Friday, 29 July 2011

Vivian Vendredi - Time for a Change

It's been a rough week with Vivian.  Wednesday night was pretty much the worst night ever.  She was up constantly, and went through four six-ounce bottles from 10:45 p.m. until 7:00 a.m.  Four bottles.  She usually goes through about four bottles all day.  It's getting ridiculous.  She's an almost eight-month old newborn.  A good night with her is only waking up every three to four hours.  A bad night is waking up every hour or two.

After nearly eight months of this, it's getting a little exhausting.  It's not good for me, and it's not good for her either.

So, yesterday we went for our first appointment with a homeopath.  We're seeing Amanda, a friend from when I worked at the group home after university.  You can check her out here if you're interested.  I know that this is not something that everyone would want to try, but I'm ready to try anything.  The doctor says there's nothing wrong with her, but there is definitely something bothering her enough to make her not sleep.  I really think it's a few small things working together (like the fact that she's so super alert, she has a hard time relaxing, possible digestive issues, and very strong control issues) that are causing a much larger problem, and homepathy seems to look at the whole person, and not just one issue.  I'm very hopeful that it will be the start of getting Vivian to sleep.

I'm not looking for a baby that sleeps 12 hours a night.  I don't need that.  If she needs to wake up to eat, I'm here to feed her.  But waking up to eat five, six, seven times through the night?  That's not going to happen.

So, here we are.  We start homeopathic remedies with her tomorrow.  Hopefully the combination of that with the probiotics she's already taking will get us somewhere!

Thursday, 28 July 2011

WAY better than bills

Jagger's friend Julien (you can find him here and here) is the kind of guy who knows people.  And he knows people who know people.  He's your general cool guy around town, and I wish he lived closer so we could see him more often.  

So you can imagine my excitement when instead of just receiving bills in the mail the other day, there was also a very intriguing package from Julien.  Inside that intriguing package?


A Scott Pilgrim vs. The World poster!  Awesome!  And what is that in the bottom corner?


Why, it's an autograph from Scott Pilgrim creator Bryan Lee O'Malley!  Even more awesome!

It was honestly one of the best surprises to show up in the mail in a very long time.  (Happy mail surprises are much better than "Hey, you need to pay us a lot of money" mail surprises)  And it was so incredibly kind of Julien to think to send it to us totally out of the blue.  I love it so much I took something else out of its frame so this could be added to our gallery wall.

So, Julien, sir, thank you so much!  Consider this a virtual thank you card, and perhaps there will be a postcard coming your way in the future.  (Once I find one that is suitably awesome)

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

New Furniture Freebies

I drove downtown to the bank today.  I should have walked, but was too tired from another long night with Vivian.  So I drove.  Of course, I refuse to parallel park, so I had to drive around in circles to find a parking spot close to the bank.  As I looped around a side street, I found a little house with a bunch of furniture sitting out front and a big sign that said "All Free".

Yes, please.

Somehow I managed to throw all three of these tables into my car with Vivian in the backseat.  Pretty impressive for the old Focus.




Nothing super special, but when they're free, I just can't say no!  A friend of mine (Hi Carla!) has been talking about the two of us updating old furniture together and maybe eventually turning it into a business.  Sounds like fun to me!  Even if we just start with working on stuff through the winter and having one big yard sale in the summer, it sounds like a fun project - and it gives me an excuse to pick up stuff from the side of the road!

In the meantime, I don't really know what to do with these tables yet.  Spray paint?  More chalkboard paint?  Something with maps, or try using comics again?  Who knows!

Any suggestions?

Friday, 22 July 2011

Vivian Vendredi - Jailbird

Why does Vivian look so sad and blurry?


Because she's behind our newly-installed baby gate.  I love it.  Vivian?  Not so much.


She's so fast, the gate was definitely a necessity.  She has a habit of chasing the cats into the kitchen and getting dangerously close to the basement stairs.


Yeah, she loves it.

I'm sure she'll come around eventually.

Here's a little video to give you an idea of just how speedy she is now.

Monday, 18 July 2011

Comic book tables

I've been working on some more tables.  I got these tables last year, and never really knew what to do with them.  They were blue, and I started to paint them white last summer.  I got bored after the primer coat and just left them until now.

I've been wanting to try covering something in comic book pages for awhile, but wasn't sure what to use.  I was going to do an unfinished pine shelf that was holding our comics, but then that went to the garage when the crates came in the house.

Originally, I wanted to cover the whole table, but because the lines weren't straight, I figured it would just get frustrating, so I just did the flat surfaces - the top and the panels on the sides.

I'm pretty happy with how they turned out, and I'm anxious to try it again on something else!






I used a spray adhesive to hold the panels down while I mod podged the heck out of it.  Spray adhesive is awesome - it gave just enough tackiness to hold it down and made the whole process super fast.  Once it was all dried, I used a spray lacquer to give it a shiny top coat so they will hopefully hold up to some wear and tear.

I'm not sure where to put them yet - they'll go in the basement somewhere, just not sure where.

Friday, 15 July 2011

Vivian Vendredi - Sad Face

This is the face I've been looking at all week.


On Sunday we found out Vivian had another ear infection.  Tuesday night she had a fever of 102.  She's spent the last few nights waking up every hour.  That's right, every hour.  She's also back to sleeping on me.  It's been a hell of a week.

I think Vivian has been having some underlying digestive issues that have been bothering her since birth, so I'm trying to address those now.  She's starting on probiotics, and I've got homeopathic medicine for teething and treating colic.  I also need to look into whether my benefits cover homeopathic treatment, so we can hopefully get her a full consultation soon.

Here's hoping we'll be seeing this face more next week.


(Yes this post is short and the pictures are terrible.  Give me a break, I'm a zombie.)

Thursday, 14 July 2011

I'm (unabashedly) lovin' it

I think it's time that I came clean about something.  We all have our vices in life, and sometimes we're not proud of them, but they're our burden to carry just the same.

I love McDonalds.

I do.  I love it.  When people are all, "Ew, McDonalds?  I haven't eaten there in years" I feel a small pang of guilt, because just hearing the words makes me want it all the more.  There's just something about it - maybe it's the fact that I grew up in a small town where the nearest McDonalds was at least 45 minutes away, or maybe it's just my way to indulge since I live a relatively clean life otherwise, but I love the stuff.

There are certain trips to McDonalds that make it all the better. 
  • The late night McDonalds run.  Everyone has done this at least once in their life.  Maybe you just flew into town and are starving an completely exhausted.  Maybe you just got out of a concert and your ears are still ringing and you're too wired to sleep so you think you're hungry.  Maybe you're just drunk and looking for something delicious and greasy to sit in your stomach.  McDonalds is the place for you.  Nothing tastes better at 4:00 a.m. than a little McDonalds.  Bonus points if you go through the drive-thru in a cab.
  • The McDonalds breakfast.  One of the most elusive fast food events, it's right up there with finding an open Arbys (BTW, I love Arbys too).  It's so true in Big Daddy - the excitement of actually being up early enough to get those sweet, sweet hashbrowns.  And for some reason, McDonalds has the best orange juice in the world.
  • Dollar Drinks.  We're right smack in the middle of Dollar Drinks right now, my friends.  There's nothing better on a hot summer day than going to McDonalds and getting a whole freaking litre of cola for a dollar.  Even better?  This summer the iced coffees are included in the promotion.  And I loves me some iced coffee.
  • The "You know what I haven't had in a while?" trip to McDonalds.  Nothing satisfies a craving like McD's.
  • The "I just went and got weighed at my Weight Watchers meeting and lost weight, so I'm going to go eat at McDonalds now" trip.  Oh, sweet victory.
  • Also, the "I just weighed myself and gained weight, so I might as well eat some McDonalds and at least be fat and happy."  Funny how that works.
  • The special promotion trip.  Hello, McRib, Cadbury Creme Egg McFlurry and Shamrock Shake.  You're limited edition, so that means you don't have any calories.
  • McHappy Day.  Calories also don't count when the proceeds go to charity.  This is the one day a year that I eat a Big Mac.
  • The "Found" McDonalds.  Did someone leave leftovers in the kitchen from the night before?  You know what tastes better than a hot cheeseburger from McDonalds?  A cold cheeseburger from McDonalds. 
  • The McDonalds snack.  I rarely order a full meal at McDonalds anymore.  Instead, I prefer the dollar menu (I guess it's technically the $1.39 menu here).  What's better than getting a perfect little cheeseburger, or a delicious little snack wrap for the road?
  • The "I'm eating in a restaurant that is far too fancy for me, and all I really want is a Big Mac and fries" (as suggested by Paula!)
  • The home alone McDonalds meal.  If you eat McDonalds and no one sees you do it, do the calories count?  No.
Are you with me and my love of the unspeakable?  Or do you save yourself for some other fast food lover?

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Something else to paint...


I haven't mentioned it on here yet, but I picked up this vintage school desk a while ago for Vivian.  There's this house around the corner from me that's been selling all kinds of old stuff for the last few weeks.  It looks like someone cleaned out a barn or something.  Anyway, I picked up this desk for $20.  I've always loved old school desks, and while I tend to prefer the more 60s look of them, I liked the fact that this one could be painted.

It's already been painted, but it's a solid oak desk underneath.  I suppose most people would lean towards stripping it and staining it, but of course I'm leaning towards covering it in chalkboard paint.  Or maybe combining chalkboard paint and that awesome Pre-Dawn Sky paint colour to match Vivian's play table? What do you think?

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

A Useable Basement

We finally, finally got furniture moved around and now have a clearly defined upstairs play room and downstairs living room/rec room.

Here's the upstairs play room now...much more space for Vivian to play, and much safer for her to play.



The pictures don't really do it justice because my camera is crap, but trust me - it's a huge improvement!

In the end, we basically just ended up moving furniture down to the basement.  I'm hoping we'll be able to put carpet down there before Christmas (I'm having an estimate done soon) so that the space will be nice and cozy once it gets cooler.  Once I know that we're having carpet put down, I figure I can work on painting the area.  It's too bad we couldn't have flooring done before moving furniture down there, but oh well, you do what you have to do.


I'm actually surprised at how well it works with just the one couch and our two old freebie chairs.  Is it the nicest rec room ever?  Nope.  Does it work for us for now?  You betcha.


Basically, I put everything down here that Vivian might knock over/pull down on herself.  Somehow, it ended up kind of working!

The cabinet that I picked up off a curb a few weeks ago ended up being the perfect place to store the DVDs and Blu-Rays.



I love it.  Even though it isn't really done, and even though it's just a bunch of mismatched furniture in the basement, I love it.  It's so nice to just have another room to go to.  It's amazing, but when you spend the whole day in the same room, just having an option to go to at the end of the day is a big deal.

Like I said, hopefully we'll be able to put some real carpet down before Christmas and put some paint on the walls - perhaps when that happens a party will be in order!

Monday, 11 July 2011

Curbside coffee table to pretty play table

Remember that old coffee table I picked up off the side of the road?



Yeah.

Well, I cleaned it up and now it's a great play table for Vivian!


It turns out this was a great little table.  It's solid wood, and I love the lines of it.  Because the top of the table already had some weird black stuff on it (I think it was paint?) I decided to just slap some chalkboard paint on.  Then, using a coupon I had for a free sample of paint from Benjamin Moore, I picked up some paint in "Pre-Dawn Sky" for the lower part of the table.  Seriously, I'm in love with this colour.  I still have some leftover from the sample and am desperately trying to find something else to paint with it.  It's just the nicest, richest shade of pinky-purple I've ever seen.  I love it.  There may be an accent wall in Vivian's room in the future.

Because the table is super low (it's much lower than any other coffee table I have) it works perfectly for Vivian to stand up to and play at.  She loves standing up now, so it's perfect.  Of course, the lower shelf works great for toys, or for cats looking for a place to hide.

Total cost of the project really can't be beat - I used a small amount of the chalkboard paint I had from painting my backsplash and cupboard doors (which was only $20 for the can, and I still have loads left), the other paint was a free sample, and the table itself was free.  Totally on budget for me!

Have you done any facelifts on freebie/ugly furniture lately?

Friday, 8 July 2011

Vivian Vendredi - The Shark

You know how they say sharks have to keep moving or they'll die?

I think Vivian might be a shark.



This girl moves constantly.  Seriously.  Either she's crawling (at alarmingly fast speeds), climbing something (the living room was rearranged today to better suit her), whipping her head around to see what someone is doing (snoopy), or just generally flipping around.  She never stops. 

Even if I'm holding her, she's twisting and turning and flipping around, trying to wriggle away or just to check out what's going on somewhere else.  I put her down to sleep and she tries to crawl in her sleep.  It never stops.

You would think that she sleeps like a log at night after all that running around, but of course she doesn't.  She's still up at least every 4 hours, some nights it's every 2-3 hours still.  I suppose she just needs to refuel at night for her busy day the next day.

Who knows what she'll be up to next - she's already trying to figure out how to cruise along the furniture.  At this rate, she'll be walking at 9 months old.

Sigh...anyone have a baby gate they're getting rid of?


Friday, 1 July 2011

Vivian Vendredi - Toys, toys, toys

I have to say, I am glad to see June go.  June was a rough month with Vivian - she got two teeth, had two rounds of antibiotics, started to crawl and started pulling up on furniture.  I suppose it was more of a rough month on me than on her.  Either way, there hasn't been much sleeping happening at our house.

I'm starting to find that Vivian is taking more of an interest in toys, and becoming bored with the toys we have.  She plays so much better on her own at my mom's house where there are toys that she doesn't see every day.  I think I'm going to have to invest in some new toys for her, and just put away a few toys that she has, that way we can recycle them back to her in a couple of months and they'll be new again!

I did buy her a new toy at a yard sale a few weeks ago...now I know why they were selling it.


Loudest toy ever.