Coming Up Roses

Things have been good in the last month or so.

The girls are growing.  Kitten has started going to a French Immersion school, which has been difficult for her, but I think is challenging and growing her brain in ways that English school wasn’t.  It always surprises and amazes me when I hear her reading in French.  Granted, she’s not opening up her French library book and just spouting stuff out, but she can read me what is in her agenda, and the words on her spelling lists.  So I count that as great.  We are able to have very simple conversation in French, hello, how are you, good night, etc.  I find that I am missing her and missing seeing her growth more and more when she is away.  Not something I was entirely expecting.

Birdie is not growing.  Ha ha.  She’s a tiny peanut, as ever.  But this is her first year of preschool, and we are working very much on her independence and (for me, anyway) on her language skills.  She’s quiet, doesn’t talk a lot, and doesn’t speak overly clearly.  And we all let her just get away with it a lot of the time.  So while she’s with me, I’ve tried to make a point of her doing things for herself and asking for things with full sentences and manners.  She’s as adorable as they come, though, which buys her loads of grace.  She’s ever my snuggle bug, the most affectionate kid I’ve known.  She easily tells me she loves me and that she misses me, which warms a mama’s heart like nothing else.  She’s not as advance in art or other scholarly things as her sister was at this age, but she is inquisitive and adventurous.  While Kitten would have run screaming, Birdie will squat down and study insects she finds.  It is amazing to see her little mind work.  Kitten would be happy to sit and draw all day (always has been), whereas Birdie must change activities often, switching between stationary (reading, colouring) to something more active (running, climbing things).  If anything, Birdie is turning into a bit of a tomboy… which is fine in my books.  Currently, her favourite outfit is a pair of jeggings and her “race shirt”, which has a picture of an open wheel car on it (think Formula 1).  A few nights ago she told me that she wants a race car when she grows up.  She’s going to grow and grow and grow and grow until she is big enough and then she will drive one!

As for me… my world is ever changing.  I have an interview with the provincial government for an administrative supervisor job.  Basically, I’d be supervising a team of administrators.  It sounds terrifying.  Ha ha.  I would be able to do it, but the learning curve would be steep.  However, the pay is worth it.  Definitely can’t complain about that.  I would be increasing my salary by over half as much as I’m making now.  Kind of awesome.  I do worry about how much I’ll end up with after taxes vs. how much I am making now with the support payments and all that noise.  But realistically… it’s better to be self-sufficient anyway.  I am also exploring the option of getting into the data and communication trade.  So I would be hired on to a company as an apprentice and would end up running wire, finishing wire ends, etc.  The first couple of years are pretty menial tasks… but eventually I would be able to get into doing things like programming fire alarms in large buildings and other cool stuff.  I’m not like WHOO!!!  I love data lines!!!! or anything like that, but it would be a steady job that I can get better at, and that will change with every contract the company takes on.  Plus, it’s a good way to get an education without really having to take much time off.  In 4 years of working (vs. going to school), I’ll walk away with a journeyman’s ticket and very little school debt… if any at all.  And with it being a trade… I could very well end up running my own company or branching into other things.  And I love that it’s not a desk job.  That’s really the only thing that bothers me about taking the govt job if it’s offered… sitting at a desk.  Yuck.

I have been taking an Understanding Medical Terminology class through Mount Royal University.  It is challenging me in ways I didn’t expect.  I was really stressed out this week about finishing the course, but I am on the 4th kilometre of the 5 km race this course is 😉 I am not sure whether I am going to sign up for part 2 or not.  I haven decided if I want to see the whole thing through and get my certificate or not.  I originally started it just to open up my options when it came to jobs available to me… but I feel like I’m maybe going in a completely opposite direction.  Not a bad thing… but I don’t want to waste money that I don’t need to waste, either.

As for the not-work portion of my life… I’ve been busy.  Currently, I am working with a team of 3 others (well… 5 others?  Maybe?) to build a Vega/Astre/Monza hybrid vehicle to race in the Chump Car championships at Laguna Seca in December.  It’s all very exciting, and very boring at the same time.  But it allows me to go on adventures, like helping load a car with only a front axel onto a trailer while it’s rear end is suspended from a tractor with it’s bucket way in the air.  Plus, I actually know a few things about cars now.  Only a few.

This is all courtesy of this dude that I’ve been seeing for a little while now.  He’s nice.  He is a mechanic but is currently managing a garage for someone else (and not really doing much under the cars these days).  Has a couple of kids older than mine, loves cars and beer, and all living things.  We seem to get along pretty well, and he’s very supportive of my mama-hood, always encouraging me to spend lots of time with my girls and to mommy-up.  It’s nice.  I was worried that it would be hard to find someone who really understands how much kids need from you, and I think he gets it.  My girls like visiting his house, with the giant dog, the race car, and the huge fish tank.  Only Birdie likes the snake… Kitten is not really a fan.  I adore his children, which makes being around them easier.

I haven’t been running all that much.  I did do the Climb of Hope run again this year, and place well within the first 1/4 of runners.  So I was relatively chuffed with the result… especially since I hadn’t really been training at all.  I had signed up to do the Color Me RAD run, but ended up being in Spokane with the Chump Car 36 hour endurance race.  It was an amazing amount of fun and I am really glad that I made the decision to go.  I am taking a dance class… Pole dancing.  Don’t laugh – it’s really fun and it’s a crazy upper body work out.  Although my legs are often sore after class as well.  I like to joke around that if all my other job options don’t pan out, I could always resort to stripping!  Ha ha.  Never going to happen.  At any rate, who would want to watch that?  No one.  That’s who.

I haven’t done too much to my apartment in the past couple of months.  I started to paint my bedroom… but ran out of steam.  Ha ha.  Maybe next week that the girls are here, I will do some painting in there.  After my course is done.  Then I won’t have to worry about that any more.

So that’s how things are with me, these days.  I’m happy.  Feeling pretty settled.  Would like to change a few things, but I have a plan and it’s being put into action.  About the only thing lacking is that I’d like to drop the stress weight that I’ve gained… but I’m not sure when I’ll do that.  Not ready to tighten down the diet and increase the activity, yet.  Hope things are well with all the blog people out there in blog land.

You guys. I am alive.

Well, we’re “done” the reno (as in, the construction stuff is mostly done, barring a few touch ups, but we are still in unpacking and decorating mode). But I’m not ready to do all my before and after shots until the decorating is done. So, patience, grasshopper.

I completely went off of the Paleo Diet thing during the last month or so of the reno. It was difficult and uninspiring to not have a kitchen and have to chose from a very limited selection of items while eating out. I ended up gaining some weight back (I think 7 pounds?), but it came off really easily during the month of November (another Whole 30). Rob joined me on the Whole 30 this time, and he lost a few pounds… not that he was even remotely near fat or even had that much to loose. However, his eczema has completely disappeared, and it seems (to me) like he has more energy/drive… but maybe that’s because the computer has been in storage until the last week 😉 Christmas didn’t derail us too much, although I did play a little food bingo, where there were certain things I really wanted to eat during the holidays that I only get to eat once a year, or even every other year.

I’ve been making an effort to move more these days, and that’s kind of my plan for this year. I feel like I have the eating thing down (I would say that I’m paleo 90% of the time, allowing for treats on ocassion), and now it’s time to start moving. So I’ve been doing some strength conditioning at home (body weight exercises), and I’ve started doing yoga at home again, as well (did you know that some people have put 1 hour long yoga routines on youtube? Amazing – now I don’t have to go take a class). I did buy a 20 punch pass card for a local Crossfit gym… but have been to afraid to go. I should just get going and receive my beating. Ha ha. I feel like I wanted to get a little bit stronger before I go. Which is stupid, as the POINT of going is to get strong THERE. But yeah.

The kids are both good. Kitten has been a busy girl, and is very into Pokemon and Disney Fairies right now. Birdie is the same as always, except she now has 4 teeth, and is willing to play in the basement (finished, all the toys are down there) for long stretches of time by herself. She has moved out of the crib in the closet, and is now sleeping on a double mattress on the floor of her new room. She was in a sleep sack for a little while, but she seems to prefer to sleep under a big blanket now. Silly girl.

Rob is doing well at work, and has aquired a bunch of new skills at home. He did all the dapping and the lions share of baseboard painting in our house. He also learned how to install laminate floor, paint an entire house in a weekend, and just generally be bonkers. It has been a fun ride, although I’m not terribly sure that I would want to live in our home during construction of that magnitude again. The major plus was that we noticed a lot of things that needed to be fixed as we went along, instead of having to make the contractors go back and fix it.

Well, it sounds like the girls are done their breakfast. I should attend them. Watch this space for new before & after pictures, for both the house and myself, as well as some new scrapbook pages (and hopefully pictures of the kids as well as of some knitting!)

Scrapbook Sunday

Well, I don’t have a lot to say.  We are getting by… some of us running, and some of us crawling along, dragging our leg behind us.  For the most part, Birdie has been a trooper.  I am grateful for this.  I will be even MORE grateful if this current sleep regression could pass us by soon (like, no more nights of waking up every two hours), and that maybe, just MAYBE she could sleep for more than 4 hours at a time.  But yeah. 

Rob has been feeling fairly under the weather, which means that everything here is a little strange.  I’ve been sleeping on the pull out bed, only to limit exposure (if I were to get the flu, I can’t call in sick).  He was feeling better as of Saturday afternoon (better, not well), so we’ll see when I move back to our bed.  The pull out is not very comfortable, and my back has been a bit sore from it.  My throat has been very sore the past two days, but there really isn’t any telling if it’s because I’m getting sick or because I have some massive tonsil stone that I can’t seem to find.  Or it just hurts from me poking around back there (completely possible). 

I have been spending a lot of my time playing with my very early birthday present, my new iPhone.  I really do love it… it wakes me up in the morning, it amuses me when Birdie is up nursing in the evening, it allows me to sit in the parking lot at preschool so Birdie can nap.  This is our new schedule on preschool days:  Drop Kitten off at school, go get coffee, park in school parking lot, play on iPhone or read a book, pick Kitten up from school.  I just really hope that it doesn’t get really cold before spring – I don’t think I could sit out there if it was super cold.  Birdie has officially dropped down to one long afternoon nap (3 hours, if she can!!!), so I’m trying to give it to her.  This is the best I can do (about 2 hours) on Tuesdays & Thursdays.  Back to the phone – if anyone wants to play Words With Friends with me, or has another multiplayer game to recommend, please let me know! Smile  Also, if anyone wants to be my texting friend, let me know that too Winking smile  My mom told me that I’m texting her too much.  Oops. 

If you’re not following me on Twitter, I have been putting up some pictures of the kids there.  I am also on Instagram, if you’d prefer to view them there.  I haven’t been putting all the pictures on flickr, just FYI. 

Ok, I guess I had more to say than I thought I did.  Now for the scrapbook pages.  I’m putting in two – it’s a two page layout, with the first page on the left, and the second page will go on the right. 

2009 Scrapbook - Page 020

2009 Scrapbook - Page 021

A quick update

We saw the orthopedic surgeon on Monday. It was an interesting visit. Basically, the cast that was on wasn’t doing anything so she had a new one put on. She usually puts a cast around the babies hips for a femur fracture, but decided not to this time. Instead, the cast goes up to her hip, which is a bit of a pain… But or could be worse.

So Birdie has to keep her shiny new green cast on until March 2. It seems like a long time from now. But at least it’s in time for her birthday!

Crap on a Cracker (and other stuff)

Dudes, it has been a while.  And it has been very adventurous… at least for this past week. 

You see, we’ve been very busy, with the horseback riding, and Kitten being in Awana and just general business.  Well, with the Awana stuff, there’s a cub-car race (pinebox derby?) coming up, and we decided that Kitten would participate.  So, in effort to get her car made, we were to go out visit my dad (and all his fancy tools) on Wednesday morning.  The weather has been unseasonable warm, and it was raining in the morning, but I thought nothing of it.  After all, we get all kinds of weather here, and we try not to let weather stop us from doing things – else we’d be trapped at home for 355 days out of the year.  So!  I got us all ready and headed out the door.  I stepped of the deck and on to the concrete, and not two steps later, had fallen on my hip/elbow/back… on the arm that was carrying Birdie. 

Ouch.  Anyway, she started SCREAMING, and I was crying and Kitten was looking on in a “DUDE, WHAT JUST HAPPENED” kind of way.  I took us all (very carefully, mind, because that “wet” sidewalk was actually a sheet of ice) back inside to call my dad to tell him that we would NOT be coming.  If the sidewalk was to slick to walk on, how would the roads be (plus, I was not up to attempting to traverse the sidewalk a second time that day).  I was also unsure as to what our various injuries were.  I was quite worried that Birdie had hit her head on the sidewalk, or that I had squished her little innards while we all went down in a heap.  After about 20 minutes, Birdie was still inconsolable.  I didn’t think I’d be able to get to my car safely, and I was REALLY concerned that I had broken her collarbone or squished her insides with my arm and the thought of putting her in her carseat was pretty much unbearable, so we called 911.  I felt very dumb for calling, like it wasn’t a “real” emergency (no one was bleeding or in danger of dying), but we needed medical attention and I wasn’t sure how else to get it (Birdie was STILL crying). 

The fire truck got her first, and when I mean got here first, I mean that it got stuck down the street on the corner first (and kind of hit a parked car).  You see, our street had not been plowed since we got nearly 2 feet of snow in the past 2-3 weeks or so.  Yeah.  It was bad.  Anyway, the firemen (who were very good looking, by the way), got here first and had a heck of a time getting up to the house (frozen sidewalk).  One of them even remarked “no wonder she fell” as they attempted to slide up to the house.  They quickly checked Birdie over (felt her arms and legs, looked for bruises/bumps on her head, etc.), and asked me several times if I was ok.  Then they went and put down a bunch of sand so the EMT’s could get to our house.  You guys.  The paramedics (also good looking!) didn’t even bring the ambulance down the street – they parked around the corner and walked in.  Anyway, they also checked Birdie out and deemed her not in immediate danger.  They said that they could take us in, or we could wait at home and look for signs of head trauma ourselves.  They also said that if they took us to the ER, they would be putting us in the waiting room with everyone else, as there really wasn’t obvious injury.  I chose to stay home.  She was starting to settle and really didn’t relish the idea of waiting in an ER for however knows how long for a niggling idea in my brain that she must still be in pain.  At this point, the fire truck got unstuck from the first corner they had to take, went past our house, and got stuck on the second corner.  Poor firemen.  Oh, and the EMT told me that this was the WORST street she had seen in the whole city.  It’s a big city, and while I know she hasn’t seen every street, I’m sure she’s seen a lot!  Anyway, the paramedics left, and we watched the fire truck struggle to get free… to no avail.  In the end, they called a giant tow truck, that had to tow them out of the second AND A THIRD corner (that I could see).  It was ridiculous.  I did joke that maybe NOW we’d get a snow plow through here! 

After lunch, my mom came over to visit, and to make sure that we were all ok.  For some reason, when you say “ambulance” "fell with the baby on the concrete” and “won’t stop screaming”, mom’s tend to freak out.  I don’t know what that’s about.  So she came by to sit with Birdie so I could do some things, like breathe.  And maybe shower, but I’m not all together sure that I did that.  While my mom was here, we decided that every time you touch/pull on/move Birdie’s right leg, she’d cry.  And if you changed her diaper, she’d full on SCREAM and shake.  So I knew that niggling little feeling that she wasn’t quite right was true, and made arrangements for Kitten to play at a friend’s so I could take Birdie in the the ER.  Mom left for home (without getting stuck – yay!), and I got Rob to meet me at the hospital.

I had a really hard time sitting around in the waiting room.  People had been there FOREVER, and some people were REALLY sick, and I was filled with self doubt.  We were fairly fortunate that after an hour or so, we were able to see the pediatrician (who, for the record, was also very good looking).  He was all “yeah, she’s tender in there, lets go for some X-rays”.  They shuffled us off to a different waiting room (which Rob professed his undying love for, and his willingness to wait for HOURS in this very quiet, very empty waiting room), and then off to the x-ray room.  Birdie did so well for her X-rays, until they pulled her leg straight, and then it was all tears and shaking again.  After that, it was back to the busy, disease-filled waiting room until the pediatrician had time to look at the file.  Surprisingly not long long after we sat down, he called us over again.  He was all “ok, lets look at the films, and then I’ll have you set up in a room” and I was all “a room!  NO!!!  That’s horrible” and he was all “It’s not the end of the world” and by that time, we were at the viewing station thinger.  Anyway, turns out that Birdie broke her leg.  YOU GUYS, I BROKE THE BABY.  Le sigh.  She got a buckle fracture (which is a greenstick fracture) in her femur, just above the knee.  So they casted her, a giant pink (yay!) cast, and then sent us home.  I was SO glad that I listened to my mommy intuition and ignored the doubt I had.  I would have felt even more awful had I not taken her in. 

For the rest of the evening, we just stayed home and kind of was in shock about the whole thing.  I joked around that if anyone asked if we needed anything, I’d tell them just to bring those tiny champagne bottles over.  Ha ha.  Then I decided I’d rather eat my way through this, vs. drink. 

Wednesday night Birdie slept like an angel.  We kept up on the Advil, and she had a great big long sleep.  I was really grateful.  It wasn’t super amazing, like 10 hours or anything, but she wasn’t up every 2 hours like I thought she’d be. 

On Thursday, the graters came, and it took all of my will power not to stand on my front porch and yell “You’re welcome, neighbourhood!!!” at the top of my lungs.  Ha.  Anyway, the day went by with very little in the way of anything interesting or amazing, other than Birdie being crazy and trying to crawl around and STAND ON HER BROKEN LEG!!!  Egads.  So Thursday night, I put her to bed as per usual and things were normal.  I went to bed (at the normal time), and she woke up (at the normal time) to nurse, only HER CAST WAS NOT ON HER LEG!!!  The little squiggle worm had kicked off/pulled her leg out of her cast!  Gah.  So I got to make a 2 am visit to the ER (which?  not as busy as it was at 3 pm the previous day).  And even better, the same ortho-tech was on duty, so she was already familiar with us, and knew that Birdie loved to a) play with the crinkly bags and b) rip up the rolls of cotton batting.  She even let me cut through the “restricted” portion of the ER to get in to the hospital proper to get back to my car (vs. going outside and around the building at 3 am due to renovations).  So now she has another hot pink cast on which a better bend in the knee so she can’t get it off herself.

The weekend has gone quickly, and Birdie has been pretty OK with everything.  Granted, we’re not strangers to casts, but it has been a little different than the serial casts in that she will cry if you bump her leg wrong or if she goes too long between Advil does.  We have our Orthopedic specialist appt in the AM on Monday, so hopefully that goes well, and she won’t have to have her cast on for long.

Firetruck hauling

Finally unstuck

The day after

The Kicked Off Cast

Birdie Cast 2.0

THE OTHER STUFF

Hanna does a Scrapbook Sunday thing, where every Sunday, she shows you a page she worked on out of her scrapbook.  Now that I’ve joined in on this digital scrapbooking thing, I thought I would copy her very good idea and I will leave you with a page out of my scrapbook (part 2… seeing as how the first 65 pages were lost due to a corrupted hard drive… ladies and gentlemen, please backup your computers). 

Scrapbook Page

Weekend Round Up

This post will be disjointed as all get out, so stick with me!

QUILTING!

I got my new rotary blade, and managed to get two fabrics cut up.  But only two 😉

All our squishy fabrics!

The start of Birdie's Quilt

I do intend on getting some more done… but just never seem to get there. ::sigh:: Soon. I think. Maybe. Anyway, I still have to decide on whether I am going to use the aqua colour as the binding, or if I should use one of the patterns. I’m a little lost about that. I did get the extra white fabric to do all the sashing in white, though. Oh, and I have no idea what colour thread to use for the top stitching. I love the variegated stuff, but I don’t think there is one that would look good with these colours.

KNITTING

I have a couple of things on the go these days. I was working on some very complicated pants for Birdie, but decided to rip them out. They were really hogging the yarn, and I wasn’t going to have enough to finish, so I ripped them out. I did take a picture of the fabric first, though.

Cross Stitch Longies

I am also working on a pair of socks, my first pair of actual Three Irish Girls socks! Yay! I haven’t worked on them in a little while, though. I started up a pair of pants for Birdie, instead. She’s outgrown all her wool, and isn’t big enough for Kitten’s hand-me-downs yet. I got a few rows done while we were away, but really didn’t do much. I don’t like to knit in the car.

Dragon Fish Socks

SASKATOON WILDERNESS FARM AND ZOO

As part of our trip out East this past weekend, we stopped at the zoo in Saskatoon. It’s mostly deer (seriously, like 8 different types of deer), but they had some cool other stuff, like a lion, cougar, lynx, and grizzly bears. We went after supper, so the animals were up and wandering around which was so nice. The best thing were the pygmie goats. There was this little one that would cry out, and would make Birdie (she was sleeping in the sling) either start to cry or giggle in her sleep. I wonder what she was dreaming about! LOL!

With the bears

Rob & Kitten

Rob & Kitten

Us girls

WEEKEND WEDDING

My brother got married this weekend, and it was just lovely. Kitten was totally enamoured with the bride, as well as with dancing. Ha ha. She did her “highland dancing” all night at the reception (which consists of her hopping from foot to foot in a circle). It was so hilarious, and adorable. Birdie decided that she was starving and exhausted just before the wedding started, and was just inconsolable. I tried so hard to get her to stop crying, but there was no soothing her. So I ended up nursing her during the wedding (something I had NOT planned on doing). I’m pretty sure that no one really noticed, other than I wasn’t standing during the bridal entrance (I can’t nurse and stand without things falling out of place, if you know what I mean). Rob joked with me later that I was going to have to ask the photographer to photoshop my boob out of the pictures. Ha ha, Rob. I can’t wait to see our family pictures, though! And I just realized that I didn’t get anyone to take some pictures of the four of us as a family. CRAP!! 😦 Oh well.

The girls were in perfect matching outfits, though. They were so adorable! Kitten kept hugging Birdin in every picture I tried to take of them! LOL!

Daddy & his Girls

Kitten loves her sister

I did do a “costume change” for the girls for the reception. I thought they’d be more comfortable in pants and shirts. They were still adorable, though.

Birdie and the Bride's Bouquet

Kitten

Birdie

So there you go. In the end, we spent 24 hours on the road, but really enjoyed our trip. We played some serious “Road Kill Bingo” along the way, and the amount of road kill we saw was just… wow. Seriously. The only thing that I expected to see on the road that I didn’t was bird remains. Yeesh.

Pictures of Knitting

Ok, here’s a few pictures of some things I’ve finished.

Here’s a lightweight cowl and fingerless gloves, knit on Three Irish Girls Adorn (fingering weight), the colour is Lysander.

Spring Leaves Cowl

Spring Leaves Cowl

Spring Serpentines

Spring Serpentines

Here’s a striped market bag I did up. I had hoped that it would be longer, but I guess my guage wasn’t quite right. It’s still great for books or smaller items. I hope that it stretches quite a bit with use (it’s cotton). It’s knit on Handicrafter Cotton Stripes and the colour is Mod Stripes.

Striped Market Bag

Striped Market Bag

Here are some random shots of Birdie 🙂 The second picture is her under about 5-6 days worth of (clean) diapers!

You want some, Mommy?  SO GOOD!

Birdie and her Diapers

As for the quilt, I haven’t made time to go to the fabric store to pick up some plain cotton, as well as pick up a new rotary blade. Hopefully I’ll get to it either Friday or next week. We’ll see. I still have to do a little bit of math… but I’m sure I’ll figure it out. I’ll update more when I have more! 🙂