Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Working Mom

I am a working mom, once again. Mixed feelings. I actually got the new job! It's been pretty good but SO busy. The learning curve is steep and I barely have time to take a lunch everyday. The change of work and work environment is good and I'm so happy that I decided to take that leap. I went from public practice into education; I am a business manager at a school. Going back to school has been interesting. It's kind of funny seeing the students and reminiscing about how I was like when I was their age.

I actually went back to work a month early before my mat leave ended since that was when the job was required to start. The trade off is that I don't have to worry about working crazy overtime hours any more. I mean, I still put in extra hours every day, but nothing like working in a firm. 

But anyway, Son #2 turned 1 last week! The time has flown by and of course it always makes me wonder if I made the right choice to go back to work. Son #1 really likes his dayhome and has a buddy to play with. His colouring skills have improved vastly (from uninterested dots/sparse lines to actually scribbling somewhat within the lines - yay!) and he plays so hard that he sleeps in his own room for nearly the whole night. Son #2 is with Grandma and Grandpa during the day so he's being loved but it's really hard to leave him when he's still so young. I'm still nursing him a few times a day and make sure to do so before I leave to work and then I give him a nice cuddle before putting him back in his crib. I'm grateful that I could spend at least eleven months at home with maternity pay from the government, compared to the three months that my friends get in the US. I think if we could, I would stay home with the boys until they were both in school but for now, I need to work.

I hope I can update on a more regular basis but the pace of my new job has left me exhausted! I love to cook and bake but even those are becoming somewhat cumbersome tasks. We've been eating far too much pizza and the odd McDonald's (there's one too close to our house). I should really start doing some more meal planning. Now that the weather is becoming cooler, maybe I should pull out the slow cooker more often!

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Family Vacation



We were able to get away for ten days and flew into Vancouver to visit family. We also decided to drive down to Oregon to do some shopping and eating at some of the food trucks in Portland and then stay at the coast for a few days. We had a really good time! We drove down in our upgraded rental car - we had booked a full sized car at a pretty good price but then were offered an upgrade to a brand new Hyundai Santa Fe for around $10/day at the counter!

The initial drive down to Portland wasn't that fun: Son #2 wasn't used to the long driving and was screaming/loudly babbling/shrieking almost the entire way down. He also didn't like sleeping in the portable crib and I had to bring him into our king bed that was also being shared with Son #1.

Since the sit 'n stand type stroller that we have was too big, we decided to bring just the umbrella stroller in case Son #1 got tired from all of the walking - which he did - and also the Ergo carrier for Son #1 which was good since he would only fall asleep in the carrier while we were out and not in the stroller! My shoulders and legs got a bit sore after carrying him around Downtown Portland all morning, but it was a good workout I guess since we stuffed our faces with Thai food, Japanese food, Voodoo doughnuts, and some handmade ice cream.

I also had a Skype interview for a job that I had applied. I was nervous that the WiFi connection wouldn't be good at the hotel, especially after Husband's cousin said that he was having trouble Skype-ing with his sister the night before on his cell phone. But luckily I brought my laptop because the Skype connection was great and the interview went well since I got the job! Skype interviews are something that I definitely will try to avoid if I ever have to. It was very distracting to see myself on the screen (I kept thinking that I looked funny or worried that I looked nervous) and then I felt more nervous because I was staring intently at the interviewers' faces while they were writing down their notes during the interview.

The drive to the coast was beautiful and it was really nice once we got there because we were able to book a two bedroom condo-style hotel. Son #2 was able to sleep in his portable crib since he wasn't distracted by us being in the same room; we were in the living room talking with Husband's cousin and his family and Son #1 was able to play with his second cousin. Cannon Beach was nice but extremely windy. So windy, that flying a kite involved nothing more than unwinding the string. Someone down the beach accidentally let go of their kite and it flew away over the beachfront buildings!

The drive back went pretty well. We made some stops along the way: Costco (no tax in Oregon and there were so many things I would have bought if we had room!!), giant Korean grocery in Tacoma, WA called Paldo World, yummy Korean restaurant also in Tacoma, WA that had delicious charcoal grilled spicy pork, quick outlet shopping stop in Skagit, WA. Son #2 was really good and fell asleep for most of the drive but started getting fussy near the border.

We had a great vacation, especially since we got to spend so much time with extended family. Now to decide if we can/should go to Hawaii in November. Oh Hawaii... *cue dreamy ukulele music*

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Summer = Busy


Where I live, it only feels like Summer for three months and Winter is at least six. So when the weather finally warms up, there is so much to do in a relatively short period of time. Add to that the fact that I only have three months left in my maternity leave *sob* so I'm really trying to squish everything in. 

We moved into our house two years ago and are finally starting to feel settled in. Our neighbours are awesome and we really like our house and yard. My parents generously purchased a playset for our boys at the beginning of the month, which has proven to be a big hit with Son #1. There has also been a growing list of people whom we have yet to invite so I decided to tackle that list this Summer and have had quite a few get togethers already.

If you haven't noticed, I take my food seriously so when I invite people over, I like to make a lot of food; I feel really bad if I invite people over and serve only two or three dishes. Is that weird? I mean, if I go to someone's house and am served only two or three dishes, I don't feel cheated. In fact, our friends invited us over last month and we enjoyed a delicious meal of coconut rice, cucumbers, and balsamic glazed pork tenderloin, plus the most amazing lemon bundt cake for dessert. It was great! 

Needless to say, I make myself very busy when inviting people over and while I love the company, I am very happy that I'm getting through that list of people to invite.

Last Friday we hosted the annual BBQ potluck for my church's moms group. Whoever hosts is in charge of condiments, fixin's and beverages. I wanted to be fun so I provided: ketchup, relish, mayo, roasted garlic and chili aioli,  mustard, dijon mustard, honey mustard, sriracha, sweet chili sauce, BBQ sauce, teriyaki sauce, Frank's red hot sauce, shredded cheddar cheese, sliced marble cheese, sliced blue cheese, caramelized onions, sauteed mushrooms, diced raw onions, red onion slices, lettuce, sliced tomatoes, sliced cucumbers, sliced pickles, sauerkraut, grilled pineapple rings, real bacon bits/crumbles, hot banana pepper rings, roasted peppers, and various potato chips in case people wanted to add them to their burgers or dogs. Real bacon bits? You ask? Yes, because I was cooking two packages of bacon slices in the oven while I was running like mad around my house trying to do last minute cleaning before I realized that I pretty much burned both pans. I tried to nibble on different pieces of charred bacon but they were so far done that I couldn't even taste any of the bacon's smokiness. What a waste. But I don't think anyone really cared because everything else was so fun!

Then on Sunday we had another BBQ potluck but we provided the rice, grilled teriyaki chicken, baked salmon, Korean green onion pancake, and spicy kale and avocado salad. Plus a fruit platter consisting of white peaches (one of my faves!), watermelon, strawberries, and pineapple. I think this was our fourth or fifth large get together this Summer. Large get togethers can get pricey, but if you can plan ahead and purchase things in bulk when they're on sale or even do things potluck style, you can keep costs down. 

So far this Summer, 21 of 25 days have been rainy. You would think that we lived in Vancouver or somewhere! So naturally, I was terrified at the thought of having 15+ kids plus babies on both days being trapped inside of our house with the 15+ adults. Our house has a pretty good layout but it's not huge. I kept telling people to pray for good weather and miraculously, the sun came out and it was beautiful when the guests were here!! The kids ran outside to jump on the trampoline that the previous owners of our house had left behind and to play on our new playset. YAY! After scrubbing out grass stains from our carpet from our guests the weekend before, I was SO relieved. Only three more large gatherings to go!!

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Not Being Wasteful

With so many blogs on the Internet, I find it hard to come up with an original idea. I mean, I come up with an idea that I think it so brilliant, say, a recipe, only to do a quick Google search and find that many other people have already thought of it!

I thought of Cookinotti with pretzels. Already done. Cookinotti mixed in with Rice Krispies squares. Already done. Fine. So I made Cookinotti Rice Krispies squares topped with crushed peanut butter filled pretzels and then drizzled them with chocolates. Muhaha. I showed them. Dialing wand to continue typing on my laptop has been ordered

I often look for new recipes or try to think of things to bake if I have an overabundance of an ingredient or two. Last week I had a carton of whipping cream to use up so I was thinking of making Japanese style spaghetti carbonara but then decided to make some apple cinnamon scones topped with maple sugar. I hate throwing out food throwing out food that's gone bad so I always try to make sure that I use it up while it's still good.

One thing that was starting to accumulate was those garlic butter sauce discs from Papa John's pizza. The first time I tried it, I thought it was pretty disgusting but if I limit the amount that I dip with my crust, it's not too bad. But we always end up with a lot of unopened ones leftover. So I added some to mashed potatoes instead of using butter. Mmmmm. Then I added it to some stir fried seafood (squid, prawns, scallops, mussels). Mmmmm. I mean, it's not the best thing for you but it makes a nice addition to a dish once in a while.

I went for a second interview last week. This time it started off with a 30 minute test followed by a 30 minute interview with FIVE people. Well, it was supposed to be a 30 minute interview. I think the adrenaline, nervousness, crazies induced by sleep deprivation, caffeine all kicked in and the question and answer period was done in 15 minutes. Ummm is that a good thing or a bad thing? I guess I talk fast when I'm nervous. Dang. I wasn't even going to apply for this job in the first place but the competitive side of me wants it so bad now that I've gone through the second round. I'm still hoping to talk to the partners at my current work about being able to go back to work with reduced hours but I'll hold off until after I find out if I get this new job or not. I still technically have over three months left in my maternity leave so I have some time. The bad thing about the new job is that it starts mid August so I would be cutting my maternity leave short by a month, meaning one less month to spend at home with my boys. I guess it would be better to go back a month early than to potentially have to go back to my old job full time plus super overtime during tax season. Ugh. I can't go back to my old job.

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Splurging

This was my lovely tree before the windy thunderstorm blew most of the blossoms off :(

I went for an interview last Friday. I didn't really want to apply for the job because it involves some traveling in the form of highway driving - especially not fun when it's Winter! Not only that but I'm overqualified and the pay would be a cut compared to what I could get anywhere else. So why did I apply? Minimal overtime, the job itself seems interesting, good benefits - including pension! And the job environment seems to be good and not overly stressful. Plus it would be easy for me to drive to since it's not in Downtown and it sort of has flex hours. Oh and free parking. I didn't prepare for the interview since I'm still indecisive about going back to work but definitely felt nervous when I walked in to three interviewers staring at me. I think the interview went pretty well seeing as I have to go back for a test and a second interview. A test? I don't know what to expect but I'm really really hoping that both sons will let me have a good night's rest or else these potential employers might question my resume and maybe even the validity of my CA designation ha ha...

Even though I'm still undecided, I think I'm leaning towards returning to work. Especially if I can land a job that has good hours so that I can come home, not be stressed/exhausted, and just be able to spend some quality time with my family. 

I don't want to think that this is another reason why I'm returning to work but my trusty old 1999 VW Jetta died a few weeks ago. It's not really dead but needs some work done. It actually needs a lot of work done if you want to include the body of the car but I think the starter went. If it's only the starter, then it wouldn't be too bad but I have a feeling there's more - plus more to come for sure. It has over 220,000 km. I purchased it at around 90,000 km and have not replaced the clutch yet. So I've been spending a lot of time trying to research used cars. I think I will be going with a 2010 Subaru Outback 3.6R. I was going to go with the more fuel efficient 2.5 engine, but after test driving both, I made my choice. It's a bit more than I want to spend on a car right now but I want something safe and reliable...

Oh and I bought a Blendtec blender. I've been wanting to buy a Vitamix for the longest time but then I saw a Blendtec at Costco last week for $360. I quickly picked it up and bought it so that I could research first and then return it (unopened!) after; I knew at that price it would sell out quickly! So I did a lot of research that made me even more undecided. Finally, I just decided to keep it. I mean, it has an 8 year warranty so it should be okay. So anyway, I made my first smoothie this morning which consisted of: spinach, milk, kiwi, frozen mixed fruit, Greek yogurt, chia seeds, and a banana. It was so smooth and thick, just how I like it! I liked the fact that I didn't have to tamp it down or stay there to control the speed, like I would for a Vitamix. The Blendtec has buttons and has a digital display. Do I think it will last as long as a Vitamix? Probably not, but it should last at least 8 years under the warranty and by then, I would have definitely got my money's worth. No buyer's remorse here!

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Decisions

 

I did it. I purchased two more packs of Cookinotti. That's FOUR jars. I was cookie naughty :( I'm planning to give them away though so I put them in the basement where I won't see them.

I haven't been to the gym this week because of a sore wrist. I went to see my doctor and it turns out that I have a ganglion. If it was bigger, I might have needed surgery to remove it, but it's not too big. It's really annoying and it feels like a bad bruise when I press it and a bad strain when I don't. I have to pick up Son #2 with my right hand and gently support with my left. Sometimes I just grab his sleep sack with my right hand and lift him out, crane style, complete with machine sound effects. I HAVE been going out on longer walks with the boys to kind of make up for the absence of intense physical activity.

I was really tempted to ask Husband to pick up some pizza on the way home from Son #1's swimming lessons today but then I decided to try this recipe from one of my favourite food blogs, Week of Menus. I didn't have any tofu so I just served the spicy kale salad with some pan-seared salmon and brown rice. It was really yummy! The creaminess of the avocado balanced the spicy dressing and crunchy kale so well. Yay for healthy eating!

On another note, I've been casually applying for jobs. By casual I mean, if I see a job posting that I really like, I'll submit my mediocre resume along with a half-hearted cover letter. I'm still not sure if I want/need to return to work after my maternity leave is over but I thought that I should keep an eye out so I'm not scrambling to find one in case I have to!

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Unclean Eating


So I was checking out unadvertised Costco Canada deals when I noticed two jars of Cookinotti on clearance for $4.97. Cookinotti? What's that? Could it finally be that we could purchase something that might be like Trader Joe's Cookie Butter? I gave a list to Husband of things to buy. When he brought it home, I immediately opened the jar and ate a spoonful. Mmmm just like I remembered. Then I remembered that I still had a jar of Trader Joe's Cookie Butter in my cupboard with only a little bit left. I think I was trying to ration it in case I had a Cookie Butter emergency. I had purchased it in December and forgot about it. Luckily it wasn't expired. Who am I kidding though? I would have still ate it if it was expired. I had to do a taste test. One spoon of Cookinotti followed by a spoon of Cookie Butter. I couldn't tell the difference. I mean, I'm not a Speculoos cookie connoisseur or anything but it tasted the same to me. I can't remember how much I paid for the Cookie Butter from the Trader Joe's in Seattle, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't two jars for $4.97.

Now I'm trying to fight the urge and stock up. I'm already thinking that I should give the other jar away. If you Google Trader Joe's Cookie Butter, you can read all sorts of things about how addicting it is. To be honest, I didn't even think it was THAT great the first time I ate it. I still think it's just okay but for some reason it's so addicting. I tried it on ice cream and on bread, but I think the best way to have it is straight up on a spoon. I even had it spread on a Speculoos cookie. Speculoos with Speculoos Cookie Butter. Why? I don't know, I thought the Butter needed some crunch?

So now I'm going to Costco tomorrow to buy some other things that I missed and will have to fight the urge to buy more Cookinotti for myself and for my cousin who is just as addicted as I am but doesn't think I should buy it either.

On a side note, Husband and I went on our first date in a looooong time and I noticed that some of my clothes were a bit looser thanks to the two spin classes and one Group Power (weights) class that I took in the last week. Oh and the weather has finally warmed up so we've been going on a few evening walks. Okay, no Cookinotti. Maybe.

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Clean Eating



It seems like everyone is into clean eating these days. There's even something called the Paleo Diet that I haven't really looked into but can kind of guess what it's about. I saw this recipe for ricotta cheese, chia seeds, fresh papaya chunks, and agave nectar drizzle and thought that it would make a really nice, healthy breakfast. So I made it this morning before we took the boys to their swimming lessons. I've only had ricotta in baked pasta dishes and assumed it would be similar to cottage cheese when eaten cold. I took one bite and frowned. Maybe I can overcome the gritty saltiness. Another bite. Nope. Scoop off the papaya and whatever I could of the chia seeds and the rest got thrown away. What a waste. Son #1 is pretty open to new and different foods but he didn't like the grittiness and refused to eat it. I would definitely replace the ricotta for Greek yogurt or cottage cheese next time. Even better for me would have been if I had time this morning to make some steel cut oats and sprinkle that with the chia and papaya. I love my sweets but I can do without the agave or any other sweetener when it comes to oatmeal, as long as there's some fruit.

Speaking of healthy eating... has anyone tried Caffarel chocolates? The Lindt chocolate outlet was having a 50% off sale and I bought a bag of these expensive beauties. It seems like they were bought out by Lindt a while ago and thank goodness for that, otherwise I would have never tried them. Even at 50% off they are quite expensive, but one piece of chocolate goes a long way. If you love chocolate and hazelnuts, especially whole hazelnuts, you have to try Caffarel's Nocciolotto chocolate. It's sooo smooth and delicious with crunchy hazelnuts. I gave a small bag of them to my parents to try and my mom told me that my dad ate all of them but left one for my mom, presumably out of guilt. Like father, like daughter.

I don't think I will be doing a complete clean eating makeover, but I will definitely try to tidy up my diet. I need to drastically reduce my sugar intake, especially since several of my uncles have Type II diabetes and also reduce refined carbs and trans fats. Time to whip this body back into shape. Wa-pish! (Whipping noise, in case you were wondering.)

Monday, 29 April 2013

T-shirt in the Swimming Pool




Today was the first time that I did a spin class in over 15 months. According to my watch, my heart rate went up to 192, averaging at 176, and I burned 646 calories in 52 minutes. I wasn't even pushing myself super hard so that kind of gives you an idea how out of shape I am. Due to potential complications and some pregnancy scares early on in my second pregnancy, I decided to skip the gym and just do light exercises like walking. My friend who is due to give birth in two days just went to spin class last Saturday. I texted her and told her that she was intense.


After Son #1 was born, I hit the gym as soon as I could and by this time, I had already lost all of my pregnancy weight. Not so much this time.

We registered both sons in swimming lessons and tomorrow is the first day. I will be taking Son #2 and Husband will be with Son #1 in his class. I was hoping to have lost enough weight to be able to wear a one piece swimsuit, but looks like I will have to be one of those people who wear t-shirts in the pool. I'm aware that the t-shirt will cling to my body in the most unflattering way, but I think it will be my security blanket in my time of insecurity.

The swimming lessons are actually coming at a good time. Tomorrow is April 30th and is when personal tax payments and most returns are due in Canada (unless you are self-employed, deceased, etc. etc.) so that means that I have an excuse to not go into the office and help. Not that I need an excuse. I'm on maternity leave, people! I actually went in today after my spin class (and shower!!) and it wasn't too busy so I don't feel too bad about not coming in tomorrow.

As an aside: why the picture of the accountant cake? Because I noticed that some people find my page by Google searching for a birthday cakes for accountants and I hate to disappoint ;)

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

CA/CGA/CMA = CPA?

The other day I received an e-mail from the Alberta Institute of Chartered Accountants regarding the amalgamation of the CA, CMA, and CGA designations in Alberta into the newly formed CPA designation. That was surprising because the last I heard, the Alberta CAs had opted out of discussions to join into one designation. Not that I was closely keeping up-to-date on the situation or anything. From what I understand, this decision is now in the voting stage and aside from Quebec, Alberta will be one of the first provinces to implement the unification strategy.

Do I agree? I'm not sure. I think CASB was pretty torturous and would have found the CGA program a lot more manageable. I hate group projects because you always have the one slacker/freeloader in the group who never does any work and that's what I heard the CMA program involves (group projects, not slackers/freeloaders) so that wouldn't have been appealing to me anyway. Not that I'm saying that CGAs are any less qualified than CAs, but since I already had a University degree, I would have only needed to take a few more courses in order to obtain that designation. Granted, I will be given the option to still add "CA" after my name for 10 years once the unification goes into effect. I'm not sure how that affects how CAs will be linked to other CA organizations in the world either. Obviously I have some more researching to do.

Another thing that mildly annoys me is the acronym that they chose: CPA, which stands for Chartered Professional Accountant. Wait, doesn't CPA stand for Certified Public Accountant? No, silly. That's CPAs in the United States! Couldn't we have selected one that was different?

In the end, I guess we are all accountants and not everyone knows or cares about the difference anyway. Here's to hoping for lower professional fees and lower costs for continuing education courses!!

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Work vs Stay-At-Home


Tax season. Ugh. I'm so glad that my maternity leave lets me bypass tax season this year. Crazy me, though, had to offer to help out for a few hours a day since I felt bad. Today was my first day back at work and it was only for about four hours. I think I will only come in for four hours a day until the end of April since I'm still nursing Baby #2 and he doesn't really like the bottle. I want to help out as much as I can, but I don't want to make Baby #2 have to sacrifice his comfort and nutrition! I also thought that going back to work would make realize how horrible it feels to return to work and then be warned to never return once my maternity leave ends. But it was nice to see my coworkers again and of course it wasn't bad since it was my first day back and for only four hours! If I could only work four hours a day, I wouldn't mind :) We'll see how the rest of the month goes. One thing I forgot was how tiring it is to wake up early and go to work, especially after the baby was up numerous times throughout the night.

It's actually been a while since I've only been assigned to do personal tax returns. I'm usually working on audits at around this time of the year or other corporate tax files so it's a nice change of pace. I find that a lot of people have personal tax questions once they find out that I'm an accountant so it's good to keep up-to-date on this kind of stuff so I don't seem like a complete idiot. Or maybe it's bad because then I can't use the excuse that I haven't done personal tax in a long time...

Any other parents or parents-to-be out there in accounting? I would like to stay at home after my maternity leave/pay comes to an end, but sometimes I worry about finances. I don't really want to work from home because we don't have an ideal space where I could set up an office and it's hard for me to get any work done at home anyway. Plus I would have to pay extra professional fees, software, access to accounting info, etc. And if I wanted to stay in public practice, I would prefer to work with another partner. But that's not where I'm at right now. Working in a small firm, I know how stressful it can be and the huge amounts of overtime that have to be worked. I want to be there for my kids and for my husband. I enjoy being at home and cooking, (sometimes) cleaning, and spending time with my family.

If I go back to work, it would be nice to be able to work part time or at least somewhere that doesn't require large amounts of overtime (i.e. government job). It's not that I'm lazy, but I really want to maximize the amount of time that I can spend with my sons while they're still young! I think that this is a really important time for me to be there for them so I will try really hard to make sure that I can as much as possible :)

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Lemon = Spring


I was originally going to write a huge post about how busy I was, but no one wants to hear that right? So instead, I will write about some yummy desserts. This past Winter has been one of the worst ones that I can remember - and that's saying a lot seeing as I live in Edmonton, Alberta. The snow is finally melting but I can see that there is a chance of flurries this weekend. Seriously??

Side story: I was at Costco - by myself (!!!!!) - and realized that I should have went home and slept after I dropped the boys off at my parents' house. Son #1 did his usual opening our bedroom door and slamming it and yelling "all done sleep!" at 7:00 a.m. this morning. We're "late" sleepers and wish we could sleep until 8:00 a.m. or even 8:30 a.m. Do they have beds that are shaped like cages for toddlers?? Just kidding. While I was at Costco, I was in the dairy section and grabbed a 2L of 1% milk and then put it in my cart while looking at the organic milk that they offered at double the price. Then this lady looked at me and said in a very polite voice "excuse me, this is my cart." I looked down and noticed that there was a very expensive purse along with a lot of groceries that I did not purchase. I quickly apologized and put my milk into another cart - which, again, was not mine. Before the rightful owner of that cart noticed, I pulled the milk jug out and giggled "heh heh, maybe I should get some more sleep!" and then speed walked to my cart which was outside of the dairy section. That was so bad. And I didn't even have my boys with me so that I didn't seem so crazy. See? I have kids. I'm tired and have so much on my mind! Oh, I see. All is forgiven.

Anyway, for a little bit of Spring even though it still looks like Winter outside, I made some nice lemony desserts: lemon tarts and lemon cupcakes. I usually make the Tartine lemon bar recipe, but find it a bit sweet for my taste so I used this blogger's recommendation to use the Tartine crust with the Cooks Illustrated topping. I really liked it! It was like a lemon meringue pie without the meringue, in a square form. Then I made these cupcakes (the dense cupcake recipe) with my own frosting. The cupcakes had a good flavor but were a bit too dense for me. I might try the fluffy cupcake recipe next time. Maybe if I used the time that I did for baking to take a nap instead...

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Toddlers and airplanes



Whew! What a week. Brother and Sister-in-law just left today so now we can get back into some kind of routine. And by routine I mean not eating out all the time and the boys getting some more rest.

Son #1 was so sleep deprived today that he was having night terrors during his "afternoon" nap which started at 5:00 p.m. Yup. He stayed up all afternoon and then fell asleep on my lap, woke up 20 minutes after and started screaming and crying so loudly I thought he was possessed. I carried him up to his room and closed the door and let him tire himself out. While I was giving Son #2 a bath, older Son went downstairs and pulled out a garlic cheese bun from a bag on the kitchen counter and sat down and ate it at his Lego table. Nice to know that he can be self sufficient...

Since I had a ton of cleaning up to do, I let Son #1 watch some videos of airplanes on YouTube. He loves airplanes and rocket ships. My brother and SIL spoiled him this past Christmas with a deluxe Playmobil airplane that cost around $100! I have to say that it is a very well made toy and very good quality. But anyway, I found that the YouTube poster, AugmentedB737 (click here to watch some of his flight simulation videos) has the best airplane videos! I don't know who this person is but Son #1 loves to watch the flight simulation videos that he (she?) creates. They're very well done and after trying to find some good quality airplane videos before finding these, I would recommend them! Just thought that I could save some parent who is trying to find a good airplane video some time!

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Birthday Cake

Son #1's birthday is coming up and I really wanted to make him a birthday cake from scratch. A few weeks ago, we received a flyer from the Save-On-Foods grocery chain and as soon as he saw the Angry Birds cake, he kept saying that he wanted it. I considered making it myself: bake the cake, frost and then make some Angry Birds characters either by making cake balls or rice krispy treat balls covered with fondant. Might I add that the flyer also had a 10% off coupon for the cake? 10% = $3 off for this cake. Big money. I kept debating whether or not I should buy or make and even considered buying some plastic Angry Birds toys to put on the cake so that I wouldn't have to go through the hassle of making the cake/rice krispy balls.

Well, now it's Thursday and Son's birthday is on Saturday plus we're hosting Easter Brunch with the in-laws at our house on Sunday, Brother and Sister-in-law are coming in town, and Easter presentation at church on Friday (and Sunday but probably won't go to that one even though Husband is performing in both). Too much going on so off to Save-On-Foods I went to order the cake. The one by our house didn't have the Angry Birds one so while I was there, I picked up some mini marshmallows and a giant box of Rice Krispies, determined to make those Angry Birds balls and his cake last minute. When I got home, I decided to call the Save-On-Foods that is by my friend's house since I have to go there before Son's birthday for a baby shower. Success! I placed my order for the Angry Birds cake and will pick it up after the baby shower.

But now I feel guilty because I'm not baking his cake. AND I'm not even making any of the food. We're ordering pizza and I'm going to pick up a vegetable tray from Costco since they make it so well and I'm not sure how much time I'm going to have between the baby shower and the birthday to do it myself. This is all very odd for me since I almost always make all of the food myself. I'm one of those people who feel embarrassed to use boxed cake mix even though I do once in a while (lemon poppyseed bundt cake anyone? I just can't get it to taste the same when making from scratch). We're only inviting four of Son's friends and I'm pretty sure that they won't care either way. It's actually two of his friends but of course their siblings are coming since their parents' are close friends of Husband's and mine as well. We weren't even going to have a birthday party for him since he's only turning three but thought it might be fun to get together. Then I wanted to invite more of his friends but then it would have been hard to keep it small without hurting feelings.

So what is the point of this post? I don't know. Maybe I just felt like doing an online confessional since my overachieving self is feeling a tiny bit guilty.

I guess the plus side of ordering a cake is that I probably won't eat as much compared to if I had made it myself. I have this weird thing where I keep eating things that I bake, especially if I'm not satisfied with it, in case it might taste different or something each time I eat it. Oh wait, I'm planning to bake this cake for Sister-in-law's birthday on Monday but making the chocolate cake from scratch, of course ;)

At least the treat baskets I put together are pretty awesome!

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Fashionable Mom Shoes


While I'm on maternity leave, I use some of my "downtime" when the boys are sleeping to either take a nap, do some cleaning, or... do online shopping. It's become a bad habit and I've been better lately but I see all of these cute things or awesome deals and in that moment, I just feel like I have to buy it!

So I saw these shoes on one of the blogs I frequent, Ain't No Mom Jeans, and was persuaded to buy them - really, the website personally told me to buy them. Am I glad I did! Right out of the box, these were one of the most comfortable heeled shoes that I've ever worn. I'm thinking about buying another pair but might hold off in case they go on sale since it looks like some of them already have.

I was actually thinking about buying those trendy wedge sneakers or a pair of ballet flats but these shoes are way more practical for me since I can wear them at work and play. The little bit of height is nice, too, without being too tall like most of the cheaper wedge sneakers that I liked (I wasn't willing to pay more than $40 on a pair of those trendy things). Plus the fact that I'm avoiding skinny pants until this postpartum #2 weight comes off is another point for these shoes since they can be paired with a greater variety of pants and skirts.

Anyway, although this sounds like a sponsored post, it isn't but I thought that I would share my experience with these comfortable mom shoes that are still fashionable and great for work!

Oh, and argh because I didn't buy it at the ridiculous price that they are now. I can console myself with the fact that they didn't have the perfect size for me (size 7.5 wide - yes, wide ugly feet) but I probably would have went for the size 8s. Maybe it wouldn't have fit as well? Yes, that's right. The 2.5 times sale price that I paid is still worth it.

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

CASB and being a mom

It just occurred to me that I should write about my experiences going through CASB (CA School of Business) while being a mom since my blog title is "Accounting Mommy" and all.

After graduating from university, I articled with a small local accounting firm. Since I was getting married the year after, I decided to delay my registration into Module 1 of CASB until after the wedding. There was a rumor that a guy had to write a module exam on the day of his wedding since he wasn't able to defer it - true or not, I wasn't going to go through that stress so CASB was delayed. Two years after our wedding, I became pregnant with my first! The first thing that my mom said to me when we shared the news with my parents was "what about your accounting course??" before she said congratulations :P Before I found out I was pregnant, my grandmother - whom I was very close to - passed away. I think this was around Mod 3. A few months after when I was starting Mod 4, my mother-in-law also passed away (I was about 2 months pregnant by then). Son #1 came 6 weeks early at the end of March - bad timing for everyone working at my office because of tax season but maybe good timing for me?? hee hee. Mod 5 was completed that fall, which included a trip to the Dominican Republic for my brother's wedding, and then the following year Mod 6 and then the UFE was written and passed! Oh and throw in moving into a new house during UFE Summer for fun because I'm crazy like that and enjoy stress. And then Son #2 joined us about a year after writing the UFE - AFTER I made sure that I passed.

So for anyone wondering if it is possible to get married and have a family while doing CASB, the answer is yes! But I have to say that I had a lot of support from my parents who helped to look after Son #1 and of course from Husband. There was also a lot of mental support from my family, friends, and coworkers who helped me to decide to finish and then write the UFE. There were so many times that I just wanted to stop pursuing the designation but luckily I had a lot of people encouraging me! It definitely wasn't easy and I wouldn't recommend it to anyone. I even told my newlywed coworker to put off having kids until after she passes the UFE haha. But with a lot of support and LOTS of prayer - I seriously asked everyone that I could to pray for me whenever I had to write an exam and truly believe that is a big part of why I passed - I did it. So don't be discouraged! Life happens but that doesn't mean you have to stop achieving things for yourself. I mean, my family is my biggest achievement, but you know what I'm getting at, right?

Anyway, Son #2 is crying and it's getting late so no time to edit my rambles above but I hope I encouraged at least one person out there!!

Hello!

Hello and thank you for visiting my blog! I always thought about starting a blog but didn't know what my focus would be. I couldn't even think of a name for my blog so came up with the rather unimaginative "Accounting Mommy" because that's what I am: I'm a Chartered Accountant and mother of two boys. I love cooking and baking so I'm sure that there will be posts on that, looking for good deals, diet/fitness, being a working mom (currently on maternity leave), and maybe some inspirational tidbits that I might come across. I hope to figure this thing out soon!