Monday, December 5, 2016

~Weekend Recap- Getting Ready for Christmas~

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas! By that, I mean it's snow covered outside and I spend a lot of the weekend decorating!!

Rewinding back to Thursday, we met up with Brie and Sully at the Central Library downtown to check out Engine 23 and story time with a firefighter. There is a fire truck inside of the library that you can climb into and explore. The library is hosting Engine 23 related programs several times during the week, including story time with a firefighter that we went to.

The kids had a blast! It was very interactive with singing, movement and reading. They even had kid sized fireman coats and hats for the kids to wear!

Leo was in his glory!




The other highlight was the coin donation 'bin'. The kids were begging for more coins to spin down. Nickels and quarters work well!


We went upstairs so the kids could play and check out the books while Brie and I visited. Afterwards we went across the street to grab a quick lunch before heading back on the train to home.

Someone was played out!


Leo woke up when I put him in the car and didn't go back to sleep so he was a bit grumpy. We solved that problem by eating snacks and watching Christmas movies.

Anddddd my washing machine finally died-- in the middle of washing a huge load of kids clothes. I wanted to cry! Remember- we are in the middle of potty training... I didn't know exactly when the new washer/dryer set I ordered would arrive. I wasn't in a huge rush when I ordered it the week before since my set still worked but I wasn't sure how long I could go without washing clothes!

Friday we baked cookies which I imagined would be a nice memory for the kids but in actuality, it was stressful and probably not something I want them to remember! Huge props to those of you that bake/cook with your kids-- it's not something that I enjoy. I already consider myself a 'nervous baker' so adding kids into the mix is stressful!

First Leo dumped baking soda everywhere...

Then when I went to roll out the dough, both kids thought the flour was there for them to play in... remember, I didn't have a working washing machine at the moment!




In the end it was fun, the mess was eventually cleaned up and I learned that next year I will probably make the cookies without the kids and just decorate them with them!

After preschool drop off, Leo and I headed to the post office to mail Santa letters.


He made sure Audrey's was sent too.


Confession: every Friday after preschool drop off I detour to Starbucks for a coffee and take the long way home so that Leo falls asleep in the car. Then I can easily transfer him to his bed for his nap and I don't have to fight to get him to go down. I especially needed that coffee this week!


Friday night I did a bit of Christmas shopping in the evening. I would have preferred to be curled up on the couch than fighting mall crowds and parking lots!

Saturday was a busy day! Hubby came to the rescue and made some calls on Friday to see if he could get a washer/dryer set delivered sooner than the other set I had ordered. He managed to find one for almost the same price as the smokin' deal I got on the other set and it was delivered Saturday morning!! I was one happy wife to see those old ones go and the new, quiet, working ones arrive! I didn't realize how bad the other ones were until I used the new ones and I had to keep checking if they were on!


After Audrey's dance, we went to Michael's to check out their ornament selection. I have always wanted a themed tree but I also love our tree with all the sentimental, mismatched ornaments. Our house is now big enough to have 2 trees! Plus we had our old pre-lit tree still since we now carry on hubby's family tradition of cutting down a Christmas tree.

I checked out Pinterest and was overwhelmed by the tree ideas. Did I want rustic, or all white, or silver, or silver and aqua? I normally like to go pretty traditional with our Christmas decor-- it's mostly red, green and gold. Well, Michaels had it all! I was kind of leaning towards silver and white when I asked Audrey and she pointed to the box with purple, green, teal and blue. Those are colours that I normally like so I decided to go with it!

We also bought a bunch of garland to decorate the railings with. Something I've always wanted to do and finally have an exposed railing!!

In the afternoon, Audrey and I started decorating the house while hubby went to his annual men's Christmas get together. After nap, we headed downtown to pick him up and go to our friends' annual Christmas party. They kept it small this year which was nice. Their kids are close in age to ours. Times have changed and we didn't stay late like we have in the past. Fine by me!

Sunday morning we woke up to a lot of snow! Winter wonderland out there!

We decorated the sugar cookies we made on Friday. This part was much less stressful! Audrey's favourite part was putting on sprinkles- a lot of sprinkles! Leo was more interested in eating the cookies but he decorated his fair share.



Some of the finished product.


Hubby was enjoying his new 'toy'- he cleared the snow 3x throughout the day! The disadvantage to having a corner house- the sidewalk that goes with it!


The kids enjoyed the snow in the backyard while I stayed cozy warm inside (and cleaned up).



During nap time I started decorating the upstairs tree. I set it up all by myself which I have never done before! I even managed to get the ribbon on without too much effort which is probably a first!


The kids helped me decorate the tree with all the colourful balls. I had to do a bit of rearranging after but they did a good job!



Final results! I just need to find or make a tree skirt.


I pretty much love it!


I also decorated the rest of the house with garland, and hung the stockings. The living room no longer looks so bare!





My Christmas stuffies have been taken over by the kids. They aren't lined up in a row like this anymore!


I forgot to take pictures of the garland I put all around the railings. We will put up our main floor Christmas tree next weekend after we cut it down... if it isn't too cold.

The family has also been enjoying their Advent Calendars.  

Chocolate for the Kids...


Whisky for the husband...


I feel a little left out! Next year I'm gong to have to research my Advent Calendar options! Tea,  makeup, chocolate! 
 
We were supposed to go to my sister's house for dinner to celebrate my Mom's birthday however she was feeling a bit 'under the weather'- self-inflicted, so we decided to post pone. While I was sad to not see the family, I didn't complain about staying in comfy clothes all day and extra time to tackle my mile-long to-do list!

 I can't believe it's less than 3 weeks until Christmas!!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

~Countdown to Christmas~


Every year I swear I am going to be ahead of myself on all Christmas related festivities. I really did have good intentions to not overload myself this year but somehow I keep getting sidetracked/sucked into events and my timelines gets derailed.

There are so many more things that I would love to do but I picked some of the things that would be best for our family this year to focus on.

I want our children to remember all the fun and traditions of Christmas, not the stress, the shopping or the rush so our goal on this countdown to Christmas is to enjoy each moment, perfect or not and be together.

What's your favourite Christmas activity?
Do you get a real tree every year? 

Monday, November 28, 2016

~Weekend Recap~

For once, I was really looking forward to Monday this week! Although to be honest, I feel lucky that I don't usually dread the start of the week too often.

So why was I looking forward to Monday? I did far too much adulting this weekend and I needed a break!

 After much contemplation and figuring out our schedule, we decided to start potty training Leo this weekend. I wanted 4 days in a row that we could dedicate to the cause. We had great success using the 3 day potty training method with Audrey so I wanted to start there with Leo.

We hyped up the big boy underwear for weeks. We bought rewards cars together, made up a sticker chart and had small treats on hand for pees on the potty.


Audrey was a huge help and really had him excited for going on the potty. She wanted a treat as well so she asked if she helped would she get a treat. Bribes work here!


We spent most of Thursday lounging around in our pjs (Leo with only underwear) and had a lot of accidents but that's expected. I was prepped with a billion pairs of underwear, pee pads and old towels.

I enjoyed the much needed break during nap time, while Audrey was preoccupied with play-doh.


Audrey and I also made cupcakes.. I suggested muffins, she said cupcakes. Who am I to say no to cupcakes? I'm not sure I would recommend baking while potty training and having the appliance repair man come by- the cupcakes weren't the best but still edible.

Audrey contributed by helping decorating them.  She's good at the sprinkles!


It was also my Mom's birthday on Thursday so it seemed fitting to make cupcakes even if we couldn't eat them with her.


By that evening I was DONE! Potty training is a test of wills! Thankfully I had a hair appointment that evening so I did get a break.

Afterwards I ventured to Lowes to check out washer and dryer sets since the appliance repairman confirmed that our washer is definitely done and so it likely isn't worth even trying to repair the dryer. They still work, but not for long. Might as well take advantage of the Black Friday sales while we can.



I had it narrowed down to two sets so I went home to do a bit of research (plus it was closing time). I ended up finding an even better deal at Costco online and they deliver to your room of choice so I ended up ordering from them. I'm looking forward to a new, quieter laundry set! We went with the blue one above (and not because it was blue).

Friday was another day of potty training. We did have preschool drop off and it was crazy hair day! I found a couple ideas on Pinterest that I knew we could do. She was very excited for her pipecleaner hair!


She made the "balloon" at the bottom.


Potty training and parenting in general that day was a struggle. Kids fighting, endless meltdowns and so many accidents! I know it's to be expected and I did have low expectations but it was frustrating.

Saturday was another day of seclusion for Leo and I. Audrey went to dance and they ran a couple errands after. It was nice out so hubby started putting up the Christmas lights.

At one point I heard the kids say they wanted to go outside too. I was in the kitchen but I heard Audrey helping Leo get dressed. Then they went outside and a minute later hubby came in laughing to say that Leo needed pants! Audrey helped him put on his socks, coat and boots but no pants!!


In the afternoon, the Christmas lights guys came with the cherry picker to trim the tree and install the lights on the high parts of the roof. Leo woke up to this view outside his window!


I can safely say that is not a job I would want to do!


The house does look pretty with all the lights up now! Still have a few more strings to put up. We haven't even started decorating the inside yet! Maybe next weekend.


Being housebound most of the weekend we did a lot of colouring and crafts. In a way it was nice to have a slower weekend, with few plans but it was still exhausting to be chasing after Leo all day long to make sure he didn't have an accident.


At one point he insisted on wearing pants. Thankfully he didn't have an accidents in them. Or maybe he did- I lost count. I know I did a lot of laundry on the weekend!

Pretending to be a snail... with the hand drawn snail Audrey made him.


Sunday we broke out of house arrest and went down the street to get Leo's hair cut. He was a champ and sat perfectly still and didn't have any accidents.



However he was sad that he didn't get to go to the grocery store with Daddy and Audrey because we didn't want to risk any accidents since he still wasn't tell us when he needed to go. He even sat on the potty to convince them he could go. Maybe a grocery trip next weekend will motivate him!

We also worked on Santa's letters. Leo was more into putting the stickers on than telling me what he wanted for Christmas!


In the afternoon, Audrey and I snuck away from the boys for some shopping/girl time. Going to the mall was a mistake-- too many people there. I didn't even end up getting much, other than out of the house! I think I am going to stick to online shopping as much as I can. 

So now you can see why I was looking so forward to going back to work this week! Thankfully the dayhome is willing to keep working with Leo on potty training so hopefully with some consistency he will catch on. We don't have time to be housebound anymore!

What was the highlight of your weekend?
What was the low?

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

~Oranj Fitness POUND class Review~

I love a new workout and what better way to try it with friends!

Jen, a fellow member of the 'blog squad' arranged for us to try a class at the new gym, Oranj Fitness in her city of Airdrie. Oranj Fitness offers over 90 classes a week ranging from barre, dance, yoga, bootcamp, and other fitness classes. Something for all!



We tried a POUND class- think drumming, dance party and a workout in one! Using light weight drumsticks designed for exercise, you transform drumming into a full body workout that combines cardio, conditioning and strength training. It's for all fitness levels. Yes, it IS as fun as it sounds!

Once we arrived at the gym, we had a tour of the facility which is gorgeous, bright and white! They have a small boutique as well which was so tempting to not buy it all!



And yes, I was quoting this sign after the workout!


Oranj Fitness even has complimentary childcare with all unlimited passes! What every parent wants to hear!


Each room is named after someone inspirational which is pretty neat!
 



The ladies change room/washroom was stunning! Chandeliers everywhere. Lots of different amenities, curling irons and blow dryers so you don't have to haul your own stuff from home every day!



A little inspirational quote to empower you before/after you workout!
 

We did our POUND workout in this room. They do a variety of different workouts in here so most of the equipment is for other workouts.


Cheryl was our instructor and she is a former drummer! She explained the workout to us, how to hold our drum sticks, showed us a few of the basic moves and then turned off the lights, turned on the black light and the strobe light! We put on some glow sticks and it was dance party time!


Glowing!


The class consisted on a lot of squats and drumming! There were about 4-5 sets of workouts- alternating between sitting, laying down or squatting on the mat. It really didn't feel like you were working out most of the time because you were having so much fun and the music really pumps you up!

What I liked best about the class is that it didn't matter if you were in exact unison with others, which was reassuring to me since I'm less than coordinated! It's easy to modify the workout depending on your fitness level. It definitely had me sweating in the warm up.




POUND was probably one of the funnest workout classes I have ever done! I never wondered when the class would be over and while I was definitely feeling the workout, especially in my quads, it was so enjoyable. 

I will admit that I had a bit of a headache going into the class so the strobe light was a bit bothersome. I did love the glow sticks and the party atmosphere though.  

If you are in the Airdrie area, you need to check out Oranj Fitness! They have all sorts of membership options and over 90 classes a week to choose from! 

Thanks Jen for organizing this class for us!