Monday, December 21, 2009

Virtually a Christmas Card

2009 - the family

May the joy of the season surround you,

Merry Christmas, with love

From my family to yours

Monday, December 14, 2009

Monday Randoms

Things have been quiet around here lately. For many reasons really, but mostly I have been uninspired and we've been busy. The stomach flu has hit all but me in our house, I am bracing myself because if Jay gets it, the guy who rarely gets sick, I am so doomed. I've been quite productive over the last few days given the threat of being horizontal for 12 - 36 hours in the near future.

As you will notice, the Christmas baking* is done. The pictures are as random as I foresee this post being.

Nanaimo Bar

Nanaimo bar

The Christmas shopping is finished. Mostly. It's getting harder as the boys get older, do you know how many different type of Power Rangers there are? Making sure I got just the right one gave me a headache, that's how many.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls

Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls

Jack had his very first piano recital yesterday and got to play on a baby grand. He was a bit intimidated but played his piece, from memory, the best he's ever played it. Clearly he does not get this from his mother, who cracks under the spotlight and pressure equally well. Oh and did I mention he barely slept the night before and was incredibly overtired? Someone please explain to me why 8 year olds need to have sleepovers? Why yes, I am the Grinch's long lost cousin, why do you ask?



I think part of the reason I have been uninspired for post is twofold. Firstly, the boys are older, there are fewer stories that I free comfortable sharing on the public domain that is the Internet. And secondly, I think I might be losing my oomph for this here blogging thing. I have felt a shift in the ambiance of the blogosphere and thought it was just me but friends, who are also bloggers, have felt a similar shift. I won't be quitting, because those books I had printed of my posts are wonderful to go back through. I am pretty sure Twitter is going to go though. I don't really use it, but I sure do waste time on there reading other's tweets. I am fairly certain there are other, better uses of my time. Now if I could just figure out how to implode my Twitter account. How hard could it be?

Eatmore Bars

Eatmore Bars - they really do taste almost identical to the chocolate bar we have here in Canada

Not hard, so I found out. Twitter account deleted. I kind of feel good about that though there are people that I only communicate with on Twitter. It's all about priorities.


Scuffles - the only non-chocolate treat I make

I haven't been running in the last couple of weeks because this place I live in, you know, the quasi Arctic, well it's up to it's old tricks. It's colder than you can imagine out there so running is out of the question. I miss it but I don't. It's weird.

Mars Bars

Mars Bars - made with the chocolate bar

Well if you read this riveting post, you deserve a care package of treats! Maybe Santa will bring me some inspiration for the New Year since this is likely the second to last post of 2009. What's the last one, well that cliffhanger (don't worry I am not that delusional) will keep you coming back, right?

* recipes can be emailed if you are interested

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Snow for Christmas

Snowy Lights

The snow did wonders for getting me pumped up and into the Christmas spirit! I have already done some baking and you already know that our house is decorated or decked with boughs of snowmen.

Today, I am over at Canada Moms Blog romanticizing snow and it's role in a Canadian Christmas, at least one here on the Prairies. I am curious, how about those of you who reside where there is no snow? Does snow and Christmas go together for you?

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Snomen, Snowmen, Snowmen

Snowy Lights

Welcome to our home. If you arrive at night, you will see the evergreens aglow under the white fluffy snow that fell just moments after we got the lights on the trees.


C'mon in and see our collection of snowmen. We love us some snowmen 'round here.

Snowman collection

The latest addition, a steal at $2.99. Everyone needs a holiday spoon rest, don't you think?

Snowman collection

On the ready of holiday treats. They are in the works, sorry, you will have to come back again soon to sample.

Snowman collection

One of my favourites, I love the contrast of the red against the blue kitchen wall.

Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell rock

This guy will serenade you with Jingle Bell Rock. He dances too. It's good 'cause I don't.

Snowman calendar

Countdown to Christmas. Sorry no treats, it's just for the fun of it.

One of the first - bought in Vegas

The one from Vegas. The best souvenir I ever bought.

Snowman collection

It's dark downstairs, but there are more down there. Some of the cutest ones.

Snowman collection

The one on the right is from the Dollar store. We adopt all kinds.

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you enjoyed my narrcissistic way of sharing the bazillions of photos I took today practicing my manual settings. Today was shutter speed. The higher the second number the faster the speed and the less light it lets in. Lower means more light and slower speed. Baby steps.

May the joy of the season surround you!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Family Plus One

We have a new family member. But it's of the four legged kind and technically she's not ours, per se. It's kind of like having grandchildren, we get to play with her and love on her but we have zero responsibility for her poop. It's win win if you ask me.

Meet my parents' new puppy, Mika (meekA).


She's approximately two months old and already weighs in at 26 lbs. She will not be a small dog. She was pretty shy when we first arrived having only been with my Mom and Dad for a day. But by the end of the weekend she was getting pretty comfy.


She is sweet as pudding and we look forward to loving on her for years to come (minus the poop clean up, did I mention that?).

And because we rarely corral all 10 of us in one spot, we finally took a family photo! There was a telephone pole strategically placed that has since been removed and the lighting and me were not getting along but, we are all in one photo together and all smiling (sort of) so I say HUZZAH.

My family

If any of you who have photography skills out there have any advice on how to edit this photo so the sky is not so glaring white, please I would really appreciate any advice.

P.S. Thank you to each of you who took the time to comment on my last post. I am always scared when I lay out my deepest thoughts on here, not that it stops me, mind you. For the most part, the comments were food for thought, so thank you so very much.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Oil and Vinegar

"This is my simple religion.
There is no need for temples;
no need for complicated philosophy.
Our own brain, our own heart
is our temple;
the philosophy is kindness."
-The Dalai Lama

This spoke to me. Deeply. Mostly because lately I have been feeling like I am oil and organized religion is vinegar. I am stuck, dense and viscious at the bottom of the jar very much liking the separation.

Sometimes I think we make everything harder for ourselves. We feel the need to dig deeper, get more philisophical, find more fault in ourselves. I wonder if this is the way it's supposed to be. I am always one to question what others are doing. I don't know why because I am not a leader. Nor am I a follower. For the most part, I try very hard to avoid that which everyone else is obsessed with. Take Twilight for example. The whole female population of North America, save a few, is voraciously devouring every word of this series and then running out and seeing the movies as soon as they come out. Me? Not so much. And don't get me wrong, religion and faith are in no way comparable to this example other than my reaction to it.

My own observations have led me to the conclusion that organized religion creates more stress and complication and in the end I question whether it gets any closer to being the kind of people God wants us to be. Sometimes, it appears to me that all the rules and regulations imposed by these "faiths" creates more judgment than anything else. I don't think that is the intention but as humans, we are flawed and judgement is one of those inherent flaws. Why add fuel to that fire?

Someone once said to me, "Kindness is my religion." The irony is how that friendship ended but that's the thing, you may not remain friends but you learn something from each and every person you have a relationship with.

So right now my focus is on improving me. Being a kinder person to my family and friends. Stregthening the relationships. Forging new ones. Reaching out no matter that I may get hurt.

Because each person I encounter, is an encounter with God. And I honestly believe that God doesn't care what religion, faith or denomination you are, He only cares about the kind of person you are.

These are my beliefs. Please respect them as I respect yours.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Nothing much to write about these days it seems. There is tons swirling around in my head but nothing concrete that I can ever formulate into more than a couple random sentences. Instead, let's go random with the photos I took today as I was practicing indoors, without the flash.

The keyboard

I have been breaking my strict no Christmas before December 1st rule.

(If we started anything Christmas before then I would want absolutely nothing to do with it by about December 15. Call me mean but I think it's actually less mean than me throwing the Christmas tree to the curb mid December.)

Jack is taking keyboard lessons and I vowed (somewhere, I can't find it now) to re-learn how to play as he did. And I have been but it's mostly by playing Christmas carols that have been arranged so that you only need about 10 notes to play them. I also like to sing along. My kids run away covering their ears and screaming. I think they are trying to tell me something but I just haven't quite figured out what yet.

More bling

Today, I was on a mission. I wanted a nice simple sweater dress for a few upcoming events. I found one for a steal of a deal, $30 to be specific. Of course, it needed a nice bright festive necklace to go with it.

Hanging directly below that necklace was this one. You know how sometimes you see something and it draws you in, such that you just can't look away. Yes, I am that shallow. This necklace did that. They were two for one, how I could pass it up? Jay is muttering something under his breath about Shopaholics Anonymous. I think work must be stressing him out or something, poor guy.

Couldn't resist

And because the boys both had really good report cards, I picked up a Christmas blanket for each of them just because. They immediately set up Teddy Bear picnic central in the living room. This is the stuff that just makes being a parent so worthwhile. It's the stuff of fabulous memories.

Cute X Two

It's Thankgiving for my neighbors to the South this week, so from my family to yours, may you have a blessed, joyful and delicious (because it's 75% about the food, isn't it?) Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Parenting. It's Harder than I Thought

There is a part of parenting that is rarely spoken about. I certainly refrain from writing about it here for the most part. But as time goes by, I realize that I must speak about it. It's just the honest truth and it shouldn't be anything to be ashamed about. It just is. So here I go.

I have two sons.

Me boys

They are, for the most part, polar opposites and have been since birth. Dare I say even before birth.

One was breech. The other was not.
One is easy going. One is not.
One is ready to try new things. The other is not.
One challenges my parenting skills daily. The other does not.
One is set in his ways, much like a crotchety old man (Hell hath no fury like this son when his routine is upset). The other is not.

Does this make one easier to love than the other?
Absolutely not. I can't help but love each of them for their good qualities. The good qualities that I have spoken about here ad nauseum. But it is all easy peasy lemon squeezy (as these boys of mine like to say)?

That would be HELL to the no.

You see, one of my sons is more like me than I care to admit. The mere suggestion of anything from me brings full on revolt. Anarchy even. We joke to each other that homeschooling would result in me having no hair and him leaving home by age nine.

I think we clash because we are too alike.

(Here's the part where my parents nod their heads vigorously and laugh with vengeance that I now know what they once dealt with. I, personally, think they are crazy.)

It's not just the we clash or disagree. It's that it brings out the worst in both of us. There is back talking and down right debauchery on his part which brings out my temper and how dare you talk to me like that, I got cut open to give you life on mine.

I am not proud to admit it, but I may have uttered the phrase, "I brought you into this world, I can take you out."

On more than one occasion.

This is not abnormal. I know it's not. It just can't be. No, not all kids are like this, obviously because my other son is not. He watches and has figured out it's not really the ideal. He tries a different, equally frustrating approach. We like to call it the whine approach.

Either way, this parenting gig, 'tis hard. And we haven't even, God help us all, hit the teen years. I am already planning how we will survive and I am pretty sure it's going to take copious amounts of vodka.

It's so easy to watch others parent before you have kids and think, I will never be like that. I will be patient and understanding with my kids. HA. The problem is that once you have your own kids, you can see the attitude coming from a mile away and you don't want to wait until it gets here,you want to squash it like a bug before it even sees you coming. This is where patience flies out the proverbial window and ushers in anger and frustration.

Does this work? Hell no. Does it stop me from doing it? That would also be a hell no.

(Side note: the number of times I have used hell so far: 5)

I don't think it's a coincidence that my first grey hair peeked it's way out shortly after birthing (or in my case laying on a table while the doctor cut him out) my first son.

Would I change it for the world?


Hell (#6) no.

But maybe we could do with a little less attitude and back talking? You know, if I was wishing on a star or something.

Oh and one more for good measure: Hell (#7).

PS if you cannot in any way shape or form relate to this, I am going to guess one of two things, 1) you are not yet a parent, or 2) you are extremely lucky and should get on your knees right now and thank the Good Lord up in Heaven above or fate, whatever your beliefs might be.

Just sayin'.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Naturopathic Dropout

Remember my elimination diet? Remember how I was all about better eating for better health?

Yeah. So.

That went well. Did you detect the sarcasm?

Turns out, as a wise elementary schoolmate pointed out, a Saskatchewan girl giving up wheat is like an Albertan giving up driving an SUV and a British Colombian giving up pot. And yes, this very comment on FB made me laugh. Out loud. The acrid aroma will get you every time you stroll the streets of downtown Vancouver. It's so punny 'cause it's true.

Anyway, back to me. Everyone together now, 1, 2, 3 all about me. Me and wheat. Together we are better. Wheat completes me. You had me at flour.

Okay, okay enough with the bad movie lines. The point is, when I last wrote about this I was craving some bread fierce. That craving got stronger and I got weaker, more tired and even more grumpy.

I contacted the naturopath. The one I like to call Shirley. Her name is as opposite to Shirley as you can get but you know, calling her Shirley makes me giggle (see above 1,2, 3 it's all about me). She told me that restricting my diet to that extent could cause my adrenals or my thyroid, I forget which, to under perform.


Genius. I went to prevent such an occurrence and here we are doing things to ENCOURAGE it?

Also, funny how the issues I told her about are the ones that came out of the "assessment and diagnosis"?

Hmmm. A bit like going to the psychic sporting your wedding rings and she tells you that you are married.

So here's the thing. I went in with an open mind and the velcro hooked up to the blinking lights pretty much shot that out of the water.

What did I learn?

I am lactose intolerant and minimizing my sugar intake is a good thing.
I spent $250 to gain information I already knew.

(insert profanity here)

The good news? Because there is always silver lining. I think. Most of the time. Is that now that I am not restricting my diet, I feel great. Flip flapping fantastic.

It's all relative. And, apparently, expensive for idiots. Live and learn.


Saturday, November 07, 2009

Traditions, The Stuff of Memories

Today, I am over at Canada Moms Blog talking about holiday traditions. And in a way, thanking my Mom for all the hard work she has always put into the holidays. It only took me thirty five and half years, better late than never, right Mom?

And yes, I am already dreaming of Nanaimo Bar, in fact I am counting the days until that first delectible bit. It's all about the chocolate for me.

What is the one favourite holiday tradition you and your family have?


Thursday, November 05, 2009

Why I "Gave Up" My Career

Some of you likely know that by trade, I am a Chartered Accountant or CA for short. I was recently asked by another CA why I worked so hard to obtain my CA designation (16 hour exam over four days!) if I knew I was going to "give it all up" to have kids. This CA is a mother, but also a partner at a large accounting firm. She and I are not only not on the same page, we are not even in the same book. To clarify, both are legitimate books, neither one better or more valid than the other, simply different.

I stumbled over my response. It's complicated. It's not as simple as "giving up my career". For one, I haven't given up my profession. I still work as a CA, just not in the same capacity as she does. I was not offended by this question, though you might expect I would be. Because, when it comes down to it, in a sense, I have given up, temporarily and maybe permanently, a "career" as a CA.

I know of this career. I had begun this career before we had children. Barely, granted, since I got pregnant with Jack the week after the above mentioned 16 hour exam. We don't waste time. Such a career requires hard work and long hours. It requires climbing the corporate ladder. It requires assuming more and more responsibility. Not like any other career, I imagine.

In essence, it requires everything that I am not. I am not, by nature, a corporate ladder climber. That whole genre does not fulfill me even a little bit. I admire people who are fulfilled by this but I am not one of them. I think, and I am only speculating, that some are driven by the lure of making more and more money to buy more and more stuff. Maybe this is because I can't understand the alternative. That someone would be excited and energized to move up the corporate ladder. I don't know. What I do know is that neither of these things drive or motivate me.

When Jack was 18 months old, I went back to work. I had quit my job before he was a year old because I just couldn't fathom leaving him for 40 plus hours a week with someone else. Again, this is how I felt. I don't judge others who do leave their kids to work. It's a personal choice and ofter not a choice at all, but a necessity. For Jay and I, it didn't feel right. I also know that I am extremely lucky that Jay and I share these same beliefs and values and that we have this option.

However, after spending the next six months with little or no social contact (I had not yet discovered the internet, obviously), I needed to go back. It had nothing to do with wanting to further my career. It was simply a survival decision.

Jack loathed daycare. I loathed leaving him there. I didn't enjoy my work. I enjoyed the social aspect yes, but that was about it. I only worked three days a week. Frankly, in hindsight, it was three days too many. This arrangement lasted 18 months until my maternity leave began for Kamden. I never went back.

While on leave, the work I do now was mentioned as a possibility by another mom. I am indebted to her for the idea and for pushing me to try it. I have never looked back. I now teach online courses (among other things) to students who are working towards becoming CAs. I am still in the profession. In a way, I am giving back to the profession far more than I ever would have working in industry or public practice. But the biggest perk, the one that motivated me to try this in the first place, is that I am the one with our boys. I wake up with them every morning, feed them breakfast and send them off to school. Minus the "hurry up, Mommy is going to be late for work" rants. I am here when they come home for lunch. I am here when they come home from school. I was the one who dropped them off and picked them up from preschool.

I was here. I am still here.

And for that reason, I don't feel like I have given anything up at all.

Me boys

Rather, that I have accumulated a lifetime's supply of riches.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Pride for my boy

Jack recently had an assignment at school the required him to list his likes and dislikes. I found my heart swelling with pride and also laughing out loud a little. Random Halloween photos are mixed in, just for fun, but in case you were looking for relevance to the post, go no further. There isn't any.


Here's a sample:

Eight things he really likes are:

- playing with my brother (yes, that got an out loud awwwwww)
- having my friend over
- going over to my friend's house
- Bon Jovi music (he's got good taste, no?)
- movie night (Friday nights are movie night at our house)

First of all, I want to just give a shout out that none of his favourite "things" are objects or toys or other possessions. Instead they are doing things with people he cares about. And playing with his brother is #1? Well if my heart didn't about break with pride upon reading that.


Now for the dislikes, don't worry it's short:

- Jazz music (seriously, he's 8, does he even know what Jazz music is? *insert laugh out loud here*)
- winter (hmm, I think I get where the Jazz music dislike is coming from...perhaps maybe, just maybe he's heard me disclose my dislike for it but winter, never. I love winter. *insert evil laugh here*)


Or evil Dr. Jay performing Jack-O-Lantern's lobotamy.

He's quite the kid, our Jack (not to be confused with Jack-O-Lantern, he is definitely not our kid), and we wouldn't have it any other way.


Thursday, October 29, 2009

My hair and my camera, what a combo

Way back in August, I posted about how I wanted to do something drastic to my hair. It was not on my good side. The concencus was to but it a bit shorter but keep the same general style. You all confirmed my gut insticts and kept that voice inside that was screaming, "Shave it off!" to a dull roar.

I did exactly that and I HATED it. The bangs and the length were nothing but wrong. That voice mentioned above took it up seven octaves. I had the razor poised. Then, in last ditch effort to keep my husband and kids happy - they all love my long hair, cut from the same cloth they all are- I attempted an intervention on my bangs using a technique I saw somewhere that has since disappeared into the deep vortex that is the internet.

It was fabulous and I so wish I could find it. My hair stylist laughed her butt off after her complimenting me on my bangs, her admitting she did not cut them like that, and me telling her I used a tutorial on the internet to do it. She was all, "They show you how to cut your hair on the iternet!!!?" She has no idea what is on the internet, clearly, but she's awesome so I forgive her innocence.

Anywho, fast forward a couple of months and my hair has smartened up. It was frighted by all the razor talk I am certain. Since it's finally cooperating and I was sick to death of my the profile picture I have been using here since February 2008, I decided to attempt a new one.

Armed with my new tripod (YIPEE) and the natural light from the living room windows, here is the result.

Profile attempt 1 of 456

I have newly acquired Adobe Photoshop Elements 8.0 but damn if I know how to use it. As such, the above photo is straight out of the camera. Don't look too close at my less than perfect skin now, you hear. Also keep in mind it got shrunk down to a 48 by 48 pixel square for use as my avitar for various on-line applications.

Also sorry about the burning of your retinas.

Anyway, this long and rambling post about my hair (damn, I am deep) was all to say think you for you spectacular advice. So THANKS!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

My Blog in Print

Ever since I started blogging I have wondered how I could preserve what I write here long term. Let's face it, the Internet is likely to gone the way of eight tracks by the time our kids are grown. I knew I couldn't just save them in electronic form, computers and the software they run are obsolete faster than I can inhale a small chocolate bar (oh what I would give for a chocolate bar followed by a Carmel latte chaser right now - the elimination diet is not going well can you tell?).

I did a post about this about this very issue back in June. Some suggested Shutterfly where you can make a fancy photo book including your blog posts. I started that and realized it would take me hundreds of hours to make it worth anything and frankly, for the amount they may get read, it just wasn't worth my time. Also, the lack of patience I possess would have had me rocking in the fetal position suckling a bottle of vodka like a newborn partway through my posts from 2006, also the year I began this here blog.

Then someone pointed me to Blog 2 Print. I remember who but if it was you I am laying a great big wet smack on your cheek right now. That ought keep anyone from fessing up, no?

This service, well let's just say it's the next best thing since sliced bread. It pulls it all together FOR YOU. All you do is give your URL and specify the dates for the posts to pull and it spits this out to you, mailed right to your door.

Blog 2 Print Blog 2 Print Blog to Print

Now, I can't lie, it wasn't that easy. I decided that I wanted to separate posts about the boys from posts about me. To remove the posts I didn't want pulled into the book I just went through and unpublished all the posts I didn't want - don't worry, they are not gone, merely saved as draft to be re posted at a later date. I made a book for each year except for 2007 which I split into two books because there were too many photos. The first one came in the mail the other day and it's pretty neat to have a book to flip through.

It allows me ample opportunity to reminisce over my little baby boys. They were aged five and two in 2006 and ever so wee compared to now. And then I cringe over the hideous "writing" and the overuse of smiley faces and exclamation points. They grow physically, emotionally and intellectually, my writing has grown (I think). We'll call it even.

I am very happy with this book and the 2007 and 2008 ones are being shipped shortly. I will then begin the process of republishing posts about me and unpublishing those about the boys so I can have my very own narcissistic book titled "1 2 3 All About Me". It will be handy when I am old and have no memory. I can read about this crazy woman who overused exclamation points with two adorable boys and had hormonal issues. I can't hardly wait.

And last but not least, Blog 2 Print is doing a fall promotion. If use the code fall4b2p to purchase a book before November 9, 2009 you will receive 20% off. They told me to share it with my friends and my friends, they are you!


Sunday, October 25, 2009

I Wish

To my dear Jack and Kamden,

This life, it is short. It can be amazing and it can also knock you down and kick you in the nuts. You cannot control the knocks or the kicks but you are the captain of your own ship. You control how you react to the knocks and the kicks. No one else. You control where that ship takes you in life. You and only you. Always remember that.

In this life, I wish for you:

Love. Deep, unconditional, passionate love. May you find that special someone that was meant to walk beside you as your equal through this life.

Laughter. May you always find the humour in the situation and never take yourself or any situation too seriously. (Except when you put your Daddy and I into a retirment home, take that VERY seriously. Please?)


Passion. May you find that which engulfs your body and soul, makes you strive to be better and also provides for you and if applicable, your family. Not just a job but something that fufills you to your very core. (I am allowed to wish for my kids what I don't have, right?)

To know your heart. May you always be true to yourself and follow your heart wherever it may take you. Be confident in your decisions. Own them, good or bad, they are yours as are the consequences that come with them. Learn from your mistakes with no regrets.

Happiness. May you find true happiness. It's yours for the taking. If you follow your heart and your dreams, you will find it.

Farm boy

This is what I wish for you.

And also, while you are off doing all of that, call your Mom and Dad every now and then, okay?

Love Mommy


Friday, October 23, 2009

I've gone off nuts, it's official

If you are a regular reader (hi, y'all, you know how much I love you, right? M'wah) you know about my health issues. I have pretty much maxed on any help from the medical side of things. I am on hormones, which have helped immensely, however, the migraines that began the day before we left for Hawaii this past January have not budged. In fact, they love to pop up at the most inopportune moments, like smack dab in the middle of my Pilate's class a couple of days ago. Not to mention that my thyroid and adrenal glands could just up and go the way of my ovaries whenever they feel like it.

A friend mentioned (Hi Jackie!) a naturopath. What the hell I said, what have I got to lose?

So I went a week and half ago and I won't lie, parts of it had me going, are you serious?

For example, the Velcro straps that she put around my ankles, wrists and forehead that were connected to a small box with blinking lights that proceeded to tell her computer all kinds of things that normally would require extensive blood work. And then, and this had my mom laughing so hard she couldn't talk, to see what supplements would work well for me, she proceeded to place bottles of liquid on top of the box with blinking lights.

I know, I know, I should have an open mind but how, on God's green earth, does a bottle of liquid on top of a box tell her how my body will react to whatever is in the bottle?

And if this works so well, why haven't we abolished invasive blood tests?

Anyway, I didn't really go for that part of it, though I am taking the supplements the blinking box said would work and I feel good. What I went for the diet and nutrition part. I believe strongly that what I put in to my body has a huge impact on its productivity and well being. I have already learned that fitness goes a long way, surely improving on what I am eating will also help. And in fact, maybe I can even prevent further health problems such as a slacker thyroid. If I can, why wouldn't I?

She (the naturopath, we'll call her Shirley), put me on an elimination diet. That means that for three weeks I can't eat dairy (no surprise here, I have been lactose intolerant for years), sugar (I may have audibly gasped when she said that), wheat, eggs and peanuts. WHAT? No peanut butter and honey toast for breakfast? You are KILLING me slowly.

I love sugar. I love baking. I love my toast for breakfast. In no particular order.

That was a week and half ago. I honestly thought giving up sugar was going to put me in the loony bin. It hasn't. I am okay. I have some honey every now and then to keep me sane and I am good to go. What might surprise you (Hi Mom and Dad) is that I have not eaten chocolate since I can remember - likely the day before I started this diet, I have a short memory, what can I say. For me, this is an eternity. And I am still breathing. Wonders never cease.

What I would do though is cut off my left arm for a piece of bread. Slathered generously with peanut butter and jam, full sugar jam (if only I could be that much of a bad ass). Almond butter is good, but it's not peanut butter.

Today, armed with advice from several wheat avoiders, I hit up the health food store. Lo and behold! A whole array of flours that nary did see the stalk of a wheat plant. It was like I hit the mother load.

I bought a bread mix that while it contains some sugar meets the rest of the requirements. I baked it up the minute I got home.

Bread and pizza dough

The second it came out of the machine, I sliced a piece and slathered it with jam (sugar free).

BREAD, it's divine

It was good. And I finally feel full. Taking wheat out of my diet left very few carbs and I need me some carbs to feel full. It's a process. I am learning. And I feel great.

I'll let you know how this adventure turns out. Or Jay will in between visits with me in the loony bin.


Monday, October 19, 2009

The makings of a great weekend

A few weeks ago, I had a really good idea. I needed to do some shopping. You see, last winter, I was akin to a burning inferno so I purged my closet of all long sleeved tops that no longer fit. This year, I am more like an Arctic ice berg and the purging of last year, while necessary, left me with no more than three long sleeved outfits. That and the jeans that I wear on a daily basis were down to two pairs that fit. I needed to shop.

While the shopping here is okay, know the shopping is even better in the city where my good friend, Cheryl, lives; not to mention the company is spectacular. Because you see, what I also needed was some serious girl time. You know, the kind of time with a good girlfriend that lets you hang loose.

So being bright and all, I check flights, confirm with her that the weekend works after checking with Jay and then HUZZAH I booked it.

A trip, on my own, where there was no work required has not occurred since about 1993 (remember New Year's Jenelle?) For me, this was extravagant. I don't do this. My husband also does not go on trips on his own. We are weird like that. I do like a weekend away and my job over the last few years has provided weekend trips frequently enough for my liking. However, I have not had to travel for work since September 2008. Not that I am complaining, trust me. Those weekends are fun but they are also filled with 10 to 12 hour work days. This weekend involved zero, zilch, nada in the way of work and instead provided good conversation, excellent food and some serious shopping.


You can see her take on the weekend here.

All with this gal. It was just what I needed. We chatted, and chatted and chatted some more. You know you have a great friend when you never run out of things to talk about. She also has a knack for making me try on things that I would not normally try on. And then I love them. And then my credit card internally combusts.

I kid.

She also took me for sushi. I have only had it once and it was, putting it mildly, icky. But she raves about it so I had to see for myself. It was delish. I am already craving it again. I am on the hunt for a good local place.

All in all, it was pure fun. I came home yesterday to the smiling faces of my boys feeling great. It was just what I needed.

Cheryl, her husband Tim and son Cole, were gracious hosts and I cannot thank them enough for welcoming me with open arms. I had the best time with the best company.

Let's do it again really soon.

(To see more pictures from Cheryl and Tim's fancy basement where I had the privledge of staying, see my Flikr stream here. )


Friday, October 16, 2009

The stages of mothehood

Wow, where did the week go? I have no post here but if you are dying for some Kami you can head over to and read my post over at Canada Moms Blog about cutting the apron strings. The anticipation was scary but once we jumped in with both feet, it's been very liberating.


Friday, October 09, 2009


Up here in the Great White North (and no, I am not happy that I can now say that with accuracy, it's only October for goodness sake) this weekend is Thanksgiving. I am going to go out on a limb and guess that we have ours a month and half sooner than our American friends due to the fact that winter comes ever so much earlier here. It's hard to slaughter a bird when it's Arctic-like out.

Can you guess what I am not thankful for? That's right, we'll take winter for $400, Alex. It's here. It's barely October. Yes, that's me sobbing uncontralably in the corner. Thanks for not kicking me on your way by.

But lest you think I am a complete ingrate (you wouldn't be far off though, just so you know) I am actually very thankful for many things.

I am thankful for my two boys who can go from superheros keeping the world safe from evil


to compasionate, loving young men who find great joy in snuggling up with a stuffy. Their collections are extensive and their love for each of member makes their momma's heart swell.


They have a good role model, you see.


This family of mine is what I am most thankful for and that includes extended family with whom will will have the pleasure of celebrating with this weekend.

To all my Canadian friends, may you share love, laughs and happiness with family and friends this weekend. May each of us find the joy in our lives to cherish. It is what is most important.

Happy weekend everyone!

Ps If you have trouble commenting here, please let me know. It was brought to my attention that it is a regular occurrence. Also, how do I fix it?