Thursday, May 27, 2010

Buy Nothing Christmas

Yep, it's May and I'm talking Christmas. Crazy!

This year my family has decided to do a modified Buy Nothing Christmas. It's only May and already I feel less stressed about the holiday season this year.  I think that this whole idea has made me plan and think about what exactly I am going to do this year and that has helped me a lot. 

Like I said before, we are doing a modified version because the kids are each going to draw names for who to buy for.  They're making each other gifts but only buying for one.  That right there cuts down my Christmas budget by over half.  I don't like the idea of each of the girls only giving a present to one of her sisters and so they are to make something for all three of their sisters and buy for only one.  They are actually more excited about the idea of making presents than they are about going out and buying something.

Another way we have modified the idea of Buy Nothing Christmas is that we do actually have to buy the materials to make the presents. I have heard of some people doing this with just what they have on hand or what they find and reclaim.  We're not going to do that.  Here is what the girls have come up with, so far, to give each other.

Lilly is making books for everyone.  She is doing a comic for Madeleine staring the Rock Sisters (which are named variations of Lilly, Madeleine, Victoria and Rosemary) and P!NK (who is currently Madeleine's favourite singer).  Her and I are using the digital scrap book kits I have bought and making Victoria an Eye Spy book because Victoria loves those books.  She is making Rosemary a What Do You See book.  She will draw a picture (Lilly is an incredible artist) and ask things like "how many red balls do you see".

Madeleine is making Victoria and Rosemary felt boards.  Rosemary's will be of Peep and the Big Wide World and Victoria's is going to be all cats, her favourite animal.  She is going with my sister in law to a jewelry making session and is going to make Lilly some jewelry.

Victoria is "making" everyone aprons.  She has picked out the materials for everyone and I am doing the sewing.

Rosemary is "making" everyone stuffed animals of their favourite animal.  We will be going to get the materials for that as soon as I find all of the patterns.

The kids will love all of that!  I can't wait for them to open their presents and it's only May!

For our part, Kevin and I are buying one gift for each kid and making one.  Lilly and Madeleine are both getting used IPods, Victoria is getting used Lego and we're not quite sure about Rosemary yet but it will be something used.  We (and by we I mean me) are making Lilly and Madeleine quilts and Victoria and Rosemary are getting outfits - Rosemary's with a knitted vest and Victoria's with a crocheted hat.  Victoria is also getting an apron.

I wrote all of that out to show anyone who reads this (hi Kevin!) that it's not hard or depriving your kids to buy less and give less.  In fact, it's easier and it involves the kids more in the actual making of the gift.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Friday, May 21, 2010

I'm good.

I was just looking back at some signatures I have made for myself and my friends at The Parent Path.  I love doing these.  I wonder if I can make some monies somehow?  What do you think, am I good enough?


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Products I didn't know I needed (until I saw them on TV)

I'm cheating here a bit.  I don't have cable and don't get to see infomercials so I didn't actually see these on TV.  I was bored one day and decided to look up some infomercials.  Thank goodness I did!  What would my life be without....

Ped Egg
 I have been filing the dead skin off of my feet after soaking them. The Ped Egg not only does the same thing but that clean up has me sold!  Why file the mess into the tub and rinse it down the drain when you can contain it and then dump it? I sure do like looking at all of the filed off dead skin from my feet and I can't do that the way I currently take care of my feet.  (Gross!)

Ear Lifts

Seriously people, if your earrings are that heavy just get new ones.  They make some lovely light weight earrings nowadays.

Tater Mitts

I must have the IQ of a genius because I never have that kind of trouble peeling vegetables.  The Tater Mitts have the added bonus of having the water running for every potato you peel.  Silly me, I just wash them all after they're peeled in the name of water conservation.  I now see the errors of my ways.

Big City Slider Station

I am feeling smarter with each infomercial I watch!  Never have I had as much trouble making or cooking burgers as the people in this clip.  What I'm wondering, though, is what happens to the grease from the meat?  The burgers that come out in the commercial sure do look good, but even the leanest of meat has some fat in it.


I have boobs.  I don't think I'll ever be able to Hoopnotica, as much as I would love to be the Hoopnotica Queen.

Topsy Turvy Tomato Tree

I hate tomatoes whether they are grown upside down or right side up.  However, I grow tomatoes each year for my kids who love them.  It has involved me digging two holes a few feet apart and planting two tomato plants.  Somehow, my back is still intact.  Weird. I am getting a Topsy Turvy (imitation, I'm sure) though, to try to grow some peppers without having to find a place to plant them.

And of course....
The Snuggie

I wonder how silly these actors feel while filming the commercial.  Trouble with blankets?  Really? Makes you wonder how they remember the process for breathing.

  I love infomercials!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Lesson learnt. Do not use google for some things. It will only make you feel worse.

I have narcolepsy.  It's fun, really.  Yeah.  Fun.  Any who, my face goes numb from time to time.  It seems though that now my face like to stay numb.  And the numbness likes to migrate to encompass most of my head.  And include headaches.  I decided to look up these symptoms on the interwebs.  You know what came up time and again?  Multiple sclerosis.  So looked further into it.

Symptoms include:
  • Balance and Dizziness
  • Bladder dysfunctionthis is new for me, just started a couple of weeks ago
  • Bowel Constipation, Diarrhea and Incontinence
  • Cognitive Impairment
  • Depressionclinical
  • Dry Mouth
  • Dysarthria, or difficulty speaking
  • Dysphagia (difficulty swallowing)
  • Fatigue and Fatigability
  • Gait (difficulty in walking)
  • Hormonal Influences for women with MS
  • Inappropriate Affect (also known as pseudo bulbar affect, emotional incontinence, involuntary emotional expression disorder-IEED)
  • Incoordination
  • L’hermitte's (Electric shock sensation radiating down spine with neck flexion)
  • Mood Liability / Bipolar Affective Disorder
  • Optic neuritis (inflammation of the optic nerve)
  • Painbut who doesn't have pain, really?
  • Paroxysmal Symptoms
  • Sensory Impairment, Numbness / Tingling
  • Spasms
  • Spasticity
  • Tremor
  • Uhthoff's Phenomena (Heat Intolerance)
  • Useless Hand Syndrome (of Oppenheimer)
  • Weakness

And here are the symptoms of Narcolepsy:
  • Cataplexy (loss of muscle control)
  • Hallucinations while falling asleep or upon awakening
  • Sleep paralysis
  • Microsleep/Automatic behaviour
  • Nighttime wakefulness includes
    • hot flashes
    • elevated heart rate
    • sometimes intense alertness
  • Rapid entry into REM sleep
All of that affects:
  • Physical well-being and safety
  • Mental health - including depression, of course
  • Intimate relations
  • Memory and concentration

Well, there you go. The majority of my MS symptoms are also the symptoms of Narcolepsy. But now, because of my really great decision to look up facial numbness, I will always have in the back of my mind "what if I've been misdiagnosed?" Lessons learnt. I'm an idiot.

Friday, May 7, 2010

I'm back. Did ya miss me?

So I'm back from a wee bit of a hiatus.  An unintentional hiatus. Kevin had surgery and then he went back to work seven weeks later.  I had to adjust to having him here and then adjust to not having him here.  Somewhere in the mix, my blog was neglected.

I thought I would see how I'm doing with my resolution check list.

1 - The top of Madeleine's quilt is almost finished.  I got mad when I kept making stupid errors so I set it aside for a while.  I expect the top to be completed this month.  I am buying the material for Lilly's this month.  This is Madeleine's, except add another chevron on one side and I have two panels done and sewn together.  One more panel is cut and needs to be sews.

2 - I am buying the yarn this month for what I want to make for Victoria and Rosemary. I don't have any plans on having someone come and teach me just how to knit, so this may be interesting.

3 - Wii Fit is going well. I am usually on it five days a week, but there are weeks when I miss a day here and there. Overall, I am happy with my Wii Fit progress!

4 - Weight loss is going well. Five pounds so far this year. If I keep it up I will reach my goal.

5 - Kids helping around the house? Did I really resolve to get that happening? Bwahahahahahahahaha! I did actually do one thing, though. They like to sleep in the family room and I let them once a month on the last Friday of the month provided they clean the family room and rec room ahead of time. They have only missed one month for refusal to clean the rooms. So, baby step, right?

6 - We are not eating out. This resolution isn't exactly hard to keep as we can't afford our grocery bill, much less eating out.

7 - Christmas shopping has begun. List has been made and shopping started. If I keep this up, we won't be spending a lot of money this December. That is a relief. We're also doing a modified buy nothing Christmas.

8 - I can't go to NY. :( Funds aren't there and Kevin will be having round two and three of his procedure this year so I can't really plan a vacation anyway. Sigh...

Not bad for five months in, I don't think.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

"It didn't happen, I was never here."

The men in the white suits came quickly.  "Ma'am, this is for your own good", the lead agent said as he pushed his way past me into the house.  I stood silently in the corner as I watched them do their work.  Four hours later, they were gone.  Before their departure, the lead agent took off his mask and looked at me with his steely brown eyes.  He leaned his intimating six foot frame closer to me and said "Remember, this didn't happen.  I was never here."  They were gone without another word.  Looking around the house I knew that, although nothing looked different, everything had changed.  The blog would have to wait until I could figure out if it was still safe.