Monday, September 24, 2012

Colouring in the Tub

I like to do fun, unexpected things with Levi.  Sometimes I find ideas on Pinterest, and sometimes I just think of them randomly when I'm laying in bed at night or working on Uniquely Me Design orders during naptime.  I think I get more excited about these things than Levi does at this point, but he seems to have fun with them just the same! 

Today we did tub colouring!  I was going to wait until Levi had a bit of a meltdown (not that he has those...) so that I could pull this out of my bag of tricks and distract him from being grumpy...but I couldn't wait.  He didn't even get dressed before I said, "Levi, would you like to colour in the tub this morning?!"  We took his Crayola washable crayons (brilliant invention, especially when he was learning to keep his crayons on the paper! -, dried out the tub after our morning showers, and went to work!  Levi had a blast.  The first few marks were cautious.  Levi knows very well that he's not supposed to colour anywhere except paper so he would hold a crayon over a part of the tub and look at me with question in his eyes.  I just smiled and said "yup!" and he drew.  Then he moved to another piece of tub and looked up at me again, making sure it was ok.  Before too long, he was just scribbling happily away.  I haven't tested how well it comes off the tub yet...I'm assuming since it comes off everything else with water, that it will just wipe right off...but it might leave some colourful marks for a couple weeks.  I'll let you know. 

Levi's colour of choice this morning was orange, as you can see.  He really seems to like it ever since I told him that orange has yellow in it (yellow is his #1 favourite colour right now...but orange will do in a pinch.  Unless there is green...GREEN GO!)

I'm so thankful that I have a little almost-2 year old to do these things with.  It just wasn't quite the same before we had kids when I had to do them by myself...

*Not even 5 minutes later, the tub is perfectly clean.  I used a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser since I was cleaning the entire tub while I was at it and it wiped off easily, with zero scrubbing and zero colour left behind! I'm sure they would have come off just as easily with a damp cloth.  

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


The bump is definitely growing.  Shall we compare this bump with my Levi-bump at this point?  Sure, just for fun...
Yup, with #2 everything is stretched out already and it just grows and grows and grows some more.  But I'm still really comfortable.  So thankful for that...

Saturday, September 15, 2012

It's a boy!

or a of the two. :)

We had our halfway ultrasound yesterday and the biggest and best part is that baby is growing normally and looks healthy.  And was moving around TONS!  Levi always moved around alot too during ultrasounds and while the doctors tried to find his heartbeat so it wasn't a huge surprise to see baby squirming and shifting and kicking and turning away from the ultrasound wand when we were trying to get a good picture.  The ultrasound technician said that I'm 17w2d according to the size of Baby which is exactly where I would put myself.  My doctor keeps saying that I'm about a week ahead of that but I'm not expecting Baby until closer to the end of February if nature decides when he/she comes.  That said, I'll gladly and graciously welcome Baby earlier than the due date if that's when he/she wants to make his/her appearance! (Man, I've got to come up with something other than typing his/her and he/she all the time)  Here's a sneak peek of Baby...isn't he/she cute?? (baby in in top half of picture, head on left, body on right...profile shot)

Oh, and because some of you aren't on fb, here's the latest belly shot too:
This was taken at the end of August at about 15 weeks.

Friday, September 14, 2012


When I was at Bible college, one of the girls decided (felt called?) to fast from talking.  As in, she didn't utter a word (except in class when necessary) for I don't remember how long.  A week maybe?  I sometimes think about this and wonder how long I would last without using words.  I doubt it would be as difficult for me as it was for this girl (she liked using words alot), but still, would I be able to do it?  As a mother, probably not. But still.  It would be fun to try.  The silence would be refreshing, I think. :)

I love silence.  Anyone who has been reading this blog for a while probably knows that already.  I thrive in stillness and quiet.  I need my time alone on a regular basis to recharge.  And the more I learn this about myself (and learn that this is how I was created and that it's not a bad thing), the more I've been learning to anticipate times and activities that are more likely to make me tired and to plan for them.  I wish this meant withdrawing from anything that sounds tiring, but that really isn't a practical option.  Instead, I try to make sure that Nathan will be around to help with Levi a bit more or that I use my quiet time (aka Levi's naptime) wisely if I know that there is something big coming.  I also try to take time away from the house BY MYSELF once in a while as nothing recharges me like being completely alone and having no agenda and nobody to answer to.

A few months ago, I was talking to someone in our new church and she was asking if I had found a good group of friends yet.  I told her that, honestly, I spent alot of time at home rather than bouncing from mom's group to mom's group, coffee date to coffee date, as the thought of being out like that was just exhausting. (She didn't understand as she's about as extroverted as "they" come!) Have I missed out on friendships that could have been developing this year because I've been at home?  Probably.  Have I made the transition to a new community and church with minimal stress and exhaustion?  Yes.  Was it worth the occasional loneliness I've felt this year as I look around and see other friendship groups functioning around me and am left feeling a bit like an outsider?  I'd say it has.

In the beginning, I felt quite guilty about my silence in this new community.  I felt bad that, as a pastor's wife especially, I wasn't volunteering for everything, setting up coffee dates a couple times a week, and frequenting every mom's group that I could find in the area - the one at our church being at the top of my list.  But as I've felt my energy staying up (for the most part) and my stress levels down (especially compared to previous moves in the past 7 years), I've gotten over the guilt and started to accept myself as I am and focus on taking care of myself, despite what other people may expect (or what I expect other's to be expecting from me).

Would a vow of silence help my cause?  Probably not.  But wouldn't it be a fun experiment?  I think it would be fun to get a dozen people to vow not to talk for a week (except when absolutely necessary - work/school) and then hear afterward how the experience was for everyone.  It would be interesting to see how vastly different everyone is and see that there is as much wrong with being on the quiet end of the spectrum as on the talkative end: Nothing.  We are all created to be who we are.  We really need to start accepting that and taking care of ourselves where we are at.  Does that mean never stepping out of our comfort zones?  No.  Does that mean never doing anything that we don't want to do?  Absolutely not.  But it does mean understanding who you are and how you'll react to a situation, and then adjusting life around it to ensure your continued health?  I think so.

This is all rambling.  I'm writing at the end of a long day in the city, full of people and busyness and crowds.  I'm tired, and when I'm tired my thoughts and words don't flow as well as they do when I've spent a relaxing, routine day at home.  Maybe I should save this post for another day and re-write it when I'm feeling more rested and full.  But then again, my point wouldn't be proven quite as effectively then :)  Everyone is different and everyone reacts differently to life.  I like silence.  Others like noise.  And that's ok.  Where do you fall on the silence/noise spectrum?  How would you handle a week-long vow of silence?

AfterthoughtI should add that, as I become more comfortable in this place, I will continuously put myself out there more and more and increasingly push myself out of my comfort zone. And I certainly haven't been a hermit this year, despite how I would have loved that at times!  But I know that when we were first married, we moved to a community and I spent the entire time (especially the first year or two) putting myself out there and I felt tired all the time, discouraged because friendships didn't develop quickly - no matter my effort, and guilty whenever I skipped an opportunity to step out.  With this move, I have simply given myself permission to not say 'yes' to everything and to take my time getting to know people and it has proven to be a healthier decision on my part. I do believe that we need to be a light in our communities and get to know people, and that means stepping out of our comfort zones. I also believe that self-care is alot more important than I ever thought before. Also, I need to remain attached to the Vine so that, when I am being called to step out, I know that it is something God is calling me to and that He will provide the strength it requires.

Monday, September 10, 2012


I love reading Levi books.  He tends to have favourites that he gravitates to every time: 
This is a fairly decent selection of books, and sometimes he strays from these, but I usually read him at least one or two from this list every day.  I can't complain...most of them have a good amount of words and a good variety of themes.  It's not like he wants the same firetruck book read over and over and least not yet!

I bought him some new books today at the MCC thrift store!  It's hard to beat 25-50c a book!  You never know what Levi is going to love and latch onto and what will sit on the shelf for the next 6 months, unopened.  But here are a few of the classics I stumbled upon that certainly brought back fond memories for me! 

We'll see if Levi likes any of these :)  And then this evening, after I tucked Levi into bed, I scouted looking for a few more memories and found these:
Do any of these books bring back memories for you?  It's amazing how it just takes me back in time to even just see these covers.  It's like I'm sitting in my mom's lap at bedtime, on the bottom bunk of the beds my sister and I shared, with my brother on one side and my sister on the other.  It's like I'm getting that book for my birthday all over again, or tucking it into my backpack in grade 1 as I take it home to practice my reading.  Memories are powerful, yes?  It's so much fun to look back...

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Reminiscent and my Style

Nathan made a comment the other day. "Do you not like wearing colour?" I was caught off guard and said that of course I liked colour as I've always though of myself as someone who wears lots of colour!  Definitely not someone who is afraid of colour by any means...but then I got thinking.

I was folding laundry tonight and I noticed the following:
- one black t-shirt
- one blue at-home-only bunny hug
- one yellow shirt
- one deep purple t-shirt

And what I took off after wearing today:
- one brown hoodie
- one deep green t-shirt (don't I don't always match)

Ok, so this doesn't prove my point very well cause it looks like I have lots of colour in my everyday wardrobe.  My actual point is that I don't really have much colour at all!  And most of the colour I have is dull and rich, not bright and sparkly.  And it got me thinking.  I used to have tons of colour in my wardrobe.  What happened?  I went to dig through my high school photos to find some proof of a much livelier wardrobe from the past.

As I flipped through my high school photo album, I noticed that 98% of the clothing that I was wearing throughout the entire album (spanning 3 years of life) was either:
a) blue
b) white
c) black
d) brown

Huh?  What happened to the rainbow pallet that I was remembering?  There was only one picture in my entire album of me in a red shirt!  ONE!  So alas, I didn't take out any pictures to share with you to prove my point that I used to dress in colour.  (BUT I did snatch a few snapshots to share, just because it's fun!  And boy do they look dated.  And boy do I look young! But you'll have to wait until the end of the post to see 'em!)

Anyway, back to clothes.  It has me thinking.  WHY do I not wear colour?  I don't think I'm afraid of it.  I don't think I look bad in it.  Perhaps I'm so concerned about looking "my age" that I avoid colour in hopes of looking older?  Perhaps I have such a limited wardrobe that I feel like buying a red or purple or orange shirt would be inefficient (because all my clothes have to earn their keep in my closet and if EVERYTHING doesn't match with EVERYTHING else, I probably won't pick it up off the rack). But that said, I'm feeling like those are pretty lame excuses for a boring wardrobe!  I mean, I used to wear the fortrel pants and polyester shirts out of my mom's wardrobe from the 1970's without a second thought.  I had a shirt that was red gingham with pearlized snaps down the front that friends actually used to joke about having a picnic on (oh wait, I still have that one but haven't worn it in years!).  So what changed? 

I guess you can get away with anything in high school and I don't feel like you can get away with quite as much as an adult.  *sigh*  How boring.  My wardrobe used to really express who I was.  I had fun getting dressed in the morning.  I would spend hours before bed in the evening trying on different outfits, trying to find something interesting to wear the next day.  And I enjoyed it!  Now, I put on the easiest thing.  Jeans.  T-shirt.  Zip-up sweatshirt. (And it doesn't even take much thought because everything matches!) 6 out of 7 days, this is what I wear. And most of the time there is very little colour to it.  Browns, blacks, blues, greys.  I have the occasional yellow, orange, purple...but nothing amazing.  Nothing sparkly.  Nothing that says "look at me!  I'm having fun with life!" (sidenote: maybe I don't want people to notice me...hmm...maybe I'll feel too conspicuous if I dress any that is hitting just a little too close to home.  Moving on!)

I think I need to pay more attention the next time I go shopping and intentionally buy some fun, not just functional, clothes.  That is, once I'm shopping for post-maternity clothes.  Or maybe maternity clothes is a good place to start experimenting?  If I hate them, I only have to wear them for the next 5 months...

But anyway, if you've survived my late-night ramblings, you have earned these.  Behold, I share with you a few snippets of my high school photo album.  Enjoy!

Permed hair front and center (well, left-center)
Permed hair AND round glasses :D
Me in my high school soccer days...yes, those are hot peppers on my pants. I wore them through multiple games because it got so cold during soccer season.  And I loved them.  I'm pretty sure my little brother made them in home ec and they were too short for him so he cut them off to my length and gave them to me :D

More high school soccer.  I loved those out of town games...especially the trips to and from them!
Aah, the carefree days of summer.  Well, maybe full of drama is more accurate.  Remember high school drama?  See the hand on the right-hand side pushing the merry-go-round?  That was my high school crush of 2 or 3 years and first boyfriend.  Notice the conveniently placed blur over the face in the top-right corner?  Haha...just wanted to be considerate and protect his identity :D

Me-->M-->my sister, A, at our baptism at a river near my hometown

My first, and only, mugshot.
I'M WEARING RED!!! This is the one picture in my album that I was talking about where I'm wearing red.  I should really wear it more.  I'm smokin' in red...

And last but not least, me and M at our high school graduation.  Aah...that feels like so, so long ago...

Monday, September 3, 2012

Levi and Sharing

Levi is like any almost two year old, only child.  Sharing isn't his favourite thing.  Surprise!  My child isn't perfect, as much as I like to try to convince you that he is :)  When other kids come and take his toys, or the the toy he's playing with, or the toy that he WAS playing with but had previously moved on from, he gets upset.  If I put myself into his shoes, I can relate.  As adults, how much do we actually have to share the things that mean the most to us?  Toys are the only things that kids have that are THEIRS, or at least that they feel some sense of ownership over.  And then we make them hand them over to other kids their age.  Wouldn't you feel threatened or resistant if you had to hand over your loofa or your journal or your kitchen (ladies?) to someone who might mess it up or not give it back?  Think about it.  Handing over the things that are most "yours" can't be easy. That said, sharing is an important life lesson to learn and I'm certainly in agreement that kids need to learn to share. :) 

Yesterday we were watching a football game with some friends.  These friends have kids.  Kids who are Levi's age.  And there were lots of toys to go around.  That said, there were a few favourite toys that everyone wanted.  Levi happens to love tractors with trailers (especially ones that make noise), ride-on cars (especially ones that make noise) and toy guitars (especially ones that make noise).  Every other kid there seemed to like these things especially much as well. At one point in the afternoon, I watched in amusement as Levi noticed that a little girl, who is about a year older than himself, was playing with the coveted toy guitar.  His eyes locked on the guitar and he considered for a moment what he would do.  He glanced up at the girl, then back at the guitar in her hands.  Finally he walked over and took the guitar from the girl. (not my proudest mommy-moment but kids need to sort things out on their own so I sat back and continued to observe)  Then Levi started backing away slowly with the guitar in his hands, keeping eye contact with the girl (I think I may have seen a little uncertainty in his eyes).  He was obviously thinking, "I know I shouldn't be doing this but she's not doing anything about it I actually getting away with this?"  Then he quickly threw out a "thank-you!" and booked it with the guitar.  I was almost peeing myself laughing!  Am I happy that my boy took a toy away from another kid?  No, definitely not.  But am I proud and very amused  that he thought to say thank you?  Absolutely!  What a kid.  "Thank you for letting me steal this toy from you." That is definitely our son...