Friday, July 08, 2016

Be Accountable

 I remember writing a post about feeling super busy. I didn't find enough time for myself, to be who I wanted to be. But I managed to find some time to do something for me that made me feel really, really good every single day.
 Back in December my co-workers and I were complaining that we were all a bunch of monsters. Our customers were relentless, coming in with a variety of endless Christmas treats for us to devour. We decided that once Christmas was over, that we would compete to see who could lose the most weight in a three month period. We would do weigh ins every Monday and record our results on a chart to be compared later. We all threw in twenty dollars and the 'biggest loser' would win the money at the end.
 One thing I've discovered about myself is that I am quite competitive. If I'm being honest, I think I always knew that I was. But after having competed in this little competition I can certainly see that I am. I remember being in Thunder Bay at the end of December and weighing myself in the evening. I weighed in at 136 pounds. Besides when I was pregnant, that would definitely be my heaviest. Once I weighed in at work, that January morning for the first time, I believe I was at 133 pounds.
 At the beginning, I was very determined to lose the weight. I was very strict with my diet having learned that that is the key with losing weight. I also started running and using our elliptical every morning. I would say a few weeks into the bet, I discovered an app called Fitness Pal. Fitness Pal is amazing because it helps you log in your calories everyday, it trends your weight,it even calculates roughly how many calories you burn in exercise. In the beginning, I would say I was borderline obsessed with logging in everything. Even on Alina's birthday, we planned to go out for supper at Montana's. Hello ribs! I researched before what to order so that the calorie count was not ridiculous.
  Some things that I did learn along the way, was that menu items at restaurants can kill your calorie counter in a few bites. Beware of Boston Pizza Quesadillas! I believe one quesadilla is 1200 plus calories. I couldn't believe it! At my lowest weigh in, I came in at 127 pounds, but I couldn't stay at that weight. I did lose the most weight and won the prize money, which was fun. After our bet was over, I kept calorie counting and I increased my cardio and added weight lifting and many, many exercises to get my body into better shape.
How could I resist this food? (Alina with the antlers on getting happy birthday sung to her. A Montana Tradition..)
  I have discovered many helpful things along the way, in my journey to looking and feeling better about myself. I now know that I can stop stressing about the act of losing weight. There's a lot of emphasis and obsession on losing weight. I find that I'm not being hard on myself about losing pounds. I work out in the gym every weekday and I'm building muscle. I know that muscle is heavier than fat, so I have to keep that in mind when I get on a scale. I also have eased off on the calorie counting. However, what I really take away from my experience and want to share with the world or at least my few loyal readers, is that you have to be accountable for what you eat. That's what the calorie counting has taught me. I have to know what I'm eating and understand and give myself an idea of how good or bad it is for my body. I don't have to obsess, I don't even have to feel all that guilty. But it's important to understand. I still calorie count and when I get into the negative numbers (which means I've gone over my 'allowed' calories for the day) I make a point to try to stay within them the following day. A mental note is made and I move on.

My progress.. and the shot of me is a bit lame.. but I'm proud of what I've accomplished.. so I put it up..

  One thing I do have to work on, is feeling guilty. I feel guilt if I don't get up and work out. I am the type of person that is in all the way or not in at all. I'm very strict with my exercising because I know that if I start saying I'll get up every other day, I'll realize how cushy and soft my bed is after 6 am and I will find other excuses to stay in bed. I also need to work on allowing myself a day off when my body is telling me so. Overdoing it is also not healthy.

 I'm the smallest I've ever been. Rob commented that he just thought I just always had bigger calves. But now we both realized that my legs are capable of being smaller. I am in love with the way that my body looks and feels. It's fair to say that I'm drunk with fitness. I get why people that do it keep doing it. I understand that it's a huge commitment but the pay off is really worth it in the end.

 I haven't battled weight fluctuations like some people do. I've been very fortunate in that way. One thing that has always discouraged and annoyed me is that people always say, Ugh, you're skinny. You don't have to worry about weight. It is my choice or not, to worry about my body or my weight. A customer the other day said, "There's nothing to you.. you're tiny." And she said it in kind of a critical way. I replied, "Thank you, I actually work really hard for it." I think my reply may have caught her off guard. I wanted her to know that I look fit because I've put a lot of effort and heart into achieving just that. I've been watching what I eat and have been dedicated to exercising so that I can maintain this healthy look.

 My step dad Rudi was really big into fitness in his 30's and 40's. As he grew older, his work outs slowed down. But up until the last few years of his life, he still went to the gym as much as he physically could. I think my desire to be healthy and fit come from being his daughter. I feel closer to him somehow, when I'm pushing myself to my limits.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Keep Up

 I come from a time when computers were present in my schools growing up. However, they were certainly not a source of information until I was in high school. Even then, the internet was dial up and extremely slow. I remember that it sometimes took half of my class to load the page I wanted and if it wasn't the right page, then my entire class was spent waiting. Then I think about generations before me and can see why they are intimidated by using computers. In the last ten years the internet has really become our reliable and main source for information. I feel like I'm part of a generation that researches everything. What movie is that actress in? Oh I'll just check IMDB. Or, I was almost positive that accusatory was a word and that I used it proper in a sentence. Rob thought otherwise and within seconds he was proven wrong. It's mind blowing how much information we carry in our pockets, in our phones. I notice though, that generations before us can be hesitant to embrace it. My mom for instance comes from a place where if she doesn't know something, she jots it down on a piece of paper, to remember to ask me or someone later. She doesn't automatically think -- I'll just look it up. She bought a present for my nephew on Amazon. She was concerned that the transaction didn't go through because she didn't get a confirmation email. She texted me her concerns while I was working. I quickly messaged back that she should wait and see if it's just a delay in the reply, etc. Then I suggested she contact Amazon. She immediately asked how she would do that. That question alone floored me. I couldn't believe that a 59 year old woman wouldn't know how to contact a company. To me it's quite simple. You look it up. You can literally look up, "How to contact Amazon if I didn't receive my confirmation email." But because of her generation (and in her generation some are worse than others and she would be considered one of the worse than others) she wouldn't automatically think to do that.

  A downside to having all of this information at our reach is that we are less inclined to contact people in person. I work with two people. One is a 34 year old and the other a 45 year old. I find that the 34 year old would rather look up all of his information online and text rather than speak to a person. The 45 year old looks for a contact number right away and finds it much more effective to speak to people in person. I find that the ten year age gap truly makes a huge difference. However, they both have their positive and negative effects. Sometimes it makes more sense to simply phone and speak to a person and there are other times when looking something up online can be so much faster, etc. I think the key is knowing how to adapt to both ways. I most definitely lean towards the no contact side and Rob, my husband always wanting results right away will revert to phoning and speaking to someone in person.
 What really gets me thinking is what will the world be like in another 10-20 years? Alina will be so much more advanced than me for sure. Will she scoff and secretly laugh at my inabilities to adapt to that current world? Will my way of doing things be a touch outdated? Of course. I just hope I can adjust to the rapidly changing times.

 Just some thoughts I've been thinking. As for me and my life- all is well! We are already doing a lot of camping this summer. We stared in April and have gone three times already. We have a big camp out planned for Rob's birthday weekend in Tofino. We are really looking forward to this summer and all of the fun it has in store for us. Alina's at a great age and we are enjoying every minute of her.

Hi Bloggers I miss!!


Thursday, April 21, 2016

Let's Be Mermaids

Five words.....


 It will be three years this summer since I last saw my sister and I am beyond excited that she's coming to see me tomorrow. My sister lives on the East Coast of Canada and I live on the West Coast. So we're on opposite sides of the country. Think back to the Sleepless In Seattle map when Annie goes from New York to Seattle to visit Sam. That's basically my sister and I but north a bit. 

 My sister and I are incredibly close at heart. I never expected us to be this connected as a kid. Kyli often wanted me to get out of her way and was quite annoyed with my antics most of the time, but as she grew older, I grew up. She moved away first and I ended up near her and things really progressed from there. Our husbands got along really easily which helped more than I realized. I feel as though she is my friend version of a soul mate. It doesn't matter how far away we are, or how little we communicate on a daily basis, nothing and I mean nothing comes between our bond. 

 So I sit here, Thursday evening with a glass of wine, anticipating my big sister's arrival tomorrow. She is coming solo, so I not only get some very deserved one on one time with her, but Alina-girl gets to know her Auntie all on her own. I think that's pretty special. 

 So here's to my sister and the week of us catching up and having some well deserved fun!! We are a couple of moms that live for our kidlets and every once in awhile we deserve to kick back, drink some wine, eat great food, watch classics like Dirty Dancing, The Mermaids and old episodes of The Gilmore Girls and best of all talk until our mouths are sore! 

(Did I mention a weekend in Victoria to soak up the live music scene and for Kyli to see her old city again..?) 

(Ky shared this on my Facebook wall a few days ago. This is why we are soul mates....)


Sunday, March 13, 2016

A Day In The Life

 Well it happened.. I officially neglected my blog. I stopped reading my fellow bloggers' posts and have also lost contact with everyone. I thought with my schooling being over, that I would have more time for these sorts of things but it was quite the opposite. I think because I took so much time away from my family when I was studying and stressing with school all last year, I think subconsciously I feel like I have to make it up to them. I don't take the time for myself anymore because there just isn't any of it. Time, that is.

  Here's a taste of a typical weekday for me. Wake up lazily around 7 once Alina cries out that she's awake. I used to bring her into bed with me to snuggle but now she has a big girl bed and I will go to her and jump in her bed and snuggle. We talk and I ask her how her night was. I get her dressed which usually consists of her saying she wants to do everything herself and then half way through she wants me to help. I get her her breakfast of cereal and milk and I plop her butt in front of an episode of Sesame Street. This gives me a chance to make my one cup of coffee, do my make up and hair. I make up my lunch and Alina's and a lot of the time I am preparing a crock pot meal or something for supper that evening. I always empty and reload the dishwasher before I leave, it just makes me feel better to come home to a tidy-ish kitchen. I pack Alina's back pack with her lunch, spare clothes in case and her sheepy that she sleeps with. I have my lunch and purse at the door alongside her things. I get her to pick up all of her toys (we have a Roomba named Gary that I threaten will eat all of her toys if she leaves them out. ) I struggle to get her focused to put on her shoes, boots and hat most mornings. I get her out the door with all of our stuff and she sloooowly makes her way to the Jeep. Sometimes she surprises me with the fact that she has to poop or pee and that always sets us back.  I have her at daycare at 8:40 most days.  Once at daycare I stick around to have her put her name on the tree, put her inside shoes on and to wash her hands. Once she's done all of those things, I give her kisses and head straight to work. The pharmacy is a minute away from daycare, so that's super helpful. I work 9 until 5 every day and that has been a blessing. Having a job where I can work those hours that consistently is what keeps me grounded and happy. Once I've finished my day, I head back to Alina's daycare to pick her up.

Alina's new bed set. New drums. Helping in the kitchen.
  I get her in the house, empty lunches and get started on making supper by about 5:30. Alina is really into puzzles lately so that has been a good distraction for her while I busy away in the kitchen. Alina is a mama's girl and really likes to hang around me wherever I am. So she is usually nearby when I'm making supper. Once supper is eaten and put away, Alina will bath. Rob baths Alina most nights. Once Alina goes to bed by 8:00 I go downstairs to the gym and do my thing until 8:35ish. I shower and get my 'watching t.v. snacks' and settle in for the first time I get to relax. By the time we finish watching a show or two, it's 10:30 and pretty much time for bed.
  The blogging suffers, phoning friends suffers and I find myself looking back at months, wondering when I ever do things for myself. Someone always requires my attention and I know that with more kids this will intensify. But I also think of a life without a husband, or a family and I feel very lucky. I don't always have time to watch an old episode of Gilmore Girls or to read a book on the couch, but I do love my little family. I feel accomplished at the end of the day and I feel needed and that's a fulfilling feeling too.

   So that's my day to day song and dance. I am too busy doing completely ordinary things everyday to write about them. 

(Alina took this picture..!)
 So what takes up your time everyday? Same kind of stuff, or are you way more interesting?!


Thursday, January 14, 2016

You're Still Here

 It seems like it's been a long time since I've felt you near. I know that I can't just ask for you and you'll be here. It doesn't really work that way, does it..

 It would be a lie to say that I think of you everyday because there are days when I don't. But there are many, many days that you cross my thoughts and it could be the tiniest thing. It could be as simple as making Alina porridge in the morning to working up a sweat in the gym. Your face flickers in my thoughts and I don't always think much more about it. I simply feel comforted knowing that you're still in my head and my heart.

 Tonight when I finished my work out, I walked past the dart board to go upstairs and even started to ascend the stairs. But something made me hesitate and I don't know if it was the spotlight that hit the board just so or the fact that I still play with your favourite set of darts.. But something made me turn around and take our darts out of the board and tossed one ... 7 and as I was throwing the second it occurred to me that I feel like I'm communicating with you somehow when I play. I feel closer to you somehow. I threw that second dart and as I wondered if I would ever throw significant numbers, the dart plunged into the 16. Before I could think too much into it, I tossed my third and final dart and hoped it would complete my little wish.. It was a bullseye and I started to laugh and choke up as I took two stairs at a time to the top. It's my birthday- July 16 and the bullseye was what I hoped to hit when I threw the third.

 You're still here. And you're still letting me know it. I'm still here and I still love you.


Tuesday, December 22, 2015

A Thunder Bay Christmas III

  I think my favourite part of Christmas is the preparation for it. It's the days leading up to the big day. People are shopping and baking, leaving for holidays, arriving in hometowns to visit family and friends. It's the hustle and bustle that I love the most.

 We arrived in Rob's hometown, Thunder Bay, Ontario over the weekend. We were greeted by Uncle Peter, Grandma Marlene, Nonna and Papa. We let Alina go around the corner on her own and we heard a very excited Nonna yelling "Hiii Alina! Merry Christmas!" She was wearing a Santa hat with a tiara on it. It was the cutest thing I've seen in a long time. From that moment on Alina was whisked away, checking out Christmas lights, the snow, the decorations on the houses leading up to Nonna and Papa's. Once we got to the house, she was taken upstairs to her very own bedroom, that was decorated and completed with a colouring table and chairs, Frozen bedding, stuffies and enough toys to keep her busy until next year. Oh and her very own Christmas tree that her and Nonna decorated together that night. It was pretty incredible. To say that Alina is loved would be an understatement. It definitely warms my heart coming here.

  I've known Robert for over ten years now. I've been to Thunder Bay five times and this will be my third Christmas spent here. I was explaining to Rob that I appreciate this trip the most. I appreciate coming 'home' to a home, whether it be mine or Rob's. I appreciate being able to go out and leave Alina without worrying about her. I appreciate the family and the friends I have been adopted by since I met Rob. It's just nice to be apart of his bigger picture.

 We've only been here for a few days and we've already finished our Christmas shopping. We went skating outside last night and today, after Alina's nap we're going to plunk Alina in a sled and take her for a skate. I've been appreciating the evenings, when Alina is tucked in bed. I sit on the couch in the living room upstairs, surrounded by the glow of the Christmas tree and decorations all around me. I sit and relax with a drink and some company. It's been great.

What part of Christmas do you like the best? 


Sunday, December 13, 2015

Evolution Of Alina &Santa

Year One- 

  As you can see, Alina's first experience with Santa didn't go so well. She was less than impressed at nine months old. That year, we went to Thunder Bay for Christmas and Alina was thrust into many laps and she got used to seeing new people by the time our trip was over. She even sat on Thunder Bay Santa's lap, with her folks and she didn't cry that time.

Year 2 

 Last year, Alina brought her baby with her to see Santa and let dad hold her, while she attempted to be brave. Unfortunately I tried to sit her on Santa's knee and she lost her cool pretty quick. So we took some photos of her on the stool by Mrs. Claus' leg. She did high five him which we took as a small victory. She talked a lot about Santa that year but couldn't quite make the trip to his lap.

Year 3 

 This year, Alina has been rehearsing what she was going to ask Santa. Every Santa hat or bearded man was pointed at and named Santa. Let's just say that she's a big fan of the guy. There was a wait list to see him so by the time it was our turn she was pretty excited to talk to him. She told him exactly what she rehearsed; ponies (purple and a pink one), more peoples (Little People princesses) and a unicorn. Santa also convinced her that she wanted some new things for colouring. Now that's been added to her wish list. She was very quiet and still but in the end she was totally thrilled that she was brave and asked him for everything she wanted.

 Christmas was pretty damn brilliant before but now that we have a kidlet, it is so fantastic. Every moment is memorable and she appreciates everything!! Before she understood that she could have presents for Christmas she told Nonna that she wanted a Christmas orange for Christmas. I mean, how cute... and simple. 



Saturday, December 05, 2015

He Won't Bite My Hands ...

 Visions of sugar plums are dancing through my head and it's barely December! It was probably two weekends ago that I found myself watching Christmas With The Kranks on t.v. Normally I would hold off watching any Christmas movies until December. But for some reason, I am eager to get right into it!
 Earlier in November Alina, Rob and I were at the mall. Alina saw her first Christmas tree of the year and ran over to it to inspect the snow and see if it was real. We saw that Santa was already there taking Christmas wishes. She watched in awe and wonder for a moment, staring as he talked to a little girl. She broke her Santa trance to say, "He won't bite my hands.." Kids are so funny. I reassured her that no, Santa wouldn't bite her hands and that I would like to hope that no person would ever bite her hands. What a goof.
Rob's infamous light display that is our house!
  Even my staff Christmas party was in November. We always get a great meal, fun presents and a kooky gift exchange. We have our party at an oceanfront beach resort so it's a great excuse to dress up too. We had a photo booth this year which was also a very nice touch to the night. Another reason for me to have those Christmas tunes forever playing in my head. That's another thing, I am so ready to listen to Christmas tunes every time I'm in the Jeep. I don't normally feel this warm and fuzzy about Christmas, but this year is different. I have a feeling it's going to be a good one!

The only photo of us all dressed up at my party.

We're headed to Thunder Bay mid December for Christmas. I imagine my mom in law is just vibrating with excitement at the thought of having all of her kids and her grand baby under the same roof at the best time of the year. I'm looking forward to all of the goodies she bakes and cooks in preparation for the holiday. She's probably going to have the house the most decorated it's ever been in anticipation for Alina's arrival. Rob's parents are definitely the best grandparents I've ever seen. Obviously they love her but it's shown in their adoration for her, their attention and commitment to making every minute with her a fun and memorable one. We Facetime with them all of the time and they were showing us that it snowed. Andrea was in her pajamas and rubber boots and had Rodney record her outside, building a little snowman for Alina. Now that is love. Best. Grandparents. Ever.

Eating supper, watching her grandparents build her a snowman in Thunder Bay.
   My excitement for Christmas started early this year and now every weekend leading up to Christmas is an exceptional one, filled with Christmas traditions. This weekend we got our Christmas tree and will be decorating it tonight. Alina and I went to the family swim this morning and Olaf and Elsa were there with fun pool games for the kids to play. I hope everyone else is getting into the spirit because there's nothing like this time of year. Everyone is a little more cheery and generous.

What is one Christmas tradition you can't live without!? I have a lot but one food tradition I have to keep up with is Mom's Crab Dip! 


Thursday, November 19, 2015

"I Okay Mom"

 It was Monday evening. I knew that there was a chance my results would be posted that night. The Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada is based in Toronto. (3 hours ahead.) People were posting on the Bridging Friends Facebook page all day the different times that the results would be posted based on passed exams. I was reloading the page on my phone, anxiously looking for a new column to pop up. Monday night came and went and I felt deflated by Tuesday morning. Rob and I have been getting up to work out in our gym in the mornings. I went on the elliptical and the tread mill, taking only one peek. Our workout ended, still no news. Rob decided to shower before me, so I was hanging in bed with Alina. Then, one reload later a new column appeared; Recent Exam Results. My heart began to pound in my chest. Alina was watching a morning cartoon and I found myself in my closet fumbling to hit the link to my fate... I searched through hundreds of numbers, knowing mine by heart; 312118. As I neared similar numbers I slowed down and my heart picked up its pace. 312116... 312117... 312120. Wait... My number wasn't there. Just as I realized that my number wasn't among the newly licensed pharmacy technicians', Rob entered the closet. I whispered, "I didn't pass." I'm surprised he heard me I said it so quiet. 

 This is not the post I wanted to write, this was never part of the plan. But, this is my reality. Bad things happen and what I've learned from those bad experiences is that you always have to take something out of it. I needed something to remind me that it was worth it. My co-worker J. was also going through the same anxious waiting as I was, so I figured I should text her to let her know that the results were in. I showered in hot water and tears, feeling sorry for myself. Alina came into the bedroom as I was getting dressed and asked me why I was sad. I told her that I didn't pass that big test I had been studying so long for. She simply said; "Aww.. I okay Mom." She crawled up my legs and hugged me. She hugged me for a long time, patting my back. The best part about that was that she actually consoled me and I let her. It felt really good to be held by her. And she was right. She was going to be okay, no matter what the results and I would be too. J. replied with happy,crying emojis and the word YES. She had passed. My friend J. has had a tough year and to be honest, if anyone deserved damn good news it was her. I was happy for her even if it made my wound sting a little more.

 Rob told me that this licensing exam was my Super Bowl. He said that it was really hard to even get to it and that winning the Super Bowl ring wasn't for everyone. Right again. (It would have been so much cooler if I had though.) Later, I packed my make-up knowing that I would need to reapply at some point in the day and headed out to face it. I got to work and J. gave me a long hug. I had e-mailed my bosses, wanting them to hear it from me but also not wanting to have to say the words to them. The phone rang and I was summoned over, it was one of them. I was touched that she had phoned me so quickly. She reassured me that I was still important and she lifted me up and genuinely made me feel better. It wasn't just the words she was saying, but it was the act in her phoning me. I was really touched. 

 The people I work for have been encouraging me not to give up. They think that there still is a way for me to get certified. I have looked into other options; taking the OSPE again in April and then going to another province that is still offering the bridging program and registering there. That would include more fees, money to travel, finding a place to stay, finding a store to work at that would offer me a short stay to get my 500 prescriptions checked and of course, writing the Jurisprudence in their province. (Learning the other province's laws, etc.) Rob and I decided that that would be too much. After the year I had, I don't think I have it in me to do all of that. But I'm making peace with it.

 So the big question is; what have I taken from this experience? I'm more valued than I ever realized. People care about me and it is a surprising and pleasant feeling. I wasn't meant to be a registered technician, so I won't be. Simple. I was recently inspired by Michael Strahan's book "Wake Up Happy". In it he mentions waking up inspired and excited to start the day. So I'm exploring the idea of my first attempt at writing a book. I don't know what it would be about yet. But I took one entire year to educate myself in pharmacy and it was really, really challenging. I took on doing something that interests me but is most definitely not something that I'm passionate about. It was an opportunity. But imagine what I could do with something I love? I imagine that if I just tried and dedicated some time into writing something I might just come up with something. I think I would wake up very happy and very excited about my days if I knew it included writing...

 And I can't help but listen and believe the wisest words that came from one 2 and half year old;
" I Okay..." 


Thursday, November 12, 2015

Inside Out - Spoiler Alert

 Inside Out is an animated movie by Pixar that showcases an eleven year old girl name Riley. The movie is primarily from Riley's mind or the workings of her mind. From day one she was simply influenced by Joy or Sadness. Shortly after, Disgust, Anger and Fear join forces. Each emotion that Riley has is depicted by a character. Each character takes a turn at running Riley's reaction for each situation she comes across. She forms memories which are later stored into short term and then long term memory banks. She has five core memories that fuel her major personality traits. There's Goofball Island, Family Island, Trust Island, Friendship Island and Hockey Island.
 The movie itself is cute and entertaining for sure. But it goes so much deeper than cute and entertaining too. Riley represents every single kid out there. She starts out with simple emotions but then life starts to throw her twists and turns. She can't simply feel one thing.. As the movie goes along, Joy who runs things in 'headquarters' begins to realize that Riley needs more than happiness in her life to get by.
I can't help but think of kids today, dealing with grown up situations and not totally knowing how to deal with them. The movie really spoke to me maybe because I grew up in a divorced home, but maybe more because of a young lady I know. She struggles with her emotions, much like most kids but I think more so because she is going through some adult, tough experiences at eleven.
 I loved the message Inside Out sends. Life isn't always easy but bottling up strong emotions like sadness doesn't make it any easier. It's okay to be sad. I have always felt compelled to reach out and help people, kids especially when advice is needed. If I could go back in time, I would have loved to study psychology to learn how the mind works.
 Another interesting part of the film was when Riley's personality traits (or islands) start to fall apart because she isn't happy and she doesn't have the chance to express her sadness she so strongly feels. It's true that as you grow up, those parts of you fade away. Her silly, good nature is shadowed by sarcasm and anger. We all go from innocent kids to awkward pre-teens to complicated, emotional teens.

 The relationship between Riley and her parents slowly gets tainted by Riley's unhappiness, her father's distance from his new job and her mother's pressure to stay positive. As viewers it is maddening watching Riley's dad disappoint her or react in the wrong way at the wrong time.
 I loved this movie because not only was it entertaining for my little buddy Alina who is pushing three, it was also really enjoyable for me. I feel like parents should watch this movie with their children of Riley's age and soak it all in. I bet everyone would learn a little something or at least be reminded of how life can get for kiddos out there, struggling with being a kid and coming into their own at the same time. It reminded me that Alina is currently in her simple emotions stage but that there will come a time when she will struggle within herself and I can only hope that we are there to do the right things and be aware of how much of an impact we have on who she becomes.. (Wow, that's deep and terrifying.)
 I love when a movie does it for me. I have thought about this movie after seeing it and I've spoken to people about how cute it is. I figured I made such a big deal about it, I had better write a post dedicated to my new favourite Pixar movie.

I wouldn't mind if she stayed this sweet forever............


Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Tick Tick

 Currently I live my life as normal. This week I started running and using our elliptical machine first thing in the morning. I get Alina and myself ready for the day as I always do. I drop her off and head towards the pharmacy in my ordinary way. But the difference is that there is this tick, tick ticking faintly in my head. It was hardly there in September, in October it was faint but today, this month, this pressure is beginning to weigh me down. Two weeks until I get the results from PEBC, releasing my fate. Do I get to burst into tears with relief and excitement and a true sense of accomplishment for doing what I set out to do over a year ago? Or will I simply search and search for my PEBC number only to be left with nothing.. Like Jeff Probst from Survivor says to the losing tribe; "I've got nothing for you.." I imagine both scenarios in my head often. One makes me feel elated, too giddy and excited to let my mind go there. It's too good to be true. The other makes my heart beat quickly and I have to squash the sick feelings I get.

 Work is getting more interesting too. Meetings are being set up to discuss my possible new role as a regulated pharmacy technician. Yet, the meetings are set up for one week before I find out my results. The pressure builds as my role expands, as plans for the store are set into motion. The tick, tick goes from an irritating unknown, to a pounding, deliberate, taunting drum.

 TICK (Did) TICK (I) TICK (Pass?)

TICK (Was) TICK (It) TICK (Enough?)

TICK (Can) TICK (I) TICK (Pull) TICK (This)TICK (Off?) 

TICK (What) TICK (If) TICK (I) TICK (Didn't...) 

I am being patient because I have two weeks until I find out. I am not getting too worked up but check back with me next week and it could be a different story. 
 On a lighter note, Alina started at a public daycare this week. She's doing well, getting along with the ladies and engaging with the kids. I'm proud of her and feel that tear in my eye when I think of how big she's getting. I love my girl and even though I'm feeling the pressures of my results, all I have to do is think of her little face and I feel better, no matter what my fate.. I'll have her either way and that's pretty cool. 

We got her hair cut!

Taken last night, keeping baby warm in her shirt and pretty proud of herself.



Wednesday, October 14, 2015

The Dream Team

  I have been wanting to write a post about the beloved Blue Jays but didn't know how to go about it. I loved playing baseball as a kid and I still get the itch to play every spring. We played on a slo-pitch team for three years and then the team sort of fell apart and we had Alina and that was the end of that.


 In 1993, the last time the Blue Jays won the World Series I was eight. I remember playing Legos and my parents were jumping up and down whooping and hollering and I just joined the party. I had no idea why everyone was freaking out but it was fun. The series us Canadians just finished watching was so intense, so fun.

 I believe that if you're a baseball fan in Canada, you are also likely a Jays' fan. Canada has one team and it is the Toronto Blue Jays. This summer Rob and I watched the Blue Jays play the Mariners in Seattle. July 26th was their last game and it was their second loss out of a three game series. On July 28th big changes occurred within the franchise. The Blue Jays acquired Troy Tulowitzki and LaTroy Hawkins from the Colorado Rockies for Toronto's Jose Reyes and three other minor league pitchers. Days later on July 30th, another trade was made for the Detroit Tigers' pitcher, David Price. Another few minor league prospects were sacrificed. On July 31st, the last day of the trade deadline the Blue Jays made another gutsy trade with the Philadelphia Phillies' outfielder, Ben Reveres. This basically decimated the team's minor league system. It was quite the trio of deals that had Rob's twitter feed buzzing. Soon after the trades they had an eleven game winning streak and deemed themselves a force to be reckoned with.

 The sports world is vibrating with talk of this Blue Jays team. The batting line up is something to be feared if you're the opposing team and celebrated time and time again if you're a fan. I know a lot of my readers aren't necessarily baseball fans but believe me when I say; we have a killer team. From the all star outfielders, infielders, pitchers and batters.. It's a true dream team to cheer for.

 Today, was the fifth game in the American League Division series against the Texas Rangers. Game 1 and 2 were in Toronto and the Jays lost both games. Rob was sure that it was all over. All of that time watching these boys win again and again and then... this. Two back to back losses. Games 3 and 4 were in Texas and the Jays came back giving the fans that glimmer of hope. Today, the game was at 1:00 and of course I was working. I streamed the game while I 'worked' and that's when the game got intense. From Pillar's all star dive in center field to Texas' stolen third run to the three major back to back errors made by the Rangers. Once the bases were loaded with none out hope really started to flutter in our hearts. One out and two runners and Joey Bats was up to save the frickin' day. Crack goes the bat and we had ourselves a 6-3 lead in the 7th inning. Roberto Osuna, the youngest pitcher at 20 closes the game with ease and grace. The sports world is talking non stop about this game and to be fair, it's 9 pm and Rob and I are still watching replays on Sportsnet.

The Toronto Blue Jays are scheduled to play the Kansas City Royals on Friday for the Championship series. The winner of this series battle for the Commissioner's Trophy in the 2015 World Series.

 The baseball Gods were surely shining down on our Jays today and we can only hope for more love from the big guys.


Saturday, October 10, 2015

Fighting Old

 I'm thirty.. I know some people have a difficult time turning different ages, whether it be 30, 40, etc. I didn't have a hard time turning thirty but it meant something. It was a pivotal moment in my life, where I suddenly became more aware of little things. Little indications that I am starting to - dare I write the words- .... get old.

 Wrinkles. Yes, it's a thing. I remember my sister in law mentioned that she was getting them maybe a year or more ago and I thought- pfft, who cares about wrinkles? Then, I started to notice when I was applying my concealer (the one that hides the dark circles under my eyes) that the skin under my eyes wasn't the way it used to be... It was getting more difficult to apply that makeup, I had to blend it in more or it would cake to the lines under my.. wait. Those lines, are the wrinkles! I have wrinkles. Okay, that's fine. But even those dark circles are getting more and more difficult to hide. I used to wear that concealer because it brightened me up but it wasn't something I had to have. Now, I don't feel comfortable without it and mid-day, I'll go to the bathroom and feel like I need to reapply.

   Solution: I've been looking for the right make up to cover up my dark circles and feel hopeful that I found the right stuff at Wal Mart of all places.

Embarrassing Temptations. So the other day, I was at Costco and I saw a three pack of ladies underwear. For a split second I thought how nice it would be to have a three pack that I could buy instead of sorting through tiny La Senza underwear that is intended for sixteen year old butts.. However- I'm not there yet. I can't do it. The day I begin buying three packs of women's underwear from Costco is the day I can officially say that I am old. (Sorry for any offended birds out there that jump at a Costco three pack. I envy your uncomplicated panty shopping.)

 Solution: I will actually put some time and effort into buying a decent few pair of underwear from La Senza and I will continue to keep an eye out for those sales of the Costco three packs....Just in case.

Strange Shopping Goals. Rob and I were talking the other day and he may have mentioned that we need to update our lounging around the house clothes. As he was telling me I was shamelessly sporting a red waffle shirt with a pair of blue, plaid pajama pants. Now I justified my outfit because my pj pants that match the red top were ripped.. Normally I would never wear something that completely didn't match. He said we should shop for nicer looking lazy clothes so that we could throw out the ugly stuff. I don't know.. His lounging clothes aren't all that bad. I have a feeling he didn't really think he was the problem. I told Rob that what I really wanted, was a pair of black joggers with pockets. But the most important thing was that the joggers had to have pockets. If they didn't, it was a total deal breaker. Sweat pants with pockets. That's what my clothes shopping priorities have turned into.

(Insert a picture of a black pair of sweat pants that have visible pockets here.) 
I took way too long trying to find a picture of sweat pants... Just use your imagination.
Solution: Consider it done. Wearing my black joggers WITH pockets, as I type these very words. Nailed it!
Varicose Veins. I was at the mall and thought I'd sneak a look at some sexy bedtime wear. So I found a couple of nice ideas and took them to the change room. The moment I dropped my pants, I gasped. I don't know if it was the unflattering lighting, or the three way mirror but I was horrified to see that my one leg was completely overtaken by my unsightly varicose veins. To my already established horror, I discovered that a long, thick, corded vein has invaded my other leg, the good leg I used to call it. So sad. I didn't even finish trying on the outfits. I abandoned my shopping and left the store deflated. What a total bummer. I never want to wear shorts, skirts, bathing suits or short dresses ever again.

 Solution: This issue is the one that makes me the most nervous. I have to go to my doctor and get a referral to a specialist and have them collapsed. Once I've collapsed them perhaps it's compression stockings for me! (Another reason I'm getting old, to add to the list!)

Tired, even for me. I am one of those anomalies. I can stay up really late, get up really early, feel tired but never complain. I almost always get away with little sleep and I never usually have a problem with it. I don't know if it's because Alina gets up so early every morning, or the fact that I stay up late reading, but lately I have been feeling pretty tuckered. I used to be able to stay up quite late, going out and having a good time then get up four hours later and work for eight, without much of a problem. The very thought of doing that is enough to make me want to take a nap.

  Solution: I think my solution to being tired is to let in every once in awhile and make sure it's with someone worth napping with...

Sometimes it's okay to order off the senior's's cheaper because there's less food! 

Complaining about Justin Bieber and the nonsense he keeps coming out with is fine because his songs are actually terrible to young ears too, right?

I don't know why the air is so cold during a movie at the theater, I think next time I should just bring a small blanket in my purse to avoid the shivers... 

It's okay that I looked EVERYWHERE for our coupon book this morning so I could save $4 on the second breakfast item at ABC Restaurant... 

Ahh crap... I'm old.  


Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Back On Track

 It's been 19 days since my very last exam.. I finally feel like I have my life back on track again. Alina caught a cold over the weekend and I got an extra two days off with her after the weekend. So I had a four day weekend, which is like a small holiday. I will admit that it gave me some extra time in my house, with my girl and to myself. I definitely feel very fortunate to have been able to have this time... I was walking with Alina today around 10:30 and it was the first time I felt like I was fully a mom. I know that sounds dumb. Of course I am a full mom but because I had the extra two days off, I felt like I did when I was on maternity leave. Like I had all the time on my side, to do whatever I wanted with it. It's truly a very freeing feeling.

 I already feel like I've achieved so much since I finished school...

1.  I've cleaned my house! Well to be fair, I haven't completely cleaned it the way that it should be cleaned. I find with Alina around, I don't get to get too into the house work. She does require some supervision and she tends to get in the way. But, my friend just visited from back home and I had a chance to clean some things I really wanted to!

2.  I'm reading for fun again! I can pull out a book after Alina goes to bed, while Rob is watching baseball. I'm still currently finishing up the Grey Series...

3.  I'm making decent suppers again. I find all of my meals on Pinterest. I need to start a series of me trying out different recipes...

These are all recipes from Pinterest!
 4.  I am catching up with the people I've neglected all year! I had a chance to message my sister and we both agreed that we need to write once a week, just to inform the other on how life is going.... I convinced my mom to get an Iphone just for Facetime so she can see her grandkids. I also had a chance to talk to my best friend from back home for a bit and my other good friend introduced me to her little addition via Facetime too!

Nice to meet you little man!
 5.  Alina is starting to ease up on me whenever I leave a room. She still likes to know where I'm going but she's not my my shadow like she was before. Every time I'd get up she would ask me if I was going to go study. It was kind of sad.

6.  My husband is free! He can go outside and mow the lawn, wire up a light, putz around the camper as long as he likes anytime he wants to. 

Hey! It's our camper..!
 7. I can blog again!!! I am so excited to be sitting on my couch by a crackling fire, tap tapping my thoughts on the computer keys. Nothing has sounded so right in a long time.

I get my family back all to myself and I'm pretty happy about it.


Thursday, September 24, 2015

Mommy Porn

Everyone has heard of the term mommy porn but I think it varies for everyone.. Personally mommy porn could mean a few things, it could just depend on my mood at the time.

 For instance, the other morning I opened the dishwasher and to my utter surprise and delight it was empty. Rob had time and put all of the dishes away. I instantly texted him to say that I never need flowers but that surprising me with an empty dishwasher was more than enough. He wouldn't have to be romantic if he just did those simple gestures all of the time.

 A couple of friends have told me about the love language. How a person in the relationship can be rewarded in different ways. I know that my rewards would come in everyday household chores. I love a man that can clean up after himself and knows how to finish an everyday chore around the house. Sure, my man knows how to wire a house or built an addition on a house but somehow he doesn't grasp that idea that once you put the leftovers into tupperware they do require the matching lids to go on top AND they somehow need to end up in the refrigerator overnight.

 Life gets hectic and romance fizzles. We aren't romantic at the best of times, but sometimes I just want a bit of affection. I do realize that I am like an ice cube to approach or cuddle up to in bed sometimes. I'm guarded and for some reason I build a wall between myself and those I love, to a certain extent. Don't ask me why- that's a whole other post. But, I have been reading the Fifty Shades Trilogy and whew... it has been doing wonders for my "romantic side." I will often ignore Rob before bed, read for an hour and suddenly I'm all mush beside him willing him awake so that we can make out. These books are kind of gaggy because they're a touch corny but they certainly do something for me! So I would definitely say that this series of books would fit under my category of "mommy porn."


 It's funny, I suck at feelings but am a total sap for a love story or a romantic comedy. It's difficult for me to open up but I love watching everybody else do it. (I'm sure a psychiatrist would love to get a hold of that and analyze the shit out of it!)

   Coming to the end of my 'mommy porn' rant... I bring you gorgeous men. We all have our own preferences. I'm surprised Chris made it into my trio of eye candy but for some reason, even though he is a blondie- I can't keep my eyes off of the screen when he's on it. As E.L. James would describe it, "I pant" at the sight of him.. Tim and Milo have been my onscreen eye candy for many, many years. Tim in GO and more recently "Catch and Release".. Watching him kiss is just something else... Milo will always be "Jess" in my mind and I will sometimes think of him and wonder what would have happened if he had just stayed in Star's Hollow with Luke.

 Mommy Porn; we all need it, most of us have it and if you don't, you must find it!
Please share your favourite eye candy, your fav 'romantic' books and if you have any extras like musicians, etc... don't hesitate to share. This mama is always looking for more mommy porn to add to her collection. 

I'm like Ariel in my trove of mommy porn treasures...

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

My Flurry of Thoughts Have Been Evicted

 Is this for real?! Can it be!? Is it so!?

 Yes, that's right.. I'm back! It has been a really long time and I am so happy to be back at what I truly love; writing! So many things have happened and there are so many things that I want to share. So I've decided to post a completely random jumble of thoughts and pictures that come to mind.. It's an inside look at what is going on inside of my head... !

 First of all, we fulfilled a dream of mine this summer and that was going to a Major League Baseball game in Seattle. Our All Star Toronto Blue Jays won one out of the three games they played that weekend and we so happened to be at the two they lost. However- it was still an incredible experience and I would definitely recommend a good ol' baseball game if you ever get the chance!

 I was aimlessly wandering around Facebook today and I came across one of the cutest ideas ever.. Disney Princess cooking aprons FOR ADULTS! My inner kiddo squealed with delight and instantly bellowed the words; I WANT ONE! I looked through all of the classics and decided at first sight it's Cinderella all the way. I originally loved Cinderella the most until Belle entered the Disney scene. (Brunette, loved books- come on, it was a Disney Princess made for me..!)

Click HERE to the Etsy Shop responsible for these gems...
   Alina's Papa won her a toy over the summer. Alina later referred to that toy as "Auntie Kyli".. My sister has a doppelganger and it is a fictitious character named Sam Sparks from Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 2...

  A list I've been putting together in my Iphone Notes for over a year of things that I dislike... Which one do you agree with the most...?

1.  Fruit flies!
2.  Sneezing after putting on mascara.
3. Taking a primary key off of your key ring.
4. Paying for tampons.
5. Packing tape dispensers.
6. Leaving the windshield wipers on even though it has stopped raining.
7. People that walk sloooowly across the street that don't use the crosswalk.
8. The smell of a dirty dishwasher.

 We sold our Westy and bought a camper!!! Whoop whoop! Helloooo camping!

  Alina is potty trained and yapping up a storm everyday. She's my best friend and we are both very happy about getting to spend more time together, now that I'm finished studying. She loves Frozen, like every other 2 year old. But she also loves "Punzel" and Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty and every Disney Princess out there. She says, "Can I want some..!?" whenever she wants something I am eating. We threaten with time out on the daily but it works, so she's turning out to be a pretty good kiddo. She loves, loves, loooooves singing and dancing in my arms to Wagon Wheel and Chicken Fried. She loves babies and her favourite toy right now is "Chincha". She is goofy and smart and I love her.. can you tell??

 I'm looking forward to catching up on my fav blogs again.. and I'm sorry I've been gone for so long! I missed this place!!