Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Ocean

I day-dream of the ocean.  The sound of the waves on the sand makes a rhythmic pattern that, when matched with my own breathing, melts the stresses of the world away.  The smell of the salty air combined with the sun on my face makes me smile.  Even the seagulls are amusing as the seem to float in the sky, only to come down to have it out with each other over whatever scraps of food they can find.  It is my happy place.

It is where I'm taking my babies this summer for vacation.

Come on August!!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Friday Find - Penguin love...

Penguin love
1. penguin love
When a penguin finds it's mate, they stay together forever. Thus, it's the Penguin Love.


Thursday, April 28, 2011

Sugar is poison

Sugar is poison.  Head on over to Sophie's Blog and find out why.  It'll change the way you think about the food that goes in your mouth.  Remember: live the best life possible!


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Urge to purge

Since my last post, I've been working my little tushie off.  I haven't been pressuring myself to do it, I've just had this urge to purge.  Spring cleaning?  Sort of...but more than that too.

I've been picturing the day that we, as a family, can pack up and go home - as in where we want to live.  And it's not here.  Where we currently live serves it's purpose and it's decent in terms of location and weather, but the people are some of the rudest I have ever met and the atmosphere is not what I want my babies growing up in.  They deserve better.  They deserve neighbours who know one another and friends who visit, water to swim in and a small town atmosphere.  They need to know that they are safe and have a real place to call home, one that their parents are happy in.

Along with this wonderful vision has come this feeling - this urge to purge.  Essentially, I am down-sizing.  Making room in our home for just the essentials and those memories we most cherish.  I'm making life simple and wonderful.  I'm preparing to leave one day.  I am donating, giving away, selling or throwing out anything that I would not want to pack and bring with us to our wonderful home.  I don't know when we'll be able to go - it could be many more years at best - but it is very freeing taking these steps to help us get there.


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

There isn't a word for how behind I am.

What a beginning to the year!  2011 has officially tried to kick my ass from all directions.  I am behind on sleep, house work, goals, name it, I haven't done/completed it.

I have, however, been taking photos for my 365 challenge as part of my 101/1001.  It's just that I haven't been uploading them every day like I used to with the date stamp on them.  I've also been using my professional camera and emptied the photos off my iPhone last month.  Basically, I have my photos, they're just in many different locations and not necessarily labelled.  ::Sigh::  So, my 365 blog will look a little weird as I try to piece it all back together.  C'est la vie!  The end of June marks the end of this year-long photo challenge!  I cannot believe it!!  A whole year has gone by in the blink of an eye.  Craziness.

With Monkey getting out of the hospital this week and things starting to (hopefully) calm down, I hope to begin what will be a very relaxing summer.  My goal is to fill my home with love, laughter and memories complete with lots of fun in the sun.  <3


Friday, April 8, 2011

{SOOC} - Beauty

Head on over to Life on Delgany Street and link up to this week's challenge - Beauty.  I've just recently taken my 'professional' camera back out (I was afraid to drop it in the winter!), so I've only a few shots.  However, I captured my baby penguin right after nap time yesterday...she's my beauty.

Come have some creative fun!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

My Monkey is sick.

I feel like I'm in an episode of House.  

Here's what we know:
Monkey fell at school almost 2 weeks ago (2 weeks this Friday). We are unsure if she just fell on ice or if she was pushed on the slide or fell on the play structure on the playground at recess - we have received little pieces of information from her but are not able to tell if she's remembering a past incident or not.  The office was not notified of any injury on that day and so far, no one seems to have witnessed it directly.  She got home on Friday complaining her bum hurt and that she had fallen. 

That Sunday her father took her to the hospital as she could barely walk, was crying all the time and was not acting normal.  It was discovered that she had a fever that had been masked by the Tylenol she had been taking every 4-5 hours for the pain she was having.  She was examined, Xrays were taken (which showed no fractures) and then she was sent home to rest and take it easy.  She was prescribed Tylenol for the fever and pain as well as Omoxicillin (sp?) for a slight ear infection.

I had her home with me all day Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.  She limped the entire time.  Her fever returned as soon as the Tylenol wore off and she was just not herself - but there was no bruising from her fall.  She also wasn't eating very much at all.  By Wednesday she was able to maneuver around mostly on her own and had started to show interest in playing with toys again.  So we figured she was improving...

We sent her to school Thursday.  I received a call at lunch saying that Monkey was not acting herself.  She was not participating in activities or engaging with her friends, she would not eat her lunch, and she had put her head on her desk and fallen asleep.  When she got back to my house I put her down for a nap.  She woke up screaming and complaining of pain in her neck.  Her fever was high and she had difficulty walking again.  I took her to the hospital.  They did a urine test and 3 blood tests.  After getting the results that her white blood count was within normal range, they switched her to Advil doses to combat the inflammation reading that came back - apparently common in young children if they had an infection present when injured.  We went home.

Friday and Saturday she was mostly fine as long as she had a full dose of Advil in her.  She would smile and laugh with her little sister, but not up to her usual self.  She laid down a lot and complained of pain "in her bum" when the medication was wearing off.  Her fever kept returning.  Sunday with her father was more of the same - she would "play" with her cousins, but was not fully in the activities.  She was still limping and complaining of pain and asked to go lay down at one point.  But she wanted to go to school on Monday and again, we thought that she was slowly improving.

Monday was better at school.  She was attempting to play at recess - although she fell again - but was reportedly alright.  Her father received a call on his cell from the hospital in the early afternoon.  They had received the results of the other blood tests and were looking to have Monkey come back in for a re-test to see how she compared.  The person on the phone mentioned the possibility of a bone scan, but could not release much information as she wasn't the doctor.  Her father picked her up from school and headed over to the hospital.  At this point we thought it was only blood work and waiting.  At 10pm he was told that the hospital wanted to keep her overnight and that an ultrasound was being scheduled for the morning.  Her inflammation score was 68 - a normal range is in the 20's.  And her white blood count was now raised. 

The ultrasound yesterday showed fluid in her abdomen area and a surgeon was called in to consult.  They started looking at her appendix.  I arrived at the hospital at 3pm to be with her and let her father go home to rest.  She was only cleared to eat anything at 6pm (a full 24 hours since her last meal) as the surgeon said that surgery would not be required and they didn't believe her appendix was the issue.  Her IV dosage was lowered around 9pm and the questions continued from the pediatrician.  It's now a process of elimination - but without the proper language from Monkey, we don't know 100% what happened and she can't describe the pain properly for the doctors.  So they are looking for something, but they don't exactly know what.  I got home around 2am this morning after her father returned to be with her for the night.  She slept well and actually ate a full breakfast this morning - a big improvement.

She went for another ultrasound this morning.  They keep checking for improvements.  I was told last night that she will be tested over the next couple of days by different doctors.  At least she is in the best place and can get the tests she requires relatively quickly.  However, she is not reacting well to doctors at the moment - understandably! - and is crying and screaming when touched, making it harder to distinguish where pain is actually occurring.  The bone scan to look for hairline fractures has been placed on the back burner for now as it is a pretty serious procedure.  They are eliminating the other possibilities before subjecting her to that.  She is able to walk on her own again mostly - although she still limps, but her fever is still consistently returning.

All we know is that she's not getting better. Her symptoms change and some days she's worse, but she's not improving much.  She's being so brave through it all though!  I'm just at a loss for the moment, she's in pain and I can't make it better. Hopefully they find out something today.  She will be seen by a bone specialist and an infectious disease doctor shortly.

What is wrong with my baby?

Monday, March 28, 2011


I posted here that I was starting to exercise.  I was.  I was out there and doing my thing and all was good.  Then winter hit and it all went to hell.  I hate winter.  Like, REALLY hate winter.  I'm not 100% why I still live in Canada really...

Anyways.  I did my usual thing - I hibernated.  I went out only when necessary or when I got the urge to take the kiddies out and build a snow fort or go sledding for 20 minutes.  But basically I did nothing.  No, scratch that.  I did nothing exercise wise, but I did start to implement other changes I had been wanting to make in my quest for a better lifestyle.

On August 29, 2010 I downloaded an app for my iPhone.  It tracks weight - and your measurements if you want it to as well - and your goals and shows on a graph how you are progressing.  This was a low point for me.  After that other weight post, combined with working at a job that made junk food the norm, I put on an additional 4 pounds even with the exercising I was doing.  That's right, I weighed 229 by the end of August.  I was getting frustrated with how I looked and felt, I needed to put an end to it.  I can't really describe it - although the few times I've been ill probably "helped" with some months - but I haven't made any major changes.  I don't count my water intake - although I prefer water over anything else, so I'm not worried.  I don't watch what I eat really.  I don't count calories or points - I've just made sure to lower my portions, make my recipes simpler and with fresh ingredients and if I crave something unhealthy like chocolate, I eat some to curb it.  Not a lot, but I do give in to most of my cravings.

It's working.  Slowly - which I think is the best way so that I can adjust and maintain - I'm losing weight.  Which is also nice as my family is currently having a contest...and I'm winning.  LOL  I got on the scale this week and weighed in at 213.4 pounds.  I tried on my wedding dress this weekend, and it zipped up with ease!  I have to keep pulling up the size 18 jeans I wear.  It's a great feeling that the changes I am making are positive and sticking.  I'm eating breakfast every day and having a morning snack of fruit.  I've limited my tea intake and lowered my dinner portions.  And I'm not hungry.  Plus, with the warmer weather just around the corner, I know that it will get easier through the spring/summer/fall.

To help celebrate my continued success (coupled with my lacking ability to ever buy new clothes), Mr. Penguin gave me a great birthday gift this year - a shopping spree for bras.  As I am losing weight, my band size has gone down and I've moved from a DD to a D cup - which means hello Victoria's Secret!  I made my wish list last night.  He gets to surprise me with what he wants off of it - it's only fair as he's footing the bill.  ;)  Along with reaching my goal weight, I think hitting a bra size of 36C would be the best thing ever.  To be able to walk into La Senza or wherever and be able to pick a cute bra off the shelf and have it fit would be amazing.   I miss that freedom.

Also, I am planting a container garden this year - no excuses!!  I've got the plans for making cedar planters and I'm going to grow tomatoes (2 kinds), peppers, strawberries, beans, radishes, lettuce, carrots, zucchini and maybe cucumber.  I also found an old tire behind the shed from the previous owners that I'm going to wash down and paint with the girls.  It will be where we plant our Halloween pumpkin.  I can't wait.  The fresh food will help with my smaller portions, be better for us as a family and the gardening involved coupled with just being outside will help immensely.  Plus, I hope to have an abundance of tomatoes to continue my canning hobby this year.

I'm proud of myself.  Now to get outside more and move my butt!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Best Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies EVER.

Ever, ever.  Really.

I have a terrible time following recipes.  Which means I could never master pastries or French cooking...BUT! I make amazing meals from scratch and can even tweak a dessert recipe to make it into something fantastic - in my own humble opinion.  ::cough::

So, I present to you my most recent creation - the BEST chocolate chocolate cookies EVER.

Preheat oven to 375F

1/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 cup brown sugar

 In a Kitchenaid mixer, mix together the above ingredients until blended.  Add:

1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp orange juice
1/2 cup butter - cubed

Cream together for 3 minutes, scraping the bowl at 1 minute intervals.  Then add:

1/2 cup rolled oats
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt (I use Half Salt)
chocolate chips to your taste - I use 1/2 a bag or approx. 1 cup

Mix thoroughly for 3 minutes, scraping the bowl at 1 minute intervals. 
Using a teaspoon, spoon batter onto ungreased cookie sheets.  Place in oven and bake for 10-12 minutes (although my oven seems strong, so I bake them for 9 minutes).

ENJOY with a large glass of milk.


Tuesday, February 15, 2011


I've been reading a lot of self-help books lately, marriage books in particular.  I'm intrigued by the opinions of those who are 'experts', those who are married themselves and those writing from a divorced point of view.  The differences in opinion can be subtle, depending on the authors experiences or research.  I've also found a common theme in them to be expectations.  How we all have expectations, whether known or hidden, that guide us into what we feel should be our life and experiences. 

What do you expect from your marriage?

Who do you believe should take out the trash?  Raise the kids?  Buy gifts for extended family?  How much sex should you be having?  How much money is too much to spend on something?  Who will pay the bills?  How should you be treated when sick?  Are public displays of affection appropriate?

The list can go on forever.  And, according to some experts, the expectations can change once the vows are said and done.  Apparently, the safety created by the act of marriage may bring to the surface expectations that were buried until one feels secure in their paring with a partner.  It means that even if expectations were discussed, they could have done a 180.

Now, as much as we all have expectations, I'm more interested in when those expectations aren't met.  I'm not saying that if you have unrealistic expectations, that you should feel right in being upset.  If wanting a $50,000 engagement ring from your boyfriend who works at McDonalds is your expectation...well, it ain't gonna happen there honey!  But what about those expectations that aren't unrealistic and can be achieved?  Say, wanting the bed made every morning or having someone bring you soup when you're sick?  What happens when those expectations aren't met?  Should you feel justified in being upset and disappointed?  What if you've voiced your expectations clearly to your partner and they still aren't met?  Then what?

In all of the books I've read, they don't have an answer to that question.  Do you go through life without ever receiving that expectation?  Do you hold a grudge?  Do you fight about it?  Is it the other persons fault for not accommodating that expectation?  

If two people can't agree on an expectation of one person...what then?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

It's official!

January 10th has come and gone!  I officially started my home daycare on Monday.  It's been so much fun!  I have 2 little ones, plus Baby home all day and then Monkey gets off the bus in the afternoons.  I've wanted this for a long time, but now that it's here, it's even better than I had hoped.  Sure, there is crying and some small toddler 'fights' to deal with, but I get to lay on the floor and sort blocks and colour all day!  I get to bake and cook all the time - ALL. THE. TIME.  I have time during the day to keep my kitchen clean and make grocery lists and even get some laundry done while the little ones nap.

The best part?  I'm home for my girls.  I'm home but also paying my portion of the bills!  It's a wonderful thing.  Goodnight all!


Thursday, January 6, 2011

Biggest Loser 2011

My Parents proposed an idea before New Years Day.

What about a Biggest Loser family contest?  

We'd take the whole year and whoever loses the most weight, wins the pot - which my Dad is putting up - of $500.  My Dad doesn't need to lose weight, so he's the official stats keeper.

It's a contest between my Mom, my brother, his girlfriend, myself and Mr. Penguin.  I have nothing to lose but weight!  And really, in the end we all win healthier lives (cue the cheesy music!).

Wish me luck!


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Birthday planning

I need ideas...we are making the beginning plans of Monkey's birthday over the next month and I need help!

Some stats - 
She will be turning 6 years old (my BABY!!).
She LOVES the movie Cars and everything that goes with it.
She is an active child.
There will be both boys and girls invited.
She has requested it be at home, but I think if it were the right activity, she may want to go somewhere.
She wants to have pasta for the meal and blueberry cupcakes for dessert.
Also see here.

Thoughts?  Ideas?  I'm pretty creative when it comes to food and decorations, but I'm at somewhat of a loss over the activities...what would be fun?  What did YOU enjoy at a birthday when you were younger?


Monday, January 3, 2011


My Happiness Project has begun!

I have water by my side constantly and am feeling it in my legs!  I'm not consciously walking more, but with all the extra prep work being done on the house, it's really adding up!

In bed by 10pm?  I haven't quite completed that goal each day.  The prep work is taking up so much of my days/nights.  I hope to have this under control by the end of the week.

I'm excited though!  Big things in 2011!!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Welcome 2011.

I can officially say this holiday season was nothing overly special.  I eventually put the tree up on the 18th, but I didn't decorate it (the lights are built in) and I didn't decorate the house.  I gave gifts, including 2 Secret Santas, but not much else.  Monkey and I baked and I shopped with each of the girls individually for the gifts for some family...but...meh?  I just wasn't feeling it.

With the stress of leaving my job and all of the work that entails and Mr. Penguin in exams and working his tushie off...sleep was so much more important.  If I could squeeze in a tea and snuggle/chat date with my husband, I did.  Screw everything else!

As for New Years?  I fell asleep after my shower at 8:30 at night!  People, I'm not even 30 yet!  How sad is that?!!?  Mr. Penguin woke me up at midnight to wish me a Happy New Year and then I fell back asleep.  I'm such a loser.  Geezer?  Whatever.  I'm a blast to have around, whatever you want to call me (SARCASM).