Wednesday 30 January 2013

Count down...

Time has been flying by, increasing in speed each day except for the days full of screaming. Those days drag on and on to remind me to savor the good time. My little baby Darius is now my big boy helper, my Mr.Eli is faster and more furious than a tornado, yet as gentle as a lamb...sometimes...and this baby girl in my belly reminds me daily that she is getting bigger and stronger as well. With just over ten weeks until baby girls arrival I've decided to make a top ten list of items to be completed in then next ten weeks. Here we go!

proof this belly exists

  1. Compile and submit Eli's baby book for printing - it's a doozy, but seriously how long can you put off such an important project? Apparently two years.
  2. Plan and decorate baby girls nursery.
  3. Finish the super hero bedroom for the boys.
  4. Choose and finish a quilt design for baby girl.
  5. Finish decorating the master bedroom.
  6. Walk everyday to build up strength and endurance for the marathon to come - yep, I'm talking to you labor.
  7. Enjoy yoga three times a week, also for labor prep.
  8. Sort through the boys toys and donate a bunch to charity.
  9. Spend time with friends every month [and yes I know its pathetic that 'spending time with friends' made it onto a to do list; but really if I don't plan/prioritize it, it's not going to happen.]
  10. Have a family over for dinner every month.
I know the next ten weeks are going to fly by, but at least I know they'll be productive weeks as I tick these big projects off one at a time! So excited for the boys room especially - its already looking so good...except for where Eli helped me paint. That part needs some TLC haha.

Monday 28 January 2013

changing behaviors, baby steps at a time

Watching my baby boy melt is an ever increasing event around our home. Two is approaching, curiosity is in overdrive, and emotions are raw and running right near the surface. Bedtime is drawn out as he opens the door and peeks out at my Hottie Husband and I countless times, mornings begin extra early, and quiet is not a calming sound during waking hours. But then again, neither is the full on screams that come with a meltdown. 
As I sat in the tub soaking one night, ruminating over the drastic changes in my sweet little tornado, I came to the conclusion that while his lack of sleep, heightened curiosity  and high energy are playing into these changes, that my behavior was as well. I have a 'to do' list that drives me through each day. It dictates 'whats important now' and I follow it almost religiously to accomplish all I can - especially with this babe coming so soon! My increasingly long list has been forgetting to mention two very important people though, and I suspect that my focus on the list has made my little men feel less important that a piece of paper. So, I've been conducting an experiment of sorts to see if my thoughts were valid, or simply the creation of a hyper sensitive pregnant woman [I admit that my emotions are most likely more raw and near the surface than Eli's] and here is what I have been doing to test my theory:

  • My phone is not toted around with me, there for I am missing calls/texts and other attempts to contact me. However, those that know me best have my home phone number and are still able to reach me. The simple fact of not having my phone with me has been a liberating feeling that creates more focus and attention on my wee men as well.
  • We read more books, play more play dough, and make more messes. When Eli needs to snuggle it doesn't matter if I'm 'almost done' or not, I simply stop my task and snuggle him.
  • My workouts are done sometimes in segments, all dictated by whether my little men are needing to switch up the playtime or not.
  • Bath time has my full attention as I sit and talk and laugh, instead of reading while the boys laugh and talk to one another.
And have these simple changes made any difference for Eli? You bet! Yes he still gets into everything [including painting freshly painted walls when Mama and Daddy both thought the other parent had Eli with them,] punching, fighting, and throwing tantrums - but the frequency of the tantrums has decreased at least ;) So while it takes more hours in a day for me to tick off the items on my to do list, the hours I spend with my boys are filled with happier sounds and that makes everyday much more wonderful!

Friday 25 January 2013

Auction Item

Thank you all so much for your responses on my post here, asking for advice on what to offer at the Service Auction. I had blog comments, Facebook comments, and emails giving me feedback, and after sorting through it all I came to two conclusions. 

1) I love that everyone thinks differently and views life in different ways! There were many wonderful compliments, awesome suggestions [ideas I honestly had never thought of before and greatly appreciated] and some sound advice. The sound advice came in the form of an email from a friend who has known me since I was a teenager and her husband was my seminary teacher [to learn more about seminary check out this link.] She helped me realize that while teaching services are wonderful to receive you also need to make sure that you have the time and energy to give them. I am entering my third trimester with baby number three guys - what in the world was I thinking??? Scheduling life right now is tricky, even for necessary things like blood work, midwife appointments, and cleaning the bathrooms. Putting off teaching a service that someone very excitedly snapped up would cause major guilt and anxiety for me so, needless to say, I decided to leave offering to teach bread baking, blog creating [isn't that a fun idea? Thanks again Sheri!] or creating a magnetic board till next time.

2) We all have so much to give. We have all been blessed with innumerable talents, and they become stronger and more refined as we focus our attention on them. A great way to increase your talents is by sharing them, and so I feel blessed to have this opportunity to share with my Sisters. That being said, you don't need to have an event in your calendar to attend before getting creative on someone else's behalf. If you are struggling to recognize what talents you possess, ask those who know you and you'll be given many ideas that may not have even occurred to you. Seriously, I felt very flattered by the suggestions I received!

After combing through your votes, here's what I decided to make:

   40"x 41" Flannelette receiving blanket and 0-3 month old long sleeve body suit in Superman patterns

When Darius saw this he thought it was for his sister and was over joyed! He and Eli have superhero blankets, and he feels his sister needs one too - so I guess I need to find some more fabric to make something for his sister too haha! Hopefully this gift pack finds its way into the hands of a Mama who loves Superman as much as we do at our house!

Wednesday 23 January 2013

I'ts all VERY contagious!

Have you ever noticed the affect others moods have on your own? How a down right negative friend can drag you down with her? Or how the always upbeat blogger keeps you seeing sunny skies even when it's a grey day? [For one of my favorite sunny disposition reads, check out A Blog About Love. It is always bright and shiny, even if life isn't ;)] Well, there's actually research to support this. 

"Studies show that in a phenomenon called "emotional contagion" we unconsciously catch emotions from other people - whether good moods or bad ones. Taking time to be silly means that we're infecting one another with good cheer, and people who enjoy silliness are one third more likely to be happy." [Source: The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. Check out her blog at The Happiness Project.]

So, grab your kids and have a dance party, run like the wind on a home made race track, spin circles in a full skirt, and look for the silver lining!

Monday 21 January 2013

Service Auction

Okay, I need some feedback. The women's organisation I belong to through my Church [learn more about the women's organisation here, and about the Church as a whole here] is holding a service auction. I absolutely LOVE this idea! Each Sister will either bring an item they have created with their own two hands, or offer up a service by way of teaching or doing for another. Examples of services that may be up for grabs are:

-baby blankets
-homemade baked goods
-a complimentary hair-cut or hair colour
-gel nails
-eyelash extensions
-offering to babysit
-teach someone to garden, bake, refinish wood, reupholster furniture,sew,canning etc.
-snow removal for a month :)
-show someone how to decorate a room
-help a sister shop for a new outfit
-make a sister dinner
-organise a pantry,closet or desk etc
-self-made booklet on your best kept cleaning tips

Now comes the part where I ask YOU all for help! I can not decide what to offer, as I really want it to be something that would brighten someones night when they see it on display. You know, the items where you see it and say,"that's EXACTLY what I was looking for!!" So, here's some ideas I've been kicking around, and if you all want to just comment what you would snap up if you were attending the event, then that would be awesome!

  • Little boy receiving blanket and onesie in Superman patterns
  • Teaching someone how to make/bake wholewheat bread
  • A pan of black bean brownies in a hot/cold food carry case [that I've made]
  • Little Girl Apron
  • Magnetic Board [I'm thinking 20x24] and Magnets
If you're looking at my list and thinking,"hmmm, I wouldn't choose any of those; I would want ____________" then please let me know what would thrill you to see. AND if you're looking at the list and thinking," hmmm, I would take a few of those!" then please list all the items you would snap up! Thanks so much in advance!!!

Thursday 17 January 2013

Birth Story

A while back, I entered a contest to have Lizzy Anne Photography capture the birth of my babe as the story unfolds. She made an allowance that others could enter the contest on your behalf as well, and I had an overwhelming number of friends and family enter on my behalf - thank you so very very much! While I did not win the grand prize package, I did receive two consolation packages via friends, and am excited to have beautiful pictures of my baby girls arrival. Click on over here to see birth stories that Lizzy Anne Photography has documented so far, and you'll see why I'm so excited! I highly recommend capturing all the moments of life, from little to life changing. You may think that you'll never forget the details, how your husband held your hand for hours, how you walked the still hallways in the middle of the night, or how your baby looked up at you for the first time. But memory fads, while pictures will remind and revitalise those sweet memories for a lifetime. It's worth the investment. Trust me.

Tuesday 15 January 2013

working it out in style

Belly approved fitness gear is not always easy to find or attractive, but seeing as I've found the mecca for cute preggo workout clothes I thought I'd share! Here's the run down of what I wear when getting my sweat on:

This T stretches comfortably over my growing bump, wicks sweat [keeping me cool and happy to keep on working!] and doesn't smell! I bought a few of these after Darius was born[almost five years ago!!!], and just keep on adding to my collection because they're awesome with or without a burgeoning belly :)

I have this tank, and several variations on the this style as well. Why I love it? Because it has a built in bra with great support, the straps don't dig into my shoulders, and the body had ample room to house a bursting midriff, or a toned tummy. The breathabilty of the fabric is exceptional, and the flow of the fabric is comfortable as well as accommodating to a full range of motion.

I LIVE in these pants! I simply love how they sit low enough to allow for an expanding belly, are tight enough to not get in the way while moving, yet not so tight as to be uncomfortable. Oh, and did I mention that they make any butt look better? Really. Seeing as we're enjoying a full on winter experience  if I'm heading out doors I pair these with knee high socks and boots, and stay nice and warm! Love these babies!

While I may not be running right now, these are comfortable, cushion-y in all the right places, and cut out the post work out shoe stink. They may be pricey compared to other socks,[unless you are a technical sock lover like me, then these are right on par price wise with all the other specially designed socks] investing in good socks will go a really long way towards keeping your feel happy and ready to deliver yet another smashing workout!

While this is a non-essential item, I find it comes in really handy. Featuring a no slip grip which holds the band in place, and the ability to adjust it to fit your noggin just right, this headband keeps me feeling pretty whether I'm sweating it out, or cleaning the toilet; and feeling pretty is always a good thing :)

So there you have it! All items that can be used before, during and after pregnancy, which maximizes your wardrobe dollars! All of these items featured here are from LULULEMON, and are made from their specially designed fabrics. These fabrics wick moisture, hold their shape, and last what seems like forever! The customer service I have experienced with the company has been phenomenal! Recently I had them replace a bag I had purchased from one of their stores when it ripped A YEAR AFTER PURCHASE! Any store that stands by it's products that strongly gets my support for sure! I currently use a lululemon bag as my diaper bag, and while it is an older product, it is quite similar to this one:

This bag is perfect for the gym...or for toting snacks, diapers and wipes, wallet, water, lip gloss, and cell phone. I love that the lining is waterproof, and that it comes with a little water proof bag for 'sweaty gym clothes' [or poopy baby clothes] which I have utilized several times. Love that feature!

Do you have a favorite piece of pregnancy approved workout gear? 

*this post was in no way sponsored or affiliated with lululemon. These are my own opinions and preferences, and I am not being reimbursed in any way for sharing them - I simply wanted to let you know what works best for me!

Saturday 12 January 2013

Oh the Places we go...

...are not always exciting, but definitely necessary.  Take for example the grocery store - I seriously love the grocery store; the organization, abundance, clean lines, and fresh foods.I do prefer to do the shops myself, but seeing as I get very tired some days [like the past few days where Eli resists bed, gets up just after 5am, then refuses nap...yeah, those days make me tired...] and thus my Hunky Husband heads out the door when he gets home to do the shop for me. I've been asked a few times what we buy when we're grocery shopping, so I thought I'd do a recap of this weeks shop - preformed on Monday's usually as Husband generally has that day off work and it's a quiet one at the store. 

This weeks list:

14oz bag of coleslaw mix
Small bag sugar snap peas
Red bell peppers
Granny Smith apples (2)
2 limes
Green bell peppers
Tilapia 4-6 fillets
Plain non dairy yogurt

Plain almond milk
Red onion
Good priced fruits and veggies

I make all of our bread, and we had apples, oranges, tofu, veggie burgers, and chicken at home, otherwise those would have made the list.

With these ingredients, I can make these suppers:

I hope this gives you a little dinner time inspiration! I know that for me, having a plan is more than half the battle.  Planning all the potential dinners for the week, then simply picking one from the list each day, REALLY works wonders to keep me organized and our bellies fed ha! 

What is your family eating this week? What have been the biggest dinner time successes recently? 

Thursday 10 January 2013

Birth Choices

Although I am pregnant with my third babe, I am finding that I am very invested in the preparations for labor and delivery this time around - maybe even more so than with my first. Having experienced two very different labors I now know that nothing is predetermined as far as length, intensity, and details of labor and birth. At my midwifes suggestion, I am currently reading "Ina May's Guide to Childbirth" by Ina May Gaskin. I will give a full review of it when I finish it, but what I will say now is that I am absolutely LOVING it! The pure wisdom and simplicity contained in this book are exactly what I needed [and apparently what baby girl needed, as she kicks as I read almost without fail.
This text was required reading for my midwife - the first text that was covered in school - and now I completely understand why. Because I am loving the reading so much, I hopped at the chance to take in a documentary on the author and her cohorts that will be playing in about a week. If you are interested in learning more about midwifery and its pure form as practiced by Ina May Gaskin, Birth Story: Ina May Gaskin and the Farm Midwives is a documentary not to be missed. Here is the review by Healthy Birth Choices:

The feature-length documentary BIRTH STORY: Ina May Gaskin and The Farm Midwives tells the story of counterculture heroine Ina May Gaskin and her spirited friends, who began delivering each other’s babies in 1970, on a caravan of hippie school buses, headed to a patch of rural Tennessee land. With Ina May as their leader, the women taught themselves midwifery from the ground up, and, with their families, founded an entirely communal, agricultural society called The Farm. They grew their own food, built their own houses, published their own books, and, as word of their social experiment spread, created a model of care for women and babies that changed a generation’s approach to childbirth.
Forty years ago Ina May led the charge away from isolated hospital birthing rooms, where husbands were not allowed and mandatory forceps deliveries were the norm. Today, as nearly one third of all US babies are born via C-section, she fights to preserve her community’s hard-won knowledge. With incredible access to the midwives’ archival video collection, the film not only captures the unique sisterhood at The Farm Clinic–from its heyday into the present–but shows childbirth the way most people have never seen it–unadorned, unabashed, and awe-inspiring.
(Running Time: 95 mins)

The documentary is showing in a small theater with limited seating. With only 32 tickets left [at last glance] tickets will sell out before the scheduled viewing on January 21 [showing time is 7:30pm] and so if you're interested in joining in the learning and fun, follow the link above and grab your ticket ASAP.

Tuesday 8 January 2013

living, laughing, and learning along the way

December disappeared in a blur of activity and sickness; it was quite the full month! With January now in full swing, and routine returning to our everyday life around home, I've got some catching up and blazing forward to do!

Back at the beginning of December, I woke in the night to find I didn't feel all that well. Reaching for my water bottle I found it missing, and remembered leaving it on the couch, empty. Sleepily I made my way down the hall to the bonus room, grabbed my water bottle...then woke up on the hard wood at the bottom of the stairs. I felt the cool of the hard floor first, and as I opened my eyes I wondered why I had chosen to sleep on the floor that night.I pushed up to all fours slowly, feeling the contents of my stomach surge before I had a moment to truly move. My Handsome Husband came rushing down the stairs just as I seized a pause in my puking to crawl to the nearby washroom. 
Eventually my stomach calmed, I filled my water bottle, and started back up the stairs. It wasn't until I was lying in bed talking with my husband that I connected all the dots - I had fallen down a full 16 stairs while pregnant! As that reality sunk in I cried and expressed my worries to my patient husband who checked me over and determined that I had a cut brow bone  bruised the right side of my head, and hurt the right side of my right knee. As it turns out, even unconscious I was able to protect my stomach and the sweet baby girl growing in it, which was a huge relief to me. All the same, I wasn't able to relax and go to sleep for a few hours, waiting anxiously for the precious little kicks that would tell me all was well.
The next day my doctor checked me over, determined I had a beautiful black eye, concussion, memory loss, and pulled the tendons in my right knee. She assured me that babies are very well protected in the womb, and that at this stage in pregnancy [I was 19 weeks pregnant at the time] there was enough amniotic fluid surrounding the baby to keep her from feeling the shocks of the fall that my body endured. On doctors orders, I was not to exercise until all residual side effects of the fall had dissipated, [which has finally happened!] and was to sleep as much as my body demanded. My patient Husband spent the first week of his Christmas vacation time tending to a very lethargic pregnant wife - and never once complained. Yes, he is en-route to Saint-hood! 

Now that I am cleared for exercise, I am proceeding slowly to keep my pregnant self comfortable and contraction free. Winter is in full swing, with icy sidewalks and all, so my outdoor jogging/walking routine is not an option. So, I will be sticking to aerobics, cross fit  weight training, HITT, kettle bell routines. I am excited to get back into the swing of working up a sweat everyday, and carrying this baby to term in a healthy, athletic, and energetic body! 

2012 ended with a slowed pace, sick babe, and early bedtime [yes, I went to bed at 8pm...after having fallen asleep on the couch...] and 2013 began with health, happiness, and family time. I am looking forward to a year of growth, personally and as a family, and all the challenges that will come as we stretch our limits, laugh, learn, and live our best lives! Here's to a wonderful year to come!

here's a little photo montage of December around our home - it really was wonderful to just be together!

almost as good as the black eye my sister gave me growing up ;)

my little chocolate dipping helper

sugar cookies - can you tell which ones Darius decorated?

Grandma Juli came to play and make English toffee with the wee men!

Eli playing in his new tent, with his new blankie and pillow all from Christmas!