Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Decorating the nursery

I've really enjoyed reading how others have decorated their babies' nurseries. Check out this great post showing how it is possible to have a stylish nursery without spending a fortune.

I've been meaning to share Laney's nursery for awhile now. I love the word nursery by the way. I think of Peter Pan every time I hear it. Anyhoo, after posting a tour of my house here this past week I was finally given the push I needed to take some pictures of Laney's room. This is my favourite room in the house and is the only one that feels somewhat complete to me.

I felt that there was not enough character in her room and so we added a chair rail around the entire room. We painted everthing below it white and chose a light green (skipping stones, Disney paint) to go around the top. I made the curtains out of some Toile fabric I ordered online. I needed curtains that could block out light and ones that would be inexpensive. They were really easy to make and this is coming from someone who is basically limited to sewing in straight lines. I just wish I made them a little bit longer.

I really wanted a room that didn't feel like a display in Babies'R'Us and I also didn't want to spend a fortune on the room. To achieve the look I wanted I mixed old pieces with new and I added things that are meaningful to us.  I think the dresser is my favourite thing in Laney's room. It was given to me by my Grandmother and I love it. I think it really gives the nursery a classic look. The porcelain doll on the dresser was mine when I was a girl. The picture above the change table was something that Mike and I brought back from a trip to Pennsylvania. Mike's grandfather was Amish and this isn't a side of his family that he has had much exposure to, living in Canada and all, so we bought this to remind Laney of some of her heritage. The painting above the crib was done by his grandmother and having it in her room makes it feel special. I also ADORE the Benjamin bunny picture that my mother-in-law found in an antique store and gave me as a gift. I am also building a collection of  treasured books to add to the shelf. I hope that she enjoys them someday soon.

I really do feel that this is a nursery that can grow with Laney (sans the nursery furniture). The pink in the room isn't overwhelming and a different colour could replace it fairly easily if she wants to change it. I am really happy with the way that this room came together.

Here's the breakdown of where the major things in the room came from.

New pieces:
-bookshelf from Ikea (I need to arrange this a little better)
-change table and crib
-Amish girl picture
-lamp from Winners
-leather teddy bear

Old pieces:
-antique dresser
-antique Benjamin Bunny picture
-painting above crib
-porcelain doll on dresser
-stuffed animals
-most of the books

For me, having things in my house that remind me of loved ones and happy memories make a house a home. How do you make your home feel special?

Monday, August 30, 2010

Ten Months

Our world is changing. Laney is growing. While I am so excited to see her take the world in, to explore, and to learn, it is sad when she leaves things behind. She is slowly morphing into a toddler and I am not ready to let my baby go. This past month she learned to stand up on her own and has now taken her first steps. She wants to eat the food from our plates rather than her food and she wants to do whatever mummy and daddy are doing.

What better way to celebrate ten months than a trip to our favourite park with daddy along too?

And to do so in a dress that mummy wore when she was in a baby.

To laugh as the birds fly by.

 To swing in the afternoon sun.

And to see the world from daddy's shoulders.

To enjoy it even though I know that I can not slow time down. In fact, I will enjoy it all the more knowing that our time here is fleeting.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

We have a walker

Something amazing happened on Friday. Laney took her first steps! Mike even got to witness them.

We were only able to get her to take one step afterwards for the video though.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Yesterday's Miracle

I have mentioned before that Laney doesn't like cuddling anymore. She avoids it like crazy. I truly miss having naps with her and bringing her to bed to sleep with us like she used to.

This was one of our first cuddles. By the way, I am totally wearing makeup the next time I go into labour. I laughed at those girls before, but never again.

She spent a lot of time cuddling with Daddy too.

I worked so hard at getting her to sleep in her crib and once she started she never looked back. I tried not to let it hurt my feelings. After all, I had wanted her to sleep in her crib. I just thought that she would still enjoy co-sleeping on occasion.

But something magical happened today. She was fussing. She wanted to be held. So I picked her up and she fell asleep. You must understand that this is so rare that my first thought was wondering if she was really sick or if something was terribly wrong. Cleaning and a whole myriad of other activities were lined up for her morning nap. Hmmm. Which would I rather, cleaning or cuddling? I promptly decided that I was going to take her to bed and have a nap with her.

We made it into my bed. She was still sleeping. We got all comfy and it was pure bliss.

I was thinking "finally" and "maybe now she will start cuddling again."

And then she must have realized what she was doing. Ten minutes after getting into bed she bolted upright. Then she began her usual get-out-of-cuddling routine: hair pulling, face smacking, and trying to remove my eyeballs with her little pinching fingers. So, it was off to the crib she went.

But, she left me with a little hope that one day soon she might want to cuddle again. Those of you with older kids please give me some hope. Tell me they cuddle again.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Guest Posting at Navigating the Mothership

Today I was able to do a guest post for Laura from Navigating the Mothership! I love reading her blog and when she asked for readers to do guest posts, showing their homes I jumped at the chance.

Check it out here. It was fun to do. It also gave me a good excuse to do a quick clean-up so that I could get some photos of my house.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

A Perfect Summer

I love summer and I think the fact that I live in Canada might be the reason why.

Don't get me wrong though. I love all seasons. I love the renewal of spring, the sweaters and the colours of fall, and I love Christmas and snow-sports in the winter.

But there is something magical about summer. The following photographs show just a few ingredients to the perfect summer.

I am a certified water-baby. Approximately half of the pictures of me growing up include me in water of some sort. I love the beach. I grew up in gorgeous British Columbia where there are so many great beaches and places to swim. Cliff jumping, rope swinging, hot springs, paddling, diving, and swimming were my favourite pastimes. That is what I miss most about B.C. (besides my family). This picture is from a couple of summers ago from beautiful Hornby Island.

Fresh fruit is amazing. Canned goods and out-of-season items will never compare to tree-ripened fruit. Which brings me to another huge bonus about growing up in British Columbia: the summer fruits. Peaches are especially delicious. Just a little cream. A little brown sugar. My mouth is watering already.

I am going to go back to the water for this next one. I love kayaking. Not the hardcore rapids thing, just the gentle paddling in a quiet bay type. Mike and I were engaged at Sooke, B.C. This is a picture from that trip. I am so sad we weren't able to make it to Vancouver Island this summer. I had visions in my head from the time I was pregnant of Laney playing on the beach. Oh well, I suppose she'll enjoy it a lot more next summer.

From the moment Laney entered our lives, a neccessary ingredient to the perfect summer has to include her. I love that she is able to learn to stand in grass (and barefoot too). I love that she gets to know the feel of grass between her toes and that while she is enjoying it an adorable boy is fishing in the lake behind her. Does it get any more summer than that?

Nothing quite says summer like a swim in the Canadian Pacific. This picture was also taken at Hornby Island. I promise the water is totally swimmable here. I stayed in for quite a long time. I would swim in almost anything though.

I picked these five photos to depict the perfect summer, but the fact of the matter is that there are hundreds more I could have chosen from. Barbeques, picnics, family, friends, babies in diapers only, fireworks, camping, gardens, etc.

As much as I am going to miss summer, I am going to enjoy the fall. I am ready for comfy sweaters, blankets, and cuddling on the couch with my family. I hope you enjoy the rest of your summer.

Thanks to Mama Kat's writing prompts for the inspiration for this post.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


I often feel the urge to give up when I am trying to do something hard. Whether it be pushups, losing weight, trying to make a new habit, or even keeping my house clean, I find it difficult to stick with it. It is so much easier to give in and just eat that ice cream, because this one time won't make a difference. The problem is, I don't just stop with that one time. I think, "oh well, I've already screwed up, might as well do whatever I want." This leads me to eat ice cream everyday (hypothetically speaking, of course). I find quitting to be my biggest hurdle. I guess the good thing is that I've recently recognized this flaw in myself. That's the first step right?

I have some powerful motivators to keep me sticking to my goals. They are also good enough to help me back up after I've failed. They are enough for me to say "screw yesterday" today is a new day.

I can't just always take the easy road. I've got a ridiculously cute little pair of eyes watching my every move. And she needs to learn that the best way usually isn't the easiest way (unless we're talking about slow cookers). That is enough to keep me going.

These are the two people on Earth who motivate me the most.

Here's a picture just to gross you out. But, it makes me happy.

Monday, August 23, 2010

On My Mind

Today is rather random. I apologize. My brain is cluttered with too many different thoughts. I think it might be due to the four hours of sleep I got last night. Someone please tell me that all babies sleep eventually.

I looked at the date today and realized that today is August 23. This day will always be remembered. My first baby was due on this day last year. We lost that one. If things had been different, we would be celebrating our first baby's birthday around now. However, God managed to turn things around for good.

You see, Laney wouldn't be here if circumstances had been different. She was born at the end of October last year. So while we don't know why God allows bad things to happen to us, and we may never know in this life, I do know that He can turn terrible things into good ones.

I finally weighed myself today. It wasn't pretty. I actually weigh 3 more pounds than I did a week after Laney was born. I lost a lot of weight that first week (thanks to postpartum sweating and a little diet plan called H1N1). However, I am now about 15 pounds more than I weighed before I got pregnant with Laney. I promptly logged onto sparkpeople.com and am going to start tracking my meals.

I am sick of editing myself out of photos with Laney because I don't like the way I look. It is time to either suck it up or deal with it. I am going to choose the latter. Laney deserves to have a mummy in her photo albums. She also deserves to have a mummy that will set an example for her by displaying a positive body image. I am going to give it to her. She is going to face many attacks on her self-image as she grows and I do not one to be one of them.

In light of all of this, I kicked Laney and I out of the house today. Too many depressing thoughts to muddy up the day at home with. The weather has been lousy for the past couple of weeks, but I decided not to let that leave us house-bound for another minute. We needed to get out and breathe some fresh air.

It was worth it.
I even let her crawl in the dirt. She loved it.

Look what I caught on camera!

I cured my "monday blues." I hope you have a wonderful Monday.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

How To: Fold Your Towels Hotel-Style

Lately, I've been asking myself if I have any skills to share. I have learned a lot and gained great ideas reading other blogs.

These are just a few ideas I've gotten recently. Genius, I tell you.
-homemade play oven
-feeding your toddler
-decorating your nursery on a budget
-Using cloth diapers (I don't, but I'm almost convinced)
-Homemade gift idea
-Pantry makeover

Sadly, however, I didn't think I had anything to share. Until I thought of this. Just don't get too excited, it's not as great as any of the above.

I know how to fold towels like they do in hotels. Not the fancy hotels, the regular run-of-the-mill ones. If you came here thinking I was going to show you how to turn your towels into graceful swans you are going to leave bitterly disappointed. Perhaps you already know this trick. If you do, I'm sure this post is a "duh" for you. But, I didn't discover this until I was about 20. So, I am guessing that there may be someone out there who does not know how to do this yet.

Just look at the difference between the regularly-folded towel and the hotel-folded towel. I think that little things like this can make a difference in the feel of our homes. It even takes almost the same amount of time.

By the way, the photos I took of the towels are precious. While I was loading them on my computer, Laney decided to stand up unassisted and then squat and stand back up for approximately 10 seconds. I grabbed my camera and then realized that the memory card was in the computer. Hopefully I can get a reenactment later.

Enough rambling. Here is how to do it.

1. Lay out your towel lengthwise

2. Fold in one long side to the middle. Repeat for the other side.

3. Fold it over in half and magic! You can hang it on a rack this way, or fold again to store. Stacking towels that have been folded this way look delicious.

And to show you the difference one more time:

I think we all have skills that we can share. Sure, they might not be as amazingly creative as designing a play kitchen for our children, but I bet that someone would find them useful. What skills do you have?

Monday, August 16, 2010

How to Get Your Baby to Cuddle

My baby hasn't really appreciated cuddling for the past few months. When she was born, I remember telling Mike how excited I was that our baby was a snuggler. I held her nonstop for the first couple of months. My Moby wrap was put to good use.

Then something happened--she started moving. She decided that getting around and falling asleep by herself was much better than cuddling with mummy.

Fast forward to nine-and-a-half months, add in one nasty virus, and voila--I have a cuddler.

As much as I appreciate the cuddles, I would give them up in a heartbeat to have her feeling better. Holding a feverish baby who can't go to sleep with dark circles under her eyes is one of the saddest things to see.

Do you have any tips to keep me from panicking and racing her to the doctor? Her fever is mild today and her nose is just pouring with mucus.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

A New Day With a Clean Slate

I fall down so many times when I am trying to improve myself. I hope I can always pick myself up and carry on.

The pushups goal is going fairly well. There was a minor hiccup when I missed a day last week. I was ready to throw in the towel and not even bother. I managed to convince myself to continue and was so proud of myself when I did. Once I continued, I discovered that I have increased my maximum pushups from 10 to 15. In only a few weeks. There is one fantastic reason right there to keep going even though I will never do things perfectly.

Keeping my house clean is going so-so. I have fabulous weeks. I have bad weeks. Hopefully I can become a little less bi-polar-cleaning-lady. This was my to do list from Monday.

Today is Thursday and it is still staring me in the face. Showing me what a disappointment I am. Well, since I am the boss of this list, I get to erase it. I don't have to worry about all the items on it that did not get completed. They do not have to go on a new list. They are done.

Tomorrow is a new day and I will have a new list.

Oh, and the flossing is going well also. I have been flossing almost every day, with a miss here and there. No more pink in the sink. My teeth feel great.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Monday Randoms

1. Vaccuum lines = satisfaction

2. If someone could figure out a way to bottle up new baby smell, they would be very rich indeed.

3. I have the urge to decorate my house for Christmas. Don't worry. I won't. At least not until October.

4. I just realized that I haven't bought any clothing for myself since April of 2009. I need to go shopping. Usually when I go I spend money on Laney and not myself.

5. If I weeded my garden more often, I wouldn't find random weeds in my salad instead of lettuce.

6. I wouldn't have to worry about poisoning my family if I didn't find weeds in my salad.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Things I Love About My Parents

My parents are amazing. Sure, they made lots of mistakes. Even though they were not and never will be perfect, I can only hope to be half as good a parent to my children as they were to me and my sisters. Their good opinion of me was one of the most important factors in me staying on the right path throughout my adolescence.

These are five reasons I love them.

1. They are still in love with each other after 31 years. My mum and dad actually can be quite embarrassing. Dad is always whispering in my mum's ear and then she will swat him. Dad laughs. We groan.

I love this picture.

2. They can admit when they've made mistakes. I got the sweetest letter from my dad a couple of years ago. He sent it to all four of us kids. He apologized for not taking us fishing when we were little. He said he was sorry that he didn't always make time for us.

3. My dad is smart. Seriously. Do you remember when you were a child and you thought that your dad knew everything? I never grew out of that stage. My dad is the wisest and most intelligent person I have ever met. He doesn't flaunt it either. I know that I can always talk to him when I need some advice. He was there for me during Calculus. He showed me how to change oil in my car. He taught me so much.

4. My mum is a rock. She has always been there for us when we need her. I think I have seen her cry once and it broke my heart. I always feel like everything is going to be just fine when I've talked to her. I wouldn't trade her for the world. She gave me a wonderful childhood that I will cherish for the rest of my life.

5. They raised me to have faith in God. This is probably the single most important thing they did for me. I love them for that. They taught me to reason, to think, and to believe.

What do you love about your parents? Is there anything you would change about them?

Friday, August 6, 2010

A Drugged Husband, 911, and Me

I've just had a rather crazy Thursday.

Mike had laser eye surgery in the afternoon. He came home with a plethora of medicated eye drops, and two different pain medications. Because one of them said that he should take three per day, Mike decided to take all three over about a five hour span in the evening.

At first it was rather hilarious. Mike was slurring and going on the funniest rants. He kept telling me he felt funny. He was very uncoordinated and seemed to be drunk.

I did what any concerned wife would do. I told him to call his mother so that I could get a good giggle out of the conversation (and of course video the whole thing). I sat there laughing the whole time. When I got on the phone, his mum was rather worried and told me I had better phone the health line and talk to a nurse. Up until this point, I figured he was just experiencing a normal reaction to the drugs.

I phoned the health line. The nurse was very concerned when I explained his behaviour. She even talked to Mike. Then when I got back on the phone she said that I needed to call 911. I was quite surprised. I told her that if Mike needed to go to the hospital I could take him myself since it is about 5 minutes away.

She refused to let us go ourselves and transferred the call to 911. Mike could not believe what was happening and got rather irrate. He kept telling me he was fine and was getting super mad. I didn't know whether or not it was him or the drugs talking, so I just went along with the nurse's advice. I talked to a dispatcher, then a paramedic. At this point Mike started leaving the house and said he was not going to be here when the paramedics got here. I canceled the 911 call.

After I got him calmed down, I decided to just watch him and wait.

I did some google research and these are some of the symptoms of an overdose:

- anxiety
- agitation
- hostility
- restlessness
- weakness
- slurred speech
- mood and behaviour changes
- confusion
- lack of coordination
- acting drunk

Suddenly, my evening made sense. And. Laney slept through the whole thing.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

How To Stay Sane as a Mum

Are you at the end of your rope? Going crazy? I certainly was yesterday. Laney was so crabby and would not let me set her down but was not content being held either. I just felt like walking out.

After I finally got Laney to sleep, I knew I needed to find some way to destress.

Mike and I have decided that we are going to be "unplugged" on Wednesday evenings. We turn off all the lights and only use candles, and every gadget is verboten for the evening. No TV, no phones, no computers. Games, talking, and any other activity not requiring batteries or electricity is the order of the day. We hope that this is going to be a fun tradition in our family in the future. I decided to take advantage of this particular evening alone because Mike was out with some friends.

Do you have a free half hour? Could you put off doing the dishes or laundry right now? They will still be there later, I promise.

Follow the steps below. Your sanity is worth every minute of it.

Drink a glass of water

Go rummaging through your cupboards and find samples, containers, etc. of goods to be used during your bath. I hold onto these for years without ever using them. Finally giving myself permission to use them is so much better than letting them pile up and cause clutter in my house. I always was saving these for special occasions. I did myself a favour and made yesterday a special occasion.

I managed to find some bath salts, an undereye gel pad sample, Arbonne sea salt scrub, and a facial cleanser. Look, the scrub even has dust on it!

Turn off the bathroom lights and light some candles. I know you have tons of them laying around that just collect dust. Use them. That's what they were meant for. Don't they look so much prettier lit?

Wash your face.

Put on a mask or like I did, some under-eye gel pads. Note to self: buy facial mask for next time.

Run a hot bath with whatever you can find. Bubble bath. Bath salts. Anything.

Hop in and put your feet up.

Breathe deeply and relax. Quit cheating. Stop that tape recorder playing in your head with all the things you should be doing instead.

Get out and dry off. Use the best smelling body lotion you can find.

Brush and floss your teeth. You will feel much better with squeaky clean teeth.

There. That wasn't so bad was it?

On Complaints and Domestic Bliss

I would like to apologize for my last post. Complaints really have nothing to do with improving myself. Actually, not being negative is something I do need to work on. So let my previous post serve as an example of how I don't want to be.

I do find family get togethers stressful sometimes. Mike has a very large, loud family. I have a small, calm family. OK, having three sisters isn't exactly calm, but overall, my relatives are more reserved. What I am used to is about as opposite from what Mike is used to as you can get. Because of this, I need to learn to relax a little more at these functions.

There are times when I need to stop worrying about sleep schedules and let my baby come out of her crib. I am such a sucker and can't let her cry. If she's upset and I can't calm her down, it isn't the end of the world to bring her out with us. Last night was one of those times. She is still off-kilter from the weekend away and she is not her happy little self.

Speaking of family get-togethers. This is what I came home to after our weekend away. Do you ever get home from a vacation to find that your house looks like this, no matter the state you left it in? Does it stress you out like it does me? It never used to, but it sure does now.

I am a messy person in recovery. My bedroom growing up and after I moved away from home was just atrocious. I remember my Mum always telling me that I needed to learn how to keep my room clean as it was going to drive guys away. I used to laugh and tell her that if a guy liked me, he wouldn't care less about what my room looked like.

It turns out, Mum was right.

Mike and I really don't fight all that often. I have heard that the number one cause of disagreements between couples is money. While we have had a disagreement or two over money (or more like our lack thereof), I must admit that 99% of our arguments and disagreements are about the state of the house. I wonder how that ranks in the stats. Mike can't stand disorganization. He is a list man. He is an everything-has-its-place kind of guy. Mike cannot go to sleep with a messy house. He has to take care of it immediately. If I wanted to bug him, all I would have to do would be to leave an unopened piece of mail by the front door, not that I have ever done this ;) I would probably have about 24 hours before he couldn't take it anymore.

I have improved so much since we have gotten married. I think Mike sometimes forgets this. I do think we are starting to meet in the middle though, or at least the middle of his side of things. Anyways, I don't really want to admit it, especially to Mike, but I feel so much calmer when everything is organized. I actually hate not having a bed made now. I never thought I would be that type of person.

So after avoiding the mess for about a day, I got busy.

And now everything is calm in my universe.

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