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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Sorting Life Out

I just had five (two were for travelling) fantastical, wonderful, carefree days. Of course I missed and was mildly concerned for Sierra but beyond that I was completely relaxed and at ease and "in the moment". Now I'm home and reality has slammed me into a wall. It almost seems like Disneyland was simply a great dream.
I'm not complaining. I certainly feel fortunate and thankful for the amazing trip. I think the contrast is just making reality a little harder to come to terms with right now.
Here's me, spilling out my worries:
Our house has not sold. We're facing the options of replacing windows, aggressively (agent term, it helps it sound like a good thing!) lowering the price, offering a bonus to the agent who sells it, waiting it out, or renting the place instead of selling. I just got a call from our agent who was all doomsday about the housing market due to a local call center shutting down and 400 jobs being lost - hence his encouraging a drastic price cut. I think our agent is needlessly panicking. For one thing, this company that is closing employed people aren't likely home owners or prospective buyers anyway. But the market is definitely not what it was last year. We need to sell our house sooner than later which means seriously looking things over and coming up with a plan.
My mat leave ends in two weeks and I return to work. Free (sort of) government money has been great this past year. Trevor will stay home so our income is dropping significantly. If our house was sold and we were living at my parents than no problem. Once Trevor has a teaching job also no problem. Problem: that is not the case and we cannot afford our current expenses on my earnings alone. There are a few costs we can cut out but not enough to shrink the total into my income bracket. We have to look for another source of money.
As I just mentioned I'm going back to work in 11 days and it makes me want to cry. It took until after Christmas to get into the routine of being a stay-at-home mom. I love to cook and keep house and be 'wifely'. Summer is approaching and I want to be able to go for walks and play outside with Sierra, every day. There are so many other things I want to do now that Sierra is more independent. Get a grip, it's likely only for 3 1/2 months.
I've complete the Body for Life program without achieving the desired results. That's all I'm saying about that.
Trevor was supposed to get a job this year, I was supposed only return to work for a day or two a week, our house was supposed to sell quickly, and this crazy Body for Life program was supposed to work better!
Do we have grand plans for ourselves or what?
God's plans are apparently not the same as our plans. I've been taught that God's plans are better than ours. It's even proven to be the case so far in my life so I believe it now too. It's just so hard being in the middle of it! I need to feel some peace about the circumstances in my life right now. I'm all knotted up and stressed inside and it's not good. I want to feel how I felt in Disneyland. I know that all I have to do is give it up to God. I know He's taking care of me and everything will work out.
So how does "knowing" becoming "feeling?"

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Magical World of Disney

Vile Villains + Pretty Princesses + Proud Princes + Colourful Cartoon Characters + Flitting Fairies + Pugnacious Pirates + Mischievous Mermaids + Languid Lions
= Magical Memories.
You know, I feared that as an adult Disneyland would appear faded and somewhat hokey to me; a place for kids and fanciful teenagers. Those thoughts couldn't have been more disproved. The park is fabulous. It is extremely vibrant and alive with fantasy and fun. It put my little-girl imagination into reality. I loved it!
California Adventure was also neat to see. It is built more like a typical amusement park with a section of it designed to look more old-fashioned. At a distance the roller coaster appears to be one of those rickety, bumpy, back-adjusting wooden ones. The ferris wheel also comes across as rather tame. They are anything but. Those are two of the thrill-seeker type rides, which Disneyland does not have.

The entrance to "Disneyland Resort." There's a short walk down a tree-lined road to a huge center courtyard. Disneyland Resort includes: Disneyland was to the right, California Adventure to the left and Downtown Disney (this includes the hotels and a bunch of high end stores) straight ahead.

The first thing you see upon passing through the gates of Disneyland. It was hard to get a good picture, too many people.

Main Street Disneyland

Us in Toontown

Sleeping Beauty's castle

Main street California Adventure

The amusement park section.

A free-fall ride based on 'The Twilight Zone'

Us in front of the river raft ride. The wait for this one on Saturday was 1hour and 45minutes. We rode it on Sunday after waiting 35 minutes..

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Ants Came Marching One by One....

We have ants. I hate ants. We don't know where they are coming in but they are randomly wandering around our house. I squish twenty a day with my finger. Then the little heros pick up their dead and carry them who knows where! Did I mention that I hate ants?

P.S. You know, there is a comment section at the end of each post. Feel free to reveal yourselves to me and use it. You don't need an account, you don't eve have to leave your name if you don't want to. It would be nice to know who some of my readers are. Thanks! Talk to you next week....I'm off to LA!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

A Big Move

After nearly ten years (with a bump in the middle) on May 12 I am switching my employment from LensCrafters to a place called Optiks International.

There, I said it out loud. I've known about this possibility since the begining of March. With all the discussions and the decision making process and telling the right people first, it took this long to make it official. I am so glad it's out. The enormity of this on my mind has nearly driven me to the brink of insanity.
Why the move? In short, Optiks persued me hard and gave me no reason to say "no". It's a good opportunity to learn a different side to the optical industry and not have to work during crazy mall hours of operation. This means I won't have to work on Sundays or holidays. There also won't be intense sales pressures which I think will be a nice change even though I thrive on competition and achievement.
Despite the change, I still wouldn't say that I am anticipating my return to work. I'd rather continue to be the stay-at-home mom I had planned to be when I went on maternity leave last year. God has other ideas apparently. I don't dread the idea of working anymore. After all, full time should only be for the summer. I'm not sure if my disappearing dread is because I'm going to a different place or if my head and heart have finally connected.

I guess in a way I am excited. After a year away from the work world starting fresh in a new place will be good.

I have missed, and will continue to miss, the good times I had with my LensCrafters co-workers while we slaved away to earn our livings! I know I'll keep up with them though and who knows, I might be back someday.

Monday, April 21, 2008


Just an update:
Awhile back, I wrote about Bispenol-A, a compound found in most plastic products that is being questioned as to it's potential harm to humans, especially babies. I felt a little dumb and paranoid as I went out and bought glass bottles but I figured that it couldn't hurt.

Last week, the news reported that there is still concern regarding BPA and many major stores are starting to pull any products containing it. Health Canada is considering officially labelling it 'toxic'.
Is this Health Canada simply responding to the media sensationalizing something or is there more to it?

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Little Trooper!

Sierra, once again, has been plagued. The unfortunate girl has suffered a horribly runny nose, a nasty seal cough, a fever, and at least one more tooth forcing it's way out! I'm incredibly glad I don't remember being a baby. I won't forget this part about being a mom though.

Anyway, I've had a week. No elaboration necessary. Here are some more fun pictures of my good little sport:

"C'mon Granny, I'm ready, serve it up."

Mmm, that was tasty.

"Look, I'm walking all by myself!"

I just like these two pictures.

Did I mention that I've joined the camera club and boughten a new camera? That's why all the picture postings. Isn't this a totally cool shot of my cat?

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Playing Ball

I love my new ball!
I really love my new ball!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Diet Discussion

You might be all wondering what's going on with Carla's crazy 'Body for Life' plan is. Maybe you don't care but I'm doing to talk about it anyway. Not much.
I'm in the middle of week 11 and truthfully, had hoped for far better results by now. There hasn't been much change since week 6. I had a breakdown over the lack of progress one day last week and refused to work out and ate cookies even though it wasn't cheat day.
Then I dusted the crumbs off and got back on the horse the next day.
These are my thoughts:
1. Loosing weight a is slow process. After all, it wasn't put on fast.
2. I'm not on an unrealistic crash diet, I'm developing a healthy lifestyle that I can continue.
3. I officially quite breast feeding in the middle of this program so my metabolism is adjusting.
4. My palate has refreshed itself. By having only one day to indulge it has forced me to consider what I truly enjoy that isn't particularly healthy. Now, I may have a treat in the middle of the week but only a small portion and only if I know I really like it.
5. Vegetables are good.
6. I don't have Mariah Carey's chef, or personal trainer, or housekeeper, or wealth to afford all those things (she apparently is the same size now as she was in grade 10! I must stop watching Oprah).
I'm a mom and wife who doesn't have time to work out for hours on end, or money for exotic healthy fruit, vegetables, and super-lean meat.
I feel really good. Even without dramatic visual results this has helped me feel better; healthier. Who knows? Maybe in this last week and a half a bunch of pounds will magically melt off!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Bread to Cry For

This is Trevor's favourite homemade break. His mom always made and still makes it. It simply called onion bread. When I first heard what kind of bread this was I wrinkled my nose up at it. Seriously though, it is a yummy, savoury bread.

Here it is:

The Ingredients:
2pkg. onion soup mix
3 1/2 cups of water
1/4 cup of sugar
1 Tbsp salt
1/2 cup of milk
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp margarine
8 cups of flour
1Tbsp + 1/4 tsp instant yeast
1/2 cup lukewarm water

Combine water and onion soup, bring to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes

Add sugar, salt, milk, Parmesan and margarine. Allow this mixture to cool a bit.

Beat in 4 cups of flour, the yeast, and the second amount of water. Then gradually add the remaining 4 cups of flour and knead until well mixed. You might need to add a bit more if the dough is too sticky.

Cover and let the dough rise in a warm place for approximately an hour.

Punch the dough down and separate into 4-6 sections, depending on how big you want your loaves, and put into loaf pans. I did half the recipe and made 2 loaves.

Cover and let rise again for about 1/2 an hour.

Bake at 425oF for 25 minutes, it will be quite dark on top.

Voila! Scrumptious onion bread that my husband size rivals his mother's!

Dear God...

My prayer process last night went like this:

Dear God,

Please make tomorrow a better day. Make Sierra eat and sleep better and not be a small bear. Make Trevor not snap at me when what I say doesn't come out right. Make me feel happier...Wait a minute, I know you can change others but the problem is really me so I should focus on myself instead.

Okay. Help me have a better outlook on tomorrow. Help me to have patience with Sierra and enjoy her. Please help me not to say dumb things that prompt unpleasant responses. Help me....

Stop. That's right either, too many "help me"s. I need to look directly to the source of my life and soul, then change can happen.

God, I want to simply focus on you tomorrow. I know that my entire view on life will then change. Any adversity I face will seem different, bearable. With my focus on you I will become an ever-so-tiny bit more like you which will enable me to handle things in a way honouring to you.

Really , my life on Earth is not about me at all.

It's all about you.


Monday, April 14, 2008


Why do the words that come out of my mouth not sound like I mean them to? I feel like I've been saying stupid things lately. It's like perma-PMS. What's wrong with me? I'm sorry. Maybe I'll just cease speaking for awhile.

Poor Baby - again!

Sierra has grown into a generally happy baby. She smiles all the time, yells as loud as her little lungs will allow, babbles and squeals, enjoys her walks (both in the stroller and with me leading her along) and playing with her toys. Yesterday afternoon she developed a fussy, whiny demeanor. Nothing I did seemed to placate her, she even needed a time out in her crib at one point. At supper time her bottle was eagerly drained but solid food was staunchly refused.
Post nap number two. Sitting and visiting with some friends in our living room. Sierra sitting on my lap. Trevor says" Is that a sliver in her foot?"
Sure enough, a rather long sliver was poking out of the bottom of her tender baby foot! Trevor delicately pulled it out with his fingers. She must have picked it up while 'walking' around barefoot earlier that day.
Food was once again gobbled down and my happy baby returned.

Friday, April 11, 2008

House Selling Update

This past week we have had two house showings that were second showings. Meaning that the lookers had been here once before and must be seriously considering it. Two, in one week, you would think one of them would give us an offer! Not yet. House selling is a huge waiting game that requires truckloads of patience - which I'm not feeling I have right now.
Lookers numbered one are apparently between our house and another. Lookers numbered 2 have said that our house is their favourite. But....there is always a but.....the windows in our house are not in prime condition, the seals between the panes are broken so they look streaked and dirty even when they're clean because condensation gets in between. Obviously we know about that issue which we didn't think would be as big of an issue as it is as everyone is mentioning it. So here's the thing: we priced our house $24,000 less than an identical house across the street recently sold for. We recognized that it has brand new windows and super duper heating system which ours does not. On the other hand, we have a nicer kitchen and view and are including the appliances. Window not cheap, I know, but they are also not a hassle to replace. Apparently (according to some friends) it's a fairly painless process than can easily be done in one day with minimal mess.
What are these people waiting for!!!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

I'm Going To Disneyland!!!

Yup, you read that right...Disneyland. Weeeee! (I'm such a little kid at heart - am I really a mom?)

Last summer my generous parents gave Trevor a voucher for a weekend away with me, along with free babysitting, as a university graduation gift. (Yes, there is a maximum dollar attached to this gift) It hasn't been an option to redeem it until now due to Sierra needing my breast and busy schedules.
We put the little certificate in a drawer, mentioned it here and there but didn't do anything with it. About a month ago it hit us, once again, that time was quickly passing. I would be returning to work in mid-May (ack!), summer would be taken up with house building, and our babysitters would be holidaying so the pressure was suddenly on. If we didn't redeem it soon it would be next winter before we knew it and who knows what life would be like then. Our tenth anniversary was also approaching and we really wanted to use this as an opportunity to celebrate that event.
The original idea of use for the voucher was a quiet weekend in Waterton National Park which is a mere hour and a half drive away. I love Waterton, it is a quaint little tourist town among the magnificent Rocky Mountains but...I don't want to come across as picky...but it seemed rather ordinary to us and kinda close to home. Besides, the chances of us running into someone we know there are quite high and that's not particularly conducive to a romantic weekend getaway.

Trevor's initial, alternate destination of choice was Las Vegas. We scrolled through pages and pages of options on the 'net and came to the conclusion that it would be too expensive because we have to go over a weekend for our babsitters' convenience. Weekends in 'Vegas are much pricier than going during the week. Maybe it would be Waterton after all, they did have some appealing packages available.

I came up with the fabulous of idea of using our airmiles to fly somewhere 'exotic'. The money from my parents and kicking in some of our own would cover food and fun. My enthusiasm returned and I went through a list of options: Phoenix AR, Palm Springs CA, San Fransisco CA, Los Angeles CA - wait a minute, if we went to LA.....Disneyland!

That was it, that's where I desperately wanted to go. I have wanted to go there with Trevor for years. I can't explain why Disneyland, just an idea I got in my warped little brain once upon a time that I haven't been able to let go of. A flurry of phoning and 'net scanning took place and we're going for a very reasonable cost for three full days plus travel time.
I am very excited.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Wobbling..I Mean Walking

Once Sierra was able to stand quite sturdily on her pudgy little legs Trevor thought it would be fun to teach her to walk. At first it was like trying to walk the old fashioned "walking doll" I had as a kid. Everything was stiff and we had to sort of kick out each of Sierra's legs in a walking manner. That graduated into leading her by the arms and leaning her to one side, then the other, until she slid her foot forward. This brilliant child that we have soon figured out this walking thing quite handily and has determined it to be great fun. She wants to walk all the time now and explores every corner and shelf and everything in them that are two feet or lower in our house.

Problem: she cannot do this on her own, a finger from each of our hands is required to accomplish this new skill. Result: we must walk with her, a great way to achieve sore backs and knees depending on the chosen method of following her.

Sierra has even mastered the concept of stairs; to go up she lifts her leg until her foot touches the stair and we lift her and she pushes with that little leg. For going down there's no fear, simply step off with one foot and the rest of her (and us) will follow.

I thought I was tired before.

As for crawling, I'm not so sure Sierra will accomplish that before walking on her own. She knows she can walk so why bother learning to crawl? "Crawling is for babies!" She leans over farther than anyone I know, and manages to scoot herself forward slightly while on her bum. To go beyond that generally results in her falling on her tummy and face and I get a lot of frustrated grunts and eventually wails.

At least I won't have to worry about worn our knees on her clothes at this rate!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Breaking Confidentiality

I have good reason to suspect that someone I respected and trusted has blabbed about something that I specifically requested them not to. This person doesn't even really know anything about what I said. I'm on a quest to find out what was all revealed and who all knows without encouraging gossip - which is likely what created this situation in the first place. Why do people do things like this? It disappoints me very much.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008


I hate money.
I hate that we need it to survive. I hate that we have to work for it to survive. I hate that we need it for certain fun things. I especially hate what it does to my thought processes. It consumes my mind at least twice a month. I hate that I worry about being wise with it. I hate that I worry we won't have enough month to month. I hate thinking about it with every single thing I buy and wondering if it's a good price or practical or necessary or worth it yada yada yada.
That's the way the life is though. And really, I am rather rich compared to a huge portion of the world's population. I've never come close to starving, or ever gone without, or anything like that which gives me the right to be disgruntled. I'll stop complaining now.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

...and 2 = 6!

Last week Sierra had a very unpleasant stomach virus complete with very unpleasant diarrhea. I expressed some concern to various 'mom' friends of mine and, along with my own mother, the general consensus was that Sierra was the victim of a lovely bout of teething. I called the Health Link line to see if there was anything I should watch for or worry about because of the mass amounts of liquid oozing from her rear end. I made sure to mention the teething probability. After the plethora of questions about absolutely everything the nurse deducted that Sierra had likely contracted a virus, "teething doesn't cause diarrhea", and viruses need to be waited out. Okay, she was the professional sitting in front of a computer with the in-depth medical information I did not have access to.
This past weekend Sierra's bum issues eased up, then stopped, and her usual enthusiastic appetite returned. Yesterday I looked in her mouth, then felt to make sure, and.....drum roll please.... surprise, surprise two more teeth are working their way through!
I'd venture a guess that the nurse I spoke with was not a mom.