Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
First, thank you all for your feedback on my little Miss 'No'. Nate and I realize that she is trying to become her own person, and therefore is desperate for some independence. Pair that with a couple new words, and we have the situation we are in now. We have started the approach that we offer her options so she has some choice. For instance "Grace, would you like to go downstairs?" rather than "Let's go downstairs". The wording is practically the same but we are passing the power to her. In situations that will allow for it anyways. Obviously not in matters that would jeopardize her safety. If she says no, then we wait a few minutes and try a different approach. For instance "Grace would you like to ride on my back down the stairs?" Eventually, one of the options is satisfactory. It is always nice to hear from others who have been there, done that, and have made it through to the other side. Your tips and wisdom are valued.
Ok, now onto the W.I.P.
Phew! That's it for tonight. Off to do a bit of prep for New Years tomorrow. 2009 is at the doorstep. What are your resolutions for the coming year?
Monday, December 29, 2008
- we are hearing alot of 'Mine' and 'No's over here. Shouted at loud volumes. Such as "Grace, let's put on your shoes" and we hear a loud "NO!". Or, she throws the ball for Clifford, he takes it, she gets mad and yells "MINE!". Question: Have we entered the terrible two's?
- Second Question: How long does this last?
- Third Question: Why do they make pants for toddlers with snaps on them? I think I have re-snapped up her pants four times today. She is now running around with the legs open with only the crotch sealed. Nice.
Questions for me:
- How many 'Clubs' is too many 'clubs' to be apart of? I am part of a Book Club, hold a Stamping Club at my home once a month, have joined the Simple Mom Book Club for 2009, and would REALLY like to be part of a knitters sock club. Perhaps this one. Is that too many clubs?
Or perhaps I need all those retreats to offset the 'two's?
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Christmas is just the beginning of celebrations in our family. Between December 27th and January 16th, between mine & Nate's families, we celebrate five birthdays. And it looks like a new babe from my play group is soon to be born and added onto that number. I am anxiously awaiting news from Sarah about a new baby boy.
Friday, December 26, 2008
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Two years ago today my family lost a very special young woman in an oilfield industrial accident. It was her last shift before taking off for the holidays. She wasn't even 25 yet. I came home last night from a Christmas function with friends and said to Nate "Tomorrow will mark 2 years". He had his back turned to me, was quiet for a minute and all he said was "Chris?" Yes. It is amazing how quickly time passes and yet how slow it seems to move all at the same time.
But with loss, it seems there is always balance. I also know of two people celebrating a birthday today. Somehow that balances everything for me. Life taken, and life given. It doesn't make the loss any less, but for me it helps for it to make more sense.
Tomorrow I will be back with my last Christmas post for the next couple of days. Today though I am going to knit, reflect, and spend some time loving the family that I have been blessed with.
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Preparing for, and running in, a race of any length is not just a physical feat, but also a mental one. Whether you are training for your first 5K, your first 1/2 marathon, or your first full (or sixth full!) the number always looks scary. You spend alot of time sitting, looking at that digit and thinking "can I actually DO that?" That is at least what I always seem to end up doing. Therefore, the mental preparation is really important for me.
This weekend is my last heavy mileage weekend before Disney. Can you believe it is now only 17 days away? Eek! My training program never had the distances go beyond 15K and 30K, but it left me uncomfortable thinking that on race day I would have an additional 18K to run. That is obscene in my opinion. So this weekend my goal is/was to run 18K on Sunday (today) and then 36K tomorrow. If I can do that, then mentally I know I can tell myself on race day "Come on, you can do this, you almost did it in training! What is another 8K?"
I hit the Oval again this afternoon with Erin. The poor woman forgot her Ipod and ran two hours listening to horrendous music from the figure skaters. I got there late and only managed to squeeze in 13K before public running was shutting down and my parking meter was up. Determined that I needed to see at least 16K today, I came home and ran outside for 3.5K in the -20C (without windchill). Total mileage today was 16.5K. Pretty pleased with that. If I can hammer out 34K tomorrow then I will KNOW I can do this. That is such a wonderful feeling, and will make the taper over the next few weeks feel great.
I only have to run around 2 different tracks tomorrow to accomplish 34K. The Oval which is 450m and a smaller one on the same campus which is only about 200m (sigh). I am thinking of downloading an audio book tonight to run with tomorrow. Anyone ever listen to an audio book while exercising? Good, or bad idea?
Friday, December 19, 2008
24 out of 30 cards are in the mail and almost all the presents are wrapped.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
I was seven and really wanted my ears pierced. My Mom made me a deal. I keep my room clean for an entire month, and I can get my ears pierced. My room was SPOTLESS that entire month. I got my ears pierced and it all went back to the disaster it had been previously. My ability to be clean was the bane of my Mother's existence. It was easier for her to keep my door closed so she could pretend it wasn't how it was.
Even Nate when I was in University, would come over and clean my room for me. It's true.
Why am I admitting this you ask? Are you concerned about the current state of home I habitate?
One of the blogs I read, Simple Mom, had a post the other day that at first I dismissed. But it quickly began running through my mind on a frequent basis. It was titled "Your Home: The Best Company to Work For" In my humble opinion I think that the replies got a little off topic, with some debating whether or not a SAHM (stay at home mom) actually works or not. Sigh. Let's not discuss that here please? Thank you. What caught my attention with this post, was one that applies to everyone, not just Mom's (or Dad's) that are home during the day raising their families. It is the idea of taking care of, and respecting the home that you are blessed to have (because, sadly, there are far too many people without adequate shelter).
Realizing that I am not an organized person by nature, I constantly struggle with my ability to keep my home in tip top shape. I want to share here with you (incase you are like me) two things that have helped me keep my home (most days) a place that I can be proud of. A place where I can welcome friends and family who randomly drop by to visit, and one in which I believe myself, my husband, my daughter, and even my dog, are happy to be in. If you are an organizationally competent person and have other tips you think would make my life easier, please share. Ok, here we go:
1. I make lists, all sorts of lists. On my whiteboard is a checklist for things that have to be packed in Grace's diaper bag so I won't forget. I make a Menu Plan and grocery list every Thursday and also shop that day. One trip in one week cuts down on spending (I believe you spend more if you give yourself more opportunities to pick up un-needed items), and it also frees up my time. I write lists of what needs to be cleaned on what day, which playgroups I am going to, etc. etc. Lists keep me sane. My day planner is essential.
2. I have bins for things. For example, in my front hall closet I have a bin for Running, Hats, Scarves & Mittens. I have bins in the kitchen for Tupperware, for Grace's cutlery, for her bibs and cloths. Having a place to stow everything reduces clutter. If something doesn't have a 'home' I then evaluate whether or not I need that item. If so, it has to find somewhere to reside. If not, I donate it. (There is alot of this happening right now because of renovations - ALOT of clothing is getting donated).
Keeping my home, a home, is work for me, and a personal area that I try to improve on every day. It is also a 'job' that I love (most days), working on, and improving the quality of life for myself and my family, simply by creating a comfortable place to 'be'.
One key item here, that I will dicuss furthur on a later post, is that in order to be productive and maintain a happy and organized home, you also need re-charge time for yourself (especially if cleaning and being organized are not relaxing activities for yourself that you find pleasure in - ha!). At the end of a work day, downtown or with Grace, I work on my 'home' (cleaning, organizing, paying bills etc.) But I shut it down by 9 pm so that I have at least, every night, an hour from 9-10 pm just for me, where I only do things I enjoy. If something didn't get done on my list from the day before, it can wait. Because I am also important. And I think that far too many of us, place ourselves too low on our own list of priorities.
This past week that has been my 'food for thought'. What are your thoughts?
Monday, December 15, 2008
Today was -30C something with windchill. It took me two hours to get to the office. Once I arrived, I found out that the heaters weren't working. It was only 15C. Brr. I spent all day (with my bosses full ok) in my Lululemon pants and my winter boots - oh and a scarf wrapped around my neck! I only changed into work attire for a meeting with a client.
I get headed on my way home, get off the train, get to my car, try to drive away, and I am completely stuck. Usually I can rock my car out of the snow bank, or go in reverse. But today there was a car parked behind me so my only option was to try to go forward. I will fully admit I am not a car genius. I wouldn't be able to change a car tire if you asked me too. All I know is that I am pretty good with driving on snow and ice given I grew up in the stuff. So I was totally drawing a blank when NOTHING I tried could free me. By this point, probably three cars had driven past and nobody offered to help. I actually think a car of teenagers laughed. I don't know about you, but situations like that just want to make me cry. I was on the brink. My cell phone had died and I had no idea how I was going to get Grace from the dayhome. I decided to find a neighbour.
This is a rather dicey propsect in the community I was in. It is an older community near the University, so I would either find a young University student, or I would find an elderly resident. Neither I didn't think could help, but they might give me a phone so I could call Nate. The first door I went to the doorbell was completely falling apart and wouldn't ring. I went a block over, saw a house with a van in the driveway and decided I would try. A elderly gent answered the door and I asked if I could use his phone. He smiled and asked me to come in, and said sure as long as it wasn't long distance. I reassured him it wasn't. I got Nate on the phone and started explaining to him my situation. The gent listened and said at the end of it all "well, if you are just a block over, why don't I see if I can push you out, if you think it would just take one person?" Really? You wouldn't mind?! I was doubtful this would work but I was willing to give anything a shot.
He got to my car and started giving me lessons on what my first and second mistakes had been. Then he told me how to fix it. Very clearly let me add. And you know what? He got me out. I got out of the car and gave him a huge hug and wished him a Merry Christmas. I was only ten minutes later than usual picking up my little girl.
I am so very thankful today for the elderly Polish man who lives around the corner from my usual parking area. I plan on delivering him some cookies this week with a special handmade card.
A prime example I think of what giving can give back to you.
I would be interested in hearing what kindness has bounced back to you for some kind act you had put forward. And, I hope you had a much warmer day today than I!
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Saturday, December 13, 2008
I am thankful there is a place like the Oval so I don't have to run outside in the cold.
I am thankful for my warm boots and jacket that kept me snug between my car and the track.
I am thankful my friend Erin was there for 2 hours and 20 minutes of my run.
I am thankful a co-worker was skating on the ice and took some time to skate beside me and visit.
I am thankful for all the sights that kept me occupied - Speed Skaters training, little kids on their bmx bikes, the special olympics team training, and the public skating.
I am thankful for others that were on the track and visited with me. A woman walking for 4 hours training for the Vancouver marathon. Two men running inside for the equivalent of 26K. An old man that ran like Phoebe from 'Friends' while carrying a 'Murse'. And a couple and their daughter who saved me from my insanity at 3 hours and 7 minutes. My legs were beat so I ran backwards to find them. I asked if they could help run me in and they did. The wife extended her run by 5 minutes so I could meet my time goal.
I am thankful I am home, my daughter is in bed, and that I will soon be headed there as well.
I recommend nobody try running that many time in 'ovals', unless you REALLY, REALLY need to.
Friday, December 12, 2008
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
When she was five days old Nate and I tried everything to get her to sleep. We rocked her, sang to her, told her stories. I nursed her. And she cried. I don't know what time Nate went to bed, it was probably 2 or 3 am. There was nothing left for me to do, so I laid her in her bassinet on the floor, and we cried together. Nate found us that way at 6 am and called the midwives. I don't remember most of what was said, just the words "Honey, she's hungry." Nate drove around the city for an hour that morning looking for a store that was open to buy her some formula. I think of that night often and how far I have come in regards to healing from not being able to solely feed her myself, and how far I have come as a first time Mom.
I love that little girl.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
I thought it only fair that I also show you Nate's box. Here it is:
Monday, December 8, 2008
As Christmas draws closer I find myself retreating from the people and things I love. Myself and my younger brother and his wife have had a silent but steady parting over the past six years. Weekly it seems something happens leaving the wound fresh and open. This will be the first year that Nate and I have finally said that because of it all, we are spending Christmas alone. I know that this is the right decision for me, for Grace, for my family. And that Nate is steadfast on it because he is protecting my heart. But it is oh so hard for me. I have great ideas flying through my mind of what I can cook for three people for Christmas dinner, and what we can do all day to celebrate. But I know I will miss my family's Christmas traditions terribly. I am not the only one saddened. My parents are too and wish I could give it another try, amongst them saying that they know I have tried so many times. But one can only try so many times until they have to say that they can no longer allow themselves to be hurt. Especially with a toddler who is watching and learning from everything around them. Some behaviours do not need to be learned. I am sheltering Grace, and Nate stands in front sheltering us both. It hurts though, really really hurts.
I want this holiday season to be full of magic and wonder for Grace, but I find I am constantly reminding myself to pull up, stand up straighter and put the hurt and heaviness aside. But it's so hard. I want to reach out to my brother and be with him as he struggles with some medical issues right now. But I'm not allowed to come in close and am held well beyond an arms reach away.
Holding on and trying to fix everything was pretty hard. Letting go is even harder.
*After writing that out last night, I went and spent some time with Nate and eventually headed up to bed. Sitting on our window seat I saw the box. It is a box that Nate made me over ten years ago when we were dating. He covered it with yellow and blue dots with a red note on the top. We have been carrying this box with us from BC to Alberta, house to house, and room to room as we renovate. Last night I decided to pick it up. I brought it to the bed and opened it up. I had forgotten how much love was put inside. As Nate and I were dating he picked up a seashell from every beach we used to go to. We spent most of our dating life on beaches - talking, walking, exploring and dreaming. For every seashell in this box, there was a note. The notes spoke about which beach they came from, and how excited he was that I was to be his wife. I couldn't help but sit there last night with this box on my lap and smile. And feel so incredibly loved.
It seems for everything that's hard, there is always something else out there that can brighten even the darkest room.
I hope if Christmas is a dark time for you this year that there is some sunshine waiting for you right when you need it.
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Those are the colours in our bedroom. And some green painters tape thrown in for good measure. The dark colour in the nook of our window seat is the same as the opposite wall where our bed will eventually be.
This is Grace's bedroom to give you a sense of how the carpet looks in a space.
And here is Grace and I testing it out while putting the tree skirt on our Christmas tree. As Nate said "this home is finally starting to feel like ours" It is such a nice feeling.
Friday, December 5, 2008
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
I first heard about pay it forward on 'Musings from the Fishbowl'. Unfortunately time had passed and I couldn't post to participate. But a few days later Shel posted up some of her recipients participating so I quickly headed over to list my name. I am DELIGHTED that I have been picked by a recipient of a handmade goody by Tasha. Take a peek at her Etsy shop - yum!
So here are the rules of the give-away:
I will randomly select three people who leave a comment on this post, to receive a handmade gift from me within the next 365 days (I promise it will be MUCH sooner than that though!). However, you must also be willing to do the same, and you have to have your own blog. Simple? Yes. And so wonderful.
I paint, I sew, I make cards, I knit & crochet. I promise the goodies will make you shriek with excitement :) Oh, and I will ship worldwide.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Tobacco is a dirty weed. I like it. It makes you thin it makes you lean, it takes the hair right off your bean. I like it.
That was actually a plaque in my Grandmother's kitchen and it would make me giggle every time I read it. There was also a song my Dad's family all used to sing involving a bugglar and a bum glass eye. Yes, you read that right. And my Uncle sang it at my wedding. Also true. Can you see now why I should learn some nursery rhymes??
But, the title is about mittens, or rather socks actually. I searched for them at lunch today to make my advent calendar but with no luck. It seems nobody sells socks with a Christmas theme. They used to didn't they? I have a pair in my dresser drawer with snowflakes on them! But 2 socks will not get me to 24 days of a countdown. So, this year the advent treat countdown is off. But, I plan on knitting up my very own little socks over the course of this next year to be prepped for next. I just need to finish an afghan first, 5 newborn hats, another mitten for my left hand, a couple more Christmas gifts.... you get the point. But I have a year to do them - no problem!
Last little Christmas bit for you all (for today anyways!). A coworker today said that her family for Christmas drew names and are exchanging books. They have to give the person whose name they received, a book that they have read and enjoyed that they think the receiver has not. Isn't that intriguing? I am desperately wanting to participate in a book exchange of the same nature. Anyone care to join me? Post here and let me know. Could be an adventure to be sure!
*I entered this contest today! Stop by and take a peek - some beautiful jewellery to be won and a delightful blog to read if you are a parent!
Monday, December 1, 2008
Christmas is in the air here though - literally. It is windy and snowing and plain 'ol wintery. Makes me look forward to outdoor skating and hot chocolate. Mittens, toques and snowmen.
I am staying bundled up inside though, blogging on my couch and adoring our new carpet. Heaven on your feet. I adore it. I would post up photos but then I would have to leave the couch, and my legs just won't have any of that today. You will all have to patiently wait one more day. But, back to Christmas.
My husband is anaphylactic to dairy. Not lactose intolerant. Growing up I adored Advent Chocolate Countdown calendars - you know, the one you can buy at the Grocery store? Those went the way of the dinosaur when we got married but I have been wracking my brain for years trying to come up with a way to share this awesome tradition with my husband. (It is my personal mission to try to enrich his life with things he missed out on due to dietary restriction - pizza, tortellini, ice cream). And a few days ago, while meadering through blogs I found it. An advent calendar made up of tiny hand knit mittens. Fabulous! I could stuff each of those little mittens myself!!!!! But, if you read this blog you are most likely aware (as am I) that I take on far too many projects and have far too little time.
So I found this blog. Which led me to this idea. I can't wait. Tomorrow on my lunch break at work, I am off to find socks. And for the first time in Nate's almost 28 years, he will be able to countdown to Christmas with a daily treat.
I can't wait to share this with him. Awesome, awesome!