Monday, October 13, 2014

Thankful

I can't believe my wee little baby girl is almost two months old already. People aren't kidding when they say children grow up way too fast. My maternity leave is flying by and I feel like I haven't truly been able to enjoy it yet because of all the challenges I've had with breastfeeding. Hopefully by three months, we'll have a better idea of what road we want to continue down with nursing, or rather, the lack of nursing. 
I am often thankful for all the amazing things in my life and grateful for all that we have but as like everyone else, it's nice to list some of it for Thanksgiving. Our relative, Mai, had a blog post about taking the time every 30 minutes in a day to think about the things to be thankful for. I didn't do that today but I'll just take a few moments to tell the blogosphere just a few things I'm extra thankful for today. I'm thankful for a healthy beautiful daughter. I often think that with a poorly functioning placenta at the end of a pregnancy, she could have easily been stillborn. I am thankful for my amazing husband who puts up with all my rants, raves and outbursts. I am thankful for family, our health, and that we all have full bellies tonight in our warm house and a soft bed to crawl into afterwards. I am thankful for all my amazing friends and their healthy babies and sending prayers to the ones that need it. I am thankful for the gorgeous view we have from our kitchen and the amazing sunrises I get to see, despite having our daughter keeping us up all night long. I am thankful for the gorgeous park that we live near and that our "backyard" park is so amazing during the fall. I'm sure Jamie is thankful for getting to use his electric carving knives (that I gave him crap for buying). What do you have to be thankful for? I would love to hear it.  

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Parenthood

This is going to be a short post because if you haven't already done the math based on my last few posts, we welcomed our sweet little baby girl into our arms on August 19th at 2:03 AM and she's currently napping soundly against my chest in a kangaroo T-shirt (something I didn't even know existed!). So before she starts raising a ruckus with her punchy little hands demanding to be fed, I thought I'd let the blogosphere know that Jamie and I started a new chapter in our lives. Parenthood. We are still in awe that we created this little being and little she is! Weighing only a mere 4 lbs 12 oz (2160 g) at birth, she was classified as IUGR (intrauterine growth restriction). I have lots I want to share but the little peanut is stirring and before she gets angry, I best get off my sore bottom and get her some food. 

Monday, August 4, 2014

18 Day Left

I can't believe there's less than 3 weeks before my official due date. We aren't ready yet but then again, what parents are truly ready? Jamie and my dad have been working on finishing our laundry room and baby room so that we can get the dresser and such set up. I feel pretty useless because I'm just waddling around the house doing odds and ends. I can't get all the baby clothes and linens ready because we have no washer and dryer. I wanted to catch up with my Project Life but I've only printed photos up until August 2012 so I'm still 2 years behind. This week will be my last week at work. If baby cooperates, hopefully I'll still have some time to get last minute things done. 
On Dramafever, I've discovered that they have some good old Hong Kong Cantonese dramas (only 3 though) so I'm on my second drama. It's nice to play those in the background while I'm doing things because I don't have to read subtitles! One episode showed the gang having a HK BBQ with hotpot meatballs so I was craving them yesterday. We invited some friends over and stuffed our faces full of meat and marshmallows. It was the first time we used our fire pit this year and might even be our last. Hopefully I can fit in one more fire pit before baby's arrival because I've forgotten how tasty s'mores can be. Top it off with a preggo belly and I've got zero guilt binging! Cheers to not counting calories! 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Quilt Finished with 29 Days to Spare

Remember when I posted this massive queen sized quilt that I've been working on for the past 6 months or so? I worked on it for 2 or 3 hours once a week since late January/early February with my other 2 quilting buddies. 6 months later, countless hours and I finally started putting finishing touches on it earlier this week. I spent almost all day Monday at Sparrow Studioz, learning how to use the long arm quilting machine and another half day on Tuesday to finish off the quilting. I was originally going to pay someone to quilt this massive beast of a quilt for me so I opted for a minky backing. The owner, Bradie, convinced me that I could easily quilt it myself and get the satisfaction of saying, "Yah, I made this entire quilt myself." I was sold. I'll never quilt on my little home machine again. For $30/hr, it's a steal of deal to rent studio time. I squared off my quilt after the quilting was done, came home and spent the last two evenings binding the quilt. I'm so happy with the finished product. Not only because I feel like it's such a huge accomplishment, but because I opted to go for the queen size that fits onto my bed. It's going to be something that I treasure and hopefully pass onto my children. When I was making this massive quilt, I messed up a couple times which left me with a large number of blocks so it's just meant to be that my soon-to-arrive baby will get a matching lap quilt. Like momma, like baby. :) 


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Cabinet Rejuvenated with Annie Sloan's Chalk Paint

Leanne from Apple Box Boutique has totally got me hooked on painting furniture to give it a second life and now I see old wood furniture in a whole new light. I took a class from her earlier this year and was able to transform Jamie's old night stand into something that I absolutely love. 
The picture really doesn't do it justice because the gold gilding wax is amazing in person. We have a matching dresser for this night stand that's in line waiting to be transformed into a baby dresser/change station. Hopefully that'll get done before baby's arrival! 
Leanne had a massive furniture garage sale a couple months ago and I managed to pick up this beautiful, made in Canada dresser. It fits perfectly in our foyer and I knew I wanted wanted to test out the oh so loved Emperor's Silk paint color. It took 2 coats of paint, 2 coats of clear wax and some spray paint for the hardware to almost complete the look. I picked up some dark wax to give it more character but haven't gotten around to truly finishing this dresser yet. In the meantime though, it stands loud and proud in our foyer, strutting its new sharp look. 








Monday, July 7, 2014

Productive Sunday - 46 Days Remaining

I haven't had one of those, "Wow I've been so productive today!" kind of days in a long time. Yesterday fixed that dry spell and it wasn't because I woke up early or because I didn't take a 2 afternoon cat nap, but because I finished what I had set out to do! I was up at 7:30 but wasn't feeling great so I snoozed and rolled around in bed for another 2 hours. 9:30 finally comes by and I thought to myself that I better get out of bed so Jamie doesn't have to wait any longer for breakfast. We had leftover buttermilk from last week's Canada Day breakfast and I had exactly enough to make 1/3 of the recipe. This is the recipe I used and it's been very kind to my growing belly. Keep in mind that I was able to make 5 pancakes to feed 2 adults with only 1/3 of the recipe!

I knew I wanted to make some granola because we have 2 huge bags of oats to use up from way before our kitchen renovations started and they were starting to get the "sitting in the pantry" odor so I knew I wanted to use it up but a preggo can only eat so much mushy oatmeal. We shopped for a bunch of ingredients on Saturday and while the pancakes were cooking, I set out to make our granola. The recipe I sorta of followed is this one. I made a few changes: 
- only used wheat bran
- added 1 cup of raw sunflower seeds
- 1 cup of shredded unsweetened coconut
- omitted the brown sugar
- used 1/2 c. coconut butter and 1/2 c. of butter instead of veggie oil because I don't have veggie oil laying around
- toasted the mixture at 200 degrees F for 30 minutes before cranking it up to 325. Be sure to check it every few minutes because it gets brown fast! 

While I was doing all of this, Jamie whipped up our first official green smoothie using this recipe. We added a bit of kale to the mixture and our first sip was... less than stellar. We tweaked it by adding a bit of agave syrup and 2 more bananas (we used frozen) and that made it palatable. The cilantro limeade smoothie did not make the cut for another debut. 

After breakfast, we got started on prepping our ham, potato gratin and Asian kale slaw salad dinner. The dressing tastes very similar to a dressing Jamie makes using miso paste except this version had many more ingredients.

Jamie also felt like he had a very productive day. He managed to build some shelves and maneuver our "linen" closet shelving so that we could actually use it for linen! In the process, I managed to de-junk a bag of clothes. Some of the items needed to be pried out of Jamie's hands while I just lost the battle for some other beloved items and they made their way back into the closet for storage. Today is another promising day as I was up at 5:00 and after trying to fall back asleep for an hour with no luck, I managed to cook some breakfast, do a load of laundry, get some ironing done and do a blog post! I know I'm going to crash in a couple hours since I only got 4 hours of sleep. Happy Monday :) 

Monday, June 30, 2014

53 days to go

I know anyone who's ever been pregnant tells me that towards the end, the baby can't seem to vacate the womb fast enough but right now I'm mighty happy that the little peanut is content its ever shrinking temporary room. We've been kept busy trying to get the house ready and the biggest job was definitely our kitchen renovations. We've been "working" on the kitchen for the last 5 or so years and it wasn't until baby's imminent arrival that really pushed us into action. 
We lived with exposed 2x4 walls, our newly purchased appliances sat in our living room for 4 years, engineer drawings sat in a filing cabinet, it just wasn't a pretty sight. Fast forward 4 years, a baby on the way and a hired contractor later, we finally have a fully renovated fully functioning kitchen. There's still a lot of settling in that we have to do for the kitchen but it's so great having that big burden off our back. Now we are just left with the 100 other little odd jobs to finish off. We have accumulated a massive amount of clutter and we're slowly working our way through the mounds of stuff. While the de-cluttering is happening, Jamie is working on the laundry room with my dad. In his spare time (ha!), he's working on framing and drywalling the baby room closet. I've been on a sewing frenzy. 

Jamie and I decided to embark on a cloth diapering adventure, mostly because the idea of throwing hundreds and hundreds of diapers into the landfill doesn't sit well with me. We aren't the greenest people and nothing against the mommas that use disposables. Since we were going down the cloth diaper path, it only made sense to go down the route of reusable baby wipes as well. I had loads of old flannel that I've accumulated over the years so I set out to sew some cheap wipes. 71 of them to be exact. I would've loved to use a serger but I don't own one so google told me I could just stitch close to the edge with a regular machine and it'll be just fine. I ended up leaving way too much leftover border fabric so when I washed them last night, I had threads everywhere. 
I thought about trimming the fabric closer to the stitch line, but they just looked so cute with the little border. Bad decision. I ended up with fluff, string and lint over all our cloth diapers and everything in that load of laundry. I also wasted time plucking all the loose bits of thread that had started coming off. Lesson learned. Lesson learned indeed... 

Onto a bit more of a successful project now. I've been doing weekly quilt nights with a couple friends. A while back I purchased a large amount of fat quarters when it was buy 1 get 1, with no project in mind of course. I finally found this lovely pattern called, Yellow Brick Road. At first I wanted to make a twin quilt because my first quilt really isn't big enough to snuggle with. That twin soon turned into a, "Well I might as well make a queen so it'll fit on my bed!" queen-sized quilt. It wouldn't have been so bad if I wasn't pregnant, which is what I'm blaming all my screw ups on. I'm still not done yet because I need to border, quilt and bind it but no big deal. I still have 53 days...