Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Nosy Neighbors

I need advice. Stat!

Spring has arrived and that means lots of time running around the backyard and heading out of our fence gate to the park behind us. Sounds great but it's NOT!

You see, everytime I venture outside with Cole, "they appear"

"They" being my nosy neighbors 5 houses down.

Some background on my situation..

We purchased the house 3 years ago in May, it did NOT have a fence. The house has a lovely bike path next to it which leads to a soccer field and park, right behind the house. Finances were tight that summer and we decided to hold off on the fence. I remember playing with Cole in the backyard and people staring at us as they walked by on their way to the park. The previous owners "loved" the open feel (I personally think they were just too cheap, why else do you not put up a fence in 20 years with 3 kids in the house??).

The worst came when the nosy neighbor came by with her 7 year old daughter. She wanted her to play with my then 2 year old. Seemed a bit odd, but what the heck, I was new to this area! The next night a knock on my door from the mom bearing muffins (nice, thank you) and also a request for Cole to come out and play? The mom was asking me this?? I noted the 8pm time and that my 2 year old was headed to bed.

Night 3, Cole and I are hanging in the house, and a knock at the door. I look to see the neighbor AT MY PATIO DOOR! She was looking into my family room at the back of the house, creepy!!! Her daughter also told me that we have a nice house as her and her mom look in our windows when we are not home (ahhh kids say the greatest things don't they!) I then started to close the drapes in my house.

So it was starting to feel like I was a prisoner in my own home. Not fun.

Last summer we built the fence, a nice tall one, no big spaces in between boards to ensure some privacy. You would think this would keep the neighbor out........wrong again!!! She simply let herself and her daughter into the backyard by unlatching the lock..... The blowout came last summer when a good friend was in from out of town with her 2 kids. It was 8pm, the kids were playing nicely and we were sharing a bottle of wine, catching up. Next thing we know the neighbor and her daughter are in the yard playing with the kids. I admit it, I was rude, I went into the house and called the kids in for bed. I am not one for confrontation. If I am made, I tend to just ignore you.

She's been hibernating all winter. So have we. Last night was beautiful and we were outside after dinner. The voice appeared from over the fence, not directed towards Tim or myself, but towards Cole. " Hi Cole, do you want to come play with Jamie?" She is asking my 4 year old to come play with her 9 year old.

I need help, how do I manage this situation. I cannot go through another summer of dealing with her. Is it wrong that a nine year old should have some friends her own age? Is it wrong of me to feel that a fence in your yard should ensure some level of privacy, unless you are invited in?

Am I the one being a bad neighbor or has she crossed the boundary of acceptable neighborly behaviour?

Sunday, April 26, 2009

OMG – It’s Twins!!! YEAH!!! - A Guest Post

My sister-in-law asked if she could guest post on my blog and I am more than happy to oblige! It's always nice to hear how others are feeling towards special events in your life. Thanks for sharing Heather!

OMG – It’s Twins!!! YEAH!!! That would be the thought that ran through my head for at least the first 24 hours after talking to Cheryl and getting the news. I think twins are pretty much the coolest thing ever…and before you judge just remember…I don’t have any kids. I haven’t had the experience of being up all night with a baby, going weeks without sleep (unless it for some really good parties) changing poopy diapers, dealing with crying for hours…not to mention where they come out of….ouch! I’ve never done any of that with one baby, let alone two.

To me, twins mean twice as cute, twice as cuddly, and twice as many fun presents that you can buy. Yes, that’s right – I am an Auntie…not a Mommy – twins mean so many different things.

So I immediately switched into shopping mode and headed down to Crocodile on West 4th in Van couver . A very trendy little baby store where onesies costs as much as a manicure/pedicure at the nail salon across the street. The kind of place where you go when you are either really loaded (which I’m not) or are shopping for gifts. The beauty of not having to budget on a lifetime of clothes, food, and education means that you are free to spend more on a single purchase! Don’t get me wrong, I love a good deal and mostly buy things on sale…I am from Winnipeg after all and we are all bargain hunters….but you can get some great ideas at Crocodile and then go look for them on Craigslist.

So Crocodile has the cutest double stroller with these adorable bassinets! You can’t walk by without looking at it, even if you aren’t expecting twins or don’t know anyone who is expecting twins. So upon learning that twins are the on way, I decided that the Double Mountain Buggy with the 50’s Style Bassinets was PERFECT!

Then I started reading up on twin strollers and thinking about how Cheryl would actually use the stroller. So it’s Winnipeg and you won’t be going outside for a stroll with these cute little bassinets in the middle of the winter. And by the time summer comes around, you won’t really need these absolutely adorable bassinets.

Ok, so the bassinets are out….the double mountain buggy is still a useful stroller. I see people using them all the time in Van couver . Oh wait, they are all out walking, they didn’t have to get in their car, transfer two babies into car seats – potentially waking them up – and then transfer them back into the buggy at the walking destination. And you can’t attach two car seat holders to the mountain buggy….DAMN! All of a sudden this is much more challenging than I thought.

Yes, twins are going to be cute and fun and cuddly, but I bet they are also going to be a lot of work. The best idea might be to get something that will make Tim & Cheryl’s life as easy as possible….and maybe I should consult my sister-in-law, who is very knowledgeable, about the kind of stroller that she would like, rather than the kind that I think is cutest.

Lesson learned….maybe the parents will know best what they need for their new lives with the twins. Best to get a list from Cheryl….but then again you can’t really go wrong with clothes and toys, can you? Crocodile…here I come!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Sugar Traps

Let me start off by saying I am not a nutritionist or a doctor or anything health field related. What I do know is what has worked for me. Plain and simple.

Let's talk SUGAR!

We are so used to counting calories, fat, carbs and protein that many of us forget that other line on the label.....the sugar line. Sugar can hinder your weight loss progress if eaten in excess. For me, watching my sugar intake has helped me choose better, more natural and wholesome foods that provide me with sustained energy all day long.

I recently read that in general, sugar should only equate to 10% of your daily intake. This means on a 2,000 calorie diet, 200 calories or 50 grams should come from sugar. Seems like alot but hidden sugars are everywhere.

A nature valley granola bar has 11 grams of sugar in it
A bowl of raisin bran has 20 grams
A large slurpee has 90 grams!!!!! (Bobbi that is for you!)
1 serving of Activia yogurt has 13 grams...

Can you see how this can add up quickly. So let's try and be more conscious of that sugar line.

Onto this weeks workout challenge for you. I presented the phone number cardio to those interested a few weeks ago. I got a great response from those who tried it. Great job!! You must challenge your body to see any progress.

This week let's try the birthday challenge: Pick out 3 birthdays; you can do mine, your own and your hubby/boyfriend/friend. I will follow the same format as the phone cardio, with a couple changes for extra spice! I also suggest walking for 2 minutes after birthday #1, then jog for 5 mins before the next one. So here is an example:

0 = toe taps off the treadmill or stairs (if close to your treadmill)
1 = jump squats beside the treadmill
2 = lunges on or off the treadmill
3 = run backwards on the treadmill (be sure to hold on if you are new at this, set the speed slow if you have never done this! If you are good at it, pump up that incline and speed and go!)
4 - 9 = run or walk according to the miles per hour (4= 4 miles per hour speed on the treadmill)

My birthday is: 12201973
1 min of jump squats, 2 minutes of lunges, 1 minute of toe taps, 1 minute of jump squats, 1 minute run at 9mph, 1 minute run at 7 miles and hour, 1 minute run backwards on treadmill
Then walk at 3.7mph for 2 mins and jog at 5.0mph for 5 mins. Now start with your 2nd birthday and then 3rd. Cool down with a 5 min walk and 10 minute stretch.

Good luck, give me some feedback by leaving a comment once you have tried it!

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


I admit it, I have been SLACK on my blog.

I am very sorry...

I have a list of excuses, none of which are very interesting. I am mostly working and sleeping and running to the washroom every few minutes.......I missed posting on fitness friday, so I will ensure I get a great workout to you this friday!

Let me bring you all up to date as these babies have rocked our world and lots has changed!

I am back to 3 days a week at work and my online teaching contract has wrapped up and the next one does not start until May 3rd! I could not physically continue to work 5 days a week AND put in another 10 from home. It was killing me and making me one grumpy mommy and wife.

In light of 2 babies arriving, my hubby has postponed starting a new job articling for a CA firm come September. Those who know the CA program would agree this is a wise decision. Even under the best circumstances getting through the work and courses is a nightmare. I do not want Tim to ever feel pressured or fail because he has taken on too much.

Therefore, Tim has accepted a job with his old employer Daimler Chrysler (I know, not the best time to get into the car company). This is a job that is FROM HOME!! Starts Monday, pays well and allows him a free car, insurance, gas, phone etc.... It was as if fate stepped in and saved us from this money pit we have accumulated these past 2 years with Tim at school and me trying to work and take care of Cole.

So in light of some steady money arriving into our bank accounts, we have decided to tackle some home renos. On the list is a much needed roof, new siding, soffets & fascia as well as porcelain tile on the main floor bath, laundry hall and front entrance. I will post some before and after pics once we get started!

Is this the start of some nesting??? I feel rejuvenated and excited.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

From 3 to 5...

Today was ultrasound day. 7 weeks pregnant.


Yes you read right. Our two little embryos decided to make themselves right at home.

The sight of those two tiny heartbeats in 2 separate sacs will stay with us forever. Both Tim and I got teary, and although we knew it was a possibility, we never thought twins may actually become a reality.

I've had normal pregnancy symptoms these past few weeks; tired, tired, tired, and some night nausea but nothing more than I felt with Cole. Secretly I hoped that I would be lucky enough to experience twins, and I have always wanted 3 children. The family is beyond excited but very cautious. I am still in the early stages and although the miscarriage rate is quite low for IVF at this stage, it is still a concern and I respect their reservations.

I cannot reserve my emotions..... so I say YES YES YES, we did it, we really did it!!!!!!!

Ok, so beyond my excitement comes a real sense of fear.

Two babies in one belly. Can I do this, will they be healthy, will I be ok? Tim will be 3 months into a new job, articling at a CA firm and working alot of hours. Cole will have to adjust to 2 babies, his 5 year reign of the castle will end.. will I be strong enough to handle all that comes with twins?

I am open to any comments, websites, support you can offer. Let me learn from you or anyone you know who has multiples. I am new to this and for someone like me, that creates anxiety.

Thank you for sharing this journey with me, it was well worth every ache and pain, heck we got 2 for the price of 1 here! A true Winnipeg deal!

In all seriousness, those who know Tim and I can attest that we have longed to be parents again for 3 years. THANK YOU (you know who up there) for making our dreams a reality.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

My top 5 mommyhood moments

I was tagged by Kami today to participate in a meme that was started by HerBadMother (aka Catherine).

Her Bad Mother’s post is the departure lounge, "I'm going to link to a couple of other mom bloggers here in Canada, and to a couple of mom bloggers from other countries around the world, and they’ll write their posts, sharing 5 things that they love (or maybe what they don’t so much love - this playground doesn’t force conformity) about being a mom, and then they’ll tag a few more bloggers from their own country and from other countries, and so on. And you’re more than welcome to join: just write a post of your own (5 things that you love about being a mom) and find someone to link to and tag - someone from your own country, if you like, but definitely someone from another country (Google is a good resource if you don’t know any; Google any country name and ‘mom’ in their blog search function) (be sure to let them know that you’ve tagged them!) - and link back here and leave a comment and we’ll add you to the ‘itinerary,’ which David will compile and post and update as the tour proceeds.”

So here is my top 5!

1. The enthusiasm for life. Cole will try anything, he is thirsty for knowledge and new experiences. He is not tainted yet by bad experiences. I wish we could all have that....

2. Hearing that word "mom". I have said it to my mom for 35 years but to hear it being said to me every day is overwhelming.... so much love and trust all wrapped up into one little word.

3. Reliving childhood. I LOVE playing...I LOVE museums, movies, wandering around exploring, playing TAG. Now I get to do these things and actually remember them!

4. Seeing Tim and I within Cole. Cole looks like Tim (except my eyes thank you very much!). He also loves puzzles and books like I did as a child. He is care free and relaxed like his dad. I stare at him and think "we created him". Not often do we get to witness a miracle. Having a child is a miracle.

5. My mommy friends. A special bond is formed with my friends who have kids. Becoming a mom opened up new doors for support and dicussion, a kind of sharing circle without any judgement. I feel as though for me, being a mom is what I always wanted to be, I just never knew it would be this fulfilling. I have found a way to be "me" and yet be a mom too. I can honestly say becoming a mom has only enriched my already amazing life.

I am tagging my friend Jen, who has just started her blog about her life with 3 kids under 4..

Tomorrow is Ultrasound day for us, keep us in your thoughts that there is at least one healthy heartbeat in my belly.......if not 2!!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Spring to the park for a workout!

Spring is here!!! I hope......

Here is the park behind our house...

Notice how kids are not afraid of some snow and water? Why are we, as adults, so paranoid of getting dirty? Put on your grubby runners and be a kid again, think of the great hot shower you can have afterwards.

Warm up by walking or jogging for 20 minutes Cole biked next to me while I jogged around the neighborhood.

Segment 1:

50 toe taps on a step about 8 inches high

10 pushups on the end of a slide

15 pull ups under the swing (see picture, on an incline, grab sides of the swing and extend arms straight and then squeezing your back pull body towards the swing)

Repeat 3x

Segment 2:

Step ups 10x on right

Squat jumps on one leg, 10x each leg

Repeat 4x alternating lead legs on the step ups

Segment 3:

Tricep Dips off any edge (I used the end of the slide)

Feet together, Squat down with butt touching feet and stand up and squeeze legs and butt

Jog a quick lap around play area


Segment 4:

10 tricep pushups on end of slide (elbows close in to sides to really hit the back of the arms)

20 jumps ups on sidewalk step - about 8 inches high

Jog a quick lap around play area

Repeat 3x

Finish with a 10 minute walk
Happy Easter, enjoy a chocolate treat IF you get in your workout!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Sooooo over it

Remember how excited I was to get back to the office?

Yeah, those days of hanging out chatting, having coffee and lunch, only working 3 days a week have run its course. I desperately want it to be over. I miss my life at home with Cole. I miss the flexibility to work a few hours and then run errands, play with Cole, have a nap (hee hee) if I want. I miss my lululemon pants!!!

For some reason there is an office policy….no napping at work. Trust me, there have been moments these past few weeks where I have shut my office door and closed my eyes. I gave the lady in the office next to me heads up to come knock on my door if it gets too quiet.

Here is the problem, and forgive me for venting but I must..

1. I have gone from 3 days a week to 5 days a week for the past 3 weeks. Typical of a CA firm, my staff magically disappeared onto other jobs and I am stuck holding the fort.

2. When I signed on for this, they said max 2 months, 3 days a week. Therefore I supplemented by continuing to teach a course on line from home for 10 hours a week. Now I am told this office job could run into June. NO THANKS

3. I am 6 weeks pregnant and tired. Known fact! Please do not tell me how tired I look. How my eyes look like two little pinholes. How about telling me to take a day off; that the job can manage for one day without me!

4. Do not look at me with shock in your eyes when I say I am not in the office Friday……it’s Good Friday! Yes I WILL be at home with my family. Deal with it.

5. Pay me please….. Receiving one cheque since Feb 20th is absurd. I need to see some cash for these hours I’m putting in and then maybe I’ll hush up.

So there you have it, my rant for the week and it’s only Tuesday.

This “going back to the office” has only made me realize 150% how happy I am as a stay at home mom, making some income when I can, but mostly when I WANT to. The days may be long and sometimes the job is “frustrating” but at least it’s under my terms. Being in the office makes me realize…

There’s no place like home.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Dear old friend...

Yup, that would be my treadmill, how I have missed you these past 5 weeks.
I knew I had to stop working out on Feb 25th, the day my injections started for invitro. That morning, I got on the treadmill in our basement for one last hurrah...
15 minutes in and I was feeling shocks racing through my body with each step. What the ?????? Then like "it' knew, my trusty old friend shut down....completely. I guess a tune up in 5 years would have been a good idea no??
It's as if my treadmill broke down so I would have NO URGE to get on it while I was busy with invitro. Too ironic. The parts came a week ago, and with the docs permission and sign off, I have been making my way slowly back onto this fantastic machine. If you do not own one and are looking to invest in some exercise equipment, THIS IS IT!
So far my blog has been about invitro, and I will continue talking about my pregnancy (knock on wood). But....I have lots to say and offer on the fitness side of life. I am fanatic about working out, trying new things, and staying healthy. I'm hoping I will be able to remain fit and healthy during pregnancy, but chances are I will need some motivation.
This is where you all come in.....why not tag along with me!!! My workouts can be upgraded to accomodate all levels of fitness!
Tonight, I am doing Phone Number Cardio on my treadmill (walking version for me!)
If so, give me a comment below and I will make it my friday thang.....
Have you done your cardio today?

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

44 weeks pregnant...????

We are still on cloud nine since receiving the great news on Monday.

One problem.....the due date..

January 3rd would result in a 44 week pregnancy.....umm yeah NO THANKS!

Cole was 2 weeks late and that was tough enough! No woman should be pregnant for 44 weeks. I figured the nurse, in her excitement gave me wrong information.

She did confirm that on Monday I was 4 weeks pregnant.

So a little calc on an on-line IVF calculator gave me a MUCH better due date

December 3rd, 2009.

Just so happens that that day is also the birthday of this amazing person.....

My younger sister Kimberly......

A quick phone call to her to share the good news and her reaction was exactly as I would expect from her....

"I...(hyperventilate) would.....(oh my god) LOVE that!!!!"
On she went about how she would like nothing better than to be at the hospital on her birthday, or helping with Cole.... typical from her.

I am so lucky.