Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Food, health, weight....blah, blah, blah.

So, it is now week 5 of my concerted effort to be healthier and to let go of the junk in my trunk.

So far I am down 13 lbs!

I am actually quite surprised as I am stuffing my face with summer fruit every chance I get. Apparently what they say about not eating too much fruit because of the sugar doesn't apply here... and thank goodness, because I LOVE CHERRIES! I LOVE WATERMELON! I LOVE STRAWBERRIES!...

Ok, honestly, I just love food.

So, the jist of what I am doing is to eat more, more often, with more joy.

I am keeping track (because I am a list-maker) and looking back, there have been days where I eat more 100 calorie snack bags than I care mention (er...was that a snack or a meal?) and then there was my birthday (weekend)...but most days are good.

A few things I've done that seem to be helping;

I cut out the artificial sweetners. We no longer use any of them in our home...no, not even splenda. What I am using is a natural sweetner called Stevia and it is amazing! No headaches or terrible fatigue when I am using this over artificially-sweeteed beverages.

I am also drinking more water. Well, water with lime juice, a few frozen strawberries popped in and some stevia. The best, most refreshing calorie-free beverage ever! Koolaid without the sugar, dye, artificial flovour and preservatives.

Greens+. My Acupunturist turned me on to this stuff and it's amazing! I mix it into a smoothie in the morning and I have energy all day. It is available all over the place and is worth it's weight in gold. Last month I did greens+ and all-greens, this month I am trying the greens+multi. Will let you know what I think.

I WAS wearing a pedometer to record how many steps I take per day. 10000 steps per day is roughly equivalent to 30 minutes of physical activity. I was ranging between 6 and 16 thousand steps per day, depending on the day (weekends were less because Alan is home to help). I pledge to start wearing it again tomorrow and writing down the results.

Other than that, laying in the hammock, wrecking my journal (pictures to come, Sara), watching "wipeout" because it makes me laugh like a crazy person and trying to keep the boys busy (there should be an exercise catagory for this).

Monday, June 29, 2009

Unschooling, schedules...rAmBlinGs.

So, if you think homeschooling/unschooling is stupid, prepare yourself.

This post isn't up for criticisim. It is here because we have gone through some changes over the past few months and I want to blog about it....

In May we made the big decision to homeschool. This idea has been in my heart for a long time. I knew it was right for Parker, but I had no idea how to go about it.

My logical self went out and bought curriculum and workbooks, schedulling 15-20 minutes of "school" time after meals each day. Parker balked.

After a month of misery and me seriously questioning my homeschooling chops I posted on a homeschooling group I belong to, for ideas and inspiration.

The replies I got were frank; WHY was I forcing him to learn these things? Was I really so worried about him learning to write at 6? Who cares about counting by twos and fives?

I decided that a period of "de-schooling" was in order... honestly, more for me than for Parker. It was me that needed to let go of my conventional ideas about schooling.

So I stopped. We played, slept in, played some more.

One day P came into the diningroom and asked for a paper and pencil. He sat down and wrote a story about a little girl with sausages for fingers. Some of the words were spelled phonetically, but I understood every word and it was the loveliest of stories... brought tears to my eyes.

I had been pushing something so mundane on him. He was bored.

The more I thought about the schedule of school and the conventionality of it, the more I realised that it is just another way to train a child to conform to a traditional 9-5 work week, often in a job that isn't interesting, or challenging.

While I feel that there is nothing wrong with a 9-5 work week, the boy's Dad works in a conventional (albeit family-friendly) job, I don't want the boys pre-conditioned to that life.

I want them to choose what they want to do, be, the hours they want to work. I know people who are so ingrained with the idea that they have to work long hours to be respected that they cannot take time off at Christmas to spend time with their family.

While it is important for kids to understand convention and conformity, I rather think that 6 is far too young to live these things. How can he become who he IS when there are so many things he wants to understand and I am teaching him that counting by twos is more important?

Since then we've dropped the homeschooling idea. We are unschoolers. It works for us.

We sleep us much as we want, not feeling the need to get up early and rushing around to conform to someone's school schedule.

We eat popcorn and a tiny bit of chocolate in the mornings.

We swing in the hammock and read a book.

We fill our pockets with rocks and feathers.

We squish coins on train tracks and guess which will be flattest.

We water plants and pull weeds.

We wash the floor, pick up toys, bake bread and tidy the livingroom together.

We count all the money in our piggybanks.

We visit the Science Center, Zoo, Museum, grocery store, world - together.

We are happy.

Here is my promise as the loving Mama of my two little people...I will let them BE.


Yesterday saw us reorganising our kitchen/dining-room. We have a TINY, poorly laid out pantry (closet) in the kitchen and never know what is in there.

We purchased a new "pantry" and decided to move all our pantry food items into there. All our pots, pans and small appliances will move into the old pantry and hopefully this will result in a new, streamlined kitchen.

Alan also installed our air conditioner last night. We'd assumed it wouldn't fit into our new windown, but we pulled it out yesterday and got the loveliest of surprises...it fits perfectly!

Since the house did not go through, we have decided to stay here, for the time being, while we search for another, more suitable house. I insisted that we had to make things more comfortable and Alan seemed to have no objections to that.

Now to renovate the library (read: stairwell)...;)

Saturday, June 27, 2009


Do you have any of these in your life?

People who make their own lives a constant rollercoaster of emotions; Love, infatuation, Jealousy, Hatred, Stress, Despair...basically, Chaos.

I get that everyone feels these things in their lives sometimes, sometimes brought on by situations completely out of our control...but the kind of person I am talking about actually seems to THRIVE on these emotions... and then tries to pull everyone around them in.

These people deplete me. This year has been a year of letting these people go.

Every once in a while we need to take stock of how we are feeling emotionally and what we are letting ourselves get caught up in... because we have to let it get to us... and decide if it is really worth the stress (sometimes it is).

I gave my head a good shake this morning and "De-Drama-ed" my current reality.

So long Drama-Maker.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Hammock Heaven

I have wanted a hammock for SO long. I layed down in one somewhere once and it was so great that I haven't stopped thinking about it.

Today is Thursday and the flyers arrived and what do you know...Canadian Tire has a lovely rope hammock on sale for $24.99. I had to have it.

Alan installed it between a corner post of our fence and the lovely Tamarack in our yard... with a few adjustments (to stop my bottom from grazing the grass) and I was in hammock heaven!

Liam and I cuddled under one of Parker's silks and read this month's 'Chirp' magazine (thanks Mom!), then Parker decided he needed some quiet hammock time and we left him alone to relax (mostly alone...I had to take some pictures...:D).

If you have a quiet spot between two trees that you don't know what to do with, I'd highly recommend it.

Looking up

Me, relaxing.

Feigning sleep because I asked him to...:)

Parker, relaxing.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

New hobbies!

I have taken up a new hobby!

I have always been interested in terrariums. Alberta is such a dry place that many types of plants do not thrive here. I also have little time to care for plants, so it was a natural fit.

Below are a few I have made over the past few months for myself and for good friends!

What are YOUR hobbies?? Have you found that they are different than those you had before kids?

Monday, June 22, 2009

New Home excitement!

So, we put in an offer on a new home!

We need all the positive energy and abundant thoughts you are willing to send our way!

If you have a second, please close your eyes to see us getting our house, feel excited and then send that energy to us!



Sunday, June 21, 2009

Solstice activities & Father's Day

Last night, at 11:46 our time we smudged each other in the yard, held hands and sent it out there...the feelings that we will feel in our new home, what we needed and what we want.

It was calm and warm outside, a nice night for wishcasting. I can still faintly smell the wild sage on my skin this morning... like a reminder of what wonderful things are coming.

I am up early this morning. The boys are still asleep and I have just assembled my first "wife-saver" casserole. Of course, due to the fact that Liam is mostly vegetarian and he and I don't handle dairy well, I had to switch it up a bit. I layeed homemade honey whole wheat bread with fresh blueberries, then whipped up an egg, cinnamon, vanilla mixture in the blender and poured it overtop. I finished it up with cinnamon, brown sugar and butter...all things Alan loves.

Which brings me to my next point... Alan.

It has been 10 years of marriage for us this year... some of those years easy and some hard, but all of them have been so GOOD.

He is an amazing Dad, so active with the boys, and a wonderful husband... always giving me the space I need to figure life out.

I know, at times, I am not the easiest person to live with... I am a Gemini and therefor am changeable and constantly looking at new interests. But, when I knit a hat, or stamp a card or make a terrarium, he is my biggest fan... what a guy!

Thanks for being you today, Alan... hope you like the casserole.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Wreck this Journal.

So, last night was my 35th birthday party.
Me and 10 friends went to a local "shi-shi" French restaurant, with amazing food called the Laurier Lounge. They reserved us an entire room and we sat around, sipped wine or mojitos (admittedly, many, many mojitoes were consumed), ate yummy things like seared scallops and poutine galvaude and escargot and bruschetta.
We laughed quite loudly and I, personally, had a lovely time.
One of my lovely friends bought me my very own "Wreck this Journal".
I had never actually looked inside a wreck this journal, had no idea what it was all about, but as soon as I started to read it, I realised how much I NEEDED this book.
My first act was to poke holes in one of the pages, with a pen. Followed closely by squashing a lime wedge and blueberry between another set of pages. I honestly cannot remember how many pages I completed last night...but it was so CATHARTIC!
I am so careful, in my life, to keep everything neat, tidy, looking perfect and this book gives you permission to mess it up...and to enjoy doing it!!
I arrived home to find P & L still awake at 10pm...they were baking me a cake because today is actually my birthday. So I let it go...and we wrecked a few pages in my journal...it was the first think Liam talked about this morning...how fun it was to wreck the pages...it made me realise that we need more destructive fun.
I am letting go...

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Sisterhood

Okay, ever hear of "finding your tribe"? I think I have found mine in the Sisterhood of the Purple Bicycle.
I spent quite a lot of time reading and laughing and relating to their recent blogging.
I encourage you, regardless where you are in your journey, to follow the Purple bicycle trail and make yourself some new promises.
Personally, I promise to stop taking myself and life SO seriously.
Be authentic. Be joyful. Just BE.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Life-coaching Part 2...long post.

So, my coaching session was pretty good, great actually.

Hanna really focused in on what it is that we expect to FEEL in our new home. She wanted to identify three main emotions that we feel a new home will bring us.

I identified a desire for freedom; in that we would like a home that is OURS, that we can do with what we want. Paint, renovate, have a dog, plant trees, bushes, a garden...whatever. For some reason I find light also very freeing...I would like a home with a lot of light.

I also identified peace as one of the emotions. We live in the inner-city. It is loud. It is busy. Our home is very small and we do not have a lot of personal space. I think having a place to go to do our individual things when neccesary would bring a large measure of peace. I would also enjoy being a little closer to nature. The lone Tamarack tree in our yard is GLORIOUS, but I would like hundreds... nature has always been a part of how I relax and let go of stress and I think it is good for kids to grow up with trees and wildlife... I did and it has contributed to who I am.

Love is the third emotion I identified. Because we resident manage, our schedule is unpredictable. Add into that MY job and Alan and I rarely get to spend time together. When we do, we are exhausted and usually folding laundry. Moving from here into our own home will open up 2-3 nights a week for us to be together as a family. I crave more time together as a family. I also deeply desire the space to have extended family and friends in our home. I grew up in a close-knit extended family and miss spending holidays and special occasions together. We try in our home, but 12 people in our tiny living room is challenging.

Hanna also suggested performing a ceremony...sending all of our desires out into the universe...asking for what we want and then living the life we desire, emotions and all, knowing that the house will be there.

We had planned to do something like this to celebrate Summer Solstice on Sunday (Father's Day)... strip the boys down and let them dance naked in the moonlight and BELIEVE that it is coming...now we have a little more direction and and focus...we are going to do it!

My question for you is this: What do YOU desire? What three emotions can you see yourself feeling when you acheive this thing? What are you doing now to achieve it?

More to come...perhaps with pictures!

Monday, June 15, 2009


So, my friend Hanna is a life-coach.

She isn't one of those bossy, opinionated people... I mean, she does have opinions, but she lets people figure out their own way and encourages them.

I made an appointment for a coaching session with her on Wednesday afternoon. The new home thing is constantly on my mind and Hanna is a true believer in manifesting what you want and need in this life. She practices it in her life and I am grateful to glean some of her wisdom and experience.

Hanna also does NLP, or Neurolinguistic Programming. Anyone have experience with this? From what I understand, it is a kind of hypnosis that helps you let go of pre-conceived ideas about yourself, life, just about anything... eventually replacing them with new ideas.

In the meantime, I have a new mantra..."I have my dream home"... Say a little prayer for us that we will be able to move in next month.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.

Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.

We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be?

You are a child of God.

Your playing small does not serve the world.

There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people

won't feel insecure around you.

We are all meant to shine, as children do.

We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.

It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone.

And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give

other people permission to do the same.

As we are liberated from our own fear,

our presence automatically liberates others.”

-Marianne Williamson

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The garden

I am so excited! After all that snow and cold and rain I worried that my sweetpeas were never going to come up, but this morning I spied GREEN poking out of the dirt. We won't be here to enjoy them while they are in bloom this year, but I will drive by and peek.

My ranaculus are sprouting, finally. This is my first year for this plant and I am excited to see all the colours! Here is what it will look like when it blooms:

It is supposed to make a beautiful cut flower and I LOVE to have fresh flowers inside. I am hoping they smell better than my beautiful (but malodourous) Shasta Daisies.
Once I cut and arranged a lovely vase of them for a sick friend. I brought them inside to tie a ribbon around the vase and thought that, perhaps, Alan had forgotten to take out the garbage. I was wrong. Shasta daisies are lovely and grow like a dream, but they smell horrific.
I left them out on the step and had many compliments from visitors
I would like to experiment with some native plants in our new place. I am cosidering Alberta Wild Roses, Wild Sage, crocus' from the Ranch and wild strawberries.
Anyone have experience working with native plants? Any favourites?

Health, Wealth and Wisdom.

About a month ago I decided to take a chance and purchase the Nutrisystem Weightloss program I'd recently seen advertised at Costco. I was so excited to receive it in the mail and decided to give it an entire month before deciding whether to re-order or not.

After three days, the thought of eating any more of the mushy, tasteless food made me dream of Taco Bell. I took it back for a full refund from Costco.

On May 23rd I started my program. I eat a sensible breakfast... this morning was an apple, sliced, yogurt, a hard boiled egg and tea. I eat a fruit and protein snack about 11, whatever I really FEEL like for lunch with veggies and sometimes an added protein (like cottage cheese, cheese, an egg or yogurt), another protein and fruit (or veggie) snack, then dinner, with dessert and a snack before bed. I am aiming for 1700-1800 calories a day.

So far, in 16 days, I am down 7 lbs.

It is more food than I am used to, and some days I only hit the 1500 calorie mark before I am done.

I realise now that I have been dieting since I was 8 years old, always thinking that food was my enemy and starving myself until I ate, desperately.

I wonder how many overweight women there are out there who were raised with the same, unhealthy attitude about food? Do they realise what happens when you feed your body what it needs? Your body lets go because you feel satisfied, healthy, happy.

Hugs to anyone out there who, like me, has allowed this to control their life. Repeat after me - "Food is my friend and I deserve to eat regular, healthy, delicious meals.".

Be kind to yourself.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Embracing the light

Not a lot to say about this... I think we all need a reminder of the goodness of our lives sometimes...here is my favourite.
Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and ignorant; they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore, be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be and whatever your labours and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.

Monday, June 1, 2009

New Home

So, it has come time to move.

Alan and I were blessed with this job nearly 2 1/2 years ago. We are so grateful for it and for all the opportunities we've seen from it. It made life easier for us and came at a time when I needed to be home with the kids because of Parker's health challenges, but our needs have changed int he last year.

We need more space. We need a safer community. We need neighbourhood kids that the boys can safely play with. We need less traffic, pollution and litter. We need more nature around us. We need to feel safe in our home. We need more time together as a family. We need a home built with healthy materials. We need a community that will open up different opportunities for us.

We want comfort. We want quiet. We want music. We want a dog (or two:)). We want more than one bathroom. We want a home that friends and family can come to relax. We want to move this summer.

I am sending it out there, to the universe, all the things we need and want... I know it will happen for us.

Incidently. We would like to find homes for the things we have but don't need, to make room for what we do need. If you know of someone in need of a couch (fairly new, in good condition), shelves, side tables, dining table, a dresser or two and a number of other things... please let me know.