Slowly but surely….

Well, I think that January has been fairly good to me.

I joined a biggest looser challenge because I really wanted to have someone to be accountable to. I know that if I really set my mind to it – I could just lose the weight that I want to. I just happen to find it so much easier when I’m in the mind set that I’m completing against others.

And so, while the first few weeks seemed a bit slow as far as weight loss – I think mostly because I was trying to wrap my head around what I should/could/needed to be doing – I think that I’ve settled into a fairly decent stride.

I knew going into this 3 month challenge that I would need to add some exercise into my life if I were really serious. I started the month off @ 189.8 pounds…..SUCKS! I had been down as low as 175lbs a year ago and then the weight started to slowly creep back on…..15 pounds in a a year! Not good!

I weighed myself this morning and am currently – 182.4 lbs. So, just under 7.5 pounds of weight loss in one month. And….I’m pretty happy with that.

We bought an eliptical machine and I’ve got a decent groove going on with that thing – now the trick will be to just keep going with it. I see it as so necessary, not just for weight loss, but also for my health in general.

I’m still in the “hurting” phase of my exercise journey……my legs and lower back are not happy right now, but soon….soon they will be loving me and my machine.

I’m loving that my clothes are not pinching me as much as they used to a the beginning of the year, and I’m looking forward to the day when I have to go and buy new ones because my current wardrobe doesn’t fit.

Until then, I will be watching what I eat and exercising….that’s my plan…no gimmicks, no pills, just common sense and hard work.

Do you have any weight loss or exercise or health goals this year?

Early Morning Rising

I know tht 7:40am is not technically early, but….I’ve been awake since 5:45am, and as far as I’m concerned….thats freaky early.

We had a meeting to attend yesterday and so when Siah fell asleep on the way into work yestrday morning – I decided to push him all day without a nap. I knew that it would most likely result in a bit of a cranky baby later in the afternoon, but that it would mean that he would go down at bedtime earlier than usual and that we’d be able to have our meeting without any distractions or meltdowns.

And….it worked perfectly as planned. Siah was a bear by 4:00pm, but promptly fell asleep at 6:50pm…..early, I know! The meeting was scheduled for 7pm, and I had no sitter for Siah. The other kids were out in Abbotsford with my grandparents, and we were in Vancouver.

So I figured that we’d have an early start to today, but I didn’t count on it being quite that early.

So, I’m sitting here snuggling with a very large cup of extra strong coffee…my mother-in-law uses espresso for her drip machine….WOW! But, I have to say that I am a little nervous about the drive home. Typically after two full days of work back to back, the hour’s drive home on Wednesday night usually takes some effort as I want to fall asleep – I think that I might even need to stop and get a Starbucks before I head out. Yuuummmmmmm!

We had a good weekend and I have some pics that I hoped to get up yesterday but I was CRAZEE busy and well, it just didn’t work out. Maybe today???

I think that Sunday was the back breaker as far as me feeling sick, and I’m definately on the upswing as far as feeling better goes. Not that I feel awesome, and the snot…..OH MY GOODNESS the snot is amazing……but I’m not still wondering if it’s turned into strep and if I’m starting to get an ear infection.

I do feel so bad for Xandra. She came into our room early Monday morning cryng about how bad her throat felt, and unfortunately I knew just how ad she was feeling.

This has been just so bizarre as we are almost never sick and I am SO READY for it to all be gone.

Well, I should probably at least start getting ready for the day, no?

Thanks to all for your thoughts and well wishes. We so appreciate everyone who thinks of us and remembers with us.

ps. I did 25 minutes on my Eliptical Machine on Monday night and now I can’t walk….it’s pretty funny. I’m thinking that it’s going to be even funnier when I try to get back on the sucker tonight.

The Day Before….

Tomorrow is the 4th anniversary of the day that Nathaniel died and was born.

It’s been a funny lead up to the day….funny – different or funny – weird not funny – ha ha.

We’ve talked about it off and on for the past month, but more “in passing” as opposed to an actual discussion about him or the day… and now….here it is upon us.

This is the first year that I’m very aware that I’m not grieving the day in a very hard way. I think that has a lot to do with the fact that since that time, we have been blessed with a living child.

To be honest, I didn’t grieve this day last year very hard either, BUT I was out of town and busy and didn’t even really realize that the day had come until it was mostly over. I was just trying to get thorugh the day in an “out of the norm” schedule and with a 4 month old.

It was probably 6 or 7pm that evening that I realized that I had forgotten and really even at that point I had only a moment to feel terribly guilty that I had forgotten, and then my time was once again consumed with Siah and my surroundings.

So, I’ve had this week, off and on, to remember and to put some thought into tomorrow. I woke up this morning remembering how I woke up and felt uneasy that he wasn’t moving and how I tried to tell myself that it was nothing….how I stressed all morning and then finally late in the afternoon we went to the hospital and it all began…..

What a hellish day.

I’m so glad that I’m 4 years removed from the weighty emotions of that day. I had a moment yesterday where I teared up thinking about a little boy who would have been around 4 years old……but who is only a thought…not even a memory…just a dream or a hope.

I think that we will do what we’ve done ever year except for last.

It’s the way that we celebrate life and remember Nathaniel.

We will go out for breakfast and then go and buy some hellium ballons and write notes to Nathaniel all over them and then let them go in a near by park.

This year will be a little different with Siah around to get on it all….I’m thinking that we’ll have to get a balloon that he can keep. He’s not going to understnad why he had a balloon in his grubby little hands and then all of the sudden it’s gone and he can’t have it back……too funny.

Just because I can talk about all of this without feelig crushed under the heavy weight of grief doesn’t mean that I don’t still hurt thinking about all that we’ve lost. It’s just a different kind of pain. I think that if I had to describe it…it’s become a part of me. I will always have this little piece of my heart that belongs to Nathaniel and while the wound of the loss is not immediate and fresh – there was still a wound and it left a permanent mark. I’m okay….in fact most days, I’m definately better than okay….but I live with this….this is just who I am. I have a child – children actually – that I don’t get to hold and cuddle on a daily basis, BUT……

I do appreciate the children that I have, that MUCH MORE because of it, and even if that was all I got out of “all of this” then that’s amazing, but it’s not…there is SO MUCH MORE that I’ve learned and that has been given to me as a result of the loss and in a weird way, I’m thankful for what my children – ALL OF MY CHILDREN – have taught me.

So, tomorrow we celebrate life! If there was one thing I could leave with you it would be,

“Live your life with no regrets!”

I hope your day tomorrow is full of love, and peace and hope. Mine will be!

It’s About that Time of Year, is it?

Well, Jeremy came home with a bit of a cough about a week ago, and then it seemed to spread to Siah and then the girls started coughing…

I figured that it would pass in a few days and all would be fine.

Well, either it was a wicked little bug with some severe staying power or it just weakened our immune systems just enough for it’s friend “THE ALMIGHTY NASTY POWERFUL COLD” to move on in.

My mother-in-law was down for the count yesterday, but whatever she’s got is different from what I’ve got.  And I don’t think that I could have picked it up that fast from her anyway….you know with incubating periods and all….the little buggers have got to have some time to spawn….or something like that.

Anyway, so I’m full of snot and I have a bit of a cough but it’s mostly just in my throat…..there is no real chest involvement going on over here…..just lots and lots and lots of snot.

YUCK!

So, I’m pounding back the Vitamin C and drinking an entire ocean load of hot lemon water and if I feel like partying it up real hard, we might throw a little homeopathic remedy or two around – you know, just to keep it interesting.

The problem is…..I really am supposed to be working today.  I got stuff to do and books to cook and well, I’m just trying to figure out what is really important and what I can just put off for another day.  Oh so much fun!

What I want from you – my dear sweet Internet friends – is your best cough/cold remedy.

You know, the one that you use when you feel like crap?  Or maybe it’s the one that crazy Aunt Maude started pushing on your family 60 years ago and no one can explain why or how, but it really does work?  Or the one that Uncle Harry brought home from the war and claims that it saved him and an entire Amy Hospital from dying?  Or the one that your best friends mother uses and you have to avoid the house for 3 days because it smells so bad – but she claims it really works?

Ya know…..just help a girl out over here and in return…..

Here’s a cruddy first morning picture of me just crawled outta bed, no make up, one snot drip away from needing a fresh tissue…..I’m feeling really yummy here.

sick

Feeling HUGELY Under Pressure

I feel like I’m under pressure to make EVERY. SINGLE. MOMENT. COUNT.

I feel like if  I take some time as down time, then I’m not going to be able to get everything done and if I get behind on stuff then how will I ever manage to stay on top of it all….laundry, cleaning, organizing, planning….so much stuff to do….

See, today is my home day.  Right now I have 2 days during the week that I am fully at home and while I realize that this would be a HUGE luxury for some, this is a HUGE change for me.  I am used to every day being a home day and there is a HUGE part of me that liked the slower pace of being at home. 

To be completely honest, there was also aonther part of me that was completely bored…and so it’s a good thing that I am now able to be busy, but I am still in the whole “adjustment period” of things.  If you’ve had a child go from being at home every day to going to pre-school or kindergarten and they come home and are so over-tired from the overstimulation of the day…..that’s where I’m about right now.

I come home absolutely exhausted whenever I’ve been working.  I don’t know how all you “working mom’s” do it.  I am finding that as with just about everything in life that I see both the positives and the negatives in our situation.  I do trust that it will eventually work it’s way out to a great routine, but this sorting things out and figuring out the new “normal” is a bit taxing – on me.  The kids seem to be doing good…Sunday’s are probably our hardest days just because of the length of the day, but again…we’ll work it all out soon enough.

I know that I need to add some sort of an exercise routine into my schedule life as it would probably help me out too.  Still working on a “schedule” – I hope I can figure one out soon.  I do so much better when I “know” what to expect, as opposed to just flailing around spontaneously…..although I recognie that a certain amount of spontanaiety can be a good thing especially if you tend to be a bit too controlled..not that I’m anything but completely balanced in that aspect…Ha Ha HA HA HA HA HA!

Oh well……Today I’ve managed to made a big pot of chicken veggie soup from the roast chicken that we had for dinner last night and that should last us for dinner tonight as well as for a couple of lunches. 

The kids have tomorrow as a ProD day and we are just going to take them into work with us.  It should be interesting!  They can play and watch videos and I just have to figure out what to take for us all for lunches tomorrow….fun!

And then…..Then we are going to hang out with our friends tomorrow night.  It’s been far too long since we have spent any time with them and it will be fun to just hang out and relax.  We can always use a little bit of downtime, and this is some of our most favorite ways to relax….hanging out with our friends…no agenda, just chillin’…

What are some of your favorite things to do to relax…either personally or as a family?

ps.  I added some of our pictures up over at Flickr so you can either click over HERE to check it out or click on the “Photos” button in the menu at the top.  There are about 6 new albums that you can click through – if you’re interested??

Hello…..ooo…oooo….oooo….oooo……oooo…oooo (can you hear the echo?)

Yah, I’m still here.

It’s been quite the week. I went in and stayed with my mother-in-law this past week. It was fun. We worked and ate and hung out and the week just seemed to fly past.

It’s always different to be away from my house and from Jon and the kids but I know that Jon is amaing with the kids and keeping things going and so that makes it all good.

This whole working thing is going to be a good thing I think………?

It’s definately going to take some planning and some serious organization to work out a really good schedule and to plan the meals and to keep on top of all the house stuff.

But, I think that being out of the house a few times a week will be good for me. I will actually feel like I’m accomplishing more than just another meal or the 1,874,352nd load of laundry….not that those things aren’t so exciting but…..well…..ya know…..I’ll just leave it at that.

Things shouldn’t be as crazy as they were last week normally….and I’ll looking forward to finding out what the new “normal” schedule will look like.

The drive home last night in traffic wasn’t as bad as it could have been, and I didn’t even have Siah with me to be able to take advantage of the HOV lane. And it still only took 1 hour to get home. It take 45mins. with no traffic….so not bad, eh?

Still it’s an hour, but with a cell phone to keep you company – it’s all good.

Now, I have a butt load of things to get done today and so I’m off to blow through this place in the hopes of a whirlwind cleaning situation.

I have a question for you though…..do you have any ideas for either crock pot meals or roasts or one dish meals that can be prepared beforhand….ready to be popped in at the right time?

I can adjust most meals to suit our non-dairy, non-wheat eating family but it helps to have some new ideas and to hear what YOUR favorites are. So, lemme know what works for you.

Starting the Year Off Right

ILast night I was SO EXCITED because today was the first day back at school for the kids.

BUT………even though it’s the first Day of School for the New Year……..it’s a freakin’ snow day!

Can you believe it?

Because I sure can’t. I mean, I was thrilled that I got a little bit of a sleep in, BUT….when I woke up at 7:45am and FREAKED OUT because we were going to be late – that was not so nice. But, after being told that it was in fact a snow day and after my heart moved back out of my throat…

Well, then I didn’t know what to think. On one hand there was no running around trying to get everyone off to school, BUT…..on the other hand – everyone is home for the day!

I was SOOOOOOO looking forward to the day without all the kids and to be able to clean up the house and to get a TON of stuff accomplished – Yah NOT!

So, I will be wrangling the kids into helping out today and that might just encourage them enough to head outside and play for a good long time.

The snow this year has been AMAZING. And I love it that my kids are getting the opportunity to have some “real snow time”. So often, we get just a skiff of snow and it’s hardly even enough to make a snowball, and then it washes away within the day.

I remember getting a big dump of snow similar to this one when I was about 12 years old living in North Vancouver and we all thought it was the best things ever. In fact, I think that the private school that I went to even cancelled for one day, and that was a miracle because it was NEVER cancelled – not for any reason.

So, like I was saying, I love that my kids are able to get out and really enjoy the snow. It is sure making for a fun winter and some great memories.

Do you have snow this winter? Have you got any good memories of snowy times in your past? Have you been able to make any great memories this year?

Happy New Year Y’all

Alright, so did ya party it up? I hope so….

Me??? I hung out with Jon and Chris and we ate steak and crab legs and “Wii’d” it until approximately 11:30ish and then I tidied the kitchen….’cause I’m a party animal like that….it was AWESOME! Let me tell you…

And now..now, here we are 4 days into the New Year, and well…..there are some big changes that have happened and some more big ones still to come.

Jon and I are now on staff at the Life Center in Vancouver. At this point that means an hour’s commute….doesn’t that sound SO TOTALLY AWESOME!

We had our first day today and we had to leave the house by 8am and we didn’t get home until after 4pm. That was a LOOOOOOOONG day for us and it felt even longer for the kids.

We’ve been throwing around the idea of moving – not really “if” we would move, but more along the lines of “when” we should move…..tonight after dinner, the girls were talking and mentioning how LOOOOOOONNNNNGGGGGGG the day was and how if this was going to be “normal” then we should probably move in sooner rather than later.

We’ve been talking about staying put until the kids are finished school in June…..BUT….that’s 6 freaking months away and I might be just a little bit insane at that point…not to mention that I thrive on highly effective uses of time and energy and the thought of 2 hours of driving in a day just about kills me….fortunately we have decent phone plans and can make somewhat effective use the time so it’s not a COMPLETE waste…but still….it’s definately not the most effective use of time and energy and it makes me cringe a little…well…..a alot….so…..(you lik my use of periods there….it just means that I’m pausing in my thinking – work with me……’mkay?) we obviously have some thinking and forward planning to do.

So, ya…..well….Jon is still working doing Web Design and we have some planning and organizing and some decisions to make about that too…what to do? What to do? What to do?

It will all work out, but…….like my children who are still awake even though they were sent to bed 2.5 hours ago because they too are reeling a bit by all the change and tying to sort out what that means to them and how it will affect them – I am also trying to work out how this will all play itslf out. It’s a bit messier than I’d like. I don’t mean that it’s a messy situation, but that I like things neat and structured and this is a bit more of a fluid situation and I “get” to learn how to function within the fluidity….it’s a good challange for me and I like challenges…right?…..sure I do?

I will probably be working my thoughts out a bit in between all the other mindless drivel that I spew on you and so I welcome you along for the ride. It’s going to be fun and I have to say that for all my apprehension about the unknown, I know that its going to be good and I’m really looking forward to seeing how it all plays out and to seeing where we are at in a few months.

So, that was my big New Years excitement….how about you?

Oh, I almost forgot….I am also a part of a Biggest Loser Challenge and so I’ll be moaning about weight loss over the next 3 months…and that should also be AWESOME!

Where to even begin……

I’m a bit overwhelmed at the number of things that I could talk about…the funny stories, the fun times with family and friends, the snow – OH MY GOODNESS, THE SNOW!!!!!!! – slowing down, clearing out and cleaning up…..there is just so much to talk about and so little time.

The baby is sleeping right now which means that I have to choose wisely…..as I sit here in my pyjamas smelling of 2 day old funk…..blogging is probably not the “wisest” choice….and so I will be quick.

I have pictures to share and will get to them as time allows.

It’s busy having the kids home from school, AND….I want to be able to be there for them and not to be glued to this screen. I have to admit that I’m surprised at how easy it’s been to ignore my computer for the past while. Typically it calls to me like the “cracK” it is…whispering of all the sweet time we could waste together and fortunately….my kids quiet ha ha ha ha ha ha I just about peed myself over here….okay, well they are really not all that quiet, but it would have made a good story to talk about how my kids quiet whispers as they asked for some stories to be read cuddled on the couch and how it warmed my heart.

Reality is a bit more brutal. Some fights, some games, a lot of Wii – thanks Mum and Dad C.- and most of all lots of laughter….well, really…most of all, lots of food. My kids sure eat a lot….I’d like to say that it’s the healthy food I give them…that they just love to fill their “preshus wittle bodies with all that good healty vitamin rich goodnes”, but really…sometimes….I just wonder if they have worms or parasites or something….these kids are machines when it comes to food!

So, with all the thought whizzing around in my brain, I am going to go and take a shower and if I still have time…..I might make a list of all the things that I have to talk about and possibly, hopefully, give a really good shot at whittling it down to the funniest, the saddest, the more exciting….you know…all the really highly charged emotional stuff that makes for really good blogging……or I could just get on here with no thought and blabber on and on and on….cause ya all know I’ve done enough of that recently……

I do hope that your Christmas was full of peace and that you were able to be apart of some really amazing memories.

And so I leave you with my best Arnold voice and say……I’ll be back!

Christmas Cheer

I’ve really been thinking about Christmas and all the crap.

How’s that for some excellent Christmas Cheer?

See, with all the changes in our lives that we’ve made and are making as far as simplifying and cutting down and cutting back – I just can’t fathom going out and wastefully buying a whole bunch of “FUN” but “USELESS” stuff all in the name of Christmas.

At the same time, I want Christmas to be fun for the kids and for us as a family. I’m not really certain of what to do.

I do want to get the kids some fun things for under the tree. But, I’ve also been wanting to get toys that will last. Things that I can hold onto for when my kids have kids….things that can be passed down and treasured, and not things that just break before New Years comes around.

It doesn’t help that the kids recognize that they don’t really “NEED” anything. Sure, there are wants and hopes and “things that would be fun”, but I asked Xandra to write me a “Christmas Wish List” and she looked at me and thought for a moment and then said, “But really Mom, I don’t really need anything.”

She wants books. Geli did write a list, and when I asked her what was really important to her on that list….well…..nothing really.

Jeremy is a whole ‘nuther story. That kid would live his life at TOYSRUS if it was okay. He loves, loves, LOVES to get “stuff”.

And Josiah, we bought him one truck thing and he’s already played with it, but I’m going to wrap it up anyway, and I might even wrap a few of his current toys and thorw them under the tree. What does he know….the wrapping paper is going to be the biggest part of his Christmas this year.

Now, all of this is indicating that NO….we’ve not done our Christmas shopping yet.

THAT SUCKS! Eh?

That is partly because we’ve been waiting for some invoices to get paid – that’s another gift to ourselves….no added CC debt which also adds to the no stress factor which is all a good thing….

But, I’ll admit that not getting it done yet is a bit stressful on me….BUT….Jon has cleared his day on Thursday and we are going to do the bulk of it all and I have picked up a few things so it’ll all work out and be good. Anything left, we’ll finish up on Saturday when my parents have offered to take the kids and whatever doens’t get done…..doesn’t get done.

I’m not too stressed about it.

So, I’m not really sure where I’m going with all this. Nice, eh? One of my famous rambles…..

I think my point is that I want this season to be about more than “How much crap can I get?” I want to be able to tach my kids to recognize that they get what they need and that it’s SO MUCH FUN TO GIVE…..to give to those who don’t have everything they need or even just to others that you love.

I wish I had been a little more organized and been able to get the kids to make their own gifts for loved ones this year. I guess there is still some time…isn’t there?

We’ll have to sit down tonight and really think it through……

One thing that I am doing that is so cool is that we have a “White Elephant Gift Exchange” with my family every year and we buy a present with a set dollar value. This year I’m buying a water filter from Impact Nations and I’m going to put that in as my contribution.

I think it’s a great gift. You get to impact so many lives with clean healthy water. You get to give knowing that you’ve made a difference. You also don’t have to add to the crap in your own house.

Check it out.

Alright, that’s enough blathering for one day. I apologize for my lack of focus…..Siah is cutting molars….YES IT’S THAT FUN OVER HERE. and we’ve been up for the past few nights with him and well…I don’t think I’m coming across as clear and consise and I’d like to and well….I entirely blame Siah….and his cruddy sleeping over the past 3 days.

And I figure that it’s better to just stop now than to keep on going….I’ll come back later when I have a better grasp on what “focus” means….