Wednesday, 29 June 2011

So what you're saying is I don't look 12?

The other day I joined my friend Jerri for lunch at Wendy's.  It's our thing - every time we go out for lunch, we go for Wendy's.  It's an awesome treat.  This time, because I'm trying to be good with Weight Watchers, I decided to order a kid's meal to control my portions (and to justify getting a Frosty for dessert).  Once we got Vivian settled at the table with Jerri, I headed up to order.

Me - "A cheeseburger kids meal with a diet Coke, please."
Wendy's Lady - Giving me the side eye at the order of diet Coke.  "Okay, that's $4.19."
Me - Counting out change because I'm unemployed.
Wendy's Lady - "Is this for a child?"
Me - "Oh, no, it's for me."
Wendy's Lady - "Just so you know, we really aren't supposed to sell them to people unless they're for kids."
Me - "Really?  I'm just trying to be good for Weight Watchers."
Wendy's Lady - "I get it, my niece does the same thing.  But, yeah."
Me - "Do you want me to say it's for a kid?  Will that make your life easier?"
Wendy's Lady - "No, it's okay, but just so you know."
Me - "I don't need a toy or a fancy bag or anything."
Wendy's Lady - "No, it's okay."

Now, I know it clearly says on the sign that the kid's menu is for 12 and under, but really?  Is this some sort of epidemic - adults ordering off the kids menu?  Is it somehow costing them a bunch of money?  Because my alternative is to order just a cheeseburger and the small fries on the $1.39 menu or whatever.  That's what I usually do at McDonalds, because I just want to get a dollar drink instead of buying a combo.  Really, what's the big deal?  I'm still ordering, still paying money (sure it was a bunch of change, but still)  Am I really costing the Wendy's empire here?  Is it better to tell her that I was ordering a kids meal for Vivian?  Would that make me look better?

Honestly, it's just easier to order a kids meal than to order pieces separately.  For reals.  Just give me my portion controlled hamburger and perfect size of fries and leave me alone.

You're skating on thin ice with me, Wendy.  The clown never gives me a hard time about what I order.

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Starting to feel like myself again

Something exciting is happening.  Last month, my mom and I joined Weight Watchers.  I was feeling pretty sick and tired of not fitting into anything anymore, and really wanted to pack away all of my maternity clothes, so I was willing to give it a shot.

If you haven't done Weight Watchers in a while, apparently it's all changed.  Seriously, this shit is easy.  When I started, I thought it was going to be super hard to look up everything that I eat and keep track of things, but honestly, you get the hang of it super quick.  Plus, you get to eat as many fruits and veggies as you want.

So far, I've lost about 13 pounds.  I say "about" because I weighed myself at home on the Wii fit today instead of going to WW, so the numbers are a little different.  The point is, the numbers are still getting smaller and smaller.

It's interesting to me, because I've never really dieted before.  I've always been the "I'll eat whatever I want and just work out so I don't gain weight" kind of person.  That isn't working anymore.  Honestly, I think my problem was that I wasn't eating enough.  There were seriously days where I would go all day without eating because Vivian just took up so much time.  That was also when I was still breast feeding, so I think my body was kind of going into a starvation mode thing and just keeping whatever weight it could to keep me going.  Once I started actually eating three meals a day, I started to lose - imagine that!

Things that have helped me - first and foremost, I stopped breast feeding.  Not because I wanted to lose weight, but because Vivian decided she was done with the whole breast feeding thing.  It was sad for me, but good for her.  And because of that, I look a little more like a normal human being, and not someone who is carrying two gallons of milk around her neck.

Another thing that helped?  Vivian started eating food.  Now that Vivian sits down to eat three times a day, I also sit down to eat three times a day.  And because she likes to eat finger foods instead of me feeding her purees, I actually have time to eat a meal.

Writing things down.  I knew that this would hook me on Weight Watchers.  I've had personal success with food journaling, and it makes a huge difference for me to be able to sit down and look at what I've eaten over the course of the day.  For me it really stops me from drinking my calories too.  I love me some McDonalds iced coffee (and it's only a dollar!  All summer!) but those things are 6 points each.  I get 32 points a day.  Iced coffees become treats instead of usual morning drinks.

So, here I am.  I can actually wear a pair of jeans that I owned pre-Vivian (mind you, they used to be my crappy, one-size too big, I'll just wear these to go camping/gardening jeans, and they are now the nicest jeans I own.) and I think it won't be long before I'm back in some of my favourite clothes.  I would still like to lose about another 20 pounds to get back to where I used to be, and hopefully I can get back into running to get myself down to that point (or somewhere close to that point).  I know things will never go back to the way it used to be, but if I can at least feel a little more like the person I used to be, that would be awesome.

Got any tips or tricks for me to stay on the right track?  And no, I don't want to hear your stories about how you lost all the baby weight in two weeks without even trying.

Friday, 24 June 2011

Vivian Vendredi - Unstoppable

Vivian has become an unstoppable force.  Not only is she creeping/crawling around like crazy, she has also managed to stand up in her high chair, go from her belly to sitting up, balance on her knees, and pulling up on the couch.

I am in so much trouble.

She's not even 7 months old yet!  At this rate, she'll be walking at 9 months.  It's unbelievable how quickly she is progressing.

On the one hand, I'm super proud that she is so unbelievably strong (seriously, you should see the muscles on this baby) but on the other hand, I wish she would just be a baby!  She's in such a hurry to do the next thing, to master the next skill.  It's crazy.

The one thing that Vivian has no interest in mastering?  Bouncing.  The kid does not jump.  We've tried her in Jolly Jumpers (more like Jolly Standers), Jumperoos, Exersaucers, even her playpen has a built in bouncer, and she just stands there.  It's so weird - it's like she can't not flex her legs, even for a second to jump.

What a little weirdo.

Here she is standing up at the couch this morning.  The funny part is, she has no business being able to do this yet.  You can tell because she has the strength to do it, but definitely doesn't have the balance.  So she pulls herself up, then usually falls right over because she just can't manage to balance herself.

Give her a couple days though, I'm sure she'll have mastered it by then.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Chalkboard paint

Whenever things are tough with Vivian, I seem to find a project for myself instead of taking time to nap. Even if I'm completely exhausted, there's something about completing a project that makes me feel more like myself and like I've really accomplished something.

Lately, I'm all about the chalkboard paint.

I started out painting my pantry door and the cupboard door above it.  I've been meaning to do it for some time - I thought it would be a great place to keep running lists, or for Vivian to scribble on when she's a bit older to keep her occupied when I'm busy in the kitchen.

Chalkboard paint is so easy, cheap and versatile, it's awesome.  I got a small can of chalkboard paint (what is that, a pint?  I don't even know.) for $20 at Home Depot and you really don't need a lot.  I did two coats of paint on these projects to give it a nice, even coat, but you could probably get away with one coat if you did one really good one.  After you paint it, you have to leave it to cure for three days, then condition it by rubbing chalk all over it and then wiping it down to give you a surface that's ready for writing!

After I did the cupboards, I decided to move on to the backsplash.  I've been wanting to do something with the backsplash since before we moved in, but could never settle on anything that I could afford.  Enter chalkboard paint.

I was a little wary about it at first, but bolstered by a search on Pinterest, I saw that other people had done this and I really liked the results.

Right now it seems really dark and high contrast because the backsplash hasn't had the conditioning with the chalk yet, so it will be toned down a little tomorrow when I do that.

I think it will look awesome once I finally get around to painting the walls the cedar green colour that I've been dying to use for the last year.

I have another chalkboard paint project on the go (using chalkboard paint is oddly addictive) but I'm not quite done with it yet, so hopefully I'll be able to post about that soon.

Have you painted anything with chalkboard paint?  I can't wait to find something else to paint!

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Woot, coupons!

This is so exciting - my mom and I actually did some extreme couponing!  Well, she did.  She's the one who found the deal.

Now that Vivian is on formula full time, it's a real cash-suck.  She goes through about a can every five days, and cans of formula are anywhere from $24-30 each, depending on the sale price.  It sucks.

So imagine how exciting it was when my mom stumbled upon a local grocery store that was clearing out some formula and had it marked down to $10 a can.  Amazing price, right?!  But wait, it gets better.  Not only was it marked down to $10, we had a whole bunch of $5 off coupons from Nestle on top of that!

So we ended up getting all of this formula...

...that's six cans of powder and one case of condensed...

for $35.

Unbelievable, right?!  We figure they had it all marked down because it's "close to expiry", but most it expires August 31 or September 2011.  Some of it doesn't even expire until 2012!  And when we go through it so quickly, finishing it before September is going to be no problem at all.

Have you found any sweet deals lately?

(P.S. - Yes, I took the time while Vivian was napping to set up the formula into fancy little pyramids just to take a picture for the blog.  I have issues.)

Friday, 17 June 2011

Vivian Vendredi - Baby-Led Weaning

So, as per usual with Vivian, she's turned the tables on me again.  Just when we were doing good with eating, she decided all of a sudden that she doesn't want baby food anymore.  She would much rather feed herself, thank you very much.

Sigh.  I swear, this girl is about to move out to her own apartment at the rate she's going.  She is so independent.  It's awesome to see her be so fearless with new things, but at the same time, she's only six months old.  It would be nice if she wanted to be a baby for a little while.

So, after a few days of fighting and creating a huge mess in trying to get two or three bites of food into her mouth, I just started giving her finger foods.

I'd read up on baby-led weaning before she was born, and was considering trying it with her.  Apparently she has been checking out my Google searches and thought it was a great idea, because that's totally what we're doing now.

Baby-led weaning is a terrible name, I know.  It's basically just skipping baby foods, and going straight to finger foods.  It's all about the baby being in charge of their feeding, exploring new foods and developing good food habits by just experimenting.  Yes, there's a bit of a fear of choking, but they say that it's better this way because they learn to chew before they learn to swallow (as opposed to pureed baby food, where they learn to swallow before they learn to chew) and that babies have super sensitive gag reflexes, so they will gag on a food long before they choke on it.  No fear though, I am sitting right with her the whole time she eats ready to jump in and clear any food out of that little mouth if necessary. Mostly though, she just sucks on food and then drops it when she's done.  That's okay, because she will still get the nutrients just by sucking on things.

The best part?  She freaking loves it.

So, instead of pureeing and freezing foods for her, we're doing a lot of steaming and cutting things up into easy to hold pieces for her.

Good old Vivian, just when you think you have her figured out, she decides to do something new.

If you want to read more about BLW, you should probably Google it.  But if you want to read something fun about it, you should check out MODG's blog.  It's really far superior to my blog, and she's doing the BLW thing too.

In related Vivian news, she cut her first tooth on Monday.  It's been a helluva week.  Not a lot of sleeping happening in this house.  I also suspect that she has an ear infection.  We're headed to the walk-in clinic tonight.  Sigh.

She is moving like crazy now though - check it out.  This was from a few days ago though, she's moving even better now.  I'm in trouble.

Friday, 10 June 2011

Vivian Vendredi - Halfway to the Party

This past weekend was Blair's first birthday.  It's almost impossible to believe that it's been a year already.  Of course, the party just made me start itching to plan Vivian's first birthday party - now only 6 months away.  Insane.

This was the best picture we could get of the two of them together.

I almost prefer the outtakes.

Oh, cousins.

Anyway, I'm already starting to plan Vivian's birthday.  There's just so many ideas out there (seriously, Pinterest is taking over my life.  If you don't want to waste 3 hours, do not search "First birthday" on Pinterest.)  Of course I want it to be pretty, and special and all those wonderful things, but mostly I just want it to be fun for her, and enjoyable for our family and friends.  I know if I want to follow a theme, make the cake myself, do something different like have donuts instead of cake, have a swimming party, a party at our house, a party at a hall that we rent...there's so many options.  Hopefully I don't overdo it and  end up ignoring the guest of honour.

Any tips or tricks for kids birthday parties?

(BTW - Vivian is working very hard on crawling.  She's up on her hands and knees and rocking like crazy lately - maybe next week we'll have a crawler!)

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Gossip bench reformed!

Remember my funny little gossip bench?  I can't find a before picture on my computer anymore, but you can check it out here if you'd like.  I finally got around to recovering it!

It was my first attempt at reupholstering something (if you can even call it that) so it's definitely not a perfect pro job, but I'm pretty happy with the result.

I just used one of Jagger's old shirts (it's an old polo shirt from Penguin).  I cut it along the seams so I had some nice pieces to work with, pulled the old staples out with needle nosed pliers and then just used a staple gun to cover it with the new fabric.

It was a little tricky for a couple of reasons.  One, there are exposed seams.  I didn't really think about this until I was in the middle of it, but because of how the back cushion and armrest are, there's no real bottom to them.  The seat was easy, because you just pull the fabric and staple it down, and it doesn't really matter what the bottom looks like.  The other pieces were more difficult, and if you look closely you can see the seams on them.  Also, because of the striped pattern, it was hard to wrap the edges while keeping the lines straight.

I didn't pull the fabric very taught when I was stapling it because it's a jersey fabric.  I figured if I pulled it really tight, it would stretch and distort the stripes too much.  Because of that, it's a little loose, especially on the seat.

I figure it's okay though, since it's not exactly a seat that gets used all the time.  In the pictures here, I was using it as a bedside table, but I want to move it out to the living room by the front door.  I don't mind that it's not a perfect job, since it basically cost me nothing.  The only real cost was the staple gun, and I needed one of those anyway (and I got it on sale at Canadian Tire for $14 - not a huge investment)

I have a bunch of other around the house projects that I've been meaning to get to (most of them involve a can of chalkboard paint - I blame Pinterest) and hopefully I'll be able to get to some of them soon, especially if this heat wave continues - we definitely won't be doing much outside in this heat!

Have you been up to any simple switcheroos at your place lately?

Friday, 3 June 2011

Vivian Vendredi - Do The Creep

Vivian has been pretty busy doing the creep lately.  (Sorry, I couldn't embed it)  She's been flipping and flopping and pulling herself along like crazy.  Of course, she usually stops when I have the camera out, but hopefully you can get the idea.

Usually, she ends up going backwards which gives us fun things like this...

She gets stuck in her crib all the time.  Usually she's not this happy about it.  (Oh, and in this picture, when I put her to bed she was facing the opposite way.  She really gets moving in there.)

She's six months old on Tuesday, and I don't think it will be long before she's full-on crawling.  I give her another week and a half to two weeks I think.  Then we are into the wonderful world of gates and baby-proofing and moving things out of the way.  Or we're into the even more wonderful world of Vivian playing in her playpen most of the time.  We'll see.

It's pretty crazy to think of how far she's come in six months.  And even crazier is what she has on her agenda for this weekend - Blair's first birthday party!  Unbelievable that my little Blair cub is already 1, and in just six more months, it will be time to celebrate Vivian's birthday.  Yikes.

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Yard Saleing and Curb Shopping

This past weekend was town-wide yard sales here in Strathroy.  I didn't make it out to as many as I'd hoped to, but Vivian and I did make it out to a couple.

This was my prize of the day...

 I saw the chair sitting at this one yard sale, so I figured I would see how much it was.  I had a $20 in my pocket, and figured that would be my limit on this chair.  It's vintage, and it's solid wood, so I thought they might want $20 or more for it.  Imagine my suprise when I asked how much it was and the lady told me it was $2.  Two dollars!  Score.  It even fit in my car.

That was my only yard sale purchase, but I did have some luck with some curbside finds after the yard sales were over.  I was lucky enough to have my dad's truck on the Sunday, so I was able to pick up lots of stuff.

This coffee table isn't pretty, but I like the shape of it and the low second shelf.  I really don't need another coffee table (I already have 2) but hey, it was free!

 We don't have any patio furniture, so I figured I could grab these two chairs if only to have some extra seating for outside.

Just a little bookcase.  This was with the coffee table.  I'm planning on movie all our DVDs and Blu-Rays downstairs away from Vivian, so this shelf should come in handy.

I saw this little table and chairs at a yard sale earlier in the day, but just had a feeling they might be sitting at the curb later.  They're pretty dingy, I bet if they even bothered to clean them up a bit, they would have sold.  Oh well, good for me!

I'm actually regretting this one a bit.  It's a children's art table - that's why it's sloped like that, to hold the paper like on an easel kind of.  It's really big and pretty heavy though.  It was a bit impulsive to grab this one.  Who knows, maybe I can sell it on Kijiji to turn a profit!

This little guy was with the art table.  There doesn't seem to be anything wrong with it, it just needs to be cleaned up.  I think it will look awesome!

Anyone else have any luck with some yard sales lately?