Saturday, July 30, 2011

Last minute touch ups...

Mike completed these louvres on Wednesday night, and I looove them. They add much needed privacy from the neighbors, while adding a decorative element without using...ugh...lattice (I hate lattice).
I was pleasantly surprised by the louvres, as I didn't know what he was going to put up there, and more importantly for me I wanted to be able to see into the backyard at the kids while cooking.

The BBQ area

Look at that big, empty spot to the right of the picture under the BBQ area...isn't that the perfect spot for a hot tub???? With a pergola and patio lights over top a hot tub I would consider the outdoor area complete...but not without a beer in my hand.
Of course we still have to spray on our Thompson's water sealer, and I think Mike needs to finish some trim work, which I can hear that he has started already. So now I guess I need to have a BBQ and invite over some company to make use of this new yard! There is still a month of summer left!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Big Bad Mosquitoes

Poor Charlie and her allergy to mosquitoes.

The first time I took her to emergency for her mosquito bite I was told there was no such thing.
I called him on that and went home to look it up on an allergy website. Yes, there are people allergic to mosquito bites, and some of them have quite severe ones too.
It wasn't until the second trip to emerg that for the same thing a week later that the doctor said to me, "yes, yes, definitely a reaction to the mosquito". Hmm, yes, I know, I thought.
So here we are, a month and a half later, and other than following advice on staying out of the mosquitoes (ya, right), staying covered up in the summer heat, and carrying Benadryl on me at all times, I'm at a loss as to what to do for her when she swells up so badly.
Today, after being bitten last night and having 4 goes of Benadryl already, she looks the worst I've ever seen her after a bite. I have been holding a bag of frozen corn in a baggie on it once in a while, but you can imagine how that goes with a 2 year old. The swollen area is very hot, and she wants to rub it. I am trying to keep her away from know how much a bite itches after you discover it!
I'm hoping tomorrow it will look better and she'll be able to see out of it a bit. She's starting to get cranky at only being able to see out of one eye. :)

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Deck Update!

Well here we are 4 weeks after Mike first started to work on the deck, and this weekend was productive enough, with the help of his dad, to have us able to stand on the deck last night. They worked hard non stop until after 6pm getting the boards on the upper level, leaving time this morning before his dad left to put up a few of the railings. The area to the right of the lower level on the picture above will be left for next year, as we are thinking of a private hot tub area instead of a dining area...the deck is big enough so we decided to veto that part of the design!
So far it looks great, and I enjoyed surfing the web with my salmon salad and a beer tonight at my table outside.
Today also concluded my 12 week subscription to weight watchers. It was an enjoyable experience, and I learned alot about portion control, meal ideas, and maintaining my weight once I take it off. Through tracking my food everyday at each meal I was able to see what I was putting into my mouth, and discovered I am a stress eater, meaning I overeat when I'm stressed out. Which is almost all the time. Most are surprised by this truth about me, but those closest to me understand this and what my stressors are. I just hide it very well in public!
Now that I know how to eat I can control what I eat. And we know that it's not just about diet change, but a lifestyle change...our fridge is stocked to the max with fruits and veggies. When most would eat mashed potatoes, we eat mashed/pureed cauliflower. And we changed our chip cravings into Quaker crispy mini's! No chocolate, no bread, no potatoes or pasta, and red meat once a week. The rest of our diet is mainly fruit for snacks and salads. We do opt for baby potatoes once in a while, or veggies on a skewer, but mostly we keep it very simple...and packed full of flavor so we don't get too bored with our meals!!
Mike has been following along with me as well, considering that he has to eat what I eat when I prepare food. So far he's lost 44 lbs and looks great. Not only that, he's happy. That means the world to me. The fact that I was keeping him unhealthy by making too many desserts and keeping my stash of chocolate almonds was taking a toll on him.
And I have lost 41 lbs, and feel great as well. Here are my stats since starting 12 weeks ago:
Weight: -41 lbs
Waist: -5 3/4 inches
Hips: -4 1/4 inches
Bust: 5 1/2 inches
Arms: 1 1/2 inches
Dress Sizes: -6!!! I am wearing an 8 again and love buying medium and small tops!
Thighs: 5 inches (combined)

This last weekend I was thrilled when I got to buy size 28 Silver favorite brand.
While I will never be petite ( I weighed 130 lbs when I was a size 1 ), it will be an everyday thing for me to watch what I put in my mouth. I don't treat myself too often but that's because if I give in then I want more and it becomes too easy for me to sneak a bite here and there of the kids' stuff...which is what got me to my heavy weight to begin with.

The most important thing is that I'm happy, Mike is happy, and we are looking forward to the weeks to come.
me all happy.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Day at the Beach

A stop on the way to take a picture with the Turtleford turtle.

This old cabin is also on the way to the lake, tucked into a grove of trees

I picked up a friend of Jacelyn's today and we headed out to the lake for the day. A 32* day sure doesn't feel that hot with a lakefront breeze blowing on you!
The kids were great...playing in the water and by the water for the entire day. I never got mad or had to yell once. I found myself relaxed for the first time in a very, very long time. I should take more time like that more often. I think with all the running around I've been doing for the last two weeks (swimming lessons in Lloydminster every day), working, and weekends spent in the yard, I've sort of burnt myself out.
From now on I'll make sure to take some more down time for us all.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Pulling out the Big Guns

Now that the yard has taken shape, the grass has rooted and lost the checkerboard look, and we have begun to enjoy it, it's time to focus on the deck.
Or, rather, Mike has begun to focus on the deck.
It's not easy to haul around 2x8x16 foot joists by yourself, and I helped with some lifting of the beams, which were 6x25, and making sure things were level as we went.
So far what he has done is the structure for the upper deck, which is 16x25, and 10x24 for the lower deck. He is designing the floor of the deck with a border of Trex decking, which is a new thing for us, as we just build, not design. But the border and railing cap will be a dark walnut color, which will offset the natural color of the wood.  The spindles will be black iron, and that's a new element for us as well.

I can't wait to see it finished, and use the shady space the new area will create, as our yard is so hot and open that we don't sit out there much at all during the summer in the day. The new sitting area will have outdoor furniture to lounge on and enjoy our time outdoors with company so much better.

The trex on the lower deck..the inner part will be filled with natural wood.
 The dining area needs to be framed yet, and will be 12x12 with a pergola over top, which will sit below the BBQ area...that will be 8x6 and the BBQ will be built into a prep area as well.

I think Mike is trying to make this yard look so nice that I won't want to move away...but that's another story for another time!

Some of my lilies are beginning to bloom!! So excited. Aren't they gorgeous?


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Smores Sundae

Brandon poses with his Smores Sundae

Tonight for dessert Brandon was dying to try out a recipe he found in his summer edition of OWL magazine. A yummy 6 layer parfait called a "Smores Sundae". And wow what a tasty parfait it was! I was proud of him for making them for us all pretty much by himself. 

Smores Sundae
Smores Sundae
1 pkg Chocolate Pudding..we used cooked pudding as it's fudgier :)
crumbled up graham crackers...we used mixture of crumbs, melted margarine, and sugar instead.
mini marshmallows
vanilla ice cream
whipped cream
chocolate chips
maraschino cherry on top

Layer the above ingredients, starting with pudding at the bottom, then the crumbs, followed by marshmallows, more pudding, ice cream, and finally the whipped cream. Finish with a sprinkle of milk chocolate chips and a cherry.

The Countdown to Harry...for the last time

This Friday is the first day of the last installment of the Harry Potter movie series.
I know most of you are uninterested in this information.
I would have been too if I didn't have a son who was obsessed with Harry Potter, and a husband who hates going to the show. Naturally I got recruited when he was old enough to start to want to go, and being that I love the movies, I didn't really care what I was watching...hey, it was a night out after all!
The outcome of these date nights of ours was me loving the books/characters/movies like he does! Well, not as much, as I can't sit and watch them over and over as he can, but I like them well enough to want to see the next show when it hits the theater!
So, as Brandon counts down the sleeps until Friday, I will be looking forward to the conclusion of the 7th movie too.