Thursday, June 28, 2007

Of This and That

Well, I guess I spoke too early about everyone being back on the blog train! We've had another exceptionally hot week here, (yesterday it was 41 degrees with humidex), so we've been inside a lot, (and I've been checking blogs hourly). The sky was threatening of thunder storms last night but we headed out to baseball anyway and I'm glad we did. It was super windy which made the heat bearable and it didn't start to rain at all. Isabella loves watching her older friends play baseball. She cheers for everyone and is about as fun to watch as the game. We left in a bit of a rush so I forgot the camera, maybe next week.

We had a successful toy change yesterday and my living room looks so clean now! We moved on from the smaller baby toys that always seem to leave the room looking like a toy graveyard. Now we're on to some bigger toys and while they do take up space the room doesn't look cluttered anymore. I really, really like that.

I decided to give "Once a Month" cooking a try. Today I did all the shopping and the night before prep work. Since we're a family of only 2 adults I'm doing a two week plan that should last us an entire month. It should take about 4 hours of cooking tomorrow and then it will all be done. Hurrah. The recipes look really good. I was salivating while I copied them onto recipe cards as I borrowed the book from the library. So excited. I'm hoping that in a few months I'll start to do the "Once A Month" process with my own recipes and start branching out into the zillions I put on my recipe blog when eliminating all the loose recipe cards I had floating around. Which reminds me I still have a bundle left to add.

Tomorrow I have a crop night here and there are going to be 4 people coming! I'm so excited because I get to release some really cool new opportunities and my Everyday Display arrived in the mail today and I'm so excited to put it up!

I've also decided to no longer allow 'anonymous' comments on my blog. Yesterday I got one of those annoying, 'let me help your blog make money' comments and well, enough is enough. I'm not going to get excited about people actually reading and commenting on my posts just to find out it was an anonymous being.

Well off to bed and dreaming of cooking.......

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Tornado Warning

Each day Isabella and Brooklyn manage to get the house looking like it has been hit by a tornado. We don't have a playroom so their toys are located in two rooms of the house: Isabella's room and the living room. There are only a few toys in Isabella's room so that she actually spends the majority of time in there sleeping. It still blows me away how much of a mess a basket of stuffed animals and a bucket of Little People can make! Some of my favorite moments are when I sneak up the stairs to check on her during nap time and she's working out a scenario with her Little People. So far about 90% of her animals says "roar" when they talk, but she's caught on to little things that surprise me. For example her little octopus is often off by itself cuz that's the ocean.

Downstairs the toys change around and tomorrow is toy change day. With Brooklyn crawling around so much and getting into everything it's time to move all the toys with little pieces out of her reach. I like toy change days cuz I get a little bored reading the same books each day. I enjoy it even more though because Belle masters new skills when faced with new toys. This toy change we're moving out the crayons and moving in the puzzles. Moving out the chew toys and moving in the loud, noisy, help-entice-a-sitter-to-become-a-stander toys and shifting around the books.

Even though the toys aren't new Isabella squeals in delight, sometimes with a "mommy, look at this!" and sometimes with a "mommy, I found it!" It's like Christmas morning when Brooklyn looks at a new toy. She's got this great eyebrow raise that I just can't capture, that is worth about a thousand different phrases.

Monday, June 25, 2007


My right hand has turned into a camera lately as I try to catch Brooklyn's new tricks. She grows and changes at such a rapid rate that if I don't get something the first one or two times she does it, I'll never catch it because she's moved on. This evening after supper she decided that Cheerios would be the perfect dessert. Luckily a few had fallen off her exersaucer for her to enjoy.
She's got a great belly crawl going on and has started to pull herself up, can get over anything she wants and this week began to investigate the Ikea cofee table. I think she'll be crawling through the cubbies in no time.

I am definitely baby-ing Brooklyn more than I did Isabella. I know that it's not doing her any harm, but it may bite me in the butt. Once I found out that I was expecting Baby #3 I wanted to slow down how quickly Brooklyn is growing. It feels to me like she's going to become a big sister too soon, she's not going to get the time to be the baby that she should. I've still been feeding her everything instead of letting her try to use a spoon, little things like that. It's good now but I think I need her to be walking, (or at least crawling up the stairs), by the time the next wee one arrives. I'm not sure I can carry them all up the stairs to bed. It's definitely unexpected all the things this pregnancy has brought up for me.
Every time I take pictures of Brooklyn, Isabella wants in on the action. Often she stops and gives me a huge fake smile but today she was treating Teddy like her child. Whenever I got a picture of Brooklyn doing something new she would say "Look at Teddy's doing!" and ask me to snap a picture. She's such a ham.

Sunday, June 24, 2007


This week has been a great week, I actually had things to do that were not house cleaning and the temperatures dipped down to only 25, thus making is possible to be outside for longer than 10 minutes. I don't think we had even one day of smog warnings!

During my week away it seems that everyong and their dog got back on the blog train! I've been reading entries like crazy for about an hour. I'll catch up sometime. It seems like summer is in full swing for so many of you! (Except perhaps Anonymous who has nothing better to do than spew crap on my blog).

This week there was a bit of intensity for me, which I loved! I worked with another lady to prepare all the crafts for VBS this summer. Our VBS week is July 9-13 and we had to have all the crafts ready for this Sunday. At our church VBS works a little differently. Most places do it at the church where a few hundred kids come like a tornado for five mornings. At our church it is hosted in backyards throughout the city. The idea being it's more acessible to kids inviting friends from the neighborhood. We're running 9 backyards this year and hoping for 25-30 kids a backyard!! We chose to do 6 crafts, which doesn't seem like a lot but when it comes to the sorting and prep work, I thought I knew but I had no idea. Here's a few samples of the crafts we chose. The others didn't photograph very well.
A little easy one for the younger kids. Children get to start coming to VBS at Jr. Kindergarten age, (4). All the way up to Grade 5. I think the biggest challenge of the week was choosing crafts simple enough for young kids, as well as ones the older kids would do. Most of ours ended up really simple as they only have 15 minutes anyway.So we chose a slightly more complicated one for the older kids to work on during the week. This matchstick cross is so cool looking! Nick made this sample and I'm pretty sure it's going to end up framed in his office. One thing is for sure, I never want to count another matchstick in my life!

My favorite craft of the week is one we're calling the "Quiet Time Kit". We got each child one of those boxes that looks like a Take Out container. They're going to decorate it and personalize it. It's big enough for the Bibles they get during the week, a pen and some paper. I wrote up a little booklet about having devotional time and it will go inside. I'm really hoping it helps parents connect with their kids and share how they spend time with God. I know daily quiet time is a struggle for so many grown ups, (myself included), it will definitely be my prayer that these kids start the discipline early.

There's still a few loose ends to tie up but the majority of the projects are done. I sure hope the kids enjoy them and have a great week learning how much God loves them!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Father's Festive Weekend.

Our weekend began on Thursday when Nick and I went out to celebrate my birthday. Nick borrowed a convertible from one of the pastors at the church. We went to the movies to see Knocked Up and then out for dinner. (I did not win the lottery). On Friday Nick headed out with some buddies and I had a scrapbooking night. Both of us had a good time. The kids were in bed, but it was like we were out without them.

Then on Saturday we began the family fun. We went to see the Nationals play the Jays. The Jays won!! We went early in the day to enjoy the children's activities. You can read about it more and see more pics at the girl's blog: here.
Nick got the idea to try and get a picture where the kids look the same size as the CN Tower which we could see from our seats, (the dome was open). This is the closest we got.
The traditional family picture. We went with Rory, Angela and the twins. It's so much fun to hang out with them. So interesting to see different kids all learning new things. The twins are getting to be so fun now that they're out of that baby blob state. Plus, they're adorable. Between the four grown ups there are four kids, so it keeps us busy. We actually see less of the game when we go then when we watch it on tv, how funny is that. Good thing our tickets are free.
Nick and his girls after they ran the bases. Yep Brooklyn really is in there.
Nick and Belle took some time to pose in the Jays store. Nick was in need of a new hat. Belle walked around and we let her pick a treat. She's been exceptionally good lately considering the terror she could be becoming at this age. She chose a Mr Potato Head in a baseball theme. It's cool.
On Sunday we attempted to go to the Car Show. Nick used to go with is dad and it's a tradition he'd like to continue with his kids. It may end up being him and one kid, but until we figure out who likes it and who doesn't, we'll all go. We didn't really last because it was way tooooo hot. Brooklyn was so uncomfortable she just screamed. So we came home and re-grouped. We took the kids to the drop in swimming time. We headed out to an A&W for dinner because we heard that a bunch of the cars would be heading there for another show. We looked at a few more cars. It wasn't quite what Nick had envisioned, but it was just too hot to do it right.

These two just needed the a/c. It was a nice weekend full of events. We took it easy today and I think the girls both needed it. I think the heat got to them more than we thought. It seems that Brooklyn has heat stroke, but she's still just as smiley as ever. Even though she may be hurtin a little, she put the icing on the cake today when she said her first word- "da-da". She's been saying the "da" syllable a lot, but today she would just say it twice and stop instead of in a constant five minute stream. We're counting it as her first word.

Well, Thanks.

Every now and then I just have to burst out what I'm really feeling on my blog. I'm glad everyone else can relate and that it comes across as honesty and not a pity party. Sometimes in blog land it comes across like everyone lives a very great version of the life I'm trying to figure out and I get disappointed that I'm at the back of the class. But, once again you guys are so very encouraging and it's great to hear that other people feel some of the same things and work through them too. There's more to say about it, it's not someting that just gets figured out over night, but I'll get there some other time.

We had a super weekend that I'll write about after the kids go to bed, but it was a good one. During the weekend I really realized how quickly Brooklyn is growing up which is amazing to me. I got to see Belle being big and little all at the same time, which does a heart good to remember that 2 doesn't last forever, but it's cute while it's here, (most of the time). And we did a lot of things out of routine which was such a sweet break! We're going to try and do something "new" each Saturday that Nick has off, so we don't feel so caught in a rut.

Well I'm off to play Mr. Potatoe Head and plan crafts for a week of VBS! I am so glad that is what Belle wants to do today because it's 30 degrees today, before humidex I think!

Friday, June 15, 2007

A Continuation.

It's not that I don't like being a mom. It's not even that I don't like keeping my house clean. It's not even that I'm bothered by the fact that I had to virtually give up a life of freedom. The thing I'm not getting any joy out of is the Stay At Home Mom lifestyle. I've spent so much of my life driven by getting an "A" on an assignment. All of my jobs have had deadlines and projects. You finish one thing, you move onto the next and you only see the first thing again if you made a mistake. So driven by accomplishment, by ticking things off the proverbial 'to do' list once and for all.

How bizarre to now re-write my to do list everynight with the same items? How does one feel they are moving forward when it's just going around in a circle? The rest of the world moves forward but at our house we're stuck on replay, and rightly so. Routine is what keeps the kids calm, it allows them to thrive as they understand what is predictable. It's a very important part of being a parent, to do the same thing over and over again.

In my SAHM lifestyle I am often Stuck At Home which doesn't really jive with my personality. I like to be out and with people. Even if being "with" them is only walking beside them in Old Navy. But I live in a small town, with no bus system sometimes it's actually impossible to get out and go somewhere. There are several activities to do in town for moms and tots, but then arises the final stitch in my robe. I'm a mommy introvert. I have no desire to go to the local mom's group and compare stats. I know it's just the beginning and after the first awkward conversations you find true friends, but, well you other introverts understand.

I think someone told me that the biggest struggle in becoming a parent is remembering to be yourself as well. To feed yourself-emotionally, physically, spiritually. I think my struggle is better defined by trying to do that within my current lifestyle. People are always telling me to take a bath, read a book, make Nick stay at home while I go out. The truth of the matter is I can't do the things that feed me and make me happy while being a mom. Don't for a second think I'm saying I'm not happy and I'll never be until my kids are growing up. I'm just trying to figure out the evolution of being a contented me before kids to being a contented me with kids.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

There seems to come a point in mat leave where women start to get edgey, panicky, upset, disgruntled, even angry. This point in mat leave could be called the end, when it comes time for them to think about heading back to work.

How can I leave my baby in someone else's care? How can I trust someone else to do as good a job raising my child as I can? How am I going to work and keep up with my housework? Why can't the Government just pay me forever to raise children, especially if they're going to keep claiming it is the 'hardest job on earth'?

After a year of being there for almost everything, for the big firsts and the long sleepless nights. After making it through colds and flues, after trying new foods and dressing baby in a zillion outfits for their 'photo shoots' throughout the day. After learning their cries and their giggles, after becoming convinced that you are the ONLY person on earth who could love them thismuch, (except for maybe daddy, maybe). After all you've been through in the last 12 months how can you be expected to go back to work?.

I expect this moment comes up in almost every mat leave because it's the topic of countless blog posts. Followed inevitably by the post wherein one wonders if they can make money blogging.....

I still have two months of mat leave left and you wont be finding a post like this penned by me.

Stay At Home Mommyhood is just not agreeing with me. I am really not finding any joy in it. The days are just long. Long and boring. I get up, I change a few bums, I dress a few people, I make three different breakfasts. I run around the house chasing a toddler whom I cannot understand 50% of the time doing things in 30 second spurts while leaving a mess behind. Another round of changing bums. Another three meals to prepare. More chasing. Then nap time. Glorious listening to 20 minutes of "mom can I get up now" and then finally giving in and walking up the stairs to collect the toddler, hoping the baby hasn't awakened, only to have toddler fall asleep as I'm halfway up the stairs. Then more bums to change. Another three meals to prepare for dinner. Collect wits to be cordial to honey, make sure he has dinner. More chasing until bed time. A bath wherein I become the wettest even though I was never in the tub. Dragging of exhausted children through their bedtime routine, (cuz if you miss something there will be WW3), only to have exhasted child cry because "I'm just not tired, no bed now!". Then go downstairs, clean up after the toddler, do the dishes, try to accomplish more than any human should try and make themself do. Fall into bed exhausted. Don't forget honey, you wouldn't want to neglect him. Then falling asleep to the to do list still rambling around in your head and just as you drift off the alarm rings cuz it's time to get up and do it all again.

It is stressful. It's impossible not to compare myself to Mme X whose house is always clean, who jumped on the Maternal Feminism bandwagon and is wearing it just like a commercial. It's hard to not look at other children and wonder if I'm doing a good enough job. Should she know her ABC's yet?? Will she be the dumb kid when she gets to preschool, cuz if she is it's totally my fault. It's hard to believe that being at home all day facilitating a toddler and a newborn is worthy of being called work. It's hard to find the motivation to clean dishes that will be dirty again after the next meal, to do laundry that will need to be done again, to pick up toys over and over and over and over.

I guess a lot of women really look forward to doing those things everyday, all day, for the rest of their lives. I'm just not seeing the joy in it right now.

Perhaps it's just another thing to add to the list of things I beat myself up about, I don't know. I just know it's a struggle. It's a struggle to know that tomorrow is going to be another day full of dishes and laundry. Crying and arguing, exhaustion and responsibilities.

I guess I'm the only one, maybe I'm just not selfless enough. But this is my current struggle.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


I am not the kind of person who remembers my dreams often. I do remember more of them when I'm pregnant and they're all crazy. I have had two dreams in 2007 from which I arose convinced they were Gospel truth.

After I found out I was pregnant I had a scary dream. We had fast forwarded to October. It was Brooklyn's first birthday and there were 4 other babies at our house! Four. As in we had quads. There were three boys and a girl. Should this dream have been prophetic I would have had 6 children. I would have had 6 children under the age of 3. I would have had 6 children and 4 of them would have been NEWBORNS. Luckily we've all seen the ultrasound and there's only one baby in there.

I'm interpreting this dream to mean there's a 75% chance we're having a boy this time around.

I had another dream in January. In this dream it was my birthday and Nick and I had gone out for dinner and a movie. Nick had bought me a lottery ticket as my gift. After the movie we stopped at a gas station to see the latest lotto numbers and my ticket had won! The dream continued as we bought a HUGE piece of land just outside of Georgetown on which we built the house of our dreams on one side. Our friends Angela and Rory built their dream house on the opposite side of the lot and in the middle we built a third building. In that building there was a basement for Rory's computer business and the top floor was the best scrapbooking room/guest house I have ever seen. (Although I might be a bit biased since I would have designed and decorated it).

I told Nick about the dream and I thought he had forgotten about it. I think about it often when I'm having a bad day. Then today he came home from work with some flowers, a card and two lottery tickets. One of them for this Friday's Lotto 649 and the other a scratch and win. I scratched it right away. I won $6.00.

I can feel it, this is my year!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Ten reasons why I need a better camera.

This post is really about the Scrapbooking Workshop we made in the garage. The garage itself is quite small though and with the lack of zoomage on my camera I could not get a good shot of the finished product. The actual workshop is about 75% of the garage space and in the last 25% there is our deep freeze, Nick's tools and a weight bench. The idea is that Nick can pull the weight bench up onto the floor when the room is not in use or set up for a scrapbooking function.

(Picture 1: Garage full of stuff as we started)
(Picture 2: Garage as Nick laid the sub floor, which he did all by himself!)

We decided to do the room as inexpensively as we could due to the fact that we do not own our house. Originally we were going to put a wall across to create two spaces and an entrance through the garage instead of everyone coming through the house. We decided instead to do a "wall" of curtains. We were also going to put in some extra outlets, but decided to just run an extension cord to a power bar. So we patched up the walls as best we could without ripping out drywall, laid a sub floor, put laminate as our flooring, painted the walls, added shelving across the width of the room on one end and curtained off both ends.

(Picture 3&4 : My best attempts at showing the workshop. The shots are taken while standing in the 25% of the garage not workshop space. It's much bigger than it looks.)

The room will hold 8 scrappers quite comfortably which to me is a great sized group. I have a bit of inventory in there, but not too much yet. I made a few bulletin boards to display info on and am really quite happy with how it has turned out.

So far just me and my local Angela have been enjoying it but I hope the slower summer months will bring some more people and some more business. It's been a bit slow, my fingers are crossed that I can pick the business part up soon, I have so much to learn about home business!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Did I grow up in Alaska?

Thanks so much for all of your help with my plants. It's nice to know that they aren't all just weeds. I wouldn't have had any idea where to begin planting new things and what not. I am going to do a bit of work on them, getting rid of the obvious weeds and we'll see what we get by summer's end. Thanks so much Michelle for letting me know the actual names cuz now I can check them out online!

I'm beginning to think that I must have grown up in Alaska because I have absolutely no idea how to enjoy summer. I know it isn't true, but I have completely lost my frame of summer reference for some reason.

I don't like to eat heavy foods in the summer, but all the foods I know how to cook are comfort foods for winter. I know so little about fresh vegetables and fruits. I know that we BBQ'd all the time growing up but I have no idea how to operate a BBQ or how to plan a menu around BBQ foods. I used to enjoy all things summer sports wise: football, ultimate, waterskiing, etc. I have completely lost all my sports skills and would much rather wear sweats to the beach than a bathing suit!

I know my girls love being outside, our Ontario Place pictures are evidence of that, but I really do forget how to enjoy summer!

I do still remember how much I love the summer rains. The ones that come up quickly in the middle of the day and leave just as quickly. As well as the thunderstorms that finally break the day's heat and humidity at 10:00pm and then we can go to sleep. Those are my favorite parts of summer, or at least they were. And they will be again when my kids are grown up enough to sit still to watch an entire movie, or color with more than one crayon on read the words in a book.

When you have kids you have to enjoy summer outside, but I'm not sure chasing a tricycle is fun. It is the first five minutes, but five hours later it's a bit tedious!

Here's hoping I learn to love that Cali lifestyle! What's your favorite summer activity?

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Garden Illiterate

I'm not sure if anyone can lend me any advice, but these are the "plants" in my garden box. I did not plant them and I am really not a gardener so I have no idea if any of these "plants" are actually plants or just all weeds. Anyone have any wisdom for me?

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

A Family Day

On Saturday we spent the day as a family. We got up early to go garage sale-ing. We are on the look out for some children's furniture as bunk beds will no longer work for when our girls start sharing a room. We didn't find any, but I spent $10 and got a tricycle, 6 summer outfits, a movie and a stuffed Sully (all for the girls!). I love me a good garage sale day.

We came home and hit a slight bump in the road as obviously we had over planned our day and not gone to bed early enough the night before. The result, missing swimming lessons. We regrouped and got back on track to take the girls to Ontario Place for the day.

Ontario Place is down on the lake shore. It was a lot cooler down there than in the city. It's a water/amusement park which is a tonne of fun for the teens. It was a youth group trip that we were tagging along for in case more youth showed up during the day and needed a ride home and just to be there in case we were needed. Most of the day was just for us.

We found an awesome building full of activities for kids Isabella's age and she ran around there for about an hour and a half while Brooklyn had a nap. Then we hit the splash park which I thought Belle would be afraid of as it was just a bunch of shower like things. She loved it. (I'll post more pics on her blog). She got her face painted for the first time, went down her first big girl waterslide and started her journey of educational activities these sorts of places are filled with.

It was a super great day, the perks of being a youth pastor's family!


Discovering science.

Happy with life.

Sisterly love.

A glimpse of a great future.

Heart of Worship

On Saturday night we took the girls to their first rock concert. We saw Starfield and Hillsong United at the Molson Amphitheatre. I am still in shivers at how cool it is that I live in a country where a Christian band plays the same theatre as Metallica.
I knew of Starfield before the concert, but not Hillsong United. Nick assured me I knew their songs, but I sure didn't recognize anything they played. The fun part was that they're a worship band so you can catch on so easily. It was uber awesome to be in a "room" of 13,000 youth worshiping in the middle of Toronto. The sound was deafening and it wasn't even the band that was loud. It was all these voices of all races and ethnicities of teenagers and the people dedicated to teenagers worshiping God.
After Starfield had done their set the speaker that travels with Hillside United came out to give away some free stuff and what not. He made a comment that he was so excited because tonight he saw the future of the church. I'm sure he said that at every concert which only adds to the awesomeness of the comment. He said he saw the future of the church in the youth in the room and they are a mobile and passionate future.
And I got weapy.
While Starfield was singing I had Isabella standing on the seat in front of me and she was clapping along with the crowd, and cheering 'yoo hoo' at the appropriate times. She got totally caught up in the worship with everyone else doing her little singing voice that is sounds when she doesn't even know the words. At one point she even had both of her arms up in the air, stretched to heaven, worshipping. Sure she's 2 and in that copy cat stage, but that's how we all start worshipping authentically. First we copy those around us and then we find our own voice.
My back started to ache and Nick took Isabella and put her on his shoulders. I guess you could stay she was still worshipping, head banging counts right? She knows how to do the fist thing with the head bob, she has not yet grasped the horns. I think she clapped and screamed and called 'Encore' as loudly as the crowd around us.
A mobile and passionate generation. That is the future of the church.