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.

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My Kingdom for a Taser

Rob and I went to look at printers* today.  On our way back, I noticed a line of men standing in front of a metal fence.  They were obviously having a pit stop off the side of the road (there was a limo bus behind them), as there is no other reason to stand facing a fence (in a row!) with your hands on the front of your pants, other than to take a giant, beer-fuelled leak. 

I’m not sure what irritated me about the scene – the public urination, the fact that they were doing it where I could see it from my car, but for some reason my first thought was “too bad it wasn’t an electric fence”.  Then I got to wishing that I could get a taser, go back in time, and use the taser on the metal fence.  That would have been very shocking! 

Anyway, this is a public service announcement to all drunk men out there (at 8 pm, no less):  Please, if you’re going to piss on the side of the road, please turn your backs to the road.  Yeesh.

*Our beautiful colour laser printer is nearly out of toner.  All four sets.  Seeing as how the toner is nearly $150 per cartridge, we’re thinking that maybe it’s time to switch to a cheaper inkjet.  Does anyone have any raves/reviews for the cheap ink Kodaks? 

Bumps and Bruises

I seem to be a walking mess these days.  It’s not because I’m lacking that much sleep – I *should* be sleeping fine (some nights better than others).  It’s not even because I’m in a giant hurry – I try to take it easy and go with the flow.

No, it’s because I’m just not all that careful/observant.  Yesterday, I moved Kitten’s carseat from one seat to the next, and moving a car seat involves a fair amount of pressure, and kneeling in to the seat to get it tight.  Apparently, I was doing it too hard because I have a giant bruise on my shin this morning.  It’s pretty tender.  If I get kicked there, I might cry.  Then this morning, I turned the shower off before I washed my face.  So I turned the tub tap on, and crouched down to wash my face in the stream.  Well, I was apparently a little too into splashing the scrub off, because I leaned forward and whacked my forehead on the spout.  Gah.  I don’t think it will leave a mark, but you never know. 

Someone put me in a padded room – I can’t seem to go a day without injuring myself! 

I'm Soggy

On the Diaper Swappers Forum, there’s a portion for “Green Families”.  In that area, I found a term for mama’s like me – Soggy.  You know how there are “crunchy granola hippies”?  Well, if you don’t fit into the mainstream or into the crunchy stream, you are a Soggy.  So, here’s my list of why I am a soggy:

  • I turn off my lights when I’m not using them, but we have more incandescent bulbs that compact floursescents
  • I use liquid crystal deoderant, but enjoy a shot of perfume on occasion
  • I believe in aging, but I have a cabinet full of Mary Kay (that I don’t really use)
  • I make my own laundry detergent, but I still put my clothes in the dryer
  • I drive a compact SUV, but I don’t let it idle
  • I am going to make my own hair conditioner, but I am afraid to stop using shampoo
  • We use cloth diapers during the day, but haven’t made the night time switch yet
  • I am pro-breastfeeding, but weaned my daughter by 9 months
  • I only buy organic if it’s close to the same price as the non-organic
  • I don’t always buy fair-trade, organic coffee, and if I’m having coffee out?  I never even think about it
  • We still use commercial baby products on Kitten
  • We use a push reel mower on the lawn and we don’t fertilize, but we still water it once a week (or more, depending on the weather)
  • We use virgin forest paper products (we’re going to phase those out, I promise!)
  • We still buy bottled water (working on that too!)
  • I use a Diva Cup, but I back it up with disposable pantyliners
  • We don’t wear organic, fair-trade clothing (can people actually afford this?)
  • I am anti-oil drilling/sands, but I live in a province where if the industry crashed, we would face an economic disaster, so I don’t actually want the oil industry to stop (in our area, anyway!)
  • I am pro-birthing-choice, but would NEVER have my baby at home (on purpose, anyway)
  • I dislike cotton diaper wipes – I’d rather throw mine out
  • I don’t like nail polish, but I LOOOOVE getting pedicures
  • I consider joining Greenpeace, but I think it would be too much work
  • I get concerned about the BPA in bottles, but not enough to switch to glass (we use the Drop In system, which is wasteful, I know)

I’m sure there are more examples of my sogginess, but there you go.  Anyone else soggy? 

Fast Update

Dude.  I took Kitten to be weighed and measured yesterday, and she’s 13.5 lbs, and 25″ long!  I know that she’s quite long, but to see it spellked out like that?  Yikes!  It’s almost hard to believe! 

She’s been really cute lately.  This morning, just before I nursed her, I guess she wanted to tell me a story.  She was laying there making all sorts of vocal noises, for a good couple of minutes!  It was so funny.  I love listening to her “talk”.  Before today, she had just made a lot of hard “g” noises in the back of her throat – very gurggley.  So this morning was a total branch out for her! 

In the past few days, she’s demanded nursing before naps, which is kind of annoying… but not terrible.  Then she wants to be put in her crib with her receiving blanket up by her face so she can feel it.  It’s very cute, but I’m constantly checking her to make sure that she’s ok.  I don’t put her down like that at night, though.  It seems that she goes to sleep much better at night, and I’m just wondering if that’s because it is such a routine… but we don’t have one for her afternoon nap.  I usually wait until she acts tired (sleepy eyes, rubs her head, pulls at her ears, gets fussy) to put her down in the afternoon.  Maybe I need to schedule it a bit more.  ::shrugs::

We went out for dinner without her last night.  It was kind of nice to have the freedom to go out, but sadly I kind of missed her by the end.  Now I definitely know that I’m NOT ready to leave her for a weekend, even if I did pump while I was gone.  We have a couples retreat with church coming up, and I was toying with the idea of not taking her with me… but I think that I would sorely miss her after more than a few hours.  I know I’m probably too attached, but she just doesn’t do anything that drives me crazy (yet)! 

Tonight we’re going out with the new couple at our church (they just moved here from West Virginia), and I’m very excited.  They’re a lot of fun, and we always have a good time with them.  Plus, they don’t live all that far away, so yay!

We’ve had a new major road open up here recently, and I’ve spent a lot of time driving on it.  I’m a wee bit in love.  But dude – it takes me 20 minutes to get to my sister’s place, rather than 45 minutes… so I think my new found love is justified.

I’ve been terrible – I haven’t gone to the gym since Wednesday.  I’ll have to get back in to it on Monday.  I think that instead of the treadmill, I’m going to try the bike.  Go me!  I have a third pair of shoes that I don’t think I’m going to bother trying.  They felt funny in the store, and I know they aren’t going to magically feel better when I get them on at the gym.  They were the medium price shoes, at $100.  They were special because they are supposed to help with pronation of the ankles… but they weren’t comfortable when I first put them on… so I figure that they aren’t going to get MORE comfortable, if you know what I mean.  I think I’m going to stick with the 2:40’s, but we’ll see.  I’ve still got to use the Pearls on the sprint circut, so I’ll know by Thursday what I want to do.

Out out Out!

Today, I am going swimming with my friend and her son, and I’m sorely looking forward to it.  I’ve spent a fair amount of time at home over the last few days.

In preperation for going swimming today, though, I decided to mow the lawn last night (I do it every Monday and Thursday, generally – and so often because it’s just a little spinny push mower and if you let the grass get long, it doesn’t cut it properly, and mulch looks terrible laying on top).  It was a cool night, so pushing the mower around wasn’t a very big deal, and Rob came out to help do the clipping at the edges.  We’re totally old school, so in addition to our reel mower, we use regular garden shears to do the edging.  You know, they look like glorified, two handed scissors.  Anyway, I’m too uncomfortable bent over like that, so Rob generally does the edges and the clipping after I mow. 

So we were nearing done, when I hear Rob yell “A frog!”  and when I looked over, sure enough, there was a frog jumping through our lawn.  See, I’d love to boast that we keep such an awesome lawn that frogs just live there all the time, but the truth is… We don’t get a lot of frogs around here.  It’s generally too dry.  Sure, I’ve seen frogs at camp, but mostly in the meadow, which runs up to the lake, not in the middle of the city.  So, either that poor frog was a long way from home, or we are having some serious water issues!

Anyway, I felt bad, as I denied Rob the pleasure of playing with the frog, opting to just let the little guy hop along and do what he wanted to (he was a pretty little frog, just over an inch long). 

Otherwise – still no news.  I’m doing what I can to help get this baby moving, but nothing seems to be working.  She’s definitely going to come out when she’s good and ready, and not a moment before.  ::sigh::