Sunday, 28 April 2013

Bored Random Thoughts

Did I mention that it snowed, AGAIN, last weekend?  And that it was cold?!!!!!!
We wore cozy clothes, turned on the fire, and hunkered down.  This is the coldest spring in Southern Alberta in thirty three years.  Something sure scared the warm out of spring this year!  But spring's warmth seems to have jumped out now with yesterday and today's high at 20 degrees Celsius.  Sadly the warmth was completely ruined by gusts of wind up 90km/hr which brought a horrific dust storm.  So much for the planned yard work - or to the extent we'd like.

I've been bored lately.  We've been busy but not much has been going on.  I'm never wondering what to do but at the end of the day it doesn't feel like I've accomplished anything.  My mood is actually okay but I'm just....bored.   I want to do stuff but I don't know what. Maybe it's the weather and the itch to get outside.

I polished my nails last Sunday and aside from a minor repair mid-week they lasted all week!  A couple of things:  I didn't wash a ton of dishes or do lots of cleaning but there was some.  It wasn't until we went swimming as a family last night that it started to seriously flake off.  I'm impressed.  It'll be interesting to see if it's the Essie polish itself or the top coat,  I may try it with a different brand of colour.

Plans to go to Winnipeg over the long-weekend in May are ago.  13-14 hours in a car.  With two young kids.  Should be great. (sarcasm inserted here)  Actually, ever year they grow older the less daunting long road trips become.  Trevor and I actually enjoyed them prior to kids.

With the exception of two indulgent meals this weekend I've stuck to my healthy eating goal.  Friday was McDonald's after taking the kids swimming but I still kept my calorie count within range.  Yesterday was a steak meal with friends which was actually rather healthy but by the time we finished with dessert the calories exceeded my "allowed".  Hey, once in a week is pretty good I'd say.

I'm not looking forward to work tomorrow.  No specific reason other than I think a break is long overdue.  The first one is only two and half weeks away -  I can do it!




Saturday, 27 April 2013

On Work-Based Friends

Aside from all the complaining I've recently subjected you to regarding the childish antics I've had to deal with at work, my place of paid |(I specify paid because being a mom is always work) employment is a good place to work.

My manager and another co-worker went on their year-long maternity leave at the end of January and the other week I got together with my manager on a social level.  We've known each other in a work capacity for over 14 years and we get along well but it's pretty much been exclusively at work or work related events.   It is interesting to me how often my fellow employees get to together and hang out as friends outside of work.  The two on leave are quite good friends despite a ten year gap in their ages.  They recently drove out to visit another associate who lives 45 minutes out of town.  Yet another co-worker visits both of them here and there too.  While I am friends with my co-workers the idea of spending time with them much outside of work is odd to me.

 I realize that work is often the only social outlet some people have.  Being involved in and attending a church regularly has provided Trevor and me with a great circle of friends so maybe I don't need my co-workers as my close friends as much?  Most of us have worked together for over ten years so there is a lot of history.  Until last fall I also only worked one day week with most of them so naturally it's harder to form closer friendships. 
I'm not sure it's a great idea for a manager to be such good friends with the staff.  Having a good relationship is important to achieve a positive and effective working environment, yes, but to be such good 'friends'?  How does that work when disciplinary issues arise?  Unless the manager can put on a 'manager face' and deal with it I've yet to see it be truly successful.  Sides end up being taken and favouritism is definitely evident at times.  Of course that can occur no matter what, but, still.  With the absence of the manager and the promotion an 'acting' manager of sorts (who also is totally ganging up and taking sides), my work environment has been less-than stellar lately.


It's hard not to feel a little left out at times but, like I said, I have a lot of other people I consider my friends.  With the ages of my kids and Trevor being at home nearly every evening and weekend and my parents being local we are quite social.  Now as you're reading this I'm sure you're raising an eyebrow because I recently moaned on about being slighted and needing new friends.  That relates more to one-on-one girl friends for me.  We actually have many 'couples' friends that we have fun with and see regularly.

Fortunately, I believe that because I don't need these friendships at my paid work in the ways that others perhaps do, I've managed to stay very neutral and impartial there.  Sure, there are some associates I prefer over others but on a whole I've tried desperately to not take sides or get involved in the little war that's going on. Some days I do better than others. 

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Ten Minutes

Sunday evening: I'm sitting at my computer willing myself to work-out.  
Clearly it's not working.

Now that the stresses of my Oma's surgery have dramatically lessened, and the drama at work has diminished to sit-com level as opposed to soap opera level (or perhaps I've become desensitized), and I've been getting a reasonable amount of sleep I'm ready to get back into exercising regularly.  Again.
I completed Insanity recently, tried starting P90X again, and then gave up sweating for awhile except for a run here and there.  I'm afraid of falling back to where I was, and after working so hard to get where I am I have less desire to go back from whence I came than I do to exercise.  I feel like my body might be starting to lean in that direction again and I need to take action.  Now.

So here I sit trying to drum up some motivation.
Ha!

My goal is to lose approximately six pounds  over the next seven and a half weeks.  I need to be diligent in exercise, fairly strict in eating, and focus on that goal.  

I'm going to do the 10 Minute Trainer workouts and hopefully add a run twice a week.  I'm also contemplating greatly limiting my sugar and junk food intake and saving my calories for healthy things such as milk (!), eating slightly more at my meals, more fruit, and nuts, oh, and wine. (grapes are fruit - right?)   Less muffins and cookies and junk.  Although my overall caloric intake lately has mostly been within acceptable levels, the quality of what I've been cramming down my gullet has been less than stellar.  Hence the drinking milk comment.  I would go days without milk because of the calories.  Not good.

Oh, I talk a lot of bravado, I know.  You've heard this all before.   If I have realized one thing, though, it's that maintaining a healthy body takes constant work.  I may be able to let up for a little here and there but I have a minimal grace period before the flab returns.  I have a mini-vacation to look forward to that begins in seven and a half weeks and that is my motivation this time around.  You may be subjected to tedious updates every week or so.  I might let you know how I did at the end, it depends how it goes! 

At my height, build and chosen lifestyle I am realistic enough to accpet that six pounds might not be feasible.    I am not, nor ever have, been willing to "diet" in any extreme sense of the word.  I'm sure if I was I'd lose those six pounds and more but as soon what I consider a "normal" lifestyle resumed it would be all back in a heartbeat.  So what would be the point?

I may be a little disappointed if there are little or no results but I also am fairly happy with where I'm at now.  So why do this?  Well, as I said, to avoid slipping back to where I was and to see if I can.  If nothing else it will hopefully push me to discovering and choosing a healthier life.

Sunday, 21 April 2013

My Budding Pianist

Exactly one year ago, my piano finally made it back into my possession.  It has been moved seven times during it's life as my piano and pianos are heavy, heavy beasts I tell ya.  My strong cousin with no neck, brother-in-law and husband carried it down fifteen stairs into our basement where it will hopefully reside for many, many years.  

Upon its arrival, Sierra expressed interest in learning to play the piano.  Not ready to fork out the big bucks that formal lessons demand I've chosen to teach her myself.  I took lessons until my first year of college and at one time played quite well so I figure I'm somewhat qualified to teach my five-year-old daughter.  I  bought some cute beginner books and away we went.  Lessons are random and if she's in the wrong mood then frustration ensues at her fingers not doing what they should.  But she's getting a decent start.






And she enjoys it!

Friday, 19 April 2013

Polished

I adore nice nails. 
(The finger and toe variety not the hammering kind.)

I've been into polished nails since I was quite young and would love for mine to look manicured and pretty 24/7.  My awesome daughter is totally taking after me!  We paint her nails once a week or so; the more rainbow and bright the better!
 Sadly, my fingernails often look like they've been through a shredder. With our long dry winters, gardening in summer, and some of the product use at my job my nails get brittle and peel and chip.  Even when they seem too short to do so another break appears. It's annoying. I got into polishing them again this past winter because of Sierra but I still only go in spurts.  The challenge of application and the fact that they don't last has discouraged me.

I've tried gel nails twice and although I love how they look the cost has deterred me from keeping them up. Artificial nails can be so hard on one's real nails and besides, they make part of my job really difficult. Since gel makes the nail extra thick picking up minuscule screws and inserting them into various glasses parts is nearly impossible.

My delight in polished nails has lead to my purchasing and trying many different brands and colours.  I would spend an hour in the evening trimming, filing, and painting and by the next morning scratches and chips and blanket imprints were already present.   I've come to recognize that my biggest downfall for helping my polish's performance is the use of a top coat.  (or lack of use). But I've always found that by the time I get to the fourth coat (base, two of colour and, the top) my nails are tacky for hours and never stay nice. So I often opt out of base and top coats.  Then the polish is toast by the end of the first day.  If I wanted to polish my nails every night than that wouldn't be such a major issue, but I don't like doing my nails that much.

The brand Essie has peaked my interest lately.  It's being posted all over Pintrist and I've quite liked all the colours being show-cased.  Not able to resist the allure I purchase some.  I bought the base coast, two colours ('hip-anema' shown in the photo, and 'in the cab-ana' a lovely tealish blue), and the top coat. I gulped and scolded myself all the way home because that was a nearly forty dollar bill.

Of course I had to try it immediately.  I diligently applied all four coats and was very skeptical at the dry time because it ended up going on rather thick.  It applied really smooth and easy and within a half hour from when I started my nails felt dry enough to touch firmly.  I wouldn't and didn't go about cleaning or anything but a slight bump didn't mar the finish one bit!  Nearly an hour later, I'm typing and going about my day comfortably and there still isn't a mark to been found.  The true test will be is how well it lasts under normal conditions.



The Day Of: Just over two hours after application I had to pick Sierra up from school and the blasted buckles on the car seat that Sawyer is required to be in managed to cause a chip on one nail.  Upon returning home, Sierra also had to paint her nails and so I repaired mine and it fixed up really nice.

Day 1 saw another chip appear.  Likely the car seat was the culprit again.  In the polish's defense both chips have occurred on my right hand; my dominant hand.  I repaired that baby up with ease and it lasted through a four hour work shift.  

Day 2 saw another chip make an appearance on the right hand.  But I did bake, as well as make homemade chicken strips and onion rings which required getting my hands quite wet and goopy with the coating processes.  

All in all I'm impressed.  By the end of tomorrow, Day 3, I'll be ready for a colour change anyway!


PS.  This 'review' was done purely on my own volition.  Essie has never even heard of me!





Wednesday, 17 April 2013

My Gap-Toothed Princess

At the age of five and half my little girl has lost a total of five teeth already.
FIVE!!!
And she's very proud of herself.


(this was obviously taken pre-haircut!)


The Tooth Fairy is going to go poor at this rate!

PS Her other top front tooth is also rather loose so that gap will soon be larger.




Sunday, 14 April 2013

Dealing With Spring Storms

We woke up to this today:

Pretty no?
Yeah, for JANUARY!!


So we did this:


I made little doughnuts, motivated by this Pintrist recipe.   If you go to the link you'll see that mine do not resemble the inspiration.   That plate was full and its contents attacked before I managed to take a picture, so they must have been all right, but the centres were a bit doughy for my taste preferences.   I never deep fry anything so this was somewhat experimental for me.  (the almighty Google sure is helpful!)  At first the oil was too hot and the doughnuts just burned on the outsides with raw insides.  So I allowed the oil to cool a bit and  I fried them longer.  I've discovered that it's a delicate balance.  I think the dough may have been too heavy because I also later determined that using boiling water for proofing yeast is not the smartest  (which the recipe calls for).  It can kill the yeast and while I don't believe it totally annihilated my yeast's life it did make it rather lethargic since my dough didn't rise much.  I imagine lighter dough would fry better. (?)  I am not deterred though; I will try this again because what I made was rather delicious once I got past the doughy-ness.


Trevor made onion bread.  Onion bread is a childhood favourite of his and it is yummy!

What are you up to this find mid-April spring, winter Sunday?

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Sawyer

Sawyer turned three this past February and that laid back little baby is no more!  He definitely know what he wants and doesn't want and requires some strong "guidance" at times.




If I try and serve him something new for a meal that is any form of vegetable he squawks and complains and puts up a huge fuss.  You'd think I was trying to feed him grasshoppers or worms!  My kids are both sugar and salt and carb fiends.  It is a daily challenge to limit the unhealthy and encourage the healthy.  I've been laying down the law with Sawyer especially in the veggie department.  I'm pretty sure he thinks I'm trying to poison him.

 


Although he can do more and more and is easier to include in various activities he's not quite there.  We went mini-golfing over Easter and Sawyer thought it was great - for the first three holes.  Then it was more fun to run up and down the greens.  Bored of that he picked up our balls and put them in the holes for us, aggravated his sister, threw his ball into a bush and lost it, came dangerously close to inflicting pain on Sierra with his club and turned into a royal pain!

His speech isn't as good as Sierra's was at his age.  Sawyer has lots of words and phrases and he is fairly understandable but it isn't super clear.  I believe it has to do with laziness and a sister who could/can speak for him.  He misses his consonants a lot but is making steady progress.

We bought him a Strider for $20 off of Kijiji last summer as a precursor to a bike because Sierra is so into biking and Sawyer was so done with a stroller already.  He zooms around on that thing with incredible ease by now - even lifting up his feet and balancing.  The transition to a real bike should be easier as long as he can get the hang of peddling.




Alas - he is still attatched to his soother at night.  (Gah!)  Only in the last few weeks has he really been okay with it exclusively at night.  He often would ask for it during the day, especially if he was tired or post-disciplining.

Sawyer definitely has his dad's mischievous personality.  Trevor is the champion at doing or saying something simply for the reaction; Sawyer delights in that as well.  His eye will get 'that look' and he'll suddenly grab Sierra's favoured bunny and run off with it giggling just to hear her screech.  While we had to teach Sierra jokes and sarcasm it seems to come naturally to Sawyer.

For the last six months Sawyer has become super obsessed with puzzles.  He can put together ones with a 6+ rating! There are constantly puzzles littering my floor and/or table.  If he plays on our iPhones 90% of the time it's the puzzle app.




 If the twinkle in his eye won't get you than his charming smile sure will!  This little guy just warms my heart to much.  He is at the "cute" age and learning so much every day.

 



Thursday, 11 April 2013

Biking


There was a hint of warmth in the air a couple of weeks ago and feeling rather housebound the kids begged to go biking.  I agreed.



Gumboots.  I know.

Sierra adores being outside.

See  - still snow!


Spring is being such a tease.  One week we're in short sleeves and opening the windows and the next we're bundled up next to the fire and needing to shovel the driveway!
 I saw this posted on Facebook on Sunday:







Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Hair Less

My kids' first haircuts were an occasion, as are most kids' first haircuts.   We chose to utilize the service of Beaners.   The bright, colourful decor and character-chairs with Disney movies playing to distract the kids made it a fun experience.  The visit was complete with a lollipop, a certificate and envelope of a lock of their hair.   There was also a $14 ($12 with a coupon) price attached to this six minute first.  

I think took Sierra there a few times but as her hair got longer and the cuts simpler I tired of paying $14 for a lollipop. (Ok, it wasn't actually me that paid most of the time, it was my Mom - but still!)

Now the kids receive the highest class of haircuts performed but none other than - moi!
Recently I noticed that both kids' eyes were no longer visible and Trevor was threatening to buzz Sawyer's mop so I took care of business.
Without further ado:

Yeah, her bangs are a bit ragged but in a week the growth usually fixes that.












A few stragglers here too,  I remedied that later.  This little guy sits still for about 3.2 seconds so I'm lucky it looks as good as it does!



                    
My dad calls it the Mark Harmon cut!                                               




I saved $28 and still managed the provide the TV distraction and the lollipop.  No fancy chair but hey, they can't have it all!

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Easter

(Now, on to lighter for fun topics.  Thanks for bearing with me this past month, I know it's been a little heavy.)

We had a lovely Easter complete with balmy weather, visiting family, and our kids practically received more loot than at Christmas!
My Oma did a small candy hunt prior to her surgery.
On Good Friday, for the fourth year in a row, we went to the farm of some family friends and the kids delighted in discovering the hidden bright plastic eggs filled with candy.
Saturday they were scouring our basement for adorable, hand sewn, denim bags filled with gifts from Trevor's parents.

 

Finally on Easter they tramped around our yard for these cute little garden-tool bags from us,

 
   gift bags for my parents, and there was a little something from my aunt and uncle visiting from Winnipeg.
Can we say SPOI -LED!

Now I'm dealing with being asked, "can I please have a treat?" fifty times a day.  The chocolate might mysteriously begin to diminish quicker than it should.  And NO, not in my mouth either!!!


The audience while the kids hunted in our yard!













Friday, 5 April 2013

Slighted

        First it happens at work and now in my personal life.  You'd think at my age, mid-thirties, stupid high school drama antics would be a distant bad memory.  Not so much lately.

I've mentioned struggles with some of my friends and it happened again Wednesday.  Try as I might I can't push it aside and ignore the hurt.  (Ugh, I feel so 16)  A friend and I had made tentative plans to get together Thursday and when I attempted to confirm last night she'd made other plans.  If she had simply forgotten I may not feel so slighted but she admitted to thinking of me when the other option came up but since we hadn't confirmed she went ahead and said yes to the other.  In today's age with all the communication options there is no excuse as to why she couldn't  have quickly double checked with me.  Her 'new' plans involve someone she sees regularly, too, while we haven't connect one on one for coffee in months.  Also, these things seem to keep happening with her.  I/our family consistently get "overlooked".  During our conversation last night I refused to say that it was okay, she apologized many times and said she should have checked with me and that she valued my friendship - blah, blah, blah.  If she truly valued me this wouldn't keep happening - right?

I feel too old to be having these emotions.   In fact, I don't recall even having things like this happen in high school!  Maybe my friends were just extra-awesome.  :)  I had brushed off all the other instances, and there's at least five in the last five months and if I reach into the recesses of my mind I can dredge up many more over the last couple of years, but this seems to have taken the cake.  I can keep forgiving but I've reached the point where I can no longer forget. My mind is whirling and I keep coming back to the thought that it is time for new friends.

I've read blogs where the ladies have girls nights with twenty of their "besties" and have a blast.  Their friends throw them surprise parties.  They go hang out and have a good time. They are people they can call on when they need support or help.  I have...maybe one local friend close to that?  (I stress local because I'm pretty sure my distant friends would be there for me.)

At least I have an awesome husband and mom and dad so I'm no where near alone.  But I need my girl friends too.

PS I realize my posts have been of the melancholy sort lately and while I won't apologize because that is how my life has been, I will say that more positive ones are coming up!

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

On Blogging and Me

Started last week: I'm sitting on my couch, my kids being entertained by their out-of-town grandparents, waiting for some dinner-roll dough to rise, and my thoughts are spinning.  I'm thinking about a post I recently read about how the author got into blogging for pay.  I would love to get paid to write.  Like a trillion other people I enjoy putting thoughts and ideas into visible words.  I used to conjure up tale upon tale when I was younger; spending hours at the computer.  Then I grew up and time did not allot for such a fanciful activity.  I also used to journal my inmost secrets and desires and woes.  Adulthood has prevented that these days as well.

I discovered blogging when I was pregnant with Sierra and shortly after she was born my own blog became a reality.  Five-plus years later I'm still typing out random thoughts and ideas.  My readers are not huge in number and I rarely get comments but right now that's okay.  It has become my outlet; a place to express myself and make sense (sometimes) of what I'm feeling.  Sadly, I don't get to it nearly as often as my mind would like me to.

Where is this going?
Well, I said that I would like to get paid to write/blog.  I could see it being fun.  Before that can happen I need to get into more of a writing groove again or I'll have nothing to say.  Pay or not.  I'd like to try and post with much more frequency; make this a priority for awhile and get you something new every other day or so.  This may be a lofty goal considering my life or how I'm dealing with my life but nearly everything is at least worth a try - right?

Current:  I've made it through the weekend and suddenly I'm ready to "get out of my slump and get on with it!"  It's like I've finally made it to the top of the hill and now I can roll.

Spring graced us with it's loveliness and warmth this past week.  We're back to snow fluttering through the air today but I know it's fleeting!

We had a mostly nice visit with my in-laws.  There was lots of activity so it went quickly and the kids had a blast.  It is so nice that they have grandparents who love them so dearly!

My Oma is still recovering nicely.  The tubes all came out on Monday and she has been on "food" (jello and broth)  for two days now.  Today marks one week since the surgery and I think I am finally relaxing.  Of course there are still risks but the likelihood of those goes down with each day.

Last night Trevor and I drove to Calgary and saw Jon Bon Jovi rock out the Saddledome.  It was such a fantastic way to let and go and release and just enjoy two and a quarter hours of awesomeness.  For some unknown "personal" reason Richie Sambora did not perform with Bon Jovi but Jon managed to give us a spectacular concert anyway.  He has such a nice smile.....

I said I was ready to get at life again and I am.  I need to get back to actively seeking God which I know will impact and change every area of my life.  I'm ready to seriously work on loosing six more pounds in the next two months.  Music also has to become more a part of my every day life.  It feeds my soul and speaks to me in ways nothing else can. (well - depending on the music of course!)   And, of course, more blogging!

I'll elaborate more on what this means as I figure it out.

Here's to getting back (again!) to "living genuinely"!





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