Saturday, 30 April 2011

Blog Backlog

So I have been without internet for 2 days.  It's sad how dependent I am on it.  I've felt so lost.  But on the plus side, at least I didn't have it around to distract me as I scrambled madly to finish the preparations for F's party!

I did have all these plans for blog posts though.  I had planned on writing each day leading up to his birthday, recounting my pregnancy and his birth.  And then of course a post about the big day, maybe with some pics (although I just had a look through them and we didn't get any really good ones).

I still plan on posting all of this stuff, it will just be a little late.  But for now it will have to wait.  It's been a very busy day, and I'm ready for bed!

Can't believe my Little Dude is 1 year old already!

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Busy...but not too busy to think about birth stuff

The countdown to F's birthday this Saturday is on, hence why I have not posted in a few days.  Not that there are people on the edge of their seats waiting to read what I have to write!  Ha ha!

We've been really busy ticking things off the to-do list before the weekend.  Actually, we're moving along at a really good pace and getting things done properly.  Hosting a party is a good way to do all the little things around the house that usually get put off!  The place is looking really good which is nice to see.  I've been busy cleaning out and organizing all the little areas that usually get neglected, and am happy with the results.

Once you have kids you really start looking at moments from the past a different way.  With each approaching birthday a mother is always thinking about the events leading up to that special day, from the moment she first stared at a positive line on a pregnancy test to the grand moment of her child's birth.  Several memories have been crossing my mind these past few days.  The first is the day I found out I was pregnant with F.

When T was about 9mos we were talking about when we wanted to have another baby.  After some discussion (and much to my disappointment) we decided to wait a little longer to start trying, probably not until the new year. 

Both my boys were born on Fridays, therefore both of their 1st birthdays fell on Saturdays.  The Wednesday before T's first birthday I decided to take a pregnancy test, mostly just for fun.  I didn't really think it would amount to anything.  Tyler dropped T and I off at the mall (I didn't tell him I was going to take one, as I was sure it would be negative and I didn't want to worry him unecessarily), I bought the test, and we walked home.  I took the test right away, and I can still remember my heart beating faster and faster as it turned positive, it was the biggest shock of my life! 

Because I was worried what Tyler would think, all I could think about was telling him in person right away.  So when he walked in from work that night, stressed after a long day, I just blurted it out.  I had to get it out.  I braced myself for disappointment from him, but after his initial look of shock he just said, "Well, that's great!"

Today is the Wednesday before F's birthday, the 'same day' I found out I was unexpectedly pregnant.  I don't know why I think about it so much.  I guess because that shocking positive test was so exciting.  I remember those first days, walking around in a haze, not really believing it.  I remember having T's party, and knowing that we knew our little secret and no one else did yet.  I love being pregnant.  I loved the surprise F gave us.  He is still surprising us to this day.  I suppose that somehow, I kind of wished that it would happen again, that I would somehow be pregnant again before my child's 1st birthday, and for whatever reason, I'm a little sad that I'm not.

It's silly really.  We don't even know for sure if we will have another baby, although in my heart I really, truly hope so!  I know it won't be soon and most certainly not before F's birthday!  But I do hope for that excited feeling again.

So that is one thing that I have been remembering lately.  The other thing that I've been remembering today, is this day last year.  Like I said, when your child's birthday is approaching, you think about the days leading up to it, knowing that at this time exactly one year ago your life was about to change forever.  Nothing brings more change to your life than the birth of your child, so it's impossible not to think about it really.

This time last year I was approaching my due date (May 1st), and really hoping that F was not going to be late!  I had been doing everything safe and natural that I could to get labour going, because I knew that if he wanted to stay in there too long, induction was not an option for me (because of my VBAC situation).  For weeks I had been drinking raspberry leaf tea, and using homeopathic and natural remedies to prepare my body.  I had acupuncture done to help induce labour and was massaging acupressure points on a regular basis.  I was practicing exercises to make sure he was in the right position.  I was walking as much as possible, and doing my hypnobirthing exercises and visualizing his birth.  I didn't want to give him any excuses not to come out!

On this day, April 27, I had my checkup with one of our midwives, Annabel.  She did an exam and discovered that I was already 2cm dilated!  She was quite optimistic that we were headed in the right direction and that F would be making his appearance soon.  She opted not to do a sweep at that point, just hoping that the exam itself would be enough to sort of get the ball rolling.

I went home and continued the wait.  Because T's birth was a planned cesarean, I had no idea what labour was like, or what I was supposed to be on the lookout for!

Re-living all the events leading up to my children's birth is so exciting for me.  So I'll continue to write about it the rest of the week so I can get it all out.

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Happy Easter!

We're not usually big celebrators of Easter.  We do make a point of visiting with family, but never make a big deal over egg hunts or gifts.  Up until now T wasn't really at an age where I thought he was interested in hunting for eggs.  This year was no exception, I really hadn't planned on much originally.  But then earlier this week it dawned on me that he probably really would like to do an Easter egg hunt, seeing as how much he enjoyed decorating eggs!

When my mom was here on Wednesday we went to the store and she bought him a really nice basket with bunny ears.  Faced with a wall full of chocolate eggs, I felt overwhelmed at the fact that there really weren't any non-candy options.  I just couldn't face buying that much chocolate for my kids.  In the end I managed to find a pack of eggs that contained stickers, and another pack that contained candy (which I figured I could somehow sneak out of the eggs at some point as he didn't have to know there was candy in there!).  I'm not a totally crazy mom who doesn't let my kids have any sugar, it's just on holidays it seems like we're expected to let them have an awful lot.

Today though I started thinking I was a little nuts, and I should have at least picked up some chocolate eggs so that he had more fun stuff to hunt for.  I realized that we really didn't have a lot (only about 14 eggs or so).  Tyler went out and hid the eggs in the yard, and then we brought the kids out.  I wasn't sure if T was really going to get the idea, but it didn't take him long to catch on!  Soon enough he was racing around, giggling in excitement trying to find all his eggs. 

We knew it wouldn't take him long to find them all, so as he was scurrying around Tyler kept sneaking up behind him and snatching a few eggs from his basket and re-hiding them around the yard.  It was genius!  We were able to prolong the egg hunt for much longer and we all had such a great time!

Today brought back the memories of hunting for eggs when I was a child, memories that I had long since forgotten.  Now I'm really excited to do this in future years, and I promise next year I will buy enough eggs!

A few pics of the day (wish I had snapped some better ones, but oh well!)

Cloth Diapers and Potties Make Me Happy

You know you're a mom when.......

I've been using cloth diapers with F for about 2mos now.  Seems odd that I would start so late in the game, but better late than never!  Actually, cloth diapering is something I always wanted to do.  I thought about it when I was pregnant with T, but washing them scared me.  So I looked into getting a service.  Found one in our area, and we signed up.  Well I hated it.  I could never get the hang of folding the prefolds, and the diaper covers seemed rather uncomfortable for T.  So we gave up after 3mos.  I did have Tyler go out and buy some of the prefolds for ourselves though, as they were handy to have around for messes!

After that experience I kind of got scared off of the whole cloth diaper gig.  I didn't realize that there were so many other options out there, and that washing them myself was really not that big of a deal.

When I was pregnant with F I gave it some thought again.  But then we decided to move, and money was tight, and I just never looked into it.  I always knew that cloth diapering would save money in the long run, but we just didn't have the money to drop on getting started up.  So once again I just forgot about the idea.

A few months ago I gave it some more thought.  This time I asked around, did a little more research.  It was definitely less intimidating after talking to other cloth diapering moms.  Since F is already older, I didn't need to buy nearly as many as I would have had to for a younger baby. 

I opted to try the Flip diaper system which is a hybrid system, meaning that I could use cloth inserts, but there are also disposible inserts available as well for convenience.  Well we got the hang of it right away, and right from the start I loved it!  It didn't take long to get our system in place.  After some great tips from the wonderful ladies on the Baby Whisperer forum, I was soon a pro at cloth diapering and washing.  I even got a great tip to cut up an old cotton t-shirt and use it for wipes, along with a spray bottle of water mixed with a bit of baby soap and some tea tree oil.  Thanks ladies!

Cloth diapering has been awesome, and I really am kicking myself for not getting on the bandwagon sooner like I had originally hoped!  Of course we are saving tons of money on diapers, and of course I feel good about not throwing so many diapers into the garbage.  Save money and the environment?  Win-win!  Oh, and F looks soooo cute wearing them, another win!

We are in the process of potty training T (well, we've taken more of an elimination communication approach so actually it has been an ongoing process for a very long time!), and things are going very well.  He is only in diapers for sleep times now, and soon I hope to have him in underwear all day including naps.  We have very few accidents, and he will use the potty on his own at home.  He is still not comfortable going when we are out and he won't tell me, but he will go before we leave and hold it until we get home.  Thankfully we are never out for very long, but I know that will change soon and we'll be out for longer periods of time.

So today Tyler's mom came over bearing gifts.  Some new Grovia cloth diapers for F, and a Potette portable potty seat for T.  Can I just say how excited I am?

Yes, diapers and potties make me happy.  Is it wrong to want to have another baby just so I can do the cloth diaper and potty business all over again?.....

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Happy Swimmers

Finally on this, the 5th week of swimming classes, we got some smiles out of the boys!  It's taken them this long to warm up to the idea.  It's not like they don't like water, on the contrary both of them love it.  But still they weren't that keen to participate in the class.

F has actually done really well all along.  He is very relaxed, and goes about doing floats and looking around.  But he would be completely stone-faced through the whole thing, often yawning as if he was bored.

T would just whine to get out.  He'd cling to one of us and whine whine whine.  It's odd, because he never protests going to swimming, just once we're in there he would put up a fuss and not want to participate.

It doesn't really help that the pool's usually a bit cold.

But this week, progress!  T is finally starting to enjoy it a bit (there is still plenty of whining).  He likes jumping into the water, and would actually kick his legs and splash.  He was a lot more relaxed than before, not clinging to one of us for dear life.

F finally cracked a smile.  He participated in his usual relaxed fashion, but this time he actually looked like he was enjoying himself. 

It's so great seeing them finally start to come around.

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Before I Was A Mom

Before I was a mom I used to spend all my money on cigarettes and tattoos.  I used to dye my hair red, green, or orange just for fun.  When I needed a change I got something pierced.  I used to listen to angry rock music littered with swearing, blasting out of my car as I drove down the highway.  I stayed up late and got up late.  I was selfish.  I did what I wanted, when I wanted.

It really is amazing how having children changes you, in so many ways.  Physically, emotionally, mentally, I will never be the same person.  I am a better person.

This video has been circulating on FB:
Before I Became a Mom
I saw it come up, but avoided watching it because I didn't want to be sucked in to the wishy washy mom stuff.  But then, by the 3rd or 4th time I saw it posted, I had to click on it.  I knew I would cry, and I did.

Everything is true.  You never think about these things before your have children.  I still can't get over how much being a mother has changed me.  There really are no words.  Well actually, there are lots of words, just none of my own.  So I will rely on others.

Before I was a Mom

Before I was a Mom
I made and ate hot meals.
I had unstained clothing.
I had quiet conversations on the phone.

Before I was a Mom
I slept as late as I wanted
And never worried about how late I got into bed.
I brushed my hair and my teeth everyday.

Before I was a Mom
I cleaned my house each day.
I never tripped over toys or forgot the words to lullabies.

Before I was a Mom
I didn't worry whether or not my plants were poisonous.
I never thought about immunizations.

Before I was a Mom
I had never been puked on
Pooped on
Spit on
Chewed on
Peed on
Or pinched by tiny fingers.

Before I was a Mom
I had complete control of my mind
My thoughts
My body
And I slept all night and got plenty of rest.

Before I was a Mom
I never held down a screaming child
So that doctors could do tests or give shots.
I never looked into teary eyes and cried.
I never got gloriously happy over a simple grin.
I never sat up late hours at night watching a baby sleep.

Before I was a Mom
I never held a sleeping baby just because I didn't want to put her down.
I never felt my heart break into a million pieces
When I couldn't stop the hurt.
I never knew that something so small could affect my life so much.
I never knew that I could love someone so much.
I never knew what love at first sight really meant.
I never knew I would love being a Mom.

Before I was a Mom
I didn't know the feeling of having my heart outside my body.
I didn't know how special it could feel to feed a hungry baby.
I didn't know that bond between a mother and her child.
I didn't know that something so small could make me feel so important.

Before I was a Mom
I had never gotten up in the middle of the night
Every 10 minutes to make sure all was okay.
I had never known the warmth
The joy
The love
The heartache
The wonderment.
I didn't know I was capable of feeling so much
Before I was a Mom

-author unknown

And just for a laugh:

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

When I Grow Up

I was thinking a lot about this while writing my last post about enrolling T in Montessori, but it didn't seem fitting to put it in there at the time.  I sort of touched on my own education and where is has gotten me.  Not very far.  However, I'm also of the mindset that my life is not over yet, and that I still have lots of time to find the perfect career for me.

As I mentioned, in 2007 I graduated from the Environmental Landscape Management program at Seneca College.  It was a fantastic program and I loved every minute of my two years there.  The decision to take it was influenced by Tyler when he started his own landscaping business.  Eager to be involved, I figured we would both benefit if I went to school to gain some extra knowledge in the fields of landscaping and horticulture.

The program was just amazing, and wasn't limited to landscaping.  The course material covered landscape design and construction, but also horticulture, arboriculture, greenhouse operations, business management, park management, and also had environmental aspects to it as well like restoring ecosystems and eco-toursim.  Much of the class time was spent outdoors, in fact when the weather was nice we would often spend our entire time hiking in the woods or even learning about ecosystems in canoes on the lake.  The campus was stunning, situated on a lake with trails running through the forests.  Breathtaking.

I enjoyed the curriculum and was interested in every topic.  Upon graduation I only worked one season in the field before getting pregnant and starting my motherhood journey.  But what I learned has stuck with me, and I do hope to get back into the industry again.  I'm not entirely sure exactly what I want to do, but I'm sure that living out here there will be many opportunities for me to get involved once again.  I have always particularly enjoyed the horticultural aspect of the industry, so perhaps that is the area I will focus on when I'm ready to jump back in.

But that is not all I have my sights set on, oh no.  I have some other dreams that I would like to pursue.

I am thinking of working towards getting my doula certification.  I have loved being pregnant and giving birth to my children.  Even the labour and delivery aspects were amazing experiences for me.  When I was planning my labour with F (which was a VBAC following a planned cesarean I had with T), I really started researching a lot about pregnancy, labour, and delivery.  I planned his birth meticulously, probably the way I should have planned my first, but of course with your first you never know what to expect.  I learned so much and became so passionate about my experience.  I would talk pregnancy and birth to anyone who would listen.  Even after his birth, the thoughts never left my head.  That's when it dawned on me that I would love to be a doula.

A doula is a birth companion for women.  Someone to talk to, to inform, and provide support.  Having a positive birth experience was so important for me, and I would love to help other women achieve positive experiences as well.

I have also been thinking of expanding to include becoming a childbirth and lactation educator as well as a doula.  I just feel like I would have so much to offer.  Never before in my life has anything held as much wonder and excitement for me as these topics.  Surely that's a sign that I am meant to do this?

I have looked into what it would take to become a doula and it is definitely attainable.  I don't feel emotionally ready to tackle it just yet though, not to mention the costs which at the moment we cannot afford.  But it is never far in my mind.  I've tucked that dream away safely to be explored at a later time, well hopefully sooner rather than later.  I'm hoping to revisit the idea in a year's time, and maybe then I can register to start my training. 

So there you have it.  When I grow up I want to be a horticulturalist-slash-doula.  I want to grow flowers and help women bring children into this world.  Weird combination?  I don't think so!  (oh, and with my new found zumba obsession I was also thinking of becoming a certified zumba instructor, but one thing at a time.....) 

Thinking About Education

This morning Tyler and I went to the Montessori school in town here to observe the class and speak with the teacher about possible placement for T in September.  We are very fortunate to have wonderful parents who have expressed an interest in contributing to Montessori for our boys, otherwise it may not have been an option for us.

At first I wasn't going to make the call.  It is the only Montessori in town (and surrounding areas), and I had heard that space was limited and was certain that it was too late to get him enrolled.  But another mom in town here told me to definitely try as they are very accomodating.  Her older son attends the school and she has had wonderful things to say about it.  So last week I called.

The gentleman I talked to was very nice and sent me an information package to get started.  It outlined how Montessori came to be and what it was all about.  I actually didn't know much about the style of education, I thought it was just another way of teaching.  I was surprised to read it's history, and what it's principles are based on.  I even wished I had attended some Montessori schools as a child!  It made me really excited to explore this route for our children.

Today we went and observed a class of children between the ages of 2-6.  We were greeted warmly by the instructor, and were given chairs where we could sit and watch.  It was really fascinating.  The whole atmosphere was very calm and positive.  The children were so engrossed in their activities.  At one point one of the teachers came over to show us what one of the children had done.  He had used letters to assemble a simple sentence describing 'sunshine'.  There were a few small spelling errors, but it didn't matter.  The boy beamed at us as we looked at it, and I swear I almost cried.

In fact I found myself holding back the tears throughout the whole thing!  I can't believe that my first baby, my Big Guy, is going to be moving on to this next stage.  I can't believe that the time has already come.  I also can't believe that we are going to be able to give him this wonderful opportunity to establish a life long love of learning.

I have a lot of insecurities about my own intelligence.  I never really followed through with my education.  I am a college graduate, twice actually (though not a high school graduate), and while I was always a good student, I feel as though something was lacking in my education.  I can't put my finger on it.  I don't know if it started when I was really young, or happened when I was older.  It's like I did well in school because I was expected to, but not because I wanted to.  I moved through the ranks of grade school through to high school, doing what I was supposed to but not really caring or having any interest in anything that was taught. 

My first attempt at college was a joke.  It was a time waster, a one year certificate in cosmetic sales.  I was good at it, excelled and as usual was top of the class.  But upon graduation I thought, what the heck do I do with this?

Next I flunked out of university.  Only took me 3 months to do that.

My final attempt at college was to enroll in the Environmental Landscape Management course at Seneca.  Finally, something that interested me!  It was amazing, and I loved it.  Graduated with honours with my diploma in 2007.  But still, as much as I loved the course, I'm not sure where it has got me.

It's times like this I wish I had been given more guidance.  Maybe if I had been interested in something I would have gone straight to university right out of high school (or finished high school for that matter) and gone on to do something great.  It is only now, approaching 30, that I am starting to be more aware of my lack of a proper education, and wishing I had tried harder.  But I'm not sure where I went wrong.  Was it me, or was it that I was never given the motivation to love learning?  Surely the spark was there.  Why did I miss the boat?

I want things to be different for my children.  I want them to always approach education with a quest for knowledge.  Isn't that what all parents want?  I want so much more for them than I ever wanted for myself.

I left there feeling very positive about the experience and hopeful that T will indeed be attending Montessori in September.  I really feel it is something he will enjoy, and it will offer him challenges that he doesn't get at home with me.  He is so bright and his future is so promising, now is the time to build on that.

Today was just another reminder of how fast time is passing.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011


We've discovered a problem with our plumbing.  Something is not draining somewhere and so is spilling out into the basement.  Oh joy.  At first we thought the water down there was groundwater coming in from outside, but we soon discovered it's not.  It's coming from inside, yuck.

So now Tyler is desperately trying to find a plumber to come over and fix it.  Except he's called every plumber in town and no one has answered or called back.  WTH?

Until then our water usage is very limited.  Good thing I got a load of diapers washed before we discovered the problem.  Now, if only to find someone to fix it before I need more diapers.

Le sigh.

Monday, 18 April 2011

What I learned painting eggs with my two year old

*Double dipping is a-okay, the more colours the better

*I am not in the least bit artsy or creative

*Dying and painting eggs is very therapeutic

There really is something very satisfying about painting an egg.  The smooth surface, just waiting to be splashed with colour.  It doesn't even matter if you are painting anything in particular, or just smearing paint all over it.  I swear I painted just to see the brush strokes, over and over again.

I honestly can't remember the last time I painted an Easter egg, but it was probably grade school.  I haven't done many crafts with T because he hasn't been very interested, and well, I'm afraid of mess.  But he's getting to that age where he's starting to enjoy it.  We've done some painting and colouring and playdough at home.  Last week at the EYC the kids dyed eggs, so I thought we'd give it a go.

Colourful stuff

Let's go!

Our supervisor, keeping tabs on us from under the table

In the end you couldn't tell mommy's eggs from the 2yr old's eggs.  Next year we will have prettier eggs.  But for today we had lots of fun, and it was a great way to spend a chilly afternoon!  (where the heck is spring anyway??)

So much to do, So little time to procrasinate....

F's birthday is in T-11 days and my list of things to get done is still quite long.  And yet here I sit while the boys nap, with a cup of decaf and a cupcake staring me down, instead of doing anything that needs to be done.  Why?  Well, I figure no point in doing too much this week as it will all just be a mess by next week and will have to be done all over again.  Written like a true procrastinator.

I realize that it's not likely our guests will notice all the tiny little things that I want to clean, but hosting a party is a good reason to do them.  Otherwise the dark corners of the house may never get cleaned.

So let's see here.  We need to:
*clean the mudroom which includes putting away all the winter clothes hanging around (if it ever warms up that is!), organizing the shoes, cleaning the shelves, vacuuming and mopping the floors
*clean the laundry room (Tyler is in charge of the sink, it's gross!) which will hopefully be easy once the mudroom shelves are cleared and then I can move the laundry room mess there
*clean off the dining room chairs which I recently noticed are covered in sticky little fingerprints and food remnants
*de-clutter the entire main floor (how come we have so much crap, we've only been here a year?)
*go through the kid's toys
*organize the bookshelf (aka the drop spot for all the stuff I don't know where else to put); this task includes moving all the photo albums and heavy books to the upstairs bookshelf to free up some space
*wash all the windows and pictures
*wash all the little finger prints and scuff marks off the walls and appliances
*clean up the guest bedroom and finally put the bed together properly (instead of just a mattress on the floor)
*hopefully repaint the upstairs doors and frames as they are quite gross, but a good cleaning will do in the event we can't get to the painting
*thoroughly clean most of the upstairs since it tends to get overlooked and is pretty messy on a regular basis

Not to mention all the little handyman stuff I'd like Tyler to do as well, like:
*build a little shelter for my strollers, the wagon, T's tricycle etc. (we don't have a garage and I'm sick of everything getting rained on)
*fix the broken light fixture upstairs
*fix the laundry machine water output which is backwards at the moment
*spend some more time outside tidying the yard

All this in addition to the regular housework that needs to be done before the party - wiping, vacuuming, mopping, laundry, etc. etc......

Let's be honest here, Tyler will get asked to do much of this stuff on the weekend.  Not only am I a great procrastinator, I'm an excellent delegator as well.

Unfortunately we are also dealing with water in the basement as well.  Why, WHY???

I've also got food on the mind.  Well, I've always got food on the mind (mmmm cupcake, nom nom).  I mean party food though.  I've got to figure out how many people are coming, then put some more thought into the food situation.  Not to mention finding time to bake all the cupcakes and cake balls I plan on making for the party.

And decorating?  Well, decorations don't stand a chance.  I'm not one to cover my house in banners and streamers.  That's money I can spend on food (cupcakes....).  Maybe I'll pick up a few balloons, but that's about it.

I do need to sort out some party favors for the kids though. much to think about!

This is why I generally don't like hosting parties.  But I love my kids, and I love making things fun and special for them.  So in that respect, it's all worth it.

I hope some more people RSVP that they will come.  And I hope the weather turns around and is nice by then so we can use the backyard.  I'm not looking forward to tackling this list of chores, but I am very much looking forward to my Little Dude's big day!

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Blog Envy

Before I started this blog I hardly ever looked at other ones.  I might of stumbled across one here or there while looking for a specific recipe or advice.  But I never followed any.  Blogging has opened up my eyes to a whole new world out there, full of information, insight, and fun stuff.  It's also made me realize how interesting many people are (or rather, how uninteresting I am!).  So often I'm amazed when I read blogs, both by complete strangers but also by people that I know.  You get a whole new perspective and appreciation for someone through their writing and photography.  It's actually a really cool thing to see a blog that might have started out as someone's hobby turn into something more.  I'm in awe at the scope of some of the blogs that I've found.

I'm also rather jealous!  Kinda makes me wish I was more creative and interesting.  Other blogs seem to have 'something' going for them.  Either they are a collection of recipes related to something specific (Bakerella or A Year of Slow Cooking) , or are full of money saving tips (Money Saving Mom), or littered with proufound musings and beautiful photographs (Enjoying the Small Things), or even just random but amusing tid bits by someone really funny and quick witted (Ashleigh with a "G").  (All of which are really amazing blogs btw, so check them out!)  Those are the kind of blogs people want to read.  Not so much the mundane, day to day ramblings of a stay at home mom with no real ideas.

Still, I remind myself why I started this in the first place and it's to keep me grounded as I search for my place here.  There is something so great about having a place to come to jot down my thoughts, no matter how boring they are.  I do it for me, and for my family.  And I really do enjoy it (well, I haven't missed many days since I started it!).

For those that have been following, thank you for taking time from your life to take a peek into ours!  xx

Friday, 15 April 2011

My Boys

Today I thought I would write about my boys, afterall they are the entire reason for my existence, the reason I get up in the morning.  I am such a lucky mama to have them and they are so special to me. 

For as long as I can remember there was never any doubt in my mind that I would be a mama.  In fact, sometimes I feel like everything else I ever did before was just buying time until the day I was ready to have children.  It was hard to be patient, I would have had kids ages ago if I could have.  But I did my best to wait until the time was right, and it was.

I love having two boys, and I love that my boys have each other.  There is something very special about siblings, and it's even more wonderful that they are the same gender and close in age so that they can share many interests.  I can already see how much they love each other and enjoy each other's company.  I don't doubt that there will be many fights as well, but that is all part of having a brother.

Of course it's hard not to compare them.  As moms we are always comparing our children, to other children but also to each other.  It's so hard not to.  I remember though in the early months after F was born, I compared in more of a negative way.  Because T was my first, and because he was such an easy baby, I kept feeling frustrated that I wasn't having the same experience the second time around.  Then I would feel guilty because it was not fair to F to feel that way.  However as he has grown into such a little person, I've grown to love everything about him and wouldn't want it any other way.  Now I compare my two out of interest, because as I watch them grow I am constantly amazed by them and also by how similar, and different, they are.

T is my textbook boy.  If ever there was a definition for a textbook child, he is it.  He hit all of his developmental milestones right on time - rolled at 3.5mos, sat at 6mos, crawled at 9mos, walked at 12mos.  He got his first tooth at 5mos and had all his teeth in exactly by 2yrs.  He has always been easy going, good natured, happy, and outgoing.  As for sleep, he didn't start off as an amazing sleeper, but as we worked towards good sleep habits he always made steady progress and before a year he was sleeping well and has every since save for times of teething or developmental leaps. 

F is, well, F!  He is my mysterious reflux baby, mainly textbook in nature but with many different sides to him.  Initially I thought he might be a bit touchy, but I now realize that was likely due to his reflux in the early months.  Now that he is outgrowing it I am really starting to see some spirited traits coming out!  F was not an easy baby.  He didn't sleep, he cried most of the time.  For the first 8mos of his life I cut dairy out of my diet because he seemed to be sensitive to it which just added fuel to the fire.  Developmentally he has been quick to learn many skills.  Initially I thought he'd never move from one spot since he hated tummy time and being on the floor.  But as soon as he could sit independently at about 7mos, he took off.  Literally.  He was crawling and pulling up by 8mos, and at 9.5mos he took his first steps and never looked back.  I think he's trying to keep up with his big brother!  F is like Jekyll and Hyde.  He can often be the happiest baby there was, and when he's happy the laughs just keep on coming.  But when he's having a grumpy day, oh boy watch out!  These things make him so endearing.

T is daddy's boy, and F is most definitely mommy's boy!  While T didn't have any separation anxiety ever, F has always been very attached to me.  He likes me to be around all the time and never strays far.  If a stranger looks at him the wrong way he is likely to dissolve into tears.  He is very weary of new people, while T on the other hand will walk up to just about anyone to say hi.  It is sometimes draining to have a baby who is all mommy all the time, but I would be lying if I said I didn't secretly love how much he wants me around.

T didn't really talk until 18mos.  I don't think he had more than 1 or 2 words before then, but once the ball got rolling he really took off.  He speaks quite well now for a 2.5yr old and is very chatty and inquisitive.  Right now he is always asking, "Mommy, what's that sound?" for ever little noise.  F still has no words and I expect him to be similar to T in terms of language development, although maybe as with the mobility he will surprise me and start spitting out words soon after he turns 1!

Sleep, oh sleep.  Well, let's just say we have never been lucky enough to have sleeping babies.  Like I said T didn't start off sleeping very well, but we worked at it and because we developed good sleep habits with him early on, he is now a fabulous sleeper.  I had really hoped though that I would catch a break the second time around and that F would be a better sleeper than T was.  I was so wrong!  He has been a challenge to say the least.  His poor sleep has obviously been in part due to reflux issues, but overall he has been tricky, and sleep training has been harder with two children.  But he did learn to sleep independently from a young age so in that respect has always been very easy.  He would go down easily but wake often.  Now, coming up on a year, he is still waking at least once.  But coming from where we were, that is amazing!

In the nap department though F is definitely a much better napper than T was.  F is already successfully on one nap, and most of the time it's a good long one. 

As for eating, both my boys are ok eaters.  T took to solids a little better.  Even now he eats well, not always large quantities but he doesn't usually refuse foods and is willing to try new things.  F was slow to take to solids and refused to eat baby food altogether, so he went straight to table foods.  He doesn't eat a lot, but he is getting better because we give him the freedom to have control over what he eats.  Despite his picky eating habits I have never been stressed out about his eating, as I know he just needs to get there at his own pace.

As a toddler I must say T has lived up to his easy-going personality.  He is still a very easy guy to deal with.  I don't think he had a single tantrum until he was about 21mos old, and even since then he doesn't have them often and is easily distractable.  He has a bit of a sensitive nature to him but overall is happy and adventurous.  He is certainly a barrel of laughs and always keeps us in a good mood.  I consider myself very lucky that he is such an easy guy.  I doubt I will be so lucky once F hits toddlerhood at the rate he's going!  He is already entering tantrum territory.  I think I will have to put a lot more thought into discipline with him in coming years than I have with T who has really not needed much at all. 

They are both very active boys and love to run, jump, and climb.  Well, they're boys!  Sometimes it's a handful since they are both so curious and into everything, but I think it's a great thing.  Just have to make sure I keep up!

I could talk about my boys all day, and it really is interesting for me to see the differences between the two.  Well, what can I say they are my whole life!  They are the most beautiful things I have ever seen and I am so lucky to be their mama, and I'm also so glad that they have eachother to go through life with.

Here are my amazing boys, the other two loves of my life. xx 

My Big Guy, the senstive soul

My Little Dude, so full of life

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Ugh, Weather

Warning, this is going to be a rant about the weather.  Which is funny, because usually one of my biggest pet peeves is people who complain about the weather.  Actually, it's more like people who are surprised about the weather, not so much complain about it.  The way I see it, if you've lived in this country for any amount of time, then you will know that the weather here is always changing, and no two years are alike.  Therefore one should never be surprised to see t-shirts in January or snow in June.  That is just how we roll here in Canada.

But anyways, back to my rant.  I want it to be warm already.  (note:  I am NOT surprised that it's NOT warm, just disgruntled at the fact!)  Maybe it's because I have to dress up two little people as well as myself to go outside that I am noticing it's still too cold, but I swear it should be warmer by now.  I distinctly remember this time last year, and it was at least sweater weather.  None of this 3 layers plus jackets, hats, and occasionally boots.

If you have small children, then you know that getting them appropriately dressed to go outside is not an easy task.  It is a bloody awful one, with little arms and legs flailing all over the place, toddlers trying to escape back up the stairs all the while crying to go outside, collapsing in a heap when you're trying to get jackets done up, pulling off hats as you're putting them on.....I could go on.  No matter how much time I leave to get out the door, we're still always running late because it takes so long to get dressed.

So I just want it to be warm.  Warm enough for a t-shirt with just a light sweater over top.  I'd like to be able to put the winter hats and boots away for good.  I keep thinking we are done with them, so I put them away only to have to scramble to go find them again when the temperature drops down.

We had A LOT of snow this year.  It's finally almost all gone save for a few stubborn patches in shady areas.  As pretty as it was when it first fell, I'm happy to see it gone.  Welcome green grass and tulips!

Oh, and the wind.  Don't forget the wind.  One of the lovely things about living on the water is the wicked wind we get.  Honestly, it did not occur to me that it would be windier out here than back in the city, but rest assured if someone had told me that it was, I would have reconsidered our move.  Seriously.  Some nights I lie awake just listening to it howl.  But the worst is trying to walk in it.  You know, the kind of wind that makes birds fly in one place, and blows huge dust storms into your eyes.  The other day walking to the Y I could have let go of the stroller and the wind would have pushed it all the way there.  It's a cold one right now too, so an otherwise comfortable day is made worse by that horrible, annoying wind.

The sun is shining, which is nice, but I feel like we've been waiting forever for it to really warm up.  I keep checking the Weather Network in the hopes of seeing double digits in the future.  Not until next week, and even then it will rain.  *sigh*  If it's not one thing it's another.

So there you have it, my post today is a rant about the weather.  Bit of a grump me thinks but oh well.  Nothing changes a person's mood faster than the weather. 

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Productivity Rocks

The winter was a mess.  I hardly had the energy to do anything.  Didn't want to go out, didn't want to do anything around the house.  Never got any sleep, no motivation whatsoever.  It's amazing the difference spring brings with it!

Awhile ago I decided to take over the task of cooking dinner from Tyler.  Seeing as how I am not great in the kitchen, while he is a wonderful cook, it just happened that he always cooked dinner.  But it was ridiculous, because by the time he got home from work and made dinner, we would be eating by 7pm which was way too late.  So finally I took the reins and started making dinner.  I'm getting pretty good at it now!  Ok, so I'll never be as great a chef as Tyler.  And I certainly will never enjoy it like he does.  But dare I say I'm gaining ground on him pretty quickly.

I also used to leave all the housework until the weekend and then we would try and tackle it together.  I just couldn't seem to get it together enough to do it during the week while I had the kids.  But it totally sucked, because we'd spend half a day on Saturday tag team cleaning and watching kids.  We'd always be rushing to get it all done, and then by the time we finished there wouldn't be enough time left to do anything else.  So recently I implemented my daily chores initiative.

Now I have a list on the fridge of what to do everyday.  It only takes me 30mins tops to do a day's chores, usually even less.  I still hate it, but I'm managing to get it done more easily this way.  And it frees up so much more time for us as a family on the weekends.  Not to mention the fact that Tyler's certainly happy he doesn't have to help much with the housework anymore!

So now that the weather is nice I have more energy.  The boys and are I getting out to activities every morning and afternoon.  I'm finding time to get my chores done, and have dinner ready for the family at a reasonable hour.  I'm even managing to find some time for myself in there as well, either to exercise, nap, or just mess around online.  Go me!

Today for example, we had breakfast.  Then I grabbed a shower, got the kids dressed, and we went to the EYC like we do every Wednesday.  Spent a few hours there, then came home for lunch.  After I got F down for his nap, I did my chores quickly (which were easy today, just sweeping the floors and bringing down the laundry).  Then T went for his nap and I prepped kabobs for dinner tonight so I won't have to rush around doing it later.  After that I managed to get in a yoga session, and now here I am with time to spare for blogging before the kids wake up.  I figure this afternoon we'll go to the park or maybe just play in the backyard. 

What a difference from how my days were in the winter, where I could hardly find the motivation to get dressed.  All we did was lounge around the house and eat.  It's amazing how much more you can achieve when you're feeling up to the task.

Needless to say I'm feeling much happier and more productive these days.  Much more like the wife and mother I want to be.  Feeling pretty proud of myself!

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Missing the Horse Life

I miss horsebackriding.  It's funny, because I think this is the first time since I stopped almsot 4yrs ago that I really, truly miss it.  Of course I miss my Mav man, I think about him all the time and his quirky quarterhorse face.  But I actually miss riding too.

I started riding when I was about 13yrs old.  When I was 15 my parents bought me my first horse, Teddy, and I competed with him for 2yrs.  In 1998 I got Maverick, my black appendix quarterhorse.  He was 3.5yrs when I got him and we spent many years together.  I pretty much taught him everything he knew and he taught me a thing or two as well.  We had 5 wonderful seasons in the show ring.  Nothing fancy, just Trillium circuit hunter and equitation classes, but it was a blast and I loved every minute with him.

Even long after I stopped showing I kept Mav.  I just couldn't let him go, even though he was costing me everything I had to keep.  I had it in my head that I would do what it took to keep him forever, and that he would still be waiting for me when I was ready to start riding again.  The reality was that I couldn't afford to give him the proper care.  So 2yrs ago I sold him.  I was fortunate enough that a friend of mine bought him, and I knew she would give him the best home.  Unfortunately though she had to sell her farm, but once again fate smiled down on us and the most wonderful couple bought him and they are his guardians.  He is retired now, but lives a wonderful life and is well taken care of.

Maverick will always be my baby.  He is 16yrs old now, hardly a young guy anymore.  But he has a heart of gold.  Anyone that has ever met him has been taken by him.  There never was a kinder, sweeter horse.  He gave me everything he had, carried me around the show ring and won us many awards. 

It has been almost 4yrs since I was in the saddle.  4yrs in June.  Oh how I miss it!  It's one of those things that I'm really hoping I can get back into at some point.  I even went so far as to google stables in the area last night to see what is out there.  There's no way we can afford it now, it's so expensive.  But maybe in a few years it will be a possibility.

For the past few years while I have been busy with my kids, I've forgotten what life at the barn is like.  The sights, the smells, the people.  For so many years it was such a huge part of my life.  I would be at the farm 3-5 times a week, riding or hanging out.  I had so many friends there, my best friends.  Those were the days, hot days riding outside, and lazy summer evenings.  Getting up early to be at the showring.  The excitement, the nervousness.  It seems like a different time in a different world, sometimes I can't believe I was ever a part of it.

My memories are bittersweet as some of those bridges have been burned.  But here's hoping that I can build new ones out here in the future.  Who knows, maybe there will come a day when I can own my own horse again.  Maybe I will even compete.  Although I have my eyes set on dressage this time, no more jumping fences for me!

The man who bought Maverick keeps me up to date with how he is doing.  He is living quite far from us, probably about 2.5hrs.  But maybe this summer we can drive out to visit him. 

One day, I will ride again!

A pic of Teddy, my first horse.  Never forgotten!

Some pics of Mav and I in action.

Here is my Mav, taken last fall.  Miss you big guy!!

Monday, 11 April 2011

Birthday Party Blues

The Little Dude's birthday is fast approaching.  Less than 3wks now.  Goodness, how has it almost been a year already?  This time last year I remember we were up here visiting Tyler.  He had already moved up for work but T and I were still in the city.  The weather was beautiful.  I was still pregnant and counting down.  There was still only 3 of us.  It's amazing how much changes in a year.

So we have a little party planned for F on his birthday and have been starting to make preparations.  And I must admit it is stressing me out a bit.  I'm not a great party planner at the best of times, but trying to host a birthday party for your 1yr old when most of your guests live 2+hrs away isn't that fun.

Last year for T's 2nd birthday I encountered a bit of a problem.  I had set it up so that we would host it at our new house.  But then people kept saying they couldn't make it.  So all stressed out, last minute I changed it to my dad's house which was closer to where most of our guests lived, and that way more people could come.  It was a bit of a pain having to drive down there with the kids and the cake.  Then on the way home T kept getting carsick and we kept having to stop.  It took us over 3hrs to get home that day.  Of course the party was great and it was wonderful to see our friends and family, but it was very stressful for us.

This year I really really wanted to host F's party.  We finally have this beautiful home that is large enough to entertain guests, and I wanted to make use of it.  Tyler made some really great invitations with a Very Hungry Caterpillar theme.  I plan on making a cupcake caterpillar and am going to try making cake balls as well.  And we've been busy doing things around the house, spring cleaning, trying to make it look nice for our guests. 

The thing is, so far very few people have rsvp'd that they are going to come.  When I handed out some invitations to family members, I was met with a lot of hesitation about the drive up.  I really have no idea how many people are going to make it.

This is one of the things about living out here that makes me sad.  We're too far and no one seems to want to go through the effort to come see us, even for something big and exciting like F's first birthday.  I was worried about this happening, it's T's birthday all over again except this time I won't be changing the venue.  Party will go on, even if only 5 people show up. 

Now it's still early, and most people haven't rsvp'd.  I have to assume that they will, but I'm worried they won't.  They just won't show.  I also tend to get all bent out of shape thinking that people don't come because they don't want to, when in reality maybe they can't make it.  So I know a lot of the issue is me really.

Still, I know that we tend to go out of our way to make it to important events, and I would like to think that those people close to us will try and come out for this one.  I know we're far, but it's a nice time of year and this is such a lovely town.  It's a great place for a weekend or even a day trip.  I really hope more people can make it.

This makes me stressed out about future years, and future birthdays.  How can we go through this with every birthday?  Now I know big parties aren't important, but still I would love for friends and family to celebrate these events with us.  I do remind myself as well that we will make more friends here that we can invite.  As it stands now I have invited one other mom from town and her daughter, and there is another I think I will invite as well.  Plus possibly our neighbours.

So that is what has been weighing on my mind today.  Countdown to party day is on and not many guests in sight.  Oh well, I do look forward to celebrating my little man's big day with him, and I'll make sure he gets an extra special cupcake just for him!

Friday, 8 April 2011

A Moment to Remember

I thought tonight instead of rambling on about the day's events (which let's face it, are likely the same as most other days), I would take some time to remember some very special people we lost this year in both mine and Tyler's families.  2011 has not been very kind in that respect, as we have lost some dear aunts (both expected and unexpectedly).

In January we got some terrible news that Tyler's lovely Aunt Lisa had collapsed.  She was revived but they were unable to save her and unfortunately we lost her a week later after she was taken off life support.  This came as a terrible shock to Tyler's family and we have all been deeply saddened by her loss.  I will always remember Aunt Lisa as a fun, happy, energetic and loving person.  We have some truly fantastic memories with her and I am happy that both boys had the chance to meet her.  Here is Lisa with Tristan in 2008.

In March my dear Auntie Rachel lost her battle with cancer.  She fought bravely and lived life to it's fullest right until the end.  Every time I look at a picture of her I miss her and am saddened by her loss.  She was a sweet lady.  She will be missed.  Here is Auntie Rachel, taken by my dad and looking wonderful, only months before she passed away.

Not less than a week after Auntie Rachel's death we got the unexpected news that my great Aunt Gisela (known affectionately as Auntie) had also passed away in her sleep.  This came as a shock to us as well and once again we are deeply saddened by this loss.  She and my Uncle John lived near Winnipeg so we did not get to see them often.  After T was born we went to visit as I wanted to see them, and also to see my great grandmother so that she could meet her first great-grandchild.  Granny passed away the following year (2009) and will not be forgotten either.  Here I am with T and my mother (far right), Auntie (beside me) and Granny.

Needless to say 2011 has been a sad year so far.  Add to this the shocking breast cancer diagnosis of a dear friend, and another dear uncle battling cancer as well, and it probably won't go down in history as one of my favorite years.  Still it is time to take a moment to remember those we love who have passed, they will never be forgotten.  I wish I had more words of wisdom regarding life and death, but I am not that deep.  I can only hold their memories close and cherish the times we've had together. 

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Strolling the Boardwalk

Wow, talk about writer's block.  I had it in my head what I was going to write about not too long ago, and it all seems to have disappeared.  Something about long walks, zumba, icecream, and legs feeling like jello......

Anyways, today.  Today we did a lot of walking.  Hence the jello legs.  This morning I took the boys to the park, followed up by a nice stroll around the neighbourhood.  Then after their naps we marched down to the waterfront to check out some of the trails.  We discovered a really great boardwalk trail through a wooded wetland area.  One of the amazing things about living here is the nature trails.  I look forward to checking more of them out in the future.  Well, I did try to take a few pics but they didn't turn out.  I thought I'd share a few anyway.

It was really nice being out on a nature walk, although there wasn't much nature to see yet.  Just a bunch of gulls and a few ducks.  It reminded me of my EVLC days at Seneca King.  Seems like so long ago I was in college, where nature hikes were part of the curriculum.  I really look forward to reconnecting with the outdoors.  That was one of the reasons we were excited to move out this way, so that we could give our children the chance to experience the outdoors and learn about nature, and not just the concrete jungle of the city.  I hope they grow up with an appreciation for the environment and the outdoors.

Unfortunately though, T seems to be terrified of bugs.  I know he gets this from me, as I have a really bad fear of bugs.  But I have always tried to hide my reactions from him, so I'm not sure why he is so frightened of them.  He reacts just like I do.  If he sees one he will point it out and is ok, but if it flies near him or startles him he freaks out.  This really worries me, I don't want him to be held back from enjoying the outdoors the way I am because of my fear.  I hope he outgrows it, little boys should enjoy catching bugs!

Otherwise it was a really lovely day.  We spent most of it outdoors which was just amazing.  Although it's still a little chilly and I wish it would hurry up and warm up some more!

I'm looking forward to exploring those trails more in the future!

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Blah Day

Well the blogging voices are starting to let up a bit.  I don't think about it nearly as much as just a few days ago.  Today I hardly thought about it at all, and by the time evening rolled around I wasn't even feeling much like posting.  That didn't take long!  I should probably try to write more during the boys' naptime as my head is much clearer earlier in the day.  By the time they are in bed my brain feels like mush, which doesn't make for very good writing.

Today has been one of those days.  Just blah.  I'm feeling a tad bit down, under the weather, worrisome, and not quite cut out to be a mom. 

I think both boys are going through a change in sleep needs, and I always hate these transition times where I'm not quite sure what their needs are.  T may or may not be starting the move towards dropping his nap, I'm not sure.  But he has been a teeny tiny bit trying.  I can't quite put my finger on why.

F is an overtired, teething mess.  Not that long ago he was still taking two naps that I had to wake him from, and he never wanted to get up from them.  Now he is refusing to nap in the morning, and is not making up for it in the afternoon.  His nights have gone to pot again as well.  Three nights ago he slept through for only the second time ever, but the last two nights he has been up for long stretches, clearly unsettled.  I'm pretty sure he's got teeth coming.  It's getting me rather down that his sleep is deteriorating once again, but I guess I should be used to it by now.

So both of them have been rather clingy and whiny which is really draining.

This morning we went to the Early Years Centre, as we do every Wednesday morning.  If you live in Ontario and haven't checked if there is an EYC near you, do so!  It's an invaluable resource and facility for parents, and it's free.  We go there to play and socialize, but they also run all sorts of activities and programs for kids and parents.  The boys love it and I do as well.  After the boys' naps we went to the park.  I've just been trying to get out of the house as much as possible because I think we're all happier out and about.

Finally the kids are in bed and I think I'm not far behind as I'm completely exhausted.  Like I said, just one of those days.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Zumba kicked my a**

Today was zumba day.  I need to get in shape.  Not that I've ever really been much of a super fit person, but there was a time when I was in pretty good shape.  It's funny because before I had kids I had some small insecurities about my body.  Looking back, it was pretty damn near perfect!  Oh how I wish I had appreciated it when I had it.  Oh well, what can you do.  It's a small price to pay for having such wonderful children.

But even after having the boys I've never really been bothered by the state of my body.  The weight was easy enough to lose, it's just the shape that needs rearranging.  I always thought I looked decent enough.  That is until I went bathing suit shopping a few weeks ago.  Those changeroom mirrors are unforgiving!  So I decided it was time to make more of an effort to get my body back.  Well, let's face it, it will never look like it did before pregnancy.  But there is certainly room for improvement!

I've never been overly athletic.  Before having the boys my main activities for staying in shape were horsebackriding and bellydancing.  Both past times that I miss dearly and hope to get back into one day.  But that is for another post.  Horsebackriding will have to wait until I have more money, and as for bellydancing, well I'm still trying to find that out here!

But I have discovered zumba.  And oh my am I loving it!  But it's kicking my ass.  Seriously, I can't move today.  Tuesdays are zumba days for me.  I go to the Y and drop the kids off at the childminder's.  It's the one hour a week I get to myself (for now anyway), and it's a whole hour of letting go, having fun, and feeling good.  The instructor is fantastic and I'm really enjoying the class.  It is a hard workout, but for someone who loves dancing it's the perfect way to get fit.  Ok, it's no bellydancing, but for now it's filling the void rather nicely.

A mom on a thread I read recently was asking how others get motivated to get in shape and stay motivated.  Now I'm not one for fitness, like I said.  The gym is no good for me, and I'm not coordinated or confident enough for team sports.  But give me dance any day and that's all the motivation I need.  (Well, that and the thought of my image staring back at me in the changeroom mirror while trying on bathing suits!)  For me, the way to stay motivated is to choose an activity that you really truly enjoy.  If you don't enjoy it, you won't do it.  It's as simple as that.  I love dancing, and if I could take a dance class every day of the week I would!

Zumba has been great because it's dance, but it's also an amazing workout.  I'm certainly feeling it today!  So it's right down my alley and I'm glad to have found something that I enjoy enough to keep up with.  It's making me feel like getting my bikini body back really isn't such a scary task!

There is a Thursday evening class that I'm hoping to take as well.  It's after dinner but before the kids go to bed, so Tyler can do their bath and bedtime stuff and I'll be home to tuck them in.  It will be tight, but totally worth it!

As for bellydancing, well I miss it so much.  I have found a dance studio about 30mins away that offers it, so I'm hoping to be able to afford classes there soon as well.  Between that and zumba I should be able to get my fitness and dance fix, and get in great shape just in time for bikini season.  Good thing too considering we live near a beach.

So if anyone is looking for the motivation to get in shape I have two pieces of advice.  One, go bathing suit shopping.  And two, find something you really love and enjoy, and stick with it.  You don't have to be a fitness guru to enjoy a good workout!

That's how this mom plans on getting her body back!

Monday, 4 April 2011

A Rainy Monday Ramble

So just over a week ago now I got a fancy new double stroller.  Well, new to me as we got it off of craigslist.  Last year I had convinced Tyler to buy me a sit n stand, because I thought I would for sure need something for both the boys.  Well it was a total waste of money.  Not only was it hard to push and ackward to maneuver, neither boy wanted to be in it.  I just ended up having F in a baby wrap or carrier, and T would walk.  I knew that this year I wanted a GOOD double stroller, so we could get around town easily.  F is now too big to haul around in the carrier, and T still prefers to walk but if I want to get anywhere in good time then he needs to be in a stroller.  After asking around which ones were good, and shopping on craigslist, I got a fabulous Bumbleride Indie Twin.  And I LOVE it!!

But the most important part and the point to explaining our current stroller situation - since getting the stroller we have been outside every single day.  Even though it's still been a bit cold, and rainy at times, I have been motivated to get out.  And that feels soooo good!  Especially after a long winter where we hardly got out at all. 

Today was rainy but I had resolved that we would walk to the YMCA anyway, for three reasons.  1) I'm that obsessed with my new stroller that I am willing to go walking in the rain just to take it out.  2) F refused to nap this morning so I wanted him to be able to have some quiet, relaxing time while we walked.  And 3) I couldn't resist the opportunity to put on rain boots and go puddle hopping with my favorite 2.5yr old, who cannot resist the call of a good, muddy puddle!

We marched to the Y for active tots which both boys love.  Then strolled home again, jumping in every puddle we could find.  It was win-win, F got a little snooze, T got some puddle time, and we all got some fresh air.  All thanks to my wonderful double stroller!

I've noticed something else wonderful happening since we have been out and about town more lately.  Something that is making me feel pretty good about living here.  Now when we go out, we are starting to run into familiar people.  At the EYC, at the Y, at the park, even just walking down the street.  Neighbours, other moms, new friends.  It's a good feeling to see a familiar face and say hi, even if it's just in passing.  This morning at active tots I had a nice chat with another mom that I've seen around since moving here last year.  Makes me feel like maybe, just maybe, I will be able to make new friends here.

The rest of the day wasn't too interesting though.  The threatening rain kept us in for the afternoon, and neither boy napped particularly well so they were both rather grumpy.  So we stayed in and hung out.  I spent some time tinkering around with my camera to see if I could figure out how to take nicer pics.

I, unfortunately, am a terrible photographer.  I'm not sure if it's just I have no idea what I'm doing, no idea how to take a good picture, or have no idea how to work my camera properly.  Or maybe my camera's just not that great.  But I thought, there has to be a way for me to take a nice picture!  So I got it out and played around with it a bit.  And I think I'm getting the hang of it.  Also, I think I need to spend more time editing my photos to make them look better.  Maybe then I will have some nice pictures.  Now, if only I could get the boys to sit still and smile for me!

One of these days I will get the hang of this blogging thing, and will hopefully stop feeling so overwhelmed by it.  I'm enjoying the idea of blogging, but am frustrated that I can't yet wrap my head around making it how I want it to be, including adding some pics.  Which I will do, once my photography skills improve.

So this ramble of today has left me thinking one thing at the moment.  I am not very good at writing!  There was a time when I considered myself a rather good writer, but something tells me that any talent I might have possessed disappeared years ago.  Because once again I've had some great ideas for posts over the course of the day, and yet here I am with nothing to show for it.  I always think "well there's always tomorrow's post".  Oh well, I'll try again tomorrow!