This week has been very long for me. Holland has a bacterial infection on her face, so we have been house bound since Sunday. I'm going a little stir crazy. There has been a lot (and I mean a lot) of screen time the past couple of days.
All of that screen time has led me back to my blog. Today I decided to go back and read some old posts. Oh how I miss the days of babies and blogging! It was a difficult/beautiful phase of my life. I was reading comments and trying to find long lost blogging friends. Most of my old blogging friends seem to have disappeared from cyberspace, unfortunately. I just loved how we were all in it together. The internet was a very exciting place before things like Facebook and Instagram came along. It seemed my connections with people were deeper, even with friends that I only knew through blogging.
Where am I at? How is my family? What keeps me busy? What do I enjoy doing? All good questions...
Home: We are still living in the home that me moved into 4 years ago. We love this old house. It is comfortable and fits us well. I feel content here.
Work: Keith is still working at the same office that he started in 8 years ago. It's part of the same company that he started working for 12 1/2 years ago! We feel very blessed by his job and the people he works with.
I am still a stay at home Mom. Going on 12 years! Crazy sauce. But it's where I feel I need to be.
Kiddos: Rowan is 11 1/2 years old and a great guy. He is fun and smart. This year he finally has a teacher who is allowing him to go further and work harder on Math. He is in grade 6. He is currently working on grade 7 Math at his own pace, hopefully starting grade 8 Math this year yet. He was tested at a grade 10 level but we agreed with the teacher that we wanted him to still work through the entire curriculum so he doesn't miss out on anything. It's going well! He loves participating in Math contests too. Rowan plays hockey every Saturday morning and really loves it. We haven't put him in minor hockey because we love the shinny schedule :) I don't think we can commit to more time than that. Rowan also just started drum lessons in January. He's doing really well and enjoying that too. Conveniently, his teacher lives right across the street!
Bria is 9 1/2 and as spunky as ever. She loves singing and art. She does really well in school and is in her third year of acting classes. Also conveniently located just 2 blocks away! I love the small town life. She has struggled in the past few months especially with her ankle. 3 1/2 years ago she jumped down a few stairs in our house and landed wrong. Anytime she does too much, it bothers her again. We have been to an orthopedic surgeon and a physiotherapist. There doesn't seem to be much that anyone can do for her. She is really flexible and has loose joints. If anyone has any suggestions for what we could do to help her, I'm all ears.
Emery just turned 7 on Sunday! She was so excited!!!! That girl had all the details of her party figured out on her own. She is as sweet as ever! Also, she still hasn't slowed down with her growing. She has been in the 96-98th percentile for height her entire 7 years! She loves to keep her hair really long, much to my frustration in the mornings when it's time to get ready for school! But it's cute and she loves it. Emery is really starting to take off in her reading and loves school. She will be starting piano lessons in September, but has started working on her skills already using Hoffman Academy on YouTube.
Holland is 3 1/2 (turning 4 in April) and is learning to listen and speak. She is doing really well and is slowly catching up to her peers. We hope that by the time she goes to kindergarten, she will be mostly caught up. She loves her therapist and her child development worker a lot and looks forward to seeing them. Unfortunately, this winter things have been a bit hectic and we haven't seen either of them as much as we would like. Occasionally I post little video clips on YouTube, if you ever want to check it out. I'm no pro, but I like saving a few clips here and there. Holland goes to preschool every Tuesday morning. She loves school and is always excited to go. I'm not sure what she gets out of it, but at least it's a positive experience for her. In big news, Holland successfully potty trained in pretty much 1 day. She had one accident within the first few hours. Here's to waiting! It was the easiest, most fun potty training experience ever. My inspiration for how I went about it is from this video.
So, more about me and where I am at. I'm definitely still happy to stay at home. For the most part, I'm really content with that. It's these extended periods of being totally house bound that drive me bonkers!
Holland and I have a bit a routine for our week so that we get out and do stuff. Monday is my baking day so we bake bread and cookies for the kids' school lunches. We also do a bit of laundry and cleaning. Tuesday is preschool in the morning, so I get a couple of hours to do anything that I want to get done on my own. Wednesday we go grocery shopping and sometimes we get together with my Mom Heart group (like a bible study/book club). Thursday morning is ladies' bible study at church. Friday is usually another at home day.
I have discovered in the past year and a half that I love budgeting! LOL... strange hobby, but I enjoy it and it helps my family. So win win! Warren and Liane introduced us to YNAB (You Need A Budget) probably 2-3 years ago, and in October of 2015 we took the plunge and purchased the software. It's fantastic. I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to take better care of what they have been entrusted with. The one down side to YNAB (in my opinion) is that they have switched form offering a one time purchase software to an APP with a subscription. We use the older software and have not switched to the subscription based version. I'm sure it's great, but I'm happy with what we have and I don't want to spend the extra money.
Somewhat big news in my life more recently is that I have decided to try and heal my gut by going gluten, dairy, and egg free. I didn't just randomly pick those foods. If you have been here forever, you remember about 8 years ago when I went to see a Naturopathic Doctor to help me deal with my eczema. She did a blood allergy test that showed significant reaction in my body to gluten, eggs, and dairy. I figured that would be a good place to start my elimination diet. It's going pretty well. I'm not sure how long to do this, so if anyone has advice, I'd love to hear it. I feel so much better now than I did just a couple of months ago. I started just after Christmas, so it's been 2 months now. No more bloating, no more heartburn, better digestion overall. My approach has been to mostly just make foods that are naturally gluten, dairy, and egg free. I have done a little bit of experimenting with different ingredients and recipes, but I try to keep it simple so I don't get overwhelmed.
In the past couple of weeks I have found an interesting website/YouTube channel called Healthy Grocery Girl. She posts recipes that are all plant based but with simple ingredients. I'm thinking of giving a bunch of them a try. Get some good nutrient dense food into my family! Last night I actually made her mango salsa recipe, and it was delicious! Learning about nutrition is a bit of a hobby of mine, so I think I'm going to enjoy learning more from Healthy Grocery Girl. She is a Registered Dietician, so I fee like she isn't just offering fad advice.
Well, I think that's enough of an update for today. Here's hoping the rest of my day is more productive :) PS... I love YouTube, if you couldn't tell, haha!