Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Support For Make A Wish

 My sister in law Erin is an adventurous type. She's always challenging herself in all sorts of creative ways. Lucky for me, she asked if I wanted to join her in the 5K Foam Fest coming in June. Basically you run 5K with foam, mud and fun and exciting obstacles. I was in for sure! I have never participated and thought it would be great for me to get out and do something both exciting and challenging. I contacted some friends and another of mine is joining us as well!

 We came up with a clever name, LunaChicks and we were all registered and set to have some fun come June. I received an email back in February informing me that Make A Wish Foundation was the official event charity partner with the Foam Fest this year. I instantly contacted my team members and they agreed that we should register our team to be able to receive donations from supportive friends and family.

 Make A Wish Foundation Canada's mission is to restore a child's innocence, sense of fun and adventure if only for a day. With medical procedures and permanent hospital stays, the lives of sick children become intensely chaotic, scary and repetitive. Make A Wish can make dreams come true and in donating money to their cause can assist in creating life changing opportunities.

 The goal we set for our team is $300. We figure that is an attainable number for the three of us to raise. I have personally never done anything charitable and I'm excited to be part of something like this. I don't like asking for money but I think this is for a good cause. The beautiful thing about social media is that I don't have to put people on the spot by asking one on one for money. If you wish to donate please do and if not, that's okay too!

 We appreciate any donations and are excited to do our adventurous, foamy and muddy run come June!

 Please visit our LunaChicks Fundraising Page HERE to support the cause!






.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

#JerseysForHumboldt


Humboldt Broncos
 A great tragedy occurred last Friday around dinner time just 30 km north of Tisdale, Saskatchewan. There were 29 people riding on a charter bus to Nipawin where the Humboldt Broncos hockey team were to play Game 5 of their semifinal series with the Nipawin Hawks. A semi truck crashed into the front part of the bus killing 16 and injuring 13. Among the 16 killed were the coach, the assistant coach, the team's athletic therapist, 2 employees from Humboldt's FM radio station and the bus driver. The other 10 were from the Homboldt Bronco's hockey team. Their ages ranged from 16 to 29. (A full article about the victims and a little information about each of them can be found HERE.)
 The country seems exceptionally shaken up over this accident. We certainly were. We hear of shootings, terrorist attacks and natural disasters all over the world claiming multiple lives and it is all truly awful. But for some reason the Humboldt Bronco tragedy is staying with us. I think it's because it was a hockey team involved and we have experienced hockey in some way or another.
 My boyfriend and my friend's brother were on the same hockey team for a couple of years. I remember riding the bus to tournaments alongside her and being part of the excitement of a hockey team. A lot of my girlfriends growing up played hockey as well. Humboldt is a town of nearly 6000 which is smaller than my hometown. So I know that small town mentality. Everyone knows everyone. Everyone goes to those hockey games because that is what is going on on a Friday or Saturday night. Hockey guys are a different breed entirely. In my experience, they're cocky but lots of fun. They're sure of themselves but they all share a deep bond with one another. I also have a little nephew that lives and breathes hockey. It hits home..
 Rob, my husband was a goalie in Thunder Bay, Ontario growing up. He was on a AAA team and rode the bus to and from tournaments. He grew up with a lot of guys that went on to the NHL that played on teams like the Broncos before making it big. These players lived with billets in different towns all over the country for their chance at the show. He is also in our local fire department. It hit him on two levels.
 Each night since the accident we found ourselves discussing the Broncos. We shared stories we heard on social media of the young men, we've talked in length about the Nipawin Fire Department that answered that life changing call. We were supportive of each other in putting up green lights in our daughter's room and leaving the porch light on for days. We silently supported the other because it matters to us.
 So it was the other night that I read an article that Thursday, April 12 would be Jersey Day. People were encouraged to wear a jersey of any kind to show love and support for those that were left behind and those that have passed on. As soon as I read about it I knew I wanted to take part in it. Being on maternity leave has left me with the time to go on Facebook and Instagram often and I started to see family and friends posting their pictures of them wearing jerseys. I was touched. I love the unity of it all.  It warms my heart to see what an impact these young men have had on so many lives. It's inspiring and devastating, encouraging yet heartbreaking all at once. That's why it is so special.
 While I was getting ready I had this whole daydream that I was being interviewed by the news while walking downtown with the kids in our jerseys. I wanted to explain why it was so important to us to participate... (This is my little speech I had for my fake interview..)

My daughter asked me this morning why we had to wear our jerseys today. I explained to her that a lot of people, a lot of young men were hurt in this accident. People always want to help in tragedies but they don't know how to. Today is about unity and showing support. By wearing the jersey we are telling the people and families involved that we are here for them. That they are not alone. And not just the families and friends of those hurt or killed. The Nipawin Fire Department that helped rescue and remove people from the bus is comprised of everyday people. Our fire department is made up of people in a rainbow of professions. We have a hair dresser, a stay at home mom, a bus driver, an electrician, a paramedic, a young man fresh out of high school,etc. Those were the kinds of people that heard a page and went to a call that changed their lives forever. So I want to say that we appreciate and honour those individuals that put their own lives on hold to help, assist and rescue those in need. If anything, I hope people find comfort in the thousands of pictures of porch lights left on, with hockey sticks left out front or of smiling faces wearing jerseys being posted. I know I have.

Thank you to those of you that participated in Jersey Day and for giving me permission to post your pictures to my blog.

Alberta
Vancouver Island, B.C.
Sturgeon County West Wing
Ontario
Edson, Alberta
Killam, Alberta
Miramichi, New Brunswick
Thunder Bay, Ontario
Vancouver Island, B.C.
Edson, Alberta
Bon Accord, Alberta
Vancouver Island, B.C.
My boys- Vancouver Island

At swimming- Vancouver Island
#JerseysForHumboldt #HumboldtStrong #HumboldtBronchos #NipawinFireDepartment #YouAreNotAlone

#HumboldtBroncos #NipawinFireDepartment







.

Thursday, March 01, 2018

Traveling With A Babe

 I feel like my trip went by in a blur... I know that Rudi and I were all packed up and ready to go Thursday and before I knew it it was another Thursday and I was unpacking...

 Traveling with a five month old alone is not easy.  There are a lot of things to potentially drop or forget.  I discovered that there always seemed to be a neverending abundance of considerate, kind and helpful strangers around to aid me when I needed it. There was the young man that was sitting right beside me on my last flight to Halifax that asked to move to an empty seat so "she can have more room for her baby." There was a gentleman that seemed uncomfortable with me having to breastfeed (covered and always discreet) a few feet from him yet he asked if I wanted him to grab my bags from the overhead storage. People constantly helped me pick up dropped items and offered to help me carry items (because I had so much with me!!)

Rudi luring strangers over to say hello to him. It worked! He lured three to come over and talk to him!
  West Jet.  A-mazing. On my first flight the flight attendant said she would hold Rudi if I needed to go to the washroom. She said I was one button away from her help and I took her up on that offer. I would never normally have asked anyone to do that but because she offered, I did. Once I was off of the plane she insisted on carrying my diaper bag and pillow to my next gate. She even stopped to help a couple from our flight find assistance getting a wheel chair. I believe her name was Brooke, she was from Calgary. She had dirty blonde hair and chunky white or lavender coloured glasses. She was a model West Jet employee. I adored her.
 
 On my way home, my flight from Toronto to Vancouver was five hours long. When we landed I had to head straight to my next gate because it was ready to board when I arrived. We hurried and made it with time to spare. While Rudi and I sat in our seat waiting for the flight to load our flight attendant approached us. She had Rudi's white bunny blanket from when Alina was a baby, Alina named it Bunny Wunny. Apparently the attendant from my five hour flight saw that we had left it and tracked us down. We were boarding, the flight was a small plane so we had to take an elevator to these indoor/outdoor gates way the hell out of the way. It took some serious effort for that West Jet attendant to track us and physically return Bunny Wunny to Rudi. I mean seriously. Best.Airline.Ever.
 I have nothing but great things to say about West Jet and their staff. Thank goodness we invested in a West Jet Mastercard because we will be guaranteed to fly West Jet from now on. (No, this isn't a promo blog to promote West Jet Mastercard. I am just that impressed!)
 People always go out of their way to slam an airline for doing them wrong. I totally get it, there are some serious horror stories out there. But my experience was super positive and I felt like it needed to be shared. There is just so much hate and negativity in the world these days. Internet trolls sitting on top of their soap boxes bitching and blaming and saying negative shit about anything and everything seem to be taking over the comment field of everything I read these days. Sometimes it's just refreshing reading about something going right every once in awhile...
  Rob upgraded us to first class for my long flight on my way to Halifax and he upgraded us on both of our long flights on the way home. First class is certainly roomier with a baby and there's a constant stream of drinks, free snacks and a meal on each flight. I was grateful to Rob for his consideration of the upgrades. I had very little time in between each flight to change Rudi's diaper and use the bathroom never mind find food. Rob made a good point that yes, it does cost a bit more money for each upgrade but, how often do I plan on traveling alone with a baby ever? It was certainly worth every penny.


  There seems to be a certain level of magic surrounding a pregnant woman or a woman and a baby. People are genuinely kinder, more considerate and patient. I didn't experience a single negative look or feel like I was being criticized or judged for having (at times) a crying baby in a small space. It was an enlightening experience. I shared my thoughts with a friend and she made a good point. She said, "People should be kind. He's a person too and he has every right to travel." Touche'.

Flying is so easy for a baby... 






Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Mr Mom

 As I've mentioned before I am going on a trip to visit my sister and her family in Nova Scotia tomorrow. I'm bringing my little sidekick, five month old Rudi Tootie. Alina is staying behind with her dad. So she is going to be in daycare full time for the week I am away. Which means; daddio has to step up his game.

  As a mom we just do a long of things without much thought or that aren't really noticed by dads. We make mental notes of items we see around the house. So when Alina asks where her 'credit card' is I can easily reply; 'in your owl purse on your peg in your room where you keep your house coat.' I know where everything is because I make tiny mental notes whenever I see her with items. 'Credit card' is going into the owl purse. She had the purse out for a day where she left it on the floor by the couch and then when I told her to put it away I noticed it hanging on the peg where she usually keeps it. It's kind of insane how many of those little scenarios are going on in my brain. Dads have their own qualities, like being insanely fun in any occasion, even stressful ones. But, they don't know how to answer those 'where is my....' type questions.


 Alina is used to me and how I parent. So she'll have to crack a whip when it comes to getting her dad ready for her in the morning. She already ran him through what needs to go in her lunch bag yesterday at dinner time. The mornings will take them a day or two to get into a nice groove but I have no doubt that they will accomplish it.
 I imagine Rob will do what needs to be done, when it needs to be done. No unloading the dishwasher in the morning (because he will forget to turn it on in the evening..), no feeding the fish (because he won't remember the fish exists until that evening when he's tucking her into bed.) or closing all the doors so that our Rumba "Gary" can clean the floors. It will be all he can take to have all of her things organized, packed and her dressed, hair done and teeth brushed in time for daycare and work. I guarantee Mr Mom will be able to pull off having her ready each day by doing the very bare minimum. And there's nothing wrong with that. I'm not writing this post to slam him by any means. It's just human nature of men and women. Moms and Dads are just very different kinds of people. The best part is that most families are designed to have one of each so that there is a nice balance to the parenting.


 I imagine the kitchen will be left in disarray and he may forget a few items of his own before he gets a good routine that works. Dads! They always pack A LOT of food in kid's lunches and the chunks of food are almost always cut really big. **Side Note: Does anyone else's husband or partner ever go to share a piece of steak or a scoop of food and it's always huge pieces or scoops?! I always have to get him to give me much, much less..!**
 But I do think Robert will do just fine without me. I know he's going to have a new found appreciation for what I do, which is always healthy for the relationship. We are rarely ever apart. I'm trying to think of the longest we've been away from the other and I can't see it being for more than a week. Rob is an exceptional husband and a complete treasure of a dad. He had Alina brainstorm ideas of what they were going to get into while Rudi and I are away. I looked at the list and it is impressive.
- Go swimming
- Go shopping and shop for a new bathing suit for her swimming lessons starting next week.
- Have a fire in the front yard and make s'mores.
- Ride her bike at the beach.
- Go to the movies of her choosing.
- Have a sleep over in our bed. This includes a fort that hangs from the ceiling and hovers over them like a canopy. He's already told me how he's going to do such a thing.
- Tubing at Mount Washington followed by clam chowder (Alina's favourite) and hot chocolates.
- Go out for wings on Wing Night Wednesdays.
- Go to the library. (I left her the library card and she has it in a safe place "so daddy won't lose it." Good idea Alina!)
- Watch hockey and eat pizza in the basement. (Her idea. She loves watching hockey with her dad during supper because that means she can eat in the living room.)
- Go to the park.
- Go out for brunch on the weekend.
- Go skating.

 He mentioned that he wants to do everything on the list because he wants to keep Alina happy and busy while I'm away. He also said that I do such a great job of keeping her entertained when he gets home from work that he's usually off the hook to watch hockey or complete projects or fix things around the house. He wants to make sure she's entertained and content. I like that. 
 Which means these two are going to busy. Alina keeps bragging to me that she's going to have so much fun and what am I even going to do in "Ova Scotia" while they're having such a good time. I assured her I would manage... somehow.

 To assist Mr Mom I'm putting together a guide to help him get ready with Alina in the mornings. I am going to switch to pure wife mode and write to Robert directly. (Feel free to skip over, this is really for his own personal use.)

 You have breakfast figured out just fine. Just keep on her about eating in a timely fashion because that girl can take foooorever to eat some days. 
 For her main lunch I always pack her left over supper. However, this could be challenging with all of the dining you plan on doing. SO! If you go out for wings - try to bring a few home and then throw together some cucumbers and snap peas or peppers chopped up along with it. If all else fails you could always whip up a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or a peanut butter pinwheel. (Click HERE to see what a pinwheel is and how to make it!) For her morning snack at daycare she has fruit. I usually cut up two to three different kinds of fruit and put in a container. (We have nectarines and plums that should be ripe by Thursday..!) In the bottom of her lunch bag she gets a yogurt tube or cheese stick. (Depending on her breakfast. If she gets yogurt for breakfast give her cheese.) I usually pack her a bar (granola or fig) but she's getting pretty sick of the fig bars. I pack something savoury/crunchy in a ziplock like a rice cake and seaweed or crackers and almonds. I bought yogurt covered raisins to pack as a little extra treat. Pack her a water bottle but don't fill it with water because it leaks when it's tipped over. In the front pouch of her bag there are extra socks and panties as well as a toque and mittens. (If they're not there then check her cube in your closet for spares.) If she's wearing short sleeves make sure she has a hoody or sweater packed. Her muddy buddy is sometimes left at daycare because she never uses it on the weekends. And Sheepy..! Try to remember to bag him as soon as you think of it. Alina usually reminds me about Sheepy as we're pulling out of the driveway so I imagine she'll do that to you and cause you to be late!!




 Once she's at daycare I always put her shoes on with her. Those are hanging from the back of the door going towards the bathrooms. Put her bag and coat on her hook. She has to put her name up and wash her hands before she gets to play. And yes, there is a sign up sheet that I sign her in and sign her out each day. They don't care that much if you forget (obviously since this is new to you, hehe.) She will be so excited to have you do all this for her at daycare. It should be cute. 

 In all honesty, Rob doesn't need such an in depth explanation but I figure I have the time to write it out, I might as well. I think the lunch making guide with pictures would be informative and kind of humorous. Rob is a total Super Dad and he'll have his own system figured out in no time.


 I am beyond excited to go but I'm also especially content knowing that Rob and his Mini-Me will be busy having a blast doing all the things on their list. And my Mini-Me and I will be having an equally fun time whooping it up on our adventure to 'Ova Scotia'...!!

And Rudi is all ready to fly his first plane..







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Friday, February 09, 2018

Building On That Sister'ship

It will be two years in April since I last saw my best buddy, my big sis Kyli. Now for normal sister relationship that sounds fine. But our sister'ship is much stronger, much more intense than any average sister-sister relationship. I recently asked Kyli if we were kind of sick because we love each other so much. She said we must have been soul mates in a past life. She's probably right if such a thing exists.




 The last time we reunited Kyli came to me all by herself! So she got one on one Alina/Kyli time which was incredibly special. Plus I took off the entire week she was here and we just enjoyed the hell out of each other. I was still blogging back then - so the lead up to her visit can be read HERE.

 For Christmas this year my sneaky, AMAZING husband got me a plane ticket to Nova Scotia to see my sister and her entire family ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! It was THE best present I have ever received by far.  To prove that it is by far THE best present I have ever received I have a list of valid reasons;

 Let's go back to the time when I saw Ky's entire crew.  It was waaay back in August of 2013 and that visit can be read about HERE. It was also the first time ever that I met my niece Sophie Shea who has my middle name. So basically my little namesake has only met her super cool, fun and best friend to her mom once. (Insert unsatisfied/unimpressed emoji face here.) She was only a year and five months old. I haven't seen her since and she is five turning six next month! It is time! Quinn, my nephew was born in Victoria and we had a strong bond with him from day one. He was our first baby. Rob and I slept at Ky and Joe's place the night they had him and I remember driving home all the next day and for days to follow we would say, "Remember Quinn!!?" Then we would both smile and say, yeah.. So it is time to see that grown up Mr as well!

Our girls

Us with Quinn

 Ummm.. I've NEVER been to the East Coast. I've always wanted to go for obvious reasons. (It's beautiful! It's on the other side of the country- so that's cool!! Halifax has a crazy good music scene AND the people are fantastic! To name a few...) Plus this will be my first big girl trip all on my lonesome. (With the exception of Master Rudi, my plane and trip companion. What can I say? He needs me!)

 The people! Kyli and Joe lived in Victoria originally. They moved to Joe's old stomping grounds in July of 2010. Joe's entire family lives there. I was lucky enough to have met most of his relatives when Kyli and Joe were married in our town in 2008. We hosted their engagement party and our house was like the central hub for their friends and family to meet up at. It was a total blast and I can't wait to reconnect with Joe's people after nearly ten years!

Ky and Joe's wedding

 Joe and the kids! I've known Joe since I was sixteen years old. He was living in Jasper and we lived in Hinton. Joe and Kyli met and shortly after they moved to Victoria. Joe and I have always had this little sis- big brother teasing kind of relationship. I did things to annoy him and he would make fun of me. It was our schtick, our act, our thing. But I'm not sixteen or in my early twenties anymore. I look forward to talking with him again, from an adult level. The kids! My niece and nephew. I get to see one of Quinn's hockey games while I'm visiting. I hear he's really, really good. I also get to see one of Sophie's dance classes which is also very exciting. I live for that kind of family stuff! I want to rekindle or recreate a better relationship with those kids. I'm a sucky auntie because of the distance but I can do better. Once I get a bond with those two I'm holding onto it and I'm never letting it go again. Ky and I did that the last time she was here. We both vowed to be relevant in the other's life. So I text her before I go to bed every week night and she returns that text every morning. It's a great way to stay connected in busy lives with a four hour time difference!

Joe abuse

The kids

 Kyli- duh!! She is taking the entire time off for me. She has an itinerary of fun things for us to do while I'm there. I get to be a tourist, a foody at all the great food places. I get to meet friends I have yet to meet but know are awesome. (Cough, cough, Jennifer!) I get to see friends I met here that moved back there. (Cough, cough Lisa!) Kyli has a good ol' East Coast Kitchen Party planned for me with Joe and his dad's band performing. (Check them out on Facebook HERE.) It's going to be a big East Coast sing song and I can hardly wait. I am beyond excited for this entire trip. It is going to be... something to be remembered.



Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Introducing- Alina's Corner




 Alina has been the star of my blog for several years now. I thought it would only be appropriate for her to have her own featured post called; Alina's Corner. I found this questionnaire through Facebook. I made a mental note to try the questions out on Alina to see how she would answer. There isn't filter on these answers. So what I write is exactly what she said. (Her answers are in bold and I have comments in italics afterward.)

Set the Scene: Alina, Rudi and I were sitting in the Acura waiting for Rob to come out of the hardware store in December. On most occasions we wait in the car for him because it is such a hassle bringing us all along for such a seemingly simple chore. Most questions were asked in the car and the last few were asked in a nearby bathroom. Kids!

1/  What is something I always say?
A:  No you can't. Alina can you stop doing that.

Hey- at least I'm direct and somewhat polite...

2/  What makes you happy?
A:  This is a secret... I like Rudi and I like when he smiles really nice. And I like when you buy me toys. 

Oh that's my girl! Right when you think she's the sweetest little thing, you drop your guard and BOOM- she reminds me that she's a greedy, little turd!

3/  What makes you sad?
A:  When you give me a time out. Really sad. And when I hurt myself. Or if one of my friends dies or Nonna and Papa have to get out of town. 

 I hope the order in which she answered isn't the order of what makes her the most sad...

4/  How do I make you laugh?
A:  When you say funny words. 

 I always go for 'monkey butt' to make her smile when she's getting her picture taken. She just informed me recently that 'banana pants' is the funniest. Hmm.. monkey butt vs. banana pants. I think it's obvious which is more hilarious. 

5/  What was I like as a child?
A:  Probably sad when Baba took away all of your toys. 

 Oh this story is forever going to haunt my mother. Once upon a time there was a little girl that didn't clean her room properly. Her mother threatened that if she didn't clean it good enough one day she would come home to a room without toys. Well one day that little girl came home to just that. That's right. My mom threw all of my toys away and I was horrified.  I forever shame my mom by sharing that story and scare Alina with it. I say- time out isn't so bad when you consider I lost all of my toys.

6/  How old am I?
A:  I have no idea. 43?

 That's okay. This is the same person that says she has so much money, "five-eleventy-seventy dollars." 

7/ How tall am I?
A:  I don't know. How you say... 45?

 Again, numbers. 

8/  What is your favourite thing to do?
A:  Have fun. 

 This is clearly the point in which sh begins to lose interest in my little question game. 

9/  What do I do when you're not around?
A:  Have fun and make wreaths. 

 There was a point back in December when I was getting out of the house as much as I could. I signed up for a sign making class, a wreath making class. I even made up a night called, Hot Tub Tuesdays and invited my girlfriends over to hot tub with me after the kids went to bed. All of these things made Alina quite jealous and a little resentful of my time away. (Even though every other waking moment was spent with her, serving her, loving her, paying all of my attention to her.) 

10/  What am I really good at?
A:  Painting and making wreaths. 

  Well at least she didn't say having fun for the third time!

11/  What's something I'm not good at?
A:  You're pretty much good at everything. Except what daddy does like fixing lights and putting up Christmas trees. 

 Hmm.. her dad pretty much does everything so technically she's saying I'm not good at anything...

12/  What do I do for work?
A: You sell cookies and medicine.

 Well I sell medicine but the cookies are there to lure people into the pharmacy...

13/  What is my favourite food?
A:  Chai lattes are your favourite drink. Is it cheese and potatoes?

  I think what she really meant was cheese and wine. I believe the cheese and potatoes were chosen because she hates potatoes and really only likes cheese sticks. Such a funny child! I may have tried to convince her on a few occasions that she's really missing out. Hence those being my apparent fav foods.

 Alina is constantly saying crazy things. Or she has very interesting ideas. She currently aspires to be a hair cutter and a mom or a grocery girl and a mom. Either way, the girl is convinced she's going to be a mom! She loves her little brother almost too much. I have to peel her off of him, she smothers him with wet kisses and loves 'booping' his nose. The kid sure has turned into someone I'm pretty fond of- imagine that! We have our moments where we're arguing over something and I have to remind myself that she's four and I don't have to argue my point. She's good at trying to strike deals or find ways to compromise and it's a little scary coming from such a young kid. I imagine I'll have to be strong for her teenage years... 




.

Friday, February 02, 2018

Head First

How do I jump back in?

How do I return from taking what feels like years off from blogging?

 I feel like I have betrayed that little girl inside of me. The dreamer that always imagined that she would become a successful, full time writer.

 I was talking to my hairdresser the other day and I explained that one day I would do it. I would write that story, that novel that has been brewing within. I feel like I am fortunate because anytime in my life that I've been asked, What do you want to be when you grow up, my answer has always been and will always be the same. I want to become a writer.

via


 It's been over a year since my last post. So much life has happened! But it occurred to me that what I need the most in my life right now, is to get back to some form of writing. I reflect on what has kept me from what I love to do and it is simply the people I love. Even as I write this, after putting the baby down for his nap, my oldest wakes from her sleep. I am reminded that moments to myself to write are very few and far between. It's not like it is difficult to open the computer or take pen to paper and write. It is the time and quiet thinking that is hard to come by.

 As anyone that writes knows, it is crucial to be able to let the ideas flow when they are there. Being interrupted instantly puts an end to that beautiful symphony of thought. I think that is the biggest reason I don't write. The fear; or wariness of starting and always being stopped, left only to feel frustrated and discouraged. Besides this isn't the time for me to shine as a writer. But it's my moment to excel at being a mom.

 I mentioned a baby. He is four months old and his name is Rudi. It was difficult to imagine loving a second child as much as the first. Rudi certainly put an end to any tiny voices of doubt the very moment he took his first breath. He's a gift, a treasure, a perfectly sweet namesake to my late dad. But that is for another post.

Photo Credit to Time and Tide Photography
  I plan on writing more frequently in my blog. I want to introduce some ideas I have for future posts. It's a way to entice any followers that still may be out there to continue reading. But it's mostly a way for me to return and be accountable for what I say I am going to write.

 My almost five year old Alina has grown into quite the character. I'd like to interview her from time to time without filter, for her to both entertain and likely embarrass me all at once.


Photo Credit to Time and Tide Photography
  In the past I have featured my husband Rob. The post was titled Crazy Shit Rob Does. Believe me when I say with all the time that has passed, the number of stupid, crazy things he's done has certainly piled up.
 Another common post I have done was to do with my fitness. After having Rudi I didn't bounce back to my pre pregnancy weight as quickly as I would have liked.  I just started watching what I eat and running regularly again. I will post my progress, more for me as motivation to continue to keep up with the hard work. Take a look at my last MHB post. (And forgive me, I don't remember what the MHB stands for!)
 I am a Pinterest recipe making fanatic. I love making new recipes every week and when they come out exceptionally well I pin each recipe to my Household Menu Board. I will start to record my experiences with the good recipes and create posts to share on my blog.
 Rudi is relatively new around here, so I'd like to write about him. I'd like to write updates on how he's developing and share funny stories. I would also like to write about my experiences being a mom to a baby again and about the changes that our household faces with a little one going into kindergarten in the fall, to name one.
 I also enjoy being relevant with what happens to be going on. I wouldn't mind highlighting the Oscars or the Winter Olympics this month, if something should spark my interest.
 I am a huge fan of Netflix and have seen SO many television shows. I'll have to weigh in on some of my favourites and see if my readers share my opinions. I really enjoy discussing characters that I love and hate and see how others feel about them. Here are a few series that I've watched on Netflix; Grey's Anatomy, Vampire Diaries, Pretty Little Liars, Shameless, The Fosters, The Good Place, Nashville, Switched At Birth, Grace and Frankie, Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee, The Crown (currently watching) and more.

 There's much to look forward to and I'm feeling inspired to get started.






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Friday, July 08, 2016

Be Accountable

 I remember writing a post about feeling super busy. I didn't find enough time for myself, to be who I wanted to be. But I managed to find some time to do something for me that made me feel really, really good every single day.
 Back in December my co-workers and I were complaining that we were all a bunch of monsters. Our customers were relentless, coming in with a variety of endless Christmas treats for us to devour. We decided that once Christmas was over, that we would compete to see who could lose the most weight in a three month period. We would do weigh ins every Monday and record our results on a chart to be compared later. We all threw in twenty dollars and the 'biggest loser' would win the money at the end.
 One thing I've discovered about myself is that I am quite competitive. If I'm being honest, I think I always knew that I was. But after having competed in this little competition I can certainly see that I am. I remember being in Thunder Bay at the end of December and weighing myself in the evening. I weighed in at 136 pounds. Besides when I was pregnant, that would definitely be my heaviest. Once I weighed in at work, that January morning for the first time, I believe I was at 133 pounds.
 At the beginning, I was very determined to lose the weight. I was very strict with my diet having learned that that is the key with losing weight. I also started running and using our elliptical every morning. I would say a few weeks into the bet, I discovered an app called Fitness Pal. Fitness Pal is amazing because it helps you log in your calories everyday, it trends your weight,it even calculates roughly how many calories you burn in exercise. In the beginning, I would say I was borderline obsessed with logging in everything. Even on Alina's birthday, we planned to go out for supper at Montana's. Hello ribs! I researched before what to order so that the calorie count was not ridiculous.
  Some things that I did learn along the way, was that menu items at restaurants can kill your calorie counter in a few bites. Beware of Boston Pizza Quesadillas! I believe one quesadilla is 1200 plus calories. I couldn't believe it! At my lowest weigh in, I came in at 127 pounds, but I couldn't stay at that weight. I did lose the most weight and won the prize money, which was fun. After our bet was over, I kept calorie counting and I increased my cardio and added weight lifting and many, many exercises to get my body into better shape.
How could I resist this food? (Alina with the antlers on getting happy birthday sung to her. A Montana Tradition..)
  I have discovered many helpful things along the way, in my journey to looking and feeling better about myself. I now know that I can stop stressing about the act of losing weight. There's a lot of emphasis and obsession on losing weight. I find that I'm not being hard on myself about losing pounds. I work out in the gym every weekday and I'm building muscle. I know that muscle is heavier than fat, so I have to keep that in mind when I get on a scale. I also have eased off on the calorie counting. However, what I really take away from my experience and want to share with the world or at least my few loyal readers, is that you have to be accountable for what you eat. That's what the calorie counting has taught me. I have to know what I'm eating and understand and give myself an idea of how good or bad it is for my body. I don't have to obsess, I don't even have to feel all that guilty. But it's important to understand. I still calorie count and when I get into the negative numbers (which means I've gone over my 'allowed' calories for the day) I make a point to try to stay within them the following day. A mental note is made and I move on.

My progress.. and the shot of me is a bit lame.. but I'm proud of what I've accomplished.. so I put it up..

  One thing I do have to work on, is feeling guilty. I feel guilt if I don't get up and work out. I am the type of person that is in all the way or not in at all. I'm very strict with my exercising because I know that if I start saying I'll get up every other day, I'll realize how cushy and soft my bed is after 6 am and I will find other excuses to stay in bed. I also need to work on allowing myself a day off when my body is telling me so. Overdoing it is also not healthy.

 I'm the smallest I've ever been. Rob commented that he just thought I just always had bigger calves. But now we both realized that my legs are capable of being smaller. I am in love with the way that my body looks and feels. It's fair to say that I'm drunk with fitness. I get why people that do it keep doing it. I understand that it's a huge commitment but the pay off is really worth it in the end.

 I haven't battled weight fluctuations like some people do. I've been very fortunate in that way. One thing that has always discouraged and annoyed me is that people always say, Ugh, you're skinny. You don't have to worry about weight. It is my choice or not, to worry about my body or my weight. A customer the other day said, "There's nothing to you.. you're tiny." And she said it in kind of a critical way. I replied, "Thank you, I actually work really hard for it." I think my reply may have caught her off guard. I wanted her to know that I look fit because I've put a lot of effort and heart into achieving just that. I've been watching what I eat and have been dedicated to exercising so that I can maintain this healthy look.

 My step dad Rudi was really big into fitness in his 30's and 40's. As he grew older, his work outs slowed down. But up until the last few years of his life, he still went to the gym as much as he physically could. I think my desire to be healthy and fit come from being his daughter. I feel closer to him somehow, when I'm pushing myself to my limits.




Saturday, May 21, 2016

Keep Up

 I come from a time when computers were present in my schools growing up. However, they were certainly not a source of information until I was in high school. Even then, the internet was dial up and extremely slow. I remember that it sometimes took half of my class to load the page I wanted and if it wasn't the right page, then my entire class was spent waiting. Then I think about generations before me and can see why they are intimidated by using computers. In the last ten years the internet has really become our reliable and main source for information. I feel like I'm part of a generation that researches everything. What movie is that actress in? Oh I'll just check IMDB. Or, I was almost positive that accusatory was a word and that I used it proper in a sentence. Rob thought otherwise and within seconds he was proven wrong. It's mind blowing how much information we carry in our pockets, in our phones. I notice though, that generations before us can be hesitant to embrace it. My mom for instance comes from a place where if she doesn't know something, she jots it down on a piece of paper, to remember to ask me or someone later. She doesn't automatically think -- I'll just look it up. She bought a present for my nephew on Amazon. She was concerned that the transaction didn't go through because she didn't get a confirmation email. She texted me her concerns while I was working. I quickly messaged back that she should wait and see if it's just a delay in the reply, etc. Then I suggested she contact Amazon. She immediately asked how she would do that. That question alone floored me. I couldn't believe that a 59 year old woman wouldn't know how to contact a company. To me it's quite simple. You look it up. You can literally look up, "How to contact Amazon if I didn't receive my confirmation email." But because of her generation (and in her generation some are worse than others and she would be considered one of the worse than others) she wouldn't automatically think to do that.


  A downside to having all of this information at our reach is that we are less inclined to contact people in person. I work with two people. One is a 34 year old and the other a 45 year old. I find that the 34 year old would rather look up all of his information online and text rather than speak to a person. The 45 year old looks for a contact number right away and finds it much more effective to speak to people in person. I find that the ten year age gap truly makes a huge difference. However, they both have their positive and negative effects. Sometimes it makes more sense to simply phone and speak to a person and there are other times when looking something up online can be so much faster, etc. I think the key is knowing how to adapt to both ways. I most definitely lean towards the no contact side and Rob, my husband always wanting results right away will revert to phoning and speaking to someone in person.
 
 What really gets me thinking is what will the world be like in another 10-20 years? Alina will be so much more advanced than me for sure. Will she scoff and secretly laugh at my inabilities to adapt to that current world? Will my way of doing things be a touch outdated? Of course. I just hope I can adjust to the rapidly changing times.

 Just some thoughts I've been thinking. As for me and my life- all is well! We are already doing a lot of camping this summer. We stared in April and have gone three times already. We have a big camp out planned for Rob's birthday weekend in Tofino. We are really looking forward to this summer and all of the fun it has in store for us. Alina's at a great age and we are enjoying every minute of her.

Hi Bloggers I miss!!


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Thursday, April 21, 2016

Let's Be Mermaids

Five words.....

 MY SISTER IS HERE TOMORROW!!!!

 It will be three years this summer since I last saw my sister and I am beyond excited that she's coming to see me tomorrow. My sister lives on the East Coast of Canada and I live on the West Coast. So we're on opposite sides of the country. Think back to the Sleepless In Seattle map when Annie goes from New York to Seattle to visit Sam. That's basically my sister and I but north a bit. 


 My sister and I are incredibly close at heart. I never expected us to be this connected as a kid. Kyli often wanted me to get out of her way and was quite annoyed with my antics most of the time, but as she grew older, I grew up. She moved away first and I ended up near her and things really progressed from there. Our husbands got along really easily which helped more than I realized. I feel as though she is my friend version of a soul mate. It doesn't matter how far away we are, or how little we communicate on a daily basis, nothing and I mean nothing comes between our bond. 

 So I sit here, Thursday evening with a glass of wine, anticipating my big sister's arrival tomorrow. She is coming solo, so I not only get some very deserved one on one time with her, but Alina-girl gets to know her Auntie all on her own. I think that's pretty special. 

 So here's to my sister and the week of us catching up and having some well deserved fun!! We are a couple of moms that live for our kidlets and every once in awhile we deserve to kick back, drink some wine, eat great food, watch classics like Dirty Dancing, The Mermaids and old episodes of The Gilmore Girls and best of all talk until our mouths are sore! 

(Did I mention a weekend in Victoria to soak up the live music scene and for Kyli to see her old city again..?) 

(Ky shared this on my Facebook wall a few days ago. This is why we are soul mates....)











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Sunday, March 13, 2016

A Day In The Life

 Well it happened.. I officially neglected my blog. I stopped reading my fellow bloggers' posts and have also lost contact with everyone. I thought with my schooling being over, that I would have more time for these sorts of things but it was quite the opposite. I think because I took so much time away from my family when I was studying and stressing with school all last year, I think subconsciously I feel like I have to make it up to them. I don't take the time for myself anymore because there just isn't any of it. Time, that is.

via
  Here's a taste of a typical weekday for me. Wake up lazily around 7 once Alina cries out that she's awake. I used to bring her into bed with me to snuggle but now she has a big girl bed and I will go to her and jump in her bed and snuggle. We talk and I ask her how her night was. I get her dressed which usually consists of her saying she wants to do everything herself and then half way through she wants me to help. I get her her breakfast of cereal and milk and I plop her butt in front of an episode of Sesame Street. This gives me a chance to make my one cup of coffee, do my make up and hair. I make up my lunch and Alina's and a lot of the time I am preparing a crock pot meal or something for supper that evening. I always empty and reload the dishwasher before I leave, it just makes me feel better to come home to a tidy-ish kitchen. I pack Alina's back pack with her lunch, spare clothes in case and her sheepy that she sleeps with. I have my lunch and purse at the door alongside her things. I get her to pick up all of her toys (we have a Roomba named Gary that I threaten will eat all of her toys if she leaves them out. ) I struggle to get her focused to put on her shoes, boots and hat most mornings. I get her out the door with all of our stuff and she sloooowly makes her way to the Jeep. Sometimes she surprises me with the fact that she has to poop or pee and that always sets us back.  I have her at daycare at 8:40 most days.  Once at daycare I stick around to have her put her name on the tree, put her inside shoes on and to wash her hands. Once she's done all of those things, I give her kisses and head straight to work. The pharmacy is a minute away from daycare, so that's super helpful. I work 9 until 5 every day and that has been a blessing. Having a job where I can work those hours that consistently is what keeps me grounded and happy. Once I've finished my day, I head back to Alina's daycare to pick her up.

Alina's new bed set. New drums. Helping in the kitchen.
  I get her in the house, empty lunches and get started on making supper by about 5:30. Alina is really into puzzles lately so that has been a good distraction for her while I busy away in the kitchen. Alina is a mama's girl and really likes to hang around me wherever I am. So she is usually nearby when I'm making supper. Once supper is eaten and put away, Alina will bath. Rob baths Alina most nights. Once Alina goes to bed by 8:00 I go downstairs to the gym and do my thing until 8:35ish. I shower and get my 'watching t.v. snacks' and settle in for the first time I get to relax. By the time we finish watching a show or two, it's 10:30 and pretty much time for bed.
  The blogging suffers, phoning friends suffers and I find myself looking back at months, wondering when I ever do things for myself. Someone always requires my attention and I know that with more kids this will intensify. But I also think of a life without a husband, or a family and I feel very lucky. I don't always have time to watch an old episode of Gilmore Girls or to read a book on the couch, but I do love my little family. I feel accomplished at the end of the day and I feel needed and that's a fulfilling feeling too.

   So that's my day to day song and dance. I am too busy doing completely ordinary things everyday to write about them. 

(Alina took this picture..!)
 So what takes up your time everyday? Same kind of stuff, or are you way more interesting?!


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