Sunday, August 22, 2010

Emerson Lily

We're home from the hospital... with our new baby girl!  Emerson Lily was born on August 21st at 2:52 pm-- she weighed in at 7 lbs 13 ounces, is 20 inches long, with super long legs and huge feet :)  She's super cute!  Here's a few pictures of our little girl...

That's it for tonight folks!  I'm gonna enjoy sleeping in my own bed tonight!!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Let's continue... shall we?

The next stop on the tour leads to our room.  It was ugly, it was dark, and it was painted  a strange shade of purplish brown-- which when combined with blue/grey stained carpet, was... interesting.

All three upstairs bedroom are not very big-- when selecting which room would be ours we simply chose the one that felt biggest and had the nicest closet, which unfortunately is now NOT the nicest closet-- check this one out.  Trust me, I've got big plans for my closet-- one day we'll get around to it.  The room gets very little natural light which made it feel pretty dark and depressing... not exactly what I was going for.  So, as we began to renovate and redecorate the room, I tried to make selections that would help the room to feel bright, clean, and fresh.

As we did in all of the other rooms, the first step was to paint when we moved in.  This tour has already taken us on quite a journey of color-- first purple, then orange, now brown.  Wait till' you see what's next-- it will knock your socks off :)  Now, it's not that I don't like color-- I actually love it!  I just felt that painting this house in more subtle colors would allow it to feel brighter, bigger, and give it a more cohesive look from room to room.  Instead I've added accessories in bright and fun colors that can be changed and edited with the season.  I chose to paint this room a really pale, subtle, shade of blue that has grey/green undertones that make it almost feel like a warm color.  Not that you'd be able to tell from the terrible picture below...

Let me tell you... pulling carpet up in an older house is like going on an archeology dig-- you never know what you're going to discover... and sometimes it makes you love your house just a little bit less.  Once again in this room, we ripped up the carpet to discover more lino!  If we were just putting laminate into one room, it wouldn't be necessary to rip it out.  But since we were installing it throughout the main floor, we had to make sure that we had one even, level surface to work with (which led to many nights of scraping /peeling up lino and spreading a leveling agent from room to room... so much fun).

Enough of these ugly pictures!  Let's get to the fun ones!  After painting, installing new flooring, and trim, the room looks so much better...

It's a pretty small room... as you can see (there's not really even enough room for two bedside tables) but it still works!  I love how light and bright it feels with the light walls and white bedding.

Now let me tell you about some of my favorite things in this room!  First up... the one bedside table.  This was an old schoolhouse desk from my parent's house.  It was really beat up and the only drawer was missing-- so I sanded it down and stained it really dark while Doug made a new drawer for the desk that matches perfectly-- now there's an inexpensive bedside table for y'all :)

Second favorite part of the room-- the pair of lamps.  I LOVE shopping for lamps.  It could be one of my favorite stops on a trip to Home Sense.  I managed to score this pair on sale at Tarjay... (aka... Target).

And my third favorite thing-- the blue and white print blanket on my bed found in the clearance bin at the Bay.  I randomly found it one day, and as I made my way to the checkout I decided that I wouldn't buy it unless it was under 20 bucks... it was... so it got to come home with me :)  Doug hates "extras" on the bed, so it's my job to fold up the blanket and remove the throw pillows each night.  If not, they end up on the floor.

And finally... my most favorite thing in the room-- the full length mirror that Doug built for the other side of the room!  (Recognize it?  It's already made an appearance on the blog in my pregnancy photos)  When we moved into the house, this mirror (minus the trim around it) was hanging in the upstairs bathroom.  It was a bit chipped around the edges and didn't really fit the space very well.  I took it off immediately and replaced it with another one from a different bathroom in the house when we moved in.  the mirror sat in our garage for almost a year before Doug came up with the bright idea to put it in our room and frame it with some left over architrave moulding from the trim we put up around the doors in our house.  In our home Doug's in charge of the installation while I focus on the details-- filling, sanding, painting.  Doug finished his part several months ago.  My part of this project was only completed a few weeks ago :)

It looks amazing... if I do say so myself!  Great job honey!  The mirror was free (it came with the house) and Doug figures the moulding used to frame it out probably cost between 15 and 20 bucks.  So much cheaper than buying a ready made mirror from the store :)

A close up of the mirror-- please take note of my impressive paint job.  Not an easy task with a large pregnant belly in the way :)

And finally a view out the door into the baby's room.  I expect to be making the trek back and forth between the two rooms quite often in the near future.  A few weeks ago Doug made sure to put WD40 on the hinges of the upstairs bedroom doors to eliminate all potential squeaks-- we're not taking any chances around here with two sleeping kids (hopeful on the sleeping part).  How's that for being prepared!

So there you have it!  A complete tour of room number three.  I can't say it's finished yet-- I've got a few more projects up my sleeve.  Just need to find some time to execute them.  Maybe this weekend?

There are many more rooms to come on the tour of our house, but I can't promise that I'll have time to post about them anytime soon... but you never know... if they let me get to 10 days overdue I may be bored!

Thursday, August 19, 2010


Today is my due date... and I am still as pregnant as ever :)  I saw the doctor today (a new one-- mine is on vacation for the next week or two) and he's pretty confident I will see him next at my scheduled appointment in a week.  My mom agrees... apparently I don't look or act uncomfortable enough to go into labour any time soon.  I'm not too surprised and not really all that disappointed.  In the end, being overdue is a much better problem than having a baby 6.5 weeks early...

So!  Over the next week I will have to come up with a few new projects to stay busy...  If anything changes, I'll keep you posted!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

3 good things about yesterday...

1.  My parents arrived... so we had our first full day together!
2.  Decided to declare yesterday Deep Fried Monday-- 2 out of the 3 meals I ate were completely deep fried-- lunch... watermelon and roll kuchen... dinner... fish & chips :)  Not only that, but I decided to spend the afternoon in the pool and successfully deep fried myself.
3.  It was warm enough to... once again... head to White Rock for the evening (obviously that explains number 2-- can't pass up Moby Dick's!!)

Here are a few pictures from our White Rock adventure!

It was a beautiful, warm, sunny evening at the beach.  After chowing down on fish and chips, we decided to cool off in the water for a bit.

Family of three-- Caleb acting like a clown.  Nothing new.  Last night he proved that getting a three year old to stand still and look at a camera is impossible.

Me and my Mom.

Caleb also proved another thing to us that night-- keeping a three year old out of the water is also impossible.  Luckily, I thought to bring a second change of clothes.  Call it a mother's intuition.

And now he's screaming from the water for Papa to come out and play-- really, he just wants to splash anyone and everyone possible.

Preggo Paparazzi strikes again.  I can't go anywhere these days without someone (Doug) snapping my picture or strangers staring.  I did discover something last night though-- if you want to remain inconspicuous, you just need hang around people who draw more attention than you.  While eating my ice cream, we sat next to a wedding party having their pictures taken.  This forced passing strangers into a dilemma-- stare at the fat pregnant lady eating ice cream, or the silly looking wedding party-- most chose the wedding party.

2 days till' Due Date!  I'm guessing that I won't be heading to the hospital any time soon-- bring on more summer adventures!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Guess where we went today...

Anytime I go to a public place or event, I seem to see a lot of pregnant women.  Maybe it's because I go to places that are generally preggo-friendly... or maybe I'm just noticing them more often.  Today I went to a place where pregnant ladies were noticeably absent-- the Abbotsford International Airshow.  I was there for 5 hours, among huge crowds of people, and only saw one other suspiciously pregnant woman.  They all stayed home for good reasons-- it was 35 degrees celsius outside today-- much hotter on the asphalt tarmac (our car read 46 degrees when we crawled back in to head home), there was no shade, no seating, one of the main activities was crawling up ladders into small cockpits, it was super loud... and did I mention it was extremely hot?  Now you're all probably thinking I was dragged there by the boys of this household-- but I actually suggested that we go.  It's our last day to hang out as a family of three (as my family arrives tomorrow and will be staying until the baby arrives) so I thought it would be a great activity for us to do to celebrate this milestone!  And I also knew the boys would love every minute of it :)  So this morning we packed up our cooler, threw our lawn chairs into the car, made a quick stop at Starbucks, and took off for the air show!  Needless to say, Caleb was beside himself with excitement (we only informed him of the plan this morning)-- there was yelling, squealing, pointing, and car seat dancing when we pulled into the grounds.  We parked our car and spent the morning taking in the ground exhibits.

We spent a good part of the morning looking at the Canadian and US Air Force military transport planes.  Most of them were open to the public to tour-- Caleb had quite an awesome time inspecting those planes and meeting the pilots.

If you felt super adventurous, you could wait in an extremely long, hot line and crawl up into the cockpit of these planes.  Were we feeling adventurous?  You bet!  We roasted in those lines... all for a chance to crawl up  steep narrow ladders into tight, even hotter spaces.  Today I decided to forget about the fact that I am 39 and a half weeks pregnant and lugged my pregnant self up the ladders to see those cockpits for myself!  At first I wasn't going to do it, but when I witnessed a fairly large woman (not pregnant) manage to make it to the top I figured, why not?

And if I did happen to go into labour right there on the tarmac, I would have probably been alright.  The place was crawling with military personnel equipped with first aid training (and I did see an ambulance display when we first drove into the grounds)-- I'd be fine.

Look at those boys-- they had so much fun.  Here they were looking slightly warm...  Even in the heat, Caleb did great.  We didn't bring a stroller for him, he spent the day walking around by himself and didn't complain once.  We all did our best to stay hydrated (consuming many bottles of water and multiple juice boxes) and even though we were sweating profusely, we all felt pretty positive about the experience.

We packed a picnic lunch and headed to the main grounds to see the planes in action!!  It was incredibly hot at this point of the day... and dusty, and loud.  Thankfully we thought to bring an umbrella for Caleb to sit under while he ate his lunch.  I did my best to not complain about the heat-- it was my idea to go after all.  We thankfully discovered some misting sprinklers that we could stand under and cool off a bit. In the end, we didn't make it through the whole afternoon-- Caleb asked to go home and was looking so tired that we decided to call it a day.  After a quick dip in the pool and some long naps, we've recovered from our outing.  All in all, it was a fun family adventure!

On the agenda tonight?  Find a place with air conditioning :)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Castle F-U-N Park

Over the past week, certain aspects of bedtime routine have become a bit challenging for Caleb-- more specifically-- staying in bed has become difficult for him.  While it has not always been easy to get Caleb to stay in bed, lately it has been impossible to convince him to stay put.  This new behavior has been driving Doug and I absolutely crazy over the past few days.  2 nights ago, Doug and I sat down and came up with a plan of action.  It felt like we had been too focused on the discipline aspect-- and hadn't rewarded positive behavior enough.  So, we came up with a reward system-- Caleb loves to do fun activities and events with us, so we drew pictures of some of his favorites and put the slips of paper into his reward jar.  If Caleb does a good job of following our bedtime rules and stays in his bed, the next morning he gets to select one activity to do with Doug and I that evening (obviously this isn't a sustainable practice-- we decided to go big now and slowly bring it down a few levels over time :)  Today he got to choose his first reward activity-- a trip to Castle Fun Park.

This is probably his favorite place in the world-- it is probably one of my least favorite places in the world.  But after dinner tonight, we all hopped in the car and hit the highway with Caleb clutching the slip of paper he had pulled from the reward jar in excitement.  All of a sudden, I hear my sweet, innocent, three year old son repeating over and over again (in the cutest sing-song-y voice):

Caleb:  "F-U"... "F-U"... "F-U". (I turn to look at Doug in disbelief... am I hearing this right?  Where on earth did he learn to say that?  Apparently bedtime routine should be the least of my worries...)
Me:  "Caleb, what are you saying back there?"
Caleb:  "I'm just trying to spell this word Mommy.  (holds up the Castle Fun Park picture he pulled from the reward jar)  What's the last letter?"  (I finally clue in... much relieved)
Me:  "That last letter is an 'N'.  F-U-N spells fun." (Phew)

Doug and I tried our best not to laugh.  (Doug succeeded better than I did).  And eventually we pulled into the parking lot of Castle Fun Park for a fun filled family evening.

Extreme excitement
Ridin' the train
Racing game
A good time was had by all (for the most part-- I tried to have a good attitude :)  And... Caleb went to bed tonight like a dream.  Sweet success.  Doug and I are celebrating tonight-- here's to parents who bribe their three year olds into good behavior :)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Not too bad for 50-ish... eh?

It's been rainy and cloudy out here the last few days... and I've been feeling a bit bored (hence all the recent blogging activity :)  So, I decided it was time for a project!  Now what kind of project should I do?  I did some trim touch up painting around the house last week-- wasn't up for it again this week.  Sitting on the floor... standing on chairs to reach the taller sections... probably not a good idea when I'm home alone and feeling off balance.  So, I decided to dust off my sewing machine, pull out my fabric collection, and make a few new throw pillows for the guest bedroom or downstairs TV room.

Now let me take a few minutes to tell you about my sewing machine.  She works like a charm (most of the time) and is actually pretty special... but she sure isn't new.  

She actually belonged to my Grandma and was probably purchased around the time my mom was born-- 50+ years ago.  My mom learned to sew on the machine and I completed some of my first projects on it when I was a young girl.  And even though I may not be the most accomplished seamstress... that sewing machine is still helping me create things for my house.  Not bad for 50... just like my mom :)

My mom's the hottie in the middle-- in case you're wondering...

Now I am not a sewing extraordinaire... that title belongs to my Mom and Grandma.  But I can figure out basic stuff like pillows, curtains, blinds, and the occasional blanket or two.  But today I felt inspired...

Once Caleb was down for his afternoon nap... I whipped these two up.  Now they may not be perfect (I'm sure my Mom would be able to find about 10 things wrong with the way I put the zippers in) but they looked great in the downstairs TV room.  And they were cheap to make!!  I bought the fabric online for $8.98 a yard and managed to squeeze two pillows out of 1 yard.  I already had the pillow forms, so it was a fairly inexpensive afternoon project.

I am going to go ahead and call this project a success.  I succeeded in keeping myself busy and the end result is pretty great!  Can't wait for you to come check them out Mom... can't wait to see you in a few days!  (and by the way... I've got a few more projects that I need your help with :)

Monday, August 09, 2010

An exercise in positive thinking...

As the weeks go by and my due date approaches, being pregnant becomes less appealing.  Don't get be wrong, I'm not desperate to be done with this stage yet-- I'm still enjoying my time off and have yet to pack my hospital bag.  However, there are moments when I begin to consider what life will be like on the "other" side.  People have told me that I tend to be an optimistic person-- so in an effort to remain positive I've decided to compose a list of the perks of being 38 weeks pregnant.  Here we go:

1.  I do not suffer from indecision when it comes to selecting my outfit for the day-- because I have so few options.  I pretty much wear the same thing every day... a super long, super stretchy white tank top with one of the few maternity purchase I made this time around-- my maternity jean cut offs!!  Best $25 I've spent in a while.

2.  I have a portable shelf (aka my big belly) that comes with me wherever I go-- I can rest books on it, the TV remote, my snacks... oh the possibilities are endless.

3.  My belly button is remarkably easy to clean at this stage in the game-- because it's flat and stretched out beyond recognition.  This is particularly wonderful to me-- as not many people know that I am really grossed out by belly buttons-- even my own-- and feel a bit squeamish at the thought of cleaning it.  The stretched out belly button makes my life more enjoyable at this moment.

4.  I have enjoyed making use of front row parking stalls for expectant mothers at Walmart, Superstore, and the mall.  Whoever came up with that concept deserves a pat on the back.  I did have one terrible incident in one of these parking stalls last week though... I pulled in, opened the door of my car, stepped out... right into a McDonald's container of half eaten pancakes.  Sticky pancake syrup all over my sandal and foot.  I was quite disgusted... even more disgusted to realize that I couldn't bend over far enough to properly clean off my sandal and foot.  Oh well, I decided not to let it get me down-- so I tracked sticky syrup footprints throughout Superstore and left my sandal outside my front door when I arrived home.  It's still there... waiting to be cleaned.

5.  More about feet-- can't reach them... so keeping them groomed is not my responsibility.  The responsibility now rests with the Wild Orange Spa and the European Day Spa  until I reach the "other" side.  Now there's a perk we all could appreciate!

6.  For some reason-- seeing someone as pregnant as I am is entertainment for random strangers.  The occasional brave soul will make a comment or come talk to me- most just stop and stare.  It's great that I can provide entertainment for others-- but what these strangers don't realize is that they are actually entertaining me with their strange behaviour.  At Ikea the other day Doug saw a woman abandon her shopping and watch me from across the store three separate times-- then she walked ahead of me and stood in the aisle watching as I walked by.  Awesome.

7.  I have a few more weeks to eat whatever I want-- without feeling guilty or enduring the strange looks of others.  Some of my favorite moments in ordering food this pregnancy-- "Can I have a side of fries and a coke with my salad?"  and... "I'll have the grilled cheese-- I'd like the fake cheese please, not the real cheese."

That's all I've got for now.  We'll see if week 39 has as many perks as 38...

And just because he's cute... some pictures of Caleb!!  On occasion, our family has pajama parties-- Caleb gets to pick out a kids movie, we make some popcorn and chocolate milk and he gets to have a picnic in the living room while we watch the movie together-- Last night we watched Mighty Machines. Here's a few pictures from our pajama party!

For some reason-- all of Caleb's PJ's with feet have holes in the toes.  Ever since he was a baby, the toes would always wear out first.  It would drive me absolutely crazy to have 2 of my toes peeking out-- but Caleb seems to love it.  It cracks him up every time...

Have a good week everyone!

Friday, August 06, 2010

Caleb's Room

Caleb's room is the next stop on the tour.  What did I tell you-- selecting paint colors was not the previous owner's forte.  Maybe I'm just a little bit picky since I used to mix paint in a former job years ago-- or maybe color blindness was an issue.  Anyhow, here's what we had to work with for Caleb's room-- intense orange walls and stained worn out carpet (was it blue?  grey?  who knows! who cares!  It's gone...)

Here's what we did...

STEP 1: Time to repaint.  Out of all bedrooms upstairs, this room actually gets the most natural light (causing Caleb to wake up around 6 am each morning during the summer :)  but it still felt so dark.  After several coats of primer followed by new paint, things were starting to improve in this dark and depressing room.  

A before shot of Caleb's Room
STEP 2: Get rid of that nasty carpet.  We ripped it up only to discover that we had old lino that needed to be removed as well.  That definitely was a fun and joyful moment for Doug and I.

The moment we discovered old lino that needed to come out-- wish I had a picture of Doug's face...

STEP 3:  Lino's been removed, new flooring installed.  Now time to put in the baseboards and casings.  (As you can see-- this part of the process took place last fall-- Caleb sure looks little in this picture!!)

Flooring in... now the finishing begins

And now... a room for my little man.

Some of you may be wondering why we opted to put laminate in the bedrooms, not carpet.  The main reason was Caleb's asthma.  Health care professionals we have encountered all recommend that we keep his environment as dust-free as possible.  Carpet is a big no-no. I also prefer laminate and hardwood over carpet since I grew up in a house that did not have a stitch of carpet-- hardwood throughout.  It always feels so much cleaner to me.   Actually let me rephrase-- it IS cleaner.  If you could only see what my mop looks like after cleaning the floor you would understand why I prefer it over carpet.  And... it's also cheaper!  Purchasing decent carpet is usually more per square foot than laminate, and then you have to pay for installation.  We can install laminate ourselves.  So that's why we chose laminate-- it's healthier for our family, cleaner, cheaper, and I like it!

I do have a small woven cotton rug in his room, but it's super easy to keep clean and dust free.  I just throw it into the washing machine every few weeks and it comes out looking like new-- thank you Ikea!

One thing I love about this room is all of the storage space available for Caleb's toys, clothes, bedding, and anything else a 3 year old boy needs!  When I got rid of his change table and needed to buy him a dresser, instead of purchasing one large dresser, I decided to buy 2 identical Ikea dressers and put them side by side.  One day-- if needed-- they can be split up and used in two different rooms.  The shelves also provide additional storage-- out of the reach of small hands storage...

Wanna know what's stored in those baskets?

Caleb's best friends-- all are needed for nap time and bed time.  If one is missing... he knows.

One of my favorite things in Caleb's room is this Bus Roll Poster I bought for him off Etsy from a shop called MySweetPrints.  Check them out... they've got a really cute customized eye chart poster you can have made with your own message-- I've been "eyeing" that one too!  Maybe I'll order it for Child number 2...

A few other pictures of Caleb on Papa's farm-- driving the garden tractor and skid steer...

And his "big boy" bed-- Doug would love to make a bed frame for it eventually-- but that will have to wait until his back feels better :)  In the meantime, I tried to dress it up a bit by buying an extra fitted bed sheet to cover the ugly box spring instead of using a bedskirt (much to girly for a little boy's room)  Turned out great and it only cost me $9.99 from Superstore-- a great deal if you ask me!

And there's room number two!  Like the nursery, this room was done as cheap as possible.  My sources include Ikea, Craigslist, Superstore, Target, Etsy, MCC, Pier One, and the closets of my own home.  If anyone would like a more specific source guide, just let me know!  Hope you like it!

Oh, and one more thing... Week 38 officially arrived!!!