School so far

Oy! One month since I updated. Oops! I always have great intentions with this blog, but they don’t always pan out. Maybe I just don’t have that much interesting to say these days 🙂

The past month has been very busy. At the end of september we hosted 9 different people in the space of 10 days! It was chaotic, but fun to have the house full.

The big news and change for me is that school has started! I feel so blessed that my program is available online! Thankfully, it’s not the online type where I read a whole bunch, post on a forum, then respond to other students. I don’t learn very well from that set up. The school of Nursing at UW has an amazing set up where they video the lectures, then post them online later that day to be watched! So I sit at my desk when Dean is down for his naps (and sometimes when he is in my lap!) and watch my lectures from the comfort of home. No commuting!!! Yay!!!

My classes are busy, but mostly with reading so that is nice. I always hated the busy work of school, especially when the assignments were not very productive in terms of learning and were more “make work” type projects. The reading is intense though! Ridiculous amounts! I’m perfecting my skimming skills.

Dean is growing by leaps and bounds! I can’t believe how big he is getting so quickly. This week I visited a friend who just had a baby and I was amazed at how tiny and floppy this little baby was. Hard to believe that was Dean just 3 short months ago.

Hopefully I’ll be back here to update again soon, but who knows. I do have some funny stories to tell…

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What I’m loving

One of my friends does a post called “what I love” and posts products that she is currently loving.  It inspired me to do this post, however instead of “things” I will be posting about websites/services that I love.

Love, love, LOVE Amazon! I have for quite a while. Last year I did about 3/4 of my Christmas shopping on amazon. For those that still think that Amazon is only books and DVDs, you are sorely mistaken. They have EVERYTHING!!!! What makes Amazon even better is Amazon Mom. My favorite part about this is the free 2 day shipping. I usually try to make my orders over $25 to get the free shipping, and the items would usually arrive in a week or two. If it’s not something I need in a hurry, no big deal. But when I do need something soon (ex  a birthday present for the party in a few days!) then it didn’t work so well. But enter Amazon Mom and free 2 day shipping and life is so good!!! Knowing that my item will be there at a specific time is so helpful and has saved me SO MUCH time!!! For example, last week I needed two birthday gifts. I could have packed up my little bean, drove to Target, walked around Target to find the items (and inevitably a few extra items as well), then drove home. Or I could go online and click, click, click be done in less than 5 minutes!

*Little tip: I’ve started keeping an Amazon wish list of little things that I need/want, but am not in a particular hurry to get. Then, when my amazon order is less than $25, I just look through this list, add some stuff and I reach $25. Otherwise, I always ended up buying a book I didn’t really need or something else in order to get my order high enough for free shipping.

We’ve had Netflix for years now! I love that they carry every DVD under the sun and having DVDs delivered to my door was great. It got even better when they introduced their online content. Sure, a lot of it is C rate stuff, but there is some cool foreign films, tons of documentaries (I’m a dork, I know), plus quite a few full series of TV shows (every season of Ally McBeal, plus lots of star trek for hubby). They recently changed their pricing structure so that DVDs and online content are separate. Since neither of us were watching anything special or particular on DVD, we decided to drop that portion and stick with the online. Especially since we have discovered….

The best way to describe this is a vending machine for movies. The best part $1/day!!! Cheap and easy – just how I like it! (for those of you that are snickering right now about my wording – love that you have that kind of sense of humor). They don’t have the biggest selection, but they have most new releases, plus some other stuff.

This blog is written on wordpress. For a long time I was a Blogger girl, but then wordpress had a better iPhone app and it has a lot more ability to customize. So I made the switch, and I love it. (It also helps that I ran a blog for work on WordPress for two years so I’m quite familiar with it).

Personalized, online radio! Put in a song or genre that you like, and it will start to play music. As songs play, give them the thumbs up or thumbs down, and Pandora will continue to customize your station so it only plays what you love! Don’t feel like listening to a song, just press next. It’s genius!!

I’m a post it notes addict! Evernote in many ways acts as my online post it note. Anytime I see something I like, but don’t want to buy at that time, I just clip it to evernote. I keep lists of gift ideas for my family, as well as for myself in here (because when my mum asks me what I want for Christmas I can never think of anything!). The best part is that it has an iPhone app (yes, I’m addicted to my iPhone) so I can easily access it when I’m out.

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As I’ve stated before, I’m a bit of a social media addict. However lately, I’ve been feeling a bit overwhelmed by it. Every time I turn on the computer, there is some new site, or online community that wants you to have a profile, and follow people and interact. My latest find is Pinterest. Love it – lots of fun. But again, it’s one more thing. One more place that I feel I need to check to see what’s going on. One more place that I need to interact with and find “content” for.

Thankfully there are iPhone apps for most of them which makes checking a bit faster and easier.

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I mentioned on twitter a few days ago that I was doing Jillian Michaels 30 day shred. Several people mentioned that I would be quite sore. I had read the reviews of the DVD before buying it and was looking forward to/scared of what was to come.

So I did day 1. And I wondered what all the fuss was about. Sure, it was a good workout and it got me sweating, but I certainly didn’t feel like I was dying. So the next day I did a half hour on the treadmill, then did my 30 day shred again. Between the two, I was tired and took a long nap that afternoon. I still didn’t see what the big deal was about her workouts.

Then on day 3 I tried level 2. Everything became clear. She is NUTS! Some of the things she does had me shaking my head and wondering if she had been dropped on hers! But I pushed on.

This morning I was really tired and considered just doing level 1. Instead, I pushed on and did level 2 anyways and I’m so glad I did! Today I was able to push through and complete several sections that before had required me to put a knee down, or take a short break.

Level 3 will still have to wait a few days though!

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I’ve always tried to be very efficient with my time, mostly because I have so many things on the go! Post-it notes are my best friend and I’m constantly writting to-do lists so that I don’t forget about anything that needs to be done. My iPhone is also a big help in keeping me organized and on track. So far my favorite app is Remember the Milk, but I’m open to new ones if anyone has any recommendations.

Multi-tasking has always been one of my greatest skills, but having a baby has taken even that to a new level. I can now breastfeed, watch a movie and catch up on twitter – all at the same time! Impressive, I know.

Even as I’m writing this post, I have a video of a lecture for school playing on my other screen. Right now it’s just a recommended “pre-class” to review anatomy and physiology, but in one month, school starts up for real! Hopefully I can continue being efficient and multi-task. Which probably means that Dean will be watching many grad school lectures.

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Inducing labor

Towards the end of pregnancy, women are always asked when they are due. What people are really thinking, is “you look horribly uncomfortable – is it nearly over for you?” As soon as you tell them that you are close to your due date (within a week) or over it, the advice on how to induce labor starts.

I heard them all. Go for a walk. Eat spicy food. Have sex. Rest. And on and on it goes. I tried all of them, and none of them worked. So six days after my due date, I decided to take matters into my own hands and try to induce labor. I call it the dune buggy method.

We were having dinner at Phil’s cousins house and he was telling us about the new dune buggies he had acquired. So off we went to our friends place where they were being kept, and where the bumpy 4×4 loop/course was. The boys immediately took off racing having fun. Having missed out on several fun adventures during pregnancy, I quickly decided I wasn’t going to miss out on this one. What’s the worst that could happen? I would go into labor, and trust me, that was a welcome thought by that point. (I know some of you are concerned about all the bouncing around, but seriously, the baby was happily floating in a fluid bubble – he was fine).

So off I went tearing around the course going as fast as I could and laughing and screaming with delight. Result? Baby slept through all the racing, but woke up and started kicking when we ate dessert an hour later.

So final analysis of the dune buggy method:
Fun – YES!
Effective – not so much.

PS – my doctor laughed when I told him about this.

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Tomato Chickpea Soup

Last night we wanted a lighter meal… problem was I desperately needed to go grocery shopping and had no vegetables in the house – which is usually the foundation of a light meal for us. I found a recipe I had ripped out of Real Simple magazine for tomato soup. Problem was I didn’t have all the ingredients. So I decided to just improvise, substitute, and omit as necessary and it turned out pretty good! So here is the recipe for my version of the soup

1/3 large onion, finely chopped
Olive Oil
Chilli powder
2 cans of stewed tomatoes (total 29 oz)
4 cups of chicken broth
1 can chickpeas (garbanzo beans) drained
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup yogurt
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
grated parmesan

1. Chop onions. Heat pot and add olive oil (I don’t measure – sorry). Sautee onions on med heat until they are soft. Add chilli powder to onions (again, I don’t measure).

2. Blend yogurt and basil together in food processor. Set aside in fridge.

3. Add tomatoes and broth to onions. Blend together with hand blender until mostly blended (I left some chunks of tomato). Bring to a boil. Add chickpeas. Let simmer for 15 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.

4. Pour soup into bowls and top with croutons, parmesan and basil yogurt.

The original recipe called for adding chipotle chillis, israeli cous cous and ham (no chick peas in their version), and they used cilantro and sour cream instead of yogurt and basil.


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