Ali's Adventures

June 28, 2012

Kids in the Capital Photo Challenge Week 1

Filed under: Kids — by Alison @ 5:01 pm

This summer my friends over at Kids in the Capital are doing an ABC Photo Challenge. Every week Lara will post her two photos from the list. I’m going to join in too.

My two photos for this week are


E at the top.


Doughnuts are delicious.

Here ‘s the rest of the list:

  • Art
  • Books
  • Climbing
  • Discovery
  • Eating
  • Friends
  • Green
  • Hugging
  • Inside
  • Jumping
  • Kisses
  • Laughing
  • Mealtime
  • Night
  • Outside
  • Playing
  • Quiet
  • Riding
  • Swinging
  • Trees
  • Umbrella
  • Vehicles
  • Wet
  • Xcited (OH! Cheater!)
  • Yellow
  • Zoom

Join in and link up if you want to play too.


June 24, 2012

Hilights of the week – June 24th

Filed under: Gratitude,Hilights — by Alison @ 5:49 pm

1. Summer vacation is here, even if the sunshine isn’t always.

2. Bringing E to play group and watching her help all the little kids at the playground. Afterwards she told me that she was exhausted, toddlers are hard to watch.

3. H being so pleased his big sister was there to play.

4. Indoor play places and Wendy’s for lunch, reminding us of fun times with friends in Ottawa.

5. Seeing my first ever roller derby bout with the whole family. I think it created fans for life.

6. Less than two weeks until we’re home.

What was the hilight of your week? Or just something that made you smile?

Much thanks to Ann for the inspiration.

June 21, 2012

Repeating the cycle: Update #2

Filed under: Plans,Weight loss — by Alison @ 4:39 pm

My first update was so exciting to write. I’d had a big success after a very positive week and I was feeling in control. The last two weeks have been the opposite. The scale reads a 3 lb gain, but in reality it’s a 5 lb gain followed by a 2 lb loss.

I have a lot of excuses for this. We had family visiting, which meant meals out and a missed derby practice. The kids aren’t settling to sleep well, this stresses me out and then I want to snack on chocolate in the evening. I’m tired. I’m hormonal. I deserve a treat because it’s the start of summer. But really it all boils down to self-pity and lack of self-control.

The next two weeks I’m going to work on increasing self-control and decreasing self-pity. If we go out to eat, I will choose the healthiest option even if that’s a salad with chicken breast. If I want to snack on chocolate or have a treat, I need to earn the points first. If I’m tired, I’ll go to sleep.

With E finished school for the summer, I’ve dropped my daily walk. I need to schedule this back into my day. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is the overall goal, and I need to be able to make changes to my coping behaviours so that this isn’t a constant loop of good weeks and bad weeks. I want to able to have treats with the family, but not use those treats as an excuse to binge.

I’m going to be back home for three weeks, and if I can’t get some sort of healthy routines going before then I’m sure it’ll be a very unhealthy vacation. Wish me luck in the next two weeks.

June 19, 2012

Summer Fun- Seattle list

Filed under: Adventure,Kids,Plans,Vacation — by Alison @ 9:40 pm

Summer vacation has started, and while the weather isn’t cooperating, we aren’t letting it get us down. We’ve created a Summer Fun Jar.

Inside the jar are various activities around Seattle that we want to do. After supper E gets to draw the activity for the next day.

We also have a Weekend Activities Jar, this includes things my husband wants to do with us, or larger scale activities.

E wrote all out all the activities, so I even got in some printing practice without her realizing.

Here’s our list for activities:

  • Pump it Up
  • Golden Garden Park
  • Swimming with a friend
  • Picnic at Carkeek Park
  • Lunch with Daddy
  • Museum of Flight
  • Space Needle
  • Zoo
  • Aquarium
  • Gelato from Fainting Goat
  • Green Lake park and visit to Zoe Yogurt
  • Dance Party
  • Ice cream from Molly Moon
  • Wallingford Park
  • Outdoor Pool (probably this one)
  • TopPot Donuts
  • Gasworks Park
  • Volunteer Park

Weekend Activities

  • Ride the Duck (sightseeing tour)
  • Movie
  • Alki Beach and West Seattle
  • Bainbridge Island
  • Olympic Peninsula
  • WNBA Game, Seattle Storm

We also have a list for our visit to Ottawa, which also has a lot of food related activities. Better pack my running shoes or skates 🙂

June 17, 2012

Hilights of the week – June 17th

Filed under: Gratitude,Hilights — by Alison @ 12:00 pm

1. Being able to text photos of my derby injuries to a sympathetic friend.

2. Making Saved by the Bell references that others actually respond to.

3. Green Lake had an Aqua Theatre for aquatic shows. I saw the grandstands for the first time this week.

4. We started our summer fun activities.

5. It’s less than three weeks until I’m back in Ottawa.

What was the hilight of your week? Or just something that made you smile?

Much thanks to Ann for the inspiration.

June 15, 2012

End of school traditions

Filed under: Adventure,Kids,Move,Vacation — by Alison @ 9:30 pm

Yesterday was E’s last day of Grade 1, or First Grade as they say here. I shouldn’t really call it a school day because they were only there for 2 hours, long enough for the awards ceremony and to receive their report cards. There’s an annual tradition at the school that after dismissal everyone heads over to Golden Gardens beach.

We decided to pack our Subway lunch and head out to the beach as quickly as we could. My plan was to hang at the beach or playground for a bit, and then get home so H could have a short nap. We promised E we’d go out for dinner at Rainforest Café, and without naps that wasn’t going to happen.

We were one of the first families at the beach, and had to move our blankets nearer to a fire pit. I didn’t know that the each had fire pits, but there’s a whole bunch of them at one end. A fire was built and later hotdogs and marshmallows were roasted. We left before the smores started. The group started out small, with mainly families I knew. As it got a bit later, more families arrived with students from the older grades. There were even a few hardy souls in bathing suits frolicking in the water. Of course it’s Seattle so there was very little sun. In contrast to the kids in bathing suits, one of the parents was wearing a toque. I settled on a jacket.

Hanging out on the beach.

The kids had a great time playing in the sand and splashing in the water. H didn’t go into the water, but mainly because every time he headed that way E was already returning. He found moving quickly in the wet sand difficult. He didn’t however have any trouble hanging out with his sister’s friends. We stayed at the beach for about 3 hours. When we got home I rinsed H off and put him down for a nap. E had a full bath and rested before the big dinner out.

I was a bit worried about traffic to the restaurant, as it’s in the south end of the city. I think we timed everything well, because it didn’t take us long to get there, even after picking up Dan at work. The mall was busy. It’s like Bayshore and St. Laurent combined, lot of nice looking stores that didn’t seem to match the surrounding neighbourhood.

The Rainforest Café is a themed restaurant decorated to look like the rainforest, with animatronic animals and a simulated rain storm (with thunder and lightning) every 30 minutes. H was a bit scared, but E really liked sitting by the fountain. The food’s overpriced and E talked us into souvenir cups that ended up being $8!!! I won’t be falling for that again.

After dinner, we had my favourite end of school treat: ice cream. We traditionally go to DQ for soft serve on the last day of school. This tradition was actually started by E’s daycare provider before E even started school. And I am not one to forgo ice cream. This year instead of DQ the kids had Baskin Robbins.

All in all, a great celebration to end a great year.

Saying goodbye to Grade 1.

What are your end of school traditions?

June 11, 2012

Hilights of the week – June 10th

Filed under: Gratitude,Hilights — by Alison @ 4:53 pm

1. Being asked to move up levels in derby camp, and holding my own in the higher level.

2. Having E excited about learning to skate too. Need to plan a trip to the roller rink soon.

3. Watching H play with a new friend at play group.

4. E brought home her art portfolio on Friday and proudly showed off her artistic creations. I love that her school has a dedicated art teacher.

5. Waking up to twitter messages from good friends.

What was the hilight of your week? Or just something that made you smile?

Much thanks to Ann for the inspiration.

June 7, 2012

Derby fitness: Update #1

Filed under: Plans,Vacation,Weight loss — by Alison @ 4:55 pm

Two weeks ago, I decided to get serious about getting healthy. There was a lot of positive response. I was feeling empowered, I stayed on track with my eating for two whole days and then we went away to Portland. There were donuts and street food, and not much of anything else. Instead of throwing in the whole towel, I went to the Weight Watchers location close to me and bought 2 3-month journals. They’re a little fancier than the ones I used before, but I like the purple tracking pages even if I don’t use the good health guidelines checklist or write in my thoughts for the day. For the last week, I have stayed on track food-wise and only used a handful of my extra points.

This week was also the start of the Rat City Roller Girls Makin’ Bacon Derby Camp. This means that in the past seven days, I have done 4 derby practices for a total of 7.5 hours on skates. I have to admit I loved all of it. I started with the beginner group this weekend and we focussed on basic skating skills. Cross-overs and derby stance squatting are quite a workout and my quads were screaming at certain points. At the end of Sunday’s session my counsellor asked if I wanted to try the novice group for this weekend. I’m going to give it a shot. They’ve already practiced hitting, I’m not sure what’s next on the training plan. At the end of the month, there are try-outs for the league. I haven’t decided if I’ll go or not. I think my chances of making the league are pretty slim, but it might just be a fun day.

I also did the 200 squat challenge assessment, and will be fitting that in next week. The running and plank a day haven’t started yet either. My form is pretty horrible for sit-ups and I’m straining my neck, I’ll put that on hold. I also need to restart yoga or a stretching routine. I’m feeling a bit beat up from the skating and it hasn’t even gotten physical yet.

All in all, it was a very successful week. And the scale showed it too, with a 10 lb weight loss. I know this is high, but I find when I first start following a healthier eating plan I have a rapid loss and then it stabilizes. I am not expecting to lose anything close to that in the next two weeks. I’ve also seen enough seasons of Biggest Loser to recognize the pattern happens for others as well.

Milestone rewards have been purchased and I updated them with the helpful suggestion of Sara

5 lb loss: Purchase new book I bought Ender’s Game and Divergent when I was in Portland.

10 lb loss: Toms shoes Trying to decide if I should order online or go to Nordstrom’s. May depend on tomorrow’s weather.

15 lb loss: Hair cut and style

20 lb loss: New outfit

30 lb loss: Derby shorts

40 lb loss: Book a beach vacation

Goal weight (45 lb loss): Outlet shopping spree

June 6, 2012

Memorial Day in Portland

Filed under: Kids,Vacation — by Alison @ 4:46 pm

We spent the Memorial Day weekend in Portland, Oregon (which was probably apparent given the title). I didn’t really know what to expect from Portland, as other than a few episodes of Portlandia I’d never really heard of the city. Turns out Portlandia isn’t that far off, and we had a great weekend.

The weekend was great mainly because of our fantastic hotel. Our hotel criteria reads like this: separate bedroom with door, pool, free breakfast. The Embassy Suites Portland delivered on all three, actually they exceeded our expectations for the last two. It was probably the nicest indoor swimming pool I’ve ever been to. The deep end of the pool was only 4ft, there was a little waterfall in the shallow end, and really nice big steps to ease yourself in. The water was warm enough for me to enjoy the daily swims.

Our hotel oasis.

The hot breakfast buffet was also pretty spectacular. The room had a fountain in the middle. Luckily, we were at breakfast early as the tables near the fountain filled up quickly.

The hotel was very conveniently located. The river front was only a few blocks away. Unfortunately, there was a fair set up on the waterfront. We enjoyed the Portland Saturday market, on both Saturday and Sunday. As Portland is known for its food trucks, we had a Sunday lunch of pierogies and potato pancakes from a food truck at the market. There was a wide variety of food to choose from, but we tend to stick with what’s familiar (and delicious).

Sunday also saw us visit Powells City of Books, the largest new and used bookstore in the world. The kids happily spent close to 2 hours looking at books. We left with 15 books, and I returned later to look at the other sections. When I was by myself I only bought 6 books, but I could have happily bought at least a dozen more.

We visited the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry before leaving the city. The Museum had a lot of great hands on activities for the kids.

H at the water table, learning about wind power.

The other great thing about our hotel location, is that it was across the street from Voodoo Donuts. Where they sell these:

The boxes the donuts come in are also pretty fun.

We could see the donut shop from our hotel room, so only went when the line was relatively short. Some people waited over an hour to buy donuts, and I’ve heard that in busier times the line can wrap around the block.

Overall, Portland is a nice city to visit for a short time. There is a definite 90’s vibe in Portland, and it seems that grunge has never really gone out of style. We did like the free street cars, and walking along the riverfront would probably have been very nice, but I don’t feel the need to go back. Except maybe to buy more books.

June 3, 2012

Hilights of the week – June 3rd

Filed under: Gratitude,Hilights — by Alison @ 9:54 pm

My kids are almost 4 year apart and at times I worry that they won’t have a close sibling relationship. Others time I’m not as concerned. And that’s this week’s hilight:

At bedtime E asked if she could sleep in H’s bed, meaning that I got to leave the room earlier. I agreed and tucked them both into the bottom bunk. About 10 minutes later they came out of their room. I should have known it wouldn’t last. We all returned to their room, and everyone got settled again. H turned to me and said “E was singing me song” I asked what song, “Rock bye baby” he responded. “That’s nice” I said. “E give me kisses” he tells me next. “She’s a very nice big sister” I said as I  straightened the blankets around him. “I love her” he said and turned into his pillow.

Much thanks to Ann for the inspiration.

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