Wednesday, August 31, 2011

What I'm Loving: Nesting Edition

It's been months (not sure how many) since I posted a WILW, but I think I've been missing the weekly dose of focusing on things I'm thankful for instead of focusing on things I'd like to change.

I'm loving so many things, these are just a few:


I'm loving... cute all these tiny little sleepers and onesies are! I forgot someone could be so small. I've washed all the neutral clothes we have that are any size under 6 months. We're waiting on our dresser from my parents place, and we're picking up a "moses basket" and our car seat this weekend!


I'm loving...

...the suspense of not knowing if this baby is a boy or girl! It's a little nerve-wracking, and there are a few details that really make me second-guess myself on this choice (like the birth announcement, and the 'coming home' outfit) but I think the suspense makes me excited for labour!


I'm loving...

...nap time! I'm becoming more and more doubtful that Monkey will keep up with naps in the fall, but as for these past few weeks that I've been home, naps have happened most days. I'm enjoying them as much as I can right now, and I've even had a few myself while Monkey sleeps! It's been great!


I'm loving...

...completing projects that I've had on the go for months, or even years.

I've finished 2 large crochet blankets, one that I started before Monkey was 6 months, and the other probably 18+ months ago. I've also been able to make progress on Monkey's scrapbook (which I'm sure I'll never touch again once baby #2 shows up).

I'm also really loving being able to start new projects. Today I made new crayons out of melting old broken crayons for just a couple minutes in the oven.

Here they are straight out of the oven:

And here's the final product! I love that the green ones look camouflage. I hope Monkey has lots of fun with these, and they were super easy to make, so I'm sure I'll be doing this again.


I'm loving...

...that this is the first year that nobody in our house is preparing to go back to school. It's strange for me to see the "Back to School" Sales and to know that I'm not going to need any of that stuff. At the same time, I'm thrilled that I get to spend my whole energy focusing on being a mom this year. The past almost 3 years of being a mom I've also been a full-time student, so the concept of being able to focus on only the mom side without having to think about the school or work side of life is nice for a change. (And I know my time will very quickly be filled up once there are 2 kids, not just one)


I'm loving...

...supportive family and friends. We're making a trip this weekend to go see some amazing friends, and I'm thrilled to be (a) going on vacation, and (b) seeing great people I've missed for months. (Not to mention, we need to make sure Monkey doesn't forget his betrothed...)


I'm loving... husband. Sometimes the love is easier, and sometimes I need to really focus on choosing to love, but He's mine for the rest of my life, and I'm so glad that he's in my life.

Go over to Jamie's to see what she and (many) others are thankful for today!


Monday, August 29, 2011

A Toddler, A Stick, and a Hook

This past weekend was the 'young adult' camping trip for our church. Hubby had to work Saturday, and I didn't want to sleep on the ground when my bed was 10 minutes from the camp site, so while we spent the evenings (and Monkey and I spent Saturday afternoon) at the site, we slept at home.

Adam and Tom getting supper ready Saturday night

I have never experienced a more "gourmet" camping trip. It seemed that all the luxuries of every day life were present (can't forget your morning mocha with frothed milk and espresso...), but at the same time, every meal was cooked over the open flame and the best fishing award went to the least fancy pole.

Roasted potatoes, onions, carrots and garlic. Yummy!

The fishing was probably my most favourite moment, which is saying something, because I really see no point in catch and release, and before Saturday I thought it was quite possibly the most boring sport in the world.

Those thoughts came BEFORE I got to see Monkey experience the thrill of catching his first fish. We (adults) probably had more fun watching Connor play with the worms and touch the fish than we did doing the catching ourselves.

Abbie and Tom trying to tie the hook on the line while Monkey tries to run away with the pole

Tom fishing off the dock with Monkey. Almost as soon as the line was in the water they got their first bite. Tom probably caught about 10 fish with that stick (Monkey was only there for the first two)

Tom and Monkey with the first fish he ever caught! They are about to throw it back.

Monkey showing me his worm. He tried to throw this one in the water, but we put it on his hook.

I might enjoy fishing if it continues to be this fun to watch, but I'm still a bit squeamish about sticking the worms on the line.

I'm so glad to have great friends who make simple weekends like this amazing fun!


Thursday, August 25, 2011

New Adventure: Fresh Salsa

This summer I tried my hand at growing a vegetable garden (which failed miserably when I went away for a couple weeks and hubby didn't water them once...)

We were hoping to grow some of our own food, but aside from a few handfuls of cherry tomatoes and some herb snippings, everything else ended up brown and fried. I'm sad, but we still got lots of *free* fresh veggies from the excess in my parents garden!

My parents went on a trip to the east coast for over a week, and while they were gone, I raided (I mean "maintained") their garden. I scored dozens of cucumbers, quite a few potatoes, only a couple heads of corn (it was ripe the week before they left, and then again the week they came back, but not in between), and a nice pail of beans.

Earlier in the summer I was able to pick (and make into jam) a TON of raspberries. I think they're monkey's favourite fruit, and they work quite well to bribe him to behave.

While my parents were gone, I took a trip with Monkey to the Kitchener/Waterloo area.

Let me say one thing before I continue. Travelling without a cell phone in a not-so-familiar area is not something I want to do again.

Our trip might have been short (2 days, one night) but we crammed a lot into that time. My favourite part was the trip I made to St Jacob's Market with a friend I met before Monkey was born. I scored some great deals on some excellent produce, and came home with tons more than we could eat ourselves.

My haul included:



-plum tomatoes

-hot peppers

-sweet peppers

-creamed honey

I got the peppers and tomatoes to make salsa, and with a friend back in Kingston, we had a salsa making night!

We made 2 recipes, and since I cracked one open tonight (and pigged out on it) I wanted to share the recipe!

The book we used is called: the Complete Book of Small-Batch Preserving, and it was really easy to follow. I also liked that the size of the batches gave myself and my friend a couple jars of each recipe we did, so that we could try out something new but we weren't stuck with a ton of something we don't like.

Southwest Salsa:

4 cups chopped peeled tomatoes

1 cup chopped onion

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup chopped sweet red pepper

2-4 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced (I used 2 hot banana peppers and kept half the seeds in for some spice)

1/2 cup red wine vinegar

1/4 cup chopped fresh coriander

2 Tbsp orange juice

1 Tbsp lime juice

1 tsp each: granulated sugar and pickling salt

1/4 cup tomato paste

1. Combine tomatoes, onion, garlic, peppers, vinegar, coriander, orange and lime juice, sugar and salt in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat and boil gently, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until mixture is thickened, stirring occasionally. Stir in tomato paste and cook 2 minutes.

2. Remove hot jars from canner and ladle salsa into jars to within 1/2 inch (1 cm) or rim. Process 20 minutes for half-pint (250 mL) and pint (500 mL) jars.

Makes 4 cups

For my first time making salsa (and my first time doing the whole canning process with boiling water) I had a lot of fun, and it was much easier than I expected. Of course, the apartment was super hot, and we did have to chase a curious toddler back to bed dozens of times, but overall I am definitely going to do it again.

For a link to buy the book in Canada go here. (After I return it to the library, it's going on my wish list)

I'm linking up with Alicia's Homemaking and her Thursday adventures. For other adventures, go here.

I think my next canning adventure might involve either applesauce, or apple butter... but we'll see if I get around to it when this baby finally makes an appearance (3-6 more weeks!)


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Choosing a Name (from 100,001 to one...)

Is there any more difficult decision to make about a baby than its name?

I'm not sure there is, and I'm really not sure why it's so much harder this time than it was with our first child. We had 3 names chosen (first and middle) and we went with the one we like the most...

This time around, I could almost write my own baby name book with all the choices I've "narrowed down" from the dozen name books I've gone through so far (not joking).

Some strategies used to choose a name:

-Go with a family name: grandparent, favourite aunt, deceased relative of importance
(now my grandmother was Gertrude... is that a good baby name?)

-Choose names that sound similar/have the same ethnicity
(Irish names: Briana, Fiona, Ciara, Colin, Teagan, Quinn)

-Choose a name starting with the same letter as that of your first child
(Conroy, Chandler, Carl, Cora, Camila, Camryn)

-Look for a name with a nice meaning: son of... strong warrior, blessed by God... and so on

(Isabella means "Consecrated to God", but there will be about 6 of them in her class because of Twilight)

-Flip open the book and point to the first name on whatever page you flip to...

(Nazahah? Vandani? Ladislas? Kirabi? this doesn't seem to be working very well)

None of these strategies have helped us much. I'm sure my list is a few hundred names long (and still growing), and there's still nothing that we LOVE or that jumps out to us. I'm not worried yet, but with only 6 weeks to go (I'm 34 weeks along now!) the "deadline" is fast approaching.

I'd love to say that asking for help from family has been useful, but the feedback I've gotten from my mom consists of name suggestions that I've deliberately removed, or the comment "Why on EARTH would you name your child THAT?"

Any suggestions? Name ideas might be nice, but ideas on how to cut down my list would be even nicer.

Right now we're just calling the baby "fetus" because we don't know if it's a boy or girl, but I'm not sure that name would stick very well after he or she is born.

Any tips or tricks would be great, thanks!


Friday, August 5, 2011

Friday Wanderings

Here are a few articles that I've read and really found useful or entertaining:

Ways to Bless a New Mom (from Jessica of Life As Mom)

Also from Life As Mom, Shopping for Clothing that Works

How to Eat at Home to Save Money (a great article for my family! I love saving money!)

and from Giving Up on Perfect: 10 Tools That Make Social Media Easier

These past few weeks have been rough for the hubby and me. I'm trying to work things out so that I can start sharing my story, but at this point it's a little too tender.

There is a song that has been an amazing help to me called Strong Enough, by Matthew West.
part of the lyrics say:

"I know I'm not strong enough to be
everything that I'm supposed to be
I give up
I'm not strong enough
Hands of mercy won't you cover me
Lord right now I'm asking you to be
Strong enough
Strong enough
for the both of us."

That has been my prayer over and over again. Times when I'm having a lot of trouble, I'll turn on the radio, and this song has been repeated to me.

One Bible verse I read also says the same message.

2 Corinthians 12:9 says
"And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me."

This time is tough, but I believe that by relying on the strength I have in Christ, and not on my own strength, I will get through it.

On a positive note, our baby is now at 31 weeks, and we are so close to meeting him or her. My midwife says the baby is "not allowed" to come out before 37 weeks, so I've still got 6 more weeks (at least) of waiting.
We are no closer to any names, although Monkey's selections of "Cookies" and "Candies" are definitely on our "NEVER!" list...

We have a place for the baby to sleep, and a carseat, we also have diapers and wipes enough to last a few months, so as long as this baby weighs more than 5 pounds and is healthy, we will be set for all the baby's physical needs...
As for being mentally prepared, I don't think anyone is ever 100% ready, and I know that even if this baby is born after 40 weeks, I'll still need to rely on God for strength, so whenever God's time is for this baby to come, I'll trust that it's the RIGHT time...

Until next time,