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!


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! 

Monday, November 21, 2016

~Weekend Recap~

Another whirlwind weekend that has me wondering where it went and why I didn't sleep enough!

On Thursday, winter arrived! But that didn't stop Alison and I from making a last minute decision to brave the cold and snow for a Zoo trip with the kids! We are Canadian after all and fun can't stop when it's cold out! We mostly stuck to the inside exhibits. We practically had the Zoo to ourselves which was nice.

We finally saw the baby gorilla since the last few times it's been so crowded. She was quite active, running around and climbing all over the place. 

Sheldon the tortoise is always entertaining.

We stopped for snacks in the atrium.

In the afternoon the snow was still on the sidewalk and driveway, so the kids and I headed out to shovel it. I told hubby when we moved that snow removal was a blue job since we have a huge sidewalk now... well how convenient that he was up in Edmonton when we got snow! It wasn't much snow but it was quite icy underneath.

The kids wanted to continue playing with their shovels in the backyard. 

On Friday, we headed to the store in the morning to pick up some supplies for our Operation Christmas Child shoe box. Audrey wanted to gift a 4 year old girl. She did a great job of picking out various items and also experienced my annual dilemma of seeing all the things you want while trying to Christmas shop!

Both kids had Doctor's checkups before Preschool. Audrey had been complaining of headaches almost night for the past few days. The Doctor said she is getting over a virus so to keep an eye on the headaches and come back in if they persist. So far she hasn't had one since mid-last week so hopefully it was just from the virus.

They are both growing well and there are no concerns.

After nap it was craft and sticker time which usually makes a huge mess but keeps the kids entertained. Plus it's cute when they play nicely together. 

Saturday was a busy day! Audrey had dance in the AM which was also the parent viewing class. Leo kept asking where Audrey was and trying to peek through the door! It was so cute!

They had us participate in their mini-performance, teaching us all their dance moves. Audrey was so excited to teach Leo, even if he just wanted to run around the room!

Later in the afternoon we saw Disney on Ice Worlds of Enchantment. I remember when I went to see Ice Capades when I was around Audrey's age and loved it! Audrey is a fan of any Disney princess and Leo is Cars-obsessed so it was perfect for them (and me!).

Frozen- the highlight of the show

Audrey and Leo were pretty serious most of the show, taking it all in. Once Frozen came on, Audrey was up dancing and singing along. In her princess dress of course!

I tried so hard to avoid the tables of merchandise but the kids asked so nicely for "something special". Even if the Frozen wand gives me a seizure from the flashing lights!

The show ended right at dinner time so we went to a sushi restaurant close by.

Sunday morning we braved Costco and then the Calgary Farmer's Market. Both were a bit insane but we survived and the kids enjoyed the play area at the market.

Sunday afternoon I headed to Oranj Fitness in Airdrie to check out a new workout class called POUND with some of the blog squad. Fun is an understatement! More details on that to come later this week! Think drumming, glow sticks and strobe light. Almost like a dance party!

We took it easy for the remainder of the evening before the start of another busy week.

Today, at Preschool pick up Audrey asked me when it's the weekend again! Poor girl is feeling Monday!