Friday Ramblings

On it’s F-ing Cold Here…

It’s -38 degrees Celsius here in Toronto this morning (with the wind chill). For you American peeps, just to put things in perspective to Fahrenheit, it’s at -40 degrees where Celsius and Fahrenheit are the same temperature. It was cold yesterday too but I had no appointment and was able to stay home with Molly. This morning though I have my OB appointment and had to bundle us up to go out. It was cold enough that Molly actually kept her hat and hood up in the car!

On A Tough Week…

I had a bit of a scare on Monday. I was carrying Molly downstairs and my foot slipped and we both went tumbling down. It was so fast I don’t even know what happened. I managed to grab Molly’s leg before she hit the floor too hard but she still ended up with a black eye. I landed on my bum and now have the biggest bruise ever. If it wasn’t my bum, I’d post a picture. It scared the shit out of me. We cried, the two of us and I hysterically called A to come home. Luckily my sister was at my moms so she came over to stay with me until he got there. And just to be on the safe side, we went to labour and delivery to make sure the baby was ok. Despite falling on my bum, it was quite jarring and I wanted to make sure he wasn’t too jostled. They monitored me for a few hours and his heart beat was perfect. I had no contractions and no bleeding or other fluid leaking out. My blood work was great and so they sent me home. Whew!
I swear, parenting is going to give me post traumatic stress disorder. I was so scared for Molly and the baby.

On Christmas…

We had a good Christmas vacation. It would have been great but we all ended up sick. Again. Molly had another ear infection, I ended up with a sinus infection and A had a good old fashioned cold. Still, we had a lovely and relaxing time at my sister’s family cottage (her hubby’s family) and then with A’s family. Here are a few pics:

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On New Years…

I confess, I was in bed and asleep by 9:30 on New Year’s Eve. I was achy from my fall and, well, I’m pregnant, so there’s all the excuse I need! A came up and woke me a few minutes to midnight though and we rang in the New Year together. That’s really all I needed. As far as resolutions go, I’m not making any. I have to be realistic. I’m about to have another baby and will be a stay at home mom to two kids for a year come the middle of March. I’ll do what I can when I can but I’m not going to make myself any promises and end up being disappointed about not keeping them. I am looking forward to 2014 though; lots of change and excitement coming our way πŸ™‚

I hope everyone had a lovely holiday season! Back to work for me on Tuesday. Oh and did I mention it’s my birthday tomorrow? 36. Wow.

18 Weeks – Baby #2/Weekend Wind-Up

I was remiss with my pregnancy update over the weekend, so I’m combining it with my weekend wind-up to kill two posts with one stone πŸ™‚

Weekend Wind-Up

Our weekend was just grand!

The weather on Saturday was just miserable. It was cold and rainy. But there were a couple of events to brighten the day! One was the birthday party for my friend M1’s little girl who turned two! She held it at a local community centre in a gym that had all sorts of activities for kids around her age. It was awesome to just let Molly roam free, knowing everything was safe for her to play with. After play time we all headed to another room for food (we watched proudly as Molly ate a whole slice of pizza, without cutting it up!) and cupcakes. A fun time!

Event number two was a very much overdue date night for me and BFF B! She met me at my house to say a quick hello to Molly and A before we headed off to a really lovely restaurant down by the waterfront. I had a very tasty meal of duck confit perogies to start and grilled salmon on a bed of salad for my main. Dessert? Pumpkin creme brulee! We had an awesome time catching up. We’re in touch all the time but there’s nothing like chatting in person with your best friend πŸ™‚ We vowed to try and do it more often, especially now that I’m not needed to put Molly to bed.

Sunday we ran a few errands, including picking out the ever important pumpkin to be carved later on in the week. We mostly just relaxed, as both of us were feeling under the weather. But not enough under the weather to miss dinner at my parents! I brought a special dessert, which I’ll write about later this week.

I’ll leave this portion of today’s post with these adorable pics of Molly:

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In the second one I said “smile for Mummy!” and this is what she gave me. Such a cheeky monkey!

18 Weeks – Baby #2

I didn’t have an 18 week update with Molly because that’s the week A and I got married! Aw. This is my favourite shot from our wedding day:

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It’s just so perfect, in so many ways. I was 18 weeks 1 day pregnant. And here we are again. Life is surreal sometimes, isn’t it?

How Far Along? – 18 weeks (plus three days as I write)

Size of Baby – About the size of an mango, 6 inches long, around a half a pound.

Gender – We hopefully find out one week tomorrow!

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Maternity Clothes – Yup, and so happy to be wearing them! I went shopping last week and over the weekend to pick up some ‘winter’ staples: a pair of skinny cords and skinny jeans, some long comfy sweaters and a maternity winter coat!

Stretch Marks – No change

Weight – Seven pounds gained. We’re doing good!

Sleep – Meh. I’ve got some sort of cold/pregnancy related nose stuffyness that’s making it uncomfortable to sleep.

Movement – Absolutely! Little pops of movement now and then, becoming more frequent as the days pass.

Symptoms – Nothing major. Still in the second trimester bliss period! May have some serious pregnancy related sinus issues though. I’m so stuffed up! It could be a cold though. My eyes are watering too. I bought some saline spray to use to hopefully loosen things up.

Cravings – Iced tea, which I learned has less caffeine in it than chocolate…since I haven’t given up chocolate to avoid caffeine, I figure iced tea is a go!

What Do I Miss – Caffeine (coffee level caffeine)…and that’s about it.

Nursery –I need to hop on Pinterest and start gathering ideas.

Emotions – Pretty good! I woke feeling glum this morning but that’s because I had the kind of dreams that stay with you. I dreamed everyone was mad at me. So awful!

Best Moment of the Week – Feeling the baby move more. It’s incredibly reassuring!

Weekend Wind-Up

Father’s Day weekend was quite the success! Here are the highlights:

  • Molly slept all night Thursday!! The entire night, no waking! Other than my boobs feeling like they were going to explode, it was bliss!
  • Friday night we picked up a stand alone, cantilever umbrella at Target for half price! Such a steal. Though why summer patio furniture is on clearance and pretty much non-existent now in a lot of stores before summer has even officially started is beyond me. We will now have some shade in our west-facing backyard.
  • I was a cleaning machine on Saturday! My floors were particularly messy after a week with the kiddies.
  • I put together our new umbrella almost entirely on my own. I love it! But in the process of doing so, managed to get my first (and hopefully last) sunburn of the year. Ironic since I was putting up something to keep that from happening.
  • My kick-ass hubby fixed the dip in the front patio and put the wall back together in the front. We just have to get the plants in now. Rain on Sunday prevented that from happening.

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    Still a bit more to do, but the hard stuff is done! Yippee!
  • Father’s Day was great! Molly and I gave A the pictures I posted in a desktop three-way frame to put on his desk at work (I want to try and make it a yearly thing). After we woke on Sunday, I made belgian waffles using my new waffle iron! They were amazing! I whipped up some fresh whipped cream and chopped some strawberries to put on them along with maple syrup (or Aunt Jemima in my case…horrible for me I know, but I prefer it to pure maple syrup)DSC_5215 (1280x1024)
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  • We had the birthday party for my friend M2’s little girl on Sunday. She’s two! The party was at a kids play centre and Molly had a blast! She jumped right in with the other kids (all older than her) and held her own. I have no worries about her in a day care setting. She particularly loved the little red cars. I shot this video of her pushing one around and around
  • On our way home from the party she fell asleep and we drove about fifteen minutes north, roaming around for 45 minutes. It was a lovely day for a lazy drive
  • We had an impromptu BBQ at my parents Sunday night, just the four of us and Molly.
  • A and I watched Warm Bodies and Jack the Giant Slayer over the weekend. We really enjoyed both movies!

And that’s about it. Five weeks left until I’m back to work πŸ™ I guess the count down is on…

Weekend Wind-Up: Anniversary Edition

We’ve been officially married a year! Yesterday was our wedding anniversary and to celebrate we treated ourselves to a weekend getaway in Niagara-On-The-Lake! It’s a quaint picturesque town, known for it’s history (Fort George and oodles of other historic sites), it’s theatre (the Shaw Festival) and it’s proximity to both the regions wineries and also to Niagara Falls. I’ve been there before, but never to stay, and always during the tourist season when it’s both expensive and very busy.

We booked the Culinary Connoisseurs package with the Prince of Wales Hotel. With the package came a one night stay, a three course meal for two at one of three restaurants and passes for wine tastings at two local wineries (for those of you not familiar, the Niagara region is one of Ontario’s prime locations for producing wine).

Since I’m still breastfeeding Molly and she doesn’t take a bottle, we of course took her with us! I couldn’t ask for a better baby to travel with, even with a tooth coming in! She charmed everyone we came in contact with and the only fussing she did was close to her bedtime at dinner on Saturday night. And Molly fussing is really her getting a little bit louder.

Saturday morning, after Molly woke up, we started getting ourselves together. Niagara isn’t too far from us, just under a two hour drive, making it a perfect trip for her morning nap. We arrived at our hotel around 11.

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When I booked our reservation I mentioned we would be there early, and they had a room all ready for us. Our room was stunning, an upgrade from our original reservation when they found out it was our anniversary, with rich royal blue patterned wallpaper, dark wood furnishings and traditional patterned linens. I particularly loved the Tiffany-inspired lamp and the canopy over the bed!

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Molly was under the impression she would be sleeping in the bed with us. Sorry darling! It’s the pack and play for you!

Our room also came equipped with a jacuzzi tub!! I definitely made use of that πŸ™‚

We settled ourselves in, then popped over to the Irish pub across the street for a light lunch of grilled sandwiches. We let Molly try her first french fry but she wasn’t impressed. She doesn’t really care for warm food yet.

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Horse and carriage ride available outside the hotel. If it hadn’t been so cold, we would have enjoyed that!

After lunch we headed off for a tour and tasting at Peller Estates winery. Wow!

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It’s an incredibly impressive place. The building looks old, but isn’t. Still, that doesn’t take away from the European atmosphere. We signed up to do a tour and then did a wine tasting. The tour was neat, with an overview of the history of Peller Estates Winery and a bit of information on how wine is made in Ontario. The tour included a wine tasting as well, but since we were doing one afterwards, I abstained. One, I was driving and two, I’m breastfeeding. Didn’t want too much in my system! I wish I’d taken more pictures, but the tour was outside and in the area where they store the barrels of wine, which is climate controlled. Chilly!

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We’ll have to go back in the summer to see the vines in full bloom!

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The wine tasting after the tour was fun. We had a voucher from our hotel package, so our tasting was free. We tried a red, a white and an ice wine. The white was a Reisling, one of my favourite wines. I don’t recall the red, but it was ok. A little sharp for my taste. And I’m not a huge fan of ice wine, it’s too sweet for me. But did you know that 60% of the world’s ice wine comes from Ontario? Makes sense, given our cold temperatures! Molly was awesome through both the tour and the tasting. We are blessed with a content baby!

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We left the winery with a bottle of red, a bottle of white and a cook book I can’t wait to look over! It’s called 3 Chefs and one of the chefs who helped create it is the Executive Chef at Peller.

We got back to our room for a rest and a feed, until it was time to get ready for dinner. I booked our dinner reservation at Tiara, the restaurant at Queen’s Landing, a sister hotel to the Prince of Wales. It was only a couple of minutes drive from our hotel, and we arrived on the dot of 5pm. The place was empty! It was great. I wasn’t worried about Molly kicking up a fuss, but you never know with it being close to her bed time. If I’d booked our dinner any later, we would have run into trouble. By the time we left, she was making her presence known (she got louder. Not crying, just a bit more vocal).

I wish I’d taken pictures of what I ate, but I was focused on enjoying the incredible flavours! I had an amazing risotto as my appetizer. It was extremely flavourful and featured braised oxtail! For my entree I chose cornish hen coq au vin, which was heavenly. It came with mashed potatoes and spaghetti squash. Yum! Molly tried a bit of the hen and seemed to enjoy it. Dessert though, was the best course by far! I had macadamia nut cheesecake with toasted marshmallow ice cream. Wow. It was amazing! And the service was fantastic as well. Our waiter was kind enough to take our family picture:

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On the way back to our hotel, Molly fell asleep. And stayed asleep as I transferred her out of the carrier, which she never does! She’d only had a 1/2 hour nap that afternoon and was probably pooped from all the activity. Unfortunately, because she hadn’t nursed before bed, she was up at 9pm and didn’t go back to sleep until almost 11! She was up again at 1:30, but back down by 2 and then slept until 7am. It seemed none of us slept well. I stupidly didn’t bring my own pillows, which I usually do, but we already had enough baggage with the baby paraphernalia, I didn’t want to add to it. I should have known. My neck is incredibly sensitive and I was quite uncomfortable. A didn’t sleep well either, as he was coming down with some sort of bug.

He wasn’t feeling well at all on Sunday morning, and so we cut our day a little short. We had breakfast at a little cafe along the main street, then did a quick bit of shopping at Cows and Hatley. Cows is a really fun shop! I’ve been to the store in Prince Edward Island, but hadn’t realized they had a location here. Known for their ice cream, they also sell clothes. Their whole premise is to take modern pop culture and adapt it using cows and cow related terms. Example: I have a t-shirt that has a picture of an orange and white striped cow with the caption “Finding Nemoo”. I howled with laughter looking at their website. I picked up a few things for Molly and our nieces and nephews and then we hit the road, bypassing the second winery visit. My poor hubby was just feeling too crappy πŸ™

And so even though it ended with a sick husband, we had a really fabulous Saturday in Niagara-On-The-Lake. An excellent way to celebrate our anniversary. We definitely want to go back again!

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Minecraft Cake

Grrr. I just wrote this whole post then accidentally deleted it. Let’s see if I can recreate it…

I volunteered to make dessert for our joint birthday celebration, where our families got together and had dinner (more on that in tomorrow’s Weekend Wind Up). I wanted to do something special for A. I’m not sure exactly how I came up with the idea, but I decided to create a cake incorporating elements of his favourite computer game, Minecraft.

Minecraft is a really fun game, one that I enjoy playing as well, though post-baby it’s mostly A doing the mining these days. The Minecraft world is made up of blocks that your character mines and then uses to build and craft objects. There are of course bad guys (referred to as MOBS) for you to fight, but you can choose to play peacefully if you like. There is no specific end or challenge to the game. It is what you want it to be, which is the appeal for me.

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My Minecraft home πŸ™‚ Ironically, when I logged on to take this screen shot, a Creeper blew up some of my landscape. Bastard.

I researched, sourcing images and ideas, and then Saturday afternoon, after the baby was asleep and having sent A downstairs, I got to work. The block type graphics seemed like a natural fit for a rectangular cake, and I decided to use water, sand and dirt blocks for my cake landscape.

I used a layer of vanilla cake for the base, cutting it into a 3 x 4 grid of squares (blocks). I then cut the chocolate cake into the same grid pattern and used the blocks to build up one corner of the cake with ‘dirt’ into a hill. Using coloured icing (blue for water, cream for sand and green for grass on the dirt blocks) and a decorating nib, I made the final enhancements to the cake landscape.

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Excuse my dirty table…cake decorating is dirty business!

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As is, this would be a pretty boring cake and wouldn’t really make much sense. So last week I put on my crafting hat and using salt dough (one cup flour, one cup salt and 3/4 cup water), sculpted, baked and then painted a couple of Minecraft characters to place on top of the cake.

First up was Steve, the main character (you) who traverses through the world, mining, fighting, building and crafting. You have the option of changing Steve’s appearance in the game, but I went with his traditional apparel. He’s also sporting a diamond sword, one of the most powerful weapons you can create.

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And of course Steve needs an adversary. Behold, the Creeper. Armless and green, with a serious frown, the Creeper does just that. He creeps up on you and if you’re not paying attention, your only warning is the slight ‘ssssss’ of his fuse being lit before seconds later he blows up, often taking you with him. Annoying little dudes.

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I had a ton of fun creating these figures! They’re not perfect (they expanded a bit in the oven…air trapped inside), but I don’t claim to be an artist. Personally, I think they’re adorable. We’re going to turn them into tree ornaments for next Christmas πŸ™‚

It was a huge hit and A really appreciated the effort I went to. Um, who wins the Wife of the Year award??

I was just happy I was able to pull it off and do something special for my guy. Happy Birthday love!

Friday Ramblings

Posts were sparse this week, I know. My computer is having issues (it freezes a few minutes after start up) and I’ve yet to find the time to try and fix it. Add to that a baby who hasn’t wanted to nap and trying to get caught up on household chores and voila. No posts. But I managed to scrounge up a little something for today πŸ™‚

On An Anniversary…

Two years ago today, A and I met! We’d been chatting online and he suggested we get together. I had absolutely no expectations going in but by the time it was over and we’d planned our first date, I knew something was there. I finally understood what everyone had been telling me for years: when you know, you know.
Happy anniversary love!

On The Baby…

Our poor girl has a cold. She’s in good spirits, but sniffly. She was moaning a lot in her sleep, awakened by her sniffly nose, which didn’t seem to affect her, but of course kept me up most of the night. I’m currently on my second cup of coffee.
Molly is completely enthralled with the cat. She follows her every movement and I’m super proud of my kitty for letting Molly pet her and even grab her ear! I wasn’t too worried, because my kitty is a gentle soul, but you never know.

On Lost and Found…

I’m the first one to admit that my memory hasn’t exactly been what it used to be since getting pregnant and having a baby. It’s quite horrible, really. But I was particularly devastated when a few months back I tried to find, and couldn’t, both the box with my baby things in it, including my beloved blanket, and the box with two children’s ceramic tea sets that had been my mom’s when she was a kid. I had absolutely no memory of what I’d done with either! Last weekend A went with my Dad to my parent’s storage unit, where we’d stored some things from our basement during the renos. He brought back around 8 boxes. I immediately found my baby things but it was only this morning that I found the tea sets! Hurrah!

I’ll leave you with some pics of the birthday flowers I got from my hubby. Happy Friday everyone!

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12 Days of Baking Day 2: Chewy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Christmas arrived at our house on the weekend. We managed to get the bulk of our decorations up while Molly napped, which was a huge help. Decorating for the holidays is one of my favourite things to do. It just gets me in the spirit of the holiday, of being with family and friends, and of the desire to give and do nice things for people. That’s why day 2 of the 12 Days of Baking found me making Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies.

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My husband is on a never ending quest to find oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. Every trip to the grocery store can go one of two ways: either he finds a fresh batch in the bakery and buys them, or he finds oatmeal cookies, sans the chocolate chips and will curse the bakers.”How hard is it to add chocolate chips?” he’ll say

Poor guy. There’s so little he asks for!

Well my love, these cookies were added to my holiday baking list just for you! I’m not promising you can eat them all, but I doubled the recipe so there will be more than enough to go around!

I found the recipe on Pinterest. Click here for the link to the website to access the recipe from How Sweet It Is. A couple of changes to note: I doubled the recipe and had 4 dozen cookies exactly using my cookie scoop to form the balls, and I baked them for 14 minutes rather than the 9-11 suggested.

I’m finding that baking with a baby requires some planning. When I was making dinner and she was happily with A, I prepped all the ingredients and set them aside. Just before it was time to put her to bed, I made the dough and stuck it in the fridge as the recipe requires. And after she went down, I prepped them for the oven…unfortunately we had a bad night going to bed and she was up again before the first batch could go in! My darling daughter then got her second wind, and so she hung out with A and I while the cookies baked.

And the verdict from A?

“These cookies are ridiculous!”

Yay!

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And Another Anniversary

The 26th of November will be forever in our lives a very important day, for a couple of very important reasons.

Reason #1:

On this day last year, this happened:

When we got engaged (see yesterdays post if you missed it), we suspected we were pregnant (my boobs gave it away) but I hadn’t yet taken the test to confirm it. The day after A popped the question, riding an emotional high, I woke up early in the morning and took the test that told us we’d be expecting a little miracle in nine months. Thankfully I’d only had a sip of the champagne we were given as a celebration of our engagement πŸ™‚

As I sit here typing this, with that little miracle sleeping a few feet away, I’m overwhelmed with how blessed our lives have been over the past year.

Reason #2:

Three years ago today my sister and her husband welcomed my niece, CJ, to the world. To say that she’s a joy is an understatement. Our lives would be dim without her. Happy Birthday my beautiful girl! Aunt Chrissie, Uncle A and Molly love you!

Raising a Daughter

A and I were chatting the other day. About what exactly I can’t remember (shocker!) but he did utter one thing that stayed with me, mostly because the force with which he said it made me laugh:

I don’t want my daughter to dress like a woman

A father’s love for his daughter πŸ™‚

And to be honest, a mothers love as well. If I had my way, she’d live at home forever, safe and protected in our arms tucked away from the many ills of society. My greatest hope is that she’s a nerd when she’s older, and doesn’t get caught up in drugs, drinking and sex as a teen.

But it got me thinking. Right now, Molly’s needs are few. Eat, sleep, poop and love. Those are her basic requirements. As she grows though, it’s going to be our responsibility to help her become the woman we’d like her to be. We’ll need to introduce the morals and values that will help her make the right choices when faced with life’s challenges, and to help her face the consequences when mistakes are inevitably made.

It’s overwhelming at times, to think of our influence on how she develops.