Thursday, December 27, 2012

How Many Anniversaries Do You Celebrate?

We celebrate 2 - our wedding anniversary and our dating anniversary.

Today is our 9 year dating anniversary. Nine years ago, I drove up to J's house (well, his parents' house) and picked him up for our first official date.

That's right. I'm cool like that. I also like an easy exit in case things don't go well.

I rang the doorbell and his entire family greeted me at the door. Mom, Dad, Sister and Brother. Talk about intimidating!!

Even though I drove, J picked the restaurant which ended up being one of my least favourite places. Go figure. (And no, I've never let him forget that!)

We spent three hours getting to know one another (and only 15 of those minutes were spent watching J doing what I thought was flirting with the waitress**). I thought he was funny, easy-going and pretty cute as well. Terrible taste in restaurants, but everything else was looking good ;-)

I'm not going to say I *knew* he was the one that night. I don't think I was thinking that far down the road. I did know that he was special and that this probably was going to turn into something.

Ended up turning into something awesome!




We might be older now with a few more wrinkles (and definitely with more grey hair!) but I wouldn't trade it for anything!

So happy anniversary to my handsome husband!



** After nine years, I can say with certainty that he was not flirting with the waitress - he is chatty with everyone!

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Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Hope everyone had a wonderful day and that the kiddos are asleep and you are now chilling on the couch with a glass of wine or a partial hangover :-)

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It should come to no surprise that Luca was spoiled (even with the one gift per family rule) and here he is looking super adorable in his Hudson's Bay gear. Lucky boy!

He wasn't the happiest camper today but he had a few great moments followed by many cranky, grumbling, tired moments. Either way, Christmas is so much fun with a baby!!

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Trying on his dad's new headphones...not sure he likes what his dad listens to!

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What? Is this for me?

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I'll try to get this stuff off...

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I'm not sure I like them...

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But you're going to make me wear them anyway...
Merry Christmas!

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Saturday, December 22, 2012

Luca's Six Month Check-In


That's right! Last Monday (yes, I'm behind, as usual!), Luca turned six months old!! Happy half-birthday to him!!

Just like everyone promised, as each month goes by, Luca gets better and better and I enjoy my time with him that much more. He is getting to be pretty cool!


Mood:

This is an area where I keep seeing major improvements!! Some days, he is happy for almost 80-90% of the time he is awake! SO amazing! Laughing, smiling, babbling and making funny faces - it is actually pleasurable spending time with him!!


I know that makes it sounds like I didn't enjoy my time with him before. I know that makes me seem awful, but it is kind of true. We were both pretty miserable so it is SO great seeing him so happy!

As usual, he is still sensitive when he is tired (he has on more than one occasion burst into tears when J sneezed) but as long as I'm careful with his sleep, we can usually go most days with very little or no crying.

Thank goodness.

He even laughs!


Sleep:

He continues to be a great sleeper thanks to all of his hard work under the guidance of Pam Nease. Still sleeping 11-12 hours at night (straight through) and 9 times out of 10, he doesn't make a peep before falling asleep. Just grabs his lovey, gives me a big smile, and goes to sleep. Awesome.

Naps are decent - the odd day is rough with four 45 minute naps, but most days have one nap that is 2-3 hours, one that is 1.5 and one that is 45 minutes. I'll take it :-) The smile on his face when he sees me after a nap makes all of this sleep training SO worth it!

Feeding:

We started feeding him solids this month following Baby-Led Weaning (i.e. we skipped the purees and there is no spoon-feeding by us). It is so fun watching him grab big chunks of food and move it right to his mouth. It is amazing how he picked it up in all of 20 seconds. 

The first day, he gagged a few times whenever something would actually make it into his mouth. He pretty quickly learned what food felt like in his mouth and figured out how to push it out with his tongue if he wasn't loving it and swallow it if he was! 



Here are some videos. Again, ignore my annoying baby voice. I never take the video thinking I'm going to post it for anyone other than my family to see. You'd think I would remember that I have a blog and I love posting embarrassing stuff. Jeesh.



So far he has tried honeydew, banana, sweet potato, green beans, cucumber, avocado, broccoli, red pepper, apple, raspberries, pear and french toast. He didn't love broccoli at first but now thinks it is pretty awesome. He has enjoyed everything else with the exception of raspberries. He tried one today and promptly burst into tears. 

Raspberries in the winter. Definitely tear-worthy in my books.

Anyway, it has been a really fun, low-stress way to introduce solids to Luca. I don't worry about how much he is eating, whether he is getting certain calories or a well balanced diet. He is still drinking as much milk as before and the food is more for fun right now. He actually loves sitting in his high chair and snacking with us!

Growth:

He is currently 16 lbs 2 oz and 26" long (if I remember correctly - the paper it was written down on was in the ill-fated diaper bag that some jerk is cruising around the city with). While he has gained weight since his last appointment, he has dropped quite a few points on that crazy chart that all moms seem to compare their kids on talk about. You know the one. Non-mothers probably roll their eyes everytime they hear a mom say "so what percentile is your son?" or "well my son started at the 60th percentile for weight and now he is up to the 90th!!" to which all the surrounding mothers give sounds and words of admiration and respect whilst simultaneously adding or subtracting in their heads to figure out if they are keeping up.

You know what I mean, right?

Anyways, Luca is a bit of a string bean but the doctor isn't concerned. Especially with yummy legs like this (Luca's, not the doctor's):


I couldn't be happier with that mid-thigh roll. So delicious.

Here he is looking like a Calvin Klein model nice and skinny:


Still wearing 3-6 months clothing but is starting to bust out of some of his jammies.

Likes and Dislikes:

Likes: standing up, his exersaucer, sitting in his high chair and eating solids, being tickled, his Nanny, singing songs, reaching for things, touching our faces, using Skype or FaceTime to chat with friends and family, pulling mama's hair, grabbing his feet, staring at the tv and smiling at women.

Dislikes: being tired, getting out of his car seat, having his ride broken into,  spending too much time on his back, dad's sneezes. Oh, and raspberries, I guess!







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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Bad Day

Today was Luca's last music class. It is held at a church about 10 minutes from my house in a fancy neighbourhood. We go to that location because it has free parking.

We almost didn't make it. He woke up early, had a short nap and the class fell right when his next nap would normally be. 

I thought he'd like it though, so we bundled up and got moving.

And he did! He had red-rimmed eyes, but smiled like crazy and enjoyed himself. 

I was glad we went.

Until I got outside to the parking lot.

Someone broke into our car. Smashed the back window.

In a church parking lot.

In the middle of the day.

You know what they took? 

My f'n diaper bag.

There was glass everywhere. All over Luca's little jacket that was on the seat (covering up my wallet, funny enough). The floor. The pavement.

 I stood there holding my little tired man and felt lucky that it was just a window. Just a bag. It could have been worse. 

But it was a nice f'n bag.

The nice people from the church helped clean up the glass while I shook out Luca's car seat to make sure he didn't sit on any glass.

We drove home and Luca got to feel the cold wind in his hair** because duh...the window was gone.

He didn't care though. He fell asleep in all of 2 minutes. He probably liked the breeze.

So Merry Christmas to the jerk who ended up with a really nice diaper bag. A practically empty diaper bag. 

It could have been worse.


** Don't worry - he had a hat on!


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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Front Entrance - 80% Complete!

As you might know, our front hallway/entrance has been an ongoing project in our home. Bit by bit, we've been plugging away and I can finally say we are almost there!!

As a recap, you can check out these posts to see what we have done:


Up until recently, this is what the entrance area looked like:

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We knew that we wanted to get a new table - the one in the picture had wobbly legs that for some reason we couldn't fix, and I found the shape to take up too much space (and not give enough surface area) in the narrow entryway.

Of course, I wanted to go out and buy a table (can't it just be easy for once?!) but J was convinced his dad could make it for us. This was my inspiration:

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Just as J promised, his dad was able to make the table (he is an expert welder) and this is where we stand now:

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We are not quite there yet, but I'm SO happy with how it has turned out! We would like a basket for under the table (maybe this one from Indigo):



and maybe a stool or a chair to sit on if needed.

We have purchased our coat rack and we will be receiving it this week so once that is up, the majority of the transformation will be complete!!

You may be asking a few key questions. I'm going to answer them now (whilst guessing what those questions are :-):

1. Where is the huge awesome print from?

The scissors print is by the amazing Alanna Cavanagh. In September we stopped by her sample sale and found this gem at a HUGE discount. It has a few paint splatters on it which is what landed it in the "seconds" pile and we were lucky enough to snag it. For $105. I'm not joking. That print is MASSIVE. We had it framed at Telegramme Prints on Queen Street (which is both local and surprisingly quite a bit cheaper than Michaels was, even with their normal sale).

2. What about that small framed painting?

That cute little painting is one I purchased at Labour of Love probably 2 years ago. It is by Gosia. I have never found the perfect spot to hang it so it floats from room to room, but I love it!

3. Did you really buy those rubber boots because of this photo?


Yes. Sort of. I never thought I'd be the girl who would spend $$$ on "designer" rain boots, but when I came across the orange/red pair for 70% off a few months ago, I jumped on them. It helped that I never forgot the photo of my rug with the awesome boots...

4. How did you get those crappy old leather boots to stand up?

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5. What about everything else?

Table - base made by J's dad, wood top from Urban Tree Salvage
Rug:  - Jill Rosenwald  purchased from Joss and Main for cheap
Gold vases - purchased at the Style North sale from Tim of Design Maze
Copper fire extinguisher - purchased at the antique barn in St. Jacobs
Paint colour: Para Paints Chrysler Hall White (semi-gloss on trim, matte on walls)

So there you have it - I finally have something house related to show you! Sure, it isn't perfect yet and I still have a few things on the list, but waiting until it is totally done is so not my style :-)

Happy Tuesday!

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Monday, December 17, 2012

I'm Never Going to Be a Pinterest-Mom

I was naive. That much I know now. 

I've never been big on chores. If I have spare time, cleaning the kitchen, emptying the dishwasher or taking out the garbage would NEVER be on my list of things I would want to do.

But Janice, hardly anyone WANTS to clean the house, right?

It sounds strange, but I kind of wanted to want to clean the house and make home cooked meals. When I thought about what life would be like while I was on maternity leave, I thought that in theory, I would love to be the kind of mom who filled her days with fun activities for the baby, and then when the baby slept (which would be ALL THE TIME, right?), I would tidy up the house, put dinner in the oven and maybe even work on a house project or two.

Please. You can stop laughing now (especially my immediate family). I know it sounds crazy, especially if you knew me in real life. 

Anyways, last week I was trying to be that person. I was heading out to a low-key birthday celebration for one of my friends and I offered to make the cake. We usually go out to celebrate this stuff but everyone was feeling a cozy night in so a baked cake seemed appropriate.

I of course turned to my Pinterest board for food - I'd pinned a cake idea that seemed AWESOME and super cute. Being a SAHM and all, I figured I would have time to get'er done.


Cute, right?

Here is a photo step by step of how the experts say you should make it:


I had grand plans of following the directions. However, I sort of ran out of time. Come Thursday night, I realized that I didn't have any food colouring to make the ombre layers. Oops. So I decided I would just go simple and keep it all white on the inside. I thought that doing the baking and the decorating (and grocery shopping) all on Friday was a little ambitious with Luca around...

So I baked the cakes. Afterwards, I looked at the cakes and wondered where I went wrong. They were WAY too big to "roll" in the sprinkles like the photo describes. I'll have to think of something else then...

The cakes turned out fine. It was now time to decorate! I know the recipe required a homemade buttercream icing, but, well...I rarely like fancy icing. I much prefer the chemical filled, never goes bad and always tastes delicious frosting that you buy on the (non-refridgerated) shelf at the grocery store. In order to make it a bit fancier, I put the frosting in my stand-mixer and whipped it up.

The whipped frosting went on beautifully - it even had some of those smooth swirls that you see the fancy-pants cakes have!

All of this description is to get to the point where the sprinkles were put on, right? Because that is the part where you know the FAIL is about to happen.

Like I said - rolling the cake was out as it was too big. So I was going to use the messy method (i.e. hand application).

I started with the top. This part was easy. Just dump sprinkles on and spread them out. I think I put too many on but figured maybe I could just tip the cake a little to get the excess off (haha seriously. That is what I was thinking).

The sides is where it got tricky. Putting itty bitty sprinkles on a vertical surface is an exercise in frustration that is for sure. I thought I would be smart and put the cake on a baking sheet to catch all of the excess. I even put it all on the ground to try and localize the mess.

Again, what a joke. Sprinkles, my friends, are itty bitty little round BOUNCY BALLS. They don't fall and sit...they fall and bounce EVERYWHERE. My kitchen was covered in the little buggers. Also, because I am not a fancy baker, I don't have tools like "cake lifters" etc so I was decorating right on my cake stand (which alone makes me a semi-fancy baker I think!).

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See? Bunches of sprinkles just sitting in each lovely little divot of the scalloped edge. I didn't know what to do until it was clean up time. J came home and caught me doing this:

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(yes, it was so exciting for J to see this that he took pictures)


The upside of being ridiculed by your husband for picking up a vacuum is that it gave me an idea!!

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...because I'm sure all of the fancy Pinterest-mommy-bakers use vacuums to clean up the excess sprinkles, right?!

You might laugh, but this WORKED people!

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That's right - I vacuumed my cake and it worked!! Cool, right?

It was cool, alright. Until I got a little too addicted to getting the excess sprinkles off...


Like I said...I'm never going to be a Pinterest-Mom.

Happy Monday :-)

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Friday, December 14, 2012

Luca's Birth Story - Pt. 2 (Man-Denial)

If you missed part I - click here.

So where were we?

Oh right...I was at a friend's baby shower and I was hiding in the powder room, gripping onto the sink, and breathing through a contraction. This, my friends, is probably what they call labour. 

Once the contraction subsided, I got myself together and waddled back outside to where my friends were sitting. I asked my ride if we could get a move on (she knew I was having contractions) and we hit the road. 

I'll admit it - I was a little nervous. I mean, I still didn't think this was IT, but the reality was sinking in that this baby was coming in the next few days.

Upon my arrival at home, I mentioned to J that I was having contractions and wasn't feeling great. We agreed that he would keep his cell phone on at the Radiohead concert and I made him promise that he would actually pay to park onsite so that if I made the call, he wouldn't have to walk for 20 minutes to get to the car (he likes hunting around for free parking and is willing to walk far distances to get it).

(if you are now sitting there with your mouth hanging open...thinking "he was going to go to a CONCERT and you were in labour?!!"...I wouldn't be shocked. Denial is a strange, powerful thing.)

Anyways, in a strange and sad turn of events, the stage at the Radiohead concert collapsed and the concert was cancelled. This was around 4:30 p.m. It was shortly around this time that I started timing my contractions using one of those fun iPhone apps:



Each contraction wasn't super long, but in my eyes they were coming pretty frequently! And they hurt. I realized quickly that I wasn't going to be one of those fabled women who don't even know they are in labour until the baby's head pops out! I remember looking at J and telling him something along the lines of "I'm pretty sure we are going to have this baby soon".

And what does a man in denial do when he finds out his wife is properly in labour and that the baby is coming?

Why, he goes to the grocery store, of course!

We had been told to bring snacks to the hospital and all of a sudden that became the most important thing to him. We needed SNACKS, dammit, and nothing was going to get in his way.

I had another bath while he was at the store, and after about 45 minutes, I phoned him to find out where he was because the contractions were getting much stronger and visions of a mean nurse telling me that I was "too late" for an epidural were dancing in my head.

Why was he gone for so long, you may ask?

He decided to do our regular weekly grocery shopping while he was there. Figured we wouldn't have time to do it after the baby arrived so he may as well get it done. Wife is in labour? Grab some broccoli. Contractions are 5 minutes apart? Where are the yellow bananas?

Seems logical now (sort of), but at the time I thought it was the craziest thing I had ever heard.  Yes, man-denial was obviously in full force with J.

When he got home (and put the groceries away) we started packing up to go to the hospital. I couldn't believe this was happening. Even though I was having regular contractions, I figured we would be sent home. I grabbed my hospital bag and thought "we'll probably leave it in the car because they will send me home."

That is the weird thing with labour...it isn't like having a bad migraine and thinking "maybe this is something more serious" until you go to the hospital and they say it's nothing and to just take some Advil and go home. In one way or another, the end result will be you having a baby. It will never be "nothing". That is what makes the extent of our denial that much more insane. This baby was coming whether we believed it or not!

We packed everything in the car (including the snacks, of course :-), looked at each other, and took off.

Oh. My. God.

To be continued...

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Friday, December 7, 2012

Luca's Birth Story - Pt. 1 (Denial)

I know it has been a while, but this has been sitting in my "draft" folder for a while now and I figured it was high time to get it posted!

(Please be warned - there are some photos below that may make you want to avert your eyes in horror)

Leading up to Luca's arrival, I had felt almost no signs of impending labour. No Braxton Hicks. No strange cramping. I hadn't "dropped" either. I wasn't worried about it, though. To be perfectly honest, I wasn't rushing him! I was sort of petrified of labour, so I was more than happy to keep Luca all warm and cozy in utero for the time being. 


His due date was June 22, and I finished work two weeks prior to that (June 8 was my last day of work). With all of the commuting and swelling, I was uncomfortable and was looking forward to putting my (super fat, Cabbage Patch-like) feet up. I booked a spa appointment for June 11 (yes, the first day off). Why so early when I had two weeks of leisure?

I *knew* I would have Luca early. I swear. I always thought the due date was off by about a week, but there is no arguing with the little round calendar in your obstetrician's office. Even if you tell them that you know the date of conception. They don't care. If the circle says June 22, that's that.

Like I said - I had a feeling he would come early, but I kept telling him that I needed a week off. Not that I had a high intensity job, but lugging all of that extra weight around, in the city, on the TTC, with feet that looked like this:

I'm grossed out looking at them even now!!

So yeah - I was ready to relax but NOT ready for the labour to start. What would it be like? Could I do it? Could I deal with the pain? Would the baby be okay? Lots of fears. 

I spent the rest of the week relaxing. I slept in (which was necessary because I was waking up a billion times a night). I vegged on the couch and watched tv (oh, to have cable again). Caught up on some blog reading and finished getting things ready in the nursery. Oh, and took about 6 baths. SO good.

(yes - massive and uncomfortable. I can't believe I'm posting this picture, but you did already see my jumbo feet...)

On Friday night, I had a hard time sleeping. Of course, this wasn't a surprise but I did find myself waking up due to a strange sensation in my belly. It wasn't pain, and if I remember correctly, by the time I was awake and was coherent enough to know what was going on, the feeling was gone. Do you know what I mean? Like when you hear a bang in the middle of the night. You sit up quickly...."what was that?" You can't be sure what you heard, but because it woke you up, you know you heard something

It happened a few times throughout the night and finally, around 7 a.m. I got out of bed and ran a bath. I was awake. I couldn't sleep. I may as well relax in the tub. I googled my ailment and according to Dr. Google, I was having Braxton Hicks contractions. They were regular-ish but they went away when I would stand up (which can be a feature of BH). This couldn't be labour. That much was clear to me. 

So I chilled in the tub for a while and the BH went away. When I stood up (which was NOT easy, of course), I felt something that could only be described as "my water breaking". :-) I definitely felt a little gush of water, but like I said - this couldn't be labour. That much was clear to me. It was probably just water dripping off my massive belly, right?

I then got dressed as I was heading to a baby shower for a good friend of mine. J was finishing up a few projects as he was heading out to the Radiohead concert that night. We said goodbye, and I told him to keep his phone with him. You know. Just in case I went into labour. Because I wasn't in labour yet, right?

I was picked up by a friend who also has a little boy. As we were driving, I told her about my morning and she looked at me like I was nuts for going to the shower. I'm guessing she thought I was in labour. haha.

At the shower, I was starting to get more uncomfortable. Standing wasn't comfortable, and sitting wasn't much better.  I was self conscious of my fat legs and feet. Older women looked at my sympathetically and said "it won't be anytime soon - you haven't dropped yet!"

Swollen, Massive, and (as I later realized) Having Contractions.

About halfway through, when I found myself in the powder room, holding on to the sink and breathing through a contraction, I thought to myself...

"I think I'm in labour"


To be continued (but don't worry - I won't drag it out over 7 posts :-)....

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