Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Wednesday Love: April Fools, Music, and Countdowns!

Happy Wednesday!!
Hop over to Jamie's if you want to see what many other people are loving today...

This week we've had amazing weather, and lots of sun. I'm already starting to think about summer...
Here are some of my loves for this week so far.

I'm loving amazing friends who invited us over last night to play games and have a BBQ. We stayed out until almost 11, and just had a blast. I'm so thankful for people who my husband and I can both really enjoy spending time with (and also Monkey has a friend to play with).

I'm loving my little garden that I started inside this week. I'm not a garden pro, but I'm trying to learn, and we're hoping to grow some of our own food this summer.
So far we've got tomatoes planted (5 different kinds), and I was hoping to get my herb garden underway as well as some zucchinis, carrots, and maybe a hanging strawberry plant...

I'm loving that Monkey's toilet training is going so well! He's actually waking up in the middle of the night to go pee!
Some people might not be excited about this, but to me it's another step towards being diaper free! And if we can get Monkey completely out of diapers before the baby is born, I will be thrilled!

I'm loving my school countdown. I'm counting days until classes are DONE FOREVER for me! I think we're down to 13 days, but I might have even fewer. I've only got 2 exams in all of my 5 classes, and since all my major projects were due yesterday (yay! I'm done the projects!!) I don't have much stress left and I can just enjoy the classes.

I'm loving that THIS FRIDAY is the concert I've been waiting for! That's right, The Good Lovelies will be in Kingston on Friday night! A friend of mine is going, and I got my husband to agree to stay home so I can go enjoy some fantastic music! (Now I just need to find a ticket...)

I'm loving that Friday is April Fools Day. This crazy day is almost my favourite day of the year, so I'm planning some fun food cupcakes like these...

and these...

I love just having a day of silliness...
For more fun cupcake ideas, check out the site Hello Cupcake where you can find the book "Hello Cupcake!" and "What's New, Cupcake?" which both have great ideas on making your own April Fools Day cupcakes...

Of course, I can't forget that I love my sweet little Monkey, and my favourite man, my Hubby.

What are you loving today?


Friday, March 25, 2011

~Week Twelve~

Yay! We're through the first trimester!
I've got a date for our anatomy ultrasound, but I still have to wait 5 weeks or so.

Pregnancy Highlights this week:

How far along are you?:
12 weeks and 1 day

Size of Baby S:
The baby is the size of a plum this week

Total Weight Gain/Loss:
-1.5 lbs

Maternity/Regular Clothes:
All my tops are regular clothes, and I still fit my normal clothes, but they're getting tight (especially my chef pants for class)

I switch all day long whether I want to know or want to keep it a surprise. Either way we won't be finding out for over a month (if we find out at all).

Nothing yet

Aside from last night (when I was up all night with a sick little boy), I've been getting lots of sleep, but it never seems like enough, and I'm still tired throughout the day. I've got more energy than I had a few weeks ago.

What I miss:
Cooking and eating chicken without being sick. Also greasy foods like pizza or anything fried...

Salty foods, like cheeses. This week in class we cooked Calamari, and I ate a whole bunch of that. I also enjoyed tzatziki, feta, and olives... (I'm loving Greek foods right now)
I also really like lemons, salads with spinach, and yogurt with granola.

I sound like a trucker. Pregnant ladies could win burping contests without even trying...
Nausea with a lot of foods (coffee, greasy foods, most meats).
Acid reflux. I had to start taking Tums this week...
Itchy skin. I need my hand lotion!
I'm constantly thirsty.

Best Moment of this Week:
I had a great doctor's appointment, and they said that I was doing great. I didn't get to hear the heartbeat, because they don't have a doppler, but they were happy with everything else.
The clinic at the school is where I've done all my prenatal care so far, but they were going to refer me to a local family clinic, so hopefully I'll have regular care soon!

We're looking for a crib mattress and a new carseat for the baby, because we have pretty much all the other equipment (stroller, playpen with bassinet and change table, crib, toys, diaper bag...). I'm hoping to find some good deals soon. We're starting to stock up with diapers and wipes so that we won't have too many big purchases when the baby comes.

We're not planning on cloth diapering (although I would LOVE to) because we don't have our own washer and dryer, and I don't think I'll be making 3 trips a week to a laundromat when I've got an infant and a 3-year-old.


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Sweets on Wednesday!

Hello! Happy Spring to you from the great white North...

As usual, I'm linking up to Jamie for What I'm Loving Wednesday.

Today I'm loving:

There is NO SNOW on the ground! On the second day of spring, we woke up to a mini-blizzard and a layer of white on the ground, but now it's gone! I like snow, but after a long winter, I'm ready for green grass!

I had a doctor's appointment this morning! Everything is great, but unfortunately I have to find other pre-natal care because the school health clinic doesn't have a Doppler, so they encourage moms once they reach 12 weeks to find other health care options.
I'm still waiting for a spot at the Kingston Community Midwives, but I might also have a referral to another clinic in town.

Great success with the cupcakes last week for the birthday party of my friend's son. I made chocolate and vanilla cupcakes, with either chocolate or white buttercream, and then I made fondant animals to go on top. I had a lot of fun, and everyone loved them!

New (to us) furniture! This week we were given a couch, an arm chair, and we purchased the coolest firetruck bed for our little Monkey! I love being able to stretch out on the couch (we just had a loveseat, so I couldn't comfortable lay down). Now when we have friends over, we can all have a comfy seat!

As always, I'm loving my man (If you look in the picture of the giraffe cupcake - number 3 - that's my great hubby in the back!), and my sugar-loving monkey...

Have a great day!

Monday, March 21, 2011

25 Goals before I'm 25...

I wanted to start this list last year, but I kept either forgetting about it or putting it off...
Now that I'm getting much closer (36 weeks away) I better figure out some reasonable goals before the end of the year.
I've got 40 weeks until December 31, and I'm going to give myself until then to complete as many things on this list as I can.

1. Graduate from College (grad date is June 9th I think)
2. Have a weekend away with the Hubby at a nice hotel (we're planning a getaway at the end of June in Ottawa)
3. Put together a cake portfolio to start my home business
4. Do something with our wedding pictures
5. Finish a baby blanket for our baby
6. Finish crocheting baby slippers
7. Make jam
8. Do some gardening (at my parents, at a community garden, maybe have an herb garden?)
9. Pick fruit (strawberries, raspberries, apples, pumpkins...)
10. Finish Connor's animal paintings (hopefully in time for his birthday)
11. Make cheese bread at home (even if I use the bread maker)
12. Complete a family recipe book with my grandma/grandpa's recipes
13. Go on one date a month with my hubby (10 months)
14. Get a manicure
15. Find a summer job
16. Send a letter to each of our sponsor children
17. Send a snail mail letter to a friend
18. Visit IKEA
19. Organize and declutter our stuff (730 in 365)
20. Get rid of all credit card debt
21. Reduce expenses so I can be a stay at home mom
22. Take my mom somewhere special
23. Go to a concert
24. Try Freezer Cooking
25. Have a healthy baby. We pray for this baby every day, and I'm really excited to meet him/her in October.

All of these goals are possible, and I'm excited for the challenge.
Quarter-of-a-Century, here I come!


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

It's Wednesday and Spring is almost here!

As usual, I'm linking up to Jamie for What I'm Loving Wednesday.

Today I'm loving:

Spring! I love the smell after the rain, the sounds of the birds and the squirrels, and the green grass growing where there used to be snow...

Family! Tonight my mom, my sister, and my brother are coming to eat at my school's restaurant! If you're in Kingston and haven't tried Essence yet, you've only got a couple more weeks! Check out the schedule and menus here.

Rubber boots! I'm so glad there are so many cute ones out there like these...

I want to go get a pair and go jumping in puddles!

Daylight Savings Time. I love changing my clocks in the spring, because then I get to have more and more sun, and it reminds me that winter is almost over...

I love my two best guys. We got to go for a walk as a family last night, and we had so much fun looking at the animals, and playing at the park...
I'm so blessed to have them.


Monday, March 14, 2011

Happy "Pie" Day!

Today is the day to celebrate pi. Or pie. Or both!

It's a math joke, but for those of you who are confused, the mathematical value of pi is 3.14 so March the 14th is the calendar equivalent!

My friend's brother celebrated it either last year or the year before by actually making pie for his friends at university, but I'm not feeling quite so ambitious.

My solution is "pie" cupcakes!

An example can be found in the book "What's New, Cupcake?" by Karen Tack and Alan Richardson, and I liked it so much, I'm going to make them myself.

So far, my "Items Needed" includes:
20 cupcakes (Butter Pecan)
1 large bag of M&Ms (which I like a lot more than the Smarties they recommend) sorted by colour
Icing (my own mocha buttercream)
1 piping bag with coupler, and tips (I ended up just using the same tip)

and the results:

I ran out of blue and red M&Ms, so I used the other colours.
I'm sure they still tasted the same...

a close up:

I LOVE them! My brother and his super smart friends got 6, and the Alpha group at church got the other 6. Of the remaining cupcakes (I started with 20) 5 are un-iced and will be taken to work by my hubby, 1 was eaten by Monkey, 1 was licked by Monkey, and 1 had a bite taken out of it by... you guessed it, Monkey.

This experiment was a great success! I've got cupcakes to make for Saturday too, so it looks like another baking-filled week!



Sunday, March 13, 2011

~Week Ten~

Pregnancy Highlights:

How far along are you?
10 weeks and 3 days

Size of Baby S:
Our little bean is the size of a prune

Total Weight Gain/Loss (Since Positive Pregnancy Test)
-1.3 pounds (crazy!)

Maternity or Regular Clothes:
Almost entirely regular clothes, although I bought a pair of maternity jeans which are SUPER comfortable...

Don't know, and don't want to know until we get to meet the baby!

Nothing yet, probably by the end of next month.

Good, but I can't sleep on my stomach anymore.

What I miss:
Cooking meat without feeling sick, having energy...

Wraps (specifically with hummus, spinach, onions, tomatoes, tzatziki, and olives), yogurt with oatmeal and fruit, milk, orange juice, tea...

Nausea when cooking or eating any meat, especially chicken, beef, and seafood.
Almost constant exhaustion.
Dizzy and light-headed.
Dry, itchy skin.

Best Moment of this Week:
When we got to see an ultrasound! (twice) We saw the little heart moving! I'm really excited for the next one when we'll be able to see legs and arms!


Saturday, March 12, 2011

Cake-Worthy Events in March

Oops! I'm quite a few days late posting this month's special events. I missed Dr. Seuss's birthday, and I was really looking forward to reading silly books, or making a funky cake like these ones found at Cake Wrecks:

What a great twin birthday cake!

This theme would be great for a baby shower, or for a new graduate (high school or college)

The painted details on this are so great!

My favourite book by Dr. Seuss is "Yertle the Turtle". What's your favourite?

I'm still hoping to make a Dr. Seuss-inspired birthday cake (maybe like "Oh the Places You'll Go") for my friend's son who is having his first birthday party next weekend! She's got a camera, so whatever I end up doing, I'll post some pictures of the results!

March is:
-Music in our Schools Month
-Craft Month
-Frozen Food Month
-Noodle Month
-Nutrition Month
-Peanut Month
-Women's History Month
-Poetry Month
-Youth Art Month
-American Red Cross Month
-Social Workers Month
-1st Week: Newspapers in Our School Week
-2nd Week: Crochet Week, Bubble Week

1. Pig Day, Peanut Butter Lovers Day, Share a Smile Day

2. Dr. Seuss's Birthday, Old Stuff Day

3. National Anthem Day, I want you to be happy Day, If Pets Had Thumbs, Peach Blossom Day

4. Employee Appreciation Day, Poundcake Day, Hug a GI Day

5. Multiple Personality Day

6. Dentists Day, Frozen Food Day, Oreos for sale (1912)

7. Crown Roast of Pork Day

8. Be Nasty Day, Working Womens Day, Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday)

9. No Smoking Day, Panic Day, Ash Wednesday, Barbie's Birthday

10. Middle Name Pride Day

11. Worship of Tools Day

12. Girl Scouts Day, Plant a Flower Day

13. Ear Muff Day, Jewel Day, Good Samaritan Day

14. Learn about Butterflies Day, Potato Chip Day, pi Day!! (3.14!!), Einstein's Birthday

15. Everything You Think is Wrong Day, Incredible Kid Day, Dumbstruck Day

16. Everything You Do is Right Day, Freedom of Information Day

17. Submarine Day, St. Patricks Day

18. Goddess of Fertility Day, Supreme Sacrifice Day, Sparky the Firedog Day, First Walk in Space (1965), Johnny Appleseed Day

19. Quilting Day, Poultry Day, Purim

20. Earth Day, Extraterrestrial Abductions Day, Proposal Day, Big Bird's Birthday, First Day of Spring

21. Fragrance Day, Teen-agers Day, Single Parents Day

22. Goof Off Day, Sing-Out Day

23. Chip and Dip Day, Near Miss Day, Toast Day

24. Chocolate Covered Raisin Day, Houdini's Birthday

25. Pecan Day, Waffle Day

26. Make Up Your Own Holiday Day

27. "Joe" Day

28. Something on a Stick Day

29. Mom and Pop Business Owners Day, Smoke and Mirrors Day

30. Doctor's Day, I am in Control Day, Take a Walk in the Park Day

31. Bunsen Burner Day, Clam on the Half Shell Day

Find the lists of these days here and here.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Fill in the Blanks Friday

Happy Friday everyone! This has been a long week for us. Monkey has been really sick with a cough and fever, so I've missed all my classes to stay home and pray that he gets better.

Today we've got a playdate with a new friend, and we're really excited to get out of the house ( I think I'm more excited than he is...). We also need to do some grocery shopping, and maybe some laundry...

I'm finally feeling better today after feeling pretty sick all week myself, and since I had a lot of fun the last time I did a Fill-in-the-Blanks Friday, I thought I'd tag along again. I'm linking up to Lauren at the little things we do.

Have a great day!

1. My biggest accomplishment in life thus far is:
continuing my education while also raising my son and keeping house for my husband. I'm doing it out of necessity, so I don't think I'm amazing, but my mom told me that she thinks I'm doing an amazing job, so I guess I'm doingsomething right .

2. My favorite place to sit in my house is:
somewhere cuddled up with a blanket. Usually the love seat... but I don't like to share .

3. My fashion philosophy is:
to only wear things that I love and that make me feel great. I believe a great pair of heels can bring amazing confidence to even the most simple outfit. I stick with classics pieces, but I'm trying to bring in colour instead of just wearing neutrals .

4. Something every girl should have is:
a pair of heels that makes her feel like a superstar! I bought my first pair last year, and any time I put them on I feel amazing .
(sure I wouldn't be able to walk in these, but at least my feet would look great)

5. If you looked in my purse right now you'd find:
multiple pens, my current crochet project (I think I even have the right hook), mints, junk mail I haven't thrown out yet, coupons, my wallet, cell phone, keys, prenatal vitamins, a pull-up, and a sippy cup .

6. My favorite music right now is:
The Good Lovelies! Amazing Canadian group of ladies who I'm going to see in concert in a few weeks! .

7. My favorite part of my body is:
my hands. Though I will never be a hand model, my hands have soothed a sick child, have created art, have prepared meals and baked treats, have encouraged and comforted friends, have played music... I've done so much with these hands, and I wouldn't change a thing .


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Prayer for the Unborn Child

I found this prayer at Parenting the Tiniest of Miracles, and I just wanted to share this (and my thoughts) today.

Almighty God, our Father,
you who have given us life
and intended us to have it forever,
grant us your blessings.

Enlighten our minds to an awareness
and to a renewed conviction
that all human life is sacred
because it is created
in your image and likeness.
Help us to teach by word
and the example of our lives
that life occupies the first place,
that human life is precious
because it is the gift of God
whose love is infinite.
Give us the strength to defend human life
against every influence
or action that threatens or weakens it,
as well as the strength
to make every life more human
in all its aspects.

Give us the grace...

When the sacredness of life
before birth is attacked,
to stand up and proclaim
that no one ever has the authority
to destroy unborn life.

When a child is described as a burden
or is looked upon only as a means
to satisfy an emotional need,
to stand up
and insist that every child is a unique
and unrepeatable gift of God,
a gift of God
with a right to a loving
and united family...

Almighty Father,
give us courage to proclaim the supreme dignity
of all human life and to demand
that society itself give its protection.
We ask this in your name,
through the redemptive act
of your Son and in the Holy Spirit.


In the last few days I've come face to face with the possibility of losing my 10 week old unborn child.

Until I was faced with that fear, I didn't know how much value I held in a baby's life before birth. I knew that I didn't agree with abortion, but in those hours of fear I realized how important a person, even so tiny, was to the world.

Do you remember the saying, "To the world you may just be one person, but to one person you may be the world"? In those moments where our future was most uncertain, this baby was my world.

I know this prayer is for people who choose not to give their babies life, or who don't even choose to see them as babies, but because of this prayer, I was reminded to pray for all those babies whose parents would LOVE to give them life, but they can't because their babies are taken too soon.

Thank you to Jessieleigh for the reminder of how precious every little life is.


Monday, March 7, 2011

My Greatest Fear Relieved

Did you know that the technical term given by doctors to a potential miscarriage is a "threatened abortion"?

I didn't know that.

I never thought that the word "abortion" would be used in any way relating to any pregnancy I every experienced, but that changed on Sunday night.

I'll try to spare you the gross details. Sunday night after dinner I started experiencing bleeding and cramping, and I really started to freak out.
I called a friend and couldn't even ask for help, Hubby had to take the phone and ask her for a ride to the hospital. I just cried.

Within minutes, this friend was at my house. It must have been Gods' timing, because they were already driving and were so close to our house when we called that when Hubby asked them to come, they were already turning down the street towards our place.

My amazing friend stayed with me through the triage, the registration, the long wait in the waiting room, and then the even longer wait in the exam room. We were finally seen by a fantastic nurse, and a calm and encouraging doctor. I can't remember either of their names, but they really were wonderful.

I had an ultrasound late late LATE Sunday night (maybe after midnight) and I did get to see my bean. I saw the heart pumping really strong, and I cried because my fears were gone. There weren't any guarantees, but for the moment, that little baby was just fine.

I never realized how much I already loved this little one until there was a threat that he or she might be taken away.

I didn't know how much I would let fear take me over, or how many negative thoughts would run through my head until the thoughts were so fast and so plentiful that I couldn't stop them, and it felt like the world was moving slower because my brain was running so fast.

I didn't think that something as small as an olive (2.4 cm already!) would impact my life so much...

...but it has. And already this is my baby. Already I love him or her. Already, this baby is an integral part of our family.

And I don't want it any other way.


Sunday, March 6, 2011

Treats on Sunday

When was the last time you had Rice Krispie squares? When was the last time you MADE Rice Krispie Squares? For me it's been a loooong time...

I bought some Rice Krispies a few months ago with the intention of baking, and then I forgot about them. They were still crispy today, and it's a cold afternoon, so I started baking... and then I found Cheerios in the cupboard that I hadn't used in a few months, and I kept baking...

Once I was done, I had 3 full trays of treats. Now I need to cook supper so that I fill up on something other than treats...

I have more Cheerios left to experiment with, but it's almost suppertime, and Monkey shouldn't be eating dessert for supper or he'll be up all night!

Here's MY version of the Chocolate Peanut Butter Cereal Bars

5 cups Multi-Grain Cheerios
1 1/2 cups salted peanuts
1 cup honey
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 cup crunchy peanut butter

1. Spray a 9x13-inch pan with cooking spray, or rub with a bit of butter or margarine. In a large bowl, combine cereal and peanuts and set aside.

2. In a large pan, combine honey and both sugars. Over medium heat, bring to a boil, stirring constantly. When it reaches a boil, remove and stir in peanut butter.

3. Add cereal mixture and stir until thoroughly coated. Spread evenly in greased pan. Let squares cool before cutting and serving!

These are delicious and rich, and I cut them really small, so I can share them with a lot of people (or keep them for myself and have them last a really long time...)

Mmmm... baking and lazy Sundays go well together...


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Wednesday: Sometimes Love is Hard

This Wednesday I'm having a hard time being grateful for everything. Life in general is hard right now. Some days I feel lonely, even inside marriage, and today is one of those days. But I'm going to find some things that I still love, even though I'm not filled with happiness.

As always I'm linking up to Jamie for What I'm Loving Wednesdays.

This week I'm loving:

Monkey's new hair cut! Daddy spikes his hair, so he spiked Monkey's hair, and he loves it! He ran into daycare yesterday saying "Spiky hair, Spiky hair!" to his teacher (of course, by that time, he'd been wearing a hat for a while, so there were no spikes left, but he was still excited.)

It's March! That means spring time is SUPER close! I'm already dreaming of having a mini garden, whatever I can plant in big pots and put out onto our "space that might be a patio if it wasn't gravel". I'm hoping for an herb garden, but I might get ambitious and plant some flowers...

March Break is this week for me! I'm the mom who still sends her kid to daycare so I can have a week of vacation by myself. To be honest, it's just going to be 3 days vacation by myself, but I'll enjoy every minute!

31+ more weeks! I had my first appointment last week, and while the poking and the prodding weren't fun (really, how many women actually ENJOY getting a physical?), the appointment was encouraging, and I've got a fantastic doctor and staff at the school. We may even be getting a family doctor soon!
I'm still REALLY hoping to get a space with the community midwives, and I've got 3 more weeks before trimester 1 is over. They like their patients to be under 12 weeks along, so please pray that I get in!

My husband is a great man. He loves me when I'm most unloveable, he puts up with my crazy preggo mood swings and food aversions. He encourages me to take naps, and watches the Monkey so I can actually have naps! So even in the bad times when we have heated "discussions" I still choose to love him. Today and for all the rest of my tomorrows.

I feel much better now that I've put my thankfulness ahead of my grumbles. I hope you're having a blessed Wednesday and that you can count more blessings today than any negative things in your life.