Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas Festivities!

I hate that I haven't gotten into a groove yet since being back to work. I can manage the shower, sleep, get up, go to work part just fine... and the come home, make dinner, eat, play with the kids, bath time, story time bed time part as well. But doing anything for myself? What's that? lol... in the couple of short hours I do have at the end of the day, my energy has just been so zapped that I cannot muster up enough to do more than watch a show. Maybe it was been to do with all of the hectic-ness that comes with Christmas time - thinking about plans, making plans, organizing gifts, shopping, wrapping... I guess that makes a lot of sense... December was a weird month to start work.

But it is worth it for Christmas. I love Christmas. Always have and always will. I will never understand the "bah-humbug" types whatsoever. I am sure it is hard if you do not have the means to give the gifts you want to give, or to get to the ones you love for the holiday though... I can imagine this time of year can be hard then. But you just can't shake the Christmas spirit in the air. Everywhere you go, everyone is bustling about. I just love it. I love the lights, the trees, the parties, the chance to dress up, the chance to dress down, the food , the laughs, the people. The kids! Watching a child as you get closer to Christmas is amazing. The wonder in their eyes, the magic in their heads. Anything is possible!

you can even turn a princess into a pirate...

We had an amazing Christmas - we spent the weekend before in London visiting our families down there -- Saturday was at Steve's mom's, and then my Dad's, and Sunday was at Steve's dad's. Our kids got so spoiled we honestly didn't think we would have been able to bring everything home! By the time we were done at Steve's dad's, we ditched our suitcase and squished all of our stuff into eco bags, every single toy had to be removed from it's box/packaging, and every inch of the trunk and available space between the car seats was taken up. It was un real. And Santa hadn't even been yet! 

Although I am a firm believer in Christmas being about giving to others and being with those you love, getting a new food processor, the books you wanted and killer new boots is pretty damn AWESOME!

Seeing my daughter's face when she opened her water baby made the day for me :) Santa listens baby girl :)

I hope everyone had as magical a Christmas as we did! Looking ahead to a new year full of possibilities!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Sunday Night

I am sitting here tonight watching the interfaith prayer service for the Connecticut tragedy. Everyone who knows me knows I am not religious, but I respect those who are. I am watching this and it is beautiful. Sometimes I wish I did believe in something. I think I would fear less, and find comfort in having a place to turn during rough and sad times. But, I don't. But faith sure is a beautiful thing. I imagine it is the only way someone can survive the loss of their child. How could you carry on? I am watching the slideshow of their beautiful and innocent faces and I am crying. They are all so perfect. I see my children in each and every one of them. I try to imagine what those families are going through. It must just be hell on earth. I cannot send my prayers, but I can send my love. I send them all of the love I can muster. I hope you all find the strength to carry on.

I love to hear Obama speak. He is right. We can't tolerate this anymore.

We need to make this world a better place for our children. They deserve to see this world as a magical place with endless opportunities. Sitting here, I don't know what we have to do. But I guess when we feel helpless we can start by loving. We need to love each other. We need to be tolerant of everyone's differences, and instill that into our children. We will never get rid of the bad people in the world, but we can do our best to keep love in our homes.

We have no way of knowing how much time we have with those we love the most. So let's spend it looking into each other's eyes and smiling. We need to tell each other constantly that we love them. There needs to be countless hugs and laughs straight from our guts. We need to respect and encourage each other. Always hope for the best for each other. We need to try and put aside differences, grudges and jealousies. I know that is not an easy task, or even a possible one, but we need to try to keep this in the back of our minds. Even if it only comes back to us once in a while, it is one more moment we are made to stop and appreciate each other.

We need to try and see the world with the innocence that the children do.

Remember them

Remember them. Remember their faces and their names. Ignore the psychopath who stole their lives and the innocence of their peers. He is a nobody who doesn't deserve the space in our thoughts. In ten years when someone says "remember that tragedy in Connecticut?" I want us all to be able to name these innocent children and teachers, and not their killer.

Remember THEM. Remember the heroes. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Something for my kids to find

So I have discovered that there are various journalling books out there - not like a plain book to write in each day, but pre-organized journals that ask you specific questions or focus on certain aspects of your life that force you to think outside the box when keeping tabs on yourself. I love the idea of journaling.. I ADORE the idea of journaling (that is why I try to blog as often as my life allows me to) but I don't find my day-to-day life to be particularly interesting.

I looked up the Q&A a Day journal on amazon when I first heard of it and I think it is awesome - the idea of it being a DAILY activity would make me hesitant because I know myself, but I would still love to give it a try. I also browsed through the related books and there are so many variations, it almost makes you want them all! I keep an wishlist going for Steve if he ever is looking for a birthday/Christmas gift for me - I save things that I might not think to mention to him (I get him to do the same thing too) - tonight he gave me an early Christmas gift (surprise, surprise; the captain of not being able to keep a present hidden :P) and it was this book:

MemoRANDOM Lists, Memories, Miscellany

I'm pretty stoked about it! The layout is super cool and it really is random like it says.. there's no date, there's no specific structure.. you can fill things in in the middle before you do at the front... it has very interesting ideas of what to write about/list - from what you ate today to who would you cast in a movie about your life - so neat. You can pick it up and write in it whenever you like. You can finish it this weekend or take 5 years to complete. It is up to you. Which is so perfect for me :P

A big reason why I wanted to journal was because I want something for my kids to look back on and learn about who I am now. My Papa wrote in his diary every single day for years. Nothing major; the weather and something he did that day; gardening, work, dinner out. It is so neat to look back on now that he has been gone for a long time. It has been 16 years since he died (whoa.) and it is nice to read through and have memories brought back.

So I want to fill this in, and I want my kids to find it one day. I might not officially give it to them, but who knows. I just want them to read it years from now and find out about who I was in my late twenties. I know I would think it was totally amazing to find a journal written by my mom from back then :)

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

"Who's in charge here?!"

Hello all!

 I have been slightly MIA this week because I am back at work now! Bye bye mat leave :( It was very very hard saying goodbye to you (and I am still not okay with it). But my first week back at work has been going pretty good. I am back at the same company I was with before, but as a branch manager, so I got promoted! Go me! I had a lot of negativity and resentment about losing out on a month of maternity leave, but I have decided to try and be more positive. I just didn't want to leave my babies! Can't afford daycare right now, but we found a woman doing home care who has a little guy that is the same age as Max. The kids like her and so far she seems like she will do a good job. They start there tomorrow. What they don't tell you about having kids is that this stuff is the hardest part! Yeah you lose a lot of sleep and there's a lot of poop and crying, but leaving them in the care of someone else? I'll take no sleep a hundred times over! It is so nerve wracking! I know everything will be all good, it is just getting into the swing.

So somebody put me in charge of this place! Yikes! haha - thankfully all of the day to day stuff came flooding back to me once I began working on Monday, so it has been a pretty easy transition. I have been slowly learning my new stuff (but due to unforeseen circumstances my boss hasn't been able to spend much time training me) - Steve has actually been in my branch helping me out (he is the branch manager of the other location) so that has been pretty interesting :P 

All in all I am alright with getting back to life and getting out of the house, earning the "big" bucks :P

Only problem I did not expect is the serious lack of work clothes that I have left... looks like I know what I will be spending any Christmas money on!

Saturday, December 01, 2012

High Five for Friday! (what a week!)

Well I have had a week. I had all of these blog ideas coming to me this weekend (and I think most of them are sticking around in there lol so hopefully I can spew them out before they go away!) but life just got in the way!

My little guy came down with a nasty cough last Friday/Saturday, and it just kept getting worse. I assumed it was a cold and that he would wake up the next day with it loosening up, but it never did. It just got stronger and deeper. I started getting really concerned on Tuesday. We were in London visiting and that morning it seemed like he was doing better, but through the day the cough was relentless. So frequent and often resulting in bringing up mucus. Once we got home that night, I fed him and he fell asleep. I started packing up for the hospital having decided to take off once he woke up (assuming it would be any moment). I was convinced at that point that it was bronchitis or some other chest infection. Well he never woke up (which is something he never does lol) so he clearly needed the rest, and I brought him to emergency the next morning. We were there for over 8 hours! His oxygen levels were low so they put him on the mask with liquid ventolin (which was something he just loved lol) - but it wasn't clearing him up like they would like. The Dr. decided last minute to do a chest x-ray (ugh) and she said that she saw a little "fluffyness" so she wanted to treat it like pneumonia! Which is something I really wanted to hear, especially with Hannah starting to cough at home. The next day they sent me to the hospital in Oakville for a pediatric clinic to follow up. The Dr. there further examined his x-ray (far more thoroughally than the ER doc) and said he wouldn't call it pneumonia (yay!) - but he did find that Max was displaying signs that he was at risk of developing asthma (as life-long chronic asthmatic, my kids getting it was one of my biggest fears). It seems like he will be one of those kids that will need some extra help when he gets sick, and could potentially develop asthma from it. But it could also clear up by around age 6. So we will just have to see what happens! At least I am the mom for the job! I am quite the asthma pro (and so is my mom!). All I care about is today he was finally acting more like his old self.

But anyways, it's Friday and I do not want the day to end without linking up with Lauren for "High Five for Friday" - even though it was a rough week with Max having all of his problems, and now Hannah catching it, there is ALWAYS positives :)


1. Girls night! As I mentioned on Monday, I got out of the house without kids in tow for the first time in ten months :P It was refreshing and a blast :)

2. We (the kids and I.. Steve had to work) hit up London town for some visits on Tuesday. Got to meet my lovely Stephie's new princess Sydney. What a little doll she is! And we got to spend some time at my dad's with him, my step mom, my sister, her kids and Steph and Syd. It was loads of fun (except for Max's increasingly worse cough) 

3. So I am officially starting work on Monday. I met with the regional manager this week and she wants me to take over a branch. So we rushed and scored ourselves a babysitter. While I am not too happy to be going back to work and ending my mat leave early, and having someone else hang out with my preciouses all day and not me, I know it is a positive thing. to find my work clothes...

4. Did some Christmas shopping online this weekend. I discovered that I enjoy online shopping because then all of the packages arrive it is like mini Christmas for me :P (do you think the blur tool helped? ;) lol)

5. Lastly, the HIGHEST 5 is that my little boy is on the mend, and even though his sister is sick, she was already showing signs of improvement tonight before bed. I am so thankful to have a couple of healthy and happy little ones. And while it is one of my fears come to life that Max is now at risk for asthma, I am thankful that I have so much knowledge on it and I live in a country where healthcare is free and easy to come by :)

We should all take a cue from these guys and learn to smile even if we are sickies :)

Thanks for stopping by today :) Let's hope next week is a good week.... 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

This weekend I

"Happy" Monday! Thought I would sneak a quick post in before I go to bed (it is technically Tuesday right now, but since I haven't gone to bed yet, it is Monday to me)

I thought I would link up with Syndal again for her "This weekend I" party


This weekend was alright - I did some great Christmas shopping online on Black Friday (which has only recently become a "thing" here in Canada since our Thanksgiving was a month and a half ago.... I think our retailers are hella-smart for starting BF sales... keeps us shopping here!) - I spent less than $200 and I got 7 people finished, plus a few things for my kids. I'm even more impressed now that I did the math! :)

I won't show the items I got as gifts because I think certain people may read this, but I WILL share a shirt I scored for Max - I was originally browsing for my nephews and I saw this.. I LOVE navy and stripes! I couldn't resist, I had to add it to the cart! (and at $5, I couldn't NOT do it)

Saturday night I got to go out with my girlfriends :) It was the first time I went out without Max in tow since he was born (in January!) and before that I was pregnant, so going out wasn't as thrilling. It was so great! We didn't do anything wild, just went to Boston Pizza for some drinks and apps and catching up :) Two of these girls I have known since 9th grade, and the other since senior kindergarten! It really refreshed me so have some time for myself and to get some good laughs out! Steve however didn't have the best first night alone with Max, but he was developing a nasty cold we have discovered, so can't blame the little guy!

Somehow I managed to only get one shot that night, and it was a funny looking bathroom mirror pic haha, but oh well, love that girl! 

And then Sunday was just low key... caring for my sick little man
Only babies are this happy to be sick :) 

Hopefully he is starting to get better tomorrow - I am hoping to make the treck to London for some visits before I go back to work :)

How was your weekend?

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Ten Months

So my little baby boy is ten months old today. Ten! I know the gushing usually happens on the first birthday (and it will!) but I am just sitting here blown away by this! Ten seems like such a bigger number than nine. Double digits! This year is just flying by, I don't understand it at all.

This is me about a year ago. I was a mommy to one, getting excited to be a mommy to two. I had no idea what a ride it would be! :)

Now all of a sudden I have this giant, 90th percentile (+) in everything, 25lb baby boy who is thriving and making us laugh and smile each day. I love you little boy. Can't wait to see what you have in store for us :)

Friday, November 23, 2012

High Five for Friday!

That was quick! For a week with absolutely nothing going on, it sure went by nicely! It was a little hard picking out the five notable things today, but there is always something :) No Thanksgiving this week here in Canada! We had ours over a month ago :P But I am always a little jealous because I enjoy a nice turkey dinner :) Maybe we will have to have one one day soon, just because!

 I have some fun things to look forward to this weekend/upcoming week so I am actually already looking forward to next week's H54F post :)

Linking up with Lauren as usual! Check her out and link up too!


#1 - Christmas fun! Put up the tree and got to watch the Santa Claus parade with the kids! Our shopping is nearly complete which is a nice relief... But I have found an unexpected problem with shopping early.... We seem to just buy more things. Not good on our bank account! (But it's going to be one hell of a Christmas!) We also did Hannah's Magic Santa video! We did one last year too and she watched it over and over! No different this year! She HAS to have watched it 50 times by now! (If you have never been there, it allows you to create a video message from Santa for a child or any loved one :) )

#2 - Max is a superstar. I don't know why I was so worried! He started taking a bottle like a pro in no time! To celebrate, I am going out on Saturday for the FIRST time (without him in tow) since he has been born! Steve's going to hang out here and tend to his many wakings (which are improving - my little champion!), and I am going to spend some quality time with girlfriends and a beer!

#3 - Old photos! My mom and I went on a little kick of looking through photos of our first few years as kiddies this week (while the dishes remained piled up... we were procrastinating huuge) - I kept texting pictures to my brother and making fun of him - like this one "Look how much Mom cared about you!!" (haha as he sleeps alone on the couch with Mom's back to him :P )
Yes, I am the creepy child in the front corner haha
#4 - Some mid-week family time. Steve had to close at work on Thursday - while it sucks because I like having him home in the evenings, it was neat hanging around in the morning in our jammies :)

#5 - Enjoying what might be the last beautiful day of the year! +13º Thursday. It so was nice to get outside and let Hannah run around with her friend Zachary while Mom and I raked and bagged leaves that BADLY needed to be done! Nothing perks you up like a beautiful day!

It's always nice looking back on the week and picking out the great moments :) 

While I have you here, I need some creative ideas..

I have a couple of these formula canisters (the lids pop open but don't come off - like on a hinge) - they are pretty sturdy and I would like to re-purpose them somehow but I am at a bit of a loss creatively... so any suggestions are welcome!

Have a great weekend! :)

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Chicken and Spinach Casserole

Hello! So it has been a while since I shared a recipe with you guys, so I thought I would document Tuesday night's dinner!

I mentioned this recipe on one of my High 5 for Friday posts, and I did share the pin I got the recipe from, but I always have my changes and I would like to share it with you.

This is the latest recipe to make it into my regular rotation. I try lots of different recipes (usually from good ole Pinterest, I use that place like a cook book) and even though they are usually pretty tasty, for whatever reason (be it the amount of time it takes, expensive ingredients, ingredients I don't generally buy) I don't make them more than once or twice. But this one made the cut. Simple to put together, no ingredients that I don't often pick up anyways, and spinach! I love spinach and everything it stands for! :P And this is a great way to get my daughter to eat the stuff (since it doesn't look like 'leaves')

This blog is where my original pin takes you for the recipe. If made exactly like this, it is amazing. The first time I made it I followed exactly (except for the pasta, I used penne) and it was delicious. But I always make my little changes.

You Need!

8 oz Penne (I think any shape pasta would do, except for 'noodley' ones like linguini)
1 tbsp Olive Oil
1 cup Chopped Onions
3 cloves crushed garlic
1 package Frozen Spinach (thawed)
3 cups cubed chicken breasts (I just take two regular size breasts, I don't really measure in cups)
1 8oz container of Chive and Onion cream cheese
1 can of italian-style diced tomatoes (I like the 'herbs and garlic' kind for some flavour)
Pinches of Salt and Pepper to taste
1/2 cup of shredded Mozzarella cheese (I don't often buy mozzarella cheese unless there is a good sale, so I have also used marble with this recipe and it works fiiine just fine)

Preheat oven to 375º
1. Brown your chicken in a frying pan, and throw into your casserole dish.
2. In same pan add your olive oil and cook your onions until soft and becoming transparent. While you are doing this, cook your pasta in boiling water until al dente.
3. Add your garlic and cook with the onions for about 3 minutes, add to your chicken.
4. Stir in your cream cheese, tomatoes, spinach and salt and pepper to your dish.
5. Drain your pasta and stir in to ensure everything is incorporated.
6. Spread your cheese over top of your mixture.
7. Pop in your oven and cook about 30 minutes. Your cheese should be melted and turning golden. To brown your cheese further after the cook time, throw the broiler on for a couple of minutes (but keep an eye!)

Let sit for a few minutes and serve after drooling :)

It is one of those meals that you want to keep eating even though you are completely stuffed, just to keep tasting it. And OH EM GEE all of the spinach! :)

Hannah still fought me, but this guy liked it :P (Ignore the mess on his shirt, he hates wearing a bib and at some point it is just easier to stop fighting with him haha)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

More Crushes

I've been at it again... online window shopping. It is literally torture, but I can't stop!

So I thought I would share on here so it feels productive ;)

This gorgeous top from Addition Elle - I love the colour so much and I LOVE a shiny top :P I could justify the price if I had many holiday events, or a New Years party to go to, but I don't. So I will continue to drool.

Sequins! But again, nowhere to really wear it... I think I just love New Years eve so much, I am always planning an outfit for it :P

This hoodie for my princess! She loves Hello Kitty!

This necklace from Aldo Accessories! I like it because it is a bit of a statement necklace, but it isn't so big and bulky like a lot of the ones in style right now are. It would really help dress up my usual casual look.

I am most definitely in the market to colour my hair (case in point: grey roots are taking over!!). I normally like to go bright red, but I am leaning more towards a more muted brown-ish shade for the winter. I use Garnier when I want to go REALLY red, and it is awesome. I also tried and reviewed L'oreal Subline Mousse hair colour this year and loved it, but I felt that 2 boxes was pushing it for my hair. It has been growing and growing since then, so I think it would be more cost-effective to go for the Feria this time around as I used it the last time my hair was this long. What do you think of that shade? I like it a lot - it will be a little redder because I have such a red base, but it will be nice I think.

I fantasize of a home office often. I don't know why, I don't conduct business or anything. But if I had the space, I would be all over it! And I would want this desk!! It isn't too fancy, but I LOVE the cubby hole storage :) I think I would be torn between this dark wood and the white though. I would probably go for the dark due to my intense clumsiness.. I can picture coffee stains.

Okay, that feels better. Now I am not too depressed about not being able to run out and purchase all of these things that I covet! ... Oh wait... I still am... le sigh... ;)

Monday, November 19, 2012

This weekend I.....

Did that weekend fly by for anyone else? I guess they always do. I am not looking forward to going back to work - at least now, once the weekends are over I still get to stay home with my babies! To find the silver lining though, once I am working they will be a lot more valuable :)

I am also linking up with Syndal for her "This weekend I" link-up!

I have started redesigning my blog - like it? I found in my research that blogs of a lighter colour tend to be more appealing to readers, so I decided on an overhaul from my grey and yellow. Then, once the colour was gone, I hated the title header I had! So I got to work - I am liking it a lot! I am not finished all of my changes yet, but I am finished for tonight anyways.

So this weekend was very Christmassy! It was the Santa Claus Parade here in Brampton, and we decided to get into the Christmas spirit and put up the tree. I love everything about the Christmas season, so I love making it last as long as possible!

The kids loved the parade! Max bounced and danced through most of it - adorable! Hannah is still afraid of costumed people apparently. Unless it's a princess. Princesses are OK. It was perfect weather for it - which was a welcome change from the bad weather of parades past.

Look at the face in the middle there! Haha she was SO excited to give Santa her letter :)

That's me and my babies. The gangsta is Hannah ;)

Oh FYI I discovered Picasa - I love using Photoshop, but it is a bit of a lengthy process to get my photos ready for upload on this blog - I just want to fix up the colour and sometimes make collages, and it was getting to be a pain. (and as a former multimedia student, uploading photos that I haven't played around with won't happen often) - so I downloaded the Picasa software, it is free to use and very simple. And I love that it connects right to Google, so everything I do is readily available for my blog. I am not being asked by anyone to promote this software, I just think it is great and people who aren't proficient on Photoshop should check it out.

In light of my Christmas spirit, and my undying love for The Backstreet Boys, I leave you with this; their new Christmas song :)

Sunday, November 18, 2012

I exist!

I was just going to go up to bed and not post tonight because I wasn't feeling inspired, but if I decided not to post every time I didn't feel inspired to write, I would never write. I like blogging and sometimes I just need to start and a post will come from it.

I had an anonymous comment on one of my posts the other day suggesting that my blog would be a lot better if I included more photos. I don't know why the comment is gone now, but I always appreciate feedback. My first thought was "Hmm I try to always add a photo" but I thought that maybe they meant photos of me? I guess I will never know, but if that IS what they meant, it's true! I don't post many photos of me. I have been trying to be in more photos ever since I read this article (and I think every other mom out there read that article and thought the same thing), but I don't ever consider them worthy of posting on a public forum! The shots of me rarely make my facebook newsfeed, let alone my blog haha. I have been trying though, for my kids. I was hoping that new outlook in the subject would maybe encourage me to 'try' harder and be more photo ready through the day. But honestly, I am lucky if I can get a shower. I'm home with the two kids all day and there is so much more to spend this precious time on. (Plus, I am not one of those lucky girls who can 'wash & go' with their hair! My hair requires LOTS of attention before I can 'go' :P)

That being said, after I read that comment, and thought about it, I decided I should be more present in my online space. I used to plaster my photos all over my facebook. It's like I had kids and they became my face.  And it's funny, the few times I do decide to throw a photo of me as my profile picture I feel guilty! Isn't that strange? I have become that mom who bombards her news feed with photo after photo of her kids! (And I will continue to, I am proud of those little guys and I have lots and lots of family near and over seas that like to keep up with them - I have been vocal about how I won't stop and if you don't like it, delete me lol) But I still am Ashley, and I should be proud enough of that to show myself off, not just my kiddos.

So this weekend, knowing we were going to have a little family time, I put Steve in charge of the babes and I spent an extra few minutes to style my hair and threw some makeup on. I still took more pics of the kids than myself, but I got in some worth sharing :) I'll be doing another post about our weekend tomorrow, so there will be more to see then.

I am Ashley! I still get zits and I hate it. My hair is ridiculous. It is thick and long and frizzy and curly and unruly. I hate it most days. But when I can take the time to style it, I am so thankful for all of it! I am overweight but slowly improving. I am so constantly inspired to create; be it crafts, painting, writing, design... but I can never turn that inspiration into anything so it just stews. I am a mom and I love it. I love girls nights and date nights. I love Steve. I love my family, but only the ones who care. I miss my London family every day and I hate that I can't visit more often. I am 27 and I think I am still finding myself. And posting these photos makes me uncomfortable haha (my inner monologue; "now people are going to think I think i look good in these photos and that i am trying to show off" lol I need help) - I still love BSB and AJ... I think if I was single I would have his poster up in my room :P ... and Russel Brand....

Friday, November 16, 2012

High 5 for Friday!

Yay it is Friday again! Being on mat leave makes all of the days blend together, but I look forward to the weekend so I've got Steve home and I've got the extra hands! I am REALLY looking forward to taking the kids to the Santa Claus parade on Saturday :) The weather is supposed to be good and it should be a blast :)

This week wasn't much to brag about - lots of lost sleep - caused by the kids AND debating whether I should go back to work early or not. But there is always something positive to think about, which is why I like doing this High Five For Friday post - forces me to seek out what was great amid the crap (which is sometimes difficult to see)

High Five for Friday
Linking up once again with Lauren

#1 - This guy. Our kitty Martin. He spends all of his time outside, but since the weather has been cooler, he has been taking refuge in the house to sleep (what a concept!). He has tried various locations on our counters... and has enjoyed knocking things onto the floor in the night and breaking them/giving me heart attacks! We left the cup cupboard open and this is where he decided to snooze :P

#2 - Playing witches :) Hannah and I ran around the house with hats on and brooms between our legs cackling :P It was good ole fashioned 3 year old good times!

#3 - My brother found his old Cat in the Hat book so we have read it for a couple of nights now... she LOVES it.. we do story time every night but lately I haven't been holding her attention with our old stack. It has been nice having her hanging onto my every word again :P

#4 - I got my November Top Box on Wednesday! It is a really good one, and I am *hoping* to review it soon, whenever I am given the time to play around with everything.

#5 - These guys. Always. But in light of me potentially going back to work soon, I need to stop thinking of myself and how it will effect me, but I need to think of them and how much they will thrive being in a daycare setting. And how I might be a better mommy if I get to spend time being other things. Like Ashley.

*Additional #6*
Just want to single out Steve for a sec - He has been really supportive and understanding of my apprehensions about taking this job and has always let it be an option for me to turn it down. I am not going to, but knowing that if I concluded that I was TRULY not ready, I could have.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

So that's what stressed feels like

I have always prided myself in the fact that I tend to keep cool in stressful situations and don't let a whole lot get to me. I have almost endless patience and I take everything in stride. Well the last couple of days I sure have discovered that when it comes to my kids, I can stress out!

I have been trying to ignore it, but fact of the matter is, my maternity leave is coming to an end. I am so thankful to live in a country that allows us to take off a whole year to be with our babies. I cannot imagine pawning off my baby to a babysitter/daycare at 6 weeks old! How can your child bond with you if they spend all of their time with a stranger? It blows my mind. So thank-you Canada, for being awesome. Apparently a year can fly by just as quickly as 6 weeks can. Hannah's first year I felt was leisurely. It was amazing. I still cried every night in the weeks leading up to my return to work mind you haha, but it FELT like a year. Now Max is closing in on 10 months old and I have absolutely no idea where time went. None. How is it already November? 

How was this almost 10 months ago?

I have been feeling a little bit anxious about returning to work in the new year. I didn't know where I was going to be working because we have moved cities so I wouldn't be going back to my old workplace. I didn't know where the kids are going to go. How exactly can a family afford to have their kids in daycare? Honestly! It's so expensive! I was fortunate enough to qualify for daycare subsidy when Hannah was in last year, but I don't qualify for full coverage any more, and who knows how long I will be sitting on the waiting list for partial subsidization. So that is stress that I know is there, but I don't really allow it much place in my mind because it is so far away. (or so it seemed!)

Now I have the opportunity to take on a job with the same company I worked for before, only taking over my own branch as manager. The pay is significantly higher than it was as an associate. I can't exactly say no to a job that I already mostly know. The only kicker is that the position would be starting in probably early December. Aka 2 weeks. Aka I am so not emotionally ready. I have been preparing myself for January... I am so very thankful for the opportunity, and I am not going to turn it away, but I am sick. I have been slacking on the bottle training AND the sleep training. Will daycare be patient with him? Will they give him the cuddles he needs to try and fall asleep for his naps? Will they help him learn how to use his bottle if he hasn't mastered it? 

It will be a real good thing in the long run, and I know once a week goes by, and we are in the swing of things, it will be great. Hannah thrived in daycare. I want the same for Max. Due to his sleep problems and inability to take a bottle, I haven't been without him for more than a few hours at a time. He needs to get used to being apart from me. It will be healthy for all of us. I just need to think of the positives. It is hard though, when I love being home with them so much.

Anyways, I feel a bit better now that I have had this little chance to get my thoughts out in the open. I haven't really allowed myself to spend a lot of time thinking about it because I would just start stressing out and getting upset. Now that I have it all typed out, it doesn't seem so daunting. Life will continue business as usual. And the extra money in our pockets will get us that much closer to our down payment (I hope!)

I guess a better question would be how was this 3 1/2 years ago?!

I just have to remember that I got myself all worked up and made such a big deal about going back to work after my maternity leave with Hannah, and once I was there, I enjoyed the break and interacting with adults. Moms go back to work every day and I know it will all be ok :)

But for now I am going to make a big deal about it because that's how it feels to me :)

Monday, November 12, 2012

What a night

I have been making a concious effort to try and get a post out every day to get back into the swing of blogging. I almost didn't tonight, but I am trying to wind down, so I figured writing would help.

Max just refused to go to sleep tonight. He just cried and cried. He is a bad sleeper, but usually the issue is getting him to remain asleep for the whole night, not actually falling asleep. I finally got him to crash at almost 5 hours past his bedtime. I couldn't figure him out tonight (which is strange, I can usually tell). First I thought it was gas, then teething, but after I caved and tried remedying those things, he was still at it. I gave in and brought him downstairs a couple of times, and he was happy as a lark playing in his play yard. I think he was playing me. I don't know why he was fighting his exhaustion though, so not like him. - Oh and about 20 minutes after I got him to sleep he was up crying again! He is down again now... I can only hope for at least a few hours.

I am normally very patient, but this was how I was feeling tonight;

Go The F**k to Sleep :P

Sometimes he is lucky he is so darn cute :)

It's not always an easy job, but it's the best one.

The magic is coming!

As much as I enjoy Halloween, I am always counting the days until it is over because then it can officially be the Christmas Season :P

My family is not religious in any way shape or form, (I will take this opportunity to mention that while I don't believe in God, or follow any sort of religion, I still am respectful of those who do.) and I know that Christmas is a religious holiday, but we go all out! We put our non religious spin on it though. We use it as an opportunity to celebrate each other, and to spend time with those who are most important to us. It is about the magic of Santa Claus and the mystery of how he travels around the world in one night! It is about the excitement in my daughter's eyes when ANYTHING to do with Christmas is mentioned (last year was the first year that she 'got it' and her life was changed forever). It is a chance to recognize the good in the world rather than the bad. It is taking the time to do something special for the ones we love. I find so much joy in giving people the most perfect gift. I eagerly watch them open it and see their reactions. Especially if it was something they did not expect to get!

It is just pure and simple magic. As we grow older the magic tends to die a little (most of it leaves when the truth about Santa is revealed). I am so thrilled that it is back! The minute your child understands what is happening is the minute the magic returns. And it is incredible. Last year Hannah didn't really understand what was happening. She didn't know what I meant when I talked about Santa (or when she met him), she didn't REALLY comprehend the tree, and even setting out cookies and milk the night before, I could tell she was just doing what we were telling her to do. How would she be able to understand it? She was 2 1/2 and had no frame of reference. But Christmas morning changed it all. She was ecstatic opening her gifts, and she was making the connections as we read out when a gift was from Santa. She understood that the cookies were for him. She caught the magic. We bounced from house to house in our day's celebrating, and the excitement was in the air. She has literally spent the last year talking about Santa and Christmas.

So now when we talk about it, and mention the upcoming parade, and discussing where the tree will go, I can see the magic coming back.

Yesterday we had an amazing November day with temperatures hitting almost 18ºC, and the sun was shining. We decided to take advantage of the weather and get the lights up. Who knows when we will have another day so mild? (tomorrow is set to drop to 3º!) And on a weekend no less! We weren't planning on starting our decorating until next weekend (the weekend of the local parade) but who can pass up that weather? We are still waiting until next weekend to do the tree though.

So Hannah got to participate in the unravelling, testing and placement of the lights for the first time! (We never did outdoor lights at our townhomes before we moved here) I think she loved it - I wish I had a pic of the house once night fell, but that is my busy time of day :P I'll get one.

doesn't look much like Christmas, but it is sure starting to feel like it :)

Anyways, I'll always say Merry Christmas to everyone, because I want to! :) But this made me giggle :)

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Same Brains

I don't know if it is a symptom of being together every day for 4.5 years, or if we are just that couple, but a couple of years ago, I think our brains melted together. We both can tell what the other is thinking most of the time... like if I am about to leave the house and Steve goes "oh hey babe?" I say "large or extra large?" (because I know I need to get him a coffee lol) - we break out into song AT THE SAME TIME way too often to be normal and when we watch a movie, we both jump to the same conclusions about what is happening, at the same time. It's hilarious. Today we were at Giant Tiger (for non Canadians; I guess I would describe it as a very mini Wal Mart) - we were browsing the kids clothes to see if we could find anything cute for our kids or the kids in our lives for Christmas. He was browsing the boys stuff and I was in the girls... at the same time, we both rushed over to each other to show the other something. We both presented the SAME THING: a t-shirt that comes with a free mini skateboard. Mine was a girls one in Hannah's size and the other was for one of the boys in our lives (cannot go into details in case one of his parents reads this :P). Needless to say we bought them both.

Going on 5 years together... engaged for almost 4 lol - we have been through a lot in our years together, started our family early on - but we have been in it together since the start and we will keep going the same way!


Maybe one of these days I will be able to explode wedding all over this blog haha.. I literally cannot wait until we can plan it :)

Things I am crushing on..

Most of the shopping that I do is online window shopping. I think I must like to torture myself or something. I browse my favourite websites, load up my shopping cart, see the total, cry and then eat my feelings (lol). But this is what I do! So I decided to share some of my current faves with you guys. (Christmas is just around the corner! ;) wink wink nudge nudge)

This cover for my Galaxy! Found on
It actually is fairly reasonable and I might buy it when we get paid. It has taken me a while to find a cover for my phone that I actually like (seriously there are way too many iPhone covers out there, and not enough for my little Galaxy!)

Addition Elle has begun carrying shoes/boots, which is actually great news for me. I have thick calves and wide feet, and I have a heck of a time getting myself into cute boots in a regular shoe store. These boots are designed for women like me! At $169 it is probably a regular price, but too rich for my broke butt ;) (9w just in case anyone wondered :P)

The 15 piece eyeshadow palette from MAC. I was browsing their website last night and made my dream palette (the image above is not my dream palette). I added it to my shopping cart and was furious that they didn't ship to Canada (because I have $200 to spend on eyeshadow ;) haha) 

I saw someone else talk about this book during my random internet travels, and I looked it up on amazon and it seems super interesting. It is a journal, and each day the book gets you to answer a random question (ex; 'What do you have to lose?' 'Today was delightful because _'). Then, the next year you start over again, and answer the same questions over again, and you repeat for 5 years. If I could seriously keep up with it, I think it would be such a cool keepsake, and it would be really neat for my kids to read through when they are older. To paint a picture of the person I am now, when they might not remember as they grow. Also lead me to want thisthis, and this which are all similar in style. 

This red to blonde ombre hair that I came across on Pinterest - I even spoke to my hair stylist about how much it would cost to get this done! It would be a nice way to spice up my usual all over red. My hair is about the same length as this model, so I can really see how it might look. Now to sell all of my earthly possessions to afford it :P

Okay I am sufficiently depressed again :P But we always have our lotto tickets :) Every draw night Steve and I discuss how we will spend the money, as though we are certain it will be ours in the morning :P We are dreamers!