Friday, August 14, 2015

7 Quick Takes (Volume 14)

--- 1 --- 
I just spent the last two hours working on a blog post. As a mom that's precious time to find. It felt like magic to carve that time out. I saved the post. I schedule it to be published tomorrow. I hit publish and I made sure to hit save again. AND still somehow blogger has ruined everything and deleted the post. So there's that. Thanks blogger. 

--- 2 --- 
What we're eating this week: 
Monday: Corn Chowder
Tuesday: Sweet Bourbon Chicken, baked sweet potatoes, zucchini pizza bites & pot stickers
Wednesday: Potato & Cheddar Soup with baguette
Thursday: Gnocchi with sausage & veggies
Friday: Garlic Marinaded Chicken with veggies & rice
Saturday:  YOYO
Sunday: Leftovers

Sticking with my healthy eating goals, I make extra sauteed peppers and zucchini that I eat in place of the carbs served - no pot stickers, gnocchi or rice for me! Thankfully I love the way that tastes instead. I have two eggs scrambled with some egg white for breakfast every morning and a salad every day for lunch. I love my food routine. 

--- 3--- 

I often miss Island life. I LOVED living in Port Alberni and Nanaimo. I liked living in Victoria, but LOVED Port Alberni and Nanaimo. Mostly because of the island around it – the location is amazing. There’s something about rivers, lakes, trees and Tim Hortons that makes me so happy. It’s green here. Not the lawns, BC has a water shortage, but the trees and the mountains…green. There’s blue. Sproat Lake, Cameron Lake, the Pacific Ocean, rivers, etc. It’s fabulous. This is for sure my happy place. On top of the people and topography I love the restaurants and shopping.  In Port there are so many options (considering the town is only 20,000 population): german, “chinese”, swale rock, clam bucket, Pescadores, etc. In Nanaimo (population 109,000) there are even more; Pipers Pub, Acme, Modern CafĂ©, etc. It’s fabulous. I love the food, the people, the land. The Island is my home. The island is my happy place. Vancouver has my life, my friends, my  community, my family but the island will always be my home, my happy place. If the ferry weren’t so expensive to go on I’d be over far more often.

--- 4--- 
This weekend I visited my home town – it is a small town, not overly remarkable on it’s own but the people and the location make it wonderful. Just 20 minutes from town is the best lake ever….like in the world. I’m pretty sure that’s a scientific fact. It’s big enough to rarely feel crowded and yet despite how big it is it’s warm! In fact it is the only lake that Paul is allowed to throw me into – which he does every time we come. I was visiting this time with my sister so there was no danger of me being thrown in. There was a danger though, of me not making it over. Ferries are a tricky thing – I grew up on an island. This teaches you something. The expression “hurry up and wait” is used often. I tried to make reservations a month before coming but they were all booked up (they only reserve a certain section of the boat in advance).  Thankfully there are extra sailings on a holiday weekend so I planned to be at the boat with Avelynn by 8:30am (I arrived by 8:40am – pretty decent for travelling with baby) so that I could arrive just after the second ferry of the day, but before the extra 9:55am sailing, and the regular 10:40 sailing, so that even if there was a wait I could get on the 10:40 or the 12:40…wow this is scintillating, eh? Anyways I made it on the 10:40am ferry, arriving in Nanaimo at 12:30pm.

You know what was fun though? I waited at the terminal for 2 hours (not bad at all) but ended up with some big poop-splosions. Avelynn pooped, and it was EVERYWHERE. I was in a line, not knowing when I’d need to move again, trying to change her diaper and deal with the poop that was on her, on her arms, legs, on her carrier insert, on her clothes….poop all over the place. I managed to get her clean, pack away all the poop clothes and pack her back into her carseat all before the line moved again. Phew. Oh poop.

The trip has been so wonderful, poop aside. Relaxation, lake time, small town life. Time with my sister and baby and so many friends from my past. Lovely. We attended the church I was a baby in, attended a party with family friends, and had two lake days, sister and sister plus baby. Plus we stayed with Jenna's friend Tonielle and her house is rad, plus she is rad, and she's a wonderful host. It was a wonderful time. 

Dinner at Gina's! So happy.

Catching up with my friend Lisa - friends since 13! That's a total 19 years!

Our first lake stop is at the provincial park. A lack of shade had us camped out near the water with a makeshift shelter for Avelynn to stay cool in. 

Shade + fan = napping baby

Next lake stop - Taylor Arm Provincial Park

We met up with a super famous internet baby...or really the adorable baby who our friend from high school has and is super cute on facebook. Not only did we get to hang out with them briefly but they passed us onto their super shadey spot, perfect for babies. 
The spot was perfect - tent for baby, shade for us all, water just steps away

Avelynn was enjoying the time, I'm sure.

Auntie & Avelynn take to the water

My college friend Crystal joined us - so lovely. 

Last but not least I got to have breakfast with my two best junior high friends - I've known Jenny since we were in grade 5 - that's 22 years! 

I've known Amy since we were 12 - that's 20 years! 

Amy & Jenny were my friends through junior high, high school and college. We spent hours laying on Amy's trampoline looking up at the stars while talking and dreaming. Band trips, adventures, walks home from school - they were some of my first real friends and I'm so glad we're still connected! Plus Jenny's sister Stephanie was able to join us, and Amy's daughter Kenzie came too! 

Also....after we left the restaurant I moved a bib. Under the to my baby's carseat. A mouse. A dead mouse. A gift from the cat where we stayed. Sooooo gross. 

All in all, a super great weekend.
--- 5--- 
Also noteworthy, Avelynn is a super cutey. 

First time in the bumbo!

Avelynn & Mom - adventure time for mom and baby

Adorable sleeping baby. A little deer.

First time in a high chair

--- 6--- 
Speaking of cute things, my friend Jodi is in town for the week. We got to have lunch with her and Stefany and it was great. Avelynn loved finding a red headed friend and hanging out with Stef (and the two babies in her belly!). 

Stef, Tara, Jodi & Avelynn

--- 7--- 
I mentioned last week that after 2 and a half weeks cracking down on my health and getting to the gym and adding in regular exercise I had lost 5 pounds and a few inches and was feeling fabulous. In the past week I haven't gained but I haven't lost. I'm thankful for the support of friends and family on this quest for health and the reminder that I can keep going even when the results aren't exactly as quick or major as I'd hoped. There have been easy days and hard days but at the end of it, the days I make healthy choices are the days that my body feels the best. The days that I eat crap (like today with 2 pieces of pizza over lunch) I feel like crap. I needed a nap and my stomach felt not great. A big reminder that it's not about weight but about actually feeling great.
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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

What's up Wednesday

What we're eating this week: It's pantry challenge time! This means I'm going through my very full pantry and cellar and eating through any meals I can make there with minimal shopping. When I recently cleaned out my pantry to organize it again I noticed how many meals I could make there - this challenge not only forces me to eat through that stockpile but also saves money! I'll just be buying fresh produce and some meat, if needed. 

Also I've been tailoring my portion of the meals to my health goals. For example, when we have butter chicken, rather than having mine over rice, I have it over sauteed veggies. Enchiladas aren't wrapped in a tortilla but stuffed into a zucchini boat. By adding most dinners to veggies I'm enjoying the flavors I love but feeling the way I long to feel healthwise! 

What I'm reminiscing about: Floating prebaby! I love Avelynn but there was something extra special about summer days on the lake without worrying about another human! 

What I'm loving: My sweet baby has slept through the night three times this past week!!! BABY! I love you!

What we've been up to: Hikes, walks, adventures! Grocery shopping, Pantry cleaning, laundry. The mundane alongside adventures!

What I'm dreading: Possible baby sleep regressions! Please, say it won't happen.

What I'm working on: Some blog posts about projects I've worked on - and some other projects to finish. Also coming, an outfit blog post!

What I'm excited about: After 2 and a half weeks cracking down on my health and getting to the gym and adding in regular exercise I have lost 5 pounds and a few inches and am feeling fabulous! I am seriously so excited about this I can hardly stand it. 

What I'm reading: The Baby Whisperer, The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding and Reshapping it all by Candace Cameron Bure. For fun I'm reading Shell Cottage.

What I'm listening to: It's sunny and I'm happy - I've been cranking gospel music and pop loudly. 

What I'm wearing: Jean shorts and more jean shorts with birkenstock sandals. Loving it! Swimsuit as appropriate and work out clothes when active! 

What I'm doing this weeked: Heading to the lake with my sister and Avelynn, of course - we're visiting our hometown to swim and float and hang out. 

What I'm looking forward to next month: Avelynn and I are volunteering at Teen Camp! And then we're off to a family wedding in Oregon. Between those two adventures there's a lot to look forward to!

What else is new: My new coffee station! I revamped an old piece of craiglist furniture (a $50 find) in 2 hours and am in love! More to come soon.

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Friday, July 24, 2015

Avelynn is 3 months!


Checking her weight on her 3 month "birthday" at Ravengsong clinic

Baby life is certainly interesting - for example I apparently, like, never blog anymore (except this week - 4 posts after a month without!), which is a real shame. But you see - this is the real problem - I can't figure out which of my photos to edit and post. So many photos....

Chillin with her cousin


Avelynn is great in her car seat

Family time!

Avelynn is a super cutey. So it makes it hard to narrow it down, you see?

Lets see. What else. Last night was her 5th night in her own room AND the second night in her life that she slept all the way through the night. Or at least, that we slept all the way through the night. She went to bed at 9 and I woke up at 7:15 and she was still asleep! Only I realized that the monitor was on mute. Upon talking with our students I found out that she probably did wake up and cry (around 2am) but that we didn't hear her. Thankfully she actually seemed more cheerful this morning so that's an interesting sign. Edited to add: sadly the rest of the week she has woken up every hour all night. So yeah. fun. 

Let sleeping babies lie

She got stuck during a nap and was quite put out.

We adventure a lot with our girl. Lake days, pool days. walks, the gym, etc. She's used to going every where with us and deals well with it. We went to the lake with her last weekend and even though we brought her little tent to sleep in, she wanted walls so we ended up putting her down for a nap in a big costco bag (very supervised) and she slept for over an hour there happily. She's funny. 

Breastfeeding in the water - for when you have to feed and desperately want water time. 

She also sees a lot of family! Nana | Jonathan | Auntie Sandy

She's so far still pretty stationary - she can roll a little but mostly just spins in place when napping. I tried seeing if this toy would work for her to play with - I laid it on her and mostly she stroked it twice and then ignored it. So thus far toys are pretty useless to her. She likes holding blankets and shirts and grabbing hair and necklaces, as all babies do. 

One thing you can't tell from this photos is that Avelynn talks all the time. Sure she doesn't use words you can understand yet but she loves to express herself and test out her vocal chords. She chatters away often. She coos and giggles and smiles all the time. Even when I'm tired I am still just so happy to be with her. Plus, it's great to be home from work! She's sweet and she loves me, so that's pretty rad. 
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