show how tricky it is when you're feeling 'better', over do it, and then have a set back. I don't doubt now that I need the rest of the week to really take it easy and continue my recovery. While it is nice to be sitting here reading, playing on the computer, watching tv, and have my wonderful husband take care of everything, it is kind of hard to not participate at all. I guess it is good to know I'm not inherently a lazy ass :)

So one more week off work. I just saw Nancy's Datebook entry and I thought oh maybe I should do one too, but realized I don't have much to say. Meal plans are whatever we're pulling together, no activities planned because I can't really go anywhere. Um...reading - oh I am reading the Dresden books by Jim Butcher. I am enjoying them as much as Bill said I would.

Oh, Bill wrote a book this weekend!! He actually finished it in 2 days, so is using this afternoon to clean it up a bit, but even if he were to send it off now, it is good enough! I'm really happy it worked out for him to do this.

Did I mention my addiction to Pinterest? Insane. Fun.

 I hope back to school goes well for everyone! I'll post pictures of Duncan dressed up for school on Thursday.

Until then, is a picture of Cordie in her fancy shoes, her fire fighter's hat, and purse in hand - ready to go to the store.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Farewell Ye Foul Gall Bladder

I had my gall bladder out this past Tuesday! Yay! I'm actually thrilled with how quickly it went from confirming the diagnosis to actual surgery. People complain about the Canadian Medical system, but as they had to wait until thing settled down prior to doing the surgery, this went about as quick as it could go. And they managed it laparoscopically. This is also good because I did not want to have to be recovering from major surgery with two small children in the house.

It is actually only right now that I realize behind the discomfort of recovering from surgery, I don't have any of those gall bladder pangs any more. Once again, Yay! Now, don't kid yourself, while you might recover from lap. surgery more quickly, it still hurts, and you still need to recover. Your body still feels like it has been beat up quite badly, it hurts to move, sleeping sucks (you can only sleep on your back, and that causes it's own share of back pain), and I can only walk around for 5-10 minutes before I need to sit down again. But hey, today I don't feel the need to fall asleep by noon, and I hope I might even be awake after 8 PM tonight.

Bill took yesterday off, and bless his company, they asked if he could use another day to help me out, and he said yes, so he is home again today. He is so sweet. He's always been hands on around the house, but he's doing awesome filling in on what has normally been Mommy duties - cooking, getting up with crying children in the middle of the night, etc... check out his blog post about the experience.

Now what did I find out from my experience with my gall bladder? Well I read a lot about what could I eat and not eat. Here is what I found: I could eat boneless skinless chicken breast, veggie ground round (soy crumbles), and fish  - including water packed tuna which I threw on my salad every day. While the rule of thumb is anything with less than 5 g of fat is okay, that was not always true. I could not eat fat free ham. I could not eat bread. I found I could eat pitas (3 days before my surgery I figured that one out). I also ate routinely: oatmeal, fat free plain yoghurt, any fresh fruit, any vegetable except avocados. At first all bran bars were okay, not at the end. Salad for lunch daily. Tea, iced tea, water, skim milk, wine (yay!), and once in a while coffee. Dinner was usually some form of chicken and potatoes or rice or pasta mixed with some kind of vegetable. I like chicken well enough but Bill is sick of it!

As it has not been worth while for us to go out for dinner (why pay $15 for a grilled piece of chicken on a bed of lettuce) once I am better Bill and I are hoping to maybe take off for a few nights and make up for our anniversary and other date nights that simply haven't happened. We'll see.

Up next: Bill is doing a 3 day book writing challenge this weekend and I need to man handle children I can't even lift. That will be fun. school starts for Duncan next week - Kindergarten!! Eeps! My boy is growing up. In a month the Martin Clan descends on Maple Ridge and we have 6 extra house guests for close to 2 weeks said and done. And the kids starting new day care, and my birthday is in there somewhere... But first I recover. Time for some more HGTV (about all I have the mental capacity for right now).

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

One of the hardest things I've had to do

Last week I had to do one of the hardest things ever - break up with my daycare provider.

Anyone who knows me knows how much of a blessing Nikki has been to our family over the years. However, recently the opportunity arose to reduce our monthly daycare costs by almost $500/month. We couldn't say no.

It's such a tough thing to do especially since Nikki did nothing wrong. The kids love it there, and have always been loved and well cared for. I fretted and fretted over breaking the news. I am confident she will get new kids to watch quite quickly, however I also know a big chunk of their monthly income is from what we pay them. It was "you've done nothing wrong, but you're fired" and "It's me, not you - we're breaking up" all rolled into one. I'll admit I got teary when I told her.

She took it really well. I was just very honest with her, and she totally understands. That Saturday we were at a birthday party for two of her kids, and the family did not chase us away with shotguns, so I guess they took it well. Who knows, maybe they were looking to get rid of us and it was an answer to their prayers *grin*

However, we don't regret our decision. The kids will be attending the daycare run out of our church. I know the 2 ladies who run the place and they are so excited about the kids joining them. My Mom works in the same building, so Oma will be only one hall way away if the need ever arises.

I think Cordie will thrive there. Not that she's not loving Nikki's, but I think she's more wired to the routine a group daycare will provide. And love craft time, and story time and circle time etc...

Funny thing - we emailed the daycare to see about getting in. We had to apply for a variance to get Cordie in a few months before she turns 30 months old. Also we had to get Duncan into the out of school care. There is actually a waiting list 30 kids long into get into that program. However their policy is that people who have children in the full time daycare get priority. So we told them we were interested, and Duncan was at the top of the list for the next available spot. The very next day someone pulled their kid from the school care, and Duncan got the spot. The day after that, the lady called back again saying she changed her mind and they replied "sorry, it's already filled!". Oh, and there happened to be one spot left in the van going to his new school. Now we think that was the Lord having a helping hand a bit in our decision.

We expect Duncan might have a harder time adjusting than Cordie, but I think after a week or so he'll be loving it.

One of many things going on in our house right now!!!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

It's getting closer! Christmas!

The other day in the car Duncan asks how much longer until Christmas. We are sort of Christmas addicts in this house, watching Christmas specials throughout the year, singing Christmas songs, and looking forward to it coming around again next year. Okay... "we" is a bit of a loose term... Cordie doesn't really get it yet, and Bill just shakes his head sadly at us :)

Several years ago I stumbled upon a blog from Jennifer Tankersley to help me plan for Christmas - 100 Days to Christmas. Subscribe to the email and every day you receiving another tip in your inbox to hopefully help get yourself organized for Christmas.   Last year I followed along again with my handy dandy Christmas binder.

This year Jennifer has released her 100 days plan into an e-book, and I am really happy to have the opportunity to review it for her. Jennifer realized some people might do a bit better having all the steps laid out for them in an easy reference. I actually prefer this as I quite like to skip a head a bit and get my head around what might be coming.

Several things I really do love about this e-book and plan:
1. A focus on handmade gifts. I'm a crafty person and I love to give hand made gifts every year I can (time permitting), and I think it is fantastic to encourage people to try it on for size.
2. Budgeting - a big focus is picking a budget, sticking to it, and acknowledging some tough economic times for many people.
3. Sundays are down time. It's time to spend time with your family and enjoy the fall and Christmas season!!
4. Focus on others  - like a challenge to donate to the food bank and Goodwill.
5. Cleaning week! It's like Spring cleaning for Christmas.

Now, the book is American centered - which is totally fine and makes sense - that is who the book is written for. Previous years I just pick out what applies to me as a Canadian, and use the extra time that I don't need to spend getting ready for US Thanksgiving to catch up or just take a day off. I don't follow all the daily suggestions to a T, but you don't need to. The whole point is to help you get organized and enjoy Christmas for what it is.

To make it a bit easier the e-book also includes links to some very convenience calendars, charts, and lists through the ListPlanIt website.

100 Days To Christmas is available on the Kindle for $4.99 through and on August 25, 2011 - exactly 4 months until Christmas!

Check out the facebook page or on twitter

Monday, July 25, 2011

My gall bladder and I are at odds

Well because summer has just been so normal, we had to throw something into it to make it more exciting. I guess since we had no plans to go away...

A week ago Saturday I had horrible pain mid morning all from my chest into my back, and down into my abdomen. I thought at first it was really bad gas at first, but it didn't go away. For the next few days I had these attacks again, sometimes lasting a long time, and then I realized it might be my gall bladder. I remembered my Mom saying that anything with fat in it would set her off before she had hers out.

I made an appt to see the doctor on Saturday morning. On Wednesday night/early Thursday morning I had a really bad attack lasting about 2.5 hours. I was waiting until the family was up so Bill could bring me to the hospital. Well I decided to shower 1st, and it totally went away while I was showering. So I went to work. Then I got sick. Then I came home again.

Knowing it was likely my gall bladder I Googled it for some tips on how to manage it for a bit. So Friday I was fine. Saturday morning I went to my weigh in (down 25 lbs!!) and then to the doctor. He confirmed that yes it is likely my gall bladder and sent me for some blood work an an ultrasound.

I have managed to avoid any attacks again as of today, although I can certainly feel it. It sort of fells like someone is constantly punching me in the back.

Small amounts of fat can set it off so I am eating almost an entirely fat free diet. Yesterday I had some 2% milk in my tea and even that caused some pain. I can eat boneless skinless chicken breasts, fat free plain yoghurt, and fish for protein. I was already eating oatmeal and salads for lunch, so no big change in my diet there. Night time is the hardest. No alcohol (hard on the liver), no coffee (boo hoo!).

Today I got a call from the doctor that my liver levels are high, so the ultrasound has been bumped up to this Thursday morning. We might have surgery soon after that - we'll see. Unless I have an attack before that, in which case I'll be there even sooner!

Kind of crazy, but if we get this done with the laparoscopic surgery I should be good to go within a week or two again.

And that's it from our corner of the world!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Happy House Anniversary!

It's been one year since we moved into this house! Crazy! One year! On many levels it is hard to believe it has been that long, and on several other levels it feels like it has been a lot longer. We're just so happy here.

When we bought this place one of the things we liked was that it was a bit older and we would not have to worry about being a little hard on it- denting walls or other such things. We put in a 3rd bathroom, revamped my sewing room (moved a door, put up a wall, took down part of another), put down new floors in Bill's room, my room and as gift from my brother, through the whole entry hall. Bill finally got around to painting the downstairs bathroom on Friday (yeah, it took us a year).

We love, love, love the back yard. The kids do too. They are out there every day the weather allows them. The previous owners left a sandbox and a play house, and we have two climbers, and a water table. So there is lots to do out there. Duncan loves to play baseball out there, and anything else that involves running and hiding and lots of giggling. Our garden is doing okay... Mom came and took a look yesterday and gave me some advice on it, so I'll need to get some of that taken care of.

What would I change? Well our deck still needs a revamping. The plywood underneath is a bit soft, and in my happy little world I would like to make it a bit bigger, which we might do at some point. The kitchen needs the most help. We've been trying to score some cabinets off of Craigslist, but every time we find what we're looking for (just a bank of cabinets up and down, about 3-4 doors long) in our price range (free - $200) they are snatched up so quick we can't get our hands on them. Eventually I see renovating the whole thing, opening up the wall and making it a great room. But by my guess that would cost upwards of $20,000, so we'll be waiting on that one a while.

But we love it here. We feel blessed to have this home, and have no plans any time soon to look anywhere else. Happy Anniversary House!!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Quilt Shop Hop Weekend

My goodness, has it honestly been almost a month? Oh well - hello!

This past Thursday and Friday the little escape I've been waiting for finally happened with Theresa and Ronnie. It was time for the yearly Washington Quilt Shop Hop and I haven't been in 3 years due to life happening (you know having babies, moving houses, etc...) I was determined to go this year whether I was on my own or now. I'm glad I was not on my own though!

We all took Thursday and Friday off work and headed off on Thursday morning. I had some fun making the girls some quilted tote bags for the shop hop, something my friend Lisa did for me a few years back. I did a bit of advance planning and progammed in all the shops to my GPS before we headed out.

No problems at the border, and down through Lynden first, then down to Bellingham. We stopped in Anacores for 2 shops and some lunch. Anacortes ended up being dangerous because I spent a good bit of money in one of those shops.

We had 11 shops to get to altogether and were done by 4:30 - pretty good for a days ride, and it was not rushed at all.

The thing I need to mention is that with typical Carole timing, I was sick. I thought I had just caught my Mom's cold at first but I now think it was strep b/c my throat hurt so bad and I hurt everywhere and me neck hurt... so I was pretty pathetic at the end there. Advil was my friend!

We had a reservation at Tulalip resort. I love it there! Oh I can't wait to go back and I hope one time I can go spend 2 nights. 1st order of business was heading down to the pool. I soaked in the hot tub for about half an hour and that helped a lot with the aches. We went up, got cleaned up and then headed out for dinner. We opted for the buffet, and although none of us ate our fille as one might at a buffet we all agreed that with dinner, pop, dessert etc... the price was not bad and the food was good. I just wasn't hungry! Probably a good thing.

We decided to go up to the room before coming back down, and had some drinks. I was actually not feeling too bad by then so we did some gambling - I spent $40 and won $76+ so I was happy. We did a bit of dancing which was also a hoot.

Next morning after breakfast and check out we went to the Premium Outlet Mall. Oh heaven! We could have spent a lot more time (and money!) there! I think if we ever decide to do this again we'll go to the mall the 1st day and quilt shops the next.

Crossing the border was the best ever - drove right up. No problems getting across. We were home just after 5.

It was great spending some time with the girls and getting away. Although I look forward to that little get away with Bill in the future. We've been there together before and really enjoy the hotel.

Actually, 2 weeks ago we spent the night in Vancouver to go see Wicked. I made the huge mistake of booking through Hotwire. We got a room at a 4 star hotel and it was the biggest let down ever. More like a Hotel 6 than a 4 star hotel. I complained to both the hotel and Hotwire that I paid for a 4 star hotel room and got more like a 2 and hotwire said well they use us to fill rooms, and the hotel said well the next time you book with us.... Um, we're not booking with you again. Duh. I know other people have had good success with hotwire, but we will never do that again. I'm not mentioning the hotel name b/c I have a feeling hotwire would get at me about that. But it won't stop me from thumbing my nose at them and the massive waste of money it ended up being.

Wicked was fun, although not what we expected. We enjoyed the Lion King more. Although Defying Gravity was an amazing song.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Blogging? What's that?

Wow, work and real life gets in the way of writing blog posts. What's funny is that I write them in my head all the time, but I don't get the chance to put them down so I can share them with you.

So, how are you doing today? Thanks for coming by. It is another cold, early March day... oh...wait... it's almost the end of May. Easy to get confused. It is only 11C out! (about 52F for my American friends). They showed the other day on the news the hottest May temp was back in 2005 and it was like 27 degrees. I totally remember that really hot May! I remember us melting away in our town house, and it was that day that we decided to go and buy our 1st big screen tv from Costco. It is still used in the rec room. Funny how we remember these things.

We did get our vegetable garden planted this week though, so that's awesome. We're keeping it simple to begin and we'll see how it goes. At least with all the rain I don't need to remember to water the plants. *grin*

Weight loss - down 20.8!! I'm thrilled with my progress. Slow but steady.

I just spent the last 3 weeks working in our downtown office. It was really good to see many old friends there and it was funny b/c it felt like I had never left, but oh boy did the commute kill me! I have become quite used to my cushy 10-15 minute commute now, getting up at 6, not leaving until well after 7, home before 5. Working downtown I was up at 5, gone by 6, traveling basically 3 hours a day... I was exhausted. I don't know how I did that for 12 years. Mind you, the train is nice - my daily sudoku, reading books, checking email and such on my iphone. But I couldn't go back to it! They were happy to have me though, and it certainly won't hurt me for having been willing to do so. And hey, the company paid for transportation.

I should probably update on the kids and all (they are good), but I'll save that for another time. See you soon! (or not).

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Quilters Blog Festival

I am writing this post to participate in Amy's Creative Side's Bloggers Quilt Festival.

I have not had a lot of time to be doing quilting lately. I think a full time job and two small children get in the way of that some times, but I am still sticking with my quilting, and have recently completed several baby quilts.

But I wanted to share this quilt. This is, by far, not the best quilt I have ever made. It is one of the 1st ones I ever made out of the Washington Quilt Shop Hop 2004 blocks. That was the shop hop that made me want to learn how to quilt, when I innocently tagged along with my friend Lisa to check out a few quilt shops. Little did I know.

I ended up making this quilt for my Oma, which she loved. She had me hang it on the wall of her kitchen/dining room, right where everyone could see it. And for a woman as crafty as she was, that meant a lot to me.

What I like about this quilt is that it taught me a lot of different techniques that I had to learn to finish the blocks. So is it perfect? Nope. Are the colours perfect? Nope! But it was one of my biggest labours of love, and inspired me to keep learning more and more.

Thanks to Amy for organizing this. There is a lot of beautiful stuff out there! I'll share some pictures of my more recent quilts soon.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Datebook: May 1, 2011

Good morning! It is a gorgeous day today!! I look forward to getting outside with the kids. I think maybe we'll go up to Alouette Lake this afternoon. Duncan has been asking to go to "the mountains when the weather gets better" for a while now.

Today is: beautiful and sunny. May 1 and spring has finally arrived!

I am reading:
I am reading Sherrilyn Kenyon's "The Dream Hunter" in paperback, and Kate Morton's "The Forgotten Garden" on ebook through Stanza on my iPhone. I am really enjoying that one and my Mom says her friend may have lent it to her, so I might borrow it to read the hard copy. The iPhone is not an ideal format for reading books. Nice to have on hand though.

Weight loss:
I am doing pretty good!! -18 lbs as of yesterday morning!! I am averaging about 1.5 lbs a week right now and am happy with that pace.

I have taken to walking every day at lunch. It is 2.5 km around the block I go, and aside from the one road which is all construction and has no sidewalk, the rest of the walk is dead quiet and very peaceful. I love it! As some people may have seen on my facebook, I met a personal fitness challenge on Friday. I said about 3 months ago I was going to walk home from work over the bridge. They laughed at me! They weren't being mean, but they just thought it was a ridiculous plan. Well on Friday I did it! It took me 15 min longer than planned, but probably b/c I stopped to take pictures on the bridge. I am really thrilled having done it. I need new runners though.

In the kitchen:
Beef stir fry
shake and bake chicken and either french fries or rice and veggies
left over chicken soup casserole
BBQ beef and rice
Kraft dinner Italiano - a favourite of ours. We make it with veggie ground round and it's not that horrible for us!

This week:
Bill starts swimming lessons again tonight. We received a call this week saying that Duncan got in on the waiting list for lessons to start next Saturday. We're very happy about this b/c he loves swimming! So he starts again. Monday is the Federal Election, so we'll drag the kids along to that. We think it's good for them to see the process. Friday I have a flex day. I might send the kids to daycare anyhow just so I can get some stuff done. Otherwise, normal week.

Around the house:
We're hoping we can get someone to take the kids on Saturday morning so we can borrow my parent's carpet cleaner and do our living room carpets. They are in bad shape! Bill plans on digging up around the side of the house to put gravel down to keep little creepy crawlies getting in. We're rather paranoid of ants since that incident a few years ago in the old place. The kids and I have the garden dug up. I am going to go lime it this afternoon (better done with little people not around), we'll fertlize next week and then get ready for planting! Looking forward to that.

Okay, Cordie wants "up!" so I should go get her.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Tuesday that feels like a Wednesday

Yay for short weeks! I'm so glad Friday is a day off. Although I get flex days, official long weekends always just feel better. Most people also get Easter Monday - like my husband - however my company does not. But I do have it as a flex day, so I also have a 4 day weekend. Yay!

Due to the availability of family, we're actually having our family dinner on Friday. A little unconventional, but thast's okay. Sounds like it will be quite the crowd.

We're all doing well here. Just happily trucking along. Weight loss is going well for Bill and I, despite various colds and sinus infections etc... Bill is down 20+ lbs, and I am down 14.6 as of last Saturday. Yay! We're happy with the pace - although faster would be nice, but you know we didn't put it all on in 13 weeks either.

I told Bill the other day he should start a book review blog b/c it seems there are so many out there, he likes to read and he likes to write. He said sure, but now I need to do the foot work to figure out how to get started. I have an idea for the blog already. So let's hope we can get that going.

The kids are fantastic. Duncan only has a few months left of preschool and in the beginning of June we have orientation for Kindergarten. Kindergarten! Already!

Let's see... we're going to Day Out With Thomas again in June, Bill and I are going to see Wicked a few days after that. I'm really looking forward to that. The Wiggles are coming to town in August, and we're definetly planning on going to that show again. Always fun.

Work is... mmmm frustrating. I was going to vent on my blog tonight, but it is probably better not to. I'm not an emotional person, but I was in tears today. Not a good thing. It just gets frustrating. I know it is in my better interest to not vent, but it gets hard not to you, you know? Anyhow, Bill heard all about it on the way home, and now my Mom will be calling or emailing and asking what happened :) I'll tell you when your busy social life settled down okay, Mom?

And that's it! Cordie want's UP UP UP so I should probably do that. Hope you're all well!!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Monday Misc.

Hey everyone,

9:30 at the end of a good day. I had a flex day today... gotta love flex days! I am tickled we've made it work with our car pooling for me to do full flex days. What's funny is I leave the office at 4:30. We work right beside the freeway, and so I walk across the overpass and meet Bill in a parking lot on the other side. This is b/c the lights at the overpass are so bad that it would easily add 10-15 minutes to the drive if Bill were to drive over and pick me up. So I walk over and we pretty much meet up exactly at the right time. This past week it was quite funny though b/c Bill was stopped at the light from the freeway off ramp, and I was able to run through the middle of the stopped traffic and jump into the car. The other drivers must be wondering what the heck...

So I had a flex day and kept the kids home. We had a blast. It was Theresa's birthday today so Duncan and I baked her a chocolate cake, and we iced it this AM. We had Theresa over and Phil and Karen and the kids. Bill tried to get the day off, but was told there was training today so no. However, it turns out he was misinformed and he could have had the day off! Oh well. We still had fun.

It would seem our cat Strider had a bit of an adventure yesterday! We don't know for how long, but we think for several hours, he was outside. He is an indoor cat - always has been from the time he was 8 weeks old and we adopted him. But Bill came home yesterday evening and in came Strider. We had gone out to our friend's place in the afternoon so we think he was out for a good 5 hours. For a cat who has never been outside, can you imagine how that would be? I wonder if he went exploring or just cowered in place? But he came home again... yay!

Had a good weekend. At Chris and Ronnie's on Saturday - watched MegaMind and enjoyed it. Sunday we visited John and Amy at their new place, home for dinner and watched the movie Red, which we really enjoyed.

Weight loss efforts are going well for both of us. I'm down 11 lbs over all, Bill is down more than that. And you can tell on both of us, which is awesome. We're both working out, and just sticking to it. The more results you get, the more motivated you become.

So for menu planning this week
tonight we did shepherd's pie with scamburger (veggie ground round... scam hamburger... Bill came up with that one tonight)
we also have on the menu for this week
tropical chicken made in coconut milk
pineapple chicken
something else I can't think of :)

Have a good night!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Menu Planning Monday

Really, I do my menu planning from Saturday  - Friday, but I can post things on Monday.
So here we go:
Saturday was Chicken Fried Streak and Potatoes from Pioneer Woman. Yes, this was way out of the range of my daily points, but since Saturday is my free day, I decided to enjoy it. It was good. I can not imagine there are people who eat stuff like that every day.
Sunday - Jambalaya in slow cooker
Monday - turkey sloppy joes in slow cooker
Tuesday - taco chicken and potato foil wrap
Wednesday - Mushroom Burgers
Thursday  - Spaghetti and meatballs
Friday - Bill is home and I will be sending him grocery shopping and we'll make a new menu for the following week by then.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Sunday afternoon

We decided to let Duncan not nap today - yes, he is still a pretty good napper, which is awesome. But due to the time change, we figured if he didn't nap then he would be tired a bit earlier tonight and it will be good to get him back on track for getting up earlier tomorrow.

Weight in on Saturday  - down 11.2 over all in 7 weeks. I am thrilled with my progress. And it's nice that I can look at myself and notice that weight is going down. This week I started - once - the Jillian Michael's 30 day shred dvd. It about killed me. I will keep doing it. Friday we went swimming, so I opted out, and Saturday was about 2 hours of grocery shopping and I decided that pushing a cart and a child around for that long counted as exercise. I have no excuse for today. Maybe I'll go work out yet.

Duncan got into the school we were hoping, the one not in our catchment. It has a reputation as a good school, and all his little friends go there, so it should be really neat for him. June 3 we have orientation. Nikki explained what you do is go in for a few hours with your child and then at the end they decide who is going to what class. We agreed heaven help the teacher is all 4 boys end up in the same class :) Can you believe my little man is going into Kindergarten? He'll need to get used to no nap then, b/c it's all day K in the fall!

Cordie is good. She is such a funny, funny girl. This week she found the Dinosaur's Binkit book by Sandra Boyton. Duncan loved that book when he was little too. But everytime Dinosaur said "Where's my Binkit?" Cordie would just laugh and laugh and laugh. It's awesome. Her words are so good!! 3 word sentances. I don't remember Duncan's words being that good at that point, but as it has been pointed out, she's a girl. And she's my girl!

I'm working longer hours for flex days now, which will be nice. It's funny b/c my 1st normal flex day is a week Monday, and I was looking forward to bringing Duncan to school, and Mom pointed out it will be Spring Break. Duh.

Well seeing as I have room in my points, I think I might go have some crackers and cheese. Nom nom nom...

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Things I don't miss

I just realized it's been a month since I blogged. And to consider I once thought of starting up a reviews and giveaway blog. No way. It's funny how easily you can give up something that used to just suck you in.

Things that I have given up recently that I don't really miss:
  1. tv. We're not watching much tv these days. Oh, we PVR for a later date, but even a lot of the stuff we're recording we're just not interested in watching right now. I think Castle and the Mentalist are the ones we're really watching every week right now, and everything else can wait.
  2. More specifically - American Idol. I admit that the new judges threw me off, although Mom assures me that they are doing an excellent job. But I really didn't want the 2-3 night a week committment to watch this show this year, so I'm not. I kind of miss it, but at the same time and not really.
  3. Facebook. I am spending nil time on facebook. I am not actively playing any games - although I started a Cityville so my friends can get an extra neighbour, but I have not even gone so far as to see how it works. I imagine a lot like Farmville, which I once loved. I don't miss that either. 
  4. My blogs. I still follow a bunch of stuff as I still like to try and win things. Most recently (last week) at $25 gift card from Chapters. I already have some credit on Chapters and am seriously considering ordering the Cities and Knights expansion for Settlers of Catan. 
  5. My weight. ha ha ha... Yeah so it's been 5 weeks I've been on WW and it is going well! I had one week where I went up .4, but over all I am down 8.6 and am really thrilled with how I am doing. I am not finding it hard at all to follow the new Points Plus program and don't really feel like I am missing out much on food stuff. Okay tonight I super wanted a nice big hamburger and home made deep fried french fries. But I didn't. We had macos like we planned (tacos made with veggie ground round). Duncan ate 3 tacos!! Growing much?
Things I am enjoying as I am no longer doing those things:
  1. Time with Bill and the kids. Duh. Evenings are fun. Last night we moved the art desk that Chris and Ronnie gave us a while back into my craft room. I taped some paper down, pulled out the paints and both kids had a blast! Was it messy? Yep. Did they need baths after? Yep. But what's the point in having a craft room if it isn't going to get messy?
  2. Swimming. This kind of goes with the spending more time with the kids theme. Duncan has swimming 2x/week and for $2 each we get to go while he has lessons, so we've all been going together. Cordie loves it. Duncan loves it. I swam a few laps the other day. I am out of shape!! But you know, I'm doing something about it, so not beating myself up there. 
  3. Quilting. As most evenings we don't feel like watching tv, I wander into my lovely craft room and, well, craft. Sunday I finished the top to Cordie's quilt I've been meaning to get to for some time now. I love it! It's all blocks given by my quilty friends online, and I just love it. I need some backing fabric for it. I'll post pictures when it's done. And I also started a quilt for Nikki who is due in one month now.
Oh, one thing I miss that I can't seem to get enough of: sleep. It's bed time. Good night!

Monday, January 31, 2011

My 1st weigh in

Good morning! Had my 1st weigh in for WW on Saturday morning, and off to a good start. Down 4 lbs. My Mom was down 6.2! Yay Mom! And she was wearing jeans. I hate her. Not really. Love you Mom!

The new program is really good. I am really liking it. I love that fresh fruit and veggies are all 0 points, so when you want a snack your 1st thought is to grab something healthy. And I am easily, easily getting all my servings of fruit and veggies every day. Even more.

As Mom pointed out, there are no 0 point other snacks any more. There used to be that certain things you could get away with being a 0 point snack, but not now. So your daily points allowance went up, but things cost more points, but that is offset by fruit and veggies being free. Before bananas used to be 1-2 points, so that's okay.

I actually found I was not even eating all my points every day, and by no means did I even eat all my flex points. And I'm dedicated. I am measuring everything, journalling everything... so we're off to a good start.

In order to kind of boost myself a bit further, we've decided on no wine in the house at all. Not that we were drinking so much of it, but we figured until we're well on our way with weight loss, lets cut it out. And that also saves us money. Also no take out. In order to afford WW I have also cut out on my Starbucks each day when I was at work. It was only $2/day, but that adds up. So I also now bring my own coffee to work. Look at me being all responsible!

Now... let's add in some exercise... that's the hard part.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Today January 25, 2011

In an effort to step up my blogging again, inspired by Colorado Nancy - here I am! Good morning!

Outside my window it is raining. Again. I don't mind the rain, but the kids really want to get outside and play play play. And it's just too cold and damp to do that right now.

I am reading:
Kind of inbetween books right now. I think I'm going to read Watermelon by Marian Keyes next. I just finished one of the books I won in the November Romance Book giveaway over on Simply Stacey, and before that I read a Carole Matthews book...oh my I can't remember I read something else inbetween, but for the life of me I can't remember what.

I've joined Weight Watchers again. You know, previously I lost 50 lbs on WW, so it's time to do that again. I know I can do it again. I actually really like the new Points Plus system as all fruit and most veggies are free, so I don't need to think 2x about grabbing a piece of fruit if I need a snack or something. I joined last Tuesday, but am changing my weigh in to Saturday mornings, and will go with my Mom. So I have not done my 1st weigh in yet.

In the kitchen:
Well in an effort to step up healthier eating I've reached for my Hungry Girl cookbook.
Faux Fried Chicken and roasted butternut Squash
Sloppy Janes - made this with veggie ground round and some PC Thins hamburger buns - was quite tasty!
Pork chops with potatoes and veggies
Hamburgers and Sweet potato fries
Seseame Chicken and rice

Around the house:
Well now we've been here for 6 months it's time to go through everything again, declutter more, clean things up, and do some painting. We need to finish putting casings around the doors downstairs where we moved the door for my sewing room into the main hall. We need to paint the 3rd bathroom and finish off adding things like towel bars and a mirror and vanity lights etc... Bill would like to paint the entry way. We need to fix the paint in Cordie's room as our sweetheart started peeling the fishy border off the wall and it looks really bad now. We need to price out and replace our back deck. This is the big one - we knew this when we moved in. Bill hopes he may be able to do work with my Dad helping him out. He's been enjoying doing more around the house and becoming a handyman. I also need to go through the kids drawers, pull out everything that no longer fits... Tanya, I will have clothes for your sons soon - maybe a good chance to get together?

This week:
normal week here. Monday night Bill had swimming lessons -yep, Bill is learning how to swim. I think it's awesome. he wants to be able to keep up with Duncan. Otherwise, drop off the kids, work, pick them up, dinner, play, bed.

And that's it here!! Time for some coffee and then get the kids up. Have a wonderful day!

Sunday, January 23, 2011


Okay, so I've only been home for a week and a half. Sorry I didn't write sooner. I just haven't been spending any time on the computer. It actually took a bit to get over the 2 hour time difference. I think it's just enough to throw you off. Next time we stay longer!

Flight - this was what I was worried about the most. How would both kids do on the flight, and how would Cordie be if we didn't get a seat for her to use? Well Westjet stepped up and got us an extra seat - yay! They both did awesome. I brought a big selection of snacks, movies and other activities and they did really well. We landed at I think 4 PM and got into the resort around 6. Everyone else stopped at Costco to buy groceries but we figured with the kids it would just be best to get to our place and settle down. Oma brought us some breakfast chicken and veggies and stuff, and that was perfect.

The next day we had to go grocery shopping, but Duncan really wanted to go swimming at the Pirate Pool outside.

Well we had other stuff to do first, so thank goodness the Lord provided us with a downpour to put him off for a bit. We got lots of use out of the pirate pool though, which was just for little kids. In fact even Erik and Katie only managed to sneak in after it was dark out.

Anyhow, off to Safeway. Yeah, everything is expensive there. Actually we found lots of the prices are comparable to home, but just expensive compared to the rest of the US. Oh, and the booze was cheap, so we had enough wine and other stuff to do just fine.

Sleeping arrangements:
This was the other thing I was worried about was how sleep was going to work out. We actually thought we were going to need to sleep on the sofa bed and let Duncan have our bed. But the 1st night of laying on that thing I said forget it and climbed into bed with Duncan - you know the king sized gorgeously plush bed in the other room? Oh that felt nice. Oh, and Cordie had a crib, which worked fine for her. Anyhow, the 2nd night we said to Duncan do you want to sleep on the sofa bed? And he thought that was pretty cool. I was worried that he would wake up too much if we moved him - nope, not a problem. So that worked great, and we got the nice bed :)

Daily routine was some variation of this:
Get up, give the kids snacks, sit on the balcony and have some coffeem, have a nice leisurely breakfast, go play in a pool - the pirate pool or the shallow pool on side over. There was another one with a slide, but Duncan wasn't big enough for that one, and we didn't want to tease him that he couldn't go, so we just didn't swim there. Back to the room for lunch, naps for the kids while we napped/read/had a drink, and two times my Mom watched them while we went into Lahaina once and for a drive up Island once. After naps down to the beach for sand train building,

jumping in the waves, hanging with Oma and Opa,
and whale watching. Back to the room, clean up, dinner with the family. Most nights we all brought our own thing down to BBQ - the resort had BBQs all over which was really great, but we'd all hang out while we ate. Uncle Sean learned how much work it was to chase a Cordie. LOL! Then up to my brother's place (next door - we were all in a row) for drinks and hanging out on the balcony, which was nice b/c we could put Cordie to bed and use the monitor and still go hang out.

We also went to the Aquarium one rainy day - which was cool, but expensive, and perhaps the kids weren't old enough for it yet.

Bill took Duncan on the Sugar Cane Train - which Duncan just loved.

 (on the Sugar Cane Train)

We were supposed to use the round trip another day, but the day we were going to a Kona storm rolled in and it was closed down. I also took the kids to a local playground one morning while Bill was watching football. That was fun b/c it was a park local people use and I got to chat with some local Moms and Grandmoms while the kids played together.

Mom and Dad took us out for a family dinner one night. Cordie was a little owly at that one, but it was nice! And we also all went to a Luau one night, which was a hoot.

Again, Cordie didn't like to sit still - but she was just wiggly, not fussy, so I'm good if she is not screaming *grin*.

Final thoughts? How soon can we save up to go back? We loved it. I had been to Maui before, and Bill and I had been to Waikiki a few years ago, but seeing that the kids were so easy to travel with, and knowing how kid friendly Maui is, we want to go back - and for longer!! It will take a few years, but we'll swing it.

Thanks again to Oma and Opa for this wonderful trip.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Because I said So

Aloha!! Blog post about our trip to Maui coming soon, but 1st this:

Do you read Because I Said So by Dawn Meehan? Well Dawn is in a really, really tight spot right now, and so I am adding this in, in case you feel like helping

Monday, January 3, 2011

Happy New Year!

Quick note to wish you all a Happy New Year. Just getting ready for our little trip. No, potential thieves, our house will not be empty in our absence. We won't be gone long. See you on the flip side!