Check out the Strange Fit

>> August 24, 2009

I have been mulling this around my brain pan for a couple weeks now and I finally sat down today and set it up (much to the consternation of a certain small child).  I have started a new blog.  It is called Strange Fit.  I've been really wanting to get into shape.  Not just talk about it, not just dream about it, not just sigh longingly at clothing stores that don't carry plus sizes, but actually do it.  I've realized though that, left to myself, I run out of steam way too quickly.  I recently got the EA Sports Active for the Wii and 3 workouts shy of completing my first 30 day challenge, I ran out of steam.  I got all blah and didn't do my exercise one day.  And the next.  And the next.  And the next.  Insert depression here.  I want to get out of this rut.  Obviously the way I've been doing things results in, well, not doing things.  So it's time for a change.

I have in my mind how cool this site could be, with recipes and tips for eating right and drinking more water and all that fun stuff.  I also want to do reviews of different kinds of exercise and how easy/hard they are to incorporate into every day life.  Right now, my main source of exercise (apart from previously mentioned small child) is my Sports Active on Wii.  I know there are a few of you out there who have this program as well.  Whether you're doing the 30 day challenge or not, I'd love to get together and share tips and frustrations.  We could even share custom workouts.  Eventually I hope to be able to do some fitness related give-aways. 

So come on over.  Check it out.  Tell your friends.  I'm totally open to suggestions and guest posters and maybe even team members.


Six Word Saturday

>> August 22, 2009

Birthday BBBQ! Birthday BBQ! Birthday BBQ!

Okay, so I cheated. But only a little. And I do have every right to be excited about it. Especially since I went to bed early feeling poopy and my wonderful Rocket Scientist stayed up until midnight cleaning up and tidying the house. (then to add insult to injury, Asher woke up just as he was coming to bed and because we're trying to go without the paci it took 2 hours to put him to sleep and then, just as he was crawling into bed, Asher came to my side of the bed to see if it was morning yet and it took me another hour before he finally fell asleep for the night. whew. bright side is that he slept in until 7:30 this morning. So I suppose my 6 words could have been 'without paci Little Man doesn't sleep')


On Turning 34

>> August 19, 2009

Okay. Yes. I am now 34. I have never really been bothered by birthdays. Excited usually. It's always been a celebration and on occasion it has stuck out as a 'milestone' year.

Sweet 16.

18 made me legal in Alberta.

19 made me legal in neighboring provinces.

20 was just plain cool. 21 made me legal pretty much everywhere.

25 was another cool one, for a lot of reasons. It was the turn of the century. And I was in Africa. I woke up on the beach in Mozambique for that one.

26 was a little depressing, partly because it meant I was on my way to 30 and partly because I wasn't in Africa anymore and I missed it terribly.

29 was exciting because I was getting married that year.

30 didn't freak me out as much as I thought it would. It was kind of fun. I was starting to feel like an adult, we had just moved to Chicago, I got a ferret!

31, meh, I just didn't think much about it.

33 was my first birthday as a Mom!

And now here we are. 34. Feeling a little I'm not sure why this year is bothering me. Perhaps because the novelty of feeling like an adult is wearing off. No. That's not right. Honestly I still always feel like everyone's looking at me like I'm 16 when in a room full of women. I have no idea why that is. I have issues. I think The Rocket Scientist has worried that I'll be sad because we're not having a big party with loads of friends. We had that last year, and it was great. It's not really bothering me, though. I mostly look forward to doing birthday stuff with Jeff. Sorry everyone, it's not that I don't love you.

But this year...I'm feeling the year. I'm more aware of time. How quickly it's moving. I'm more aware of how not in shape I am. How it seems much harder to regain a shape that I don't mind looking at.

On the other hand, I may just be hormonal. I am after all, ovulating. Ha! Betcha didn't think I could milk that for more, didja!

But don't let my whinging bother you. I really am very blessed this year. As I am every year. I have a wonderful, loyal, attentive, passionate husband and an adorable, giggling, brilliant, cuddly, awesome son. Happy Birthday to me!


And now for something...A little Brit different

>> August 17, 2009

Okay, I am going to be totally upfront and say that I did not think of that terribly witty turn of phrase on my own. We are big Doctor Who fans in this house and made sure that every cable package we had back in the States included BBC America. I don't know if they said that before every program (that would have gotten old really fast), but they did say it before Doctor Who and/or Torchwood and it would always bring with it a little twinge of excitement because it meant we were getting our 'fix'.

I am now completely unashamedly stealing that phrase for my own blogging purposes. I think I'm pretty safe in this. But if I get several hundred more followers, I may have to change the name as a preemptive strike against litigation. (I have always wanted to idly fit that into conversation).

So without further ado, here is my first installment of:

Everyone asks, "How do you find driving on the 'wrong' side of the road?" Honestly, you get used to it. For one thing, you're expecting it. You know, coming here, that you're going to be driving on a different side, getting in the other side of the car, trying to remember which direction to look when you cross the street. You're prepared so it doesn't take too long to make the adjustment. It's the little things that no one ever tells you about, that you're totally unprepared for, that go a long way towards making you aware of the fact that common language or no, you are in a foreign country.

So here's on thing I noticed that is different on this side of the pond. Light switches go in the opposite direction. In North America, you click the light switch up to turn it on and down for off. Here it's down to turn it on and up to turn it off. I know, right? Who would think to warn you about stuff like that? I would. That's right, I got your back.

By the way, my inspiration for starting this is Brit Gal in the USA and her Brit Word of the Day.


Six Word Saturday

>> August 15, 2009

I am an IKEA queen, yo!

Let's just say our house is starting to remind me just a little bit of Fight Club. Or at least Asher's room does. Bet you just can't wait to see pictures.


What energy?

>> August 13, 2009

So I was pretty sure that I had posted something recently about having tons of energy. I'm still pretty sure I did, I can almost see/hear/feel the sentence I typed but I can't find it. Honestly I didn't look really hard, I just sort of scanned the last few posts and went, 'Meh. Too many words.' and gave up. I'm not really sure if it was just the post about being so productive/busy because I was anxious about my appointment, but I could have sworn I told you about the whole Wii Active thing. Ringing any bells? Maybe? Well, whatever. Let me start again.

When I was in Canada, I picked up Sports Active for the Wii. I love it. Doing the 30 Day Challenge. Some days it's not bad, other days it totally kicks my butt, but every day I sweat buckets so that's gotta be good, right? Anyway, a strange side effect that we've noticed is that I have a boat load of energy lately. I know. Weird. A side effect of all this energy however, seems to be that every time I sit down to write a post, I think of something else that needs to be done/picked up/washed/dried/folded/put away/played with, etc. So I've had all these posts run through my head and then run right out again. Apparently nothing has affected my concentration. Poop.

Oh, well. But I ask for your patience while I figure out how to incoporate all this actual 'doing' and 'keeping up with chores' stuff into my day which was previously filled with 'reading blogs', 'trying to be witty in posts', and 'just one more episode of Thomas Lazytown Pooh Lie to Me'. I will figure out how to do it all. Why are you lauging? Stop that!

I have to say though, that my lack of presence the last few days is because, wait for it....

Asher is sleeping through the night!!!

Yes, it would be thrilling if that didn't come with....

Asher is getting up at 5:30!!!

Yup, every morning. Sometimes, like today, he mixes things up and gets up at 5:05. It does not matter what time he goes down, 6:30 or 8:30 or anywhere inbetween, he is up by 5:30. And thanks to our brilliant idea of graduating him to a big boy bed, he just walks into our room and announces that it is now morning and why haven't you fed me yet?

So we're trying something new. We, as gently as possible, say that Mommy and Daddy are sleeping and would you please go back to your room and play. I even taught him how to turn on his lamp so he could get out his toys and play. Seriously, we should put cameras up and sell it to the networks, the comedy that is us trying gently to explain to a 16 month old that Mommy and Daddy are sleeping and he should go entertain himself.

No. You cannot remind me of this when he is 16 and I can't drag him out of bed in the morning with a team of wild horses.

And really, 'team' of wild horses? Isn't that a bit of an oxymoron? Have I mentioned how much caffeine I've had already this morning? No? Well, that's cause I don't remember. It's been a lot. But now I've got to go get my work out in before Asher wakes up.

I leave you with a reminder of how cute he really is despite his attempts to drive me insane, and a lovely rose from our back garden for us to all stop and 'smell' and relax a little. It is summer after all.


Friends in the Blogosphere

>> August 9, 2009

Last week a friend of mine joined me in the blogosphere. Now she's been writing forever and has had a blog or two in her time, but this particular blog is new. Go check her out, she has a way of looking at the everyday in a new way. I'm also thrilled because today, she quoted from my Mom's book, 'Who's Flying this Plane'.

Hope you all have a good Sunday, and happy reading:

Out of the Extraordinary: Welcome to the family


Slices of Beauty

>> August 6, 2009

I came across this blog today. I think through Brit Gal in the USA. She just left a simple comment and I checked out her blog. She had collections of various photos depicting different kinds of beauty. I liked the posts I saw, she seemed to be drawn to very similar things as me as far as seeing beauty went. So I decided to follow her and see what else she came up with. Just some nice pictures to brighten up my day. And then this post came up:

Slices of Beauty...: A Greek Retreat + A Thank You...

There is now a new standard for beauty in houses as far as I'm concerned. A lot of people commented on Greece and wow wouldn't I like to go there. I've been to Greece, it's fine, but this house is beyond. Just the sense of cool, refreshing, calm that emanates from each picture, made my heart ache just a little.

If my Rocket Scientist is ever asking around for something that I might like for my birthday or Christmas or our anniversary, if he built me this house, he would never have to get me anything. ever. again. for as long as I lived. Which would be a really long time in such a peaceful place, let me tell you.


Check me out! I'm a guest blogger!

A while back I wrote a blog for Beth and she's finally able to take that vacation so there I am on Musings of happy mommy, with my own musings. What fun!

I actually wrote the body of that post several weeks before she asked for submissions and had it just sitting in my written but not edited or posted box. So I edited it sent it to her. It's actually one of my favourite pieces. I think because I came about it so differently. I wasn't sitting down 'to write a post', I just had some thoughts in my head that I wanted to get out so I could possibly use them later. And of course it includes a picture of my Little Man. Always worth a check.

I hope you enjoy my post and be sure to stick around and check out C. Beth when she returns. She's one of the first bloggers that I started following way back when and she's one of the first I check on when I'm going about my daily read.

As for me, I'm off to chase my ever-increasingly energetic 16-month old. He's had a cold the past few days and is starting to feel better and I think is going a bit stir crazy from the lack of acitivity lately. Me too. Off to find a park.


Brown Bread - It's named after its color

>> August 5, 2009

Okay, I have never done this before. I have seen others do it though, so I'm pretty sure it will be okay.

I'm going to share a recipe.

It's nothing ground breaking. Just bread. Brown bread from back when they named it after the color as opposed to the whole wheat content. It might be more appropriate to call it a molasses bread. I got this recipe from my aunt. I think she may have gotten it from Grannie, her mom. It's handwritten so I don't even know if it was once in a book or not. I'm sure my mom will leave a comment correcting me on its origin, all I know is that it is truly yummy bread. A bit dense, cuts like a dream, toasts wonderfully to go with a nice hot cuppa.

In 1 cup of warm water dissolve 1 tsp honey and then add 2 tbsp yeast. Set aside 10 minutes.

Melt: together 1/2 cup of boiling water and 2 tbsp shortening and pour into your mixing bowl

Add: 1/4 cup honey and 1/4 cup molasses

Add: 1/2 cup milk, 1 beaten egg, 1 tsp salt, and yeast mixture. Stir well.

Add: Flour - approx. 6 cups to make a soft, light dough. Turn out and knead for 8 minutes.

Let Rise: in a greased bowl, covered, for 1 hour (150 degree F warmth)

Shape: into 2 loaves, place in a greased pans

Let Rise: 1 hour covered

Bake: at 400 degrees for 10 minutes, then at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.
(cover tops with foil if they get too dark)

*Now, I said it was a bit dense, but I think that's because I had two issues with letting it rise. I don't think it was warm enough, and my mixing bowl wasn't big enough. I was having trouble getting all 6 cups mixed in because of the size of my bowl and then I don't think it really let the dough have enough room to rise. Does anyone have tricks to share with me on a warm enough place to let bread rise? I've heard put it over the burner that the oven vents through, but I have a glass cooktop and no vent.

**Second amendment. I am currently living in the UK and I could not find molasses so I used treacle. I only used about 2/3rds of what was called for thinking that it would be too strong, but I don't' think it was. I would edge toward using the full 1/4 cup next time.

***Third note. This is for UK folk as well. Everyone may know this already, but it was news to me. Shortening is Cookeen in this country.

****Final mention. The yeast I use calls for it to be mixed with salt at the very beginning. But since the recipe added salt later, I left it out of the initial yeast mix and it turned out very well. I think it would have been too salty if I'd added what the yeast jar had called for.

I have tried a few bread recipes now and they just keep getting better. This one in particular was lovely to me because it tasted like my childhood. I was very pleased that my Little Man enjoys it as well. He had a slice or two as a snack, no butter, no jam, just the bread and he gobbled it up.

Let me know if you try this. I'd love to know how it turns out for you.


Ovulating? Me?

>> August 3, 2009

Why yes, thank you. I am. Ovulating. On my own. Without drugs. We've thrown around the line, "the best treatment for PCOS is a succesful pregnancy", but now there's actual hormonal proof. Yippee!

That being said, we are still testing everyone a second time to confirm that everyone's works are working.

That was the good news. The bad news is that if things are not working in 6 months or so, IUI's are not covered by NHS. And they don't do Clomid. They do FSH injections. And IVF. Which I don't qualify for for another year and some. That sucks.

We could do the IUI on our own, but it would cost 1400 GBP. That also sucks.

So for now, we are celebrating the fact that it seems I have suddenly gained the ability to ovulate. Thank God!

And now for the sex! Sorry, was that TMI? We're all adults, right? We know how this works.

So, wish us luck!!

With the ovulating, of course.


National Health

So we have an appointment with our local fertility clinic this afternoon. I find myself quite nervous. I knew I was getting anxious, but as today has worn on, I have become positively beside myself. I've managed to keep myself busy, I got up early and made crepes for breakfast, I've baked some truly delicious honey/molasses bread, and I've just about finished all the laundry I was behind on. I've also finished a unit of my online course and started the next one. And Asher has been nursed, napped, fed, cleaned, and kept happy. I need to be anxious more often. It makes me ridiculously productive.

On the other hand, I'd prefer to go without the stomach ache, slight light-headedness, and general shaky feeling. Sounds bad, I know. But it's all physical. I haven't been running stuff around in my head, I have apparently been suppressing any and all thoughts about it and it's just making me feel like crap. Part of the nervousness is the prospect of starting all this again; the meds, the testing, the not-so-comfy IUI, and the very real prospect of being pregnant again in the next couple months (we didn't have the horrible experience that some have had, I ovulated on the first round of clomid and we got pregnant on our first IUI so I'm kind of expecting it to go just as well the second time round).

The hitch, and I think this is what's really got my knickers in a twist, is that it's not like the US system where we had great insurance and a really great doctor that I had picked out myself. The clinic we're going to is at the hospital instead of a nice cosy office. I'm likely going to have a male doctor, not my first choice for sure. And the real kicker...they can say no. I'm not sure of the rules or waiting lists for these procedures. I know the rules for IVF are really quite strict. If we needed IVF I wouldn't qualify right now. I'm a little freaked. I'm trying not to be. Obviously. I never get this much work done. I'm sure all my worries will come to naught, but of course until I know for sure I'm having a bit of a moment.

Oh, yeah. And if they want to start Clomid, I have to wean Asher first. Yeah. I might actually be ready (although I feel guilty that I am), but I know that Asher for sure is not. Okay, for real now I think I may throw up sometime before this appointment actually takes place. Hopefully it's not as we're checking in. On someone's shoes. That would suck.

I'll let you know how it goes.



>> August 1, 2009

A month ago, I disappeared. I was trying to figure out a way of getting to my best friend's wedding back in Canada. I couldn't post about it because of course she reads these posts. And really nothing else was on my mind. So I hemmed and I hawed and Jeff and I went back and forth over pros and cons and logistics and practicalities and it really boiled down to relationship. How much are relationships worth? I've come to the conclusion that they're just about the only thing worth anything. Relationships with family, friends, spouses, children, parents, people on your street, in your church, at work, in your community, on the bus. Relationships are really the core of life. They are why we do most of what we do. How we view ourselves in relation to other people determines how we carry out our daily activites. Sorry. I didn't mean to get so philosophical. Just one of those things you start to get a broader scope of when you actually sit down and start writing. Back to my story.

Every time I talked about the week of E's wedding, I kept saying things like, 'when I get back'. Totally by accident. Jeff was already going to Poland that week for a conference, I was facing my first week on my own with Asher with a bit of trepidation and a bit of excitement, honestly, but everytime I thought of the wedding, I just couldn't imagine not being there. Originally, I was supposed to be a bridesmaid. It hurt that I wasn't going to be standing up there with her. So in the end, I went. We bought the ticket Sunday night and Tuesday we all flew out. Jeff dropped Asher and I off at Gatwick and then headed straight to Heathrow for his flight. We survived our first trans-Atlantic flight on our own (whew), and were able to surprise E Wednesday morning at her home. The wedding was on Friday and was absolutely one of the most beautiful, intimate, and unassuming weddings I have ever been to. I actually cried more at this wedding than my own. I am so happy that I was able to make it.

I spent a lot of time on this trip, reminiscing. Maybe that's not quite the right word. Remembering is a better word. I had been having a hard time remembering what life was like before Asher and I was able to spend a lot time reliving the 'good old days'. The days when Jeff and Iwere first dating, when we were engaged, the early months of our marriage. These were good things for me to remember, important things. I had forgotten an awful lot. About myself. I was already starting to realize that. But mostly about Jeff. And about the things we went through.

To clarify: I am not going down the road of 'having a baby ruined our marrage'. I cannot imagine life without Asher. I don't want to. But adding a member of your family does shift things. I think I did not really acknowledge/understand/get how much time it would take to make that shift. I think I thought it was over months ago and this is how we were going to be forever. It wasn't a place I wanted to be. I needed to remember things that were before because there are so many of those things that I want to be sure to preserve as we go forward, things I want to be a part of Asher's life as well as our own. Things I want to keep in this family no matter how big it grows. Remembering is important. Living life on purpose is important. It's often too easy to just let every day happen as it will and too much gets lost if you don't purposefully hold on to them.

So this is me, holding on.

To my style: to who I am in all of my varied and wonderful roles

To my family: and all the history and growth and future that they represent,

To my friends: new and old, and all that we've stuck by each other through, I'm sure there'll be more to come

To Jeff: my husband, my partner (in crime and in parenthood), my love, my rock, my sheltering arms. Here's to never forgetting again, or at least not for long.

To God: Who created the whole concept of relationship in the first place, to have one with me, He's the reason that I love. Keep reminding me.

Without relationship, there can be no change. We are affected by, and in turn affect, those around us. So make sure your effect is a good one.


About This Blog

I love this adventure I'm on with my Rocket Scientist. The most recent addition to our expedition has me in awe daily. I can't wait to see My Little Man as a big brother. We started off by moving from Western Canada to Chicago and now we're in the UK. Will this Strange Mamma ever not feel like a stranger in the land?

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