Saturday, 30 April 2011

Gardening season again

Last year I planted my first garden all by myself, and it was a pretty successful garden.  The only thing that did not turn out or produce anything were the cucumbers.  I also found the tomatoes took forever to ripen, I had to pick them and store them in my basement before they even began to turn red. 
Now the gardening season is upon us again.  I was late in the game last year for planting so we had a late harvest season.  It turned out alright, but I want to be on the ball this season.  I am doing some research and asking some well informed ladies about gardening (mom and Grandma) in hopes to have another successful season.  I am also hoping to do some flower beds and some planters this year as well.  It seems like a brave undertaking for this plant killer, but I am determined to learn how to live with plants so that I can have plants in my house all year long and fresh veggies into the fall.

We have had to make some modifications to our garden today in preparation for this season. Our wonderful dog, loves to lay in the garden.  I don't get it she's a white dog, you would think she would want to keep her coat clean and just lay on some nice grass or the deck, but no our dog loves to get dirty.  So we needed to fence our garden because though she stays out of if while we are in the yard, when we are not watching closely, or when we are not home she lays in the garden and even DIGS in the garden!!!  So Adrian, my wonderful fiance, found some lattice and painted it and cut it to size and we set it up around the perimeter of the garden. There is one open space right now, but we will be putting a gate in there.  Now the garden has some nice lattice around it for growing sweet peas and peas and I may even try to find some Christmas lights to string around to add some decorations to my backyard.

My garden is divided into three sections and each section is going to house a different arrangement of plants.  In the first section I am going to plant corn, carrots and peas.  In the third section, the higher section, I am going to plant potatoes, tomatoes, cucumbers and peas again.  I am planting peas along most of the lattice and maybe some sweet pea flowers just for some variety and colour to come through.  In the middle section, which is the smallest section I am going to plant a variety of herbs; dill, parsley, chamomile and tarragon.  Aside from the few sweet peas I may plant, there will be no flowers in my garden this year. 

My next conundrum for gardening this season is finding the right shrub to plant in my backyard.  As my house has a south facing backyard, I am in need of shrub that does well with LOT'S of direct sunlight.  I would prefer a shrub that flowers, but it needs to be fairly low maintenance, only needing a trim once a year and not being too in demand for watering.  I would like it to grow fairly tall, but I don't want the roots to compromise the foundation of the house since I would like to place it by the garden in front of the other basement window.  As I don't know a whole lot about gardening or plants, I am going to have to find something or more likely someone who can help me with this problem.  I was initially thinking raspberry bushes, but I think they are like weeds and spread fairly easily and though Adrian loves raspberries I don't think he would enjoy them tearing up his lawn, especially after all the work he has put into tending it.

I am very excited for the passing of the May long weekend so I can get my hands dirty and start to do some planting!!!!!

Thursday, 28 April 2011

What's for supper??

Adrian called me tonight saying he was going out to do some work with Danny, which told me he would be out late and I would be making supper. Since I have started my six week challenge again I knew I would have to cook something for supper and it couldn't just be processed food that would be no good.  So I came home and tried to figure out what to make.

There wasn't a whole lot around, I decided I wanted some rice so that took care of the side dish of my meal, but what to serve with it.  We hadn't done a big shopping trip so the fridge was a little bare on veggies, so I couldn't do up a stir fry and I didn't even have any stir fry meat.  I had a steak (a single steak), pork ribs, pork chops, hamburger and ground turkey in the freezer.  I was feeling hungry so the ribs were out.  I like to slow roast my ribs so the meat just falls off the bone.  So that left me few options. I wasn't feeling hamburger or pork, which essentially left me with a steak and ground turkey. I opted for the ground turkey.

I decided to make turkey meatballs, which is super easy
       1 pkg ground turkey
        2 eggs
       1/2-3/4 cup bread crumbs
       onions to flavour
       seasonings to flavour ( I used garlic and poultry seasoning)
I fried up the turkey meatballs so that they were crisp on all sides the I decided to bake them in a salsa inspired sauce. 

I took some ketchup, mustard, hot sauce, vinegar, water, garlic powder, corn syrup and salsa mixed that all together and poured it over the meat balls.

I then threw the dish in the oven for 25 minutes. 

As another side dish to go with the meatballs, I made some guacamole.  I love guacamole and my bestest friend Alex gave me a great recipe although I don't know that I follow it very well.  Anyways here's how I made my guacamole.
I took two avocados (no one else in my house eats guacamole so if you use this judge by who all will eat it)
I took two tomatoes
I took 1/4 onion
and I mixed these three ingredients together.
I then added in salt and lemon juice.  Salt to taste and Lemon juice to help prevent it from turning brown. It was some tasty dish!!!
I keep the pits in as well as it helps keep it from browning as well I think. 
It was a great meal for not having any clue what to do.  But I really love doing that, making new meals that are tasty and healthy for you!!!  If anyone else wants to try this, I hope you do, and I hope you enjoyed it as much as we all did!!!

My child loves the outdoors

I don't know where he came from, but it started to get warmer out and the evil white stuff finally left and with it my child who did not really care for the outdoors.  In it's place I have a child that will fore go everything, and I mean everything to be outside. 

He loves it, he loves to play outside, go for walks or simply just sit outside eating an apple.  This child is simply gaga over spring weather. I am sure it will continue into summer and through fall, but come winter again I will meet that child I had become used to.   Oh and kicker, he's just like me!!!

Here are some photos from some recent outings.


Wedding Update

Maybe one of these days I will be the excited bride that I have seen everyone else being, but for now I am more blase about the whole situation.  Seriously, the closer it gets to the impending date, the more I want to just run down to city hall and forget about everything else.  I just really don't care that much, it's kind of counterproductive too.

I finally got my wedding dress.  I am very happy with it.  It's not quite the dress of my dreams, but it's the dress that will best suit my wedding that looks the best on me.  It even has STRAPS!!!  I am so excited about that part, although it's almost made so you shouldn't wear a bra, but we will see what happens come closer to that special date in August. 

Now I have been thinking about my numbers and who's all going to be around and everything, and I am starting to reconsider the whole meal on the beach thing.  I am thinking we will talk to our hotels and see if we can use a kitchen and then just have that part of the reception there.  I am going to plan for 40 people and hope for the best.  I think I am at 38 right now, but that could change. 

So now I have to find a place to order cupcakes from for our cake.  I want one or two texas cupcakes for our wedding cake portion then everyone else will get a single cupcake.  I am going to do blue and pink for my wedding colours.  I think it's going to be great!!

I have the party favour idea already, I just have to complete it, may have to make another order from M&M for some more personalized M&Ms but I think it should be fine.  I just wish I was more excited but as it is I am more apprehensive about the whole thing.  We will just have to see how things go.  I am hoping to start making some more money here soon, but it's all a crap shoot.  But if I put in the effort I should see some rewards I hope, actually I know I will. 

I think if we cut out the eating at the beach we should be ok with decreasing some of those costs so that would be ok too.  Maybe I will even reconsider my photographer, but I really want the pictures from around Tahoe, but if anyone I know and loves in California would like to do pictures for us, using my fab camera I would take you up on that.  Or if anyone from Canada feels they would really like to come down to and take pics at my wedding than let me know!!!

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Falling asleep at the...keyboard

I have sat down so many times over the past few weeks, logged into Blogger and looked at my dashboard, I've looked to blogs and was trying to think of something to write about.  After much deliberation I turned off my computer and I walked away.  I just don't have a whole lot to say.  It may have to do with some conversations I have had as of late and some of my own reflection that I have been doing. 

I started this blog with a purpose but it hasn't always panned out the way I wanted it to.  I initially had a plan to keep this blog focused on one type of blogging but it soon ventured off into some many different areas that it more closely resembles a journal then a purposeful blog. 

It was also brought to my attention that maybe I don't talk about "deep stuff" very often, to which I know there is some truth in that statement, but I don't really feel like putting all that out there into the world wide web. So how do you find that happy medium?  I have a plethora of interests but they are very different from one another, so then do I start up multiple blogs for each topic.  I did start up a secondary blog that is focused on fitness and nutrition, but I can't start up a blog for everything, I would never leave the computer. 

I will post again soon with an update on job searches, resume writing, and the family.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Teenagers are interesting

I don't know when it happened, but I am sure it was sometime in the night.  A dark scary night, when someone came in and robbed me of my Chandlerman.  In his place they have left this new version of the same boy, but he's not the same he's different.

I am scared it was a more gradual process than I want to admit that slowly as he aged he grew away from me.  Not grew away but changed into a more reserved child that no longer has a strong need for his mother. 

I know in my head that it didn't happen overnight, but it happened in such a fashion that I didn't see it coming.  Maybe it was a little of my teasing him when I still tucked him into bed, maybe it was my pushing him to be independent, I mean I know I can be my own worst enemy at times. 

But now instead of my sweet natured little Chandlerman, who would cuddle with me on the couch to watch movies, who would steal into my room late a night to cuddle after a nightmare, who would sit with me as I made meals for us, who would ask me to consistently tuck him in to bed at night and who would hold my hand and give me affections in public, I have a teenaged version of him. It's not all bad really, he's very independent, he can cook small meals on his own, he is responsible, he looks after his brother, he will still watch television with me but he sits in his own seat.  I no longer get asked to make him lunches or find him curled in my bed after a nightmare.  And as of recently he refuses to hold my hand in public, unless he wants something, and i no longer get the call at night to come and tuck him into bed. 

I still love Chandler, but as he is growing I miss the smile of my little man who knew mom would always make everything all right.

Kids grow up too fast enjoy and cherish every moment with them even the bad ones!!

What's the answer??

So ever since I can remember I have had a desire to be a school counsellor.  I went to school and got my education degree and became a teacher, which is rewarding in it's own right, but it's not where I feel most satisfied.  I know that in order to become a school guidance counsellor I will probably have to do some more schooling, which I am willing to do when I feel my family is financially stable enough to allow for me to be away from the full time workforce.  But then there's this situation I ran into last weekend.

While perusing the Internet, I decided to check on jobs in my old school divisions that I had worked for in Saskatchewan.  I wasn't seeing anything in Alberta so I thought I would see what was available in Saskatchewan.  There wasn't a whole lot, nothing more than in Alberta really, and nothing that I would be willing to apply for until I checked the Saskatoon Public School Division Website. 

"OMG!!!!", was the thought that ran through my head.

Here is the posting:
Saskatoon Public Schools
requires an:
Elementary School Counsellor - for the 2011-12 School Year

The successful candidate will have responsibility for providing direct service to Pre-K to Grade 8 students who display emotional, social, or behavioural needs that affect their academic progress, peer relationships and general school performance. As well, this individual will work closely with teachers, families/caregivers and community partners to facilitate strategies and resources to enhance personal and educational success.

Applicants must possess either a degree in social work and be eligible for membership in SASW OR qualify for a valid Saskatchewan teaching certificate and have completed recognized training in the area of counselling. Preference will be given to individuals who possess a graduate degree in educational psychology, school social work, special education, or a related field. Strong interpersonal and communication skills combined with the ability to work effectively in a team environment will also be prerequisites for the successful candidate.

Individuals will be required to use their personal vehicle, for which reimbursement of travel expenses is provided.....
I just about choked on my coffee as I read this posting.  This is exactly what I wanted, exactly what I want to do, in a city I love.  I enjoy Alberta, it's great, but I LOVE Saskatoon and my network of people there.  I miss them so much and I never have enough time to give to all of them when I go back, which is very disturbing.  I don't necessarily have all the qualifications but I have worked in both the education field and the field of social work so I have the experience. 
I just don't know why things don't come up at the right time, instead of in the right place.  I am not sure what this sign was supposed to tell me, but I know it's indicative of something.  So Blogger friends, what should I do???

Friday, 8 April 2011

Little Man is getting so big

I am constantly amazed at the leaps Little Man is making in his development.  He is becoming more and more of a toddler and less of my little baby. I don't know what is more pressing on my emotions, the sadness of seeing him leave is infancy behind, or the excitement fear of seeing him learns his independence as he explores his surroundings. 

In the past few months Little Man has grown leaps and bounds.  He is fairly small for his age I think, or he is average I guess.  He is right between 12 month and 18 month clothing, 12 month is too small, it shows off his little pot belly, and 18 month is too large, the pants drag on the floor.  In actual fact he has a long torso and short legs so pants have always been large and shirts are often always too small for his age size.  I wish you could mix and match sets of clothes to suit your child.  You know those cute Disney outfits, for me I might need a size 12 pants but 18 month shirt, if I could do that life would be great.

He is also developing and reaching new milestones each day.  A couple of weeks ago he began jumping. He doesn't get very far but he will leave the ground with both feet and land.  He is a bit of a daredevil. 

He is also increasing his vocabulary.  The other night we were counting to 5, I would say 1 and wait and he would attempt to say 1, and then I would say 2 and so on and so forth.  He can't exactly enunciate the words but he is trying to mimic what he hears. 

He has begun to say the word no, for the longest time he would only shake his head and hand, but now he says no.  This is not something I wanted him to learn, but he doesn't use it as often because we often tell him "not for you" or "dangerous" or "don't touch" which was our hope of preventing him from saying no, but apparently children love that word and use it with conviction.

He copies scolding, we will smack our hands and point our finger at him while saying no if he tries to turn off the TV, and he will stop and slap his hand and point his finger at us. It is so friggen cute. It's hard not to bust out laughing when he does it.

He has been saying "gog gog" for a long time which is his word for dog.  He will even say "ank ew" which is his thank you.  He signs please, and for awhile was saying "plu" but now he just signs it, over and over and over again when he wants something.  We have been leading him around asking him what it is he is asking for and when he points it we say the word to him and encourage him to say the word.  It's not always successful, but he will try sometimes.

He still doesn't sleep completely through the night, and when he does I don't because my body is so used to be woken up I wake up and have an irrational need to check on him to ensure he is still breathing.  It's ridiculous, but it is what it is.  He still has his soother at night and at nap times, but I am hoping to rid him of that soon, although I would like to develop the habit of sleeping through the night before we take the soother away.

He is a climber and can climb up on the couch and on chairs.  He will try to climb on tables but not that often.  He climbs the stairs and is trying to walk up and down the stairs now with help.  If there is no one around he still goes down on his hands and knees but if you are around he will take the stairs walking by holding your hand.  He doesn't really use us for anything but it gives him courage.

As I said in a previous post he is potty training, and has urinated and defecated on the potty.  He asks to go and has definitely been showing other milestones in this habit.  He tries to dress himself and undress himself.  He likes to pull up his pants and put on his jackets.  He has been trying to put on his shoes as well. 

He eats on his own and does not take help very willingly. We have conceded that he must just feed himself and let him be.  Not sure if he is always eating enough but he doesn't really complain to eat more. It does become a bit of struggle when he doesn't want to eat his meal because he sees us moving on to a dessert, then he figures he should be eating dessert too.  I am sure this is more a learning thing then a milestone thing though.

Soon my Little Man will be a little man and then I won't have a baby in the house, at least not for awhile.

Paris or Kim

Apparently, there is new fire being brought to the Hitlon v. Kardashian feud.  It has been said by one Mrs. Hilton that Kim K is a thunder stealer and is simply copying Paris.  Is this true?  And who is the better reality television star? 

I am going to provide my opinion on this matter, but first I want to go through the background of these two girls.  I need to do so for myself because I prefer to have an educated opinion as opposed to an emotional opinion. 

Paris Hilton came onto the scenes of the tabloids for being a party girl in New York, she was young, "pretty" and rich.  I put pretty in quotations because I am not sure I necessarily agree, she may be pretty but I do not think she's beautiful or even someone anyone should strive to look like.  Then Paris began this reality show with Nicole Ritchie, "The Simple Life" and it was some what of a hit.  The only thing I remember from that show is that Paris didn't know what Walmart was which was astounding to say the least.  There was also something to do with some kind of sex tape, big tabloid news, but I never paid much attention.  Then there was a falling out and the tabloids tracked all of the replacements Paris went through to have a new BFF.  Which is where Kim K first came on the scenes.  Paris then began a new reality show something about being her BFF (who would want to, I don't get it?!?!).  She also put out an album and has been arrested and charged with possession numerous times.  But it must be said that she is a reality television star, but is she better than Kim?

Kim was introduced to the public via Paris, because they started hanging out in the clubs together.  Kim placed herself near someone and people took notice.  We then had the scandal of the sex tape.  Now Kim Kardashian and her family are all over E channel with Ryan Seacrest.  Kim is doing reality television with her family, in keeping up with the Kardashian's.  They have opened a chain of retail stores and do small sub series on the opening of these stores, (Khloe and Kourtney take Maimi & Kourtney and Kim take New York).  We have seen Kim with her family and we see her on the fronts of all the tabloids for her sorted romances that always seem destined to fail.  I am not sure if Kim has done a recording contract yet, but I am sure there could be talks of one. 

I am going to be on team Kim for this debate.  I don't know if everyone will agree with me on this but that is my opinion.  I am taking this opinion because I feel that Kim has branded herself better.  If there is a role model I would chose between these two girls (and I don't know that I would chose either) but I would pick Kim.  She has made her millions on her own, through her branding of her family.  She has become someone in the public eye simply because she made connections and capitalized on those connections.  I find that she is a positive role model and I would rather grant the status of better reality television star to a positive role model who has not been arrested for possession then one who, well, has been.  For me Paris, has simply cashed in her family name to try to make a name for herself.  She is not a positive role model, with her partying and drug use and disregard for the law.  She hasn't learned from her mistakes and is constantly bailed out by her family so she never has to own up to her behaviour.  I find it more entertaining to watch Kim and with Paris I just get sickened.

So there you have it! I am team Kim! Keep up the good work.

*disclaimer this is all my opinion, and it is based solely on the facts I know, which are not all of them by any means as this writer does not follow either girl, please don't comment to harshly in regards to all the info I may have missed *

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Potty Training v.2

So I have done the whole Potty Training situation before with my eldest son.  It was truly a trial and error experience and it wasn't the most successful experience.  In fact it was full of more epic failures than successes, but eventually we hammered out all the kinks and after a bout of serious illness at 4 years old my eldest son was potty trained.

Now having a new baby that is entering the age of Potty Training, I have decided to do things a bit different.  Thankfully, my situation is a bit different so I can try different things to help me find success.  Here are my tools and tricks I have been using to see if this round of Potty Training will be smoother.

1) I have been sitting him on the potty as often as he asks.  We introduced him to the potty when he was just over a year old.  He wanted to sit on it so we got a seat and sat him up on the potty and he sometimes peed and other times he just sat there and tired to play with the toilet paper.
2) We started sitting him on the potty before and after sleep times.  The idea behind this was to get him used to the idea that he would have to use the potty before and after he went to sleep.  He has consistently peed on the potty after naps, even if his diaper is wet, so I think he's getting that one.
3) We gave him some books that are strictly for Potty Time. He's going to be a reader on the potty, and we found having specific books that he couldn't remove from the bathroom kept his interest longer.
4) He will only be in pull ups at night or through naps. I found the pull ups to a bigger hindrance to my eldest son's potty training, they were too much like diapers and he would just go in them anyways.  He did not care about the disappearing designs and they did not leave that much moisture for him to actually be concerned with being wet.
5) As often as we can we will let him run around naked or in underpants(training pants). As it is now he won't always lay down to have his diaper put on I often have to make the diaper then let him stand in them so he can pull them up.  I just find that being naked or in underpants is more successful in the training, or so I have heard, and when we put my eldest in training pants his training went quicker.  It could be an age thing, but I don't know, I think it may have been a training success.
6) We will leave the potty out where he can access it readily. This was one of the most successful tools I used the first time, by having the potty out where they can easily access it, developed a sense of independence that allowed them to be able to go on the potty without always having to ask an adult for help.
7) Once he starts to ask to use the potty and goes we will let him build up stickers to a treat.  This way he can see how well he is doing and we won't be giving him candy or a snack every time.

I think that's all I have for now.  I know there are more things but I can't think of them right now.  I am hoping that within the next 6 months little man is potty trained and I can say "GOODBYE Diapers!!!"

Monday, 4 April 2011

Well I took a break

From life really.... but I am back now.  I was on Spring break and we were in Saskatchewan, which usually doesn't restrict me from posting updates, but I was busy and I did not feel much like writing.

I have become very intra-personal as of late.  Reflecting on the things I would like in my life.  And how I am planning to achieve those things. I have come up with a couple of ideas and a couple plans of actions, but I still have some more work to do.  Getting bills paid and working more are top priorities, but I am doing well with those. 

I have decided that I am the only one who can make my goals come into reality (who knew right?).  I just finished reading a friend's novel that has been published and it is a true motivator for me.  If she has the ambition and conviction and wherewithal to stick with her writing then I can do that as well.  I just have to organize my time and get better at sticking with my desires and not getting distracted.

I will post more later, I just didn't want everyone out in Blogger land to think I had disappeared.

Life gets in the way life sometimes but that's what makes life fun!!!