Wednesday, 30 November 2011

My Pinterest Christmas

Oh, Pinterest.  What did I ever do without you?  With the holidays fast approaching, I thought I would share some of the Christmas ideas I've been pinning for those of you who don't follow me on Pinterest. (And you should follow me - use the red button link to the right!)

I love paint cards, and thought this was a cute alternative for gift tags.  I don't have the patience to sew little trees on them, but a cute snowflake punch might be a nice effect.

"National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation" is possibly the greatest Christmas movie ever.  This print would be great as a Christmas card for all your extra-cool friends, or I think it would be fun just framed as decoration.

(Pinned from here)

Just by adding ribbon to a string of lights you get a fun, colourful garland!  You could use any combination of colours to match whatever you've got going on at home.

(Pinned from here, originally from here)

I love this newspaper tree, but I'm pretty sure our cats would eat it.

(Pinned from here, originally from here)

This felt Christmas tree might be a fun way to keep little hands away from the real Christmas tree.  They can change out the decorations as much as they want!

(Pinned from here, originally from here)

I've somewhat randomly decided that I want a white Christmas tree.  Mostly because so many people think it's tacky.  I'm determined to make it fabulously tacky!  Here's a great inspiration picture - love the bright, unexpected colours with the white tree!

(Pinned from here, originally from here)

Have you been pinning anything fun lately?

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Just under the wire...

Ugh, I'm so late on posting this, and Blogger is being an asshole and not letting me load pictures to write the post I want to write, and I'm almost done NaBloPoMo so I'm not going to miss a day now!

So, until I can get a better post up here, I will leave you with this.

That's what I was watching instead of writing a proper blog.  I love watching the Victoria's Secret Fashion show - it's fun and sexy and goofy and I loves it.


Monday, 28 November 2011

Dress Me Up

Of course I'm overthinking my outfit for work tomorrow.  I was lucky enough to snag this awesome Shabby Apple dress from a Facebook mom to mom seller group for $15, can you believe it?  Here's the picture from the website...

Obviously, I don't look like that.  Luckily though, the dress looks pretty good on, and I love it!

The only problem?  What shoes do I wear?  I can't decide between the following three options - tell me what your choice is!

Option one - black boots.

Yes - fair warning - all of these pictures are pretty crappy because I took them myself in my bedroom mirror while Vivian was napping.  Also, you have to smack my camera to make it work, so we're not dealing with the best technology here.

I like the boots, and I usually wear them with dresses in the winter, but I think this dress is a little long for boots and they might weigh the dress down too much.

Option two - purple peep-toes.

I love these shoes, and I don't wear them enough.  Can I pull off a red dress with black tights and purple shoes though?  I don't know.

I'm pretty attached to the idea of wearing the black tights as opposed to regular nylons - am I wrong?

And option three - beige sandals, still with the black tights.

 Kind of an unconventional look, but I am actually really digging it.  What do you think?  At least this picture turned out a bit better - the sun must have come out while I was taking it.

 Also, try to imagine my hair being done (I'd just gotten out of the shower and started taking pictures) and make up on and whatnot.

Okay, your turn!  What shoes should I wear?  And no, I don't have a pair of just plain black heels.  Apparently I got rid of them in some sort of crazy cleaning binge.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Back to work!

Know what tomorrow is?  Tomorrow is officially my first day back to work.  Except that I'm not working.  I'm on vacation.  I had enough vacation time available that I was able to extend my maternity leave through the Christmas break and start full time on January 3rd.  Awesome, right?  Except that I'm a crazy person, so I'm going to work part-time in December.  So really, my first day back to work is Tuesday this week, then I'm off for the rest of the week.  Why am I doing this?  Well, to help my co-workers through what is traditionally a crazy month at work for one thing.  Also to help transition Vivian and I into the world of waking up early and being at work/daycare all day long.  And the most important reason?  I'm losing my freaking mind.

Don't get me wrong - I'm very grateful that I've been able to have this year at home with Vivian.  Not everyone is able to take the full year, so I'm definitely appreciative of what I have.  That being said, if this year has taught me nothing else, it's that I'm just not cut out to be a stay-at-home parent.  I'm sorry, but I need to spend time away from cutting up grapes, the constant chaos of my house, and the damn Toopy and Binoo theme song that is constantly stuck in my head.  I need to be around grown-ups.  I need to use my brain.

I love Vivian, and it is amazing being with her all day, but I think I need to miss her.  I need to look forward to seeing her at the end of the day, and to get excited about spending time with her doing special things on the weekends.  I need to be my own person away from her.

This year has been much harder on me than I thought it would be.  I wasn't completely prepared for how difficult it would be mentally.  Dealing with the isolation, the depression, the sobbing into the sink while I do the dishes - it's been hard.  For a million reasons, it's been hard.  And I know that it's going to be hard going back to work.  I know that I'll deal with that fantastic Mommy guilt where you can't wait to be away from your baby and then the second you are away from them you feel like the worst person in the world for wanting to be away from them, and you feel like you should miss them more.  It's a terrible thing.

So while I feel like I should be sad, and wishing my maternity leave would stretch on forever, I just can't.  I can't help it, I'm excited to go back to work.  I'm excited to wear grown-up clothes, to wear makeup and to do a job that I enjoy and that I'm good at.  I'm excited to get a little bit of my old life back.  I'm excited to feel like my old self, even if it's only a little teeny tiny bit of that old self.

This doesn't make me a terrible person.  This will make me a better Mom.

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Wicked Style

So far I've been pretty good to not go crazy buying clothes for Vivian.  She grows too fast, she refuses to wear a bib, she rolls in the general, she's just a human disaster.  So her life has mostly been spent in hand-me downs.  I might have to make an exception for the new Harajuku Mini for Target collection by Gwen Stefani.  It's unbearably cute and crazy awesome.

I mean, come on.  Check it out and tell me this isn't the cutest stuff ever made.

Plus, Vivian dances to the commercial.  She clearly has style for miles.

Friday, 25 November 2011

Vivian Vendredi - Black Friday Baby

 We didn't do any actual shopping today, but Vivian did do lots of pretend shopping with her new grocery cart.

I got it a while ago with my Pampers Points and was going to save it for her birthday or Christmas, but then I realized that she doesn't know the difference if something is "saved" or not, so I just went ahead and gave it to her.  She LOVES it.  Totally worth it.

Of course, we will be doing lots of shopping in the next few weeks what with her impending first birthday (!!) and Christmas.  I'm having a hard time decided what she should get for her birthday, versus what is a Christmas present.  Either way, she's bound to be completely spoiled over the next month.

But all she really wants to play with are the remote controls and the phones.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Christmas has come early!

You guys.  Look what I freaking found at Walmart!

That's no regular Ginger Ale.  That is Raspberry Ginger Ale!  Schweppes Raspberry Ginger Ale!  Only one of the rarest pops out there!  (It rivals my beloved Tahiti Treat)  For reals - the last time I drank this was in 2002 when I found a dusty 2 liter bottle in a gas station.

I love this stuff, and am so happy to see it back, even if it is only for a limited time.  Sounds like a good reason to hoard to me!

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

I'm an idiot sometimes.

My friend Lisa has a cookie exchange every year.  Everyone who comes bakes a dozen cookies for each person participating.  You swap them around and end up with loads of different cookies that you can freeze and have on hand for the holidays.  It's a great idea, and is a fun way to get different recipes.  This year, there are 14 girls participating, so I have to bake 14 dozen cookies.

Because of my mild to moderate Pinterest obsession, I was inspired to bake these cookies...

They're cute, and it's really easy.  The recipe actually calls for you to just use a sugar cookie mix, cut them using a bell-shaped cookie cutter, then turn it upside down to add the pretzel antlers and use M&Ms for the nose and eyes.  Easy-peasy.

So I set out to Walmart to get my supplies.  I found the sugar cookie mix and proceeded to read everything on the back of the package trying to figure out how many cookies one package would make.  I couldn't find anything anywhere on it, so I did the only practical thing and panicked, buying all six bags that were on the shelf.

At the checkout, I asked the girl if she had ever used the mix before and knew how many cookies each package made.  She wasn't sure, but guessed 16-20 cookies a package, which is totally a random made up number.

So I got home with my stuff, still worrying that I had too much/not enough cookie mix to get through my marathon baking session.  What do I notice as I'm putting everything away?

Can you read that?  What is clearly printed on the front of the package?  "Makes 3 dozen cookies".

At least I have enough, and not crazy amounts of extras.  But still, I feel like an idiot for poring over the back of the package without even thinking to read the front.

Cookie Doh!

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

I got spoiled!

I can hardly believe it, but it's already been 3 weeks since my birthday!  I don't know if I mentioned it on here or not, but I turned 29 on October 29th, so we had a party to celebrate.  I figured I would rather make a big deal this year and just quietly let next year pass by!  We had a great time having our friends and family over and I got thoroughly spoiled!  I got so many wonderful things, I just had to share with you!

In addition to lots of bags of Peanut Butter M&Ms (how did they know?) popcorn, Bud Lite Lime and many bottles of wine and champagne, I got these treasures...

Books!  So many lovely books.  The Mad Men one even has paper dolls in it!  And the Joan paper doll even comes with an accordion and a wine bottle to throw at her idiot husband!

I know, the picture is terrible because my camera is terrible (I didn't get a new camera for my birthday) but I got a beautiful new Chamilia bracelet and a super pretty and delicate necklace.  I already have a bunch of new charms picked out that I want for my bracelet!

My friend Carol made this beautiful quilt for Vivian.  It's called "Brightest Day" and is based on the Lanterns from the Brightest Day comic series.  You can check out more about it at her blog.  My picture doesn't do it justice - it's so beautiful!

I finally got a new purse!  Vivian's big enough now that I can get away with only carrying a few things for her, and I don't need a giant diaper bag all the time anymore, so I'm back in purse land!

How awesome are these?  Dharma wine!  Custom made by our friends James and Christine!

Have you seen Fast Five yet?  You should go watch it immediately.  It's pretty much the best movie ever made, no joke.

My friend Amanda got me this great ceramic egg carton dealio.  It's perfect for jewellery or change or little bits and pieces you have sitting around your bedside or your desk.  I love it - it's just like the one Sherry on Young House Love has!  (If you're wondering, that's the cork from the bottle of champagne from my champagne birthday!

I was also lucky enough to get a gift card so I could finally buy some makeup after going without for a year and another gift card for Canadian Tire to help support my spray painting habit!  Hopefully I'll be able to show you how I used that one soon!

It really was an awesome birthday - and thank you to everyone who came over to help celebrate!

Now let's all forget about my birthday next year, shall we?

Monday, 21 November 2011

So when are you going to have another baby?

It's funny how people work.  When you are dating someone, everyone wants to know when you're moving in together.  Then you move in, and people ask when you're getting engaged.  You get engaged, they want to know when you're getting married.  You get married and they start asking about kids.  You have a kid, and they start asking when you're having another kid.

It's exhausting.

For us, the short answer to this question is no time soon, if ever.  At this point, with Vivian being nearly 1, I don't have any desire to have another baby.  I don't want to go through being pregnant again, I don't want to have a newborn again, and I really don't want to see how Vivian handles having a baby around that demands all my attention.  I just don't feel that need, that feeling of "not being done".  I honestly feel like I could be very okay with just having Vivian.  I think she could be enough.  A psychic actually once told me that I would only have one baby, and that it would be a very strong child.  Sounds like Vivian to me.

On the other hand, I don't necessarily want Vivian to grow up as an only child.  I don't want her to have to miss out on all those fun brother and sister things, and I worry about her being alone if anything were to happen to Jagger and I.  Of course, there are lots of ways to make a family.  Maybe there's a better option for us.  Vivian absolutely loves playing with older kids.  It's like she was made to be a little sister.  Who knows, maybe we could adopt, or maybe I'll follow in my mom's footsteps and be a foster parent.  Maybe we'll end up adopting one of my mom's foster kids - who knows!  All I know is I'm not attached to the idea of having another baby of my own.  I've always wanted to be a billet family for the local Junior B level hockey team, so maybe that could be a fun option of helping to raise and support a kid without them being a biological part of the family.

There's lots of options out there, and there's lots of time to explore them.  And who knows, maybe I'll be eating my words in a few years when I suddenly get the urge to be pregnant again.

How do other people feel?  Do you know absolutely when you want other kids?  Is anyone else completely ambivalent about it, or am I some kind of baby-hating monster?

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Painted Little Tikes Furniture

Remember the dingy old Little Tikes table and chairs I picked up off the curb back in May?

I finally got around to painting them!

Some people don't think you can paint plastic - but you totally can.  Just get the spray paint that specifies it's for plastic and you're good to go!  Originally I started painting the chairs blue to match the table, but it wasn't covering super well, so I just gave them a fresh coat of yellow to brighten them up.  It definitely seemed to work better to paint it in a similar colour to what it originally was.  You could paint it a totally different colour, but I think it would take a lot more coats to get it totally covered, and I was too lazy for that.

Not bad, right?

Saturday, 19 November 2011

This one's for you, Jenn!

I was out with my friend Jenn last night (I know, shocking!  I left the house!) and we checked out her friend's band.  They 90s covers, so it was a good mix of stuff.  The one song I was missing?  The 90s classic, Possum Kingdom by the Toadies.

My sister can never remember the name of this song, so she just calls it "The Scary Song" and I always know exactly what she's talking about.

Hope you enjoy - this is one of my all-time favourite songs to crank up and belt out!

Friday, 18 November 2011

Vivian Vendredi - Vivian the thief

Vivian is so grabby lately.  She pulls everything off the fridge, she steals cell phones and wallets, drinks and snacks.  The other day at the arena she tried to steal someone's Gatorade and fries.  Of course, if we were to hand her any of these things, she would completely lose interest.

Take her sippy cup, for instance.  I've been trying to get her to drink her milk out of a cup during the day, rather than a bottle.  She has no interest in doing so, and usually ends up shaking the cup until the milk spills everywhere.  But if someone else is around with a sippy cup, she's all over it.  Stealing cups from other kids at daycare and from the kids at mom's.

I suppose the grass is always greener, or the sippy cup always more appealing.

Keep your purses and cell phones close!  You never know where she'll strike next!

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Back to the drawing board...

I think it's a pretty common human experience to think you've invented something that's going to make you a millionaire and having you living on easy street.  Of course, the common human experience that goes along with it is the soul-crushing realization that someone else has already had your idea and made your million dollars.

My most recent brilliant idea that already exists?  Glow in the dark soothers.

After many nights of crawling around on the floor feeling under cribs and chairs looking for Vivian's soother, I knew that glow in the dark soothers were something that should exist in my life.

Unfortunately, I'm not the only one to have had this idea.  There seems to be many, many versions of this on the market already.

Now to buy one for Vivian.  And then get back to the drawing board to make my millions.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Penn and Teller Tell a Lie

Do you love Penn and Teller as much as I do?  I love them.  They're so funny and bold and eccentric - I just think they're great.  I would love to see one of their Vegas shows one day.  Until that day comes, I'll have to settle for watching them in their new show on Discovery Channel.

Have you seen it yet?  It's called Penn & Teller Tell a Lie, and I think it's really fun.  They present six outrageous claims and stories.  Things like the Nazis used exploding bottles of wine as weapons, you can blow out a forest fire with a jet engine, you can crack a safe with liquid nitrogen - all kinds of weird and wacky things.  They present the options, and you have to decide which one is the lie.  You can vote online for your choice, which they reveal at the end.  It reminds me a lot of Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction, only with their signature Penn and Teller comedy and style.

If you need something fun and interesting to watch on Wednesday nights at 10:00, check out the Discovery Channel, and try to find the lie!

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Book Clubs

Sookie and Pam might not do book clubs, but I do.

I've always wanted to be in a book club, because I'm cool like that.  Now I'm lucky enough to be in two of them.

The first one is the graphic novel group.  We meet at LA Mood in London on the second Saturday of the month to discuss our choice.  It's a great group, and if you're in the London area and have ever had any desire to check out graphic novels, you should check out our group.  It's okay, it's not a bunch of "Comic Book Guys" who know every detail about everything and scoff at people who have only read Archie comics before.  It's totally laid back and easy to make your voice heard.  It's been great for us to expand our reading and check out a bunch of stuff we never would have read otherwise.  We've been meeting for over two years already, and I definitely hope that there will be many more years with the group.

My other book club is the Third Tuesday Book Club.  Obviously, we meet on the third Tuesday of the month.  The story behind this one is I "met" Jenn by commenting on Nikki Stafford's blog.  Eventually we realized we were in the same city, and I stalked her Google profile to find out that she had a blog for the book club.  Somehow, I manage to infiltrate the group.  What I love most about this book club is that we barely talk about the book.  We meet at a Starbucks and literally talk about the book for about five minutes before launching into chatting about anything and everything else.  Honestly, there was one meeting where none of us had even read the book.  It's relaxed, it's easy going, there's no pressure if you don't finish a book or don't like a book because before you know it we'll be talking about vampires - especially the Edward Cullen look a like who dominated our meeting last month.

Between the two clubs, I've read a lot of great books, met a lot of great people and had a lot of great conversations - with many more to come.

Anyone else in a book club?

Monday, 14 November 2011

Is this no longer a thing?

I love cereal.  Like, I love it to Seinfeld proportions.  I could eat cereal for every meal, quite happily.

But I've noticed something lately - what happened to prizes in the cereal box?  Do they not exist anymore?  Is Vivian going to grow up never knowing the joy of sifting through a box of Shreddies looking for the prize?  It seems like everything is promotional codes to enter online.  My most recent box of cereal had a PIN you enter online to send away for a free retro T-shirt.  I got another T-shirt a few months ago, as well as an issue of The Hockey News.  Another box of cereal had a coupon printed inside for a free container of yogurt.

So do we have better prizes, but you have to put in the effort of going online to get them?  Are the days of the cheap plastic toy to incite you to buy a box of cereal gone?

Someone please tell me somewhere there is still cereal with a prize inside.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Clap Clap!

If there's one thing I love, it's a song with hand claps.  I don't know what it is, but it gets me every time!  Here's some of my favourites.  Let's clap along, shall we?

And, of course,

What are your favourites?

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Those shows you hate that you love

Do you have shows like these?  Shows that just drive you crazy, but you keep coming back for more?  For me, there are two shows that definitely stand out - Whitney and Grey's Anatomy.

Whitney is a new show that just premiered in September.  I was wary of it from the start - it's a traditional 3-camera style sitcom starring Whitney Cummings.  What bothers me about the show is that it seems really outdated and on-the-nose.  It's very, "Oh wow!  She's wacky!  She doesn't want to get married!  Look at her brightly coloured apartment and scruffy boyfriend!  She's so awkward, but she's hot too!"  It drives me crazy.  But, because it has a primo timeslot, I keep watching.  I hate myself for doing it, and mostly just make fun of it while watching, but I don't think I've missed an episode.

Grey's Anatomy, on the other hand, is an old friend.  I've been watching it since the beginning, and there have been times when I've genuinely enjoyed and looked forward to watching it every week.  I stopped watching during the season where Izzy gets a brain tumour or whatever and we have that all-too famous "ghost sex" scene.  I just couldn't take it anymore after that.  But, in true Grey's fashion, they brought me back with the whole rampage shooter in the hospital episode.  So here I am, watching it again every week and only becoming more and more irritated.  Derek is a jerk, Bailey is a jerk, Lexi has nothing to's so incredibly frustrating.  And yet, I keep watching.  And what's even worse is the show keeps making me cry!  Not as hard as it used to (remember the Amish girl who was dying and had to say good bye to her friend?  Or those brain tumour teenagers who were in love?) Grey's used to be able to reduce me to full-on tears - not an easy feat.  But today it's more of a choked up feeling, which only serves to irritate me more.

I'm a prisoner of these shows.

Anyone else?  Is there a show you just can't stand but continue to watch it for some strange reason?  I could throw Glee in here too (what the hell is going on this season?  Why is Quinn such a hateful shrew?) but Glee is in a whole other category of it's own.  It's the ultimate show that people love to hate, and hate to love.

Friday, 11 November 2011

Vivian Vendredi - Grading on a curve

I have come to terms with the fact that Vivian just isn't like other babies.  She probably never will be.  I've come to accept that a good night for Vivian is what some people would consider a terrible night, a good meal with Vivian would be a disaster for other parents.  She's just a different kid.  We're seeing progress though!

I didn't want to say anything last week, because I didn't want to jinx it, but Vivian's sleeping has improved so much.  I'm sure it doesn't sound great to other people who have babies who sleep through the night, but when you consider where we were a few months ago, it's an amazing difference.

Let's go back - I would say things with Vivian's sleeping were at their worst in the summer.  She was waking up every 1-2 hours at night screaming.  Not just yelling, screaming.  And she would be completely inconsolable.  I would try everything to settle her down - rocking, bouncing, feeding her, ignoring would take me about 45 minutes to settle her down enough to get her to sleep for an hour.  It was dark times, my friends.  The end of July was when we started seeing the homeopath and things got markedly better.  She was calmer, napping better during the day and going for longer stretches at night.  We still weren't quite there yet.

Skip to a couple of weeks ago.  My homeopath switched remedies for Vivian.  We went through a rough week where she was teething and waking up all the time at night and not sleeping as much as she should have been and I was on the computer at midnight writing to Amanda (our homeopath) desperately trying to figure something out.  Amanda is great to deal with me emailing her constantly and told me that things usually have to get worse before they get better, and it might just be whatever has been bothering her all along working itself out.  She said she would drop off another remedy to help with Vivian's teething and the runny nose she'd been fighting.

So we started with the remedy to help with the teething on a Friday.  The next day was my birthday and Vivian was going to be spending the night at my mom's.  I was a little worried about whether or not she would sleep, but knew my mom could handle it.

She slept awesome at mom's!  She still woke up a couple of times, but she was calm enough that mom could just give her a bottle in her crib and she would go back to sleep.  So when she came back to me for the Sunday night, I figured I would have a battle on my hands as payback for sending her away for a night - but it's been the same every night since!  She "wakes up", which is basically her just crying and whining in her sleep.  When I go in to her room, her eyes are closed, but she's whining and usually sitting up.  I give her a bottle and lay her down and she'll just hold it herself and roll over when she's done.  That's it.

Again - to someone who has a baby who sleeps through the night, this probably doesn't sound very fun.  But for me, someone who used to go in to a baby who would stand in her crib and scream and shake with rage several times in the night, this is nothing!  Sure, it's a pain to stand beside her crib waiting for her to finish her bottle, but seeing her roll over and hug her Dolly and go back to sleep all on her own is totally worth it.

I'm still hoping to get her down to waking up only once through the night, if not sleeping all night (right now she usually goes to bed around 7:30 or 8:00, wakes up around midnight, 3:00 and 6:00 and is up for the day around 8:00 or even 9:00.  One day this week she slept until nearly 10:00!)  I still think that she has nightmares - last night she was crying in her sleep and crawling around her crib.  What a baby has a nightmare about, I have no idea.  I don't know if there's much we can do about that, but I know things will change when I go back to work and she has to be up at like 6:30 to get ready to go to daycare, so maybe between that and her weighted blanket (I'm still working on that one) we'll have a soundly sleeping baby.

I know that not everyone is sold on homeopathy - but for us, I'm continuing to see the positive effects on Vivian.  We have a remedy to help with runny noses and coughs and it clears her up almost immediately - it's pretty amazing.  If you're interested in homeopathy, you can contact Amanda here.  I've heard from so many other people that their kids "just weren't sleepers" and that's what I used to think about Vivian.  As time went on though, I just knew that there was something more going on with her that needed to be taken care of - and I'm finally feeling like I'm figuring her out.  She seems so much happier - just ask her yourself.  Oh no wait, you can't - she's happily napping in her bed!

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Wish Book

In our increasingly digital and paperless world, there is one item that sticks out in my mind as being unchangeable.

The Sears Wish Book.

Is there anything better in the whole, wide world than getting your hands on a new Wish Book for the very first time?  Sure, as an adult it can be a bit annoying to see it pop up as early as Labour Day, but I still can't resist flipping through it one page at a time, over and over again.  When we were kids, we used to have to get multiple copies to avoid fighting - everyone always wanted to look at it!  I remember I would always flip to the back to look at the toys first, then meticulously go through the entire catalogue page by page.  Even now I've gone through our Wish Book at least a dozen times.

Of course there are other ways to shop - you can just hop online and start adding items to your virtual cart and be on your way.  I don't know what it is though, nothing quite compares to calling Sears and reading out all those item numbers, then going to pick everything up in a couple of days.  We still do most of our Christmas shopping out of the Wish Book - it's just so convenient!

Don't ever change, Wish Book.  I want Vivian to grow up with that same excitement of flipping through the Wish Book page by page and circling the toys she wants.  If only because it makes shopping much easier on me.

Tell me you also have fond memories of fighting over the Wish Book with your siblings!

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

My bid for "Sister of the Year"

I don't usually write blog posts that are just about what I did over the course of a day, but yesterday was no ordinary day.

11:00 p.m. - I go to bed.

1:30 a.m. - Vivian wakes up, I give her a bottle and we both go back to bed.

3:30 a.m. - Vivian is up again.

3:45 a.m. - And again.

4:30 a.m. - And again.

5:00 a.m. - Vivian finally settles down, I lay in bed and pretend to sleep.

5:15 a.m. - My alarm goes off, I get ready to head out for the day.

6:10 a.m. - I grab Vivian out of bed and we head out.

6:15 a.m. - Drop Vivian off at daycare.

6:30 a.m. - Leave Strathroy for Simcoe.

8:20 a.m. - Arrive in Simcoe to work a French court.

10:00 a.m. - Court is done and I'm on my way home.

12:00 p.m. - Yay!  I'm home and Vivian is with my mom.  Maybe it's time for a nap.

12:25 p.m. - Mom calls to tell me she's at her place with Vivian, so I head down there.

1:00 p.m. - Get to mom's.  Vivian's being insanely whiney since she's exhausted.  I make her scream herself down for a nap.

1:30 p.m. - Vivian is sleeping, I help mom make a flyer for a Christmas Party.

2:30 p.m. - Vivian is awake.

2:50 p.m. - Mom is getting ready to pick kids up from school/daycare.  She talks to my brother, Matthew, on the phone and he wants to go to a midnight release of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.

4:00 p.m. - Mom gets home with Matthew and the kids.  I agree to take Matt and his friends to London for the game release.

5:30 p.m. - Matt starts hovering around me, so we head out to pick up his friends in Grand Bend while Vivian stays with mom.

6:10 p.m. - Drop the boys off at EB Games in London, head back to mom's.

7:00 p.m. - Get back to mom's.  Vivian's already been bathed, hooray!

7:10 p.m. - Matthew calls, they need an adult with them to buy the game, so I have go back earlier than I thought.

8:00 p.m. - I leave mom's to take Vivian home.

8:40 p.m. - Get home, put Vivian to bed.

9:00 p.m. - Finished unpacking all of Vivian's stuff from the day.  I go to wash the dishes and make bottles, but we're out of dish soap.  I throw in a load of laundry before heading out.

9:30 p.m. - Return from the grocery store with dish soap, wash the dishes, make bottles.  Going to sleep is starting to sound really, really good.

10:15 p.m. - Take a shower in an attempt to wake myself up.

10:30 p.m. - Sit down to watch How I Met Your Mother.  I try to inject myself with just enough caffeine to make it through the rest of the night, but not so much that I won't be able to sleep later.  I settle on some Peanut Butter M&Ms and a small glass of Diet Pepsi.

11:00 p.m. - Head out the door to meet up with Matt and his friends.  I start to regret the M&Ms.

11:30 p.m. - Get to EB Games and Matt tells me they might have to wait until 12:30 or 1:00 because they haven't pre-ordered the game.

12:01 a.m. - The game is on sale!  Hooray!  Line is moving.

12:30 a.m. - Douchebags pull up in their truck, we witness a near-fight which ends in a girl being called the C-word.  She totally deserved it though.

12:45 a.m. - The boys have their games and we all get back in the car to head home.

1:30 a.m. - Drop of the boys in Grand Bend, head to Port Franks.

1:40 a.m. - Drop Matt off at home.

2:00 a.m. - I'm nearly home, but am considering pulling over and sleeping on the side of the road.

2:10 a.m. - Finally pull into my driveway.  Put Vivian's carseat back in the car.

2:30 a.m. - Curl up in bed.  Didn't even brush my teeth.

I'm completely exhausted, and I put about 600 kilometers on my car in a day, but it was worth all the trouble to help out my brother and to let him do something special.

Next time they pre-order though.

Monday, 7 November 2011

The Sliding Doors Haircut

Have you ever seen the movie "Sliding Doors" with Gwyneth Paltrow?  It's a pretty good movie that shows how one small decision can change your life.  In the movie, we see what happens when Gwyneth Paltrow's character comes home early from work one day to find her boyfriend cheating on her.  We also see the alternative, where she is delayed on her way home and doesn't catch him.

The most exciting part of the movie?  In the timeline where she catches her cheating boyfriend, she ends up with the world's most awesome haircut.

You know how sometimes women get that urge to cut their hair short and are constantly searching for that perfect short haircut?  This is that haircut.

I know many, many women who have attempted this haircut, myself included.  The problem with haircuts like these is they work best when you have a professional styling it for you every day.  Otherwise, you just end up with hair that can't be put into a ponytail and constantly falls in your eyes and just doesn't work.

Isn't that always the way?

It's the same thing with Meg Ryan haircuts.  My mom is a hair stylist, and it's funny to see how many people will come in asking for the same thing.  Meg Ryan hair is definitely one of those.  The problem with these haircuts is that they only work if you have that specific kind of hair.

Take my hair, for example.  Right now my hair looks like this.

That's me at my birthday party.  I got customized Dharma wine.  I was pretty excited about it.

See, that's my hair.  Not horrible, I guess.  But not awesome.

But in my mind, it looks something like these haircuts...

Cobie Smulders and Dianna Agron I am not.

Oh well.  I'll just avoid a mirror and keep thinking my hair has that cute disheveled look, and not that "my baby rips my hair out and I haven't used a blow dryer or straightener in a year" look.

Have you tried the Sliding Doors haircut?

Sunday, 6 November 2011

You know that feeling...

...where you're standing in the kitchen trying to wash the dishes and make dinner at the same time while your baby pulls on your legs screaming for your attention and you think just for a second, "I wonder how hard I can just flick my leg to get her off of me without actually kicking her across the room?" and then you realize that your baby is slowly pulling your pants down because you're wearing jogging pants again and nothing fits you right and you realize that this is what your life has come to?


Just me then?  Okay.

Saturday, 5 November 2011

The Aspartame Intervention

I like to think I live a pretty clean life.  I like to exercise, although I haven't been able to do it often enough lately.  I enjoy a beer after a long day, but rarely drink to excess.  I've never smoked, never done drugs - unless you count forgetting to open the garage door while I'm spray painting furniture.  All in all, pretty clean living.  I do have a vice though - diet pop.

I used to be much worse - in university it wasn't unusual for me to go through five or six cans of Diet Pepsi in a day.  At the time I didn't drink coffee, so it was my main source of caffeine.  After university I gradually weaned myself down to a more reasonable one or two cans a day.  I've tried to give it up entirely before - once when I was getting a lot of migraines, and then again when I was pregnant.  When I was pregnant I stuck to regular pop in order to avoid the aspartame.  I always feel better when I'm off it, but somehow I end up sucked back in.

So here I am - once again drinking way too much Diet Pepsi and/or Diet Dr. Pepper.  Living with Vivian definitely requires a certain amount of caffeine, but I rarely drink coffee at home.  The last time I made myself a pot of coffee, it resulted in Vivian dunking her hand in my cup of coffee.  So yeah, that doesn't happen very often.  Lately I've been finding myself going through several cans a day again, which usually ends up with me feeling like crap by the time dinner rolls around.  I know I should cut it out and focus on drinking more water or something, but it's so hard!

Part of it is definitely the caffeine addiction.  When I only drink coffee once or twice a week, I need the daily pick-me-up of a sweet, delicious can of aspartamy goodness.  The other part of it is the entitlement.  Because I don't have many vices, I can tell myself that I deserve it.  There are far worse things I could be indulging in on a daily basis, so why should I feel badly about a can of pop?  Or three?  The sweetness can often keep me from digging into chocolate or something else equally bad for my waistline, so I feel stuck.

Any suggestions?

Friday, 4 November 2011

Vivian Vendredi - Toddler Time

Vivian is almost 11 months old!  And finally, finally we seem to be making some progress.  She's sleeping much better at night, eating better, walking, chattering like crazy - she's totally a toddler now.  It's so weird to see her just wandering around and mimicking what I say to her.  I've said it before and I'll say it again - this is way more fun than having a teeny tiny newborn.

Of course, with Vivian being a toddler now come the challenges.  Like her climbing onto her play table...

Yeah, the table was removed shortly after this, since she walked right off the edge more than a couple of times.

She still insists on feeding herself everything, which means that bathtime is always immediately after dinner time...

And she will climb into anything and everything she can manage to squeeze herself into.

She's quite the maniac.  It's hard to believe I'll be back to work before too long.  Luckily, she loves her daycare so I'm not worried about it at all!

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Cillian Murphy

It's time for a serious discussion about Cillian Murphy's face.  Is anyone a big Cillian Murphy fan?  Can someone tell me what's happening with his face?

The first time I became aware of Cillian Murphy was when I watched 28 Days Later.  See, at the start of the movie he's in a coma and is all beard-o.

I distinctly remember watching the movie and thinking, "Meh."

Soon though, he decides to shave.  Because this is important during a zombie apocalypse.

Then all of a sudden - whoa!  Lose the scruff and now we've got something to look at for the rest of the movie!

Somehow though, I've never been able to feel the same way about him in any other movie.  Somehow he ends up coming off looking a little too pretty or smug or something.  I don't even know what it is.  I mean, in this picture he almost looks like Kat Dennings.

And I love Kat Dennings.

I'm so confused.

I don't think I'm the only one though - there's a whole blog dedicated to unflattering screencaps of Cillian Murphy.  Very interesting.