Saturday, 31 December 2011


Yesterday was a pretty special day.  Vivian was in daycare for the day and Jagger was at work.  Which meant I had the entire day to myself!  Crazy.  Of course instead of planning ot have a relaxing day to myself, I decided I needed a project to tackle.  

Enter my kitchen.  The kitchen I've been wanting to paint since I first set foot in this house.  Here's an old, old picture from when we first moved in.

Bland city.  Blah.

Well, after a day of running around getting paint and supplies for some other projects and a quick trip downtown to buy myself a pair of fantastic vintage earrings it was time to pick Vivian up from daycare and I hadn't started painting yet.  Mom had said I wouldn't be able to do paint the room in a day though, so I was determined to get it done anyway.  

So, at 8:00 p.m. I started the first coat.  At 1:30 a.m. I started the second coat.  And at 3:30 a.m. I had a painted kitchen.  And it's fantastic!

Sure the lighting is bad and my camera is crap, but you get the idea.  It's so awesome, I loves it.

Now, I know what you're wondering.  Yes, that is a trifle bowl filled with bags of goldfish crackers for Vivian on my kitchen table.  And yes, my napkin holder is filled with napkins from Quiznos.

The colour is Cedar Green by Benjamin Moore.  I'm in love with it.  I'm a big fan of using colour - no beige for me!

I'm so glad I finally got my ass in gear and got it done.  It's definitely not a perfect job (I don't really believe in taping things off, so it's a little messy in places) but it's done.  Finally.

Now all I have to do is something with that little area above the stove.  I didn't want to paint it because it's a weird textured area.  I think I might try and tile it and do something fancy since it's such a small area.

Happy New Year!

Friday, 30 December 2011

Vivian Vendredi - Tantrum Time

Holy crap.  Vivian has started throwing tantrums all. the. time.  The littlest things will set her off and before you know it she's thrown herself on the floor screaming.  It's awesome.

Here's an example.  Yesterday I was getting ready in the bathroom, trying to brush my hair and maybe get some makeup on.  Vivian all of a sudden figures out how to flush the toilet.

Me - Wow, Vivian!  You learned how to flush the toilet!
Me - Okay, honey.  That's enough.  Come play over here.
Me - Vivian, no.  Mom says no.
Me - Vi...
Me - No, Vivi-
Me - Okay, that's enough.  You're not listening.  You get to go to the hall.

I pick her up and put her in the hall where she throws herself on the floor screaming and crying for 15 minutes.  Awesome.

I'm hoping most of it is because of the craziness of Christmas (which was fun, but sooo overwhelming) paired with her getting annoyed at being home with me all day.  Time for full-time daycare!

Any suggestions for a drama queen 1 year old?

Don't let the innocent look fool you.

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Oddly Attractive Men

It has been brought to my attention that I kind of have weird taste in men.  Take the conversation we had the other night for example...

(While watching The Big Bang Theory)
Mom - You know, it's kind of weird that he (Johnny Galecki) is a nerd on this show, because he's actually kind of buff.
Me - Yeah, I think he's good looking.
Jagger - Really?  He's short.
Me - I didn't say he was tall.  I said he's good looking.

I think I've proved my point.

How about Jon Stewart?  He's funny and has grey hair.  I love grey hair!

True story - I once went to see the movie "Wimbledon" with some girl friends.  After the movie I had to ask - "Does anyone else find Paul Bettany oddly attractive?"

I wasn't the only one.

Any Sam Rockwell fans?  Just ignore him in "Green Mile".  Don't base your judgment on that.

Here, maybe the dancing will help.

This is an important distinction -

Chubby Seth Rogan = adorable.  Skinny Seth Rogan = kind of weird.

You know what?  This one shouldn't even be oddly attractive.  Just plain attractive.

 Jason Lee

And my favourite version of Jason Lee!  The Mallrats version!

Jason Sudeikis

Funny = Hot.

 Michael C. Hall.  This one isn't that odd either, I don't think.  Maybe it's odd that I find him even more attractive in his "kill outfit" on Dexter though.

Djimon Hounsou

Maybe not an odd choice, but not a super common one either.

Larry David.  I want to marry him.  Seriously.

Peter Dinklage


Jeff Goldblum

I could listen to him stammer all day.

I'm sure I could go on, but you get the idea.  Any one else have some left-of-center crushes?  Come on, I can't be the only one!

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Ashlie Mix #6

Last one!

The Postal Service - "The District Sleeps Alone"

Stevie Nicks - "The Edge of Seventeen"

Guns n' Roses - "Mr. Brownstone"

King Cobb Steelie - "Below the Stars"

The Used - "Yesterday's Feelings"

John Fogerty - "The Old Man Down the Road"

Ryan Adams - "Come Pick Me Up"

Feist - "Mushaboom" (Postal Service Remix)

Fleetwood Mac - "Never Go Back Again"

Temple of the Dog - "Hunger Strike"

CKY - "Escape from Hellview"

Aphex Twin - "Film" (LP Version)

Junior Boys - "Count Souvenirs"

The Inbreds - "Any Sense of Time"

Death Cab for Cutie - "All is Full of Love"

Dismemberment Plan - "Gyroscope"

Weezer - "Pink Triangle"

Huey Lewis and the News - "The Power of Love"

Coheed and Cambria - "Always and Never"

Phil Collins - "In the Air Tonight"

"Weird" Al Yankovic - "White and Nerdy"

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

The Best Week of the Year

Welcome to my absolute favourite week of the year - that weird, dead week between Christmas and New Years.

Most people are off work, everybody's broke, nobody care what they eat because the resolutions start next week, you can get drunk on a random night in the middle of the week and it's socially acceptable because it's still the holidays, there's World Junior hockey on, movie matinees to check out, new DVDs to watch, new clothes to wear, new toys to play with, new books to read - it's awesome!

This year my favourite week of the year also happens to be my last week at home with Vivian.  Even though my maternity leave ran out at the end of November, I've been on vacation from work all month and only working one or two days a week to ease back into things.  The new year brings full-time work for me so I will definitely be enjoying this last wonderful lazy week.

Any big plans for this week?

Monday, 26 December 2011

My favourite part of Christmas so far...

...was Mom reading "The Night Before Christmas" to the kids.

"It was the night before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.  The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, with the hopes that Santa Claus soon would be there.  The children were asleep in their beds while visions of sugar plums danced in their heads.  Kids don't understand any of this anymore.  And mama in her kerchief - you know what?  Mom and dad were in bed.  They really need to update this thing."

Ah yes, a traditional Christmas at our house.

Wishing you all a lazy, hockey filled Boxing Day!

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Radvent: Day 25 - Becoming

I've always hated when people would say they needed time to "find themselves".  Usually it was coming from someone who was trying to rationalize taking a year off from school when I was finishing high school/in university.  It always felt like a cop out to me, just another excuse to delay becoming an adult.

So that's why I'm not going to say that I need to "find myself".  I know where I am.

What I do need to do though, is put more focus on myself.

The last few years seem to have been about everyone but me.

2009 - was the wedding.
2010 - was being pregnant
2011 - was figuring Vivian out

So I think 2012 should be spent with me finding ways to focus on myself a little more.  Obviously I'm still a mom, which means I can't always do what I want to do, but I think I need to find some little ways to take better care of myself and to generally take charge of my own happiness.  It doesn't always have to be some big pampering day or anything, but just little ways to let myself know that I deserve just as much time and attention as everyone else in my life.

I can go to bed early when I need to.
I can stay up late when I want to.
I can read a trashy magazine.
I can order the large fries.
I can go for a walk to clear my head.
I can buy a new pair of jeans without feeling ridiculously guilty about it.

At least, I think I can.

We'll see how it goes in 2012.

This is the last Radvent post!  I'm so sad.  I hope everyone had as much fun reading them as I've had writing them.  Maybe next year you'll join me?  

Merry Christmas to All...

...and to all a good night.

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Radvent: Day 24 - Magic

I love Christmas Eve.  I love that feeling of finally being able to sit down and look at the wrapped gifts and have a beer with my mom and feel like we finished.  It's never easy getting to that point - there have been lots of Christmases, most Christmases, where it feel like it just isn't going to happen.  There's too much to buy, not enough time, not enough money.  

Somehow though, things work out.  Somehow everything comes together.  The presents get bought, wrapped and put under the tree.  The groceries are in the fridge, the beer is ready and Christmas happens.  Somehow.

It's funny the Christmases you remember as a kid.  One of the Christmases that always stands out in my mind is the year our dog ate all of our ornaments.  We had an artificial tree stuck in a bucket of sand because we didn't have a tree stand.  For a single mom with three kids, it was a rough Christmas.  Every time we came home the tree had fallen over out of its bucket of sand - our sad tree with a couple of garlands and like three ornaments that were saved from the dog.

I don't remember what I got for Christmas that year.  I will never forget that tree though.  That tree sums up Christmas with my mom.  It might not be perfect, and it might seem like it's going to fall apart, but it's there and that's what matters.  When I think about that tree, I laugh every single time.  That sad tree lying on the floor is burned into my memory, and even though it might not have been very funny at the time, it makes me laugh now to think of that year.

I hope you're all having a wonderful Christmas Eve!  Cheers!

Friday, 23 December 2011

Radvent: Day 23 - Presence

It's always surprising to me when someone comments on how I appear.  Not how I look, but how I appear to be.  Usually, I'm incredibly transparent.  People can always tell when something is bothering me or when my mind is somewhere else.  I tend to wear my emotions right smack in the middle of my face and have a hard time hiding what I'm thinking.

Every now and then though, someone will make a weird comment.  It happens a lot with Vivian.  

"You're so calm with her.  Is she your first?  You seem so relaxed?"

Really?!  Because inside I feel like a complete and utter failure with food in her hair and suitcases under her eyes.  How could I possibly be calm?  Am I putting on some sort of brave face instead of the look of sheer misery that I feel like I'm showing?

Or are they seeing a different level?  Am I somehow breaking through the exhausted exterior to show that at my core I know what I'm doing?  Or are they just getting things complete wrong?

I'd like to think they know something I don't.

Vivian Vendredi - Sicko

This past week has been a rough one - poor little Vivian was sick, sick, sick, sick!  She must have had some kind of stomach bug because there were things coming out of places all week.  It was so bizarre to see her so lethargic, just lying on the couch and falling asleep constantly.  Poor little girl.

She's back to her old ways just in time for Christmas though - the house is a disaster again, so she must be feeling okay!

I'm really looking forward to Christmas with her - she's been practicing unwrapping presents already, so it should be fun.

She got a haircut last night too, although you can't really tell from this picture.  She's got a little bob now though, much better than the baby mullet she was rocking!

Merry Christmas everyone!

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Radvent: Day 22 - Promises

Promises to Vivian

I promise to let you eat junk food once in a while.
I promise to try to remember what's really important before getting frustrated with you.
I promise to let you be yourself.
I promise to listen to you.
I promise to make you a bed on the couch when you're sick.
I promise to laugh at your jokes.
I promise to encourage you to do whatever you want.
I promise to make you learn the value of hard work.
I promise to always be proud of you.
I promise to play with you, even when I'm tired.
I promise to buy you books.
I promise to teach you.
I promise to let you decorate your room however you want.
I promise not to get worked up if you want green hair.
I promise to worry about you.
I promise to guide you.
I promise to try to make Christmas magical for you.
I promise to do my best.
I promise to love you.

If you haven't been reading Megan's original Radvent posts, you really should check out today's.  She writes a monthly letter to her daughter, Alice and they're so beautiful!

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Radvent: Day 21 - Wrapping

I feel like this prompt kind of sums up most of my previous Radvent posts.  Which is funny, because that seems to be the impression that some of the other Radvent posters have gotten from it.  (Have you been checking out other's entries?  You can find the links on each of Megan's posts on you should check them out!)

Anyway, because I don't feel like another deep "who I am on the inside" kind of post, I'll tell you about one of my many, many quirks.

Once, when I was little, I wrote a letter to Santa on behalf of myself and my brother and sister.  We asked him if he could please wrap all of the presents in our stockings, thank you very much.  Love, Ashlie.

One year we woke up to find all of the wrapping paper still laying on the dining room table.  We were told that Santa was in a rush and had to leave behind the wrapping paper.  It's funny, because one year the Easter Bunny also left all of his leftover candy in our kitchen cupboard.  Apparently our house was his last stop.  Makes sense.

This tradition has continued to this day, much to my mother's chagrin.  Every year I get asked if everything has to be wrapped, and I still insist on it, even if it means I have to do it myself.  Yes, I have spent many a Christmas Eve wrapping the gifts for my own stocking as well as my brothers and sister.  I love having everything wrapped.  I once wrapped a tube of Chapstick.  I take this very seriously.

This now poses a problem for Jagger, since he "can't wrap presents".  And I put that in quotes because I don't believe it.  Anyone can wrap a present, they just might not do it well.  Anyway, I still insist that he wraps everything in my stocking.  What's the fun in just shoving a bunch of random things in a stocking?

On that note, I should probably get back to wrapping some presents.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Radvent: Day 20 - Mentoring

This one is tough.

I don't know if I necessarily have a mentor.  I have people who have taught me, people who inspire me and help me at work, but no one that I would necessarily call a mentor.

I have friends, I have people I admire, I have people who do things that I would like to one day do, but I've never thought about any of them being mentors.

Do I look at people the wrong way?  Maybe I should be looking for a mentor.  Maybe then I could write a better post about mentors.

Monday, 19 December 2011

Radvent: Day 19 - Identity

Who am I at my best?

Let's see.

I'm a mother, wife, sister, daughter, friend, neighbour, confidante, coworker, pet-owner, blogger, night owl, fangirl, TV addict, pop culture junkie, bookworm, comic book nerd, runner, rower, book club member, DIYer, spray paint addict, Dr. Pepper lover.

And at my worst?

I'm a procrastinator, stubborn, jealous, lazy, shallow, bad backer-upper, judgmental, critical, messy, self-doubting, phone call ignorer, late bill payer.

I think it all balances out though.

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Radvent: Day 18 - Style

I feel like I have much better style in my head than what I actually project to the world.  There's always something keeping me from actually dressing the way I want to - usually it's money, but sometimes it's just the way my body is and the way it works (or rather, doesn't work) in a lot of the clothes that I like.  Basically on the weekends I end up looking like a 6-year old boy - jeans and a comic book T-shirt.  It works for me though, so I'm okay with that.

I was thinking last weekend that I need a change though.  I have the perfect one in mind - something simple, but a dramatic result.  I'm not going to let the cat out of the bag yet though - it'll be a surprise when it happens!  I basically realized that my style is too low maintenance right now.  It's great having a look that doesn't take a lot of effort, but I feel like right now I need to have something higher maintenance.  I need to spend a little more time and effort on myself.  I need to have a reason to keep up with things.

Oh, Christmas Tree!

I'm a very stubborn person.  A few weeks ago, I got the idea in my head that I wanted a white Christmas Tree.  So I threw the idea out there on Facebook - tacky, or fabulously tacky?

There were many naysayers who thought I would regret not having a traditional tree.  But the more people tell me not to do something, the more I want to do it.  

So I went with my fabulously tacky 60% off white Christmas tree.

The pictures don't really do it justice - in person it looks much fuller and sparklier - it's actually white and iridescent, so it's all glittery and sparkly in person.

I bought a bunch of cheap-o disco ball ornaments from Jysk - they were all marked down to like $2.50 a package.  Once I got the ornaments on it, I thought it needed something a little extra, so I pulled out my box of paint chips and made a little colourful garland.  I tried stringing them together, but no matter what I did they ended up flipping around backwards and just looking wonky.  So I busted out my glue gun and just glued them all together in a long chain to wrap around the tree.

Of course I topped it all off with a big purple bow.  What else would you put on top of a white disco ball Christmas tree?

I think the trick to having a white tree is to stick with a theme for your ornaments.  If you were to put on a mishmash of ornaments, it would just look a little crazy.  Keeping things in the same vein - bright, colourful and disco balls - keeps it grounded and leaning towards the fabulously tacky side of things.

I still have all my regular ornaments, which I think I might use on a garland wrapped around the bannister for the stairs or something - I would hate for them to go to waste!

What do you think?  Tacky or fabulously tacky?  You should see it in person - it looks much better!  Come on over for a holiday drink, you can see my bottles hiding out on the top of the china cabinet next to the tree!

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Radvent: Day 17 - Music

It's funny this prompt should come today, because I was at a concert last night!  My first concert in far too long.  My friend Jenn and I went to see AWOLNATION, and it was amazing.  If you get the chance to see them live, I highly recommend it.  It was a super high energy show and the crowd was awesome.

Not sure who they are?  Perhaps you've heard this song...


It was a small club show, which completely renewed my love of club shows.  I mean, really, it's the best way to see a band.  People at club shows are super pumped because they love the band.  I find people tend to see bands at big arenas or festivals just to say they went.  People go to a club show out of love.  I love the intimacy of the stage and how the band will interact with the crowd.  At this show, by the end of the encore the stage was completely covered with people from the crowd, it was awesome.

Sure it can make me feel old when I desperately want to sit down somewhere after an hour, but it's so totally worth it.

What's the best concert you've ever been to?

Radvent: Day 16 - Rhythm

Oops.  I'm a day late.  But the reason why I'm a day late ties into the next Radvent post, so you can see more about that later today.

First, Rhythm.

It's funny, one of the things I realized about myself while I was off work for maternity leave was my natural rhythm - my natural state of wake and sleep.  I'm definitely a night owl.  If I had my way, my preference would be to stay up until at least 1:00 or 2:00 a.m. and sleep until 8:00 or 9:00 a.m.  That's what I did for pretty much this whole last year, and it was pretty great - despite the multiple times waking up between 2:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m.

I just feel like I get more done at night.  When the house is quiet I can finally relax and do what I've been meaning to do all day.

Could you imagine what it would be like if everyone could work hours according to their own natural body clock?  I suppose it would be terribly inconvenient, but it would also be awesome.

Friday, 16 December 2011

Vivian Vendredi - Party!

Well, Vivian had her first birthday party last weekend.  Here's a little-known fact - planning a kids party is pretty much the worst thing ever.  For me, I was all worked up about it about 6 months ago.  I was full of Pinterest ideas and had colour schemes and themes planned was going to be awesome.

But as the date inched closer and closer, I thought, "To hell with this.  She doesn't care if her party has a theme or not.  I might as well just take it easy and stress about big fancy parties later when she can order me around."

So we kept it simple - the kids went swimming, then we had cake and Quiznos.  Easy-peasy, right?  But it was still super stressful and exhausting.  Oh, and kids parties go by at the speed of light.  Especially first birthday parties.  The whole thing went something like this - get the kids in the pool.  Okay, now the kids are getting cold, get them out now before they start screaming!  Okay, everyone's happy again.  Feed them before they start screaming!  Okay, Vivian needs to get out of the chair now.  Open presents before they start screaming!  Now cake before they scream!  Now everyone go home and scream there!  Seriously, it goes by so quickly, and you don't have time to remember to enjoy any of it or take any pictures of anything.

But the important thing is, it's over.  Now we can worry about pulling Christmas off, which is becoming more and more interesting since Vivian's been running a fever and throwing up for the last few days.  Yeah, shopping is going to be fun this weekend.

For the record, she was pretty unimpressed with the whole "you get to make a mess eating cake" thing since I let her eat like that for every meal.  We still had fun though.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Radvent: Day 15 - Success

I don't know what will make me feel "successful".  I'm happy with my job, but it's definitely not something I want to be doing for the next 20 years.  I'm happy with our house, but it definitely needs some improvements.  I'm happy with myself, but I could definitely use some improvements too.

Maybe that's what makes you successful?  Knowing what your limitations are and where you need improvement?  I'm in a place in my life right now where I don't know what exactly comes next.  The last few years have been so focused on the next thing - get married, get a house, have a baby - that now it's a bit of what next?  I'm happy with things being the way they are for now, but what is the next box to tick off?

Do I go back to school?

Do I focus on paying off debts?

Do I take it easy for a few years until Vivian starts school?

Do I look for opportunities to earn extra income at home?

Will any of these things make me happier?

I'm the type of person who likes to have something to look forward to - a goal in mind.  And I guess right now I don't necessarily have that.  

But maybe that's not such a bad thing.  Maybe I need to just enjoy things now, and not try to rush things.

I do like a project, though.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Radvent: Day 14 - Pride

I'll admit it.  I miss living in the city.  Living in London was great - everything was there.  It was easy to run out to the mall to get whatever you needed, there was always a 24-hour Shoppers Drug Mart close by, and a wide variety of fast food.

I miss the old neighbourhood, Wortley Village.  If you haven't been to this part of London, you should check it out.  It's like this weird small town right in the middle of the city, and it's beautiful.  One day I was literally going for a walk and two little girls went skipping down the sidewalk signing "My Favourite Things" from the  Sound of Music.  For reals.

I miss my old running routes.  I miss being able to smell the Labatt's brewery.  I miss being able to go home for lunch.  I miss being able to drive with my gas light on for days because I only had to stay in the city.

Don't get me wrong, Strathroy is great.  It's big enough that you have everything you need, but small enough that you don't have to deal with traffic or any other big city problems.  And it's only 20 minutes to get to London for anything else.

It's not the same though.  It doesn't have that same feel, it's not home yet.

Maybe as Vivian grows up here I'll be able to appreciate Strathroy a little more and it will feel more like home.

Until then I'll just cruise by Labatt's every now and then to catch a whiff.  

BBQ Chicken Pizza

I love barbeque chicken pizza, don't you?  I mean really, who doesn't?  It's like heaven on a plate.  I usually order it from Dominoes, but recently decided to try making it myself and it was pretty awesome.

Looks pretty awesome, right?  It was super easy too - I just used Pilsbury pizza dough, then topped it with Jack Daniels barbeque sauce, leftover grocery store chicken (grocery store chicken is the greatest thing ever.  I don't know why I bother buying any other form of chicken), green peppers, onions, then topped it with shredded cheese.  I should have added bacon, but I forgot.  Still pretty awesome though.

Have you made any fun pizzas lately?

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Radvent - Day 13: Performing

When I saw that today's prompt was "Performing" I figured I could go in two directions.  One, I could write a mildly pretentious post about the different roles I play in my life - mother, wife, sister, friend, daughter...blah, blah, blah.  Or, I could tell you about my job.

I don't talk about my job too much on here, mostly because people from work read my blog and I wouldn't want to say anything bad about work.  Not that there's anything wrong with any aspect of my amazing job, of course!  (That was close.)

See, I'm a court reporter.  I work in traffic court.  Yes, every single time I tell someone what I do for a living they start to mime typing on a stenography machine.  No, I don't use one.  Yes, I can type very fast.  Most of my days at work are spent sitting in a court room in front of the justice of the peace and facing a room full of people.  I have to wear a stupid black robe and even stupider white dickie and read charges, swear in witnesses, do paperwork at the speed of light, make sure the computer is recording everything that's happening and type lightening-fast notes on everything that's going on.  It can be hectic sometimes, but I really do enjoy it.  

What's often the hardest part of my job, however, is keeping a straight face.  See, even though I sit facing the whole courtroom, it's really easy to forget that everyone can see me.  Weird, right?  But it's true.  I get caught up in whatever I'm doing and can forget about all the people.  This can be a problem when someone is telling a ridiculous story to explain why they were speeding (everyone has an excuse) or why they absolutely couldn't stop for that yellow light.  My eyes are just dying to roll at them, but I have to be professional and reserved.  Sure, there's lots of moments when the mood is lighter and we all have a good chuckle about something, but more often than not, my inner monologue is being snarky and sarcastic while my face tries to remain impartial.

It can be exhausting not letting people know how crazy they can sound sometimes.

Monday, 12 December 2011

Radvent: Day 12 - Creating

One thing I've definitely found about myself as I get older is that I keep looking for outlets to be creative.  I've taken a knitting class, I've tried different crafts thanks to Pinterest, I'm inspired to work on refinishing and improving furniture...all things that I never would have thought I would do.

There's something so incredibly satisfying when you are complimented on something and can proudly say, "Thanks!  I made it!"  I love being able to create and share things with my friends and family, and I really hope I have more opportunity to do so in the future.  I would love to learn to sew.  Really sew, not just "I can fix that button" sew.  There are so many things I would love to try, it's just a matter of finding the time to do it all!

Maybe that should be my new years resolution - to make time to create.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Radvent: Day 11 - Resting

Oh, what a timely choice.  As I write this we've just finished the exhausting task of Vivian's first birthday party.  This weekend consisted of Vivian throwing up all over the living room and Jagger coming down with strep throat while I wait for everything to make me sick.  If things go as they usually do, I'll probably be half-dead by Christmas day.

I know that I need to take a break - go to bed before 2:00 a.m. for once - maybe even before midnight!  Take some time to relax while I still have time off.  The problem is just this time of year - we have no decorations up (due to a self-imposed "no Christmas decorations until after Vivian's birthday and party" rule) and I have no Christmas shopping done.

Are you one of those people who says things like, "I can't get sick right now.  I don't have time.  I can be sick next week, but not right now."  Yeah, I'm one of those people.  One of those people who spent every slack week in university in bed with a cold instead of partying.  One of those people who needs a nap on Christmas day not because it's Christmas day but because I feel like shit.  Can't get sick when it's busy, so I get sick the second I slow down.

But really, I should just rest ahead of time.

I went to IKEA...

...and now my living room looks like this.

Can't wait to see how it will look after Vivian's birthday party and Christmas.

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Radvent: Day 10 - Writing

I'll be honest.  This blog is about the only time I write now.  I keep a notebook with notes and letters to Vivian, but other than that, this is it.  When I was younger, I used to write all the time.  I had notebooks filled with partial stories and lofty dreams of being a writer.

And now here I am, talking to you.

The one thing I hear all the time about my writing is that I write just like I talk.  So if you've never met me in real life, you can be pretty sure that reading this is basically like talking to me.  Maybe I should try and do a video blog sometime so you can see just how random I can be.  That's always been such a strange comment to me though - how else would I write?  If my writing doesn't sound like me, then who should it sound like?  Am I supposed to be fancy and throw in bigger words to make myself sound smarter?  Should I try to be more flowery and deep?

That's what I like about having a blog.  It's my rules.  I can write about whatever Nonsense (see what I did there?) I like.  There's no rules, there's no guidelines.  If people like it, that's awesome!  And if people think I'm a lunatic, well, that's just the way it goes I guess.

Maybe you should do a little writing in the comments section!  Tell me what you like to write about, or just gush about how wonderful I am.  That works too.

Friday, 9 December 2011

Radvent: Day 9 - Influence

I have to admit, Megan Hunt of Princess Lasertron, and the creator of Radvent is hugely influential to me.  I love the way she takes charge with her vision, the way she has created a brand out of herself and for herself.  She's an entrepreneur in every sense of the word and she does it all with incredible style and grace.  I love reading her blog, and have been reading it for close to three years now, I believe.  I love seeing how she's changed to be a working mother, and finding out how she's managed to juggle and balance everything while expanding her company and constantly coming up with new projects.  

If you haven't read her blog, I strongly suggest you start doing so.  I usually save checking her blog for last in my morning routine.  It's like my blogging dessert.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Vivian Vendredi - One Year

Can I ask a question?

Who the heck is this baby?

Because it can't possibly be the same baby as this one.

Yes, a whole year has gone by and Vivian has had her first birthday.  She has changed so, so much this year, it's really pretty unbelievable.  What's even crazier is how much she's changed in just this last week.  She's been taking a 3 hour nap every day, and has been sleeping through the night (well, basically.  She cries a bit, but I leave her to herself now.)  I haven't even wanted to say out loud that she's been sleeping better for fear that it will all fall apart tonight, but she's really come around.  I really do believe that the combination of homeopath + weighted blanket + blacked out room + sound machine + night light + giving her time to figure things out has gotten us to this point.  We had tried letting her cry it out when she was younger, and the best we would get was 45 minutes of screaming followed by an hour of sleep.  Not fun.

She's really breaking through on language too - signing for "More", "All done" and "Milk", asking for her bubba and saying "Mama" and "Dada".  Even if there's something she wants but can't ask for it herself, she'll clap when we figure it out and give her the right thing.  It's really made things easier, and I can't wait for her to get some more words in that vocabulary.

I'm not sad to see her grow up.  I still don't have those moments where I wish she was a newborn.  I love our time now.  I love that she'll snuggle on the couch with me when she's sleepy, and that she will hold her hand over my mouth to make me blow her a kiss.  I love being able to interact with her and see her understand me.

Things can only get better from here, right?

Radvent - Day 8: Comfort

Weird that I kind of wrote about comfort yesterday for "Travelling", so I suppose I should focus more on getting myself out of my comfort zone.

But what is my comfort zone?  What aspect of myself should I be breaking?

There are lots of habits that I should improve - my eating, my sleeping, my working out, but that's not really a comfort zone thing.  I think I put myself out there, introducing myself to new people.  I would like to try new things.

I suppose right now my one big idea that I've been considering doing but am a little scared of is the furniture.  I loves me some cheap and free furniture, and am so incredibly inspired by so many other bloggers who refashion and repurpose sad old furniture.  Some may call me a hoarder (hi, mom!) for amassing so many pieces of random furniture, but it's all with the idea of one day working on them and reselling them so they can have another life.  I picture myself spending the winters and spring painting and sanding and reupholstering, only to have a great big yard sale in the summer.

I'm a little scared though.

What if I spend all winter working on stuff and no one wants any of it?  What if I price things wrong and people walk away or just figure they can do it themselves?  What if I don't finish enough pieces, or I don't do a good enough job?

Right now I have the comfort of having the space to keep all this furniture, so it isn't a problem having it around.  Maybe I need to light a little fire under myself and get this project off the ground.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Radvent - Day 7: Travelling

Yes, I need to spell "travelling" with two L's because I'm a good Canadian like that.

I'm not a big traveller.  Can't say I've got that wanderlust in me.  I'm a home body.  Give me some jogging pants, a kitchen full of snacky food and a full DVR and I'm good to go.  I like feeling at home, being in my own space.  Heck, I get homesick just going across the border for a little shopping!

I would love to travel - to see exotic and interesting parts of the world, but I guess I always figured I didn't want to do it unless I could do it right.  No hostels for me.  Whenever I hear about someone's trip, even if it's just to Cuba or Mexico for a week of sun, sand and drinks, I wonder if there's something wrong with me for not wanting to do the same.  Should I have more desire to travel?  Am I too stuck in where I am?  Or is there a dignity in knowing where you belong and owning that space?

If you have an answer, you know where to find me!

(For anyone tuning in late, I'm participating in Radvent, a daily blogging challenge hosted by Princess Lasertron.  You can check out her blog for more fun!)