Monday, July 25, 2011

Bringing the outdoors in

As much as we love being outside, with a newbie that can only take short doses of the sun and a toddler that I need to chase (a lot), we spend more time inside than out (my right arm for a fenced yard!)

So I've spent some time this summer cutting flowers from outside to put in my kitchen. I love looking at them while I stand in the kitchen. Very pretty and not as expensive as buying cut flowers at the store. A few vases have been entirely wild flowers if nothing else was in bloom, they were just as pretty and satisfying.

Sunday, July 24, 2011


My mom makes biscuits that puff up so big that they fall over a little. Mine didn't turn out too bad this time, but they're never the same. What am I doing wrong?! Over kneading?

Sunday, July 17, 2011

$3.50 curtains

We've lived in this house for 9 months and my poor rustic porch remained without curtains and sorely lacking in TLC.

I decided to give it a little shoestring chic treatment. During a recent linen closet purge, I found an old sheer swag. I cut it out in simple squares (hemming the raw edges), tied some ribbon around it and I bought some pretty glass beads to sew on the ends of the bows. Total cost: $3.50 and 45 minutes of my time for 3 windows.

It's a little "country" for my tastes, but we live beside a cow pasture and my kitchen still has a sickly tractor border (ick!), so it kind of suits. I like it.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Officially mine

I've made one of these cross stitch keepsakes for each of my children (it means they are officially mine... haha). The majority of it is my pregnancy project and then I finish it with name/birth stats, etc. after the birth. Only "after the birth" has happened at 3 months for the older two, and N is getting very close to 4 months. The blank spot in the centre is where I stamp the adorable little baby feet. I'm concerned that N's long feet are going to be a tight squeeze so I was up until midnight finishing it last night.

I just need to wash, iron dry and stamp those tootsies. The frame is waiting to be hung!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

To my darling two-year-old

Dear G,

You are the provider of some of my most joyful and most frustrating moments during the day. It's often like someone has pressed your fast-forward button and the remote is another one from which you've carefully removed the batteries. And "fast forward" does not begin to describe the dreaded before bed "tornado mode" and the "I-need-attention" destructor moments.

You love having things clean and in order. You are rarely so happy as when your room is neat and your toys are easy to find. On the other hand, you like things neat so that they can be made messy again. A neat pile of books or a straight row of shoes will meet a swipe of your arm 80% of the time. And let's not mention the fact that I need to hide in order to fold/stuff diapers.

You love to find wayward chips and pop belonging to Daddy, but you wiggle and swing your arms and arch your back when it's time to brush our teeth.

My baking supplies often meet an untimely demise. I understand that baking soda and sugar are a lot like sand and fun to play with, but it's a lot of work cleaning it off the floor!

And speaking of cleaning... an art gallery worth of crayon scribbles are upstairs waiting to be cleaned so I can paint. The box might say "magic eraser" but there's little magic about mama's elbow grease and arm strength, which is what the job truly requires.

However... even while writing this, you've came to visit me. Climbing into my lap and lovingly showing me every detail of your new plane. "Wook Mama! Plane!" And you turn your big blue eyes up at me and say, "Awwww... Mama." Which is your language for I love you. You come back with the transformer that you carefully de-limbed and say, "Robo! Broken." I ask if you broke it. A cheerful, "uh-huh!" and you're off again for another adventure.

You're the most cheerful, rambunctious, sweet, stubborn boy I've met, and I wouldn't change you for the world!

Gotta run, I can hear you opening the pantry door...



Tuesday, July 12, 2011

N's Birth

As my last post stated, I'm currently on maternity leave. That is thanks to the sweet little addition to our family that was born in March.

In 2009 as part of Cesarean Awareness month (April) I created this post to tell my story about an unnecessary c-section and my subsequent vaginal birth. As a continuation, here's how my third birth transpired.

As my children had proven in the past, this little baby had decided that fashionably late was the best way to enter the world. At 9 days past my guess date, I had a non-stress test to check that things were healthy and I decided that a membrane sweep might be just the trick to encourage babe along. My childcare (my mom) lives 45 minutes away, and with the sweep, I decided to have her come stay the night with us.

During the night I had contractions on and off but they were irregular and not painful. I had a good night's rest. Around 4am (at 10 days past my guess date), I decided to get up to time the random contractions and hang out on the internet a bit. Shortly after, they were easily every 2-3 minutes, but the intense part of the contraction was only 10-15 seconds, so I was unsure if it was too early to pick up our doula and head to the hospital.

My husband has a history of deciding whether or not labour is "real", so I woke him for his experienced opinion. He thought we should likely go and therefore I called my doula to give her a head's up that we would be arriving. This was at approximately 5:30am.

Our doctor, who we love, and the hospital where he catches babies is about a 75 minute drive from our house. So after my husband packed the van (slowly might I add!), I walked outside and things instantly changed. (This happened with my second birth as well. I apparently need to physically leave my other children before labour kicks into gear). Standing outside the van as my husband removed the carseats, I had the overwhelming feeling that my water was going to break. The pressure was insane.

With my other births I can honestly say that labour was not necessarily painful, but at this point with N, it was overwhelming. I felt like I was already in transition and I was having difficulty coping. We made it to our doula's house in about 15 minutes. She sat beside me, rubbed my back and we discussed going to the local hospital rather than our chosen hospital. I was not digging the car ride, and decided to go to the closer hospital to h
ave a cervical check before continuing.

At 6:30am we arrived on the local labour and delivery unit. They were none too happy to see me as I did not have my prenatal care done by those physicians and my care record was kept at the other hospital after my non-stress test the previous day. I was feeling a little "pushy", but knew in my head that it was due to my water still being intact and bulging. They laughably asked me to "pee in a cup", and as I tried, my water exploded (seriously. like a tsunami.). The sweet relief after was wonderful, but as the nurse checked the baby's heart rate, it was quite low (around 80 beats per minute) and she asked me to move to the bed so they could use the continuous monitor.

The movement to bed quickly abolished the relief I had and it was decla
red that I was 5-6cm dilated. The feeling of despair was intense. I felt like I was in transition since leaving home and I couldn't believe I still had 4-6cm to go. This feeling was short-lived as I started pushing with the next contraction and 20 minutes later, at 7:21am, my beautiful son saw the light of day.

So only a few-ish hours of labour and 20 minutes of pushing. I so wish more Mamas were encouraged and motivated to have a vaginal birth after a cesarean. My unmedicated, natural births were so amazing and empowering. I can't wait to do it again. ;)

Darling baby boy
8 pounds 6 ounces
March 22, 2011, 7:21am

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Being a Stay-at-home-mom

As the bread-winner for our family, maternity leave gives me a chance to be an at-home mom for a little while. And it also gives my lovely hubby a chance to get out of the house! I'm actually ENJOYING housework and baking and I'm learning a little about decorating a space.

I'm currently reading Nate Berkus' book:

In it, I learned about wasted space. For example, I have a baker's rack in my livingroom/kitchen that acted as a catch all for homeless objects and dust. I cleaned the children's art supplies off the top of the refrigerator and created an art desk from the baker's rack. They use it all the time!

I also removed my open, messy change table and made this dresser work harder to contain clothing and give a spot for the baby's bum changes:

Nate also encourages bringing the outdoors inside. So I now have lovely flowers in my kitchen, bathroom and bedroom. They lift my spirits just by being there. I have some hosta leaves and bleeding hearts in my bathroom:

I've also recently jumped back into Flylady,, I love the organization of having routines and it helps motivate me to remove clutter.

Flylady teaches to put something pretty in the spots that tend to gather junk. Like the top of the bureau, I love candles, so I'm deterred from dumping the junk out of my pockets here:

And also from Flylady, the simple act of making my bed sets the tone for my whole day!

And as a stay-at-home-mom, baking has become a zen activity for me. And there's something so "Norman Rockwell" about my two-year-old with his hand in the cookie jar.

And of course, here's the main reason I love being at home: