Friday, 30 January 2015

Can I even Name five?? {Friday Five}

It's another Friday Five!! You can learn more about the Friday Five from our lovely hosts, MarCynthia or Courtney!! You can also read some other bloggers fun posts by reading the links at the end of our hosts post!!

Today's topic is our favourite Five Indoor Workouts.
I'm not even sure I can name five indoor workouts that I love, but I am so excited to read other people's ideas to see if I can bring them into my workouts!!

1. Yoga
I am late to the game, but I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE yoga!! IT's so amazing, when I have a good yoga session I feel the same as I do after a run!! So Yes I love yoga, but I do not love Bikram Yoga.  I know lot's of people who love Bikram Yoga, but I am not one of those people. I like to feel like I've workout after doing any type of physical activity, I do not like to feel like I'm ready to heave my guts on the floor.  To those of you that love Bikram, congrats that's awesome, I'll follow a different yoga path for me!!

2. Weight training
I really enjoy weight training with kettle bells or free weights!! I've been at this long enough that I have a pretty decent repertoire of exercises to do that each day can be different activities that will work the different muscle groups.  It's such an easy 30 minute workout and with the way my schedule is that's all I can do sometimes.  I will usually work major and minor muscle groups together, for example I will do squats with a shoulder press or lunges with a bicep curl.  I think I learned that from the Jillian Michaels videos I used to do!

3. Zumba / Dancing
I really enjoy Zumba and sometimes I even enjoy doing Zumba on the Wii, but I prefer to go to a class to take my Zumba.  They have a glow Zumba class in town and I think that would be lot's of fun!! When I can't go to a Zumba class though, putting on a dance session with the boys is fun too!! Probably not as effective as a dance class, but it gets me up and moving and that's more important!!

4. Workout Videos?
I guess I enjoy these but I never do them, or I do them but so sporadically that I don't know if they can even be counted!! I use Jillian Michaels and I guess I used to use the Wii Fit, but I got tired of that jerk telling me I was obese hahahhaa

5. Yeah that's it, I got nothing else!!
Any suggestions would be awesome, I guess I play indoor soccer and I really like that, and it is a workout,  so yeah number 5 can be Soccer!!

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Brunch

I've fallen in love with brunch, and I do mean the meal but it's more than that, it's not about the food, but the activity of brunch. Sitting down relaxing with friends or family enjoying good food and leisurely sipping some coffee or tea.  It's the visiting that I find the most enthralling, that makes it an activity I want to do on a regular basis.

Sex in the City always showed the girls going out for Brunch on Sunday.  Many times they shared there different escapades from the night before or would admonish each other over being dumb about men.  Even when Samantha lived on another coast she would travel back to New York to have brunch with the girls. Eventually their brunch table grew, it wasn't just the four girls, husbands and kids joined.

Watching the show, I was envious, to be able to get together with your girlfriends, friends whomever you wanted on a regular basis and not feel rushed to be anywhere else.  It's not breakfast where you are rushing off to work/ school, It's not lunch where you have to worry about pick ups from school and after school activities or if you work you only get 30-60 minutes.  It's not supper where you've spent your whole day doing everything else and would really just rather crawl into your pjs, turn on the television and rest. It's brunch a time after the kids are gone to school, but before lunch so you have a good 4 hours to just enjoy some good company.  It IS AMAZING!!

I've had those Sunday Brunches at home with the family and those are nice, but to have brunch with your friends where you are sitting around visiting, grazing on food, sipping coffee, now that's the pinnacle of Brunch!! I've been lucky with this maternity leave, I've found some friends that are also off work or don't work during the week, so we've been able to get together for Brunch.  It was so nice, the kids played or ate, the adults visited, there was no pressure. I've even hosted once and I wasn't stressed about getting Brunch ready, getting brunch together is not the same as having supper with friends.

I made a crock pot casserole the night before, some cheese dip and had veggies and fruit out for everyone to enjoy.
It was easy and if you do it on a rotating basis everyone would get a turn to host and how nice would it be for a weekly (or monthly if you aren't as ambitious as I) get together over some good food and fantastic company to top it all off.


Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Social Media Hiatius

I said in December that I was going to take a break from Social media and only check my Facebook on the computer.  Well if that were a school class, I'd have received a failing grade, yup failing, it's just so damn addicting!!

So February I'm going to take a hiatus from Social media in my personal life.  I'm still going to post for my blogs and for my Fifth Avenue Collection business, but for my personal life, I'm going to take a break.

I love Facebook for the connections it has allowed me to keep and the friendships I have made, but sometimes, sometimes I find myself going to a really negative place.  I get really irritated with some of the posts I see on my news feed and to block or unfriend those people that make those posts would cause drama and I'm not about drama.  But I also get irritated with the people that use Facebook to spread propaganda they know very little about!  But then they would totally die defending these views and if you comment they tell you you are wrong for disagreeing with them.  I really want Facebook to be a positive venue so I need to give myself a time out!

I actually don't think this is anything against the posters but how I'm missing something in the interactions with my friends. Too many of my 'friends' on Facebook are now in this new category, Facebook friends, meaning we are only friends on Facebook. I want to keep in contact with these people but I would really like to build that relationship so that it's not just on the computer, hell a phone call or a snail mail letter would be AMAZING!!

I phoned a friend of mine a couple weeks back, and we talked on the phone for an hour, an HOUR!! We had so much to say to each other, stuff that can't be as effectively communicate via messenger/ text of Facebook posts, because the voice brings so much inflection and meaning to what is being shared.  I loved it!! I love talking with people, I love face to face or phone conversations. I used to spend hours, HOURS on the phone leaning against the wall twisting the cord (yes I talked on a corded phone, it was even a rotary phone) around my legs.  It was beautiful.  *I do a positive moment journal on index cards (1 index card for each day of the year) and that was my moment for that day)

So I want to put my energy into my relationships, but I want to do it on those platforms that existed before Facebook, before Myspace, before MSN Messenger, before Chat rooms.... I will use phone calls, text messages and letters!! Yup Letters, I'm terrible at mailing letters but my goal for February will be to mail out a letter a day!! And not just a stock letter but a personalized letter!!

There will still be Facebook activity from me because of this blog, and instagram, but other than that I'm going to stay off.  Facebook takes up too much of my time and I need to spend my time doing other things, Facebook is a luxury, not something I need to spend 2 hours + a day on which is what I calculated I was doing.

I'm taking a break from Twitter as well, but as I don't spend that much time on Twitter it's not that big of deal!!

Have you ever taken a Social Media Hiatus? How did it work out for you?

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Christmas Baking

I was so lucky this year!! Like super duper lucky!! I got a Kitchen Aid Mixer!! It's something I've always thought about buying, something I've said would be awesome to own, but I've had a hard time justifying a $200 purchase on a kitchen appliance.  Now before I was given this mixer I'd never used one so I didn't really see the value in the mixer.  Now that I have one, and now that I've used it I would most definitely pay to have this appliance in my house!!

I'd been procrastinating this year to complete my Christmas baking, usually by the beginning of December I have started and I'm done by December 10th or so, this year I didn't start until December 19th.  But I also finished on December 19th thanks to my new Kitchen Aid Mixer!! Thanks Mom and Dad In law!!!!

I went crazy that day baking, I made two batches of Bread, and three different types of cookies!! It was a good day to be in my house!!

I made Thumbprint cookies, Oatmeal chocolate Peanut butter chip cookies, and Peanut Blossom Cookies.  They are all so yummy!! And so easy to make with the mixer!! I usually spend so long mixing and blending my doughs that after a batch of cookies I'm exhausted, especially if I do it at the same time as when I make bread!!

Oh my bread was delicious!!! I still have some in the freezer!!  The mixer wasn't big enough to mix my dough recipe but now I am willing to try some new smaller bread recipes because I've got a dough hook!! It's amazing!!

Monday, 26 January 2015

Snow Fort V2

Lil Man loves (and needs) to play outside!! He has so much energy all the time so it's very important that he has appropriate clothing and opportunities to be outside.  Last year we built a snow fort in our front yard, this year we've now done two in our back yard.  the first one was really basic, but it was fun and Lil Man played outside for hours in his fort, it even had a garage!!  

The second snow fort was built thanks to our neighbours and their snow blower!! So the neighbour kids came over and snow blowed our yard into a pile and then Lil Man got to build in that fort. We missed the good days for tunnel digging and there was some freezing rain and melting so it became more of a hill, but Lil Man still loved it!!
 Last year while we were working on the snow fort, we let Lil Man 'paint' his snow fort, and that activity kept him busy for hours over many days.  It was so easy too, just fill a squirt bottle with food colouring and water and send him out to spray his fort.  He loves colouring his snow fort!!
 Because Lil Man is really a great big brother, he built a seat for Prince T so that Prince T could come out and play with him!!

 He has started building a little tunnel for himself, it's his hide-y-hole!! He's got such a great imagination and now he's decided he wants to build a garage for his snow fort!! I mean his snow fort is going to be better than our house, we don't even have a garage!!

Friday, 23 January 2015

All about ME Friday Five

It's another Friday Five!! You can learn more about the Friday Five from our lovely hosts, Mar, Cynthia or Courtney!! You can also read some other bloggers fun posts by reading the links at the end of our hosts post!!

So I'm supposed to write five things about me, but I feel like I do that at least once a month... so I'm going to put my own little spin on it.  Here are Five Things about me from when I became a mom for the first time!!

1. I was 19 years old!!
I was young, or at least I felt I was young. I was in my year off from school, I'd just graduated high school, and was thinking of going to University in the fall.  So I was young, I mean I wasn't 16 and pregnant, but I felt ready. I also did not believe at the time that I had other options besides having the baby.  I get that there are other options out there, but I didn't feel comfortable with those other decisions, I'd gotten myself into this mess I was going to clean it up!

2. I knew very little about babies
I had younger siblings, and I knew how to change diapers.  I was always good with kids, but I really knew very little about babies.  I had zero expectations for this baby. I guess that's sort of a lie, I took a second year off from attending university because I didn't know if the baby would be colicky or not. But as to how long it would take him to eat, how often to change diapers, how to install a carseat, those things I had no idea. There was a steep learning curve.

3. It was the only time in my life when my body bounced back
I remember being in high school thinking I had some extra pounds (oh to only have the extra pounds of my high school self now) and I remember being terrified that being pregnant I would gain all this weight and I would never loose it. I had a girlfriend who had a baby and she had the worst swelling she was three sizes larger than her normal size by the end of her pregnancy.  So as my pregnancy progressed and I grew I worried I'd never get back to normal.  Silly me, first, I didn't get that big, I was 7 months pregnant before people started inquiring and when I told them my due date they were surprised.  Secondly, I went home from the hospital in a pair of my regular jeans.  Yup only time in my life where I've bounced back. I should have been more grateful lol

4.Every day my child woke up I counted as a win
Because of point 2 I felt that every day my child didn't die because of something I did was a win!! I mean as long as I could keep him growing and getting bigger and stronger then I must be doing something right.  I had common sense plus an army of support!!

5. I was immediately, completely, utterly in love
Anyone who doesn't believe in love at first sight, has never held their child for the first time.  They've never had the little miracle in their arms and known that this is what love is; being willing to protect this innocent bundle from all harm possible and do everything in your power to ensure they have a full and memorable life!! I knew the moment I laid eyes on him that he would be one of the greatest loves of my entire life, and he still is to this day!!

Thursday, 22 January 2015

A day in the Life

Sometimes I do things that are a little crazy.... So while reading Cynthia's blog Yousignedupforwhat.com I was trying to leave a comment and then I ended up linking up to her a Day in the Life Blog, meaning that I had a blog written on a day in my life..... oops I did not... so here I am writing it!!

5:00 am : Up with Prince T, for a feeding I took him back into bed with me so that we could sleep a little while longer.

5:20 am: he's moving around too much so I take him back to his bed because I want another hour of sleep before I have to get up to get Lil man off to the bus.

6:30am: Alarm goes off and I peel my eyes open, I can hit snooze at least once, tap the phone and roll over.

6:40am: alarm is going off and Lil Man has busted into my room asking if he can get up now, I guess it's morning time.

6:40-7:00am: Breakfast for Lil Man, while I make and pack his lunch, then he brushes his teeth and hair, he's recently started to desire to style his hair, so we style his hair, Mad Men style.

7:00-7:30am: reading homework from school, and reading a library book. I'm so glad Lil Man loves to read!!

7:30-7:50am: school bag is packed time to get ready to catch the bus, yes there are 20 mins here, but Lil Man is such a dawdler that I'm surprised he ever gets outside for recesses, he's like the dog in UP.

7:50-8:02am: go to bus stop and wait for bus to arrive, Lil Man is off to school and I'm off to the doctor's clinic.

8:02-8:30: pick up a Collection bag for Prince T for a urine sample, he's been sick for three weeks now, pick up some hydra sense for Prince T as well to clear his sinuses.   Stop at Tim Horton's to grab and Ice Cap for Chandler and I.

8:30-9:30: cleaning the house and purging the two front closets.  It's time to get rid of my junk and stop holding onto things.

Morning work out was started around 10:00 am and finished at 10:45.

Over the lunch hour I went to the medical lab twice to try to drop off a sample, apparently urine samples need to be refrigerated, wish they'd told me that at first!!

Afternoon I'm blogging, cleaning and getting supper ready.

Supper is at 5:30 and kids are in bed by 7.  I'm so looking forward to some quiet time this evening!!

Zoo Lights

I've lived in Alberta for 8 years, for 5 of those 8 years I've said I should go to Zoo lights, to see what this is all about. and for 4 of those years I have never gone.  And each year I kick myself for not going.  I love Christmas lights so I really want to see these light displays!! But this year we went!! I was so excited!!!

It was a chilly day, but we went to The Fine Diner for lunch.  The food was great the atmosphere was upscale but the service was not the best, we got the feeling that they begrudgingly let us in with our kids.  I mean the waiter only gave my friend and I glasses of water the kids were not given glasses of water.  So if you don't have kids I'd say go, the food is worth it, if you do have kids maybe pick another location!!



After lunch we headed to the zoo.  We arrived early so the kids could see some of the animals!! I think they enjoyed the crisp out door air, it was fun watching them move around the zoo and we were able to see more activity out of some of the animals.  The kids were very excited.

Lil Man and Miss S played around and posed for all our crazy pictures, in three years they are going to be so irritated with our picture taking, but it's so much fun right now!! Great blackmail material should we ever need it!!


I was impressed with the lights, they were really neat.  The kids liked them too but it was a long day!!  As pretty as having a monochromatic light display can be, my favourite light displays are still the lights with many different colours in them. I also really liked the Hippopotamus song light display!! The kids liked the sugar plum forest and the butterfly area.

We didn't know at the time, but you can go skating as well, so maybe next year if they have that again, we will bring the skates for the kids!!

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Christmas Lights 2014


 This was the first year in many years that I have done the whole Christmas Lights tour.  Chandler feels he's too old and isn't really interested in that whole excursion, but Lil Man is at the perfect age.  So we went to see some of the more spectacular light displays around. We ventured out to the VonHollen house in Rocky Mountain House, and we then went for a tour around Red Deer.

 The Von Hollen house is this house in Rocky Mountain house that would deck itself out in lights and inflatable Christmas Decorations. It was very impressive, I didn't ask how many lights they had but they'd been doing it for almost 20 years so I'm sure they had thousands.  Sadly, this was the last year they were doing the house up.  I was glad I got to take Lil man there at least once, we went with some friends and the three boys had a blast walking through the yard looking at all the decorations!!
 The night we went around Red Deer we had supper at Boston Pizza, I just had to share this picture of the babies in the high chair together. It was super cute!!
 As for the light displays around weren't any where near as spectacular as the Von Hollen House, but they were still fun. I think the favourite was the Parkland Nurseries.  They didn't have light displays but they did have a lot of Frozen Ice Sculptures.  The kids enjoyed running around seeing the sculptures then it was time to get the kid lets to bed!!
I just kinda want a pink christmas tree!!



 One of these years I'm going to get my house all decorated up for Christmas!! I really want to do something fantastic!!  I also took the boys to a house in Saskatoon on Clinkskill Drive that had over 50000 lights and the lights were set on a sound board that had them blinking to different Christmas songs. It was so cool!! The music came through on a radio station so you didn't even have to get out of the car to enjoy the show!!

video

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

The Holiday Train

I swear sometimes I think I live under a rock, like seriously!! There is a thing called the Holiday Train that CP Rail sends across Canada every December. It stops in various towns and cities along the way and raises donations for the Food Bank.  It's done up in lights and has a band, like it's a big to do, and this is there first year I've ever heard about it let alone gone to it.

It was a cool day, but we took the kids down to the CP Rail yard to see the train. We brought a donation for the food bank and then the kids got to walk beside the train. It arrived in Red Deer in the middle of the day around lunch time so the lights weren't very impressive.
I'm sure seeing it at night would be way more enthralling for the kids, but they were still pretty excited to see the train up close.

The band that played on the train this year was the same band that does the Corner Gas theme song.  I didn't recognize them until they played that song, and it's been some time since I'd seen an episode of Corner Gas I didn't automatically pick up on the song.  They did pretty well and the kids enjoyed singing along when they did the Christmas Carols!!

The only pitfall to this day was the parking and traffic!!
OMGEEEE it was terrible!! We parked half a block away but there were some big traffic jams on Edgar Industrial Road that day!!  People are not smart and they parked in the most ridiculous places making it impossible for the industrial vehicles to make it through. Eventually, the RCMP came by to direct traffic and to stop more people from going into the bottle neck that had been created.  We left early to avoid the departing traffic!!

It wasn't  cold day so we also took the kids to the park to play and play they did for like 2 hours!! It was a nice afternoon!!

Monday, 19 January 2015

I need to SLEEP

I am self professed morning person,  I love early mornings, sunrises, hearing the house wake, hearing the city wake as traffic increases, when I was in the country I loved hearing the birds warble, everything about mornings I find refreshing and lovely.

You know when I don't like mornings?  I don't like mornings when I have been up every hour or every two hours with a screaming, crying baby!! It sucks the life right out of me, I don't even like afternoons, evenings or nights at that point.  I still love mornings in theory, but in actuality with three kids one a baby that won't sleep through the night I knew I needed to do something so that I could sleep through the night.

I would say it's been a good year since I've had a decent nights sleep. I suffered from heartburn when I was pregnant so that would wake me up in the middle of the night, my baby would try to Irish Dance on my bladder around 4 am every morning as well (To clarify, 4 am is too early in the morning for even me).  Then the baby was born and I'm nursing so we had night time feedings and we co-slept (mostly because I was scared I'd drop the baby on the floor if I fed him in the rocking chair) and he'd nurse that way as well.  But now the baby is 8 months old (TIME FLIES) and really he should be capable of sleeping through the night.  I don't need him to repeat Lil Man's habits (Lil Man did not sleep through the night until he was 18 months old NO THANKS)

I will admit my first child spoiled me, he was so such a good baby (too bad it doesn't always translate into his teen years, I jest he's a good kid, he could have been worse).  And in comparison Lil Man was horrible so I need to find a nice comfortable middle ground for Prince T.  And I'll admit when I talk to other mom's Lil Man wasn't that bad, but I not only like to be up in the mornings I like to have a good 6 solid hours of sleep and if this baby doesn't start to allow me to have this sleep I may turn into a sobbing mess!!

So as is the kismet of the universe, there were a couple posts on my Facebook wall about sleep training.  I've read them, I've got a good understanding of what needs to be done and I've talked to my family expert (my mom) about some strategies to help me get the baby to sleep through the night.  I always find it interesting how the universe gives you what you need right around the time you need it.  And reading about sleep training was something I needed, and I needed to resolve myself to do it, because listening to my baby cry is not something I like to do nor is it something I want to subject my entire family to, because as much as I need sleep so do my other children (especially the teenager, if he doesn't get enough sleep he's crankier than a PMSing 13 year old).  

So after a (terrible for sleep) holiday back home in Saskatchewan one of my New Year's Resolutions was to sleep train my baby.  Now there are different ways to sleep train babies and they all have different parameters and it becomes a personal preference.  You can do the Cry it Out Method, the No Tears Method, there's another one too that I don't remember what it's called, I chose to do a hybrid of the Cry It Out and No Tears method which I read about on the linked in blogs from Baby Center.  I do not believe in allowing my child to cry inconsolably for more than 15 minutes in a row, I just personally don't.  But I also don't buy into the picking your child up every time they squeak, now by no means does the No Tears Method say that, but that's sort of my interpretation, you would pick your child up and soothe them then put them back to sleep and I really needed the baby to learn to be a self soother. So here's what I put into action.

Prince T was waking up 3 times a night, he'd go down for bedtime between 7 and 8 and would sleep until 11 or 12, then he'd be up at 2 and again at 4 and up for the morning at 6 if I got up (6 days a week we do get up a six for school and hockey).  Now because babies can't talk you don't know if maybe they are hungry or sick or whatever so I wasn't firm on "No eating between 7 and 6 from now on!!" I had decided that when he woke up at 11 or 12 I'd just let him cry it out until 2.  I was hoping he'd go back to sleep and then just wake up a 2, but in that time I would not offer to nurse him at all.  I'd go into his room and comfort him at 15 minute intervals if he was really crying, not that whiney cry that's just him making noise, but real crying and while he was doing that I'd watch Netflix or something on my PVR. Then at 2 I'd nurse him so he could go back to sleep and I could go to sleep as well, and if he got up at 4 I'd nurse him then too. But I'd work to eliminate one night time nursing at a time.  The next time I wasn't going to do the 2 am nursing but the 4 am nursing.  That way I could get at least 3-4 hours before the 2 am nursing, and 3-4 hours of sleep until it was time to get up.   I was ready to offer the baby a bottle of water (he doesn't take a bottle, but he needed to know if he woke up this was all that was on the table) which was advice my mother passed on to us from our family doctor growing up.  
you think I should drink from a bottle HA No way!!

It's now been almost a week since my last HORRIBLE, TERRIBLE sleep, and I've got a baby that is sleeping through the night!! Legitimately, sleeping through the night!!

The first night was rough, he woke up at 10 and at 12, I comforted him but I let him whine alone in his bed and I offered him the bottle, which he hated, but I kept the breasts away.  After midnight though he fell asleep and slept until 6,  I was up at 2 and 4 to check on him to make sure he was breathing (yes I am that parent).  The next night he slept until 2 no problems, so I nursed him then put him back to bed and he woke up at 4, and I didn't nurse him, then he was up at 8 for the day.  The third day he slept from 8 pm until 5 am straight through.  I'll get up at  5 am to feed him NO PROBLEM, especially if he's sleeping this long.  And now he's been sleeping from 7:30 (on average) to 5 every morning!! I'm so happy I made this decision and I'm sure Prince T is as well, he's getting so much sleep, he's a happy, happy baby!!

I can't say what it would be like for you to try this, if you are reading this and thinking about attempting sleep training with your baby, each baby is different. My only advice is do what works for you and your family and adapt the suggestions so that they become your own path.  People can always tell you how to do things, but they tell you based on what's worked for them and if you don't tweak it for yourself it may not work because you are not the person who gave the advice and your baby is not their baby.