Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Am I crazy?

My middle child is celebrating her 5th birthday this weekend. She opted for a cupcake party and we decided to wait until her birthday is done before we decorate for Christmas.

Who knows why I want to bother for a bunch of 5 year olds but I'd really like to finish painting the family room and kitchen. I know....way to leave it until the last minute. But my rationale is that once we put up the xmas decorations we won't want to paint and then we're stuck till january. I'd really like to not be sitting down to xmas dinner staring at patched drywall.

Am I completely crazy? K is working so I will only have his help in the evenings which is a poor time to paint. Just clearing my counters and top of my fridge practically decimated my kitchen yesterday. Just wait until there's paint cans and trays all over.

It makes me more than just a little envious that my mom just hired painters. She is now done. Sigh.
Sent on the TELUS Mobility network with BlackBerry

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Bookkeeping Hell!

Okay whose big idea was it for me to do our company books?  Mine?  Uh no, I don't think so.  It was my nip cheese, paring husband who decided that it would be a good idea for me to do it.  Don't know what nip cheese, paring means?  It means cheap. (Love you dearly honey) Guess who's been rereading a Christmas Carol?  *L*

Anyways, my bookkeeping hell started last week.  I had to get the payroll remittances done so hubby could pay it at the bank.  I've been storing my data on a USB key.  Did I know that USB keys are volatile?  No.  Did I know that I shouldn't run my accounting files from the USB key because it's not fast enough?  No. 

What I also did not know is that if I take my data from my computer (because I had no paper to print) and take it to my husband's office to print off on his computer that SA would have a freakin meltdown.  You see  I rarely use his computer for bookkeeping so his software version wasn't recently updated, it told me it couldn't read my data until I updated the software WHICH I did.  HOWEVER, that little attempt at data access?  Destroyed my data and I MEAN DESTROYED. 

So what's a gal to do?  Rely on her back up?  Oh oh.  My most current back up is dated August 31st.  Shazbutt!   And would you believe the procrastinator of all things, had the audacity to comment repeatedly on how he could not believe how stupid it was that I didn't have a proper back up.  Yup.  He did.  He's lucky his head is still on his shoulders.

I completely blame Simply Accounting.  I have been using my  USB key this way since March.  There is no way it should have corrupted my files.  What is so important about accounting software that it has to continually update anyways?  I mean really.  Other than the once a year tax update, I don't NEED updates.  The old version worked just fine without updates.  Oh and forget about getting someone to fix your data.  I found one software fix that costs $99.00 but there's no guarantee and one guy who will fix it for $275.00 plus taxes.  Obviously, my husband didn't volunteer to pony up the dough. 

To top it off, the back up I had?  Was only so I could clear my tax entries.  It didn't have the entire month of August saved.  F.U.D.G.E.   So here I am slaving away trying to work my way through three months worth of documents and trying to get each month to balance out the way I originally had it.  My kids had to eat their dinner at the kitchen counter and tomorrow is a pro-d day. I only have until Sunday to clear this mess up so hubs can pay taxes on Monday. 

If it doesn't show tomorrow... I'm shipping the kids off to Nana!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

One Day at a Time

So I have had the weekend to ponder the whole diabetes thing and all the changes that are ahead of me.  While part of me is sad that I am going to have to forego a lot of my favourites this holiday season, the other part of me is glad that I am going to be forced to make the changes I've been putting off to get healthier and lose weight. 

I realize that there are a lot of things still available to me if I manage my diabetes well.  After all, moderation is the key.  However, when it comes to sweets it's very difficult to say no.  I'm not talking any sweets, just ones I particularly have a weakness for like good chocolate, gooey chocolate caramels with nuts etc.  Sure I can restrain myself from eating a whole box of chocolates but if that box is in my cupboard, I will pick away at it until it's gone.  I am not one of those people that can eat two bites of a chocolate bar and then declare myself satisfied and put it away for another time.  Oh how I envy you. (and hate)

But I digress.  What really prompted me to write today was that the question arose in my mind of whether or not I tell anyone about this.  I have told my mother, of course and one close girlfriend but I find myself with a sense of embarrassment about the whole thing.  I have even held back from telling my MIL.

Why?  For the same reason, I am loathe to admit my high blood pressure, because I'm overweight.  I am even loathe to admit that fact on my blog and feel compelled to add that I'm only moderately overweight ... well I'm sure you understand.  Only the reality that almost every one of us could stand to lose a few pounds reassures me.

I have gotten so hung up about my weight that I start to perceive that the only thing people see about me is how heavy I am.  I'm having a hard time connecting with other moms at my girls' school, I put it down to my weight.  I put off going to the doctor about any complaints because I feel they are just going to put it down to my being overweight and if I'd just lose weight everything would be fine.  It's amazing how skewed our thinking can get and rational me can tell me I'm being silly but when I got snubbed out of the new mom group cause the other two moms clicked... I couldn't help feel it was because they were skinny and perfect, not to mention young while I was older and fat.

I don't really think I need to tell virtual strangers what's going on with me.  However, once we explain to the children what's going on with mommy (I start pricking my fingers and testing my blood, there is no hiding it from them) they are going to talk about it... with anyone and everyone.  That's just the way kids are.

Well, like everything in life I am going to just have to take it as it comes.. one day at a time.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

A Surprise Diagnosis

I say it's a surprise but I think in the back of my mind there was always this little niggling feeling telling me.  Still, considering my health (other than my blood pressure since baby #3) has always been relatively normal, I really didn't think it would pan out to be actually anything.  After all, any other complaints I have had over the years has always been dismissed as "nothing to worry about".

But after the high readings on one blood test had my doctor sending me for further blood tests only to find that after the first initial blood withdrawal, that my readings were so high it wasn't considered "safe" to proceed.  I went in preparing to stay for three hours only to come out after 20 minutes. 

So it's now official.. I have Diabetes.

It really shouldn't come as a surprise since my Oma had diabetes, my other grandmother has it and now my dad also has it.  In fact, my 41 year older brother went in to be tested for the exact same thing and oddly enough we both ended up doing our GTT's on the very same day (in different cities mind you).  How bizarre.  He, however, stayed for the whole test.  So he may still slip through. 

The good news is that all these headaches I have been suffering from could be a result of my diabetes since my doctor thinks it might have been a problem for a while now.  Of course, with the move and all that I have been less than diligent in getting to see the doctor and only went this last time because my husband actually made the appointment for me.  I hate getting to know new doctors, especially when it comes to "the test".  I haven't had "the test" done in let's see.... 3 no, no it's been over 4 years.  Yeah.  That's bad.

The other good news is that this will force me into adjusting my lifestyle, eating healthier and exercising more.  I am hoping that once I am on medication and on a plan, I will get less headaches and therefore feel more like exercising and playing with my kids.  I felt like I was always trying to eat my way out of a headache, apparently something else common with diabetics. 

What's really hit home for me in all this and maybe will help someone reading this.. is that I had Gestational Diabetes when I was pregnant with my first child.  While I was never officially diagnosed with it again, I believe, now, that I was at the very least borderline with my second two children because I ended up with big babies.   (10lb and 12lb).   What they tell you though, which you never really take to heart, is that once you have GD you have an increased risk of like 75% of developing diabetes within 8 to 10 years. 

Scary thing... my oldest is 7 years old.  So if you've ever had GD, I would highly recommend you assess your diet and lifestyle.  Make sure you are eating healthy and getting plenty of exercise.  It may not completely prevent you from developing Diabetes later on but it could significantly reduce your risk.  I don't consider myself to be a particularly bad eater but I do have a sweet tooth and I definitely don't get as much exercise as I should. 

We haven't really told anyone else yet, just my mother and a close friend.  My friend, bless her heart, offered to attend the classes with me.  She told me that they (as in her and her husband) will be doing it with me too. Talk about support. 

It just couldn't have come at a worse time of year what with the gorging season being around the corner.  We just bought appies to store in our freezer in preparation for late night Christmas snacking. I was just about to start my Christmas baking.  What will I bake now?  I can see I am going to be doing a lot of adjusting over the next several weeks so I hope you all can bear with me.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Gift Giving with Crayola & Giveaway

Ever since I was chosen to be a part of Crayola's Mom Advisory Panel, I have been amazed by the variety of cool products that Crayola has.  I used to think that Crayola was just about crayons and felts.  From toddlers to tweens, Crayola really is a wonderful way to explore their creativity.  Which is why I am excited to share with you once again several of Crayola's products with you. 

Pixies Naomi's Color Glow Lamp: "A Pagoda-inspired plastic shade that girls can assemble, decorate and transform into a one-of-a-kind lamp that lets their self-expression side shine through! Perfect for display in their room or any place where they like to spend time, Naomi’s Color Glow Light casts cool, colorful effects that will enhance any d├ęcor (8+, $14.99)."

This is an extremely cool gift for an older child.  The shade comes flat with a package of stickers that can then be used to decorate it with.  Once it's decorated, it's a simple task to fold the shade up and slip into slots in the base.  Because it takes batteries, it's easy to move around.  My daughter prefers to have hers by her bed where there is no plug and since the plastic shade makes the lamp more durable, her siblings and her have even used it in one of their "tent" forts. 

Color Wonder Sound Studio:"Bring Color Wonder creations to life - with sounds! This interactive coloring pad lets you choose from 60 sound effects and place them anywhere on any Color Wonder coloring page. Create endless sound combinations that play back when you color your picture! (3+, $32.99)"

I think I've mentioned before how much I love Color Wonder.  It's the absolute perfect felt option for those little ones that want to color but you just know they won't stop at the paper.  So imagine how excited my son was to try this out. 

 Not only does he get a cool new pad to color on but it makes sounds AND there are expansion packs available of their favourite Disney Characters like Toy Story 3 and Disney Princess.  It was like Buzz was talking right to you.  My only complaint was everyone wanted to try it at once and I had to referee a little.  




Model Magic Presto Dots To The Max: "Make fun creations with bumpy, 3D textures. Presto Dots to the Max is a deluxe collection with more bases, forms, Model Magic colors, tools and more fun-tastic ways to create! (5+, $19,99)"

This is so neat, it's completely different from playdough.  I can only describe the texture like marshmallow fluff.  It's incredibly soft and squishy.  It comes with all these tools that you use to cut shapes out of which you then "pop" all over the bases to make these cool fluffy creatures.  Once they are done, you simply leave it out overnight to dry.  You do need to make sure any unused product is stored back in their air tight containers or it will dry out.

Stick N Play Poster Fairies: "Reusable and interactive wall creations stick to most surfaces to decorate over and over (4+, $12.99)."

This is for the little fairy enthusiast of the house.  This is one of my favourites because it's so interactive and so pretty.  It's not a simple, color and be done project.  It can be played with over and over.  It comes with over a 100 stickers including ones that glow in the dark and ones that can be coloured in with washable crayons. 

I would stick with the age recommendation with this one because it's so tempting for little ones to stick the stickers everywhere and not just on the poster.  Since the poster peels and re-sticks so easily though, this is an easy project that can be brought out for supervised play and put away once they are done.

As always I recommend checking out Crayola.ca for more amazing Crayola products.  If you have older children (7+), I'd definitely suggest you check out Pop Art Pixies on their website.  There are a lot of really neat craft projects from mosaic picture frames, to herb gardens, to shadow boxes. 

The GIVEAWAY

Crayola.ca has kindly offered to send one of my lucky readers a Crayola Product to be chosen from the items reviewed above by the lucky winner.  Just in time to help with that Christmas shopping, am I right?

The DETAILS
Contest ends November 25th. Open to Canadian Residents Only.

To ENTER

MANDATORY  * visit Crayola.ca and come back here and leave a comment about one other product not mentioned above that you saw.

EXTRA ENTRIES (leave one comment per entry completed)
* follow me on google friend connect
* Friend me on Face Book  User name Zee Maid
* Follow me on Twitter @ Zeemaid
* Tweet this giveaway once per day.

Thanks to Crayola.ca for providing me with the opportunity to review these products and host this giveaway.

*Disclosure Note:  I was provided with one of each of the above products in order to conduct my review.  These are the honest opinions of myself and my family and I was not compensated in any other way.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Holiday Decorating

Well it's that time of year again when  Halloween is over and Christmas is just around the corner.  I love decorating for Christmas and while I try (somewhat) not to go overboard, I do have more than six large bins dedicated to my Christmas things.  I actually put away the every day pictures and ornaments to make room for them.

I am that much more excited to decorate this year since we are in a new home and out of that hovel of a basement. My husband may be less grinch-like this year and more amenable to hanging up my garlands. One can only hope.

Of course, that means I am a sucker for Christmas decorations and when I got an email regarding Hallmark's seasonal line, I thought I'd share some of my favourites with you.

Christmas Mugs are an especial favourite of mine.  I have been known to keep my Christmas mugs out way past the holiday season.





This, I thought was particularly cute. What great way to countdown to christmas in this digital age.


It's Adorable.  Need I say more?





I also really love decorations that play music. Not the non-stop kind of music but ones that you can turn off if you need a break from little fingers pushing buttons. ;) I also love snowmen so this Snowman Band is just perfect!


These are just a few of the things available through Hallmark but they are some of my favourites!


Hey, how about sharing a photo of your favourite holiday ornament with me?    Which one has particular meaning for you and why?  Send me your photo and I will not only post it but also a link to your blog.  Photos to be in by December 2nd. 

***disclosure note - this was not a sponsored post.  I was sent a holiday email via Hallmark so I have permission in sharing their images.  I posted because I truly love holiday decorations.  I was not compensated in anyway for doing so.****

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Men are Crazy

I swear if I live to be 100, I will never understand men and they say we are the complicated ones. 

I've been up and down emotionally since our whole tiff about the working together thing.  I've been through the gamut of emotions from not feeling appreciated or valued as an intelligent person and contributor to the business, after all I owned a video store first and longer than he has, to being angry at the way he dealt with it. 

I've tried to get over it.  I've tried to distance myself emotionally from everything that has to do with the business while trying to continue on as normal with him in our life together.  It's a hard go, especially when I am constantly reminded of things that he's planned or doing or money he's spent concerning the business.  How can I tell him not to talk to me about work when it's a normal part of life for a husband or wife to tell each other about their day. 

When he elicited my help to help do up the display for the candles he'd ordered, I politely declined.  Did he say anything.  No. He knows I'm still upset. 

This has been going on for two plus weeks until yesterday.  He hit a financial crisis with his business.  The bank lady kindly called us first to inform us that unless we got money into the account ASAP his rent cheque was going to bounce.  I step aside and take over running the kids to school etc so he can sort it out only to find out that one of his solution was to go to the bank and witdraw money from our personal line of credit.  A line of credit that money from the sale of my business helped pay down.  Did he ask me or talk to me about it?  No. 

It's not like I had a choice in the matter.  We have to do what we have to do in order to keep going but still I would have appreciated having the matter at least discussed with me.

Finally, I could hold it in no longer and we ended up having it out. I'm talking discussion here, not an all out fight.  I do feel better, I've had a chance to clear the air and feel that our relationship is somewhat back to normal.  He does want my help but was frustrated and what he said to me before was out of his frustration.

But why did it take for me to have to bring it up?  He has lived with us being in discord for over two weeks.  Sure we've been trying to be normal but the intimacy we usually share wasn't there.  I asked him.  He said it was awful and that he would have said something eventually.  Eventually?  I was floored.  He would rather let us be miserable and let his wife feel unhappy and full of self-doubt than discuss it or possibly get into another fight about it?  Are you kidding me?   I think that hurts more than anything else.  I asked him if he was just planning on waiting it out until I got over it?  He said no, of course not, he would have said something.  But I have my doubts. 

Did he say anything when I dropped a box he asked me to at his store, and wouldn't set foot inside or even kiss him goodbye because I was so mad?  Did he say anything about the fact that I haven't been in his store since the tiff?  Did he say anything when I declined to help him with his display, a project we had both intended to work on together?  Did he say anything when I emailed him the label file so I wouldn't have to do the labels at home anymore?  No.

The amazing thing is that now we've had this conversation, instigated by me, he's completely back to normal.  I realize now that he was holding back before because he knew he'd likely be rejected.  And I'm not just talking about sex.  I'm not one of those women that will withold sex to get their way.  I'm talking about quick kisses, hugs etc that normal couples do throughout the day.  Let's face it, it's hard to be loving when you don't feel valued.  

Men seem to be able to brush it off and get over it while we women tend to stew on things for a few days.  Like I said I do feel better but when I stop and rethink it all through, I have to say it completely confuses me and still bugs me. 

Is there something crazy your husband does that you just don't get?

Monday, November 8, 2010

Journey to Wellness

While I try to make sure my kids eat healthy and get plenty of exercise, I don't always set a good example.  It's the old "Do What I Say and Not as I Do" that comes into play more often than not.  They are young now but soon they will be old enough to judge me for the hypocrite I am and call me on it. Because why should they eat their fruit and veggies when mom is sneaking chocolate chip cookies? There I said it, I'd rather eat a cookie, any cookie (except maybe ginger) than a piece of fruit. 

Which is why I admire Lynn from Walking with Scissors for starting on her Quaker Journey to Wellness.  She saw a need to make healthier lifestyle changes for both her and her family and is now committed to meeting new challenges each month.  Quaker believes the journey to health and wellness is not an all or nothing effort.  It's more about taking care of yourself, making positive changes to all aspects of our lifestyle such as stress management, healthy eating, increasing our physical activity etc. Which is why Quaker has invited Lynn to document her family's journey to improve their lifestyle.

I think my own personal challenge this month would be to eat less processed/pre-packaged food.  There is no reason why I can't take the half hour it requires to bake a batch of cookies, muffins or even my own granola bars rather than purchasing them. Not only will I be controlling what goes into my family's mouths but I will be saving money.  It also helps that I can often sneak in an extra serving of veggies or fruit into those tasty snacks.  Sure it will require a little extra planning but the savings and health benefits will be worth it.

Sometimes to make changes all we need is a little inspiration and for me often other bloggers provide that inspiration.  So I'd suggest you check out Lynn and her family's journey at Journey to Wellness.  There are weekly and monthly prizes you could win simply by voting on a weekly poll, commenting on a post or suggesting a tip for Lynn.  Plus each month we get to vote on what challenges we'd like Lynn to take for that month. 

What steps are you and your family taking towards a more healthier lifestyle?



Disclosure ***I am participating in the Quaker Journey to Wellness program by Mom Central on behalf of Pepsi Co. I received a gift card as a thank you for my participation. The opinions on this blog are my own.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Blog Called on Account of the Flu

Tis the season, the flu season. E was home sick on tuesday. While she was vomiting, it seemed to end quick for her, she was just tired all day. Yesterday was O's turn and while he wasn't physically sick until dinner you know something is up when this active little boy spends the day on the couch.

Unfortunately it's my turn and while I'm not going to whine about being up all night sick, it just totally pissed me off that hubby went to work this am with every sign of coming down with the flu too. Not only do I have to go it alone I probably will have to take care of him.

Damn murphys law.
Sent on the TELUS Mobility network with BlackBerry

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Shoppers Drugmart - V.I.B. Program

If you or anyone you know are expecting a baby, you will definitely want to check out Shoppers Drug Mart V.I.B. (Very Important Baby) Program.  Along with a New Baby Gift Pack:
  • Each v.i.b. member stays connected with life stage relevant content, exclusive Optimum offers and hot deals on baby products through their enewsletters;
  •  V.i.b members get to take advantage of the Shoppers Drug Mart focus on health, nutrition and wellness of pre-natal and new moms.
This really is a great program. With the gift pack it gives us moms a chance to maybe check out a product we haven't used before or to even just have extras on hand in the diaper bag while the enewsletter helps keeps us up-to-date with great information on health and nutrition and new products. I don't know about you but I always appreciate getting an extra coupon or knowing when a sale is coming up.

I have been a Shoppers Optimum member for a while now and it's amazing how quickly your points add up just for buying things you would normally be buying anyways.  I've always found Shopper's pricing to be very competitive and considering that many of Shoppers Drug Marts are open til midnight or even 24 hours, it's great for those late night diaper runs.  Plus there's always a pharmacist there for advice for those times when the baby is sick and you just don't know what to do.

Sign up to be a v.i.b member between November 3rd and December 1st and you could win 1 of 50, $50 Shoppers Drug Mart gift cards*! PLUS as a new member you’ll receive 2500 points the next time you purchase any Pampers diaper products!  Click Baby Contest to enter.

Read the fineprint “*NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Visit www.shoppersdrugmart.ca/babycontest for full contest details and information on how to enter without a purchase. Approximate retail value of prize is $50. Chances of winning depend on the number of eligible entries received. Correct answer to skill-testing question required to be declared a winner. Must be a Canadian resident and age of majority or older in province or territory of residence. Valid Shoppers Optimum Card® required to participate. Contest ends December 1st, 2010.”

Disclosure:  I am participating in the Shoppers Drug Mart v.i.b program by Mom Central on behalf of Shoppers Drug Mart. I received a gift card and a new baby gift pack as a thank you for my participation. The opinions on this blog are my own.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Been There Done That

Well now that I've been fired by my husband, (a rather long story that has to wait for another day) it's either find myself a job outside the home or figure out some way to make extra money while staying at home.  It still does not make sense for me to go back to work just so I can pay out half my income in daycare costs and O has another 2 years before he's in school fulltime.

After my long stint in the office world, I'd really value some way of being creative for employment.  Is it so selfish of me to want to do something I'd actually enjoy?  Plus, I'm tired of working evenings.  I've done it for 6 years and while it was the perfect solution when the kids were younger, it really ate into our family life once E started full days at school.

It really is too bad I can't get paid for reading.  Well, I could if I was an editor but I don't have the educational background for it.

So I'd like to make things and my theory is that if I made a variety of simple items, I won't get bored with what I'm making nor put so much time into it that I'd never garner a profit.  Sounds easy, right? Not so much.

My first idea, last year I made some really nice Christmas cards only one simple search on Etsy revealed 87 pages of a variety of Christmas Card offerings.  It seems like everything I can think of someone else has not only made it but made it better than I ever could. 

It's enough to discourage a gal.