November 30, 2011

She's in Slings: A Room Reno

A while ago we bought some hardwood flooring from a friend who had the some on hand that they didn't need. It's a bit of a tangled story, but long story short we ended up with a really good deal on some really good hardwood that was perfect for finishing off the last two rooms in our house that still had carpet. Good intentions met up with competing priorities and somehow the wood sat untouched in the garage for months on end. We finally decided the time had come to get 'er laid.

We love the dark shade.
Of course, it wasn't as simple as that. We I figured that if we were going through the process of pulling up the carpet, now would be a good time to update the paint colour on the walls in our bedroom as well. We I was tired of the baby poo green shade and ready for something new. It made sense to paint before the carpet came up as we wouldn't have to worry about drop cloths all over the floor. Paint, drip, pull 'er up and replace. We I agreed that this made the most sense and we were off to the Paint Shop. (More on paint inspiration, options and selection in another post).

obviously a grey shade for the walls
Then of course the baseboards had to come off before the flooring goes down, which reminded us that we were not really happy with the ceiling mouldings either. Flooring logically leads to thoughts of ceilings for everyone right? Seriously though, both the baseboards and mouldings were just the very basic style and the mouldings were even absent along the slanted sides of our ceiling/walls. If we were going through the trouble of pulling off the baseboards anyways well... we might as well update both with something a little nicer. So off to the hardware store we went.

As we looked around at the boxes of flooring, cans of paint, and bits of wood we realized it would be absolutely ludicrous to do all that work and leave the 20+ year old light fixture in place. C`mon, you`re with me on this right? If you`re not convinced take a look at this:

this was basic even for the late seventies when we're certain is was installed!
So, we made our way to the light shop and placed an order. It`ll be a few weeks before it gets in. In the meantime, the painting began and we Des realized we`d he`d like to try a little something different with the slanted walls/ceiling. I got excited about his idea, so we were back to the hardware store for more supplies.

Somehow the simple installation of already purchased hardwood ballooned it a complete room overhaul. And I`ve yet to begin picking up the new bedding or working on some of the other projects I now have in mind to finish off the new look. Alas, isn`t that how renos go?

At this point, the bedroom has been emptied of furniture, stripped of baseboards and mouldings, painted, and flooring installed. With the second room (the hobby room) also emptied of furniture for the flooring installation, everything has been crammed into our upstairs storage space + Hudson`s nursery + the hallway + the living room + the spare room and basically any other corner where there`s space.

Literally stacked and stuffed everywhere! At least Hudson seems unfazed about the temporary additions to his room.
Right now, she`s in slings `byes she`s in slings. We`re working on getting it all straightened back up over the next few days (only for the holiday decorations to come out and we can start all over again!). Stay tuned for more reno updates and eventually the finished room.

November 29, 2011

Dear Santa...

The St. John's annual Santa Parade was this past weekend. Hundreds of kiddies showed up clutching their Santa letters. Waiting with baited breath to see the jolly ol' guy himself at the end of the show, they pass along those letters. Enclosed in the envelopes are the hopes of seeing a few of their desired treasures under the tree. While our little family decided to pass on the parade this year, Hudson wanted to make sure Santa and his elves have a few ideas of what to leave under his very first Christmas tree. So, with just a little help from momma and daddy, here is HP's very first dear Santa ...

I think he'll find a few treats under the tree. Though I expect he'll be more interested in the boxes and paper.

Santa really comes and leaves treats for me?? Awesome!

Do you have you have your letter to Santa mailed yet? What's on your wish list?

November 28, 2011

Runday Monday: You Never Regret...

The holiday season is coming. If you're like me there will most likely be ample indulgences you'll come to regret. Eating a few more cookies than you'd planned. Gorging on that delicious turkey and all the trimmings. Perhaps it'll be drinking one too many glasses of eggnog. Or staying up that extra hour even when you know you should be gone to bed for long ago. The next day - or sooner - we'll come to regret it when we're feeling the sugar-low, the belly bloat, the hangover, and the fatigue. Though, amidst all that, one thing I can assure you you'll never regret is a workout.

This weekend I hopped on the treadmill a couple of times after yet another short hiatus. After a couple of weeks of indulging in more sugary treats than usual, I realized I was suffering from a sugar hangover. For me, that means I feel sluggish, am a little grumpier than usual, and just plain don't feel good. I was regretting the coffee cake that was so tasty, warm and fresh from the oven. I was regretting the Starbucks gingerbread and whoopie pies that were the perfect complements to my lattes. I was regretting those handfuls of M&M-laced trail mix and tricking myself into believing it was a healthy choice (it was trail mix right?). All good in the moment, but over time not so much. Ugh. I did not, however, regret my weekend workouts.

I remember reading the mantra - you never regret a workout - somewhere on the world wide interweb some time ago and it just resonated. It doesn't always stay top of mind, but feeling the after effects of too much sugar and too little activity, it made it's way back to the surface of my grey matter. Now, after just two days of good hydration, nutritious food + limited indulgences (I'm so not one to totally cut stuff out) and a couple of good workouts, I felt awesome. I felt energized. I felt stronger. I felt happier. I simply felt more like myself.

I share this here today to remind myself of how good exercise makes me feel, how important it is in my life, and to make time for it as the days get busier and busier between now and the New Year. If it serves as a little inspiration for some of you to get off those hineys over the holiday, well that's just a nice bonus. Note to self: I never regret workout. Chances are neither will you.

Happy Runday Monday.

November 27, 2011

Simple Things: His First Snowfall

"can we go play mom? can we? can we?"

We went to Nanny's house earlier in the week to escape the loud hammers and saws and nail guns as the working crew laid new hardwood floors in our place. We ended up snowbound for a day longer than expected. Hudson loved watching his first real snowfall through the window. He smacked his hands against the window while babbling excitedly. And when he saw Poppy plowing the snow on the bike, well that near about put him over the edge with glee. He seemed to think it was all the coolest (pun intended) thing! Me, well I thought the coolest thing was that sweet face as he watched the snow drift and blow all about.

Linking up with Rebecca Cooper's Simple Things

November 25, 2011

Holidays Officially on the Horizon

Well, I'm not sure where the year has gone, but we are officially one month from Christmas Day. Around here, for us that usually means the clock speeds up even more. Between shopping, wrapping, decorating, entertaining, visiting, crafting and just plain chilling by the fire, New Year's Eve will be here bringing with it a brand new year.   Knowing that the next few weeks will be flying by, I'm making a to-do list and checking it twice, so far it looks a little like this:

1. Help Hudson write up his Santa Letter
2. Finish up the holiday gift shopping
3. Sip wine by the fire with my family
4. Pull out the holiday decorations and spread the love throughout the house
5. Bake a few cakes and cookies
6. Sip wine by the fire with my family
7. Schedule in a few runs, hikes and walks (to counteract those cakes & cookies!)
8. Write, address and mail the holiday cards
9. Sip wine by the fire with my family
10. Squeeze in a few holiday gatherings with friends
11. Squeeze in some time in the scrapbook nook and get my craft on
12. Sip wine by the fire with my family.

As you can see, my lists strike a healthy balance between errands, food, and fun :) That`s the only way I know to get it done! Of course, there will also be plenty of red cup love over the next few weeks.

What about you, do you have your holiday to-do list done?

November 24, 2011

Thankful Thursday

Today is Thanksgiving Day for my friends south of the border, making it seem appropriate to offer up some gratitude in a Thankful Thursday post. A few of the simple things I'm thankful for today are:

1. Nanny Pat. As I type, I'm snowbound around the bay at mom's house. We came out earlier this week to escape the work crews laying hardwood at the house. Poor H got a little squirrelly at the sound of the saw and I figured there was at least a day or two of work to be done, so we got outta a dodge. Of course, where else does one go to escape but grandma's house? We had planned to head back today, but with the snowfall we're sticking around for another night. But trust me, there are worse places to be stranded in a snowstorm... to wit:

2. Sleep. Being at Nanny's house means this momma gets a little extra sleep. I was able to sleep in yesterday morning when Nanny took Hudson upon waking and after an interrupted night of rest it was much needed. Then last night, Nanny took the night shift (a rough one at that!) while momma got herself almost 7 hours straight sleep, followed by another good solid hour. who-hoo!

3. Hot coffee + homemade muffins. There's nothing like fresh blueberry muffins and a steaming hot cup o' joe, especially when whipped up by my loving mom. Toss in Canada AM and a napping bebe and tis bliss.

It really is the simple joys my friends.

Happy Thanksgiving to those in US, happy Thankful Thursday to everyone else!

November 22, 2011

Trick or Treat 2011 - Scrapped!

We're up to our yin yangs in fresh paint, soon-to-be-laid hardwood, pulled up carpet, pulled down mouldings, and stirred-not-shaken-dust. With the dust settling in it's new, but temporary corners, I thought I do a quick scrapbook layout share with you.

How cute is that lobster? Seriously almost sweet enough to eat.
Ah, back to finding temporary homes for assorted pieces of furniture and pulling up the remaining f-ugly carpet. Sigh. I love room re-do's, but tis hard work.

November 21, 2011

Our Weekend Lens

Our weekend was filled with good friends, good food, good hard work + good fun.

There was some chilling by the fire, this time indoors.
There was hanging with friends over dinner on Friday night.

There was Saturday morning coffee downtown at the Rocket, enjoying the first real snow, and sporting (aka showing off) a new mini-pea coat. Love.
There was a much need phone upgraded for D. hello iphone 4.
There was deciding on paint colours. As you can see there was much discussion.
But there was a decision followed by plenty of prep + painting.

There was some paper crafting ( + Starbucks)...

and some canvas crafting.

There was a fun visit with Nanny + Poppy. H's head is almost a good fit in Pop's hat!

And of course there was plenty of play time + fun. I love that face.
There was also brunch @ Blue with some fabulous friends on Sunday morning + visit to the hardware store. All in all, it was the perfect blend of productivity and R&R.

How about you, how was your weekend?

November 19, 2011

Scrapbook Spotlight

A quick post for you this weekend ... my first two layouts are being featured over on the Paperie Blog this weekend. This one went up yesterday:

And this double page spread went up today:

Pop on by too see more details about the layout and other fun info from the Paperie.

Happy weekend everyone!

November 18, 2011

A {Belated} Birthday Post

This post is slightly overdue. One week overdue in fact. You see, last Friday was my lovely sister's 30th birthday. Of course I had fully planned on doing an ode-to-ma-sissy like I have done with my mama and besties on their birthday, but I also wanted to post a pic of her card and prezzie in the post. Since she shares her birthday with the Veteran's Day holiday, I posted about that last Friday instead with the hopes of seeing her sometime over the next week or so to give her the card/prezzie, followed by said post. Long story short, I've not yet seen her and probably won't this weekend, so the card pic will have to wait as I don't want to hold off on the birthday post any longer.

I can hardly believe Jodie turned 30 last week. In my mind, she's still that scruffy little playful girl running around behind me. Like most sisters, we grew up fighting and loving each other in the same breath. We were quick to argue over the phone, the TV, the front seat, clothes, and toys, yet would still crawl into one another's bed for a snuggle to end the same day. More often than not I think it was due to Jodie's forgiving nature. She's quick to apologize and even quicker to forgive. She has a kind heart and kinder soul. She loves to help others out as evidenced by the countless stray cats that got carried home and she somehow managed to convince mom to keep. She has that wonderful way of winning you over on almost anything.

She really is the best sister a girl could have. She was who I wanted standing next to me on my wedding day. She was my maid of honour and the only bridesmaid I asked to be by my side. When Hudson came along, she was the only person I considered to be his Godmother. I couldn't imagine any other taking that role in his life. When we had our first night away from the little guy back in October, it was she who took care of him and kept him happy and safe. Yes, I'd trust her with anything.

In all honesty, I really don't know how she's turned 30. Somewhere over the last ten years she's gone from young and single to married, motherhood and a beautiful woman. Still, to me she'll forever be my baby sister.

Happy {belated} birthday sissy. Love you!


November 17, 2011

Getting Outside

Amelia over at Tales of a Mountain Mama and her hubby have a family rule about getting outside for at least 15 minutes every day regardless of the weather. I love it and think it's an awesome way to instill a love of the great outdoors, appreciation for fresh air and nature, and enjoyment of physical activity in your children. I'd be lying (to you and to me) if I said I could that here with my family. I mean everyday is tough and I'll be honest, as much as I love being outside and active, I am a fair weather gal... meaning those cold winds of the Atlantic ocean and the wet Newfoundland snow are some what inhibitive. What I can do though and what I am really trying to do is simply get outside more often.

Late yesterday afternoon, Hudson was getting a little antsy (aka whiny) sitting around the house with me. I can hardly blame him. After two plus weeks of being under the weather with laryngitis followed by a head cold and me still with a head cold, there's been a limit to his out-of-the house excursions. And let's face it, too much time between four walls will make any of us antsy. We had already worn out our jolly jumper, excersaucer, play table, book nook, treehouse TV and sing-song games for the afternoon. Nap had been had and belly was full. At a loss of what else to do, I thought of Amelia and her notion of getting outside.

Hudson's sniffles are all but gone and we had been at the doc for a check-up earlier yesterday, leaving with a clean bill of health. Des was already out back with a fire in the firepit, so I bundled H up in his bunting suit, put his hat on him, and out we went.  It was exactly what we all needed.

We showed H the fire again and talked about it a little bit. Got close enough to feel the warmth and talk about hot, but stayed far enough away to be safe!

We enjoyed some baby love. Seriously, how cute is a baby so bundled he can't move his limbs?

love from daddy

and love from mommy too
I walked Hudson around the "back nine" showing him trees and branches and leaves. There was plenty of exploring and fortunately the bunting suit immobilized him enough to keep dead leaves out of his mouth!

We played some peek-a-boo with daddy from behind the birch tree, quite the fun game!

While outside, I remembered I wanted to take in a fall sunset with the fam before the end of November and the timing was perfect. H enjoyed the late afternoon bottle outside by the fire as the sun went down before we finally headed in for supper. While we couldn't see the sunset into the ocean from the backyard, we could watch disappear behind the trees and watch the sky change colours from a bright blue to a pale blue edged with orange and gold before it finally darkened up. Lovely way to wrap up a day.

the mid-sunset sky
Getting the fresh air, seeing new things, playing a few games and simply enjoying each others company was the perfect cure for a bored little boy. Note to self: remember this. Remember this afternoon mid-winter when it seems too cold and go outside anyways. We were all happier after our 15 (plus!) minutes outside. It is amazing what a little fresh air can do.

A bonus: seeing those sweet cheeks turn oh so rosy pink. Too cute.

love you handsome boy

November 16, 2011

Weekend Bonus News - Featured & Challenging

If you read my Monday post, you may recall that I mentioned I'd have some cool bonus news to share coming out of the weekend retreat. Every month, the Paperie has a blog spotlight where they feature a local scrapbooker and showcase a few of their layouts. Well...this month I'll be the featured scrapbooker. How cool is that?! Over the next few weeks you'll be seeing a few of the layouts I made at the Paperie retreat posted up there, which of course I'll direct you to once they're live. Fun right?

Well it gets better. The Paperie also regularly posts a Mojo Monday challenge where they challenge their readers to make a layout or a card based on the challenge - so it could be using a particular colour combo, technique, image, etc. This week's challenge is also based on a layout I did. I scraplifted (for non-scrapbookers, that's basically copying a layout you like, either in full or in part) a layout I saw on Pinterest. It's Pin{spiration} if you will.

This week, the Paperie is challenging it's readers to create their own layout based on my scraplifted layout and then post it in the Mojo Monday photo gallery on Facebook. Of course, since I've already made the layout, maybe I'll make a go at turning it into a card. Or perhaps use the challenge as a jumping off point to scraplift another layout from my Pinterest boards. Maybe one of these?

An Elizabeth Kartchner layout, simple and sweet

love the colours and theme on this one

clean and bright, fun for a little boy layout for sure.
Anywho, if you're a scrapbooker, make sure to follow the Paperie blog and like their facebook page to see more local scrapbookers (like me!) and their work!

November 15, 2011

Oh Canada!

Here`s one of the layouts I made at the scrapbook retreat this past weekend. I would say it is one of my faves, but I think they all were! I`ve officially become a scrapbooking mama and Hudson has become the official scrapbook star.

Journaling: I can`t resist dressing you up most days, but Canada Day I went all out. It was your first after all!
You rocked the onesie and hat and the sunglasses were the icing on the cake. xoxo.
The Canada Day pictures were too cute not to scrap!

November 14, 2011

What A Fun Weekend

I spent this past weekend at a scrapbook retreat at the Wilds. This was my first time attending the Paperie retreat and I have to say the ladies from the Paperie pulled off an awesome weekend. Then again, with 60+ like-minded ladies, bags full of my favourite supplies, some chocolate and a bottle of wine, how could it not be awesome.

I arrived mid-morning on Friday and didn't leave until mid-afternoon on Sunday. Almost every hour in between was filled with paper, tape, scissors and endless scrapbooking fun. I scrapped all day Friday, turning in earlier than most close to midnight and was up and at 'em early on Saturday morning. We went til the wee hours again that day and was back at it again before 9am on Sunday. Pure scrapbooking bliss.

I made 12 layouts, which was probably more than I`ve made throughout 2011 so far! Better than that I made a bunch of new friends and got to know a few others a little better. I can`t wait to go to the next retreat and scrap the weekend away. My only regret is not having gone before.

I`ll have a bunch of those layouts to share over the next little while, along with another cool bonus from the weekend. In the meantime, here`s the scene from our corner of the scrapbooking room:

I sat where the computer is open in the table. Don`t ya love that organized chaos!

November 11, 2011


It was the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918 that the first world war came to an end. In Canada, it became known as Remembrance Day. A day where we commemorate those soldiers that died serving then and since and those that continue to serve. I am grateful every day for those men and women and proudly pin a poppy to my collar every year to express my appreciation for those that are braver, stronger, and more giving than I could ever dream of being.

As we all go about our day today enjoying the public holiday with our family and friends, please take a moment of silence to honour and remember. Whether it's 11am this morning at a ceremony in your town, at 11pm tonight as you pray before sleep, or at any time in between, taking a quiet moment to remember is the least we can do for those who have done so much more for all of us.

Ode of Remembrance

They went with songs to the battle, they were young.
Straight of limb, true of eyes, steady and aglo
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,

They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:

Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning,

We will remember them.
Lest we forget.

November 10, 2011

Balancing To-Do Lists and Time

This week has been a flurry of activity around our house. Nothing exciting, just the everyday busy-ness that goes with getting things done.

Cleaning out our attic/crawl space has been on the to-do list for months and months. Needing the real estate to temporarily stuff stuff in a few weeks time when we're doing some minor renos on the bedroom and hobby room, we finally got at it on Monday. We worked around a fussy boy, a napping boy, a feeding boy and we got 'er done. Nothing like an upcoming redecorating opportunity to get the nitty gritty off the list! Of course, we were then left with a pile of stuff to toss, donate, and burn, which we attended to on Tuesday. To the dump, the Salvation Army and the backyard fire pit we went. Family road trip anyone?

Wednesday was crossing off the other household to-do's, including groceries, getting gas, and a trip to Costco. I actually managed to get away to do that without the boy in tow and was reminded about how efficiently productive I once was and will be again... someday. The house was also due for a cleaning. Nothing like your mother coming to visit on the weekend to get that done! Not that she'd mind the dust, more that she'd probably dust it while she's here and I much prefer she be preoccupied with relaxing and enjoying her grandson than helping me clean the cobwebs from the corners. So dusting, scrubbing, sweeping, mopping, washing and folding was the order of the afternoon. Phew.

In between all that, I also managed to pack for my weekend away. You see, tomorrow I'm off to a three-day weekend scrapbook retreat with a group of like-minded fabulous ladies and I am so looking forward to it. Stealing a few minutes here and a few minute there I packed paper, scissors, tape into my crop bag. I sorted, edited and printed oodles of photos. I packaged up ink and stamps, ribbons and buttons, assorted embellishments and tools, snacks and {most importantly} wine into a few other bags. I even packed up my printer and paper. Yes, I'm bringing my computer and printer and I assure you, even with my four bags of gear and a small suitcase, I will probably be one of the ladies with the least amount of stuff in tow. I actually tried to take only what I use the most and will likely reach for first. I'm also hoping that if I've forgotten something, someone will share.

With all of the gutting and donating, the cleaning and clearing, the packing and preparing, I really enjoyed this post by Soule Mama. It was a great reminder to pause, breathe, and just be in the present. As I prepare to take on yet another day with a to-do list a mile long, I will keep this top of mind. Especially since there's a stuffy, sniffly, runny-nosed little monster who will probably be reaching for a few extra cuddles today. I'm sure the last bit of housework, the paperwork and other odds and ends can't wait another minute, hour or day.

What can you press pause on today, even if for just a moment?

November 9, 2011

Our Little Car Guy

I knew before he was born that our child, boy or girl, was bound to be a car-kid. With a daddy who's into muscle cars, what choice was there really? So life started with these onesies: 

For non-car peeps, a hemi is a specific type of engine :)

At three months Hudson's first photo shoot included hanging out on the hood of a 1970 Chevelle.

Then, yesterday afternoon was spent at Mercedes-Benz checking out the world's first motorcar.

Things have changed quite a bit since the late 1800's eh?

And I thought I overheard Hudson asking daddy if he could have this car when he gets his license in 16 years.

Daddy told him he could have it if we ever win the big jackpot on Lotto 649 ;)

Yes, he really is a little car guy in the making!

November 7, 2011

Runday Monday: i AM a runner

I started running back in 2002 when I got the notion of running a marathon stuck in my head. Before that, not only did I not run, like at all, but I barely did any physical activity. Yet somehow, I managed to go from completely sedentary to completing a marathon in just over five months. Crazy? Yes, and a good story for another time. Smart? Probably not given I sustained a few injuries in the rigorous training program that could have been avoided with a more phased-in approach. But worth it?  Absolutely without a doubt. You see, that process jump started my journey into becoming a runner, though I've only recently been able to acknowledge that personal identifier.

After running the marathon, I took some time off from running. My body and my brain needed a break. Yet, it wasn't long until my body and my brain were craving a run and I started back at it again. I focused mostly on short runs, 5km or so, certainly no more than 10km. I wasn't interested in another marathon, unlike my training partner who went on to run a whole bunch more in the past nine years. Never again, I said. Nope, I was running because it was good for me, for my health, for my body, for my mind. That was all. I never considered myself "a runner".

A runner in my mind was someone who loves to run, who heads out there with vim and vigor every day and can race with the best of them. I was so far removed from that image I never considered myself a real runner. Every once in a while, someone would see me running and comment something to the effect of "oh you're a runner?" or "I didn't know you were a runner." To which I'd reply, "I'm not really. I _____" and I'd fill in the blank with any number of minimizing statements such as:
... am more of a jogger than a runner.
... just do it for exercise, not really to run.
... don't race or anything.
... am not fast, can't keep up with real runners.

And so the list goes on. The reality is I am a runner. I lace up my sneakers a few times a week. I put one foot in front of the other. I run. I may not be fast. Most days I may jog more than I run. I may walk a little bit too. I may run on the road by my house, not in a road race. I may run to stay healthy and fit, not to achieve a specific speed. I may never pass you in a race. I may never again do another marathon, but I did run until I was six months pregnant. I may not love. it, but I do it. I run. And that alone makes me a runner.

I think too often we all do it. We limit ourselves and minimize what we do because we don't live up to the perfect image we've created. Oh, I'm not a quilter I just stitch old patches of fabric together to toss on the family beds. I'm not writer, I just journal for my own interest. I'm not an artist, I play with paint and canvas for fun. It's unfortunate really as acknowledging who we are and what we do makes us stronger and more confident. Enough.

Today, I'll lace up those sneakers, grab the jogging stroller, and I'll hit the trail. Today, I'm happy to say I AM a runner.

sneakers for mom, check. water for mom, check. diaper bag for the boy. check.
we're geared up to go. run, run, run :)

November 6, 2011

Simple Things: Storytime with Nanny

Hudson and I have been going to the fall story time program at our local children's library. Friday was the last session and we were lucky enough to have Nanny, who lives an hour and half away, join us. It was nice to see Hudson cuddled up in her arms listening to the stories and songs. I'm not sure who enjoyed it more, Nanny, Hudson, or me.

Linking up with Rebecca Cooper's Simple Things:

November 4, 2011

@ 7 Months

With Christmas around the corner and me past the halfway mark in my maternity leave, I can honestly say time is just a ticking along. I'm not sure how my little guy has gone from brand spanking new to 7 months old already, tis craziness I tell ya, craziness!

@ 7 months, Hudson is

... an eating machine. He gobbles up cereal like there`s going to be no more cereal ever again. He expressed a strong dislike of chicken and carrots, but bring on the peas, sweet potato, squash, blueberries, and bananas. Up next, avocado, corn, broccoli, and beans. Mmmm.

... sitting up straight as a whip. He`s strong little dude who went from solo-sitting/listing to sitting straight as can be in a matter of days. He can now reach, twist, and turn without toppling.

... is rockin` the crawl stance. He gets up on all fours and rocks back and forth and back and forth for a bit before he splays out like a little froggie again. He hasn`t yet figured out the one hand, one knee combo to crawl yet, but I can see it coming. I best get the play area child-proofed!

... still teething. The poor little guy is all drool and chew, no teeth. Hopefully he`ll get a little reprieve when those first pearly whites pop through. His smiles stops my heart now, and with teeth, God help me.

... digging the forward facing stroller position. Up until recently, we usually just kept him in his car seat which attaches to the stroller. It was easier than taking him out, strapping him in and then doing the same again with the car seat afterwards. Now though, he can see the world and loves it. He`s as quiet as a mouse looking and looking as far as his eyes can see. He was also much happier in the carrier once I switched him from facing me to facing out. The little nosy boots.

... about 19lbs8ozs and well over two feet tall. He`s in the 90th percentile for his height to weight ratio, making him mama`s chunky little monkey. We had to go out and get the bigger car seat as his infant one only goes to 22lbs! I expect we'll install that between now and Christmas for sure.

... making a Santa`s list. Well, not really, but mama is. We`re working on getting Santa and mama/daddy to keep things to a minimum. Lord knows we don`t need more plastic stuff and clutter around here. And we`re pretty sure the relatives will spoil him beyond for his first holiday season. He also wants to make sure we pick up a few special treats for the Single Parents Association to make sure all the little boys and girls have gifts under the tree.
... reaching out to mama and daddy. It`s super cute. He doesn`t so much reach up and out as if to say pick me up, more like he turns toward us when we`re playing with him and tries to crawl into our laps. We love it.

... discovering his voice more and more. He babbles and screams and coos. I`m pretty sure his first words are coming soon. And if I were a betting woman, I`d put money on `dada` being the first word up. I`m almost convinced he`s already said it, but dada disagrees and calls it babble.

... stylin' the hair. His head of full hair remains, though it had thinned out a bit around the sides for a while giving him a toupee look. Or, as we sometimes call it, his Donald Trump look. It's starting to fill back in again and I expect it won't be too long before that first haircut!

... a blessing in our lives and makes us smile every single day. Love you little man.

Out takes are the best!

November 3, 2011

Thankful Thursday - A Healthy Baby Boy

Yesterday's news contained significant coverage about conjoined twin girls from the Philippines who were separated via surgery in the US. An amazing, awe-inspiring story that demonstrates the magnificence of medicine and shines a light on the bright future that is in store for these beautiful little babies.

That story sat with me most of the day, so perhaps it was no wonder my eyes were wide as I went about my day. As I made a return at the Gap, I noticed another mama and baby browsing the store. She, like me, flicked through the racks of cute 'little man' clothes. Her boy, like mine, cute as a button and quiet as a mouse in his stroller. The only noticeable difference between us was the breathing tube that ran from somewhere on the other little guy's stroller to his sweet button nose.

Later that afternoon, through a blogger I follow in the scrapbook world, I took note of a fundraising event for a sweet little boy who ingested a coin-sized lithium battery resulting in significant damage and many surgeries. He miraculously survived, though he has undergone general anesthesia 20 times in his short life, has had 4 inches of his esophagus removed, is undergoing various therapies, and has many unknowns yet to face.

Amidst those few life stories that I encountered in just one day, I am thankful, so very thankful for our healthy baby boy. I am thankful that our greatest challenges so far only included sorting out his milk sensitivities and feeding issues and our current efforts to get him to sleep a little better. In context, those are very small, ordinary potatoes compared to the challenges other parents and families have to face.

As I lay in bed last night, I consciously took a deep breath and thanked God for blessing our life with Hudson`s smiling, happy face and asked God to keep him that way forever. I also asked God to look out for those twin girls as they heal, the little guy at the Gap, Emmett in his fight, and all those parents and families who could use a little extra help and faith in their life right now.

We are truly blessed with health and happiness. This Thursday, I`m thankful for that.

love his handsome, smiling face

November 1, 2011

Rise {Again}

On the weekend, I finally attempted my first loaf of homemade bread. It's something I've always wanted to try, but have been afraid to actually do. There was just something about the yeast, the kneading, the rising, the waiting, and the baking that seemed a little complicated. Yes, I can find my way around a kitchen fairly well when it comes to cooking up a delicious meal or a sweet treat, but the balance of exact measurements and perfect timing required for a loaf of bread to come out just right always intimidated me.

I'm also surrounded by women who make excellent bread, including my mother, my grandmother, my sister, and my mother-in-law, but despite my best intentions and many a "I've got to get someone to show me how to make bread..." I never seemed to get around to it. So yesterday, I got over the fear and got around to it on my own. I figured what's the worst that'll happen? It won't rise. I'll over knead. It'll bake up too heavy, or too dense, or too flat. I decided if all of that was the worst that'd happen, I 'd be OK. I'd be out a few cups of flour and a packet of yeast and I'd be in some learning experience.

With a fresh packet of yeast in hand, I pulled up this recipe that I'd pinned a while back on Pinterest. It looked like a nice balance of healthy grains and white flour. Hey, if I'm going to go through the trouble of making bread, I wanted it to be something I could feel good about eating. The white breads of my kin are divine for the lips, but disaster for the hips. Grainy goodness was a must for me. It also looked fairly straightforward and had clear directions. Measuring cups. Check. Ingredients. Check. Loaf Pan. Check. Oven. Check. Let's get this loaf on the road.

what, you don't bake in your burberry scarf? I may be in the kitchen, but I can still be in style!
After some yeast mixing and blooming, some dough kneading and rising, some loaf baking and waiting, I ended up with this beauty.

fresh from the oven...

all buttered up and ready to eat
Looks like bread. And better yet, it tasted like bread. Like honest to goodness, warm, doughy, homemade bread. Smeared with a little butter, it made the perfect accompaniment to my glass of red wine on Sunday evening. Hey, I figured I went good grain on the bread, I did good on baking the bread, I needed to celebrate the bread ;)

It was even better with a cup of coffee yesterday morning. Mmmmm.

And after all was said and done, what was the worst that happened? I might have burned the motor in my Cuisinart food processor, despite it coming equipped with a bread blade and instructions that say it has a motor efficient enough to process multiple batches of dough in a row. I haven't had the heart to turn it on since, so we'll see.

Nonetheless, I think my bread dough will rise again, even if I have to knead it all by hand.