September

Where did the summer go? I mean, it’s still 40C out there with the humidex, but I can’t believe it’s already September. I don’t feel like we’ve been busy this summer, and yet it has flown by.

The past few weeks have been a bit tough here. I had some bleeding a couple weeks ago, and so my health team is keeping an eye on things and telling me to “take it easy” (which, you know, with a 3 year old is kind of interesting). There have been some miscommunication and a case of too many cooks I think, so I’m switching from shared care (GP and OB) to just my OB. I won’t lie. I’m a bit stressed about everything right now. I had an appointment this past Thursday, another this Friday and then another two weeks after that. Somewhere in there they want me to get an ultrasound done too.  As far as we can tell, baby is fine, but they want to keep a close eye on things.

This, of course, has ramped up project “OMG, time to get ready for baby!”, so I’ve been making lists, researching and started packing our hospital bag. I am mostly freaking out about how Liam will fair during Go Baby! time, but I am telling myself that we have a wonderful group of friends and family who will jump to the rescue whenever we need them. Also, it has helped me think about our birth plan/guidelines this time. Want to see what I’ve come up with? Click to enbiggen.

birthplan

So, with all of that going on, Liam and I took a week to hang with out friends and do what makes us smile. I booked the week off work and we did what ever felt right. We had a great time visiting parks, friends’ houses, having people over to our place and basically having a staycation. I managed to sneak out with my girlfriends one night and had a great time.

At the park, Liam plays on his scooter with his friend riding his bike in the background

Today we are going to be rearranging our master bedroom to prepare for Baby (I know, I know, 3 months away. Mama needs to nest!). I have been slowly working away on our mountains of laundry and prepping all the baby clothes for his arrival. We maaaaaaaay have agreed on a name, but I’m hesitant to say it’s chosen for sure. It was on our list for Liam, and I had somehow disregarded it this time until Pat brought it up again. It’s not as… unique or historic as I would have liked (RIP Finnigan, River, Rowan, and Ronan; the names that I loved and were vetoed) but I think it works and fits well within the family. If I feel more certain about it, I will share it (with the disclaimer of it being possible that we change our minds when Kiddo arrives and we see if it actually works for him). In the mean time, I am working hard to convince Pat to at least go with some alternative spelling, but I doubt that will come to fruition ;)

Oh, I wanted to add that I’m sorry for the lack of ipsy review this month. With everything going on, I just wasn’t into it. Doesn’t help that my bad this month was incredibly uninspiring and disappointing. Here’s hoping this month is better.

And with that, I am off to make myself a tea. Mama needs all the “get up and go” that she can get.

Equinox

I swear time is doing funny things to us here. I feel like it is both flying by and crawling forward. Perhaps that’s just life with a toddler.

Week one of the 21 day fix wraps up today. It’s been an interesting week! It has been a challenge to work out daily, but not as much as I thought it would be. I also thought it would be harder to follow the meal plan, but it’s amazing how easy it is once you wrap your head around it. A week ago, it took me nearly 4 hours to plan for the week. Now I can replan and day in 10 minutes, tops. (Which we had to do yesterday due to grocery limitations and other pain in the butt issues, such as my car being a total piece of crap). I have really enjoyed sharing this experience with Pat. He has been a massive motivator to me. No major change on the scale yet, but I’m not going to do an official End of Week 1 weigh in until tomorrow morning.

Other observations:

  • I hate cardio. I am screwed when the apocalypse happens.
  • I have very little in the way of work-out attire. In the process of remedying that.
  • It’s amazing how quickly your body adapts. I went from drinking almost no water a day, and 3+ cups of coffee (full of milk and sugar), to a TONNE of water and almost no coffee in a day (only a quick glug of milk and stevia now).
  • I freaking love balsamic vinegar. On everything. EVERYTHING.

For those that are into this, this is my meal plan for this coming week. I know it doesn’t look like much, but the portions are HUGE.

21daywk2

Aside from this massive lifestyle change, we got out to see some more houses and have a renewed hope. We are returning to getting our place done and will hopefully have it on the market by next week. We are moving our target area a bit and have fallen in love with a small town further south. We have FOUR places that we are really interested in now, so I am very excited.

Hopefully we get our acts together and get going so that it isn’t freaking February when we are moving. Ugh.

It seems fitting that all of this change is going on now, at Mabon time.

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I have to say, I love this time of year. I never feel more like myself than I do now. I live for sweater weather, apples and spice, fallen acorns, changing leaves and tea. Seriously, my heart is set to burst with how much I adore it. I hate how short lived it is.

mabon

I don’t have any major plans for Mabon this year. Maybe a few crafts with my boy, a walk in the woods and a cleansing of the home (also a good idea for getting some welcoming vibes for the house hunters). I have some yard work to do, to both enhance the curb appeal and prep for the coming winter. That feels like it should round out the day perfectly :)

What are you doing for the equinox?

Still in the middle

What a whirlwind life has been. The house prep has been a all consuming project. I plan on sharing some pictures with you soon as part of my UFYH series. We finally came to an agreement with the bank (who own the house we love) and have conditionally purchased it. The three conditions that we made were: 1. Home inspection 2. Financing 3. Selling our place

Yesterday was the home and septic inspection. I have to be honest and say I am overwhelmed. I still absolutely love the house, but there was more than I hoped. The place is almost 70 years old, so I shouldn’t be surprised….but we have to now sit down and really decide if we can live with what we now know.

Liam is loving the yard, especially the tractors right behind us.

Liam is loving the yard, especially the tractors right behind us.

In the mean time, we are getting all the last bit of information to the bank to get our mortgage application in, as well as finishing up all the prep to get our place listed. On top of that, I am still working in the evening a couple days a week and Pat still has classes two nights a week. I haven’t been this exhausted and stressed in such a long time. I have cut my hours down, and Pat finished his course next week, so hopefully things will mellow out a bit. I was hoping to have our home listed by now, so hopefully this delay won’t screw up our plans.

So far, we have:

-Decluttered. We have a storage unit outside full of large pieces of furniture and items that were clogging up the space

-Made some repairs

-Painted trim.

Doesn’t sound like much, but I swear it is. I have been a hermit for weeks, focusing on this place. Gods, I hope it all pays off.

Black magik

This time of year always makes me nostalgic. As we are forced indoors by the cold, I think back to Halloween over the years. I used to go to a local club every year with my friends to celebrate at the Annual Witches Gathering party.

It’s a hard thing to explain. I’ve had other friends join me and try never really got why I went there every year. The line ups were awful, service was bad and the music was terribly outdated (and not in a good way). There was a certain appeal of being with my people and attending out of a sense of ritual. They have since changed venues, but I haven’t gone since my Mom passed.

Me at the Gathering, 2009.

Me at the Gathering, 2009.

Before going out, we used to stop by a little cafe downtown called Oh So Good. Oh So Good used to have this amazing coffee on the menu called Black Magik. It was served in a bowl style mug and was DELICIOUS. The cafe has since moved and lost its appeal, as well as the Black Magik on the menu.

Tonight is the night of the Witches Gathering. I’m not going, but I decided to make myself a cup of Black Magik as best as I could.

OSG’s Black Magik

My not-so-black magik

My not-so-black magik

What you need:

  • Strong black coffee (I used my Keurig, but whatever tickles your fancy is what works best)
  • Two scoops of chocolate icecream
  • Sweetener of choice (I used maple syrup)
  • Milk/Cream/whatever if you need it

It’s pretty straight forward. Brew your coffee however you like it. It’s best if it’s a heavier strong coffee. Add two scoops of chocolate icecream and stir. If it’s not sweet or light enough for you, add your sweetener and milk/cream/whatever. I only had vanilla icecream on hand, so that’s what went into mine. Garnish with a tiny bit of Cinnamon and Nutmeg.

What ever you’re up to tonight, I hope you’re having a lovely time. We are relaxing and setting Liam up in his big boy room. It’s his first night out of our room. Wish us luck!

Liam's Room <3

Liam’s Room <3

June has been kicking my butt

Man, this month has been brutal so far, and it’s only the 8th!

Last week on Friday, I left work early for a doctor’s appointment. I was super excited, as I’ve been trying to find a new doctor closer to home for a couple of years now. One had opened up in the walk in clinic I normally go to, so I was thrilled to be meeting with her. On the way to the bus stop, I had a misguided construction worker decide to flirt with me by “saving me” from a bus that he sent to hit me. Yep. He grabbed me out of the way once he realized what was going on, and took advantage of the moment to put his arms around me. Awwwwkward. Grumbled at him and then fled to catch my bus. Turns out the route changed, so I barely made it on time to my appointment. Unfortunately, once there, I very quickly realized that she was NOT the doctor for me.

She argued with me about my cancer risks, told me that depression can ONLY be treated with specific medications and that therapy doesn’t actually work. Also, I was told that while I am not too obese (?!), I’m not currently a risk for diabetes. Oh, and the kicker: When talking about TTC (that’s Trying to Conceive for those of you not familiar with the lingo) tips, her response was: Have sex every other day and remember not to use a condom. Also, when she asked me if I was taking folic acid, I told her I was taking a popular prenatal multivitamin. She then responded with this nugget of wisdom: prenatal vitamins are crap and that if I continue to take them instead of straight up folic acid, my baby will be deformed.

Yeah, not going back.

I bused home and was heart broken to discover our A/C was broken. Yes, it was a good start to my weekend. Add to that the following: Injured husband = Heather does all the yard work and house work, serious estate drama which may result in the estate being dragged out an extra year, husband potentially having rheumatoid arthritis in his right hand according to his chiro, 5lbs gained by me (making the grand total a lovely 20lbs since my wedding), stressful party planning, and my dead father’s birthday.

This week hasn’t been much easier so far. The temperatures are insane right now. We are as warm as New Orleans today. NEW ORLEANS. Let me illustrate the crazy for you:

Yeah. Something about that isn’t right. So, it’s crazy effing hot all week, there’s 5lbs more of me to be sweaty and grumpy and we don’t have A/C. I’ll tell you what we do have though: A sweltering townhouse, full of angry furry hot animals, with new and awesome water damage in the basement, potentially caused by the broken A/C. Yaaaaaay!!

So, on top of this tender piece of greatness, estate stuff has been bad and my ability to take crap is at an all time low.

Courtesy of pinterest, my new obsession.

Nice lead up to my birthday, which is this weekend, right? All I want for birthday is for the powers that be to stop shitting on me and my family. Yesterday, Pat and I protested the world and decided “Fuck everything, let’s eat meatloaf and watch the end of Supernatural season 5”. So we did. And it was good.

And on that note, let’s pretend it’s Tuesday!

A peek at the past week (how I’ve been): See above

I am thinking… About the estate, our lives and money. Big big stuff.

I am thankful for… the weekend I have coming up. I need friend time, badly. And booze. I think booze will help too.

From the kitchen… Nothing terribly interesting lately, though I’ve spied a few recipes on pinterest that I want to try. Namely Margarita cupcakes. Yummmmm.

I am wearing… No fancy under things. I’m in a brown summer dress to fight off the heat

I am creating… journal entries for the 30 day journal challenge.

I am going… to clean as soon as it’s cool enough to, and then enjoy the hell out of this weekend.

I am reading…  Game of Thrones. Almost done! Loook this book so far.

I am hoping… for some peace. I feel so overwhelmed by life right now.

I am hearing… The Weepies. Thanks to Tracy, they have entered my iphone music rotation

Around the house…HOOOOOOOOOT and damage and work to do. I hate it.

One of my favorite things…painting my nails. Took a couple hours last night and did both my fingers and my toes. My toes are a lovely dark purple and my nails are a purply grey. 

A few plans for the rest of the week: Tonight, Thursday and Friday: Cleaning and estate stuff. Saturday: Leelee arrives and I have girlie birthday celebrations with her and S! This shall include hanging out downtown, seeing Bridesmaids and going out for dinner/drinks. Sunday is unplanned so far, but will include dinner with the hubby, and potentially L if she doesn’t have other plans.

Here is picture! Yay!

Sangria, my true love <3

A responsible Heather would have her bags packed and waiting by the door. A Heather with amazing time management skills would have a clean kitchen and a home made lunch waiting for me in a couple of hours.

This Heather got home yesterday and promptly fell asleep on the couch. In my work clothes. You may not understand why this is strange, but let me assure you, it is. I’m not a napper, at all. It makes me queasy and messes up my very delicate sleep schedule. Also, it’s my usual routine to get the hell out of my work clothes as soon as I walk in the front door. Instead, I fell asleep and eventually got up to our dog jumping around in anticipation of her evening walk (80lbs of excited jumping is actually a lot more like stomping, especially considering the proximity to my face). I got up, had a bowl of cereal, a mug of tea and somehow managed to stay conscious until about 10pm when I passed out (in bed this time) again.

Every now and then, my body announces that it has had enough of my stress and busy schedule, of my poor diet and my lack of exercise. I’ll admit, it’s been a bit rough having to work on the estate most evenings, the many trips across town to check on the house, while working during the day, keeping the house “clean”, trying to maintain my relationship with my husband and my friends, the weddings, babies and showers. Some days, I’m just so very done that I can’t use any more energy than that needed to watch an episode of Bones (last night, btw, was amazing with the exception of Michaela Conlin. Not sure what’s going on with this actress or if its just the character, but I’m really disliking how her character has progressed into this condescending unfeeling bitch. Seriously, not even a single tear last night? Really? BONES cried, and you didn’t even whimper?)

Today, I started reading my blogs after getting myself a cup of foul smelling coffee. I came across The Harlot’s recent post and was struck by the following:

I realized that this is what I want to tell her- or anyone else who says “I don’t know how you do it all.”

I DON’T.

I can’t express that enough.  I don’t think I could do it all. The only reason that I’m able to make any of this work is because I’ve got priorities and low standards and no expectation of doing it all. There are a million things I don’t do.

I just don’t see any way that anybody could ever really do it all- especially if it’s all their problem. We’re all going to prioritize stuff differently, and maybe knitting appears lower on your list and the condition of the kitchen way higher, in which case my darlings… you should let go of what suits you.   I could have a clean house and finished laundry and toilet paper and matching towels all the time, but I think that to do that, I’d have to give up some knitting, or writing or being with my family the way I want to, and there’s no way that you’re ever going to tell me that I am ever, ever going to look back on this time and think that the time I spent talking with my kids, knitting beautiful things, writing books or earning a living was wasted, and that I could have been way, way more fulfilled by a shiny sink, a more intimate relationship with my vacuum,  or knowing where my damn bra is. There are only so many hours in a day, there are only so many things one woman can be responsible for, and I have to make choices, just like everyone else, and I don’t know how I would juggle it all and I don’t know how all this looks through the lens of the blog, but really,  no…

I don’t do it all.

Guys, I can’t even explain how much I needed to read that. I hold myself at this impossible standard most days and am so disappointed with myself when things don’t get done. I have friends and family that put so much pressure on themselves to be “perfect” and to have “perfect” homes, and I find it so stressful and exhausting to try to meet these imaginary standards that are out there when they come over. Sure, I like a tidy-ish house, but I don’t need every piece of furniture gleaming and every surface clear of clutter. I just don’t and I’m just so damn tired all the time that it’s nice to finally read something that shows me that I’m not alone.

Thanks Harlot, I needed that.

The plan is to do a bit of tidying tonight, finish up laundry and get some groceries so that the husband doesn’t survive solely on popcorn and cereal while I’m gone, and then tomorrow I’ll finish up (ie: Start) my packing and then I’m off! No stress, no anxiety. Get it done at my pace.

Community Spirit

I grew up in a suburb on the east end of town. We moved there in 1988 when the majority of the area was still in development or fields. Today, the landscape has completely changed and the area is considered a “mature” ‘burb, with full grown trees and houses needing or having recently had renovations. This childhood neighbourhood, despite being called “cookie cutter” by many of my more recent friends, was amazing for me as a child. There were a bunch of families with kids the same age, lots of people who knew each other’s names, mowed each other’s lawns and helped shovel when the snowbanks were higher than the garage doors. We had a small wooded area nearby with a park, and the traffic was light and cautious, so we were always encouraged to be outside.

I grew up in a community that cared about it’s people. When my father died, neighbours I haven’t seen in years brought us casseroles and dinners. They helped Mum with landscaping and chores. They kept an eye on her for me when I couldn’t be there.

Today, I live in a burb on the southwest side of town. It’s only maybe a decade younger than my old home, but it couldn’t be more different. We’ve lived here three years, and I still don’t know the names of any of our neighbours. No one helps you, no one says hi, with an exception to the one family across the street and a few doors down. I really miss feeling like I’m surrounded by good, kind people.

Lately, I’ve been going to see my chiropractor twice a week. She’s in an older urban neighbourhood known as Westboro. I normally grab a coffee at the cafe next door and head back to work afterwards. It’s funny, but even though I only spend maybe 30 minutes in the area at a time, each time I go down there, people remind me of how sweet they can be. I get smiles and conversation. People hold doors open for each other. Today, I had about 40 minutes between appointments (my therapist is a block down), so I had breakfast in that cafe. The coffee guy made latte art for me (also known as Rosetta’s, btw. Find some great pictures here). The staff all chatted with those of us taking a break inside. There were genuine smiles and laughter. Funny how the small things can make an area feel like home.

My rosetta was similar to this

We’ll never live there (housing is WAY too expensive in that part of town, and it’s too urban for Pat) but it’s a wonderful place to visit. I hope that one day, I settle down in a place where the community has a heart. Meanwhile, thanks Westboro for being so welcoming. You make this difficult time that much brighter.

Mabon 2010

Depending on when you celebrate it, it’s Mabon time! (Or Ostara for those across the way) I’ll probably be celebrating tomorrow, but we’ll see how I’m feeling later today. I wish you all the best, whether you celebrate it or not. For me, it is so timely, it’s almost too perfect.  There are plenty of blogs out there that tell you all about Mabon, so let me be brief.

For me, Mabon is about recognizing and celebrating the bounty of life, as well as what I call “Fall Cleaning”. It’s about preparing for the colder months, tidying and making yourself and your space ready.

Fall has always been my favourite season, followed closely in second by Spring. I think the reason I’m so drawn to these two transitional seasons is that they offer so much promise. You can feel the energy of change in the air. It’s invigorating. The colours are incredible, and the weather can be spectacular. From an early age, fall meant a new beginning, with the start of school. Several of my jobs have started in the fall as well, after I finished University. It just seems like the appropriate time to take a step forward and make a change in your life.

I took this week off work, not realizing that it was Mabon. My plan was to go through the house and give it a deep clean. I want to go through our things and make piles for storage so that we can claim our space while we’re here. I’m tired of feeling like our house dictates our life and creates this constant sense of clutter and anxiety. For some great tips on magical decluttering, check out this post by the Domestic Witch.

An unplanned celebration of past experience is that I’ve started scrapbooking. Pat’s best friend, Jan, asked me if I would be interested in hanging out and working on our books together. I’ve been meaning to do this for YEARS (I got my first bit of scrapbooking stuff about 7 years ago for my birthday from a close friend, I have yet to touch a single page) so I figured it was the perfect time. It’s been really fun going through old pictures and picking out the ones that I want to be part of a collection.

Pat and I are planning on going out for dinner this weekend to celebrate three months of marriage. It may seem like a small silly thing, but I’ve always believed that three months is what it takes for me to adapt to a new situation, and if we can get through three months and still be just has happy as we were the day we wed, then I think we’ll be ok for a long time. :)

Unfortunately, this week also holds some harder events. One is a meeting with the family to decide the fate of the “stuff” within my mother’s house. I am very very nervous about this and can only pray that it goes well. Lastly, this week also holds the 2 year anniversary of my father’s death.

Coolest Dad Ever

My father and I were very close. I wouldn’t say that I was a Daddy’s Girl, but we definitely had a close and unique relationship that I am very lucky to have had. We were all completely shocked when he passed away suddenly two years ago. His health seemed to be decent (for a man of his weight and medical history) and so we were completely taken off guard when he was found dead on the kitchen floor of the family home, from an apparent heart attack. I miss him every day, and am lucky that he has visited me in my dreams many times since his death. My life will never be the same without him, though I am glad that he went exactly the way he wanted to – quickly, with minimal pain, and in the comfort of his own home.

So, all together I bring a lot with me to my altar on Mabon. Lots to be thankful for and lots to work through.  I’m wishing you all the best in the new season :)

Seeing Things

I’d like some witchy opinions, if that’s alright.

Lately I’ve been seeing, out of the corner of my eye, just out of focus, creepy crawlies on our walls. The second I turn to look at them, they scuttle away. They aren’t “real” bugs, but rather something else that is there, but not. The one I saw yesterday was quite big and looked something like this:

My initial reaction to them is always negative and I found myself wondering if maybe the house’s energy is out of wack. Any opinions? I wonder if maybe they are around because of the stress and negative energy that’s been pretty strong lately. Also, I haven’t cleansed the house in a long time (a year or so).

Has anyone ever seen anything like this before?

Wish I could stop to breathe

I don’t know what happened. This year was supposed to be awesome. I’m getting married in June, all the associated parties, hanging out with friends, it all looked great on paper. Somehow, The Powers That Be missed the memo. Everyone I know seems to be having a harder time of things than usual. I really hope that those days are fading with Spring’s approach, because I think we could all use a break.

One friend has Strep Throat and has had her roommates mutiny on her, so she has to finish school, find a new apartment and get ready for the wedding. Next friend has been the rock of support to everyone since Jesse died, but still has to be a Mama to her 7 month old daughter, take some courses, and start job hunting for the fall. My sister is completely stressed over the work she has to finish this semester, Mum’s health and her trip here. My best guy friend, Isaac, just found out he got the job of his dreams, which is great, but it means he’s gone for a year and will most likely miss my wedding. I’m not sleeping, or eating well, and according to my nearest and dearest, my body is going into survival mode, demanding the most calories that it can, to keep going.

Breath. We all need time to breath and heal. I need to start taking care of myself.

But, no break for me! The house is now painted. It feels more like home now, which is such a tease. All of the awful pink is gone and replaced by a Real Estate Agent Approved Neutral. I was expecting to hate it, but it’s actually quite nice and works well with the red/orange kitchen and the blue tile. Our basement is now a lovely light blue. Phase 2 involved installing laminate floors down there too.

I’ve been trying to keep it clean, but it’s nearly impossible with a big fluffy shedding dog and two big fluffy shedding cats. I was ecstatic to receive our first wedding gift: A Dyson Animal!

Unfortunately, it seems to have outsmarted me. It came with a whole wack of attachments, and I can’t for the life of me figure out which one I’m supposed to use on the stairs. So, here I sit, googling Dyson attachments, letting myself get distracted by music (Florence and the Machine “Drumming” is my current fave). Tonight, I have to clean the house as Real Estate Agent Man is coming by again soon to have us sign the paper work and to see the new paint job. We also have to seed the yard, as we’re supposed to have a beautiful weekend, and the yard is mainly dirt which we’ve been told isn’t a huge selling feature. Odd :P

This is from the actual ad picture when we bought

This is from the actual ad picture when we bought

Gross and sad basement

Gross and sad basement

Our weed infested yard. Weeds are now gone, but only dirt remains

Our weed infested yard. Weeds are now gone, but only dirt remains

I’ll post the after once everything is clean and pretty, I promise.

I just want a day to relax, but that’s not going to happen for a while. Certainly not until the house is sold and we’re settled in my Mum’s place. At least the room there is almost done. We have it all painted, so it’s only touch ups and cleaning left to do. Yay!

Our bedroom in Orleans. This is the main colour. My Mum wanted us to keep it neutral

The Accent wall in our room at my Mum's.

I’m thinking about doing something to bring the right buyer to our house. Need to go through all my books and see if I don’t come across something that works.

Wedding stuff have essentially been put on hold during the move. Luckily, we’re pretty much on time for everything, so there’s no major rush right now. My friend Brytani is done with the invitations and we should have them within a week to be sent out. Very exciting :) I went through our wedpage to make it family appropriate, as it’s listed on our invitations.

Well, I need to get back at it.  Bye all :)