30 June 2009

[renos: Who's Idea WAS THis???]

Would love to show you some pics of the blasted renos - but alas, me & the boys are officially kicked out of our home - so the camera is packed away. Well, sort of. I took some shots of the hole in the entrance last night. Guys were working 'till after 11pm last night. UGH UGH UGH. At least our neighbours were so forgiving ...

There is no stove, floors, internet, cable or phone at our place. And the floors are the biggest issue with 2 wee ones. So, for the second day in a row - we're camping out in the afternoon at my folks place. That way, Siah at least gets his nap.

The hardwood will be done today. Carpets come in on Thursday - so I'm assuming that I'll be kicked out on Thursday and Friday. Not really a big deal - not like some renos that last for months and months ... just a bit tricky with a 2 year old wandering around ...

And on a COMPLETELY different note ... anyone watch "The Bachelorette?" My hubby and I have a "date" every Monday night and evaluate the show together. We pause it (it's always taped) and kill ourselves laughing, or freak out in disbelief. Ok. That'd be ME freaking out.

Like, last night (IF YOU HAVEN'T WATCH IT - AND WANT TO - STOP READING) .... could any of you believe that Mr. "E" was back??? And for those of you who don't know how much I wept when he left (seriously - hormones are killer right now at 30wks preggo) ... check out my comments on my friend's blog here. So when he came back, I REJOICED. Literally. Trust me - not a pretty sight, but still, the happy dance was needed.

How did I get to watch it, without tv?? iWell, it was running last night ... just disconnected during the day for the renos ...

Ok. Gotta get off mom's computer (what am I, 12??). Hope life's treating you well!!

26 June 2009

[talk: A Bunch of This n' That]

I usually feel lead to write about one thing or another ... not today - today is just a "ok, here's what's going on" kind of a post ...

The fireplace. Had a few friends write me their thoughts, and we chose to tile the entire face around the fireplace, except the shelves - which will have molding and be painted out white. A guy friend reminded me to put "feet" on the bottom of the pillars - note taken, AT. And HS? An ELK? You're whacked, dude *grin*. Thanks everyone for all your advice *smile*.

The renos. Painting looks like it'll be DONE today - with the exception of the baseboards, which will be done once the flooring is in. Hardwood has arrived - installation starts on Monday.

Worship. I had the privilege of leading at another church 2 weeks ago, and am leading at a different church campus this Sunday, then at our home campus the following week. Feeling a little overwhelmed with the amount of time needed to prepare for that ...

Friends. Had a LOVELY time with a good friend today. Perhaps some would think that she and I get together often - which is not the case. I see her in groups, but I cannot remember the last time we were together for a heart-to-heart. Such a great time of venting, learning, laughing ... and the kids played well too *smile*.

Baby. I've had a difficult week, after a friend lost her baby at 28wks recently. She just went to the dr. for a regular visit, only to find the baby had no heartbeat. Tragic. And yet another nagging reminder that none of us are safe from loss. I am taking another friend's advice, and trying to not walk in dread.

Hubby. He's been walking in his aircast for a week now. YAY!! Still - he can't get up in the middle of the night when our children need us, which is just HORRIBLE for me. Last night, Siah was up at 1:30am, my hubby woke me up and I had to oomph myself out of bed. Once I was up, the baby inside awoke ... then I couldn't sleep. So frustrating - can't wait for him to be able to do "night shifts". Hopefully before this new one comes, and I'm up anyways *wink*!!

Ok ... must run. Month end ... statements to balance, invoices to pay ... fun fun fun.

Have a good one!

25 June 2009

[renos: HELP!!! This means YOU!!]

Ok ... TWO posts today ...

But this one is in a frantic rush - and I'm hoping I'll get SOME hits and comments *fingers crossed*.

Here's the thing ... the fireplace. I need to know WHAT to do!! Here's a pic of what it looks like today (kinda ruins the befores and afters ... but who cares *grin*).

Here's what I need help with. The fireplace sits above the floor. There will not be tile on the floor, just the main, shag carpet. SO ... what do I do with the 4 inches below the fireplace? I thought of continuing the baseboards from the walls, all along the base of the structure. But then it'd have to be notched out when it hit the fireplace (the baseboards are 6inches or so ...). OR we could tile all the way around the fireplace (not around the shelving), including along the floor. Our painter says he`s never seen baseboards around a fireplace, that it should be separate from the wall, not blend in.

These are the tiles we chose:

They are black, not blue *smile*. And about 1inch wide ... small little guys. Love them. SOOOOO - dear ones - what should be painted out white (like the mantle), where should be tiled, what should go along the floor.

ANYONE. Please. Help.

[renos: Dah Dah DUUUUUUUUM]

Renovations. Such a gift, such a pain ... who's idea was this anyways???

Oh - that'd be ours. *sigh*.

So, we're at the end of week 3, I think, and nothing's really finished ... just a lot of projects that are half-way or almost done.

Let's see ... wait! Yes, the bedrooms are done - they only had mouldings to put up. And Josiah's new room is painted (hoping for the CARS bed to arrive tomorrow). REALLY want to get his room finished and have him move in there ... and get the baby's room ready!

The crown is done, the fireplace is about half-way finished ... the front room has the wainscoting up, but nothing's been painted ... the kitchen is painted, but the lighting is more like hanging wires than lighting. And today, demolition begins on the powder-room. Glad I'm not potty training over the next couple of weeks!

Hardwood comes tomorrow, installation starts Monday. And they'll be having to break the slate tile as well. May have to move out during the day ... ah well. Better than breathing dust.

Pictures? Nothing ready yet ... hoping that we'll get Siah's room DONE this weekend and I can post the "before" (Tijuana *smile*) and "after".

Ok ... off to the granite guy and sink/faucet guy ... have a good one!

22 June 2009

[talk: The Fears of Parenting]

The more I hear other moms and dads talk about some of their struggles as parents, the more I start to fret about what the future holds for us as parents ourselves.

There are a couple of things that I've learned over the last 5 years of being a mom, and that is - there is NO "one" answer to protect, solve, alleviate or eliminate the possibility of heartbreak from a child.

Each home is it's own culture. Every mom and dad have their own stories of how they were raised, and how that motivates them to parent. Parent's personalities are so different - laid back, strict - patience levels vary, father/mother involvement varies as well. Some homes have only one parent, some have no grandparents, some have grandparents who are very involved ... it's all different.

And each child is different. How we discipline Tias is VERY different from how we discipline Siah. We can just LOOK at Tias and he'll well up in tears. Not so much with Josiah *smile*. And hw we express our love to the boys is also different ... Siah loves to be roughed around, tickled, played with ... Tias loves big hugs, words of affirmation, quality time spent ...

But as I hear parents talk about "not knowing what to do" with a child - it scares me. These are people who are intelligent, articulate, loving, Godly ... people who pray over and with their kids. So, thinking that I will come across a situation where my child rebels, defies or is simply doesn't care - it scares me. Do we all have to go through the "stage"? Can we avoid it all together??
For us, one thing that we feel has been important is having ourselves surrounded by like-minded families. People who care about our kids. People who, potentially, our kids could go to if they felt they couldn't come to us *heartbreak*. And people whom our kids respect and desire their respect as well ... I know for me, personally, this was a LARGE factor in how I was raised and it kept me from a lot of poor behaviour. I never wanted to disappoint "them", regardless of my mood towards a parent at the time ...

I think it's so important to listen to those who have done this before us. Not because they have all the answers, and we should follow their lead word-by-word. But because they have EXPERIENCE, perhaps even knowledge in what NOT to do ... or wisdom in letting us know what they would've done differently.
That's a question I frequently ask my mentors ... "what would you have done differently?"

So, if today you are pulling your hair out, if you`re at your wits end and think you might leave your child on the curb with a FREE sign attached to them ... stop, take a breath, know that you`re not alone, and seek out someone who YOU know to have some experience in raising good kids ... For me, I try to not be offended when someone suggests something to me. I know that they're just trying to help - and I am reminded that I don't have all the answers. So, so far from it.

Besides, they say it takes a village to raise a child? No?

[talk: A Really Great Day]

For the last few months, my hubby and I had been looking forward to our "big date".

And to be honest, I was a bit unsure of what it would look like, considering that my hubby had started limping in his air-cast last week, only to be told by his doctors to get off of it. So back into the wheelchair he went, or hobbling on crutches, such a difficult journey for him.

But this past Thursday, something changed. My hubby couldn't figure it out - but it was like he could all-of-a-sudden hobble in the air-case without pain. This was a GREAT thing and only 15 weeks since the accident *sigh* ...

This brings me to Saturday morning. We packed up the kidlets and took them to my in-laws where they were spoiled rotten *grin*, and were definitely fine with us leaving them there. My hubby and I arrived downtown, checked into the hotel we were staying in for the night (a BIG thank you to his clients who treat my hubby so great with a fantastic room-rate!!), then went to have a quick lunch.

After our yummy meal, we met up with 3 other couples at the spa. Yes - the SPA!! The guys had all arranged for us girls to get pedicures - which was SO fantastic for me, considering I can no longer reach my toes *wink*!!

Once our pedis were done, it was off to our favourite restaurant, KOBES, with an additional couple meeting us. All 10 of us took up an entire booth, and enjoyed laughing and eating the most fantastic "made-in-front-of-us" Japanese prepared food.

Then, as if that wasn't enough, it was off to see Coldplay. We sat with our good friends, and tried to take it all in. None of the four of us had been to a Coldplay concert before, and we were MESMERISED by the talent. We had good seats - but even better, when the band walked all the way to the back of the arena and played about 15min of tunes at a make-shift stage ... which was only 10 seats away from us!! I kept looking at my hubby, saying, "Can you believe this??" and he never replied - he was too busy videoing the whole thing with his phone.

And get this - the concert was videoed for DVD. So as a "thank you" to all of us "extras", the band gave out a free CD to each of us!!

The concert ended late - and after we said good-bye to all our friends - my hubby and I walked back to our hotel. WALKED - which in itself was a treat ... it's been months since he and I could hold hands and WALK together. SOOO great!!

It was a fantastic date, a much needed one ...

19 June 2009

[renos: Still Here, Still Kickin' ...]

Hey hey ... I'm still alive. And doing well (aside from being a wee bit hormonally imbalanced *wink*) - probably because I'm not bored *grin*.

Renos are coming along. All the baseboards and crown are in. The fireplace has been moved, and the surrounding shelves have been built. Upstairs, Josiah's new room has been painted and the hallway/landing is also completed.

Today, the wall above the newly built fireplace will be painted; the rest of the mouldings/crown will be sealed and painted; and hopefully the front room or kitchen will be done. Tomorrow, the fireplace will be completed ... YAY!!!

Also, we're getting the finalized info on the vanity for the powder-room. We've chosen a "bowl" sink - but only 3 inches up, not the big 6 inch one. It was surprisingly inexpensive, less than $90 and we think it'll really update the room.

Yesterday, I went to the banister-place. We have 12-year-old, white, dented, chipped banisters. We were deciding whether to simply sand them and repaint, or get new ones. The cost of sanding and painting was really high, so we opted to get new iron-spindle ones. They will make a massive difference in our great-room.

THEN, once those are done, the flooring gets done. Or maybe before the banisters ... we'll see. The stairs can't be done until the banisters are, but the rest of the house can be ... I'll be sad when I can't wear my shoes in the house - and there is such freedom in being careless on your cut-up carpet (because of wiring and such) ...

Can't wait to post some pics - but nothing is REALLY completed yet. Hopefully Josiah's CARS bed will be in next week, and we can hang his curtains and all that fun stuff. THEN I'll take a pic or two *GRIN* ...

Ok ... off to wrap the Father's Day presents (for hubby and dads). Then driving my mom to the airport ... and tonight is Tias' Preschool Graduation ... Ok ... I can post this pic - it's just toooo darn cute for words!! Gotta love the marketing that suckers parents into buying such pics!!

Hope you have a good one, and I'm hoping to be better at posting next week *grin*!!

15 June 2009

[redhandedphotography: Father's Day Photoshoot]

I am really excited to have a few jobs lined up for the summer ... in fact, got another call yesterday morning for a wedding. BUT can't do it - already booked to attend a friend's wedding that day. Ah well, hopefully there will be more opportunities ... And just today I got an inquiry about a wedding in Arizona ... how fantastic would that be??? (Hmmm ... wait ... I HATE flying ... riiiight).
This past weekend, I had the privilege of doing a "Father's Day Photoshoot". The children were 7 and 5 years of age, the weather was glorious, and it turned out to be a really fun shoot. And, yet again, I was a bit photo-happy. Instead of the promised 25 images, I'm preparing a disk of 80+ images.

More is always better, no? *smile*

Click here to link to the shoot. Click "Featured Photoshoot", then click the photo with the children in it ... hope you like what you see *smile*!!

And as always, the website for my photography site is http://www.redhandedphotography.com/ .

09 June 2009

[books: Five Love Languages]

**post written week of May 21st ... saved and posted during renos**

ok ... so RATHER ridiculous of me to be doing a post on a book I've never read *blush*. But, the idea of this fascinates me and I think that the concept of these five languages is brilliant. They are: Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service and Physical Touch.

Lately, as I've continued examining myself and all the icks and yucks that I see, certain comments in conversations have really struck me. One being a conversation I had a month or so - and the conversation was actually about raising children, not love languages. But this woman said that she's been trying to teach her child to not have high expectations on people, because it simply leads to disappointment.

She had no idea how often her words would ring in my ears for days and days afterwards.

This brings me to my love language, or rather how I personally interpret love. For me, Words of Affirmation are the ticket to my well being. I look for them, listen for them ... a "good job", or "thank you" or "I noticed ..." or whatever, breathes life into me.

And I don't REALLY like that ... because as I continue to try and grow as "me", I realize that this particular love language is pretty high maintenance and so dependant on others. Which leads me back to what my lady-friend said to me about expectations on others. I find myself in a perpetual circle of "do they like me?" or "what have I done wrong?" or some other negative mind-set. Where did this come from? Well, I recognize the event that took place in my adult life that made me question all of the friendships that I had formed throughout my life ... so, seeing that (only very recently), is going to be the first step to me feeling normal again. Normal.

So, back to my love language ... it puts unrealistic expectations on others. So that is going to have to change ... it'll take time, but I want to learn to trust friendships again, without having to be affirmed and reaffirmed every 10 seconds, and I need to take this responsibility off of those whom I care about most - especially when they don't even realize it *smile*. In the same way, I'm going to try and keep my ears closed to those moments where I feel personally attacked, and I become defensive. I need to realize that being poked fun at is ok, or taking some criticism won't kill me *smile* ... to not take it as an insult. And if those comments are meant to hurt and destroy, then I need to simply walk away, for I am not nearly as strong as I may put on ... my skin is thin. Sometimes far too thin.

On a final thought, I found it interesting that I don't GIVE Words of Affirmation easily. Strange, I know. You would think that how I receive it, is how I would give it. But that's not the case. I SO admire those people who are Gift Givers - a small card, a trinket that made them think of someone they love, remembering a birthday ... My brain doesn't work that way, sadly. I'm sure I disappoint so many who receive their love that way ...

For me, Acts of Service is how I show others that I love them. Inviting someone over, making dinner or coffee, making them welcome in our home. Also, Quality Time is something that I give to those closest to me. Time is precious to me, so when I give it - it says "I love you" all over it. If I try and get together, if I pick up the phone or write an email to you, even a note on your FB wall *smile* ... I'm screaming "I love you" - even if it doesn't get heard amongst the bustle.

Have you thought about Love Languages outside of your marriage (ie your "friends" relationships)? Are they different than what you need from your spouse? Do you find that unrealistic expectations hurt you? Do you feel like you disappoint others? Well - I stand WITH you.

And for those of you who read this and think," What? What is she talking about?" , I applaud you - sincerely. I could learn a lot from you ...

08 June 2009

[digiscrap: Catchin' Up]

We all have some way that we like to unwind - maybe it's having a bath, looking through a magazine or talking on the phone with friends.

For me, once the kids are safely tucked into bed and my hubby and I are comfy on the couch, I like to digiscrap. Now, I haven't done anything since my hubby's injury - but over the last few nights, I've managed to actually start to catch up a bit.
I have SO many photos - and first, I back them all up, then I digiscrap them, then I delete the photos off of my computer, then I back up the digiscrap pages. It's a bit time consuming - but I find this process works well for me.

Ok ... so - here are some of the pages I've done recently ... doesn't mean that the photos are recent :-) ...
OH! And for those who may be interested in our renovations - they started TODAY. The painter-dude has started painting the mouldings in the garage, then onto Josiah's green & blue room ...
I tried to get a timeline on how long this will all take ... apparently 4-6 weeks. HA!! You might think I'm crazy - but this has become a form of "nesting" for me ... and in another 6 weeks, I'll only have a little over a month to go before our wee one arrives ... THAT'S exciting!!

Ok ... here are the pages. Enjoy.
double click images to enlarge

05 June 2009

[renos: Cleaning Up Tijuana]

We all have a "junk drawer" ... or room, no?

Well, I call the extra room upstairs, "Tijuana". Why? Because it's where all the junk ends up ... clutter, mish-mash, extras, hostess gifts, gift wrap, card making supplies, boxes of old photos - before digi came into play, broken things, things to be mended ... you name it, you'll find it.

But now it's time to face the music - so today, I am attacking this room. I won't lie - I have a deadline of Monday to have my entire mainfloor and upstairs void of trinkets and wall hangings. So that has lit the fire under my toes.

"Tijuana" is now going to be Josiah's room, and Josiah's current room will be the new baby's ... and I'm taking a bunch of pics to get the full effect. His new room will be painted next week (fingers crossed) and his new Cars bed should be in the week following, or two.

Bah-bye Tijuana.

For the full effect, I'm going to wait to post the "pre" pics ... trust me - it's mighty embarrassing. Especially over the last 13 weeks of my hubby's injury ... EVERYthing has ended up there. With the door closed *wink*.

It reminds me of an episode of "FRIENDS". Do you remember the one where Monica has a closet where it is jam packed with stuff and Chandler finds great joy that his wife has a junk closet? Well, the "Tijuana" room is kinda like that ... except neither of us are laughing *smile*.

On another note ... the colour palette keeps adjusting. Too grey, too green, too yellow, too pink. You change one shade, and the rest follow suit. Even the trim colour of white is enough to make me go cross-eyed. I mean, HONESTLY ... 50 shades of white to chose from? *sigh*.

But I shall choose, and I shall be happy with it. Right? *GRIN*.


03 June 2009

[vacations: Sleepy Towns]

Do you remember going to sleepy little towns, staying at the Motor 8, spending afternoons perfecting the somersault under the water? I sure do.

Some of my favourite memories growing up, are the ones where we would meet up with other families, eat a Smitty's pancake breakfast, go mini golfing & go-carting in the evening, finishing it with a small chocolate dipped cone at the DQ.

**Ahhhh** ... can't you just SMELL summer???

Well, our little family is starting to make those kinds of memories already ... I am SO nostalgic - and hoping that these little trips will be full of wonderful memories for our kids.

Usually, summer doesn't begin until after school ends - but we went early and I HIGHLY recommend it, for a couple of reasons. One, the PRICE. It's not "high" season, and you can literally get a 2 bedroom suite for less than 1/3 of what it would cost during the summer dates. Second, the calm. No one is there ... the mini golf - no line ups. The lake - bare. The restaurants - deal after deal. And honestly? Where we were, the temperature was 34degreesC. How much more SUMMER can you get??

We mainly went to go visit my hubby's family who have purchased some land and are beginning the building process. This meant a LOT of dirt for the boys to play in. They loved it.

Plus, they went ATVing, swimming, and even went fishing to the local pond with their Nonno (grandpa). It was like being in the most perfect movie ...

We were only gone for 2 nights, a bit rushed but still - really great. Hope you're able to make the most of these fantastic "summer" days!