Wednesday, April 29, 2009

steppin' out

Last weekend was an unusually social one for me since having the little one. I'll tell you about it in a couple of parts, starting with the Knitter's Frolic. I headed to Toronto with a couple of friends from my knitting group to check out this event. What's that you say, knitting group? Why yes. Almost a year ago, shortly after I joined Ravelry (an online community for knitters) I started hanging out with this awesome bunch of ladies. We get together every two weeks at a local cafe to talk, laugh, eat and knit. It's funny how a group of strangers who meet online can bond in such a way but we truly have. I always look forward to our gatherings.

Anyway, I realized after, that it was actually my first time ever attending a big knitting event even though I've been knitting for quite a while. And for my first knitting event, it was a pretty good one. It was held at the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre in Toronto. My only major complaint is that it was stinking hot in there! Part of the venue was air conditioned, but it seemed that the other part was not. By the time we got out of there I was boiling! But that didn't stop me from shopping.

This inky blue loveliness is Malabrigo Sock Yarn. One day, hopefully soon, I will turn it into this.

I have no idea what I will be making from this Manos del Uruguay Wool Classica but I seem to have no self control when it comes to this yarn. I see it, I buy it. I bought some in the fall that became...

...a very warm and cozy little cowl. Or snood if you prefer.

Uh, wtf? Have I lost my mind? Apparently yes, because I purchased this drop spindle and some roving. With this simple device I am actually going to make yarn. Well, theoretically anyway.

So there you have it. Confessions of a knitting geek.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

it's been one week...

So I started what I am calling the "healthy eating plan" just over a week ago. And it's going well. I lost 5 pounds in the first week. Now don't worry, I know that's a lot for one week. But I've also been on enough diets to know that it is very common to lose a big amount in the first week and then taper off as your body gets used to the change. Miraculously, I have not had a sliver of chocolate or other sweets since starting the plan and my fruit & veggie intake has probably doubled. And the best part was that I actually broke a few rules too. We were out Sunday night and I enjoyed a fabulous gin martini and a huge, yummy dinner. I didn't do as well on the exercise front (the Wii is not hooked up yet) but I did get out for a couple of walks. But no guilt here. I'll just try to get more exercise this week. So I'm happy to call week 1 a success!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

baby got back

It's no surprise that I'm carrying around a little extra weight post-pregnancy. Truth be told, I'm in the worst shape of my life. I am embarrassingly overweight and out of shape. And I've had enough of it. Beginning tomorrow I am taking steps to take off the excess weight and to get healthy. And for the first time in my life there will no fad dieting involved. I've tried it all: Weight Watchers, South Beach, no-carb, low-carb, no-fat, low-fat, you get the picture. These always work for the first little while. And then I fall off the wagon and the pounds pack on again. It's time for a lifestyle change.

It took a long time for me to gain the excess weight and I know it will take a while for it to come off. So I'm taking baby steps. Making small changes over time towards a healthier lifestyle. So here's the plan.

The Food Plan
1) Drink water: I used to be pretty good at this, especially when I was pregnant because I was constantly thirsty. But I just kind of stopped drinking water. So I just need to get back into the habit. It shouldn't be that difficult.
2) Cut out sugar: This one will be tough. Sugar is my downfall. I love chocolate. I love pop. I need to stop consuming both. I'll work chocolate back into my life once I'm at healthy weight but for now, the daily consumption of this delicious substance is over. As for pop, I would like to cut it out completely. Forever. The stuff is just nasty and has zero nutritional value. The only sugars I intend to eat are those that occur naturally, like in fruit.
3) More plants/less meat: It's not that I don't like fruits and vegetables, it's just that I really like meat. I could easily eat just a steak for dinner, with no veggies. From now on, meat will take up a much smaller place on my plate than veggies. I'm also going to try to eat more fish. I love fish, I just never know how to cook it. I'll just have to learn.
4) Less and healthier carbs: This one shouldn't be too tough either. I switched to eating just whole grains years ago. But while I was pregnant, I craved carbs like you wouldn't believe. So I got back in the habit of eating too much. I just need to cut back.
5) Less alcohol: I love wine. Love, love, love it! I would be miserable without it. So I'll still drink it, but only on weekends and not in excess. And no hard liquor. Not even gin. :(
6) No shit: No food substitutes allowed. No aspartame, margarine, etc. Nothing manufactured. Only real food. Stuff grown in the ground. Stuff that has to be harvested. Animals that were not fed chemicals. You know, the way food used to be before the 20th century hit.
7) Making allowances: There will be times when these rules will be broken. Parties, special occasions, bad days, etc. I will not beat myself up over these things. I will allow myself time to be human and overindulge once in a while. Then I will start over again with the next meal.

The Exercise Plan
I have never been fond of exercise. Gym was my worst subject in school. I am lazy. But soon, I will have to chase an active child as he discovers the world. I better be in shape for this.
1) Walking: Walking is easy. Put on running shoes, place baby in stroller and go. And now that the weather is warmer, there is no reason why I can't do this everyday, or maybe twice a day. And if it's pouring rain there is the treadmill that's gathering dust in the basement. Time to set it up again.
2) Wii Fit: We bought the Wii Fit while I was pregnant. I haven't tried it yet but am hoping it will be a good way to exercise. It certainly is convenient: something I can do while the little dude is sleeping. I'll let you know how this pans out. I can't wait to find out my Wii Fit Age. I'm predicting somewhere in senior citizen territory.
3) Yoga: I have wanted to do Yoga forever. A new yoga place opened up within walking distance from my house. And they have a mom and baby class. They also do hot yoga which I really want to try. I think I'll start with the walking and the Wii Fit first. Once I lose enough pounds to not be totally embarrassed wearing exercise clothing in public, I will try the yoga.
4) Running: I took a learn to run course a few years ago and love it. I don't know why I stopped running. I will start again.

So that's the plan. It's nice to have it all written out here. Kind of makes it real. I'll keep you posted on the progress.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

no joke

Yes I've been away for a while. But I'm back! So what took me so long?

I mentioned in a previous post that I wasn't sure if I was going to blog Alex's birth story. Well I'm not. Not in great detail anyway. But here is the condensed version and why it has taken me so long to get back into the swing of things as far as blogging and the rest of my life is concerned. And it's not really his birth story anyway, more just what I dealt with afterwords.

Alex was delivered via C-section. Everything seemed to go well, but I ended up having to have a blood transfusion 2 days after he was born because my hemoglobin was too low. Then about 10 days after we got home, I had to call an ambulance to take me to the hospital because my incision had opened up and was bleeding. A lot. Turns out the incision had become infected. Thankfully, I did not have to be admitted to hospital but I needed a nurse to come to my home every day for two months, and then 3 times a week for a third month to clean the wound and change the dressing. I also spent 2 weeks in January on IV antibiotics leaving me unable to care for my child. I could not feed him, lift him or change him. The only way I could hold him was when someone placed him in my arms for a few minutes each day. It was really brutal. My husband was amazing during the whole ordeal and my family was fantastic. Especially my mother. When Steve was at work my mom was here, caring for the baby, doing housework and looking after me. And the home care nurses were truly incredible. I don't know what I would have done if I would have had to go to a clinic every day to be treated (which was the first option suggested to me in emergency.) And then there are the friends who brought food and comfort when I needed it most. I am a very lucky person.

Alex must have known that something was going on with his mom, because he has been a truly fantastic baby from day one. He only really cries when he needs something. Otherwise, he is a happy and content baby. Even though I was in a great deal of pain and incredibly frustrated with what was going on, I was, and still am, thankful that Alex was healthy. I would rather me go through the problems then him.

So now that the nursing visits are done, and my parents are not coming over everyday to help me out, I finally feel like I have my life back. Alex, for the most part, has developed a routine. All of this has made it possible for me to do other things, like blog.

I'm very happy to be back!

crime of the century

Seriously, did someone actually think this was a good idea?

There are no words.