Sunday, January 30, 2011

Pause

This weekend Nathan got sick. It started on Friday with a fever and lots of sleeping and developed into throwing up all through Friday night. Saturday he got better, but still had a fever and was quite snugly. Both on Friday night and Saturday night, Darryl slept in the spare room while Nathan slept with me. It wasn't a weekend where we had lots planned, but anything I did have planned or did want to get done got put on the back burner. Shopping is left to next weekend, and getting rid of some baby toys. Our dinner party was delayed and the bathrooms are still a mess. But it was a nice weekend to remember what is the most important in life. Being with the kids. Making sure they are happy and healthy. Listening to the sounds of him breathing in and out, even while he is sick is so peaceful. Snuggling with him on the couch while we watch movies and he laughs at the funny parts makes me smile. In this busy world, a world I make very busy, it is nice to be forced to slow down.

Till next time

Jenn

Monday, January 24, 2011

Happy Birthday Dear......

This weekend we started our Chinook. After being in a deep freeze for 10 days we came out of it and were able to enjoy being outside again. There was lots of tobogganing and playing with Emma (and cleaning up the poop soup). Today I even wore my spring jacket and people were out in shorts.

Even though we are all much happier because of getting our Vitamin D from the sunshine my favorite part of the weekend was our Happy Birthday song. It was my Dad's birthday and so I made his favorite meal, sausage spagetti with all the fixings. For dessert we had birthday pie (cherry) and lit some candles and sang Happy Birthday. My favorite part of the weekend was the part where we sing: Happy Birthday Dear... Pop/Dad/Teaser/George ... it sounded all discombobulated and like we were all singing a different song for a moment. But I loved that he is so well loved we all have a special name for him.

Till Tomorrow

Jenn

Eat at Home Challenge: Februrary 2011 Edition

Hi Everyone,

Michelle mentioned on Facebook about a eat at home challenge, so I was wondering if we are all up for an Eat a Home Challenge for February? The rules are pretty simple.

1. You can only eat food and drink made from someone's home. This includes no Starbucks or Tim Hortons or no cafeteria food. If you have dinner at someone else's house that's fine.

A secondary part of it is the blog. It's a good support for everyone and sometimes can give you new ideas for dinners. And it's all of us taking real pictures of real food. If you are not already added as a contributor I'll be sure to add you can you can post pictures of your food and recipies.

This time it will be quite the challenge for me because I eat out more with work.

Also there is no real prize, other then the money you will save. =)

I'm in. Are you?

Till Tomorrow

Jenn

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Almost like finding 5 dollars in your coat after a year... almost

Today Nathan was looking through Darryl's pictures on his phone. There were a couple of great ones that I don't have so I e-mailed them to myself and now I'm posting them here.





Till next time

Jenn

Sickness

Oh it's been a long week. Lucas has been home sick for the whole week. It's started last Saturday night while we were at a friends house. All the sudden he was laying on the couch. Then on Sunday he had a low grade fever which has stuck around almost every day for the rest of the week. For the first couple of days it was just a fever. So by Thursday we took him to the doctor it see if there was something underlying he could see, but nothing major. The rest of the day he complained about his ear but that was just that one day. The hard part of it for me is what to do. He's enjoying laying on the couch watching TV, so I've taken away the TV so that staying home isn't fun. Yesterday he didn't go to school because he said he had trouble breathing, which "mysteriously" went away within 3 minutes of me saying "okay you can stay home". But he did develop a fever and headache again last night. Sometimes I feel like I'm being unfair, like yesterday when he didn't go to school I said he was not able to watch TV. Just lay on the couch and rest to get better. He said to me "It's not fair that you and Nathan get to wash the floor and I have to just lay here". I don't want to force him to go to school but it's hard to know how far to push it. As an adult you know there is a certain amount of sickness you can deal with while still going to work, but Lucas doesn't have that yet. Even today he's already said " I don't think I'll be well enough to go to school next week." He quite likes school so I don't think he's trying to avoid it. Hopefully this weekend he will start to feel better and we can get back to regular scheduled programming....

Till next time

Jenn

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Nathan Monthly Newsletter: 33 Months

Dear Nathan,

As I write this you have spent the last half and hour talking to yourself in bed while I sat playing games. Your sleep continues to go through stages, for a week it's great then a week it's bad again. Last night you were up for 2 hours so we are in a bad stage.



Speaking of stages you are in the "why" stage. While I was reviewing 2010 one of our struggles one was your speech. At the beginning of the year we were worried about your lack of speech. It's amazing now how much you talk. Sometimes you never stop talking. You ask questions after questions after questions. You want to know where and why and how. Some of your consonances are still needing some work, but most people can understand most of what you say. Although it's still "Lutas" and Huddy Bear" and "Damma".



You love to dance and to sing. Whether it's requesting music in the car when we drive or learning the words to kids songs, like "Down By the Bay". Music continues to be a fun part of your life. Auntie Karen bought you a guitar sweatshirt for Christmas this year and it has become your favorite thing to wear. On the weekend I had to peel it off you get cleaned and then put it right back on as it came out of the dryer. You love that sweatshirt.



You loved Christmas. You were in the stage where it took hours upon hours to open presents because you wanted to play with the toys you got rather then going onto the next thing. And while Lucas's favorite part of Christmas was Jesus, yours was Santa Claus. You talked to the video he sent you.


You have some funny runs, like when you go pee on the potty or you are helping someone out. You do a little run out of the bathroom with lots of shoulder action and I know you are so proud of yourself. Or the other thing you do that makes me laugh is the way you say "sure" when I ask you to do something. Or if I ask you for a toy " Ummm sure" you'll say and it makes me smile.



Over Christmas time you and Lucas have been doing a lot of coloring. You have been getting so much better at it. You are spending more time concentrating on it and doing a much better job of staying in the lines. Also Lucas is enjoying drawing things on paper and you are following his lead. Your drawings rarely resemble what you are trying to draw, but it's good that you are trying.

It has been documented on the blog already, but I'm so proud of how you did with the potty training. Granted the first few days were very very hard. You made it to the potty 1/6 times. But at the end of the second day something seemed to click and we have been pretty good since then. You caught on to it quite quickly and I'm so glad we stuck to it through those couple of days of frustration. You are now a "big boy" and you love to tell anyone who will listen that you are a big boy.


Well Nathan, sleep well tonight, as I'm sure in the morning there will be 100 more questions from you and I'll try to answer them all.

love mommy

Monday, January 10, 2011

My Green New Years Resolution

For those who know me well and who have been reading for a while know that I am passionate about the environment (among many other things). I'm also pretty cheap, which sometimes interferes with me being green, but sometimes works well.

My green resolution for this year is to try and throw out less. Over Christmas there seems to be so so so much recycling. Even now two weeks after Christmas my recycling/blue bin is over flowing. For those of you not familiar with our recycling here in Calgary over the last couple of years every house in Calgary got these gigantic bins, one blue and one black. I'm pleased to say our blue bin is always much fuller then our black bin, but ideally this year I'd like to have less waste of all types, whether recyclable or not. My resolution is to accumulate less stuff and the stuff I do accumulate I want it to be long lasting. Here are some examples of things I'm going to work on:

1. Not buy the Happy Meal toys from McDonalds. The kids love them for about 10 minutes after they get them and then they accumulate till I donate them to Value Village

2. Generally accumulate less toys. The kids got A LOT of stuff over Christmas. I'd like to try more and more of rotating toys rather then buying new ones.

3. When I buy clothes, buy good quality stuff. For example the last two pairs of black tights I've bought were less then 10 dollars (Joe and Old Navy). Both pairs Torin put a snag in them. The last pair I bought was more of a workout pair from the gap 30$ on sale. I don't like spending alot of money on tights when I know I can buy them for cheaper, but I think it's both a waste of money and resources to be throwing out tights all the time too.

4. Use things that are suppose to last longer, like CFL bulbs (we already do this), but also buy high quality things for the kitchen so they don't break easily.

5. The last one I can think of is my clothes. I love shopping and I love finding deals. But to be honest those cheap Old Navy shirts start to pill over a couple of washes, where my Banana Republic ones have lasted me years. So I'm still going to try and shop for deals to keep my first new years resolution, but also pay closer attention to quality and knowing what fits me well.

Any other ideas on how to have less waste?

Till Next Time

Jenn

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Book Review: The Book of Negros

Last night I finished reading this excellent book. Over Christmas itunes was offering a free "thing" every day. One day it was this book! So I snatched it up because a) I am cheap and love free things and b) I love books.

The Book of Negros is the story of a woman, Aminita's, life. She is stolen from her home and forced to be a slave. She leads an incredible life. One that is often more sad then you can imagine but always incredible. The book is not a true story, but based on true events. At the end of the book the author talks about all the research he did for the different parts of the book.



The book didn't really make me cry (till the end) but it made me grateful for the life I lead and amazed at what adversity people can go through and still keep moving forward.

I highly recommend it. It's a very interesting story and good book.

Till next time

Jenn

Saturday, January 08, 2011

What Happens to a Blogger

I, like many of my favourite bloggers, have not been posting as much as usual. My signoff, till tomorrow is not realistic anymore. I've been thinking about why that is, has blogging run it course for me or is it something else. But I still enjoy blogging and I love having a record of .... life. I think the lack of blogging is probably a bunch of things. First off things with the kids don't seem to be constantly changing. I think with babies things change so quickly that there is always things to document. Now that the boys are 2 and 5, things stay pretty similar, Lucas still loves Star Wars and school and Nathan's potty training was the big news for him. Another reason for the lack of blogging is the lack of struggles with them. With babies it's hard to figure them out so it's nice to write it down to get feedback or to use writing to try and solve it.

Although life isn't changing very much, that is great. Life is great and I'm glad it's not changing all the time. The boys are at a fantastic age where they are fun and funny. I love to be with them and we do lots of fun things together.

So although the blogging hasn't been, and won't be as frequent as what it was when the boys were babies, I am still going to make a conscious effort to document the good and fun things we do. Partly to keep the few readers I still have updated, but also for myself so that I can look back and see what happened.

Till Next Time

Jenn

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

End of Christmas Holidays

Well our wonderful two weeks of Christmas holidays is all done. It was great to have some time off with the boys. All of the boys, Darryl had a lot of time off too. But as with all vacations it was always nice to go back too. Over the holidays we spent lots of quality time together. We did some swimming, lots of organizing and even more of this:

video

We also had good success with potty training too. It's so cute to watch Nathan get off the potty, he's so proud of himself and struts around.

Till Tomorrow

Jenn

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Happy 2011

Well compared to last year I am more so looking forward to 2011. Maybe because 2010 was so crappy I think we are moving up for 2011. So yes I'm looking forward to what lays ahead for this year. We don't have a lot of big plans as in previous years, no big house projects or vacations, but I guess we will just take what comes are way and enjoy it. As for the start of every year, lets see how I did on my resolutions and make some for 2011.

1. No pop.

Alexis inspired me with her no McDonald's in 2009 and I keep reading on the lulu lemon bag where we keep our recycling how bad it is for you. So no pop this year. Ice tea sure, but no coke or sprite or anything of the like.

I did awesome with this! I am very proud of myself. Not that it was super hard, but there were times I really could have had some pop whether it went well with what I was eating or I could have used it to pep me up. I think in general I'll drink less pop now, but I'm happy to have delicious coke at certain times.

2. Finish the basement.

This is kind of a Darryl and Jenn resolution. I couldn't do it without him, but I know he's on board with it as well.


Again check this off the list. We did great with this (really Darryl did great with it). I love the basement.

3. The added one and the one I'm always working on, pay down the debt and save for things before buying them.

This is one we are still working on this. We've started to stick more closely to a budget. I'll expand on this a little more in my resolutions for 2011.

4. Take more pictures. Not sure if it's because it's the winter or what but I haven't been taking that many pictures over the last month. I need get back into it again. Maybe Lesley and I can take a photography close together. =)


This is a resolution that sometimes is better and sometimes needs work... I still think a photography class would be a good idea. I really like the prime lens we bought this summer. This may be an ongoing one for a couple of years, or maybe forever.

And onto resolutions for 2011:

1. Have our debt paid down to 75% of what it is now. I've been reading the Simple Dollar website and he's been posting a lot about goal making and how to achieve the goals. In the past I've said pay down debt, which we did last year, but our line of credit and credit cards are still now paid down. This year I'm setting a number to it. We started at the end of last year with sticking more closely to a budget, giving ourselves a certain amount of cash to work with every week. We did good for the months of October and November and then December came and Christmas it kind of got blown out of the water, so in January we are jumping back on the cash only band wagon.

That's it, that's really all I have... With saving money I don't think we are going to do anything major in the house or in the yard this year. We are also not going on any big vacations this year. Darryl and I would like to go to San Francisco for our anniversary (we will have been married 10 years this year). Darryl also may take the boys to Ontario in the summer and of course we will go to Kelowna. I'd also like to go with Tammy on some sort of girls weekend/vacation. We will also have to make some decisions about Lucas's schooling and if Nathan will go to preschool this year. But hopefully there will be a calm and happiness about the year. Just enjoying the kids at the ages they are taking it all in.

What about you any resolutions for the year?

Till Tomorrow

Jenn