May 30, 2011

Set your PVR

As I write this, I am watching the series premiere of Extreme Makeover Weight Loss Edition. I've been looking forward to this show since the commercials started about a month ago. I had seen the trainer, Chris, on a TLC documentary a while back and knew at the time that he would end up with a TV show. This show is so insipiring. It follows the weight loss efforts of one person over the course of one year. I think this will be my favourite show this summer to help keep me on track. Set your PVR for 10PM Monday nights.

As for my weight loss efforts, I'm working hard to reach the original goal that I set for my friend's wedding (which is on Saturday!). As of this afternoon, I am 3 lbs away from the goal. I will be cleansing again on Wednesday, so I'm hoping to reach it by Thursday AM. Crossing my fingers I will make, but regardless, I am sooo happy with my progress thus far.

Hubby, on the other hand, has completely surpassed his first, second AND third goals. He has lost an incredible 74lbs! It's shocking, really. It goes to show that has hasn't done as much damage to his metabolism over the years as I have. He really can only blame his old bad food choices for gaining the weight.

Wish me luck for the next 3 lbs...

May 28, 2011

A Bedtime Story

A tidbit for today...

Here is Cate "reading" her favourite bedtime story.

May 26, 2011

A Day in the Life...

So my friend Katie had the awesome idea of doing a week of "day in the life" posts. I thought this was a great idea... however, it's also a ton of work, and so today will be the first AND last of the series!

Here it goes...

7:00AM - Wake up to Cate eating cheerios in bed while hubby gets ready for work.

7:30AM - Wrangle Cate to get dressed and bring her and Maddie downstairs to get ready for preschool.


She decided that she needed to be in EVERY photo...



7:45AM - Deal with tantrum #4 so far, I think this one had to do with wanting to eat her preschool snack now, rather than keep it for preschool...


8:00 AM - Attempt to make a plan to clean the house... See, my house gets messy just like the rest of you!



8:15AM - The battle of the pony tail.


8:25AM - Oh yeah, it's Cleanse Day... Mmmm... Sad there will be no Timmy's on the drive in today. Also sad that hubby took the last travel mug...


8:30AM - Off we go! Atleast someone is happy this morning...




9:00 AM - Arrived at Preschool. Waiting for them to unlock the door.


It got kinda crazy between dropping Cate off at Preschool at 9AM and coming back home at 1:30PM. Somewhere in between there was a battle with the printer, a trip to Micheal's to find more tent cards, another trip across the city to actually buy the tent cards, and finally arrived home. Cate fell asleep 5 minutes before we pulled into the driveway.


When one is sleeping, the other one is...

Apparantly the nap didn't last the couch transfer. 10 minute nap it is...


Oh yeah, we have a dog too... Poor Panda is last on the list these days.

2:30PM - Cate playing with her new ribbon toy from her teacher at Preschool.


3:00PM - My attempt to continue my tent card project.


Failed attempt at getting Cate to nap in the office.


Failed attempt at getting Maddie to nap.


"Someone" got into Maddie's toy box...

Another attempt at keeping Cate busy so I can finish those darn tent cards!

Maddie too.

5:00PM - Finally! Hubby is home! Tent cards were completed.

5:30PM - Off to Bayshore to pick-up hubby's new suit.


Don't forget to buy fishy crackers.


7:30 PM - Home at last. Hubby tried on his new suit and shirt. Looks HOT!


9:15PM Cate is sound asleep. Maddie just had her rice cereal and is about to have her third bottle in 2 hours... Hubby just put the kettle on for our final Cleanse for Life of the day...


May 23, 2011

The Real Cost of Social Media

I stumbled across this and wanted to share.

It's great to see some real results from known brands.

A few weeks ago, I went through a bunch of the Facebook suggested pages. I became a fan of a number of them. Since then, I've had to remove some for over advertising. Some of the artists that I follow started creating events for every gig that they play. They do this all at once and end up flooding my news feed with information on concerts held 2000 kms away. Some of the TV shows are created by the same production company and so all their updates are very similar. It gets a bit redudant.

I think it's important for Community Managers to be aware of what their putting out in the online universe. Too much activity can very easily turn people off your brand. I think that all marketers should personally follow the pages they run to ensure that their messages are perceived the right way.

What do you think? What turns you on or off of social media marketing?

May 22, 2011

New Found Flavours

Since we've started following Isagenix, we've rediscovered how much we enjoy GOOD food. Our desires for things like fast food, chips, and candy have nearly dissipated and been replaced by cravings for things like goat cheese, hummus, olives and red wine (mostly by me). It leads me to think the meditereanians have got this food thing figured out.

I don't think I have ever enjoyed food as much I am now. With our new routine of 2 cleanse days per week, we essential only have 5 "normal" meals a week. This has completely simplified the meal planning process and also ensure that the food we eat is something that we really want and cooked fresh. No more frozen shephard's pies, even if it is Blue Menu.

The down side of our new lifestyle is having solutions on hand for Cate's meals. She has been eating alot of Gerber dinners of late because atleast I know it's a healthy option. I've tried to make her some frozen healthy meals, but she can be so picky sometimes that her dinner sometimes consists of nothing but cheese, crackers and carrot sticks. I don't make a big deal of it now, but I will certainly need to find a better long term solution for this, especially as Maddie starts eating "real" food.

Speaking of which, I caved after dinner last night and fed Maddie her first bit of rice cereal. She LOVED it! She was also in a terrific mood for the rest of the evening which leads me to believe that her fussiness may be reflux related. Here's a pic of Miss Maddie's first meal.


May 21, 2011

Where's the mute button?

If it's not one, it's the other this week. Cate and Maddie have teamed up to ensure that our house is never silent and there is always someone whining or crying. I'm not looking forward to the teen years...

Little Feet

Cate has always been a cryer. Sometimes, she is the happiest and brightest little girl, but if something triggers her to cry it is very difficult to get her back into happy mode for the rest of the day. She always cries when she wakes up in the morning and when she wakes up from a nap. I honestly cannot remember a time when she didn't cry after waking up. Most of the time these days, her crying results in me losing my patience and yelling telling her to stay in her room until she's done crying. This often gets me louder and more obnoxious crying. Don't get me wrong, I've tried the soft and gentle approach, the cheery sunshine approach, the ignoring approach - none of them worked. Her daycare provider has told me that she's never met a kid who cries so much, and yet is so happy the rest of the time. I'm going to make a point to talk to her doctor about it at our next visit since it seems a bit ridiculous for a 2 year old to be so upset for no reason.

Maddie, on the other hand, had been a perfect little baby up until a couple weeks ago when she came down with an ear infection. Now the little imp has gone clingly! If I dare put her down, the squawking starts and inevitably turns into a full blown cry. Although, sometimes when I hold her she is still really fussy. She has started drooling and putting her fingers in her mouth, so some teeth may be on the way, but if I had to guess, it looks like her reflux is getting worse. She throws herself back and arches her back and has also been spitting up alot. I'm almost tempted to start solids a little early to help settle it down. Thank goodness the projectile vomiting has ended though... knock on wood...

Today is the first day of a long weekend with an open schedule and I'm hoping things start to turn around soon so we can enjoy the beautiful weather that has finally decided to grace us with its presence. Best of all, hubby is installing our new dishwasher as we speak! I'm so done with washing dishes my hand...

May 16, 2011

Perfect Fit

What a busy past few days this has been!

These days, I look forward to Monday because it means that hubby is back at work and Cate is back to daycare so I can finally get the house back in order and do the things I need to do! Unfortunately, the bulk of today was spent running errands, shopping for a new dishwasher and tending to Maddie. The poor little baby is recovering from a cold and an ear infection that doesn't seem to improve with tempra and antibiotics. On the bright side, Maddie started rolling over today! She's such an overachiever...

The White Suit
Yesterday, hubby and I went out to buy him a new suit for the upcoming wedding since none of his old suits fit - sadly, that includes his white suit. Knowing that he still has another 30 or so pounds to lose, we didn't want to invest in the perfect suit and so we started browsing the rack. We ended up find a great suit that fit him to a T. The only alterations required were a hem to the pant. The price was very reasonable at $150, it's eco friendly, but best of all, the suit is machine washable! That's right, check it out here:

Today was my turn. Unfortunately, mother nature kindly decided to take the bulk of my lost weight from "the girls" and so I brought my bridesmaid dress to the tailor to have the bust taken in. The seamstress told me that I wasn't allowed to lose anymore weight between now and the wedding because she doesn't want to do it twice. I neglected to tell her that the last bridesmaid dress I wore had to be taken in 3 times before the wedding...

Finally, the pieces of the puzzle are all coming together and I can't wait to have us all together for a family photo looking our best.

May 11, 2011

Breaking Barriers

I've been stuck in a weight loss rut for the past couple of weeks. With all the social activities going on, I was caught in a cycle of losing weight after a cleanse day, only to turn around and gain it back within a few days. Finally, today I broke through the barrier and dropped 1.5lbs lower than where I had been hovering. The hours of walking I did on Monday may have had something to do with it...

Last week, we decided to try a 9 day cleanse and so on Wednesday and Thursday we did back to back cleanse days. Wednesday was really tough, but oddly enough, Thursday wasn't that bad. What we realized though, was that the results on Friday morning weren't much different than if we separated the cleanse days. So, to make life easier, we've decided to change things up and do 2 cleanse days a week (Mondays and Thursdays) for the next little while and see how that goes.

I'm loving the flexibility that Isagenix is giving me. I have a quick solution if I go off track, and I really do not find it is difficult to sustain. It is also saving us a bundle on groceries - Yesterday, I only spent $61.00 yesterday to get us through to Sunday! And that even included meals and snacks for Cate.

My biggest challenge right now is alcohol. For me, there's nothing better than a glass of Shiraz at the end of the day - especially when the weather is nice and we can sit out in the backyard to enjoy it. I think like anything, the key is moderation. I'll admit that last night I had a Molson 67. 67 as in 67 calories, so really not too bad, and even better after seeing the results on the scale this morning. I will try to not make a habit of it, because as I learned after the bachelorette party, too much alcohol on the weekend gives me a headache when I get back on track.

My next goal is to lose another 8 lbs by the end of the month. It's an ambitious goal, but I'm game.


May 9, 2011

Herding Cats

We finally got some sunshine today, so Maddie and I headed out to hit the pavement this morning. I decided to walk to our local shopping plaza about 30 mins away to get in some exercise and shopping - a perfect combination!

I really enjoyed the walk there. I had my ipod on and a smiling baby to look at while I walked -  great motivation to get moving. As I approached the shopping plaza, I noticed a tiny little cat under a big landscaping truck. This was a very busy intersection and there's no way this little kitty belonged here. I detoured to go see if it had a collar - it did! The collar had a great tag that said that this was an indoor cat, and if found, call the phone number listed. Perfect!

I managed to get the cat to sit still as I called the number and the owner seemed a little shocked when I told him where the cat was. Apparantly, it was about 3kms from home. The owner was at work about 30 mins away, so I waited with the cat. Not as simple as it sounds given that I had Maddie with me in the stroller and we were in the Wal-Mart parking lot... The cat was looking really skinny, so I offered it some water, but it didn't take it. I then decided to give it some of the ready made formula that I had in the diaper bag. It lapped it up real quick! Good thing too because the landscapers came back to move the truck and I think that if I hadn't offered milk, the cat may have made an escape from the scary truck.

Half an hour after I called, the owner, a young man, showed up and was very glad to have found his kitty. He said the cat had gotten out a couple times before, but never strayed farther than 3 houses down. I told him that I was glad his number was on the collar because it would have been much more difficult for me if I had to find a way to take him to the vet a few blocks away to check for a microchip. Thinking about the logistics of walking a baby and a cat I don't know without a leash through the busy streets of our suburb just seems too complicated. Add to that the fact that my allergies have started up... not a pretty picture! I should also mention that I am not a cat person... My parents have the world's most evil cat and it was the last straw to turn me off felines forever.

The owner was kind enough to offer to take me out to lunch, but given that it was cleanse day and all (hehe), I politely declined. I was just happy that I was able to help. Honestly - It made my day to know that this little family was been reunited.

I am very glad that we have a similar collar for our dog, Panda. She escapes from our backyard fairly often due to an unresolved fencing issue... (hint, hint, hubby) but she runs straight to the park across the street and scurries home with her tail between her legs the second we find her.


Now to decide whether I have enough energy to walk to pick up Cate from daycare...

May 7, 2011

Baby Talk

I usually end up talking about Cate on this blog since she is the one who demands the most attention and definately the one requiring more parenting. While I am trying to track Cate down and get her to sit still for a moment, Maddie can usually be found smiling away in her pod or on her play mat.

Cate was a really good baby and so when I was pregnant with Maddie, we kept saying that there is no way we can get lucky twice... but we did! Maddie is seriously the best baby ever. She plays and laughs and sleeps. She rarely cries, and she even gives very clear signals that she wants to eat rather than just crying. She is so good that even when she is really hungry, she stops crying when she sees the bottle so that I can put her bib on easily. Truly amazing for a 3 month old!

She has just started to put her hands in her month and so I think we are seeing the very early stages of teething. Cate got her first two bottom teeth just after 6 months old, but started teething at 4 months and never had a dry face until she was almost a year old!

Here's a short clip of Maddie doing her favourite thing - staring at herself in the mirror! Her godmommy would be so proud...

It's moments like these that I hope to remember forever. Nothing warms a heart like a smiling baby...

Dear 16 year old me,

Sometimes I see things that move me and need to share. This is one of them.

What a message - clear, informative, and clearly addressing their target audience in their medium.

Social marketing via social network at its best.

Share far and wide...

May 4, 2011

Keeping Patience

I do not claim to be a perfect mother.

I lose my patience with the best of them.

These past few weeks have been a real test and have me reconsidering my decision to keep Cate home with all summer. I had visions of spending time in the park across the street every morning and filling up the kiddy pool in the backyard every afternoon. Well... between the never ending gloomy, rainy days and the outdoor water ban in our neighbourhood, it's hard to see the silver lining. Cate is the type of kid (like most, I assume) that NEEDS to spend some time outside everyday to burn off some energy. The recent days have left us with a wound up little girl at night.

To top it off, Cate is going through what I will call a "phase". I have heard people talk about the terrible twos, but now I am living it and it is not pretty. She doesn't listen or obey anything we say, she has completely given up on the idea of using the potty, she still has no personal space boundaries, and most of the time responds in what hubby calls "whinese". I just pray that the day she turns three it will all change and she will revert to the quiet, kind and considerate little girl that she was a year ago.

I remember when Cate was little and we would see older toddlers misbehaving and hubby and I would say to ourselves that no way would we let our child behave like that. How embarassing for their parents... Well... boy is my face red now! I take back every thought I ever had to that effect. Now, when Cate is acting up, I take pleasure in seeing the reaction of new parents and I think to myself - just you wait, your turn is coming...!

To all the parents out there - how did you survive the terrible twos?

May 2, 2011

Time to Vote

Thanks for all the positive comments on my last post :) I was so pleased with how well the cookies turned out since I had never done anything like that before, but even more impressed that they tasted good too!

Today, we voted in the federal election.

I usually don't like to talk politics since I respect everyone's right to their own opinion and don't always feel the need to share my own, but I find myself somewhat neutral in the outcome this time, although very interested to see what Canadians will choose.

We take voting very seriously in our house and from the time an election is called, be it municipal, provincial, or federal, we do our homework on all the candidates in our riding and research the party platforms to ensure we make an educated choice for what our family needs at that particular time. Hubby and I have voted differently in the past, but for this election, we agreed to take a strategic approach. Our vote goes beyond who we want to see win in our riding, it encourages a change in party leadership and hopefully a more stable and accountable government over the long term.

Given my day job, that last thing I want to see is a new party come in and change everything the previous party did for the sake of simply putting their stamp on things. Although I have not yet worked on the inside during a change of leadership, I can only imagine the frustration and wastefulness that must follow. In contrast, I also do not want to see a government that will once again bring up the questions of gay marriage and abortion rights.

I am excited to watch the election coverage tonight and am sure that I will stay up until the bitter end (even though I am still exhausted from this past weekend's festivities). Regardless of who wins, I hope that they can keep their focus on what's best for all Canadians and keep moving our country forward. It's days like these that I am reminded how grateful I am to live in a democratic society that values my opinion and vote.

So here are my questions for you:

Did you vote?

What influences your decision?

How did you prioritize the issues? (taxes, environment, childcare, health, jobs, etc)