Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Life in 2013

 
I can't believe another year is already done! 

This year didn't hold any big changes or surprises for us compared to the past few years and part of me has to admit that it's pretty nice to have had a fairly low key year. 

2010, The Husband and I got married, 2011, Joseph came along and 2012, Andrew was born. This year was all about watching them grow up and I eventually headed back to work. 

This year, I found a little bit more time to focus on myself. I really got into running, which before this past year, I detested. I thought I'd spend most of my time dealing with shin splints and only running 5ks. Well, my friend Lisa, who has a son the exact same age as Joseph (same birthday) convinced me to do a 15 K. I was so apprehensive going into it and it wound up being one of my favourite races. I think running Toronto Island and checking out the sights helped distract me from the pain (just not the pain of getting back to the mainland). 



I also sucked up some nervousness and signed myself up for the Niagra Falls Half Marathon. Again, I was nervous going into it, especially since my training was really iffy. It turned out to be a great race and it inspired me to sign up for my next half marathon in March as we'll as enter the draw for the Nike Women's Half in Washington in April. 

Definitely didn't do as much crafting, sewing and creating as I would have liked to but as the boys are getting older there is more time for me to do those things so I know I'll eventually get the chance.

I'm excited to share my 2014 goals with you. I think that writing them down and sharing them on the blog definitely helps me keep to them.
 
Here are some of my favourite pictures from the past year (thanks to flipagram).
 
video
 
What about you? Do you consider 2013 a success?



Monday, December 30, 2013

Potty Training - Day 1 & Project 365

I'm exhausted.
 
I feel like I've literally taught an entire week of Kindergarten in one single day.
 
Yesterday, we started the process of potty training Joseph.
 
We went through 4 pairs of pants and he had 3 or 4 successful attempts on the toilet. I think more often than not, he wanted to sit on it so that I would read him a Roary the Racing Car story and sing the theme song.
 
Roary The Racing Car
 
He also got to use my iPad a couple times because I was so tired of reading the books to him.
 
More often than not, he'd start peeing in his pants, I'd notice and then run him to the bathroom where he finish up and I'd make him sit and wait for another 5 minutes or so just in case.
 
I put a load of laundry into the washing machine last night so that we have another set of clean underwear and pants to start again today. There's no way he's sleeping uncovered so he was back in a diaper for bedtime and overnight.
 
I'm hoping that today goes a lot better. He isn't lacking enthusiasm though which is good.
 
We have a week until he heads back to daycare and I'm hoping we'll be 90% potty trained by then. I'm expecting accidents, but hopefully not many.

One other little piece of information, I've decided that I'm going to do Project 365 next year, starting January 1st. I really want to get better with my photography skills for both my blog and our own personal pictures and I think this challenge will definitely help. I'll be reading the camera manual we have and following along with Nurse Loves Farmer. I'm also on the look out for fantastic photography blogs and instructional tips so that I can get my pictures looking fantastic! At the end of the year (or beginning of 2015), I'll be turning it into a book so that we can look back on the year. I'm quite excited about this actually.
 
Are you going to try Project 365?
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Sunday, December 29, 2013

Whirlwind Christmas!


We're done with all of our Christmas parties and get togethers. We spent a few days at The Husbands parents house before the break which was nice for both them and us. They don't get to see the boys very often because they live further away so we took the opportunity to spend a good chunk of time there.

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While we were there, we celebrate Christmas with his parents and my sister-in-law and her family. The four kids are all really close in age so they all get along really well. There was only one giant mishap where Joseph was running and crashed right into my nephew who went flying. Joseph ended up with a fat lip from biting it and my poor nephew ended up with a bump on the back of his head and Joseph's teeth marks in his forehead. Other than that, things were good! 

 
The boys got some really cute toys. Andrew got a steam roller and a Little People Batman car and Joseph got an excavator and a remote control Dusty Crophopper plane. One day I'll have to post a video of Joseph flying the plane. It's quite cute. The four kids also got Canada jerseys and Joseph loves his! There are times we can't get it off him.

Dusty Planes Pilot Pals Remote Control

When we were visiting, a good portion of Ontario was hit with a ice storm. Where we were staying got a lot of ice but most things were still standing and power never went out. When we got home, we found that one of our branches from a tree had broken off and one of our eaves troughs had broken due to the weight of the ice and snow. Luckily there wasn't any more damage than that. 

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We got home, had some McDonalds as our Christmas Eve dinner, put the boys to bed, wrapped presents, went to bed and was ready to get up in the morning to start the second part of the Christmas craziness!

We didn't get up too early, which was nice because I'm sure the 5:00 am Christmas wake ups will start soon. We didn't have too much to open at our house, since we had an idea they were going to get a lot at my parents (and we were right).

Joseph got some play-doh and a camera and Andrew got a steering wheel and some Mega-Bloks. I also got him some little floating monsters for the bathtub, but found out he doesn't like them and won't get into the bathtub if they are in there too (mommy fail!).
 
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Around 11, we headed down to my parents to open presents and have my family's Christmas dinner. The boys received a new train set and a train table and a whole bunch of other items. I personally got an iPad (yay!) which has already let me catch up on the blog a bit. I also got some YakTrax from The Husband and a gift card to Under Armour! All of us were definitely spoiled.

I made a 20.5 lb turkey (which is funny because Andrew only weighs 22 lbs) and we had a delicious Christmas dinner.

On the 28th, we headed to a party with some of The Husband's extended family, where there was tons of food and tons of people to catch up with.

Phewf! I think it's all done. The whirlwind is over and now it's time for The Husband and I to relax and play with the boys before we both head back to work next week. Hopefully, potty training will be successful and soon it's Joseph's birthday.

How was your Christmas?

Any big plans for New Years?
 

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

We're off at family's today, opening presents and having a fantastic Christmas dinner (made by me)! I love being able to make dinner for everyone!
 
Merry Christmas 2013 Wallpaper to share among friends
 
I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful time with family!
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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

One More Present

I have one more present to buy before I'm done hitting the stores for Christmas shopping!
 
I need to get my brother a present for our Secret Santa we do with my family.
 
Fancy Christmas Present   Free Clip Art Wallpaper
 
Honestly, I have no idea what to get him and he hasn't told me yet. He's quite close to getting nothing (if you read this, I'd let me know what you want).
 
I had a lot of fun Christmas shopping this year. Joseph actually has more of an idea what is going on this year so it's been fun to buy him presents that he'll really enjoy.
 
Andrew is still in awe of what is going on. He just really wants the Christmas lights and the Mater ornament on the Christmas tree. Other than that, he doesn't really care!
 
The one thing that does suck are the line ups. The past two Christmases I've been on maternity leave so I could leisurely head into the stores, not deal with HUGE line ups or lack of parking. This year, it's back into the belly of the beast! Luckily, I tried to get the majority of it done early so lines weren't too bad at the beginning of December.
 
I have one more day of work left (P.D. day on Friday) and then I'm off until January 6th!
 
What about you?
Are you done your shopping or are you a last-minuter?

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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Half Marathon Training - Take 2!

I've started my half-marathon training for my Chilly Half Marathon on March 2nd.

 
Actually, it started last week but I completely missed the first week. Duh!
 
Anyway, I went for a run on Sunday after we received what seemed like seven bazillion centimeters of snow on Saturday night.
 
Ok so it wasn't seven bazillion, but there was a decent amount.
 
I figured I'd wait until later in the afternoon when things had been plowed and it was a little warmer, but no such luck. Things weren't plowed very well and I almost got run over by a plow actually.
 
I did a 6.45 km run and it took me 52 minutes! That is almost a world record for slowest run ever!
 
The important thing is that it was done.
 
Here's the rest of my schedule for December:
 
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The Husband and I are discussing joining a gym because I'm not sure winter running is going to be wonderful but I'm not sure how much I'll use it in the summer and once it warms up. I wish I could predict weather but apparently not!
 
Do you have a gym membership? How much do you pay?
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Thursday, December 12, 2013

Potty Training

Since Joseph is turning 3 years old in January, we've decided that we're going to try to take advantage of the two week Christmas break and potty train him.
 
We went out the store on Sunday (because I needed more diapers) and got Joseph an actual seat for the toilet. We have little potties that sit on the floor, but we figured we'd just go right to the toilet now. He picked it out so we're hoping that it will help the process. This is the one he chose:
 
Sesame Street Soft Seat - Framed Friends
 
Apparently, it comes apart to wash it thoroughly so there won't be too many gross things.
 
We also bought hand soap and flushable wipes from Kandoo.
 
Kandoo Handsoap, Body Wash and Shampoo

He's really excited about this and I'm really crossing my fingers that it goes well. A local chain, Zellers, went out of business and I stocked up on underwear. We have about 20 pairs that are opened and he's getting another three in his stocking.

A friend of mine just finished training her son and her advice was just stick him in the underwear. Don't worry about the pull-ups, etc, just go straight for the underwear. He'll feel wet or dirty is he didn't make it to the potty. I think I need to send pull-ups to daycare just in case, but still!

I'm really hoping that we can say that he is daytime potty trained by the end of Christmas. I figure night time will take a whole lot longer.

If you have any tips, hints, tricks, etc, I'll take them! I want this to be as painless for both of us as possible!

Any big, exciting plans like ours over the break?
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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Jingles the Elf - Week 1

Jingle the Elf survived the first week at our house.
 
 photo IMG_20131130_180956_zps41cfbb28.jpg
 
We kind of break the rules a bit. He moves at night, but once the boys find him in the morning I carefully move him back into the tree. I know you aren't suppose to touch him, and I don't think Joseph would, but Andrew just doesn't get it so I think it's safer that we put him back up in the tree. Plus, we always say he can see the boys playing much better up there than.
 
I didn't realize how difficult this is! I almost have to make a list of ideas and then go down the list. It can't be anything too much during the week or the boys will get too distracted and I won't be able to get them ready for daycare in the morning. I do more elaborate things during the weekend when they can be a little more distracted.
 
Day 1 & 2
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Driving the bulldozer and doing some work.
 
Day 3 & 4
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Tangled in the boys beading toy and riding Thomas around the track.
 
Day 5 & 6
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Reading about his favourite guy and doing some bowling.

Day 7 & 8
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In Joseph's bed (because he was away for the night) and in the stocking.

I'm now trying to think up new ones for this week! I'm so happy it's only for a month; not sure what I'd do if it was longer.

Follow me on Instagram to see more of what Jingles gets up to - victoriam823
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Monday, December 9, 2013

Santa Shuffle 5K!

I was very excited to run this race!
 
This is actually the race the inspired me to start running. This time last year, I was driving to Michaels' to get some materials for my cake course that I was taking and I saw a whole bunch of people running along the sidewalk with Santa hats and numbers.
 
After some research I determined that it was the Santa Shuffle 5K and I decided that I was going to be running it this year.
 
I registered way back in the summer and it finally showed up.
 
I went Friday night and picked up my packet. It was the weirdest pick up ever! I walked into the Running Room (local running store) and there was a lady sitting at a table. She found my name, handed me a bib (just the one on the top of the pile, not a specific one) and my pins. Then she handed me the craziest goodies I've ever seen (candy, cookies, a CD, etc.).
 
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My number with my toque that I had to dig out at the last minute!

The race was at 10:00 so I was able to sleep in a bit (The Husband had the boys at his parents for the city's Santa Claus parade). I got myself up, had a cup of tea, some cereal I got ready to head out into the flurries that had started to fall.
 
It was freezing outside! I put on three layers (tech tee, long sleeved shirt and jacket), my toque (headband wasn't warm enough) and my running mitts (didn't work).

I got there about 9:50 (race started at 10) and headed into the church to put my ballot into the raffle box and keep warm. Since it was just a community race for the Salvation Army, there was no chip timing or corrals or anything exciting. We lined up, Santa said 'Go, go, go' (I kinda chuckled at this) and off we went.

It was complete chaos at the beginning. There were so many people that ran the first 2 minutes and then started walking, right in the way of everyone else. It was really bad. The course was 2 loops around the neighbourhood, which was fine and it eventually spread out.

I was doing well with my splits until I hit the 3K mark. That's where things started to go wrong. I've been dealing with a ridiculous cough for a few weeks and I'm pretty sure I have cold induced asthma (I'm heading to the doctor tomorrow). Plus, I have my busted rib still that isn't getting better. I ended up having to walk a whole bunch of times and ended up with a time of 35:15 (my worst since my first 5K in May). I did get a medal. It's quite cute.

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I finished and headed back into the church for my refreshments and to check out the awards since I didn't need to race home afterwards. I grabbed a bagel, some hot chocolate and downed 2 bottles of Gatorade and a bottle of water. I coughed and coughed and coughed and turned bright red when someone asked if I was alright.

The best part was the Salvation Army was giving out little toys and we were allowed to take two. I managed to get Joseph some Hot Wheels cars for his stocking and Andrew his very own Thomas train so that Joseph won't steal it.

Honestly, I'm disappointed by my finishing time, but at the same time, I'm still proud that I did it. A year ago, I never thought I'd be as successful with my running as I am.

In January I'm hoping to turn it into a Fit Friday fitness link up that hopefully will have healthy recipes and other exercises that we can all benefit from. I love reading about others healthy lifestyles and borrowing some ideas to help me along!
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Thursday, December 5, 2013

The time I busted my rib

About a week and a half ago, I came down with a cold.
 
No surprise really. I have two little kids that don't wash hands often, I teach 28 little Kindergartens who hands are in everything (one even has them down his pants constantly) and just living life generally introduces a person to germs.
 
cough illustration
The left is what I see all day long despite having taught the right numerous times.
 
One thing about me though, is that once I get a cold, I almost always get a cough. The cough ultimately turns into a chest infection of some sort and I get placed onto antibiotics.
 
With my new found passion of running, my coughing is different since I also get it after running in the cold weather. Once I start coughing, I can barely catch my breathe and I cough for a good 10-15 minutes.
 
Well, instead of the typical chest infection I usually get, this time I have actually busted my rib from all my coughing. I'm amazed at how painful a bruised rib is. I'm also embarrassed it's just from coughing! I might have to change the story and say I was hit during a hockey game or something more 'noble'.
 
Now I'm not 100% positive this is what it is because I haven't been to the doctor (I can't afford a sick day for a treatment of rest) but there's a good deal of pain right around my ribs and it's very sore when I move, breathe or cough.
 
I'm hoping this clears up soon because it definitely sucks and I was just getting ready to start my half marathon training for the Nike Women's Half Marathon.
 
Anyone dealt with an injured rib? Any remedies?
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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Snowman Week!

My students at school are oh-so-excited for winter, snow and making snowmen. We've had one snowfall where the students were able to go tobogganing a bit but there wasn't enough to make a snowman.
 
I decided that next week we're going to have 'Snowman Week'! We're supposed to get a snowfall so maybe there'll be enough for actual snowmen, but one day we're going to make marshmallow snowman for sure (snow or not!).
 
I've also got a whole week of snowman activities planned.
 
Monday is our weekly poem, where we're focusing on shapes and this week is the star so there isn't anything going on. Maybe we'll make the marshmallow snowmen then.
 
Tuesday, we're going to make torn paper snowmen that look like this:
 

We're also going to count and match some snowmen as well in order to get some numeracy and literacy in there as well.

Wednesday, the students are going to draw snowmen and write about them in their journal. They get to decide how many buttons their snowman is going to have and then write a sentence that says "My snowman has ______ buttons".

Thursday, we're going to make shaving cream/glue snowmen. The nose, eyes, buttons, scarf and hat we'll add afterwards, but the arms we're going to go on a walk to find twigs and use those as arms instead. I found another site where they gave the kids a template to paint so that it wasn't all over.
* Mix equal parts of shaving cream and Elmer’s glue.  The mixture dries puffy just like this.  * Use your fingers to spread the shaving cream mixture and create your snowmen on blue cardstock.  * Add cardstock pieces to form the eyes, nose, mouth, hat, and arms.  (I used ribbon for the scarf.)  * I saw this adorable idea here at Homemaking Fun.
Source

Friday, we're going to do some painting after reading Snowmen at Night. The kids will get to paint their snowmen doing whatever they want at night. They'll paint on black construction paper and I'm just hoping the colours will show up nicely.

I'm excited for next week! It's perfect because the students have their Kindergarten & Grade 1 Winter Extravaganza on the 17th so I'll have lots of artwork to put up for the parents to come and see once the concert is done and they are collecting their kids and all their belongings.

I can't wait to show you how everything turns out and maybe I'll do some with Joseph over the Christmas break!
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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

My entry was accepted!

 
 
 

VICTORIA  - 20141
 

 
You will join 15,000 women as you conquer 13.1 through the streets of Washington, DC at the Nike Women's Half Marathon DC on April 27, 2014.
 
I was picked!
 
I was one of 15,000 chosen to run the streets of Washington D.C. in April! I'm so overly excited and right now travel plans and other plans are racing through my head! I know it's still months away but yay!!!
 
I have also signed up for a half marathon on March 2nd called the Chilly Half Marathon and I figure I'm going to train for that and then find a way to maintain my kilometers for the race at the end of April. I'm kind of scared as to whether or not I'll be all healed up and ready to go again.
 
I have a couple running 'experts' that I'll run that question by.
 
Either way, I'm heading to D.C. to do some sight seeing and running!

Washington D.C.
 
Can't wait!
 
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Monday, December 2, 2013

Let the Christmas season officially begin!

We're finally into the Christmas season and I'm so excited!

*NSync Christmas has been in the CD player in the car for a few weeks now and one of the local radio stations is playing Christmas music all the time! Too bad my commute is so short!

This weekend, we put up our tree and our stockings. We also got out the Christmas countdown calendar going and this year we introduced Elf on the Shelf to Joseph.

We had to bring out a different table to set up our Christmas tree (I can't wait to get a big one eventually), so we had to wipe down the table. We put Andrew to work and he just wouldn't stop wiping it down.

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Maybe I have a cleaner on my hands!
 
We got the tree up and Joseph started to add some ornaments. That one branch looked beautiful (I moved them all when he wasn't looking). We had to move everything up high so that Andrew couldn't reach anything. He somehow still manages to get one or two off and throw them around for awhile.

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It's beginning to droop!

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The finished product!

As I mentioned above, we introduced Elf on a Shelf to Joseph. I read him the book and he was very interested. It came time to choose a name and he couldn't think of one, so we decided that his name would be Jingle. I think it's great and so far he loves him. I think the hardest part is the not being allowed to touch him. He wants to play with him. I might get him one of the plush ones to hold onto.

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Jingle the Elf!

Jingle hasn't gotten into too much yet. He's only stolen their bulldozer and pushed some blocks around. I think I saw him getting ready to bowl last night. Once the boys find him, I stick him back up into the tree so that he can watch them play nicely together.

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Doing a little construction

I'm a little stuck though as to what happens when we go to my in-laws for a few days before Christmas. Do I bring Jingle with us and hide him around there?

Lastly, we've taken out our Christmas countdown calendar as well. So far, it's really basic, in that Joseph finds the number that matches the day (i.e. Dec 1st - 1), but I want to put activities to do. I'm guessing they'll only happen on the weekends because life is so busy during the week. I also need to think up some more ideas.

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I need some help from my lovely readers with the countdown calendar as well. I want to paint the brown box that the calendar comes in. I can't decide whether to do white with green and red polka dots, black or brown or something else! I'm completely at a loss. Any help and suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Have you put up all of your decorations?

 Have you started or finished your shopping yet?
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