Sunday, June 30, 2013

Sunday Night Chit Chat: Odds & Ends

Hey Humble Readers...

Well, where did that week go?  Hmmm....

AF has been and gone, and kicked my ass in the process.  The old witch brought a particularly nasty IBS flare along with her that made going for my walks, or anywhere else for that matter, fairly impossible.  Even with AF around, and only being able to get half of my usual walks in, I still managed to lose a couple more pounds this week.  Woohoo!  (Take that jackass who hollered 'hey fatty!' at me today in the mall parking lot)

Summer is most certainly here on the flatland.  Once the rains stopped last week we started hitting the crazy hot summer temps (30C, feels like 36C.  That's hot for us anyway) that make the hobbit-hole more than a little uncomfortable.  I do love this time of year though for one reason... it's daylight from five in the morning until ten at night.  The joys of living this far north!  The only down side to having this much daylight means that the fireworks for Canada Day tomorrow don't get started until 11:30 at night.  Rather prohibitive given that we have two wee-lings and my Beloved has to work the next day. 

I'm hesitant to say this just yet, but my black thumb may be turning the teensiest bit green.  I planted two basil plants, three thyme, two lavender, and one gerbera daisy in pots out on the balcony and so far about half of them are doing pretty good.  The basil (my nemesis) is doing really well, as is the thyme.  The lavender is fading, but I honestly think I got a couple of bum plants to start with.  I had thought the gerbera was a goner, but it seems to be perking up.  Overall, 50% is a marked improvement.  Last year when I planted basil, it completely died within two weeks of potting it, and I won't even remind you about my tomato harvest of last year.  

I finished watching the first season of Game of Thrones.  Loved it!!  I'm not sure that I'll read the books, as my to-read list is immense right now, but I won't rule it out sometime down the road.  I'm a little bummed right now though, because I'm 25th on the hold list for season 2 from the library.  They have two copies, with another on order, but it will be a while yet before I get to watch it. 

And because I'm a royalist, I feel I need to put this out there.  My predictions for the Duchess of Cambridge's wee-ling:  The baby will be born on July 15th, will be a relatively little baby (7lbs-ish), will be a girl, and she will be named Victoria (with the names Diana, Elizabeth, and some form of Carol as middle names).  IF by chance it's a boy, his name will be Arthur (with Phillip, Charles, and George as middle names).  What are your predictions?

Anywho, on to this week's chit chat.  Here's what I'm...

Reading...  Still reading Paris by Rutherfurd.  Loving it!  Just taking a while to get through because I've been so tired this past week.  After  I'm done with Paris, I'll be moving on to the sequel to The Devil Wears Prada (can't remember what it's called just now).  My to-read list is getting a little out control, so I have to get moving.

Watching...  Nothing at the moment, but tonight my Beloved and I will be watching "The Great Escape" (an old war movie... Beloved got it for Father's Day).  I'll be recording a couple of regular Sunday night shows (Food Network Star and Whodunit) for later in the week. 

Listening to... my Beloved reading Chicka Chicka Boom Boom to Ginny. 

Cooking/Baking... Oh Humble Readers!  The hobbit hole smells divine!  Tonight we are having BBQ pulled pork sandwiches with cole slaw.  I've got the pork doing it's thing in the slow cooker (the oven will not be getting turned on this week at all!) and it's all I can do to not dive into it right now.  It smells sooooooooo good!

Happy I accomplished this week...  Purged the wee-lings' dressers and closet, and sold $18 worth of it to the local kids consignment store (donated the rest to a thrift store).  Got the wee-lings swim suits.  Found some sugar-free, lactose-free chocolate ice cream bars that are only 5 grams of carbs each and they taste good!  Put together the list of to do's for the hobbit hole in preparation for listing it (hopefully next summer?  maybe?). 

Looking forward to next week...  Taking the wee-lings to the splash park tomorrow.  Going through my hoarder-esque stack of magazines. 

Thankful for this week... That we have fans that work hard to cool the hobbit-hole.  That I get the privilege to live in this beautiful country.  Even with it's flaws, I wouldn't choose to live anywhere else. 

***Bonus Question*** What was your very *first* real job?  Other than babysitting, which I hated, my first job was at a small town pizza restaurant as a dishwasher and as the restaurant's costumed mascot.  Yup, I dressed up in a bear costume and did kids' birthday parties and stood out on the corner sweltering in the summer sun waving at the passing cars.  I was even in a couple of parades.  And it was supposed to be a big secret about who was in the bear costume, so I could never tell my friends what I was doing.  I worked there when I was 12-13.  I made pretty good money for a preteen in the 80s.  $10/hour when I was the bear, $5/hour when I was dishwashing. 

This was posted as a part of Carla's Sunday Night Chit Chat.  Click on over and see what the others are chatting about tonight. 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Sunday Night Chit Chat: Before & During

Howdy Humble Readers...

A few days ago, Elana asked for some before and after pics of me and my weight loss.  I'm not going to call them before and after, because I'm not near "after" yet.  However, I will call them "during" pics.  I had some difficulty finding a picture to qualify as before... partly because I'm always the one behind the camera, and partly because I honestly hate pictures of me (due to my over abundance of me).  I'm going to give you a few befores...
December 2012 - had just started losing weight
About 305lbs

May 2012 - when I was 36wks pregnant with Pip.
No one at my church realized I was pregnant.
Around 312lbs. 

September 2009 - In NYC
I was 320lbs when we got home from that trip.
And now for a couple of durings...
Yesterday, at 255.8
(I've lost another pound since)
Like my new haircut?

Hadn't realized how baggy those pants were.  Ick!
I just bought them in April. 
I don't see a whole lot of a difference, yet.  Yeah, there's a difference between me now and me when I was almost full term pregnant, but people who saw me on a regular basis didn't even realize I was pregnant, so that says something about what kind of shape I was in.  I was at my heaviest just after our NYC trip, and I had yo-yo'd around between 280-310ish during/immediately following my pregnancies.  At the end of November 2012, what I consider to be the start of this weight loss journey, I was 309lbs.  As of this morning I'm 254.8lbs.  Woohoo! 

What I have noticed is that I have a lot more stamina.  I can walk a lot farther before I get tired, and my feet and legs don't ache like they used to.  I'm doing a squat challenge this month and I'm up to 190 squats (today's count).  My legs are much stronger now, and I can get up to the 140s or so before it starts getting challenging.  I can make the 3 or 4 trips out to the car to get the groceries and not be huffing even a bit. 

My blood sugars are great.  I'm hopeful that when I next go to the doc (early August) we'll be able to lower my dosage on both the metformin (for the Big D) and my lobetalol (for high blood pressure).  I'm really happy with my progress up to this point.  Now I just need to keep up my motivation. 

On to tonight's chit chat.  Here's what I'm ...

Reading - I had planned on reading the last in the Mitford series this week, but my hold at the library on the new Edward Rutherfurd book, Paris, came in and Mitford got bumped.  I'm not all that far into it yet, but that's the way it usually goes for me with his epic tomes. 

Watching - I'm recording Food Network Star for later in the week, along with the new reality competition show Whodunit.  Instead of watching regular tv, I'm going to watch an episode or two of Game of Thrones.  I'm really enjoying it (graphic violence and sexuality notwithstanding)... can definitely tell that it was inspired by LOTR.  Many similarities.

Listening To - Until just a minute ago, I was listening to my Beloved going through the bedtime rituals for the wee-lings.  Change clothes, brush teeth, story, "saying amens", and tucking in.  So sweet.

Cooking/Baking - Tonight was standard Sunday night fare... roast beef, taters, veg (zucchini and mushrooms).  My favourite meal from the last week was when I made roast beef Florentine paninis.  Roast beef, roasted red peppers, spinach, brie, and a garlic-horseradish mayo.  It was seriously yummy!

Happy I Accomplished This Week - Got my hair cut!!!  It's only been 6 months since my last cut, which is actually good for me.  I also coloured my hair last night.  (need to work on that skill a bit more... not entirely happy with the result)

Looking Forward to Next Week - The long weekend coming up.  Going through the wee-lings' dressers for another purge... and hopefully being able to make some money by selling some of their too-small clothes to the local consignment shop. 

Thankful For This Week - That the Shire escaped the flooding that has so ravaged the southern half of our province.  That, while the loss of property due to the flooding has been heart-breaking, there has been minimal loss of life. 

***Bonus Question*** What was your least favourite part and your most favourite part of the last week?  Least favourite... a disagreement my sister and I had about parenting philosophies.  Most favourite... yesterday morning.  I had gotten in my walk, we had gone to the farmer's market, and were home just hanging out.  It was so relaxing, and I commented to my Beloved on how GOOD (physically and emotionally) I was feeling. 

This was posted as a part of Carla's Sunday Night Chit Chat.  Please click over and see what the others are chatting about tonight.

Friday, June 21, 2013


Hey Humble Readers...

According to Ginny, it's "drippin'" outside.  Big drips and little drips.  LOTS of drips. 

I don't know if you've heard, or if it would even get a mention on your news, but our province is in a serious situation.

For the past 24 hours, more than two thirds of our province (geographically speaking.  Probably three quarters of our population) have been under evacuation alert due to serious flooding.  The big city to the south has hundreds of thousands of people evacuated and there are sections of the Trans-Canada highway (THE major highway across Canada) that have been washed out.  I just heard on the news that the zoo in the big city to the south may be moving the big cats from the zoo there to the jail cells below the courthouse... crazy. 

Here in the Shire, we are fine.  The Shire declared a state of emergency last night.  Our river is likely going to crest at around noon today (four hours from now), but the way that our city was laid out means that very few homes or businesses will be endangered by the high waters.  Our primary concern is for the water treatment plant.  The hobbit-hole is well above the risk of flood, thank heaven. 

Rainfall has been breaking old records left and right.  The last major flood in the big city to the south was in 2005, and they are saying that the water levels are twice as high as they were then. 

Please send prayers and good thoughts for those who have had to leave their homes, and for the emergency responders and the military who have been called in to help.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Potty Training Woes

Hey Humble Readers...

I am a very frustrated hobbit. 

I'm frustrated primarily with myself.  And with all the people who I have listened to about how Ginny should be potty trained by now. 

(and yes, I admit, I am a tad frustrated with Ginny.)

This was our third go round of trying to get potty training started.  And again we crashed and burned. 

It's likely that I'm the one doing something wrong here, but honestly, I'm stuck for ideas.  Here's what I'm doing right now.
  • I refuse to use pull-ups because they just don't make sense.  I have a bunch of the quilted, thick training pants for her. 
  • I put her in her training pants right after breakfast.  She sits on the potty right away, and then every fifteen minutes thereafter, until after lunch (naptime).  She doesn't wear any jeans or shorts. 
  • I push the salty snacks and fluids to make it so that she has to pee more often.
  • I have moved the potty from the bathroom to the kitchen, so that she doesn't have as far to go.  This also helps as I need to be able to keep an eye on Pip. 
  • I took her shopping for pretty 'big girl undies'.  She knows that she will get to wear them when she learns to go pee in the potty. 
  • I printed off a couple of different charts and got some Hello Kitty stickers for her to use when she actually goes on the potty. 
  • I give her a Smartie (like an m&m... it's a Canadian thing) every time she sits on the potty.  I've told her that she will get two smarties when she goes pee on the potty and three when she goes poop. 
  • We sing songs and read stories while she's on the potty to keep her seated and relaxed. 
  • We have tried "teaching" her stuffed puppy, Stanley, to go on the potty so that we can celebrate and go through the whole process.
And still... NOTHING.  Not a single drop in the potty. 

Repeatedly, she will sit on the potty for a while, then get up without doing anything.  Then, later, she will pee in her pants without even noticing.  Seriously, she doesn't notice that she's wet.

I'm getting really sick of cleaning up puddles.  And we don't have laminate or hard wood.  Just linoleum in the kitchen and bathroom, but we live in the living room.  Carpet.  *sigh*

I'm so angry with myself for being pushed into trying to start training her last summer.  It was ridiculous, but it's now set us up for this cycle of frustration and feeling like a failure (yeah, that's totally on me.  She seems oblivious, except for being irritated with having to interrupt playtime to go sit on the potty). 

I know that she's feeling my frustration.  How can she not?  A big part of me wants to pack it in until her birthday next November. 

Someone, anyone, please... tell me that this will happen.  That she won't be the only kindergartener still in diapers. 

(And I swear to heaven above, I won't even bother trying to start training Pip until he's 3!)

Monday, June 17, 2013

A Sputtering Spark

Howdy Humble Readers...

Almost two weeks ago, I read this post over at Too Many Fish To Fry, and I said "YES!  I NEED TO DO THIS!"  (Please take a moment and go read it.  It's awesome!)  I was smiling as I read it and I started to feel myself getting excited...

Spending the summer focussing on my dream.  On that thing that gets me excited.  Eight weeks to get out of this rut in which I seem to be stuck.  It sounded great, until...

WHAM!  It was like I ran straight into a plate glass window. 

What the hell is my dream? 

What do I get excited about these days?  I can tell you, not a whole heck of a lot. 

When I was 19, my dream was to go to college, get my degree in youth and family ministry and get a position in a church working with kids and teens and families.  I worked two full time jobs in order to save for school.  I went to college (one of the best experiences of my life), got my degree (and learned a LOT about myself and my faith), and made some great friends.  After graduation, I got a position in a church just as I had hoped, prayed, and dreamed.  That job transitioned into another position a continent away.  Unfortunately, I hadn't learned how to defend my personal boundaries, and I crashed and burned out after four years. 

So I moved home, not sure what was next.  Yes, with my parents.  And it was rather propitious that I did.  Later that year, my mom got lung cancer.  The jobs I worked at the time weren't what I would call dream jobs (my parents' office, a grocery store, and a Christian bookstore, although I'd always joked that if I ever left ministry I would likely work in a bookstore), my primary role in that timeframe was to look after my mom.  During those seven years, mom would develop and recover from five different types of cancer.  While it wasn't something I grew up dreaming about doing, taking care of my mom was important and I'm glad I was able to do it.

The year that Mom was recovering from lymphoma was the year I met my Beloved, and a different dream took hold.  Yes, of course, I had always hoped I would get married.  By this time I was 31, and statistically I was more likely to get hit by a bus than get married, so I wasn't sure anything would come of it, but I sure hoped.  That dream came true in a big way, and here we are a little over seven years from when we met, married and living a good life. 

First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the hobbit with a baby carriage... Right?  That was the dream.  That was the plan.  Of course, we all know how that went.  Two losses in quick succession, and a diagnosis of recurrent pregnancy loss due to (primarily) a progesterone deficiency and (secondarily) advanced maternal age. 

IF/RPL took over my life.  I immersed myself in books, online forums, and of course the ALI community.  Like most dealing with IF, trying to conceive became the preeminent thing I thought about.  Taking my temperature every morning, watching for changes in my cm, scheduling our love life around the vagaries of my reproductive system, and then the dance of phantom symptoms that messed with my mind and my hopes month after month.  I ate, slept, and breathed the process. 

And miraculously, thankfully, we were blessed with our precious wee-lings.  I love being a mom.  I am completely thrilled that, while it's a challenge, we are able to make things work so that I can stay home with Ginny and Pip.  Being a mom isn't always fun, but it is rewarding.  And what I'm about to say in no way is meant to imply that I don't value being a stay at home mom. 

I think I've lost my dreams. 

Yeah, I have the vague ideas of stuff that I dream about.  A bigger home (where both wee-lings can have their own rooms, and we could have a second bathroom), travel with my Beloved (the UK, Europe, Africa, all around our beautiful continent), what my next 'career' might be when the wee-lings go to school. 

But I don't have anything that gets me excited, that inspires me, that gets my juices flowing. 

Yes, the weightloss thing is great.  I'm glad that I'm getting to a healthier weight and learning to control my blood sugars long term.  But it's a necessity, not a passion.  I'm never going to be a fitness junkie who talks about the beauty of the runner's high.

I love books and movies.  I get excited about upcoming releases (sometimes excessively so), but as soon as the book has been read or the movie watched the high of the anticipation fades. 

Cooking is fun, but I have never felt the inclination to do anything with it other than make good food that my family and I enjoy. 

Crafting is hit or miss for me.  Knitting never stuck.  Crochet and scrapbooking just don't work for me.  I can't draw.  Cross stitch can be enjoyable when my dyslexia isn't messing me up.  I'm not gifted in photography or music. 

Pinterest and Criminal Minds reruns have become my hobby.  And how very sad is that?

This state of affairs concerns me.  A lot.  I don't want to be one of those stay at home moms who loses themselves entirely into the world of 'home'.  I don't want to become my sister, who talks about the same things every day (the school doesn't open the doors early even when it's snowing/raining/windy, nobody had better mess up her clean kitchen, the amount of homework given to fifth graders is appalling, what a cow her MIL is, the other school-moms who drive big SUVs that they don't know how to park). 

I want to have something interesting to say, something that gets me fired up...

It goes beyond 'want'.  I NEED to be someone outside of being a mummy, for the sake of my children, my marriage, and myself.  But what the hell does that mean?  What does that look like in my life? 

Where did I put my 'spark of madness'?

I want to set some goals.  I want to see some progress being made.  I want to feel like I've accomplished something.  I just don't know what I'm working toward. 

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Sunday Night Chit-Chat: Busy, Busy, Busy

Hey Humble Readers...

Did you have a good weekend?  Do anything fun? 
Ginny eating 'zert

Chocolate chin
On Friday night, my Beloved had a final exam in his most recent CGA course.  He was really happy when he got home because he felt that he did really well on the test.  He tried to tell me about some of the questions, but they are so beyond my level of understanding that my eyes just sort of glazed over.  Tomorrow he starts on course number three.  The text book is enormous! 

Ginny and I did some serious errand-doings on Saturday morning.  Tar.get (for some pretty big girl undies for Ginny... yes, we are going to give potty training another shot this week and the kind she wanted are only available at Tar.get), Wal.mart (a few odds and ends, some flower pots, and diapers), Home D.epot(paint chips for the bathroom and some plants) , and the butcher shop (extra special steaks for Father's Day dinner). 

Then, I raced around doing a few things at home because I had planned a surprise for my Beloved.  He's been working so hard lately, doing overtime and studying for his exam, so I thought some relaxation was in order.  I arranged for MIL to come up for the afternoon and evening so that we could go on a date.  We went to Starb.ucks, the bookstore, out for dinner, and to a movie (Star Trek - yes, I've seen it, but he hadn't and it was his choice.  Besides, Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto are yummy to look at ;) ). 

Today we decided to skip church in favour of having some quality time with the wee-lings.  I made a special breakfast (Spanish Omelette) and then he took Ginny for a walk this morning.  This afternoon I planted all the herbs and flowers I got yesterday (2 lavender, 2 basil, 3 thyme, and 1 gerbera).  We'll see how things go this year.  I don't have a great track record for keeping plants alive, but I have done well with lavender in the past. 

Like the title says... busy busy busy!

Now, dinner is in process so I have a minute to work on my chit-chat for this week.  Here's what I'm...

Reading - I finished The Art of Racing In the Rain by Garth Stein.  It was very good, just be prepared for a good cry.  I loved Enzo the dog's philosophical bent.  Now I'm almost finished Revenge of the Vinyl CafĂ© by Stuart McLean.  I adore Stuart McLean!  His stories are always funny and thoughtful and heartwarming.  Next up will probably be the last book in the Mitford series. 

Listening to - My Beloved playing with the wee-lings while they wait for dinner.  Current toy of choice is the Little People house.  Oh, now he's reading Puff the Magic Dragon for them.

Watching - Tonight I'll probably watch Food Network Star.  I got the first season of Game of Thrones from the library yesterday (yet another stop we made) and I might start watching that.

Cooking/Baking - A special dinner for Daddy!  Steaks with compound butter, double-stuffed-twice-baked potatoes, asparagus, mushrooms & onions.  Dessert is an eclair ice-box cake... layers of graham crackers & vanilla pudding with whipped cream topped with chocolate sauce.  I'm only going to have a teeny tiny piece, and the rest will go to work with my Beloved tomorrow. 

Happy I Accomplished This Week - Managing to keep last night a surprise for my Beloved, 50 pounds, eating out yesterday and keeping my blood sugars well in line.

Looking Forward to Next Week - going for a haircut!

Thankful For Today - My Beloved.  For the blessing he is to me and the wee-lings.  He's so patient, and gentle with them (and me too).  He works so hard to support our family.  I don't even want to think what my life would be like if I had never met him. 

***Bonus Question*** Do you have any summer weddings to attend?  Nope.  We do have a surprise anniversary party my Beloved's brother T and his wife.  They've been married for 30 years.  Woohoo!

This was posted as a part of Carla's Sunday Night Chit Chat.  Click over to see what the others are chatting about tonight!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Two Words

Good Morning Humble Readers...

I have just two words for you...


Actually 50.8, but I'm not going to quibble.  I'm one third of where I need to be.  It took a little over six months, but I think this is significant progress.  I don't know if I can do another 50 in the next six months, but I'm sure going to try. 

New ticker posted over there to the right...

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Sunday Night Chit Chat: Not According to Plan

Good Evening Humble Readers...
Just a little giggle for you all tonight!
So yeah, I don't think I'll be hitting that 50lb mark any time soon.  This weekend has been an exercise in randomness and changes in plans.  It just goes to show that I still have a long way to go to be confident in my decision making skills when it comes to food and moments of weakness. 

Friday night was junk food, as was lunch today, and then this afternoon we got a call from one of my aunts (not the one I saw earlier this week... one of my "adoptive" aunts).  She and my uncle, and my grandparents were in the Shire for the day and did we want to get together for dinner.  Well, of course, so that meant more restaurant food... *sigh*.  At least I got a salad with my dinner.  But it was very good to see them all.  The last time we saw this aunt and uncle was a year ago (when their son was in the same lacrosse tournament here in town), so it was fun to catch up. 

A small victory this morning... Ginny managed to make it through the majority of the church service before she got too disruptive.  Normally, she hits the breaking point around the time the sermon starts, and one of us would have to take her to the nursery/playroom for the rest of the service.  Today when we got to church I made a big deal about saying that big girls stay in the service until after communion (3/4 of the way through the service).  There were a few moments when I thought we'd have to cave, but she made it.  There was lots of shushing (from me) and lots of distracting (me and one of her 'church aunties'), but it's a step. 

On to this week's Chit-Chat.  Here's what I'm...

Reading - Just finished the Winter Palace by Eva Stachniak last night.  I really enjoyed it.  Great historical drama.  My only complaint was that there were a lot of Russian words used (for foods, ranks, and other odds and ends) but no definition or glossary.  Now I'm reading The Art Of Racing In The Rain by Garth Stein.  Started it this morning.

Watching - Probably going to watch Food Network Star.  I'm planning on an early night tonight.  I have been up late too many nights this past week reading.  I need a good night's sleep.

Listening to - Ginny trying to feed my Beloved some of her play food (a lemon to be precise) and Pippin playing with the see & say farm. 

Cooking/Baking - Obviously, I haven't done much cooking this weekend.  The meal I had planned for tonight has been bumped to tomorrow.  Creamy curry chicken crepes and garden salads.  I'm excited because I've never made crepes before, so hopefully they turn out well.

Happy I Accomplished This Week - Not sure.  Nothing major happened this week. 

Looking Forward To Next Week - Putting some thought and action behind some new goals.  Getting back on track after the last couple of days. 

Thankful For This Week - For better or worse, I'm thankful for my extended family.  No matter who they are as people... good, bad, or indifferent... they've all had a hand in shaping who I am as a woman, a wife, and a mother.  From some I have learned what I want to do and be, and from others I've learned what I DON'T want to do or be. 

***Bonus Question*** When you're out and about and a homeless person asks you for money, do you give it?  Honestly, no.  It's a bit of a default, whenever anyone asks me for money.  People who are panhandling, cashiers who ask for me to donate to their company's pet cause, and those selling raffle tickets/chocolates/cookies all get the same answer, "I'm sorry, no." 

This was posted as a part of Carla's Sunday Night Chit Chat.  Please click over to check out what others are chatting about tonight, and join in yourself!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Hobbit-ish Potpurri: This & That

Hey Humble Readers...

How are you all tonight?  Having a good weekend?  What are you and yours getting up to?  Things are pretty mellow around the hobbit hole.  My Beloved has an exam in his CGA course next week, so he should be studying like mad.  But hockey is on.  Not sure how much he's actually studying. 

I went to donate blood today and once again my iron was too low.  Not terribly low, but enough that I wasn't able to donate.  Grrrr.  Back to taking the iron pills.  It's funny, I have IBS-D (yes, the D stands for what you think it stands for) and while the side effects of the metformin have tapered off, they still flare up from time to time, so you'd think that I wouldn't mind the iron.  But I just really don't like taking it every day. It gives me a bad taste in my mouth, and makes me feel bloated.  Maybe I'll try taking it every other day and see how that goes. 

I'm seriously considering cutting my hair.  Not just a trim, but a real cut.  I refused to cut it right after the wee-lings were born, partly because my sister said that she was certain I would.  "All new mommies do."  Right now my hair is down to the middle of my back, past my bra band, and my bangs are finally grown out so that I can pull them back in my ponytail.  I'm just so sick of finding my hair everywhere... it's so annoying.  Part of my hesitation is that I don't have a regular hairdresser.  I haven't had one since I moved to the Shire when my Beloved and I got married.  I've tried a lot of different salons, but I've never found one that I'm overly comfortable with. 

You may (or may not) have noticed the new weight loss ticker over there to the right.  The one labelled "the big picture".  I blasted through another plateau this week, and I'm now less than half a pound away from being 50 pounds down.  Woohoo!  Once I hit the 50 pound mark, my next target will be to weigh less than my Beloved.  That will be another 15 pounds (he's lighter than either of us thought), so I'm hoping I can get there by the end of July.  And after that, I want to be 75 pounds total down by my birthday in September.  I'm really feeling confident that I can do it. 

I decided to get together with my bio-aunt.  She came to the hobbit hole yesterday and we had a nice visit.  She thought that the wee-lings were adorable (which they are of course).  We talked a bit about why I'm not in contact with my bio-family, and how as much as I'd like to be in touch with my aunts, uncles and cousins, it's impossible to do so and not be harassed by my bio-parents and siblings.  It was nice to see her, and she certainly hasn't changed. 

Well, I think that's about it for tonight.  I'll be back tomorrow with the Sunday Night Chit-Chat and I have a post percolating that ties in with Jjiraffe's Project Dreamcatcher. 

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

These Are The People In My Neghbourhood

Good Evening Humble Readers...

It's a quiet night in the hobbit hole.  The wee-lings are in bed, and my Beloved has gone back to work (he always has to put in overtime the first week of the month).  I'm enjoying a peaceful evening to myself, getting to watch the "Little Couple" (am I the only one thrilled that they now have their little boy?). 

By now you all know that I'm walking a lot more than I used to.  As in, almost 100% more than I was two months ago.  I'm up to walking 6.8km every morning.  If you would have told me back in April that I would be measuring my daily walks in kilometers, I would have laughed my a$$ off at you.  Every morning, my alarm goes off at 5am, and I try to be out of the house by 5:15.  Me, in my yoga pants, New York Yankees hoodie and ball cap, with my walking poles. 

I've gotten familiar with the early morning routines of those in my neighbourhood.  We live just a few blocks from the hospital, so there are a lot of hospital staff who park down our street, and when I'm out walking many are changing shifts.  Many will smile and trade "good morning"s with me when we pass on the street. 

Here are just some of the people in my neighbourhood...
  • The two burly construction workers who carpool in a rusted out Tercel.  They wave and smile at me every morning.  I do wonder how they shoe-horn themselves into that car. 
  • The baker at the little grocery store across the back lane from us usually takes his smoke break when I'm on my second lap of the neighbourhood.  The amazing aroma that comes from the vicinity of that grocery store is torture for a diabetic.
  • The 50-something man who walks his little shi'tzu-cross (looks identical to my mom's dog) while wearing his bathrobe.  Why doesn't he pick up his dog's poop?
  • The young man at the bus stop who bathes in cologne. 
  • The elderly woman out watering her flower boxes before sunrise.  A couple of weeks ago I saw her trying to chase a couple of deer out of her yard, waving a broom at them. 
  • The nurse who drives a mini-van with a Ravenclaw banner hanging from her rear view mirror.
  • The weary-looking mom (I'm assuming she's a mom), making her way from the Ronald McDonald House to the hospital.  I pray for her and her ill child as I walk. 
  • The little old man, who drives a pretty nice pick up truck, who goes through all the big dumpsters at the apartment/condo buildings in the neighbourhood looking for bottles and cans.  He waves at me every day too. 
  • And while I've never seen the owner, I find myself wondering about the person who drives the little red pick up truck with the "Danger Ranger" decal across the top of his windshield.  How much of a danger ranger can they be with their little pick up? 
Like I said, there's a lot of other people that I've come to know by sight.  We smile at each other and maybe say "good morning".  I still get some funny looks with my walking poles, but the regulars are used to me.  There seems to be a camaraderie between those of us who are up and out of the house before 6am. 

I've found I actually like the early morning.  I still don't consider myself a morning person, but it isn't torture. 

Are you a morning person?  When is your best time of day?

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Sunday Night Chit Chat: Hockey Widow

Hey Humble Readers...

How's your weekend been?  Ours was nice... a trip to Little Town Down South to visit MIL, some shopping (I got new shoes!  Woohoo), and some quiet family time.  Lots of rain.  We did, however, get a chance to go to the park for a little while between showers. 

My Beloved loves hockey and football (CFL).  I am not a fan of the NHL.  If I'm going to watch hockey it will be international or junior level.  Thankfully, he doesn't feel the need to watch every game every week.  It also helps that 'his' team (Calgary Flames) haven't been doing so well the last few years.  But now that we're down to the semi-finals, I'm officially a hockey widow.  Is it just me, or does it seem ridiculous that they're still playing hockey in June?  And then football starts in July.  *sigh*

If you're driving through central Alberta anytime soon, you might want to avoid driving in the Shire.  This past winter was murder on our roadways, and with all the rain we've had recently the city crews haven't been able to get out to work on the potholes.  Our back lane is especially bad as we share it with a strip mall and the delivery trucks have torn the crap out of the alley (unpaved).  The entrance to our parking lot is marked by a pothole that is more than a foot deep. 

I've been contacted by one of my bio-aunts, and she wants to come and see us.  I haven't responded yet.  I would like to see her, but every time I get in touch with someone from my bio-family all hell breaks loose.  The phone calls and harassment begins again from my bio-mom and bio-sister.  I just don't know if I'm ready to face that right now. 

My Beloved and I are taking a mini-holiday on Labour Day weekend.  I know it's still a long way away, but I'm excited about it.  We aren't going far, just down the highway to Big City To The South, for the weekend.  MIL is coming here to stay with the wee-lings, and we managed to get a great deal on a nice hotel room for the weekend.  It will be our first overnight trip (together) away from the wee-lings.  I love my children, and I'm I excited to have a chance to get away from them for a while. 

On to tonight's chit chat.  Here's what I'm...

Reading... The Winter Palace by Eva Stachniak.  This book is really good.  I know next to nothing about Russian history, so this is a learning experience for me too.  All about an orphan girl, a ward of the crown, who is trained to be a spy in the court of Catherine the Great.  Very reminiscent of Philippa Gregory's Tudor series.  I'm loving it.  Next in the queue is The Art of Racing In The Rain by Garth Stein.

Watching... not really watching anything.  My Beloved is surfing back and forth between the hockey game and Mythbusters.

Listening To... while I'm not listening to anything other than the tv right now, I have recently found a very old favourite and I've been listening to him on my walks in the morning.  Chris De Burgh... the guy who sang Lady In Red.  He's got a ton of great 'story songs' like The Traveller, Spanish Train, and Patricia the Stripper.  Very nostalgic for me.

Happy I accomplished this week... I joined ages ago, but this week I founded a challenge.  A 30 Day Squat Challenge.  I found the layout of the challenge on Pinterest, and there are now 115 people signed up to squat along with me this month.  It's killer on the legs of course, but it's actually fun too.

Looking forward to next week...  Crafting with the girls on Thursday.  Working on some Christmas gifts.  I already have my mom's and my MIL's Christmas gifts done (except for the frames). 

Thankful for this week... The sun, when it shines. 

***Bonus Question*** If you could only eat ONE FOOD for the rest of your life, what would it be?  Would you believe me if I said roasted broccoli?  I love that stuff!  I could eat it all day long. 

This was posted as a part of Carla's Sunday Night Chit Chat.  Click over to see what the others are chatting about tonight, and join in on the fun!