Thursday, July 29, 2010

Back to "normal"

Photo courtesy of "A Moment in Time Photography" by Maryvel Friesen.  
What you can see of the bump is almost 31 weeks of baby growth : )

Well, I finally got my old blog template back (YAY!).  On to more fun and interesting things.

Our move has happened and, though we still have a "room of chaos", I can safely say that our place is liveable.  There are a few corners where there are still random boxes sitting around, but it's not too bad for having only moved a week ago today.  Pictures are coming, I promise.  They are all on Nathan's computer, though, and without internet in the house, I can't just switch computers and post them.  Sorry!

On the family front, today I am 31w1d.  Only 9 weeks to go.  Seriously, where has the time gone?!  I am so ridiculously excited to meet this little person.  Did I mention a while ago (near the beginning of my pregnancy) that I thought I knew what we were having, gender-wise?  Well, I take that back.  Completely!  I have no inkling whatsoever of whether we're having a boy or a girl.  For the first few months I was sure that I knew, to the point that I would have been shocked in the delivery room if we'd had the opposite.  But these days I just have no idea.  None.  And while it makes me so VERY curious every single day, I wouldn't have it any other way.  Everything is going very smoothly with baby.  I walked out of my doctor's appointment today pretty much on cloud 9.  Baby is the perfect size.  Perfect weight gain.  Perfect position.  Perfect heart rate.  A year ago I would never have guessed that this is where I would be right now.  Even 7 months ago I had no hope left that I would ever be experiencing this.  And yet here it is.  It is happening.  My prayer is that each of you out there would have the opportunity to experience the joy of a growing family.  That can happen in SO many different ways.  Families come in all shapes and sizes and ways...

Well, I'm sitting out in terrible mosquitoes and on a hard concrete sidewalk so I think I'm gonna get going now.  Time to see if my numb, sleeping legs will carry me back across campus to my home.  There will be pictures soon.  I promise.  What I don't promise is that my definition of "soon" is the same as yours!  Have a good evening, all!

Saturday, July 24, 2010


Hey everyone.  Today is day 3 of the big move.  There's not much exciting to report, but I just wanted to let you all know that we don't have internet at the new place as of yet so it will probably be kinda quiet around here.  We could have internet at our place as early as Monday/Tuesday of this week or as late as four weeks from now.  Hopefully, if it does take 4 weeks to get internet, I'll at least get around to posting some pics of our new place before then.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

blog template

Hey everyone, I had to change my blog background because the place where I get my backgrounds (cutestblogontheblock) has become too popular and had to change where they stored all their stuff online.  SO...a hasty switch was required.  With our move happening right now, I didn't have time to switch all the font colors, find a perfect background, etc, so hopefully early next week I'll get around to that or maybe even get my old blog background back!  I loved my last one and wasn't ready to give it up yet!  Bear with will get better soon!  In the meanwhile, sorry if it's hard to read.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

House pictures, motherly excitement, and a freebie!

Ok, so I'm going to start this post with a great freebie that I got an email about today.  It's for a nursing cover.  So if you need one or if you're going to be going to any baby showers in the next little while and think a nursing cover would make a great gift, check this out!  You go to  Pick whichever cover you want (or a gift set for $5 more).  Once you add what you want to your shopping bag, add the promo code CUTE and you'll get it for the price of shipping - $9.95.  So technically it's not free, but $10 for a nursing cover that's usually $32.  I'd say that's pretty good.  AND, you can buy as many as you want for this price.  You just need to open a new window and put in separate orders, thus paying $9.95 per cover.  Take it or leave it.  I took it and am looking forward to receiving my nursing cover in the mail in a couple weeks!

A few of you have asked which cover I ordered...I went with the gender-neutral "Porter"

Next order of business...sorry, also baby related, AND also free stuff related.  I got my first free promotional can of infant formula today!  And a package of rice cereal.  I was so excited when I got that box in the mail today.  I just like free things a little too much.  Oh well.  According to Heinz, I can "Rest easy - my Heinz Nutrition Kit has arrived!"

And, last but not least, I have "before" pictures of our new place!  I especially would like to draw your attention to the picture of the living room wrapped in its luxurious wood paneling.  A few of you commented that you'd like to see pictures of it so that you could be inspired and thus help me out in the decorating realm.  Well, I've provided pictures.  Now I need (very inexpensive) suggestions!

This is the kitchen.  
I was quite impressed, actually, when I saw this picture.  But don't be fooled.  Yes, it is a cute place, but my amazing photography skills are to thank for the amazing cleanliness and the quality look that this kitchen has. 

Next, we have the entrance/laundry area.
This photo also impressed me, for the same reasons as the kitchen.  If only cleaning was as easy as taking a picture all the time!  That, my wonderful blogger friends, is a brand new washer/dryer set.  Bethany provides only the best for their renters ; )  I might add that the fridge and stove in the kitchen are also quite new...  I look forward to many a day washing diapers in this room.

By far, the worst room in the house.  If you ever need to use the commode in our new place, you'll have the luxury of deciding whether you want to use the right half, or the left half, or BOTH halves of the polished wooden toilet seat.  Making this decision possible is a lovely crack down the front of the seat.  I can only imagine the pain that might ensue after a late night bathroom trek when one is half asleep and not taking time to choose left, right or both.  Ouch!  The tub is also lovely and, to show off it's loveliness, we decided to go with a clear tub mat instead of a white one.  (oops)  Enough of the bathroom...moving on.
Oh yeah, one more thing about this room.  For the second rental place in a row, I can get a lovely view of my forehead (and nothing else) in the bathroom mirror.  So if my mascara is running and my lipstick is smeared up to my nose, yet my eyebrows are meticulously plucked to perfection, you, my friends, will have the inside scoop.

Doesn't that just look like a staircase to the great dark depths of the unknown?
I hope to keep this door closed and spend as little time down there as possible.  It's dark.  It's damp.  It's dirty.  I don't want to know what's living down there, but we should probably be charging rent.

"Master" bedroom.  
Really this is only a secondary bedroom, but the true master bedroom in this house has no heat vent in it so in the dead of a Saskatchewan winter, it basically becomes a cold storage room.  If we need to (read: if our bed doesn't fit into this room and allow all doors and closets to function) we will use the larger bedroom.  But if we can get away with it, we will just use this smaller bedroom and block off the other bedroom and try not to pay an arm and a leg to heat it. This room will probably get some paint before we move in.

My favourite room in the house.
This is probably the room that's in the best shape, likely because it is the smallest room in the house and therefore the least-used.  This will be the nursery.  It has a south window so, next to the kitchen it will get the most light (and hopefully heat) through the winter months.  It will also fit our nursery furniture perfectly.  All I can say is it's good thing we found some small-scale furniture.  I doubt a "regular-sized" crib would fit very well in here along with everything else that normally goes into a nursery.  This room may or may not get paint...we'll see.

The infamous wood paneled living room.

Dining room.
We've never actually had one of these since we've been married.  The doorway to the right is the bedroom with no heat that we will close off.  The bright doorway to the left is the kitchen and entrance on the south side of the house.  Nice and bright, just the way I like it!  Our new dining room table and chairs will replace these mismatched beauties.  Sad, I know, but hey.  You do what you need to do...

Hmm...I was both horrified and relieved at the number of mouse traps we have found in this house.  Horrified because, well, I'm sure you can guess why.  But relieved because each and every one of them so far has been empty.  Whew.  Now lets just hope that these traps were a precautionary measure.  In case you didn't already know, mice for me are far worse than any spiders, bees, or ants that could be living in my house.  The latter are annoying, yes, but they don't scare me the same way that mice do.  I believe "heebie-jeebies" is the term I'm looking for.  Ew.

And that is our new place!  We're so excited to move in.  We've been finding every excuse to run over in the last couple days and, if we're going by the place anyway, why not take a load of stuff, right?  Friday is officially our move-in day.  But who knows how much will actually be left to take over by then.  My prediction?  Whatever doesn't fit in (or on) our car this week.

*I feel that I must mention that we are extremely grateful for the opportunity to rent this house.  I joke about its run-down condition and how "terrible" it is, but in all seriousness, it is exactly what we need now and we are very blessed to have found an affordable place to live this year with enough space for us and dog and baby.  Thank you, Bethany!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

A House.

Nathan and I went by our new rental place this morning.  Now that we have our keys and can move in whenever we want, we are both dreaming of how to make it our own.  We are still dog and house sitting for Nathan's parents for another week, but we hope to move this next Friday!  Today we decided which rooms to paint, which room would be the nursery and which would be our bedroom, and where our furniture would go.  (Well, we didn't really decide where our furniture would go, but we talked about it!)  I am SO excited.  It's been 9 weeks since we arrived back in Canada and officially were not renting a place of our own anymore.  It is time to move and settle in somewhere again!  I am so thankful that this rental opportunity has worked out.  I'll post pictures once we're in!

Question...does anyone have any decorating solutions to wood paneling?  We can't paint it because it would soak up so much paint and require so many coats that it would be way too expensive.  Nathan likes it...I don't.  How do I make it homey???  It's the WHOLE living room!

Monday, July 12, 2010


I love to sew.  I don't know if I've mentioned that lately.  The thought of sitting at the sewing machine all evening and just going nuts makes me excited.  Seeing stacks and stack of fabric also makes me excited.  Just think of all the things that can be made out of that!  Clothes, curtains, pillows, blankets, purses, ANYTHING!  The possibilities are endless!  I am slowly growing my "stash" of fabrics through project leftovers and the fabric store roll-ends (which are nice and cheap).  I'm pleased to announce that my pile is growing steadily. : )

Here are some pictures that I took tonight as I was sewing...doesn't that fabric just almost make you drool?!

Lovely, lovely, I just need to get a job so I can afford this hobby!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

More randoms...

Ok, I'll start with this.  Behold...28w2d.  Are we sure that babies never just "pop out" because there's just no more room in there?  I don't feel like baby is very out of room in there yet, but when I see pictures like this and think of 12 more weeks of growth...well, perhaps you can understand my apprehension!  In all seriousness, baby and mommy are doing great.  I'm still feeling good most days.  I've already kissed uninterrupted nights of sleep goodbye as I'm up a few time a night either for the bathroom or from sore hips.  My ribs and back tend to get sore more easily these days, particularly when I'm sitting, but it's certainly nothing to complain about.  Just a little discomfort which, considering the relative ease with which this pregnancy has treated me, I'll gladly deal with!


Does anyone else with a blog get random Asian people commenting on their posts?  I think it's some kind of advertising and it's terribly annoying.  I usually get a few a week, particularly when I post often.  I've turned on the setting where I moderate all comments so at least I can weed out the junk comments, but there any way of reporting these people so they STOP?!

Remember way back when, when I mentioned that we had a basement suite all lined up to rent as of August 1?  Well...we found out two days ago (or actually, today is when we officially found out) that the basement suite was no longer an option.  I was pretty frustrated at first because we'd spoken for that particular suite 6 weeks ago and had chosen it over the other places because of a number of factors.  Plus, being pregnant, hormones are raging and I have been dreaming of life in this particular place with our baby and "decorating" our nursery and living space in my mind for over a month!  I've been "nesting" all this time in a home that is now unavailable!  Well, I prayed about it because there's really nothing we can do if it's not available and therefore there is no use in getting upset about it.  I asked God if he could somehow make this whole situation work out better than I could imagine, because at the time I couldn't image anything working out nearly as well as what we had been planning.  

Well, today we met with the person in charge of rentals and he "officially" broke the news to us that we wouldn't be moving into the basement as of August 1 but that they would make another place available for us for a very comparable cost.  And the more we've thought about this other option, the more we've seen that there are pros to this place that we skipped right over when we last considered it.  SO, though it's not what I've been picturing for the past month and a half, we now have an entire house that we'll be renting, and we can move is as soon as we'd like!  Though there is no fenced yard and we are responsible for paying utilities for the drafty place (cons), we will have more space, more sunlight in winter, and not have to worry about noise when our baby cries and our dog barks (pros).  It is an older place in worse shape, but I figure we can live in anything and I'll work hard to make it a home.  I'm really excited about this option, which is an answer to prayer because two days ago I just felt like hopelessly crying my eyes out!  Moving day: July 24, 2010.  Yesssss.......

Friday, July 9, 2010

The Birth "Plan"

Oh, the birth plan.  I had no idea such a thing existed until I got pregnant.  And then, suddenly, I started coming across this concept EVERYWHERE!  So for those of you who may have also missed the memo, here's what I'm talking about:

Birth Plan - It's basically self-explanitory.  A birth plan is a written document, prepared by the mother, detailing her preferences for the labour and delivery (and recovery period while in hospital?).  The doctors/nurses have access to this document and follow it as closely as possible so that the mother has a better chance of having a "good" experience with the arrival of her baby.  Am I close?

So what is my birth plan?  Well, I haven't given it a whole lot of thought yet, though I should probably start thinking about it soon.  I am not a very "detail-driven" person to start with though.  I do like to be organized, but when it comes to planning events, I tend to have a fairly loose agenda and a "go-with-the-flow" type mindset.  Too many plans and details just stress me out more than make me feel in control.  For instance, (sidenote) our wedding.  I had some ideas of what I wanted, but mostly I just let things happen.  Some people definitely got more stressed because of this - sorry - not knowing if things were going to get done or whatever.  Totally understandable.  But for me, as long as I know that the end goal with be accomplished (that I'll be married at the end of the day...that I'll have a baby to take home), I'm usually pretty flexible about how that happens. 

There are, however, often a few things that I am particular about...and when I'm particular about something, be careful if you try to change it! : )  That said, I don't have many particulars about labour-delivery that aren't at least somewhat flexible.

So birth plan.  True to my nature, I am pretty easy-going about the whole labour-delivery process.  I am of the mindset that I'll take it as it comes and would rather not have too many ideas about how it is (or is not!) going to go down.  The doctors know what they're doing and have done their job much more than I've done mine so I'll leave alot of it up to them.  That said, my few preferances are as follows:

-  avoid cesarean (c-section) as much as possible...though if, at any point, it becomes the safest option, I'm all for it
-  avoid induction as much as's easy to say this now, but even if I go past my due date, I'd still prefer to go into labour naturally.  That said, if safety becomes an issue, induce away!
-  the big one: drugs or no drugs?  I'd like to avoid medication during labour/delivery.  This is a tough one, though, because I've never experienced labour before and have no idea how I'll handle the pain.  I'd like to think that I have a reasonably high pain tolerance, but if I find that I just can't handle it and am panicking or unable to cope, I'll not hesitate to ask for pain medication.  There are potential side-effects to drugs, though, so if at all possible, I'd like to go drug-free.  That said, I don't want to make things harder on myself and everyone around me if pain medication is obviously the way to go.  All I can say is time will tell!
-  The ideal place for me to give birth would be a hospital.  While home births sound far more relaxing and natural, I like the security of having medical personnel close by in case of an emergency.  And I would like to avoid a car-en-route-to-hospital birth at all costs. : )  While do-able, I'd just rather not have that story to tell...
-  My top priorities for this birth are: a healthy baby...a healthy mommy...beyond that, I'll just try to go with the flow.  How's that for a middle child personality?

Another sidenote: Pictures of the baby-belly to come shortly.  I'm at 28 weeks already...seriously, where is the time going?  I'm so unbelievably excited to welcome this baby into our lives.  I go through phases when I feel like this pregnancy is a new perma-state and I'll never be able to take drugs or do strenuous physical activity (or reach for something on the floor of the car) ever again, but then I remember that quite soon I will no longer be pregnant and I'll start to feel "normal" again and we'll have a new little baby around!  Someone who will change our lives forever!  A son or daughter!  Wow...on the days when it hits me, it just seems too good to be true.  Well, it always seems too good to be true, but some days it just feels like so much more of a reality!  Whew...this is really happening...

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Back in the Kitchen...

Is it just me or is there something about being out of a kitchen for 6 weeks that just makes you want to bake and cook til the cows come home?  Seriously, while I'm "not cooking" I think of a zillion meal ideas and just can't wait until I am cooking again full time.  Unfortunately, I never write these ideas down and, once I'm back in the kitchen, I am searching desperately for meal ideas by the third day.  But when I do find an idea, I go to town!

There is something about a break from the kitchen that makes cooking and baking new, fresh, and enjoyable again.  Last night I decided that I was going to make sweet & sour meatballs with rice for supper.  It was one of my favourites while growing up and those are the things that appeal to me most these days.  I looked briefly for the recipe but with my Mennonite Treasury of Recipes packed away, I was left to fulfill my craving by memory.  Meatballs was one of the things that I often enjoyed making with my mom while I was growing up.  I loved getting my hands into the meat and mixing it all together (bear with me), shaping each individual meatball, and then plunking it carefully into the frying pan next to all the rest.  Cooking the meatballs was my favourite part, though with the frying pan so hot, I would often get splashes of grease stinging my hands and arms.  Of course it was never enough to burn me, and the fun of watching the meatballs until they were halfway cooked and then flipping them over to cook on the other side far out-weighted any spitting grease that came my way!  And the memory of making meatballs with my mom is what gave me the recipe yesterday.  I remembered mixing the meat with my hands and therefore could picture the different ingredients that went into them.  They didn't turn out quite as yummy as my mom's always did, but they never do, do they?  Some things just need a mother's touch, I guess...

Just now I was making some brownies.  (Have I mentioned how nice it is to just be able to walk into the kitchen and satisfy my cravings?!)  Another memory came to me as I was using as spatula to scrape the last of the brownie batter into the pan.  See, for the first few years that I remember helping my mom in the kitchen, she didn't have a spatula.  Different people have different "essentials" in their kitchens and, in my mom's kitchen, a spatula just wasn't one of those essentials.  I specifically remember the day my mom got a spatula.  It was August of 1994.  My parents were leading a missions trip to Paraguay, South America and our whole family was able to go along.  While we were gone for those 6 weeks, an interim pastoral couple stayed in our house and carried out the pastoral "duties" that my dad was missing while out of the country.  When we arrived home, we found a few new things in our kitchen...things that were obviously "essentials" in this other woman's kitchen that she hadn't found in my mom's kitchen.  Among those goodies was a rubber spatula.  I remember being quite disappointed in this new appliance the next time my mom baked something.  That spatula was far too efficient, leaving next to nothing in the bowl for us kids to enjoy!  My life changed a little that day.  I must say, though, that my mom got quite good at not using her spatula to the best of it's ability.  Somehow there was always a bit of batter left in the bottom of the bowl for her kids to lick out. : )

I hope my kids enjoy helping their mommy in the kitchen as much as I (sometimes) enjoyed helping my mom!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

writer's block...

So, I've started writing 2-3 different blog posts just now and I just couldn't get anything going enough to finish it and post it.  Arg...what to write, what to write? 

Any ideas?  Any burning questions?  Any curiosity that needs satisfying?  I'm game.  Fire away.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Picture Post!

I finally uploaded pictures from our camera, so I thought now would be as good a time as any to share some of what we've been up to this past...month and a half.  These were all the "events" that were on my camera.  I just haven't been motivated to take pictures lately.  I hope that changes once McBaby gets here!  I'd hate to miss out on those first few days of prime newborn picture-taking just because I "don't feel like it!"  Anyway, without further!

When we first arrived back in Canada, Lennox had a close call with a skunk.  Gross.  He spent a couple days outside and got a scrub with a peroxide/baking soda mixture as well as with tomato juice.

The peroxide mixture is supposed to actually get rid of the smell, while the tomato juice apparently just masks it.  It did help alot, but he still smelled like skunk when he got wet until just recently.  Or maybe he still does...I try to avoid wet dog as much as possible these days.  My nose just seems to be extra-sensitive to doggy smells right now...  The white eyebrows in the picture looked so funny!  We put petroleum jelly on him so that he wouldn't get the peroxide in his eyes.  I don't think his eyes burned, but he sure didn't enjoy the cold water from the hose.  He looked at me with such sad, pain-filled eyes and whimpered like I'd never heard before...poor guy.

The next pictures are from just yesterday.  Nathan and Josh were playing XBOX 360 yesterday morning when one of them (probably that wonderful husband of mine) had the idea to hook up another XBOX to another tv so that they could each play online and be on a team.  Now, our tv was just sitting in the basement, unused, and each of the brothers has their own XBOX, so they shifted around some furniture, hooked up some extra equipment and nerded it up BIG TIME!

Seriously, that was some nerd-fest that was going on down there in the family room.  They each had their headsets on, each had their own tvs and game systems, and they played ALL day.  In fact, they're playing again right now.  I just heard Josh rejoicing quite loudly in what must have been some sort of victory.  Now they're talking through their strategy for what to do next.  Funny guys.  I've been left to entertain myself the last couple days so I've been baking and sewing, which leads me to my next pictures...

These are the pillows that I've been working on for the past two days!

We had four throw pillows in our old house that were in need of rejuvenation.  They were a bit faded and dirty and, while I could have just thrown them in the washing machine and at least had clean pillows, I felt that they needed a bit more.  Besides, it was something small that I could do already to work toward making our new place our own.
Three of the pillows are the grey plaid fabric above.  It was a bit frustrating to work with because the fabric wasn't square.  I would cut straight along the lines of the plaid and hold the fabric up and it would have an obvious slant to it.  I don't really understand, because surely the lines of the print would be straight, but in fact it was the fabric itself that was stretched or just poorly made.  Anyhow, I managed to get all the plaid lined up squarely on the pillows and even matched the pattern on the front and back of the pillows.  If you'd seen the crookedness of the fabric I was working with, you would be impressed.  I certainly am!  I'm just hoping that the next time I buy plaid fabric I won't have to deal with that!

This is the yellow fabric that I used the other two pillows.  When I found the grey plaid, we both liked it, but Nathan felt that it was a bit boring to just use grey.  He's usually the one in this relationship who loves to spice up our decor with some bright colors.  I usually appreciate his opinions, but gently gear them toward classier designs that aren't too tacky (as bright colors can be if done wrong!).  For instance: Nathan wanted something more "fun" than the grey so we picked out this yellow with a swirly white design to go with the plaid.  It's a pop of color, it matches the yellow thread in the grey plaid fabric, AND it isn't over the top.  It's a nice fabric that I can live with so in this case I'm glad that Nathan suggested something bright.  It worked out perfectly and I love our new cushions!

I also tried piping for the first time with this project.  I learned a few things throughout the process of sewing on piping...let's just say the second pillow is better than the first.  And if I were to make a third pillow at some point, I'm sure it would be better than both the first two combined!  I think the piping adds a nice, finished edge and I won't hesitate to try it again.  It does take practice, but I definitely suggest going for it if you ever find yourself thinking about it.  I'm no sewing pro and I did it.  It's always worth a try!

I also mentioned that I have done some baking in the last couple days.  I baked burger buns yesterday for our Canada Day bbq and also made the following recipe of cookies.  They are SO good.  I suggest only doing a half batch, as the full batch made me 4 dozen good-sized cookies.  And while freezing cookie dough for baking later often works, I don't know that it would work in this case with the corn flakes in there...

Buffalo Cookies
  • 1 cup melted margarine
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 11/4 cup oatmeal
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 11/4 cup crunched cornflakes
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup coconut
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup milk chocolate chips.
  1. Cream margarine with sugars, adding eggs.
  2. Add vanilla, baking soda, baking powder and mix.
  3. Add flour and mix.
  4. Add the additional dry ingredients and mix well.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 12 minutes, till they are lightly colored.

The recipe is from this great site called Mennonite Girls Can can find the recipe HERE.
___________________________________'s that for a long, hodge-podge of a post?  Hope you're all having a good Canada Day long weekend!  If any of you have any suggestions for what kinds of projects I should do next, I'm all ears!  I'm always on the lookout for new and interesting things to make.  Right now I've got a baby blanket for McBaby on the go and I'm re-doing an afghan that I made last summer because I just don't really like how it turned out.  But I'll be done those in a matter of days/hours, so seriously...anything interesting that you've been making/doing lately?  Let me know!