Hittin' the road

Living in the snowbelt of Ontario can often feel like a three-month-long prison term. You never trust the weather enough to head out on the roads because you never know when the winds could blow in a storm that will ultimately close the roads that lead back home. Cabin fever sets in and just before you think you might be starting to go insane, a glimmer of hope peaks through the clouds - the sun! It reminds you that there is life out there and you somehow muster up the strength to pull yourself off the couch, pack up your bags and hit the road. We did just that this weekend as the weather forecast called for no snow and above-freezing temperatures. It had been weeks and weeks since we had even left the county and we were ecstatic to head out while the weather bordered on spring-like. It was all very last-minute and so much fun since we didn't tell the boys we were headed to T.O. for a show and a sleepover at a hotel - very rare and special treats! While Finn would have been content to stay in the hotel room to soak in as much cable T.V. as he could, we were quickly off for the best surprise ever (according to Nate) - an evening at Medieval Times. To say my boys love all things knights is a bit of an understatement, so they could hardly contain themselves when they realized where we were going. Great fun - and a great time to get away, get refreshed and steel ourselves up for whatever winter weather we have coming our way! That's Finn, above, riding the subway, and some of the action we cheered on, below. 


One Small Change progress report

It's coming up on one week since I joined One Small Change and pledged to buy nothing my family didn't absolutely need for the month of January. I thought I would give you a quick update on how my week has gone.

  • Needed to go for a weekly grocery shop - begged G to go in my place. He's far less likely to fall into the trap of grabbing a few last-minute check-out treats. And, he has pledged to join the cause along with me and did a great job of buying only the necessities.
  • Skipped lunch before heading off to an afternoon workshop - I was so hungry (and disappointed the workshop was without snacks!) I spent the rest of the afternoon fantasizing about dashing through the drive-through on the way home to scarf down a Happy Meal. I kept driving and surprised my kids when I picked them up early from Gramma and Grampa's house.
  • A frosty winter walk ended at the local coffee shop for a hot apple cider - we desperately needed to warm up and I refused the to-go cups that we were offered. However, Nate had an allergic reaction to the cider (I suspect cross-contamination) and bad allergic mommy was caught unprepared. NEEDED to buy Benadryl (got a great head start on my 5km run training as I sprinted to the pharmacy) and ended up buying an extra treat to make my frightened kid feel better.
It's been a great week and I have really enjoyed participating in this exercise - it has forced me to really stop and question whether or not I really need a particular item. Hoping to break old habits of thoughtless buying.

Christmas jammies

My good friend (and #1 cheerleader!) AC has been bugging me to share pics of the jammies I made for the four of us for Christmas. Nate, Finny and Daddy G all got matching PJs made from a fun skull-and-cross bones flannel. In case you can't tell, those pretty pink ones are mine - made, along with G's, from the Amy Butler's Wide-Leg Lounge Pants. I used the Pajamas for Everyone pattern from Heather Ross' Weekend Sewing for the boys' PJs. We're all snug and warm in our new jammies, thankful to be inside 'cause baby it's cold outside!


A greener shade of green

There was something I left off of my colossal list of things I would like to do in 2010. O.k., there were two - the first being that I would not sweat it if I didn't make it through the list by year's end, and the second being that I would try and be just a little more green. I have always been pretty environmentally concious - I am pretty faithful about recycling and composting, I try to buy local as much as possible, and I like to ride my bike when weather permits, or when I'm not feeling too lazy. But, as they say, there's always room for improvement. So I signed up for an on-line challenge today that will hopefully take my level of green to a whole new level! Hip Mountain Mama has challenged fellow bloggers to make one small change a month from now until Earth Day, April 22, 2010 and to blog about their experiences. 

Since I started a new job out of town, I have been feeling green guilt about having to drive the car on a daily basis. This has resulted in me becoming a little bit lazy and a little more reliant on my car than I would like to be. So my initial desire was to commit to getting off my lazy butt and to riding my bike for all in-town purposes. But this being Canada in the early days of January, I didn't think that would work out so well for me (I'll maybe save that one for April!). So I've decided, for my first challenge, to not buy anything that our household does not need. Having just come down from the Christmas glut and having just cleaned out my kids' rooms of Christmases past, I was shocked to see how much waste our tiny household had created! This was just the exercise we needed to really start considering what and how much we buy. It wasn't long after I had committed to this challenge that it met me face-to-face when I had to stop at the pharmacy on my way home from work. Trust me, I really needed to buy deodorant. But a quick stop at the pharmacy is never just a quick stop at the pharmacy for me. As I walked toward the check-out counter, those glossy magazine covers were calling me over to pick up the latest issue that would show me all of the hot trends for 2010. Stop! And I did. Oooo! A new flavour of lip gloss! Must...have...but I put it back. But wait! Look over there! An entire aisle of discounted Christmas chocolates! Step...away...from...the...aisle! And I did. (My pocketbook and my waistline were thanking me! Hey! I might be able to knock a few of my New Year's resolutions off the list!) I'm not going to lie - this is really going to be a challenge. But I do hope that it will be one that will carry on once the month of January is over. Stay tuned! 


In 2010 I will...

Learn how to properly use a digital camera
Enjoy more walks
Have more fun
Run a 5km by Thanksgiving
Keep my sewing supplies neat and organized
Try to cut back on eating so many potato chips
Get more quality sleep
Call my BFF more often
Drive across the country to visit my baby sister in I-don't-think-it's-even-on-a-map, Alberta
Learn how to develop a budget and stick to it
Figure out what I want to do with my life
Take belly dancing lessons
Breathe more deep yoga breaths
Stand taller
Write more letters
Fit into the clothes that mysteriously shrunk over the last year
Go on more dates with my husband
Enjoy more quality time with my kids
Accept that, with 3 boys in the house, my bathroom will never be spotless
Grow more of my own food
Cut back on the amount of time I waste on Facebook and other internet distractions
Play more Trivial Pursuit
Learn how to make really good pizza dough using rice flour
Paint my bedroom
Read more books
Read less celebrity gossip
Keep my nose out of other people's business
Be more patient
Feel more confident
Take more time to celebrate the simple blessings found in each day

A happy new year to you all!