Saturday, July 31, 2010

More CVS fun!

Total before coupons - $36
Total after coupons - $24 (paid with ECB)
Total ECB I got back - $23

Not bad... plus think how clean my teeth will be!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Team Elise 2010

Below is an excerpt from the email my husband wrote to send to our friends and family about this year's walk:

We have some good news and some bad news...

The good news is that Elise is doing well and growing fast!

She is almost three years old, has a great group of friends, she's extremely smart, speaks both English and Portuguese (I only speak to her in Portuguese) and is very excited to become a big sister (baby Mattias is scheduled to be born three days after Elise's third birthday).

Joanne does an amazing job with the managing of insulin (three shots a day), food (weighing every single gram of carbs) and exercise (rec center, bicycle, walks, park, pool, etc.).
While insulin and food are needed to keep Elise alive, exercise plays a big role in the equation as well and so it becomes a balancing act between the three.

At her last endocrinologist appointment, her A1c (blood test that gives you an average of your blood sugar for the last three months) was so good - 6.6 - that it even worried some people (you don't want the A1c number too low when you're this young since it may be an indication that she's having a lot of low blood sugar numbers).

The bad news is that she still has type 1 diabetes, and will have it for the rest of her life until we find a cure.

Anyone with type 1 diabetes will tell you that it's a roller coaster ride. A lot of times stuff just doesn't make sense and there's not much you can do about it. There are days when you keep feeding her non-stop just to keep her blood sugar at a normal level and then there are days when you have no idea why her blood sugar is off the charts.

It's because of the "bad news" that we're again taking part in the JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes. This will be our third year and we're really excited! We have two goals this year:

1. Create awareness by having at least 50 people walking with us on Saturday, September 25 at 9 AM at Granite Park in Plano, TX.

2. Fund research that can lead to breakthrough cures and treatments for type 1 diabetes and its complications by raising $10,000.


1. If you live in the DFW area or would like to visit the area at the end of September, we would love to have you on our team!
Simply go to, click on Walk and then click on Join Team Elise to sign-up to walk with us. You will get a free and very cool Team Elise shirt (see the design below). Note that you do not have to raise money in order to walk with us, but are more than welcome to do so, if you wish.

2. If you're able to, we would love for you to donate to JDRF! Simply go to and click on Donate Now from any page to donate using your credit card. If you prefer to use PayPal, you can do so by clicking on Walk and then clicking on PayPal.

I would also like to thank Jonathan Rollins for designing this year's Team Elise shirt - I can't wait to wear it!

Thank you so much in advance for your support!

My thoughts:

-The shirt is AMAZING, no?

-You should really check out the new Team Elise website.

-We have had some incredible response from businesses in the area who are either willing to sponsor or help support Team Elise. We've even had a few restaurants offer to donate a percentage of their sales from a certain time period to Team Elise. We will update when we have some more solid dates. Hopefully if you live in this area, you will come out and not only support Team Elise, but the wonderful businesses too!

Go Team Elise!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

20 Things I can't live without

Holy smokes... I found this in my draft folder and it's almost a year old! I thought I should post it before I forget about it again.

Here are my 20 things (in no particular order)...

1. My Family - Well, duh. I've got a great guy, sweet, amazing daughter and a neurotic, but pretty cool dog. 'Nuff said.

2. My Birkenstocks - Birks are to me what flip flops are to most other people. I have a huge aversion to things between my toes, so flip flops are a no go for me. But I have been wearing Birks since I was 15. In fact, I had the same pair for 15 years! They travelled through Europe, down to SF and over to Texas with me. I still have them, although I don't wear them anymore.

3. Sleep - Without it I am a monster. I don't get enough of it anymore, so there's your answer as to why I'm so difficult.

4. Target - Ahhhh, the first store name Elise ever learned to say. She can spot a Target store from miles away and asks me at least three times a week if we can go to Target. I have no idea why. The sight of red stickers excites me.

5. The Amazing Race - I'm betting I really could live without watching this show, but it's the only way I'll ever get to travel to Mongolia and watch someone eat yak balls. Plus, you know... Phil.

6. Tyleonl PM/Advil PM/Benedryl - You'd think that someone who isn't getting enough sleep would be able to fall asleep pretty easily, wouldn't you? Unfortunately, my brain has a hard time shutting off at night. A lot of it has to do with diabetes, and I tend to over analyze Elise's numbers. I don't take something every night, but sometimes a girl needs a little help getting to where she wants to go.

7. My faith - Life has been a wild ride so far, and my life changed for the better almost 9 years ago. Major props to God on that one. You can't see me right now, but I'm pointing skywards a la any movie star or pro athlete who has just won an award/hit a home run/scored a touchdown etc. No I'm not, because that would just make me look like an idiot.

8. Hockey and my Vancouver Canucks - You know I'm Canadian, right? I play Air hockey, Ball hockey, Barn Hockey, Bubble Hockey, Field hockey, Floor hockey, Ice hockey, Kitchen hockey, Road hockey, Roller hockey, Table hockey, Twist hockey And I play hockey, hockey, hockey, hockey, hockey, hockey, hockey, hockey, hockey, hockey, hockey, hockey, hockey, hockey, hockey all the time! Take shots! Any good Canadian will be able to tell you what all the nonsense means.

9. The written word - I am somewhat of a word junkie. When I was younger, I always had to be reading something. Even if I was sitting at the table eating breakfast, I would grab the cereal box and read every word on it; english and french. That's why I knew how to say, "no sugar added" in french before I ever started school. Now I don't have much time to read, but losing myself in a book is a great way to escape the stresses of life.

10. Really great music - I know everyone has differing opinions on what "really great" means, but for me it means not listening to screaming/shrieking/noise, someone caterwauling about their pick-up breaking down, or some idiot talking about hos and droning on in a language that might sound like english if your IQ was about 20. Also the Christmas Shoes song. Because it really, really sucks.

11. My body pillow - I became seriously addicted to this when I was pregnant with Elise. Now I can't sleep right if I don't have an extra-long bag of cotton to snuggle up to (who says I'm not romantic?)

12. My quilt -
I love my quilt and I hate sleeping without it. I quasi-made it. By that I mean I chose the material, measured it, cut it and had every intention of sewing it, but ran out of time. So I pleaded with my friend Gabi to finish it off for me. It's a rag quilt and it's purple and oh-so pretty.

13. A hot shower - I get cold easily and I hate to smell. 'Nuff said.

14. My D-Mommas - oh how I love these women! They are there for me like nobody else can be. We have plans to meet one day in real life, but for now I just have to be content that they live in my computer.

15. Nap time - Well, Elise's nap time. Still working on finding the time for me.

16. Fun socks - I really have no fashion sense, nor do I really care that plaid is all the rage right now (did I wake up in the early 90s or something? Shouldn't I be in math class right now? I loooooove Nirvana - wait, no I don't. See #10). But I do love fun socks. With multi-coloured stripes, or sparkles, or funky designs... I love them all (remember, this was written almost a year ago... when plaid WAS in).

17. A good conditioner - Have you seen my hair? I mean, really seen it? You can't miss it. It's red, and big, and long, and my God there is a lot of it. I probably shed enough hair everyday to give someone a whole new head of hair. And to tame the wild beast that sits upon my head I need a really good, moisturizing conditioner. It needs to smell nice, too.

18. Laughter - I love humour, laughing and making others laugh. A good laugh can be as cathartic as a good cry. Lucky for me I live with two pretty funny people and a mildly amusing dog.

19. The word miscellaneous - I'm a pretty organized person. A place for everything and everything in its place, I say. But what bugs the poop outta me are those things that don't fit anywhere. For example, Elise has a bunch of storage drawers for her toys, and those drawers have labels. And those toys are stored by category. Except we have a whole slew of toys that don't fit any category and hence must be stored in the "miscellaneous" drawer. I have miscellaneous folders, envelopes, cupboards, bins, shelves... ahhh, miscellaneous. It does my anal-retentive heart good.

20. My blog - Because where else would I be able to put all the crap that clogs up my brain?

Aaaaaaand fin. Aren't you glad you wasted 10 minutes of your life reading all that?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Things that may or may not win me a spot in the Parenting Hall of Fame

I'm not sure this is the "intended" use for these items, but it sure made for some cool fun on a disgustingly hot summer day.

Monday, July 19, 2010

The joys of being pregnant

Yes, there are many joys to pregnancy; the feeling of a life growing inside of you. The anticipation a meeting this little person who shares your DNA. The smiles you get from people when they see your ever-expanding tummy. And, of course, the eating of pretty much what you want, when you want.

And let's not forget the built in excuse for going from zero to stark-raving crazy in .5 seconds.

Yup, being pregnant is a joy, but I am finding out some of the not-so-joyous stuff that I never experienced with Elise.

This baby is carrying so low, that I think he's using my bladder as a water bed. Or a trampoline. Seriously, every time he moves, I have to pee. Last night alone, I got up 10 times. Ten times, people. When you go to bed at 11:00 pm and wake up around 7:00 am, that's about every 45 minutes.

There is a well-worn path from my side of the bed to the toilet, and I think I actually fell asleep while sitting on it a few nights ago. And the saddest part of all? Elise and I now have something in common; we have both peed our pants sometime during the last week. In my defence, I DID sneeze. She was just too lazy to stop playing and head to the potty.

I cannot wait until I can claim my bladder is my own again, but until then I'm seriously contemplating the Depends route at night.

Is being 33 and wearing a diaper really that lame?

Friday, July 16, 2010

Toodles, Time Warner

Once a year, Fred and I go absolutely coo-coo bananas and get cable for about a month. This is because I love hockey, and when the Canucks are playing in the playoffs, I MUST watch. And this year, we had the nice little Stanley Cup followed by World Cup thing, so the cable hung out for almost TWO months! This actually was just the second year doing it, and it was pretty weird to have all those choices after 9 years of just watching local channels.

We decided back in 2001 that we needed to get serious about paying off our debt, so cable was the first luxury to go. Even once we became debt-free, we never turned it back on. And honestly? I can't say that I've missed it all that much.

When I turned on the "guide" option, I was amazed that we had over 900 channels. Except when you saw that a lot of them were either duplicate channels, HD versions of the SD channel, something called "On Demand" (still don't get, or care, what that is), and channels which played nothing but music (NOT MTV or VH1, on which you'd be hard-pressed to find music of any kind... weird).

And let's not forget the "dirty" channels. Screens of them, displaying names of shows that would make you blush just by reading them (special note: these were NOT included in our package, just in case you were wondering).

All told, we probably got around 200 channels. But after 2 months of flipping through the guide, it's true what The Boss says... "57 channels and nothing on".

Seriously, I don't care about Kathy Griffin's D-list life, or that what I wear is "What Not to Wear". I don't want to "Flip my House", or bust any myths, either. And I believe that The Real Housewives of (fill in the blank) are about as real as Heidi Montag's face (I am so amazed that I typed that sentence and know what it means).

So, with the end of the World Cup, came the end of the cable for another year. Although if I'm being honest, I am totally going through Law & Order marathon withdrawal.

Dun Dun!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

So stinkin' cute...

Monday, July 12, 2010

Nerdy Von Saves-a-lot strikes again.

Ahhh, another banner day at CVS. This Sunday I went armed with all my coupons and ended up getting $70 worth of product for pretty much free! Or if you want to get technical, I paid 51 cents. If you want to get uber-technical about it, I paid $30 out of pocket for something I'll be getting a $35 rebate for in a few weeks. Here's how:

Scissors - Regularly $3.19. On sale for 99 cents. I got 99 cents in ECB, making them free.
Pens - Regularly $2.19. On sale for 99 cents. I got 99 cents in ECB, making them free.
Contact Solution - Regularly $9.99. On sale for $7.99. I had a $2 coupon, plus I got back $7.99 in ECB. Meaning I made $2 for this purchase!
John Frieda spray - Regularly $6.49. On sale for $5.00. I had a $2 coupon.
John Frieda conditioner - Regularly $6.99. On sale for $5.00. I had a $2.50 coupon. I got $5 ECB back for buying the two products, meaning I paid 50 cents for both.
Neutrogena - Regularly $40. On sale for $34.99. I had a $5 coupon. I also had a mail in rebate which reimbursed me for the full ($34.99) amount. So I made $5 on this one.

Since I have about $25 in ECB from previous transactions, I used those to pay instead of using cash (not including the Neutrogena... I did that in a separate transaction). I think I used $13 in ECB, but ended up getting $15 ECB back. Nice!

I know that's enough information to make your head explode... but it's really not that hard, I promise. And once you get started, it can be a little addicting. Saving money is not really a bad vice to have, is it?

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

things Elise says

I love that my girl loves to talk. She comes by it quite naturally, really. When she opens her mouth, I never know what she's going to say. Here are a few of my favourites from the last few months or so:

I need a bra for my boobies - She pulled this gem out at Target a few months ago while walking around holding a bra up to her chest. Awesome, no?

Sweetheart, do you need some help? - She likes to ask our dog Seven this for some reason. The sweetheart thing is what tickles me so much.

You are amazing, I am Elise - I like my new nickname.

Fancy Luke - This is the name she has given to any and all squirrels she sees. No, I don't know why.

We were sitting watching the Olympics back in February, when a promo for the evening news came on. There was a clip of Brian Williams from a newscast where he says, "I'm Brian Williams." Elise looked at the TV and replied, "I'm Elise (and our last name).

I love you sooooo much. I love your big nose too! - Hee hee... she said this one to Fred one day.

Elise: What's wrong, Momma?
Me: I'm just tired, little bean.
Elise: It's okay Momma, I'm here and I will hold you (giving me a hug)

I need something to have
- She says this at night sometimes after we put her to bed. It's one of her many stalling techniques.

I cannot sit anywhere!
- This is what she says if she wants to sit exactly where you are sitting.... no matter is there is ample room elsewhere.

My Poppa is a good man. He gets me a snack and checks my blood sugar and pokes my finger and when my blood sugar is low he feeds me banana and goldfish. Poppa is a good man. - Elise said this to me one night as I was giving her some food for a low blood sugar. She then told me I was a good lady.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Things I love and miss about Vancouver

I guess this post brings an end to our Vancouver adventure. I can't believe it's already been a month since we were there. These are just a few of the many, many things I miss about my hometown:

  • How late it stays light in the summer. Yeah, it's hard to argue with your two year old when you're trying to put her to bed at 9:30, and she says to you, "but it's still daytime!" But I love those extra hours of sunlight at night. I have some very fond memories of playing softball at 10:00 pm, and it's still light out.

  • Vinegar with french fries... YUM! And you don't even have to ask the waiter/ess for it and endure the strange looks you get. It's just sitting there RIGHT ON THE TABLE!
  • How much it rains. Yes, I miss the rain, and I will take it over 100+ degree Texas weather any day. You won't feel sick (or even perhaps die) from playing out too long in the rain.
  • How much I love the outdoors. This one is hard for me. I feel happiest when I am surrounded by trees, oceans, rivers and mountains. At one point on our hike to Narin Falls, Elise asked me why I was smiling, and I told her that the sound of a rushing river makes me happy. She thought for a moment and said, "it makes me happy too." I think my soul dies a little more each day that I spend in Texas
  • Nanaimo Bars... oh yum these are so good. The funny thing is, people from other parts of Canada don't even know what they are... they are truly a West Coast thing. I make these at home from time to time, but there's nothing like walking into a bakery and being able to buy one.

  • People and their dogs. Wym, you should never go to Vancouver. As I like to say, everybody and their dog has a dog. Elise was in heaven with all the new furry friends she made.

  • Different languages/accents. I love being able to walk down the street and hearing so many different languages spoken, or hearing accents from all over the world. It was all I could do to stop myself from running up to people and asking them where they were from. Yes, I am such a nerd.
We had such an amazing time in Vancouver, and I am counting the days until I get to go back.

Here's one last pic I found on our other camera. In the village up in Whistler, we found this cool little playground with a very interesting swing. I totally wanted to take a turn!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Happy Canada Day!

Happy Canada Day to all my Canadian peeps, and Happy 143rd birthday, Canada! Please send some Special K, and Old Dutch Barbecue chips when you have a chance... Thank you.