30 September 2009

[cool products: My Personalized Necklace is Here!]

OOOOOOO ... soo excited to have this!!

My necklace is here, and I have barely taken it off since it arrived. It only took just over a week - and I am sooooo pleased with it!! Are you interested in what I chose? Well ... if you are ...:

The largest charm says "Jeremiah 29:11" which is my favourite verse ( "... for I know the plans I have for you ..."). Then, our three children have their names on individual oval tags (Mattias, Josiah & Katia). There's a heart with my hubby's name in it and I got a clear crystal to represent me, as my birthday is in April and the diamond is my month's stone. The small cross symbolizes my faith ... and then, I got a special small heart that has a blue stone in it. It's for Shalom ... her birth stone for December is blue.
I love how I can wear all the charms, which I do daily. Or - I could have just my kids names ... or just the cross. It's totally versatile and honestly, my favourite piece of jewelry.
If you'd like more information, you can click here for my previous post. Or - if you have a question you'd like to ask, write it in the comments - I'll be glad to help you!

So, there you have it ... my little family necklace.

27 September 2009

[biggest loser: DUT DUT DUMMMM. First Weigh In.]

It's Monday ... oh dear. How did that happen??

Ok - the FIRST way in, but FIRST off - whoo hoo!! - thanks again to all of you who have joined me on this necessary feat of 'Biggest Loser' *grin*! I'd love to tell you that I'm down an amazing 10lbs and that I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. But, alas, that would be more than a fib - and I'd probably get struck by lightening. Hmmm ... sounds like quick weight loss to me ... *grin*.

SO - I've been SUPER bad, weighing myself every morning. Tsk, tsk on me. But, here's the thing ... being a newly nursing mom, I have found my weight fluctuating by POUNDS from evening to morning ... I tad frustrating, as I'm actually not REALLY sure what my weight is.

This morning I did the ridiculous ... peed AND pumped before weigh-in. *blush*.

My weight, this morning, was: 157lbs. That's a loss of ONE LOUSY pound. Ugh. I guess, though, that it's better than nothing - and I've seen "The Biggest Loser" when people BUST themselves, and don't lose anything. And I should also say, that I've noticed the smallest of changes already ... I think I might measure inches as well

I definitely did some BETTER things this week and am thinking that in 2 or 3, I may really be on the right path. First off, I went for walks (now that I'm more-or-less healed up) -which the boys LOVED - and also started up a regimen on Wii Fit ... love that thing, and it's super fun to do with the boys too ... I watched my dinner meals (I'm not prepared to cut carbs entirely, due to nursing...), and I fell in love with my turkey salads for lunch. I definitely wasn't perfect - even ended up at the DQ for a "date" with my kids ... BUT I will say, that I picked a SMALL treat ... well. Small-ish *grin*.

I'm excited for this week to be another one with small accomplishments ... I'm feeling like if I don't' get overwhelmed, it'll just get easier. Plus, my hubby's doing some life changing of his own - and when you're doing it together, it seems to be easier.

SO - I hope that you had a small smile on your face when you weighed in ... and for those of you who are participating, be sure to post YOUR results - as beautiful, or shameful, as they are ... and remember - today is a NEW day ... go for it!

Have a good one!

25 September 2009

[talk: The Meaning Behind the Name]

When you have a new baby, the most common question asked is, "What's your baby's name?" And we chose to not reveal our children's names prior to their birth - to avoid that whole scrunched-nose response with the, "Oooo. Really?"

We're also really big on name meanings ... it seems to me that people live up to their name. I was told by a friend to avoid a few different boys names - as in her experience with daycare, the boys with those names were often high energy, high maintenance.

Mattias Antonio: We were at a local hockey game when one of our city's team players came on the big screen. My hubby and I looked at each other, "Mattias it is." The middle name of Antonio is my father-in-law's middle name. And one of my hubby's and my favourite Italian names (my hubby's family is Italian ...). Mattias is a form of Matthew and means "Gift of God." But we actually saw the definition of "God's gift to women" when we named him. We figured that would mean loyal, considerate, a good leader ... a good name to live up to.

Josiah William: Mattias would have been "Josiah", except for a little conversation we had with my in-laws when my hubby and I were engaged. See, in the Italian culture, first borns are named after the parents ... but both my in-laws have VERY Italian names. My hubby said, "If we have a boy, it won't be Guiseppe (my f-i-l's name)." So it was asked, "What would you name him ?" We replied, "Josiah." To which my mother in law smiled, "Joe (which is Giusesppe), and Rosaria (my mother in law's name) is "JO-SIAH".

Um. No.

ANYway, by the time Josiah came, my hubby and I were over it - and his name became Josiah William (my dad's middle name). Josiah means "Fire of God", but we've also seen "The Lord Saves". Both great meanings. And let's say he is named well ... he's got a lot of fire in him *grin*.

Katia Rose: We were in Russia on a missions trip when one of the music pastors there introduced us to their lovely little girl. Her name was Katya (Katja?) - and instantly my hubby and I looked at each other. If we ever had a daughter, that would be her name. Rose is in both my mother and mother-in-law's names ... that was efficient *grin*!! Katia means "purity" - a truly beautiful meaning.

Did you care about meanings of names? Did you name your children after family members? Did you keep the same names for the next child (ie you had a boy first, but still used the same girls name for your second) ...

Have a great one!

24 September 2009

[digiscrap: More more more ...]

Life has been sunny 'round here ... happy to have the hubby home and SO enjoying the sunshine. Having been preggo for most of the summer, I had tried to avoid the sun - but now - bring it ON!!

I love taking the kids to the park - and yesterday was no exception. We headed to the water park - and ended up staying for over 3 hours!! The boys loved it ... and Katia slept, which was SHOCKING since it was so warm ... but she was shaded, and obviously content.

Today - I'm sorting through the pantry as I'm planning a little visit to the Food Bank with the boys tomorrow. Also, Siah and Katia and I are going to head to the craft store, as I want to make little "cast impressions" of the kid's hands and feet. And I need to reconcile our bank accounts (we use Quicken) ... haven't done that since the beginning of the summer *ugh*.

OH! And WHOO HOO to all of you participating in the "Biggest Loser" with me! I totally understand why some would choose to remain anonymous or choose to not post the numbers. But remember, when you post anonymously, you ARE anonymous. I have no clue who you are!! So - be encouraged today ... go for a walk, pass on the flavoured latte, choose a smaller plate to help with portions ... the weigh in is on MONDAY (do yourself a favour and don't weigh everyday ... ).

Hmm. This was supposed to be a digiscrap post. Ok. Here are a few pages *smile*. And don't laugh that I just completed last year's Christmas page *grin* ...
Have a good one!

click images to enlarge

22 September 2009

[biggest loser: My Weigh In - Who's With Me?]

One of the most difficult parts of having a new baby, is dealing with "when do I stop wearing maternity clothes and shoe-horn myself into my button-up pants??"

I know that there are some of you out there who have never had to deal with this ... after birth, you wore your Lulu Lemons for a week before you tackled your skinny jeans ... so unfair *smile*. This is NOT how my body works.
Katia is 4wks old tomorrow. And it's time to begin.

I gained 45lbs with Katia. How thankful am I that I did the "biggest loser" last year and lost almost 20lbs before getting pregnant!! But that almost made gaining the weight even harder - especially after buying those cute clothes with my GFs in Phoenix ... So - let's do the numbers here ... I was 129lbs when I got preggo ... gaining 45lbs made me 174lbs (you've GOT to be kidding me ...). I weighed myself today and I was 158lbs. My goal is to get to 125lbs by March ...

I'm a big believer in nursing, if you can. SO - I'm not prepared to cut all my carbs and white sugar and drop the weight quickly. Instead, I've got a different plan that I'm wanting YOU to hold me accountable to. Why ELSE would I put my weight up on a blog??? *GRIN* (which I think is funny when people are scared to say the "number" the scale says - when everyone can plainly see if someone has gained weight or not ...)

So - here's the plan: now that my body is almost completely healed from Katia's delivery, I am increasing my exercise schedule (mainly, just going for walks with the kids around the track at Tias' school before/after pick up , or playing the WII with Tias ... nothing too crazy ...). I will be drinking large amounts of water. And I am going to start watching WHERE my calories are coming from. Because of nursing, I still need to feed my body - but now I have some energy, so I can prepare better choices instead of grabbing pre-packaged junk ... And I actually reread one of my posts for some hints on how I did it before, to motivate and reboot how I think ...

My weekly goal is to lose 1.5-2lbs a week. I will be weighing in on MONDAY MORNINGS, and posting the details of that here. WHY? Well ... I can't see you, first off *grin* ... and secondly, it's cheaper than joining some other group that I'd have to pay to have the same pressure. And I'm determined to do this.
So. If I am able to do that, without comprimising my nursing, that means I will lose 26lbs in 13weeks (the week of Christmas). THAT's some wishful thinking, huh?? Pretty sure that won't happen - but I would be thrilled with 15lbs at this point ... My doctor reminded me that it took 9 months to gain the weight ... and so it should take 9 months to get it off. UGH.

For added inspiration, I'm watching the REAL "Biggest Loser" - although, for some reason it makes me hungry. I'm going to attempt to do Pilates during the commercials to start with (I have NO core right now ...). I watched the season opener last week and was SO brought to tears with Abby's story of massive loss in a 2006 car accident ... read her bio here and then go hug your kids & hubby ...
SO - WHO'S WITH ME?? Anyone else out there who wants to lose a bit of added "summer BBQ weight"? It doesn't matter if it's 5lbs or 35lbs. You can post your starting weight in the "comments" and post every week along with me ... don't make me do this alone, friends!! You can even post a "before" pic ... hmm - maybe I should do the same? And - for my preggo friends - you can be a part of this - by watching how MUCH you gain (refraining from gaining too much), and posting what you did for exercise that week, or healthy snack choices ...
Ok. Let's get this party started. Fingers crossed ... I've already brought out my skinny clothes *grin*.

21 September 2009

[redhandedphotography: Kiddie Pics]

WELL ... gotta say, it's a LOT more work to take pics of your OWN kids than other people's!! Maybe because they don't listen as well, or because I have less patience ... but whatever the case, I took the opportunity to snap a few "portraits" of my kids at the park. Oh. And try out some tricks on my new Nikon D300s *grin*.
I've never had professional pics done ... except for when Tias was a few weeks old and I got suckered in at Sears *ha!*. Oh - and Santa Claus pics too *grin*. But I've never done Walmart pics, or any studio-type photos. And I feel bad about that ... truly. I look at family portraits done and think, "hmmm ... should I do those??"

But it's not like I don't HAVE photos of our kids. And I definitely try to have a "group shot" done every few months ...

ANYWAY ... here are some of the pics I took at the park. People commented on how brave I was getting out of the house with a 3 week old ... I told them, "the park is a safe haven when having boys ... they go stir crazy inside!!"

Enjoy. ( And if you're interested, my official photography site is http://www.redhandedphotography.com/ ... think I'll have to post a couple of these there *smile* ).

18 September 2009

[redhandedphotography: New Nikon D300S]

I'm continuing to invest in my photography business, and wanting to ensure quality images that capture both posed and candid moments. I've had the pleasure of photographing a number of events now, from weddings to family portraits - and I continue to fall more in love with the art of photography.
Recently, my husband was able to get his hands on the NEW Nikon D300S. This has only been in Canada for a couple of weeks now - and we were one of 2 clients to actually be able to purchase this camera at the "camera store" in the city. I was PRETTY darn excited.

But now, I'm feeling a little overwhelmed with all that there is to learn. My D60 was a simple camera - and produced really great images. But my intent on getting the D300S was to be able to capture images in less light (higher ISO) and with a faster shutter (up to 8images per second) ... this would only benefit capturing those moments that are sometimes missed.

The D300S, though, is far more professional ... and instead of having graphics explaining settings for various situations, it basically expects you to know the Fstops and ISO for what you're taking. Sound complicated? Well - my lack-of-mathematical-brain finds it tricky.

I've brought the D300S to Tias' first day of kindergarten and hockey practice - and have been frustrated with blurry and inconsistent images. Obviously, I'm doing something wrong ... Good thing we never traded the D60 in (I'm now a "two-camera" show) - but I KNOW that the D300S is far superior ... and need the images to reflect that.

SO - I've asked a friend to help me out - as he's had a D300 for a number a years. I can't WAIT to learn, and hopefully retain, all the information he's able to give me. I know that this camera will be a huge asset to redhanded photography.

Now ... just to find a few hours in the evening to do that ... hmmm.

17 September 2009

[tias: Being "That" Kid]

Tias had his first hockey practice in the community league. This was the first of 4 sessions where the little 5 year olds are evaluated and eventually put in to teams.

Mattias was so excited - he had LOVED hockey camp and couldn't wait to continue learning about hockey. But the experience was not quite what we had in mind, and FAR different from the affirming feel of hockey camp ... First off - there wasn't any interaction between the coach (evaluator) and kids or even between the boys. Mattias got bored very quickly, and ended up coming to the plexiglass to wave at my hubby and I. He's such a social kid ...

We found out that the majority of kids there had been in a hockey program since the age of 2. They knew the rules, what to do, where to go ... Tias only had 2 weeks of hockey camp, but it was more hockey drills than actually game-playing. So he needed more guidance, and wasn't getting the help he needed.

My poor hubby, though. He's so in love with the game of hockey, and Tias' wandering mind and lack of motivation really hit him. And he was worried that Tias would be evaluated unfairly because he wasn't doing all that he was capable of - by any stretch. But when we chatted with Tias afterwards, he told us that he didn't know what to do, and nobody was helping him. He also said that he didn't know where the puck was, and when he did - the other kids got there first all of the time, so eventually he lost interest.

My heart broke as I listened to the other parents, who were observing their kids. There was a log of bragging, negative talk about different coaches and parents, with one parent laughing at how her kid would gladly take off their gloves and "drop a few" on another player. Um. REALLY?? They're FIVE, for Pete's sake.

SOOO - we have some decisions to make. First off, if Tias WANTS to be there, then we'll continue on. But we have no desire to instill standards of fighting and negative competition ... we had hoped that the younger league would promote teamwork and self esteem. But hey - it's only the evaluation - so maybe that will change once they're on teams?

Do any of you have insight into sports with young boys? Is this just a rude awakening?

16 September 2009

[tias: First Day of Kindergarten]

Well ... a couple of days with no blog post - I was starting to get the shakes *grin*.

I'm having a quiet morning, as my hubby left for London yesterday and the boys stayed the night at my parents for a "grandparents FUN day" today. So, Katia and I are chilling in our jammies ... and I thought that I'd catch up on some blogging too ...

Yesterday was Tias' first day of Kindergarten. He was TERRIBLY excited, barely slept the night before. And it was also "picture day", so he got all dressed up in his little tie and plaid shirt. SO cute ... well, I think so *wink*.

After drop off, I took my hubby to meet his buddy whom he was to be traveling with to London. Then, after a day with Siah and Katia, I went back to the school to pick up Tias. The teacher said he was excellent, but during the story time (which was about leaving mom at home while going to the first day of school) the teacher said, "I'm so impressed that there weren't any tears today." To which Tias put up his hand and said, "I had crying on the inside, but I just didn't let it come out." How sweet is that??? Definitely a scrapbooking quote!

So much more to share ... you'll have to wait until tomorrow though. So many posts, not enough time *smile*.
Have a great one!

13 September 2009

[talk: The Beach]

This weekend was super sunny, so we headed to the beach with some friends. I love the beach - but with being super preggo this past summer, I never managed to make it out, and enjoy the smell of the ocean. And the boys LOVE it there ...

After the beach, we headed for a family lunch - then a little stroll at the outside mall. It was a great family day, although Tias ended up throwing up in the parking lot (niiiiiice). He seems to do that when he eats a little too many sweets (we had yummy cupcakes) ... and is excited about what he's doing.

I've been feeling overwhelmed these last few days. Overwhelmed with emotion - of feeling so blessed, of feeling so nervous that something has to go wrong, because things are going so wonderfully. But I so appreciated our pastor's sermon on "Keeping the Faith" this weekend, and for me - it meant remembering to walk in faith. And that means exchanging my fears for faith - and as I said in a previous blog post - both fear and faith have to do with the future, and it's up to me to chose one. So, I'm choosing faith *smile*.
This week is full of firsts for us ... Mattias starts kindergarten, he starts hockey & music class too. All while my husband is in London, England (he leaves Tuesday morning). So --- I'm feeling a little nervous about getting it all in on a few hours of sleep. I'm believing for longer stretches in sleep between Katia's feedings, and a smile on my face for this week *smile*. I REALLY don't want to be "grumpy mom" ... if you think of me, any prayers are appreciated *smile*!!

Oh!! And a new family pic was taken ... not perfect, but it certainly warms my heart. Thanks KW for helping us out with it ...

Have a great one!

11 September 2009

[renovations 09: Josiah's Room]

Ok ... here's the next reveal!!

Remember what this room looked like before?? No? Well, that's probably because I was HORRIFIED at what the room had turned into and didn't post any pics ... I affectionately called it "Tijuana" - you know, the place where all the junk ends up? Yup. That was THAT room. It was SUPPOSED to be my craft room - and it served it's purpose over the past 4 years. Then, it became the room my hubby would sleep in when he came home from hockey at 3am and didn't want to wake me. But by the time the renovations began, this room became the place where we just opened the door and chucked things in - hoping to deal with them later. UGH!!
Here are a few pics of what we had to deal with (how embarrassing!!):

Then, with the news of a new wee one coming, we decided to move Josiah from the nursery, to this room. That way, he could have his "big boy" room - and we didn't have to do a thing for the baby.

My hubby always wanted to give our boy a "Cars" bed, and Siah LOVES Cars ... so we got one that was a shell around a twin bed - that way he could grow out of it, and just need a headboard when done.

Some things we did: I chose two colours from the Cars duvet, a green and a blue. I also chose red curtains for some punch. Our brother-in-law, PDG, made the shelves that can hold different nicknacks as Josiah grows (photos, awards, model trains ... whatever ...). And I hung up 2 magnet boards that Siah can display his own artwork on. I had bought "circle" mirrors - unaware that they were not connected (oops). So, instead, I attached them to the sides of his furniture - didn't want them on the wall where they could do some serious damage when removed. All the furniture (other than the bed) was bought at IKEA for SUPER cheap. And the toy storage is a bit too small - but it'll do for now. One of my favourite things is the "triangle" clothes hamper that fits so neatly against the dresser. I got that at Jysk. One thing I had HOPED for, was to find "road stickers" that I could put on the green wall (the right hand wall). I imagined having a winding road ... but haven't found anything substantial enough.

Ok - here's the BIG REVEAL!!

So? What do you think? Any other ideas? I had thought about putting "zoom" and other car words on the wall ... but I don't want to paint anything on my freshly painted walls ... maybe I could find some stickers ...

Well - I had a LOT of fun doing this room ... and am already getting a teensy bit excited to do Katia's room in a couple of years ... I wonder what she'll want to have??

Have a great one!

10 September 2009

[redhandedphotography: Volunteering]

A few months ago, my friend SL sent me a link to a site she thought I would be interested in. The site is called "Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep" and is a site where photographers can sign up to volunteer at hospitals. The main focus is to photograph infants who are in critical care, or have passed on.

At first, I was a bit taken a-back. Thoughts of Shalom came flooding back, and I thought - "No. NEVER." But now, I'm thinking that this might be something that I COULD do.

I'm not really sure - but my thought is, is that this could be a really beautiful thing - where I can be the photographer, but also someone who KNOWS what it is to take photos of their passed infant. And I think I would know what kind of photos to take, and be able to share how the strength of the Lord is the only reason I was able to get up the next morning.

So - we shall see. I wonder, though, as I look back on my life the past 3 years - if this is exactly what the Lord has been preparing me for? A ministry that is fine-tuned just for me?

Now - I just need to be brave and take the first step ... and am just not quite sure when that will be.

09 September 2009

[redhandedphotography: Last Wedding of the Summer

I was 36 weeks pregnant when I photographed my last wedding of the season. Hmmm ... or was I 37 weeks?? Whatever the case, I had the most gracious bride and groom, who ensured that I was off of my feet and well hydrated in between shoots *smile*.

I am so passionate about photography - way more than I ever thought. I love photographing weddings ... although I have been blessed by being hired to do small, intimate weddings and wonder if a big, lavish wedding would scare me senseless.
I received and inquiry for a wedding held in our city's core, Yaletown. THAT is a bit intimidating, for sure. And I was so honoured to be recommended by my cousin, who is a graphic artist and outstanding in his field. SO - that wedding is in July of 2010, and we'll see if I land the job or not. And I have a wedding scheduled for January 2, 2010. Nothing like starting off the year with a bang!! PLUS, I've just purchased a new camera (which is coming today!!!) and it'll allow me to take sharper images in less light ... which is a good thing, considering the January wedding will be held in a barn. It's a Nikon D300S. Can't WAIT to get it into my hands later today ...

I had the bride of my last wedding in our home last night, to receive her images. There is NOTHING more wonderful than watching a bride be moved to tears, then to laughter, then to "ooohhh - I love that one!" It is so wonderful ... and she said something to me that made me warm inside. She asked if she could hug me, because I was an answer to her prayers. She said that she had been quoted thousands of dollars for photos, and thought that she wouldn't be able to have quality, creative photos that she could afford.

Which leads me to my rates - and the pressure I've had to increase them. I know that an increase in rates may lead some to believe that I am more "professional" or whatever. But I do photography because I LOVE it, not because it's a "job". So, for now, I'm going to keep my rates as low as I can - still walking away with a fair payment but allowing those who cannot afford decent photography, to have it.

ANYWAY ... here's the link to my photography blog. And here's the link to my photography site and the link for the new photos of this wedding are in "featured photoshoot".

08 September 2009

[digiscrap: Gettin' 'Er Done

Since Katia is a bit of a night owl (uuuuuunder statement ...), I find myself up at 1am - completely wired. So - I've been getting some digiscrap time in and am trying to clean up my hard drive by putting the pics and pages on disks, then deleting them off of my computer.

But before I do that, I thought I'd share some of the recent pages I've done. The EVENTS may be a year old, but the pages are new *grin*.

I WILL catch up, I WILL catch up, I WILL catch up ...
double click images to enlarge

NOW - to upload them to the Costco site, order them, save them onto disk and delete off of my hard drive once that's all done ... Usually I do this at the end of every month - but it's been about 6 months since the last time I cleaned everything up - so it's proving to be a bigger task than usual.

Good thing I enjoy it!!

Have a good one ...

07 September 2009

[talk: Blueberry Bush]

Remember the blueberry and raspberry bushes I planted this summer? Well - we got about 6 raspberries off of the raspberry bush (ooo - don't eat them all at once *grin*). The boys loved them, though. And they were large and super sweet.

We've been patiently waiting for the blueberry bush to produce the same yumminess. There have been a lot of berries, but they've been green for so long - that we thought, "hmm - maybe they won't ever turn blue?"

Oh, but they have ... and the boys and I go out every afternoon and see if there's enough for each of us to have ONE *I know, don't eat them all at once*!! But there are a good couple dozen berries for us to keep our eyes on ...

Next year, the bushes will be a little more mature, and should bear more fruit. THAT's what I'm hoping for ... free food *grin*. Berries are sooo expensive.

And what did my hubby say? He likes blackberries the most and wondered why I didn't plant them ... to which I replied, "You can go in the ditch and pick them free ... try doing that with raspberries!"

Sheesh. *grin*.

[talk: SUPER Deal and Meal Plan]

Do you have a million photos that you need developing?? You know, like 350 images on every photo card ... and it's so overwhelming, you just store the cards - hoping to hear of some amazing deal with photo developing?

Well FRIENDS ... let me tell you the DEAL!!

I was on walmartphotocentre.ca looking for pricing for the Birth Announcements I'm needing to print out - and saw that on SEPTEMBER 9th Walmart is charging $9.99 for 99 -4x6 images!!! That's only 10cents an image ...

Did you get a teensy bit excited? Maybe just crack a smile?

Well ... I thought it was fantastic, and will be making sure to use Walmart for my announcements - and whatever else I can (photos for grandparents, photos for my photo frames ...) ...

Hope this is helpful!

... and ALMOST done the curtains for Josiah's room *blush* ... I know, I know ... said that a while back - but NOW I have the thread *wink*. That helps. Soooo ... "renovations 09" will be sporting some new pics soon ... stay tuned!! Plus, I have a bunch of new digiscrap pages that I'm wanting to put up ... and this week's mealplan? PHEWF!! Did that to! ...

Monday: at my in-laws (can I tell you how much I love not cooking on Mondays????)
Tuesday: at a birthday party (um. so - this is going to be an easy week ...)
Wednesday: BBQ Chicken, baked potatoes, veggies and dip
Thursday: Pork tenderloin, steamed rice, salad
Friday: Home-made pizzas

And hey. Have a good one *grin*.

04 September 2009

[talk: Today's Plan]

Well, not a lot of responses on what you like to read on my blog *grin* ... that's ok. I know a lot of you just come 'round for a quick peek - and don't really need a homework assignment from me *laughing*.

Today's plan? Well ... we're off to a wedding - so I guess I'll be showering and getting dressed. Hopefully, there won't be any tears as I try to shoehorn myself into something presentable *smirk*.

The bride is a past piano student ... she comes from what I call, the "Glory Days". This was a time in my studio where it was buzzing, I didn't have kids, and I threw all my time and energy into my studio and the kids in it. It was a very special time for me ... and I adored the group of 40 students that I had. So, what an honour to be thought of 5 years later and be invited to her special day!!

Our boys are heading to their grandparents for the afternoon & a sleep over ... they are terribly excited because there's talk of heading to the bowling alley ... those boys and bowling *grin*. They love it!

If I get home early enough, my plan is to start working on Katia's birth announcement (digiscrap), thank you cards (she's received so many lovely gifts ...), and finishing up the legal forms for her birth certificate, SIN and MSP. Phewf. And just in case you forgot how cute she was *GRIN* ... (um, I'm a proud Mama, humour me *GRIN*)

One thing before I go ... I spent some time last night on the piano and in the Word. I find that worship and the Psalms are like a "spa day" for my soul. The only thing is, is that I'm starting to get concerned about the pins and needles in my hands. This has been going on for about 3 to 4 weeks now, and I thought it would be gone once Katia was born. But it hasn't ...

Have any of you experienced tingly fingers because of pregnancy? Did it go away?? Playing the piano, typing, picking up things ... it's all annoying with the tips of my fingers being numb.

Maybe you have some info that could help? Would LOVE to hear that this is normal and that it'll go away!!

Have a good one ...

03 September 2009

[product review: Baby Jogger City Elite Stroller]

There were two things that I asked for, if we ended up having a daughter. One, was that we would eventually paint her room to have some pink accents with the brown that already exists ... two, that we would purchase a new stroller.

It really was time. Our car seat was 5 years old, navy, haggard ... and the stroller we had (Peg Perego) was beaten up, clunky ... and navy. We also had a Zooper jogging stroller ... that weighed a ton and took up the entire trunk of our van. Both are going on Craigslist, or will be donated to someone (or organisation) that could really use them.

So, we off we went to TJs The Kiddie Store to look.

After much deliberation and research, we ended up with the Baby Jogger "City Elite" stroller, and yesterday I had my first outing with it.
What did I think??? IT'S AMAZING!!! Super, super light - one movement to open and close it ... it wheels with one hand, and is small enough to go through narrow openings. We purchased an attachment so that the carseat can click in, but it was super easy to do - and the carseat fits perfectly (we bought a new Grayco one, the most inexpensive carseat we could find ...). There is storage at the bottom, plus small storage pockets at the handles and my diaper bag hangs perfectly. Originally, I had wanted a "girly" pink colour ... but the green was lovely, and so we went with that (plus, it came in red - not pink).

I HIGHLY recommend this product, if you're in the market for a new stroller!!
**I've fallen behind in "daily life", and become consumed with our new addition *smile*. I'm wondering what kind of posts YOU like to read? Would you like to see more renovations "before & after" pictures? Digiscrap pages (I've actually been catching up on those!)? Recipes & meal plans (um. right. I need to start doing that again ... )? Or do you like to grab a coffee and read stuff that I just ramble on about - things I'm learning/dealing with/excited about? ... Let me know - would love to hear from you!**

02 September 2009

[biggest loser: I'm a Mom. Not a Loser.]


Usually a day that I look forward to, because I LOVE our home church, our friends & family there ... plus, I usually add a bit of lipgloss and put on a skirt for the day.
This past Sunday, I'm not sure what happened. See, I KNOW that Katia was only 4 days old - but for some reason I was convinced I could put my maternity clothes away, and my brain put me back to this:

... which I am not.

Why did I put myself through that?? I hadn't worn anything other than my yoga pants and a tank top ... a big one ... for weeks, and on Sunday morning I ACTUALLY tried to put on a black top that made me feel like a sausage. When I checked the label, I literally laughed OUTLOUD. It was an extra-small.

Today, I was at the doctor's office, and I asked him a few questions about me and what's going on inside. I told him that I had 30lbs to lose ... and he smiled. I told him that I didn't want to lose my milk. He smiled ... and I said, "If I lose the weight, I'll lose my milk?" And he smiled again. He told me that some weight will fall off over the next couple of weeks ... but I'll probably have 10-15lbs to do on my own.

Hmm. Ok.

I also told him that I think I have a slight case of the "Baby Blues". Yesterday was a bad day ... like a black cloud hung over me. But today has been better - probably because I got 2 sets of 3hrs of sleep last night ... very much needed.

He told me to let my hubby know what to look for - and if I feel like I'm falling into the abyss, to call his office right away. Unfortunately, I can't just eat more peaches and feel better ... it's a hormone thing, and I feel better just by telling him and letting him know. Now I know he's watching, and if I get too down, I'll be saved.

I've never fallen too far into the "blues", so hopefully this will clean up quickly too and I'll feel more like myself in the next couple of weeks. And I think that having a bit of the weight lost will also really help how I feel about myself.

SO - I won't be "Slim Tawn" for a while ... but I've traded that title for "Mom of Three". And I'm pretty sure that I like that one better *smile*.

And maybe, one day, I can be both.

01 September 2009

[new baby: A Mother's Guilt]

Katia is almost a week old ... and although it would be amusing to say, "WOW - a week already?? Where does the time go??" ... truth is, is that it has been a long week.

I got a phone call from a Public Health Nurse yesterday, going through all the necessary medical questions of jaundice, filled diapers, correct latching etc ... Quite honestly, I just wanted to get off the phone as Katia finally fell asleep and I had promised Mattias that he and I would have a Wii competition. But the nurse kept on and on, Katia started to cry, Mattias was pulling on my leg ... and the poor nurse said, "How are you doing emotionally??"
And the tears rolled down.

I told her that everything really IS fine. My husband has been amazing, friends & family have been so supportive, our home is in order thanks to Miss. S ... but I haven't been getting much consecutive sleep (a night, an hour here an hour there ...) and I feel like my blood is a maze of hormones that makes me dizzy.

She told me, with a smile in her voice, to just have a good cry. I haven't gotten 'round to doing that yet. Seems like I'm being pulled in all the different directions - and I just want to be a good mom. That's what all of us go through, I'm sure. Spending time with one child, while another asks for your attention somewhere else.
This is a short season - and honestly, I actually don't mind the night feedings where Katia and I are alone in the quiet of the night. But I feel so guilty about the time she takes during the day, time that used to be the boys.

BUT - I will say this ... I am SO thankful to be done the pregnant part. I can at least play "hide & seek" with Siah ... I can tickle attack Mattias and have him jump on my back. I can get in and out of bed with ease, the 10times I need to at night, and singing the "Day Song" to the boys (a improvised song I sing every night about what we all did that day) with cuddles is SO much easier ... And the recovery from Katia's birth has been flawless, unlike the other two boys. I am so thankful that there haven't been any complications ...

On another note, my father returned from a Missions Trip to Russia & Poland (our family's love for Russia is shown in our wee girl's name ... ). He was away for the birth, and got to meet his new granddaughter yesterday ... straight from the airport. How long do you think it took for him to fall in love with her?? *GRIN*

Anyway - that's where I'm at today. Feeling blessed, guilty, tired, elated ... basically just a wee bit imbalanced *grin*. If I can stay on top of the emotions, I'll be just fine ... Blogging seems to help - and knowing that this is also journaling (when I print this all out in a book), makes it not seem like such a waste of time *GRIN*.
Have a great one ...