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Monday, September 27, 2010

Eye of the Storm

It's 9:00 on a Friday evening and I can finally relax.
You see (and I wish you could) my house is clean, and it's clean pretty much everywhere!
I have not been fortunate to have this kind of calm and order around me in weeks. Not that I'm flopped on the couch watching Oprah or lost in a good book. I continually pick up clutter, clean rooms here and there, and sweep when walking around turns the bottoms of my socks into looking like the toaster tray- enough to keep us from appearing on TLC's "Hoarding: Buried Alive!" show.
I love a clean, organized house. I could easily have been somewhat OCD had I not got myself a husband at a tender young age, and then later had kids.

Lately I've been so frustrated with the condition of my home. I used to be able to keep the mess down to a "lived in" look where if someone dropped in unexpectedly I wouldn't run and hide and hope Sierra kept her voice down to a dull holler to avoid revealing that we were actually home. These days I just can't keep up and all I do is pick up stuff, put it away, wipe counters, sweep floors and so on only to look back and feel like there is a bigger mess behind me. A messy, dirty house does not a happy, relaxed Carla make.

Monday: I've totally turned into a clean nazi the last couple of days. I've hounded Sierra about putting her shoes, coat, clothes, toys in their proper place as soon as they are not being used. There must be something in the tone of my voice because she is actually obeying without too much objection. I personally have been extra anal about picking up every bit of clutter constantly.
And so far I've managed to keep on top of things.
Too bad it likely won't last.

Thursday, September 23, 2010


Sierra - my little sleeper that has never caused problems at night - has started waking up and calling us. Sometimes it's to go to the bathroom, but we have also found her merely standing in the middle of her room muttering incoherently. Sleep walking/talking perhaps? It's rather amusing and weirdly scary at the same time. We wonder if she is cold and that causes her to break from her slumber. When we ask her during the day she adamantly says "no!" The reason we think she might be cold is because she refuses to sleep with anything but her thin, little beloved baby blanket. Couple that with the fact that it's gotten down to near freezing at night for the last week and you likely have a chilled little girl. Her three year old brain seems to not be computing "cold" at night.
We're not sure how to convince her that another blanket would be a good idea. I love big thick heavy blankets. Of course this could just be a phase too.

Sawyer, on the other hand, has been sleeping through the night again most nights (knock on wood!) waking around 6ish and then sleeping until 7:30ish. He is on a "solid" regiment of real food and no longer feels the need to nurse in the middle of the night.

Overall I have been feeling a million times better in the sleep and energy department. Sierra's disruptions only take a few minutes and Trevor's been dealing with her more than me.

Here's to sleep -

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


I really enjoy baking.
The only good thing about the drab, dreary, damp, drippy weather we've been having is my inspiration to fill my house with the warm, comforting smells of baking.
One of my favourite things to bake is bread. There is nothing more mouthwatering to me than warm, soft bread slathered in butter (excuse me while I wipe the saliva off my chin). I have had some fantastic successes in the bread department but also some fabulous failures. The failures usually come from attempting healthy types of bread, then I sometimes end up with paper weights or door stops instead of light, fluffy bread.
The other day I went to my good friend Google and found this recipe for whole wheat bread. It is an easy recipe to follow and the bread turned out light and delicious. If I'm feeling brave I might try lowering the sweetness content some time, not for the sake of flavour but for the sake of health.
Today I was looking for a healthy blueberry muffin recipe because we have forty pounds of blueberries invading our freezer that I should start using. I found this one. Very little sugar, whole wheat flour and if you read through the comments you can see others modified it by adding ingredients such as oatmeal, which I did.

healthy blueberry muffins

They turned out pretty good, tasty for sure. A hair tough perhaps - but I did have a 3 year old helping me so they likely got a bit over mixed! I'll definitely make them again.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Shop Talk

I had a few hours to shop today without my kids. Being alone with only my thoughts was a rather foreign experience, but a really nice one. The shopping part at first but frustrating too.
Of course I spent the most money on my kids - that was the fun part. I love buying girly things for Sierra and Sawyer actually needs clothes. There was also a decent sale and I have gift cards. A great combination.
As for me, I haven't bought many clothes in the last two years and I felt I deserved some retail therapy. I regularly stare at what I have in my closet and am turn my nose up at what I see. I have had most of the items for far longer than is fair to any article of clothing - or me!

I have never been great at shopping alone, I tend to prefer a second opinion. Today I must have tried on 20 sweaters and came home with only two and am still second guessing how they look. I am not quite 5'2" and nearly everything is made for taller people so it is a challenge to find proper fitting clothes. The style of sweaters seems to have trended to being long and on me they could practically be short dresses! Most sweaters are also made tight and with clingy fabric and can be bunched up a bit to avoid looking too dress-like. Combine, long, fitted, and clingy with a short, curvy, and soft bellied mom and you get a nasty picture. You want to know what's especially hideous? Adding a belt to such sweaters - HELLO hips and butt!
Hence, only a little success.

Yes, I'd still like to tone myself up and loose some weight but on whole I'm not too upset with my figure. Heck, I have had two kids! I am more upset at the lack of options for petite women with curves. Fashion advice is always to dress for your shape/figure.
I suppose if I was wealthy this would be less of an issue.
But for me, it sure is tricky sometimes.

Friday, September 17, 2010


I've signed up for the NaBloWriMo challenge - writing a post each day for the month of October. I'm not sure what took over my deranged little mind - a moment of complete insanity perhaps? (because as you know, I already suffer from a good case of lunacy!) I have enough trouble posting my usual once or twice a week as it is! Not to mention October is full of very busy weekends....
I'm already writing down various post ideas.
Wish me luck!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


I've been on a year-long -and-counting hunt for various items of furniture for a few random, lonely spots in our house. In the most recent pack of fliers I was excited to noticed this padded bench (note, the actual baskets are different, just plain, no flowered fabric) on sale at Jysk for only $29.95.
It appeared to be perfect for our front entrance!
Our front closet is a tad small, not so much for jackets but more so for all the other paraphernalia such as mittens, hats, sunglasses, and anything else that doesn't have an easy-to-get-at home. Sierra especially seems to have a difficult time putting her shoes in the closet. I'm sure there is a magnet repelling them out of the closet. I figure that the baskets under said bench will be a great, convenient, dumping ground for her little things. Not to mention the bench will be a suitable place to sit and put shoes on.

Off to the Jysk we went. I saw what appeared to be the same bench in white on display but it was listed for $69.95. I asked if there were others in the darker colour as pictured in the flier. A sales associate said yes, grabbed the flier to double check the model and disappeared in the back to see if they had any. Sure enough they did. I asked her if they were in fact $30 (I round up for simplicity) and she said yes ( I think I even asked twice) and when she offered to bring one to the front for me to purchased I agreed. Heck, who can go wrong with $30?

Unless the $30 is wrong.

At check out the price came up at $69.95 and I mentioned that I was told they were $30. The girl there pointed out that the flier said from $29.95. Okay, fair enough but I still pushed saying that the other associate told me they were $30 . I wanted her to double check just in case it was incorrect in their system.
Nope, the system was right.


because I was told $30, and the associated confirmed that, they sold it to me for that awesome price!!! I doubt they even got cost out of that sale.
Yay for us!

So we purchased it, took it home, assembled it and it's exactly what I had hoped.
I hate excepts.
Except it is solid wood right to the floor and my perfect location has a heat register right there. My lovely little bench covers the register entirely. Not good 'round these parts with winter and all. Trevor thinks we can cut a hole in it and buy a black register cover and still make it look nice. I hope so.
For $30?
It. Must. Work.

Friday, September 10, 2010

The Experience

"If you're squeemish at all don't watch,"
the doctor told my husband as he slid his chair around me with a needle in his hand.
He deftly attached a clip on my right eyelid to keep my eye open, his nurse put a couple of more freezing drops in and he attacked me with the syringe. He simply leaned over, said not to move and that I'll feel a bit of pressure - which I did as he stuck a needle in my eye and injected me with Avastin. It was extremely smooth and quick and although I wouldn't say it hurt it wasn't exactly painless either.
Off he went to inject another of his hundred victims that day. No, that's not exaggerating, that's how many patients he sees on injection days.

I exited in a daze. The injection left me seeing through a cloudy film, with three black bubbles floating around the lower half. It also felt like a beach worth of sand was scraping my eye every time I blinked. To top it all off I looked like I'd been in a bar fight or something: they had swabbed around my right eye with iodine so there was a yellow area rimming it and the outer half of the eye itself was bright red.
I wore my sunglasses.
After the freezing wore off my eye burned and I lived on Tylenol for a 24 hours.
Today I feel relatively normal but my eye is still vampire-esque with the normally white part glowing bright red.
The best part?
I get to do this again in six weeks!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Van Club

We are now the proud, ultimately cool owners of a......

Doesn't "mini van" just scream "family mobile" about as loud as a possible? Especially the good ole' Astro van from the early nineties. Weren't those awesome? A good friend of mine drove one while we were in high school and although it was a great mode of transporting our little group (considering she was the first to get her license by a few months) it sure wasn't much of a cute-guy magnet. Most of us had boyfriends so I guess it didn't much matter anyway.

We currently lease a 2006 GM Equinox and the lease is up at the end of November. While we enjoy driving it very much it is pretty much useless for cargo space. We can't even fit a set of golf clubs in the back, not to mention the stroller, playpen and other paraphernalia that need to be carted around with having two kids. You should have seen how packed we were when we went on out holiday! And camping? Forget it, there is no way we could go with just our family and all the gear required with camping.

Price, fuel economy, cargo and passenger space, and overall practicality won out and I was talked into a mini-van. The newer ones are much nicer than the old boxy Astro-vans, in fact, their appearance isn't really that much different from many SUVs. Are they? Or am I just deluding myself with that thought?
Anyway, we bought a fully loaded, low kms, 2005 Uplander in slate blue/grey
I'm actually excited about it.

So I won't be donning a huge hat and enormous sunglasses and slouching low in my seat in order to render myself unrecognizable every time I have to drive somewhere!
I will be a proud mini-van-driving mom!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

About Eye

Nine years ago, while on vacation I noticed a spot interrupting the vision of my right eye. It was a greyish smudgy sort of spot and initially I thought it was just something on my contact. When I put my glasses on later the spot was still there. Hmmm.
Fast forwarding through many doctors appointments here's the condensed story - for some random reason the vessels at the back of my eye were leaking blood and causing the blind spot in my vision. I went through two treatments where I was injected with a photo-sensitizing drug called Visudine and then the vessels were cauterized with a laser. Result? The blood stopped leaking and dried up. What is left is a lovely little scar on the back of my eye that has eliminated a significant amount of my central vision. I now suck at baseball and various other activities have become slightly more challenging. But I have full peripheral vision and my left eye has basically taken over so I barely notice the handicap.
Since then I've been seeing a retinal specialist in Calgary, AB (with decreasing frequency) to monitor my eyes. I was just about to ask him if it was really necessary that I keep coming. It costs a tank of gas, a day of work for Trevor, now we have two kids to drag along or find care for and feels like it wastes a day - it's somewhat of a nuisance.

I thought too soon.

The eye appears to be "active" again, said the doctor on Thursday at my first checkup in over two years.
Great. Here we go again.
Science has evolved, as science does, and there is an improved method of treatment available now. It is an injection of a drug call Avastin. It was first commonly used to treat cancer and they now also use it to treat the eye because it "suppresses the growth of blood vessels that feed tumors. It acts against the chemical called VEGF, the protein that appears to be the primary stimulus also to the growth of vessels in the eye in many diseases and also causes leakage from retinal vessels in vascular disease. Avastin is a specially formulated engineered antibody to this protein which neutralizes it." (taken from the pamphlet the doc's office gave me)

The best part? It gets injected directly into my eye.
I'm excited.
It can't be any worse than having a laser beam shot into my eye. Yes, they do freeze the eye and no I never felt any pain or anything with the first type of treatment. It was just an unpleasant experience.

I will likely only need one, maybe two, treatments and it costs $150 per injection. I don't complain at such a low price in a country where health care is free but I'm not sure why it isn't covered. It doesn't really matter, it needs to be done.

At this point it doesn't really concern me. (Aside from the idea of getting a needle in my eye!) That eye is pooched anyway so what's a little more damage? It's the hassle of treatment and follow up appointments in a city two and half hours drive away.

It is what it is and I'm glad it's nothing really serious.
I would be lying if I said it wasn't affecting me but generally I'm fine.
It could always be worse and there is very little chance that the same will ever occur in my left eye.
For those of you that pray please pray that all the procedures go smoothly and without incident, for safe travels, and for our kids wherever they may be. The appointments are on Wednesday this week and my mom will help us out by either watching the kids or accompanying me with Trevor doing whatever she doesn't. Follow up will likely be six weeks after
I believe and trust in the power of One far greater than I and that He will be with us.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Half Way to One

I am sitting here in a caffeine induced alertness - a very mild amount of caffeine mind you, and a very mild amount of alertness but the only way I am able to function today. Sawyer has had a cold and for some reason last night he decided that between 1:30A.M. and 3:30A.M. was a fantastic time not to sleep. I don't know about you but when I'm sick all I want to do is sleep. I am already perpetually tired so when you add a bad night to the mix...
a need for caffeine.
And I'm not at all reliant on the stuff thanks to Sawyer.

My sweet little boy is already six months old. Despite my desperate efforts he will not slow down at this growing thing. In the last month and a half he has 'blossomed' into a 16 pound ball of cuteness. It is so bitter sweet because he gets more delightful every day as his personality increasingly reveals itself
I want to keep my baby a baby! (insert slight wail)
I absolutely love having a baby.
So I wish for another. Trevor, however, is one nod of my head away from taking permanent preventative measures but I'm not quite ready for that.

I quickly tune in to reality when:
I think about the nightly wake up calls (or early morning) and then couple with that the state of constantly needing toothpicks to keep my eyes open.
Not knowing why Sawyer is grumpy and crying because he can't speak.
My overworked boobs that Trevor wants back.
Diapers - oh the diapers!
Laundry in abundance even if I didn't do cloth diapers.
The toys and other baby apparatuses cluttering up my house
...oh, and then there's the whole being pregnant thing to get another baby.

Okay. I'm happy with my two kids. I have one boy and one girl and both are happy and healthy There's only one kid for each parent which is handy, so why mess with that?