Thursday, June 23, 2011

Whittling and Whining and Flooded New Drywall

Griffin Asher
Noah March
Hello, darling readers, I know I've been a negligent poster of late. I have been busy as usual, with the usual things, including LOSING 10 LBS since the end of April. Yes, I am very proud of myself, and it's been hard work - especially with the constant demands of my little lovelies (or maniacs, depending on how you look at it). I plan to keep going as I have more to lose, but I am officially starting to believe that I can do it. It's taken me over a decade to get back down to where I am, so it's a big deal! My clothes are fitting differently (some not at all anymore, some in the first place as I couldn't wear them before). I feel so much better being in control. Some days are easier than others but I'm enjoying my workouts for the most part and now that I'm eating more cleanly most of the time, my body reacts much more noticeably to the stuff that isn't good for me (felt totally pukey after a piece of my husband's birthday cake, even though I made it from scratch myself). So yes, permanent and lasting change seem to be in my future (and unbelievably, my present as well). I am whittling away at my accumulated neurosis/love handles and coming out of it a much stronger person in mind and body. It is definitely a feat of mental strength making strides in this way. I can really feel how positive an effect my being fit and strong and mentally sharp is having on my family as well.

Spastically excited to share a room!
My one complaint right now is that since we moved the boys into a room together, our sleep patterns are out the window. We've tried a variety of things and I've come to the conclusion that I need to cut their naps way down. Up to this point I have been very fortunate to have two boys who will nap for three hours or more most afternoons, and I think it's hooping us at night. With a sitter here last night, the boys were up until almost 10 (they napped late), and STILL they woke me up at 5 this morning. Actually, they woke my husband, who had developed a raging headache through the night and wanted me to get up with them...so I awoke to find him talking away at me about getting up with the kids, as though I had been awake for the first part of the conversation. Meh. I'm so tired I'm becoming a crazy person(exhibit A to the right - tell me I don't look a little manic). I'm going to short-change the kids on their naps today and PRAY we can get them to sleep reasonably early tonight.

Just before drywall completion
On the house front, things are coming along, er, swimmingly. Just as we finished the drywall and primer coat in the basement, the plumber overlooked an un-stopped pipe and flooded our master bedroom and the theatre below. With soundproofing/insulation between the two, the entire ceiling of the theatre will now have to be ripped out, reinsulated and re-drywalled to avoid mold growth and the like. Tim is not happy. This will add considerable time to the finishing of the drywall and painting in the house, which was probably only two weeks from done before this happened. At any rate, the plumber is very, very sorry.

My sister is in France having a fabulous time right now, and keeps sending me pictures of her meals and the various wonderful places she's seeing (that's Monica to the left, sitting with the dog in her lap). I am jealous and simultaneously, vicariously enjoying her experience. Hopefully she will bring me some nifty souvenirs or something. I can't believe six years have passed since our honeymoon there. We'll celebrate 16 years together this July.

I am off to force feed my cranky tired children the rest of their breakfasts, but will return a bit later to add some illustrative photos for your viewing delight. Oh, and a clip from the album I just bought by The New Pornographers. It's such a happy album. Not new to me but the copy my friend sent got drooled on and destroyed...it's so good that I made a special trip to the store for a new one. http://www.youtube.com/watch

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Hockey Riots and Colour Swatches. What a Week.

I mean, REALLY, Vancouver?
WELL. I am extremely embarrassed by the behaviour of Vancouverites in general tonight, though I know MY friends and family have had no part in the burning of cars, destroying of property or violence toward one another that I am seeing on the news.
So the Canucks lost. The Bruins had an impenetrable goalie. It was over as soon as it started. Sure, disappointing. NOT a reason to make our whole country look like assholes! My goodness. Here is the link to the photo source: mashable.com

...I am so not a hockey fan, and only really watched this game because my husband wanted to. I made a nice taco dinner and we watched it with the boys. As soon as it became clear that it was not going to be Canada's game, my husband said "Oh no, they're going to trash the city..." but this is insane!

However, I will move on. By the time anyone turns off the news and checks this out, it will be old hat anyway.

Yesterday, we met with Bruce to choose our interior paint colours. I will elaborate on colour names and locations in a follow-up entry soon...but for now here is a photo of the swatches. I am thrilled and excited to see them up - the primer was going on yesterday. I can't believe how fast it's all starting to go. Now, if someone would just buy the house we're in. Sigh. The market really is just BLAH right now. Hopefully that will turn around soon.

I am sick with a very sore throat and got about four hours of sleep last night. So for now, I am off to sip a warm neocitran and climb into bed. May Vancouver just stop the nonsense now and all go to sleep as well...What a scene.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Whatnots and Whozits, Etc.

We're keeping flowers around all the time now, in case of showings
It's 5pm, my husband will be home in about an hour, and my children have flat-out refused to eat their tuna sandwiches, though they have done so before. I refuse to make them another meal. Before we had kids, we used to watch this one poor friend of ours as she played the role of short-order cook to her two boys. One of them would literally only eat hotdogs, pizza and macaroni and cheese. The other was better, but not by much. She would end up making three meals to accommodate her kids, her husband and herself. We would drive home and agree that I would never succumb to such a fate. Seriously, moms, don't do it! Her son is now about 22 and has moved in a girlfriend who does the same thing for him! Don't get me wrong. There's nothing wrong with a Mama's Boy. But my Mama's Boys will know how to both grow and cook their own food AND do laundry. By the time they're 10.

Griffin eating actual veggies, hidden in his mac and cheese!
Admittedly there have been times when I have made a second meal for one or both of them. When they are babies, there is some leeway to be had on pretty much everything you thought you knew how to do beforehand. But now that they're bigger (and growing faster than I can keep up with - my two year-old put on a pound and a half in less than a month!), I refuse to continue letting them woo me with their cuteness. Okay, that's totally not true in the grand scheme of things. But I AM serious about meal times. I will not be the parent whose kids are bewildered when they sit down to a family dinner at a friend's house. They will know what to do. They will know how to eat. They will be able to carry on a polite conversation and hopefully tell a story or two. They will understand that they must at least try everything on their plates, and that no dessert will be had (or anything else for that matter) if they don't eat what is put in front of them.

a snapshot of one of our market hauls from last summer
It can be hard to be consistent and not just do what's easiest in the moment. We have busy lives. I won't claim this will fall into place perfectly and smoothly; that I won't bribe them to get the results I want sometimes. But they will be subjected to quite an adjustment as we move into our new home and I truly begin my enterprise as a homesteader. Less sugar and packaged food, more time outside in our garden, less television, more fruit...you get the picture.

I haven't talked about the "Clean Eating" diet for a month or two. While there are strong principles and guidelines in Tosca Reno's books, they are pretty rigid and I am changing my ways a bit more gradually. On the weekends I still have a drizzle of maple syrup in my coffee. But the way I am eating now involves portion control and tons of fresh fruit and produce. I think the example I'm setting will pay off (for all of us). Down over three pounds since last week and hoping to meet a goal by next Monday with the support group I mentioned in my last post, and by tracking my daily food and exercise on www.myfitnesspal.com . It's been a huge help and a motivator.

Front of house as seen from behind outbuilding
In other news, our designer has had some things preoccupying him and we haven't had a chance to meet with him together for a couple of months now. So in some ways I am chomping at the bit to dive back into things - he's talking in our emails about getting paint samples up on the interior walls, etcetera. Things will start to move pretty quickly and I think we'll be move-in ready around September. Unfortunately, having listed the house almost two weeks ago we've had almost no interest so far. My Dad blames the hockey season, I blame the first decent weather we've had all spring...but whatever the case we've only had one showing and not a peep since. That was a week ago. Hoping things change and people start shopping soon so we can stop worrying about the place being perfect all the time. We worked our arses off getting it ready to show, and now we're in limbo. Blah.

outbuilding seen from front of house
Great room seen from back of kitchen
Will post pics of our most recent photo shoot at the new house when I get a minute. Such a challenge lately! For now, I am off to represent the children with their wilting sandwiches. They think they can be stubborn? Boy, have they got somethin' coming.

Ha ha - ten minutes later, the boys have had a good play and are back in their high chairs chowing down on their sandwiches. Mama rides again. Until bedtime, anyway...

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Real estate, drywall and shrinking thighs!

So the neatest thing happened last Friday night. My husband's second cousin Lacey and I have kept in touch since we met at a family reunion about seven years ago. She has two boys very close in age to ours and lives in Oregon. We're Facebook friends and she sent me a message inviting me to join a secret page because she knew I was trying to lose weight. She and some other moms (one of whom I know online from the site www.breasthealthonline.org because Lacey connected us before our breast reductions last fall) are using the page for accountability, commiseration and encouragement and so on. Every week we post a photo of our feet on the scale and try to meet the challenge her friend Robyn posts. The first challenge was to join www.myfitnesspal.com, which is kind of like Weight Watchers but free, and it seems to me, way better. After you track your food and exercise for the day, you get a one-liner under your summary that says "If every day were like today, you would weigh ___ in five weeks!" Such a motivator to know I can get the numbers down and that I have to account for what I'm doing between the two things. I'm grateful Lacey thought to include me! You can check out her blog at: http://laceyandkyle.blogspot.com . I've been posting pictures of my meals when I can just to help myself stay on task. It's a fun way to make my crazy days a little more artistic too.

I was feeling stuck for the last week or two of  May and things are looking up again. This reminds me of what I accomplished before my very temporary pause; I am on a mission! I started last month by running a big 10K race I haven't done since before my oldest was born four years ago. I just checked the difference in my time and I beat my 2006 run by over 7 minutes! 104:12 isn't fast, but it's FASTER. Ha. I am also still LOVING Jazzercise. Only about three classes a week are manageable with my 2 & 4 year old boys, but the instructor is a fireball and makes me do things I would never do to myself! I know that as the weight comes off I will develop muscle tone as well thanks to this. AND I LOST 7 POUNDS IN TWO WEEKS doing this and running on alternate days. I also figured out how to use an ipod - well, mostly (my husband is still on task as my trouble shooter)...

On the house front the cedar shingling is going up on the exteriors and drywall is almost done. All the fireplaces are in along with doors. It's getting exciting - Tim brought home the Farrow & Ball paint swatches Bruce (our designer) wants me to approve today for the interiors. Whee! We have also listed our current home and have had one showing so far. This is the most stressful part of our current situation as it's not easy keeping the place clean with two little ruffians tearing it apart all day. We're managing though and have worked hard to get it into shape. Fingers crossed that it sells quickly. Wanna buy a house? Buy Sam's House!

That's all for now. Must get to sleep as the boys have been relentlessly waking us at 5 am daily! Have a lovely.