Sunday, September 25, 2011

How do you know?

Recently, someone very close to me split up with their significant other after being together for four years.  She asked me how I know that I did the right thing when I married my husband, especially after some of the troubles we had in the beginning.  So I started thinking, how do I know?  My husband is far from being perfect.  He annoys the ever living hell out of me some days.  Sometimes I am envious of other people's relationships because they seem closer to their significant other and spend more one on one time with them.  But with all that, I just know.  Here's how:

After six years together he can still make me laugh, cry, roll my eyes, listen with interest, miss him, want to smack him, want to yell, stick my tongue out, surprise me, and make me feel special.  But most of all, when he kisses me, he still makes my toes tingle.  I am the most content I have ever been my whole life and when I watch him with our kids it makes me fall in love with him all over again.  The best part of my day is when he comes home from work and half the time he is on the phone with work and ignores me.  But he comes home.  Everyday. 

So, how do I know?  I just know.  Do I know he will be my forever?  No.  I can't see what will be in 20 years or 30 years.  But I do know he is my right now and when I imagine life without him it makes me hurt inside, not curious. 

How do you keep things interesting in a long term relationship?  Do you text dirty messages?  Do you go on romantic getaways?  Do you have weekly date nights?  Or are you more like us, where you just make every moment count and call each other a million times a day just to say "Hi, I am thinking about you".

Monday, August 29, 2011

One. More. Day.

One more day until school starts!  Hip Hip Hooray!!!

Actually, I have had the best summer ever and am actually incredibly sad to see it ending.  My kids have been driving me insane the last few days but I think a lot of that is the excitement of the start of school!  I am rather relieved to have my routine back but at the same time it's going to be rather boring!

In other news, I am going to start babysitting a one year old two days a week!  Yay!  Maybe I can get one more kid then I will be able to stay home from work!  I also managed to find a new renter for our revenue property (I don't know why it's called that when we are actually losing money on it!  LOL). 

Now I just have to lose a few pounds and life will be great.  Low carb diet, here I come. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

WFMW: Saving Money on Back to School

Every year I spend too much money making sure my kids have what then need to go back to school.  This year we are broker than broke so I was trying to come up with ways for them to still have what they need without breaking the bank.  Here is what I did:
  • First we went through their old school supplies to see what they could re-use from last year.  (we do this every year, but this year I was a little more firm about re-using rulers, backpacks and such)
  • Then we went to a dollar store and bought as much as we could from there.  Why pay $0.79 per duotang when we can get them 4/$1.00?
  • Next we watched the flyers and bought things on sale and bought store brand over name brand.  If their teacher wants to specify "Crayola" pencil crayons then they can buy my kids supplies!  Sheesh!
Of course, as with every summer, they both grew a meter over summer vacation!  It must be all that fresh air!
  • We went through their closets and pulled everything that was to small and set it aside to be donated at a later date (usually when the bag is full)
  • We checked sales at shoe stores and department stores
  • We bought jeans and some tops at second hand stores.  I managed to get both kids name brand jeans for $3.99 - $8.99 a pair!  I even picked myself up two pairs of jeans (since my pre-pregnancy jeans still require either spanx or a hanger to zip myself into them.  Ooops) 
  • I allocated some of their birthday present budget to a few new outfits that weren't on sale.  They hate it when I do that, but do they really need more TOYS!  No.
Now my kids are ready for back to school and I didn't have to use a single credit card!  Score!

See more tips at Works For Me Wednesday!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

School starts in 2 weeks?

How did that happen?

We have added some more fun to our summer!  We hit the beach, I updated some old worn end tables with some paint, we visited family and we have been going to playgrounds and doing crafts!  I can't believe summer is almost over already!  My first summer off in 10 years and I feel like it flew by so quickly.  It's really too bad the weather wasn't more cooperative.  We really didn't get very many hot days.  I am not sure it hit 30 even once.  No week long heat wave where you are ready to kill each other because it's hard to sleep (which I suppose isn't such a bad thing).

My 2nd wedding anniversary came and went.  We aren't big on celebrating, we tell each other we love each other at least once a day and do small things to show appreciation very often (like him bringing me coffee in the morning)  I bought him a $50 gift card for his favorite coffee shop and he bought me this charm for my charm bracelet.

It says Eternal Love around the band.  Actually for my husband, it's unusually romantic.  :)

I have decided that I need to get more adventurous in my cooking.  Over summer it has become BBQ Chicken, BBQ pork chops, hot dogs, hamburgers, grilled cheese (on cold evenings) etc.  Same old, same old.  I am kind of excited that fall brings stews, chilis, roasts, and casseroles!   Bring on the comfort food!  What's your favorite comfort food recipe?  I feel like I have spent my life looking for the perfect mac and cheese recipe!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Things I learned on the Internet today

It was a very educational day!
Thanks to my friend Shannon for those two finds!
Hope you enjoy your finds on the internet as much as I do!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

How I am going to become a SAHM

For those non-mom types, SAHM = Stay at home mom.

I am desperately trying to figure out how I can stay home with Abby when my maternity leave is up.  The thought of leaving her with a stranger so I can make a few bucks is just about killing me.  It would be different if I thought I was going to make a significant financial contribution to our household budget, but by the time I pay for child care I will really only be making a few hundred dollars.  That of course is our grocery money and my spending money, but still!  ARGH!  Stupid debt load!

My ideas so far are to open my house up to babysitting and to get back into selling AVON.

Any ideas from the interwebs?

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Rainy Day Fun

We were supposed to go to the fair yesterday.  It was 12 degrees and pouring rain.  Not fun!  So we had a day with Aunty indoors instead!  We went for lunch, then came back to our house and made all this!

The top picture is all the projects we made from Perler Beads (called Melt Beads in our house).  The bottom project is made from a sock puppet kit, but really you could make it yourself with pompoms, felt, and glue easily! 

We really made the best out of a rainy day and look forward to the next one now!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Our summer so far...

Here is a summary of our summer so far!

  • We started summer off by going to the library and joining the summer reading club.  Everytime the kids go in to exchange books they get to roll the dice and move their little token around the board they get a free "something" (pencil, eraser, whistle).  It's great fun and encourages them to read over the summer!  Score! 
  • We have gone to Grandma's a few times and visited but she is spending a lot of her summer at my Aunt's house in BC so not as much as I had planned.
  • We have met my sister for brunch a bunch of times and gone shopping.
  • We attended 2 beautiful weddings.
  • We did a tour of the oldest standing building in Alberta and also saw a real tomb.
  • We went to a Canada Day parade and my son was in the parade with his Karate group.
  • We went to a rope climbing gym.  I watched, but it is amazing how fearless my kids can be!
The baby is growing like a weed!  She is 13 lbs already (at 12 weeks) and we are just completely in love with her!  She is giving me 7 hours of solid sleep a night so it might be time to transition her to her crib in her own room.  She is quickly outgrowing her bassinet!  I am sure she is in the bassinet more for me than for her now.

We still have lots planned for the rest of summer though! 
  • Swimming lessons
  • a Fair
  • Farmer's Markets
  • Fishing
  • a possible trip to Vancouver Island
  • And much much more!
I am still looking for healthy lunch and snack ideas!  :)  We can only eat KD so many times in a row before we get bored with it!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

My Next Vehicle....

My next vehicle is going to have pleather seats for easy cleaning.

My next vehicle is going to have a huge trunk.

My next vehicle is going to have a plastic shield in between the driver and the passenger seats

My next vehicle is going to have a cup holder big enough for a large slurpee/pop/milk shake.

My next vehicle is going to have an auto clean button (like my stove).

My next vehicle is going to seat at least 7 people comfortably.

My next vehicle is going to be a silly putty free zone.


I spent Saturday cleaning out my car because we might be selling it.  In six years I have managed to spill more than one drink out of my cupholder because the cups were too big for the holder and wouldn't go in properly, including a strawberry milkshake that almost caused a divorce because of course it was my husband's fault the milkshake I bought him tipped over onto the floor.  I also had a full large iced tea spill in the same spot.  I don't know what was in the back seat but all the steam cleaning in the world couldn't get my cleaner to stop sucking up brown stuff.  And there is a lovely spot of silly putty that will not come out of the seat.  Some lucky to be alive child left it there on a hot day about 3 years ago and it melted in.  And don't even ask me what is sprayed across the ceiling! 

PS.  The big trunk is to put naughty kids in.  ;0)  Hahahaha I wish.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Summer Planning

The kids have exactly 4.5 days left of school.  At this point I don't even know why I bother sending them.  Their supplies have already started making their way home and they basically are using up art supplies and watching movies all day while their teachers work on report cards.  I am incredibly proud of my son though, he is getting an achievement award tomorrow for being a genius!  No, really! 

Anyhow, to get ready for our first ever summer at home, I have been planning like mad.  The last thing I want is for September to be looming and realize we spent our summer sitting at home watching movies.  So, I made up a calendar and put clipart on the days we know we have stuff happening (weddings, swimming lessons, etc) then I made a sheet of just clip art that I am going to print on a sticker page so we can cut them out and stick them to the calendar as we plan things (usually a few days ahead).  We also made a big list of places we can go, things we can do at home on rainy days, and things we can do at home on hot days.  My plan is to do one "field trip" per week that gets us out somewhere super fun (like the zoo) and one day a week that is free but out (like a picnic in a park across the city) and then the other 3 days a week we will either be at home hanging out or at my mom's visiting.  I didn't plan anything for weekends because we already have filled a lot of them up with weddings and other events, plus my husband will be home on weekends so he will want to be working on projects (like skirting the deck, replacing our poor dead tree in the front yard, etc.)

I am so excited about this summer!  My kids have always been in daycare all summer before because I have always worked, so this is going to be so much fun!!!

What are your favorite summer activities? 

I am also starting to think of fun lunches for the summer so we aren't eating Kraft Dinner all summer long, so any kid-friendly recipes you have would be great!  I know we will make soft pretzels at least a couple of times, grilled cheese, hot dogs, chicken wraps and lots of sandwiches!  They need to be quick and easy with minimal cooking so that I still feel like making dinner after the hubby gets home ;-)

Well, the baby is fussing.  I guess that is the end of this post.  Duty calls!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

1st Weekly Menu Planning Sunday Extravaganza!

Ever notice if you add "Extravaganza!" to the end of an activity it makes it sound more fun?  :)

I must get back into menu planning.  A:  It will make my life easier with a baby if I know what I have to do for dinner that night.  B:  It will save us money because I will know what I need for groceries that week and not be throwing out rotten vegetables by the end of the week.  C:  it will save us money because when someone asks me at 5pm "What's for supper?" my answer won't be "Oh shit, I forgot to take something out.  Do you want McDonald's or Pizza?" and D:  It will help me lose weight.  See C for why.  LOL.

So, when planning a menu for the week I think about a few things. 
  • What do I have in my freezer for protein?
    • Ground Beef
    • Steak (already marinated)
    • Pork Chops
    • Beef Roast
    • Shrimp
    • Hot dogs
  • What is the forecast for the week?
    • Monday:  Hot with possible thundershowers
    • Tuesday:  Nice and Sunny
    • Wednesday:  Mild with showers off and on
    • Thursday:  Same as Wednesday
    • Friday:  Showers
  • What nights do we have stuff going on?
    • Tuesday I have a late afternoon doctor's appt and my son has Karate.  Rush Night!!!  Friday is my Birthday.  I am NOT cooking.
So, tonight is the night before I go for groceries.  It's supposed to be mainly sunny and 21 degrees today.  Sounds like BBQ! 

Sunday:  BBQ pork chops, perogies, corn
Monday:  Hot dog bites, beans, fries
Tuesday:  Spaghetti, salad
Wednesday:  steak, roasted potatoes, asparagus
Thursday:  BLT's and home fries
Friday:  Either dinner out or pizza in
Saturday:  I am going out.  Jay and the kids will eat leftovers or I will make them grilled cheese before I leave
Sunday:  BBQ ribs for Father's day! (At my parents)

The best part about this menu is I only need the following groceries!
  • Bread
  • Tomato
  • Lettuce
  • asparagus
  • cheese
Happy Menu Planning!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Summer Boredom

My kids have exactly 13 days left of school (2.5 weeks).  We are currently coming up with a list of things we can do over the summer to keep from being bored.  I have told them that the words "I am bored" will result in a chore!  (That will get them outside quick!)  On the list are various indoor and outdoor activities as well as reasonably priced places we can go (picnics, spray parks, etc) for field trips.

This is my first summer off since in a billion years and I have never had school age kids off for the summer either, they have always been in daycare before now.  Any ideas you can offer would be great!!!

We also have two weddings to attend this summer and I have the kids booked in swimming lessons, so it`s already booking up fast! 

I am also looking for suggestions for quick, delicious summer meals!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Making Maternity Leave Work

In Canada, we are lucky enough to get paid by the government to stay home with our baby for maternity leave for a full year.  Unfortunately, that pay is only 55% of your salary.  This is really going to stretch us financially.  Here are some of the ways we are going to make it work!  Please share ideas for more!

  • Luckily my maternity leave coincides with my final payment on my car.  That will be $250 less per month I will have to pay to the bank!
  • No work = less gas driving back and forth
  • No work = less lunches out (though, this only adds up to like $10-15 per week)
  • Losing baby weight = eating less take out
  • Meal planning = eating less take out
  • Meal planning means throwing out less perishable food as well.
  • Being home also means I will have time to do more large cooking sessions.  This is where you can really stretch a dollar.  If I buy meat/produce in bigger quantities and cook several meals at once I can save money!
  • My husband has said he is going to cut back on his takeout coffee and drink the free stuff at work more.  That resolution only lasted a day last week but hopefully he gets on that track!
  • He is also going to talk to his boss' about possibly using his gas card for my gas once in awhile.  (His dad owns part of the company, so this might fly!)
  • We buy all diapers and wipes in big bulk packs to save more money.
  • We only buy store brand junk food from now on (ie chips)
  • I have put together a big list of free or cheap ideas to keep the kids busy over the summer so I am not spending money on things just to get them to leave me alone (ie movies and waterparks)
  • I am going to start couponing more!
  • Oh, the other thing I am going to do is that when I want fast food and then cook Kraft Dinner instead, I am going to put the money I would have spent on Fast Food into my savings account!  Then we can use that as our summer fun money!
Any ideas for saving more money or cheap/free things to do with 2 school age kids and a baby over the summer, please post in the comments!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Abigail's Birth Story

Before her birth I had been having contractions off and on for 9 days. Sigh...

Tuesday, April 26th, I went to bed around 11 and read until probably 11:30. Jay came to bed around 12:45 am. He woke me up just enough that I decided I was uncomfortable and rolled over. As I rolled over I felt a breeze (like that feeling when your arm is wet and you blow on it) on my butt. So I reached down and my underwear and the sheets were just soaked. I laid there processing the information for a minute then said "Umm Jay?" and he says "what?"

Me: "I think my water broke."

Him: "Yeah right". (LOL)

Me:"Do you want to feel over here and see how wet the bed is?"

Him:"No, that's ok. So what do we do?"

Me: I think we need to go to the hospital

Him: Should we wait until you get contractions?

Me: No we should go, once your water breaks there is a risk of infection

Him: Ok. At least my clothes are still warm.

Then he brought me a towel and I went to the bathroom and put on clean underwear and a pad and started packing my hospital bag. Then we had to wait for his mom to get there so that she could be there for the kids. So I loaded the dishwasher while we waited. :) We stopped at Tim Hortons to get Jay some coffee on the way and off we were! On the way to the hospital we talked about induction and what I wanted if I had to get an epidural (like getting it turned off or down for pushing) and just reminded him all the things I wanted and didn't want so they would be fresh in his mind.

We got to the hospital around 1:30 am and they got me right up to the assessment room. They actually waved me over to the admission desk in front of all the people in the ER, I was impressed! In assessment they hooked me up to a monitor and by that time I was starting to get some contractions. After about 20 minutes they checked me and I was only a fingertip dilated and my cervix was still very posterior. They decided to keep me and put me in my delivery room. Then they sent me off to hike the empty halls for a couple of hours. I was doing squats, stairs, etc, trying to get things moving. Around 3:30 they checked me again and I was 2 cm and very soft but still high and they couldn't feel the head. So off to hike again. At 4:30 there was still not much progress so they shut everything off and told me to take a nap because they were probably inducing me when the day shift came on. I couldn't sleep. Jay napped a bit. My mom managed to nap a bit. Then just after 7 the OB came and checked on me and I was about 3 cm so she gave the go ahead that we should start induction in the near future.

Then things got a bit scary! Abigail's heart rate started dropping during contractions and taking too long to recover. At one point the nurse hit a call button and yelled "I need help in here, D-cell" and this big swat team full of nurses came running in and they were slapping an oxygen mask on me and making me roll over and it was crazy and scary and all I could think was "breath, breath, I have to keep breathing." Her heart rate recovered and they decided to do an epidural and keep an eye on things. The epidural was so that if her heart rate decellerated again like that they could do an emergency C-section and I wouldn't have to be put out. So they put in the epidural and waited an hour to see how Abby's heart rate was doing then they started the pitocin drip really really slowly. Abby was handling the contractions perfectly by this time so they don't know if she was pinching the cord then or what... Around 10:00 am or so the doctor came to check my progress and I was only 3-4 cm, she dug deeper to see if she could feel the head yet and said "I think this baby is breech! Get me a scanner!" and a nurse ran to get a portable u/s machine and sure enough! Abigail was trying to come out butt first! No wonder my contractions weren't doing anything... her head wasn't being pushed down! LOL. So the doctor explains to me that we can continue with what we are doing and see if we can do a vaginal delivery but it would probably take awhile with the pitocin and due to Abby's heart rate dropping before she wouldn't recommend it or we could do a c-section. She did say that if I had come in with labor progressing and not having heart rate issues she would even encourage that we try a vaginal delivery since it was my 3rd baby. I told her I had absolutely zero desire to deliver a breech baby vaginally and they started prepping me for the c-section.

Once in the room they draped me and started the stronger epidural and got Jay in there. He held my hands and sat by my head and they got Abby out so fast!

At 11:55 am on Wednesday, April 27 Abigail Jennine was born! She weighed 5 lbs 13 oz I made Jay repeat it to me twice. I couldn't believe how tiny she was! She scored 9 on her apgars though so that was fantastic.  We are just so proud! 

She is now 5 weeks old and I am so in love with her and can hardly remember what life was like before her!

On a side note.  I am never going back to that OB!  I can't believe she didn't once check to see if I was breech, especially after I told her at 30 weeks I thought I was breech and she said there was lots of time for the baby to flip.  She never once palpitated my stomach to check for size or positioning.  I could have totally avoided a C-section if we had time to encourage her to flip.  Because of this, I no longer trust her and am transferring my care back to my family doctor for my 6 week check up and will be finding a new OB if I ever have another baby.  She was worth it though.  My new little princess makes me feel so content with life and watching my husband with her makes me fall in love with him all over again.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

She's here!

5 weeks ago we welcomed our new little princess into the world! 

Abigail Jennine
5 lbs 13 oz
Born April 27th at 11:55 am via C-section.  It's really hard to type with one arm covered in baby, so I am going to leave you with a picture and come back with my birth story later!