Category Archives: General Narcissism

Firefly

Things I am not doing:

  • Laundry
  • Dishes
  • Putting away toys
  • Reading
  • Blogging
  • My Hair
  • Cooking real food
  • Stopping the tiny human from pulling small pieces of furniture down on top of himself

Things I am doing:

I don’t know where I’ve been the past decade either. But I’m glad I’m here now. You all who have watched and raved and prodded and cajoled are correct. It’s excellent.

Now, would you please come do my laundry (and watch my kid) while I catch up? Thanks.

And a new one just begun

2012! Hello!

Since four resolutions last year seemed ideal for resolution domination, I’m going to go with four again this year.

1. Resurrect CookTheBook.ca. I really enjoyed starting my “cook through a cookbook” project, and then all of the authors (myself included) went and had babies, and the thing died as our priorities shifted. But now I have a freezer full of amazing, local meats that I think would do the recipes in my Orchard Table book proud, and I’m really starting to feel a passion for food and cooking again. The site itself also needs a bunch of work, but I think it’s all manageable, and I’m excited to get back in the kitchen and start sharing that.

2. Get Crafty. We established long ago that I am scared of crafts. But there seems to be a strange shift after becoming a mom where I think along with magical spit and the ability to lactate I may have developed a propensity to craft. Specifically, there are three projects I’m planning to undertake this year: A terra cotta pot fountain, a set of 24 fabric book pouches as a reading advent calendar for next Christmas, and finishing Isaac’s baby book (which is scrapbooking-esque). I’m not actually any sort of stranger to tools or glue-sticks or sewing (though it has been a quite while for the latter) so I’m cautiously optimistic about making these things (and hopefully some others) in 2012.

3. Find a sport for 2012. I use the term “sport” loosely, because I don’t actually want to join a team or play a game, but I do want to find a twice-weekly physical activity to commit to in 2012. I’ve been loving the mom & baby bootcamp classes I’ve been doing, but my baby is about to age-out of those, and they’re held during workdays anyhow. I need to find a before or after work thing to get into. I learned long ago that I am not a gym rat and don’t work out when left to my own devices. Criteria are pretty low: there must be a regular schedule (ideally 2x/week), and there must be an instructor to lead/design workouts/correct for form & posture. So far I’m thinking swimming, running, yoga or gym classes like spinning or zumba. Suggestions welcome!

4. Document my Life List. I have been meaning to do this ever since Maggie posted hers a few years ago. I’ve always had a running tally of stuff I’d like to do in my brain, but never committed it to paper (pixels?) and checked it off. After seeing what a powerful thing it can be to share your goals and desires with a community, and getting a little motivating shout-out of my own on her blog after sharing one of my achieved items, I’m really feeling like I need to get the damn thing down already. Bonus: it will make for handy resolutioning in years to come!

So, there you have it. Four resolutions to help make 2012 another fantastic year. How about you? What’s going to make your year great?

Another year over

So, that was 2011. I’m sure a whole bunch of stuff happened, and if you click on that archives link in the sidebar, you can read all about it.

It can probably be summed up by saying “We had a baby, and were quite busy with the care and feeding and globe-toting of said baby. Also, there was poop.”

His mother's chin

I did write some resolutions at the beginning of the year, so let’s check in on those, yes?

Figure out / Survive the first 9 months of parenting. Well, I certainly survived. Figured out? Sure. I’ll be bold and say the first nine months were pretty awesome. We were blessed with a happy baby who didn’t have colic, started sleeping through the night with some regularity around 5 months, lets us drag him across continents and over oceans without melting down, and is damned cute to boot.

I think a day of walking past coffee shops has given him a contact high.

I’m feeling pretty well-rested and also dropped the baby weight and then some while eating shocking amounts of whatever I want. I am riding this wave of good-baby hubris as far as it will take me. And now that I have been an incredible braggart, I am sure the other shoe will drop any second. But, the resolution only stated ‘first nine months’ so for this one I say Resolution: WIN!

JenNeil_Baby-047

Take more photos. I didn’t exactly get to the “photo a day” thing I was aiming for, but I did take a lot more pictures in 2011 than the couple years prior. A new baby and the amount of travel we did this year made for a natural increase in picture-taking. We also picked up a couple new lenses (10-20mm Wide-Angle and 50mm f/1.4) that makes using the camera and getting the shot I really want a lot more pleasant than the kit lens ever did.

IMGP9456

I also finally got our more portable camera fixed this year after breaking it in 2009, so between that and my iPhone I’m more likely to have a camera on the go as well. I also developed a medium-sized instagram habit, which upped my (cheezy and heavily-filtered) photo count considerably. You can, of course, see the year in (seriously baby-heavy) photos on flickr. Therefore, I’m also calling this one a Resolution: WIN!

My usual tea cup. Though this morning it feels a little extra twee.

Increase our net worth by 10%. Blew this one right out of the water. As of the 1st of December, our year-over-year net worth is up 22%. Basically because we landed on a combination of being totally miserly, saving all of our big tax refund from 2010’s investments, and having our condo appraisal up this year (though the condo value only accounts for 4% of that 22%). Other than that, we stuck to our modest savings goals throughout the year, and let our managed accounts do their (mediocre) thing. Looking at projections for next year, assuming most things stay the same, we can expect the same kind of performance. So perhaps 10% was really lowballing it. Regardless, it’s the number I picked, and while we’ll aim higher next year, for now I can firmly call this a Resolution: WIN!

Correfoc

Run 5K (again) by the end of the year. Hah. Hahahaha. HAAAAAAAH. No. Did I run at all this year? Unless warmup jogs for bootcamp count, no. But, as I alluded to back up at the top, I’m in better shape now than I was before I got pregnant. Partway through my third trimester, I ended up with a lot of SI Joint trouble (where the hip bone connects to the… something… bone?) which sent shooting pains up and down my back and legs whenever I did things. Like walking. Or sitting. Or getting out of bed. Cure? More cowbell less activity. One of the few “injuries” where not walking or staying mobile is actually the best thing for it.

IMGP8934

By the time Isaac came along I was intensely stir-crazy. And that feeling really just hasn’t gone away. I started attending Fit4Two classes, starting with the general mom & baby fitness, then moving into bootcamp & aquafit, and it’s been amazing to keep moving and get stronger. I never did get back into running, since I really dig this little family thing we’ve got going on, and the last thing I’ve wanted to do when Neil gets home is dump Isaac and literally run away from them, but I’m certainly into a habit of fitness that I want to continue once I’m back at work full time. Nonetheless, I did not run at all, let alone 5k in 2011, so I have to say Resolution: FAIL. But maybe a Life: WIN.

IMGP9313

Three outta four ain’t too shabby. Did you make any resolutions? How did you do?

Thirty-One

It’s been quite a year ’round these parts.

birthday cake
Photo by freakgirl

Not only does today mean I’m firmly “in my thirties,” but it’s also now just over a year since we’ve known Isaac has been a part of our lives.

A year ago, we had a gigantic fete all planned, a large spit rented and an entire pig and large cake ordered. And two days before things were to get underway, fetus-Isaac and my stupid body conspired to make me the sickest I’ve ever been.

Too late to turn back (and with a hog on ice in my bathtub), we soldiered on. One trip to the hospital for IV fluids and industrial-strength Gravol later, we had roast pig and a house full of friends bearing delightful gifts of liquor that would sit, sad and neglected, for the next 8-ish months.

It was a pretty big year in other ways, too. I had the best meal of my life (I keep meaning to tell you about it! Soon! Maybe my next post!), saw both my little brothers and some very good friends get married, ate an entire lamb (not all at once), welcomed baby Isaac to the outside and took him on his first vacation, and saw friends’ families gain, and unfortunately lose, some excellent humans.

We don’t have big plans to do anything specific to mark the day, though we did head to Denny’s for my free birthday breakfast, and I’ve got ambitions to wander over to Starbucks for my free birthday beverage later. I also believe there will be cake at some point.

But I have never needed a specific day an an excuse for merriment, presents and cake!

So Happy Birthday, self! Here’s to another 31 years of adventure, and at least 31 more after that.

Not All Right

One of my favourite bloggers, Laurie, recently wrote about being first, rather than being right.

Her post reminded me that I get so caught up in trying to say the right thing, or trying to say something the right way, that I often miss saying anything at all.

(Yes, this is totally one of those mea culpa re: delinquent blogging kindof entries.)

So! I am going to try something new! When I have an idea for a post, I’m just going to write it. And publish it. And try not to hate it for being poorly written or overly trite or unintentionally grammatically imperfect. Let’s see how that goes, yes?

Because I miss conversing with all y’all. How are you doing anyhow? Have I told you lately that your hair looks great? Because it totally does.

Snappy

Remember that resolution I published about taking more photos? So far it seems to be happening.

I’m not hitting a picture a day as I’d originally planned, but the camera now lives out in the open, and I’m definitely taking more pictures of things this year so far than last. And they’re slowly making their way onto Flickr. I figure I’ll certainly average 365 pictures this year, especially once the days are a little longer and I’m outside a bit more.

So far I’m not super thrilled with most of the pictures I’m taking, but I’m trying not to let that discourage me. After all, part of doing this is to learn and get better! At this point the biggest thing I need to work on is slowing down and taking my time composing a shot and tweaking settings. Most of my photos are a little (or a lot) off on focus and lighting.

Not to say all my pictures are total crap. I’m actually pretty fond of this one:

7 - Jan 7, 2011 - Holiday Aloe

Follow along with the entire set here. Hopefully as the year goes on they’ll become much more technically and artistically appealing. In the meantime, any tips you have to share would be awesome!

Twenty Eleven

2010 was quite a pivotal year for our little family. In fact, it splits quite neatly down the middle into BC and AD – Before Conception and After Deathwatch.

The year started with our awesome trip to Thailand, a few frantic months when we thought we were going to move to England, trips to las Vegas & New Orleans and the excitement of a tidy little cash windfall when the company Neil works for was sold.

And then in July we found out I was knocked up, and everything changed far faster than we thought it would. Neil threw me an epic 30th birthday pig roast – during which I was sick as a dog from the onset of pregnancy nausea – and I remained sick as a dog until well into October. Despite the tail end of the suck, we still managed to head to Chicago, Vegas again and rip it up at my oldest little brother’s wedding.

Fall flew by as we caught up on all the life we’d been missing while I was feeling sub-human. We had our lamb slaughtered and started cooking again. Then suddenly the holidays were upon us, and now after a whirlwind Island adventure to spend time with friends, family and just ourselves, we find ourselves at home with 2011 upon us.

And oh what a year it will be!

The biggest event this year for us will definitely be the arrival of our first kid. Before the first quarter’s done, we’ll have a bouncing baby boy of our very own. We’ve been telling ourselves we’ll “worry about getting baby stuff set up after the holidays” so we now have that task ahead of us. It still doesn’t seem real, even when I’m being headbutted in the crotch from the inside out.

Other than that, there are a few resolutions I’d like to achieve in 2011:

Figure out / Survive the first 9 months of parenting. It’s not really a proper resolution, but I do want to remember (as always) to focus on the present, and really get comfortable in my new role as a mom. I already worry a lot about losing all the other parts of me, I don’t want to forget to also embrace the new part as well.

Take more photos. Now that I have the iPhone4 (because the 3G just felt useless from a camera perspective) I’ve been snapping a few more photos when out and about. And I remember the days when I used to take a lot more photos. It feels like it’s time to pull out the proper camera again, and start taking more photos on purpose. I’m aiming for a photo a day. I have no idea when they’ll all make it onto Flickr, but so far in the new year I’m 2 for 2 on photo days, and I’ll post them as I get the time and inclination.

Increase our net worth by 10%. This one is obviously a joint resolution for Neil and I. We’ve really enjoyed the past few years of financial goals, and now that we’ve got our various accounts all sorted out, we needed a little something to aim for to keep us on track. Staying on plan with our regular mortgage payments, various savings contributions and a modest return on our investments should see us easily hit the 10% mark at the end of 2011 over our net worth at the end of 2010.

Run 5K (again) by the end of the year. I had completed the Couch to 5K running program at the end of 2009, and then with winter and heading off on vacation in 2010, lost my running mojo. I’d planned to run the Sun Run 10k in April and that didn’t happen. I was just getting back into the swing of things with a new personal trainer and re-finding time for running when I ended up knocked on my ass for a number of months. Of course I’m more at the waddling stage than running for now, but having the goal to get back up to 5k by the end of 2011 will (hopefully) keep me on track to stay fit now, remain active after popping out a sprog, and start running again once I feel up to it in the late Spring or over the Summer.

I think, with such a big year ahead, four resolutions is plenty, thankyouverymuch. Normally I’m ready to run into the new year at a million miles an hour. This year seems a bit different. Lately I’m (uncharacteristically) much more content to just be. We’ll see how long that lasts, but the ride, and 2011, has been pretty good so far, so I’m inclined to just go with it.