Wait! It's New Year's Eve?!?

Wow, glad I read Pamela's blog today or we would have been wondering what all the fuss was about at midnight. Yup. We totally forgot.

I feel like I'm lacking in the wrap-up-the-year in memorable words and with great wisdom postings... There's always next year I guess.

Tom could tell I was sad that I missed making fun food and planning something neat for us to do at home to amuse ourselves until midnight... So he offered to have our own New Year's Eve tomorrow instead.

He's so cute.

And mistaken.


To Dos

The past few months have been so much fun, so out of the ordinary, and so not routine. Come January (next week!) Tom heads back to wok (sniff!) and it will be time to buckle down, settle in, and routine it up. Problem is.. I bore easily and can't help but think that I'll get a little stir crazy staying home by myself with baby trying to respect a sleep schedule. Staying put... routines...? Not exactly my strong suits. (Oh, I should probably mention here that we've decided I'll be staying home with Jay and not working from home anymore. There. Now you know.)

So I have an idea. It's not like I plan on having a whole lot of free time or anything, but I want to make the most of the time I will have. I have this nasty tendency to waddle away free time wading through threads on Baby Center, surfing through friends' blogs (repeatedly), and trolling Kijiji. Not exactly productive behaviours nor something you can put your finger on at the end of the day and say that's what else I've done today.

So I have this idea. I've started making a to do list of things that interest me and I've always wanted to do, but haven't prioritized doing. I don't need to complete something everyday, but at least work on a project everyday. Feel free to hold me accountable.

  • Sew something. Anything. Read about it, try it, complete something, then decide if sewing is for me.
  • Finish fixing up the white photo frames for Jay's room, print pictures for frames, hang frames. You know, like before his first birthday.
  • Hang polka-dot mirrors in Jay's room
  • Photograph Jay's room once everything is done. Post on blog for world to see.
  • Bake homemade bread. Often. I received the mother-of-all bread machines for Christmas and if I use it half as much as my blender it will wish someone else received it for Christmas.
  • Make and bake a loaf of artisan bread. My MIL gave me a book on it a while back and I'm been meaning to do it for a while. This may be tricky considering the mother-of-all-bread machines is heading my way from amazon.ca
  • Try another smoke photography project. This should probably happen when someone else is watching Jay.
  • Complete first year of Jonathan's baby book
  • Continue to do monthly photoshoots of Jay

In addition to home grown projects, I'd love to set some goals for getting out of the house.
  • The awesome, awesome mom's meetup place I used to hang out at and get my mama (and cappuccino) fix has closed :( So I need to find something similar. Diaper Gym in Portage is just too far to go...
  • The local library (about 2 blocks from our place) has mom/baby hours and activities on Wednesday mornings. I need to get over my fear of being the only anglophone in the room and just attend already. I wonder if they have any sewing books in English...
  • La Leche League meets in our neighborhood the first Wednesday morning of the month. It's free, close, topical, and a great way to meet like-minded mamas. I've met lovely ladies there before, I should really go catch up with them again.
  • Take a photography course. It's time.

How about you? How do you keep things fresh while leading a life of leisure staying at home playing and and napping all day??


Baby's first Christmas

Precious moments earrrrrrly Christmas morning.

Love this kid.


Merry Christmas eve

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.


unpack, pack

On Thursday in the wee hours of the morning, we made it home. Yay!

The laundry machine has been getting a workout as we wash up from our CR trip and start preparing for Manitoba. Nope, don't bother putting away those suitcases just yet...

Other happenings:
  • Christmas gift. A rather large package was waiting for me when we got home... Studio lights!!! GAH! So exciting! Poor Jay, he'll be taking some serious damage on the retinas I'm sure.
  • Christmas decorating. Tom said he felt scrooge-y because we didn't have a tree or anything this year, so I headed over to our town's thrift store and got some fantastic deals. For $9 I now have garland and white lights wrapped around the staircase banister to upstairs as well as garland and exterior white lights hanging on the front porch. Not bad for $9, eh? Tom said, "Wow, you decked the halls!" Very funny.
  • I am officially a cloth diaper expert(ish). A while ago I was approached by a Canadian cloth diapering blog to be a reviewer for different types of cloth diapers. In exchange, I get to keep the diapers they send to me to review. Not a bad deal AT ALL! I received my first one (from a Canadian company!) and am hard at work. I'm so indescribably pumped!
  • Jay thinks pushing one tooth at a time is for wussies. He's up to 8 teeth that are through and I can see 2 more nearly here. Yikes! He's also working on mastering pulling up and standing. Standing is his favorite pastime these days. Well that and unloading stuff: all books out of the bookshelf, all clothes out of a drawer, all mega lego out of the box, etc. If he can stand while unloading something? He's over the moon.


Jaco beach

Although highly distracted

by the waves

by the seagulls

by the sand

and by daddy's hat

JayJay thought the beach and beach town were pretty cool.


CR: Day 5,6,7&8

I should probably quit naming these posts by days, it's not like I'm posting every day or anything :)
But here's a bit of a recap, in photos. Enjoy!

Tonight is our last night with our Costa Rican family :(
Tomorrow morning we are heading out early to hit the coast by the afternoon :) Here we come pacific ocean!!!!

Then Wednesday is the trek home. Oiy, it's been a wonderful time here, but it will be great to be home again.

Oh, and mom, I finally caught a pic of a banana truck!


CR: day 2,3,4...

YES, we made it!
YES, we are having a great time!! It's so great to be back... Just don't have a lot of time for internet stuff.

The weather is absolutely beautiful, it's wonderful being reunited with our Costa Rican family (and friends), and it's been indescribably fabulous to have our own car.

Jonathan has been a trooper and is really enjoying himself, not to mention how much everyone is enjoying him :)

Oh CR, how I've missed you!!!


CR: day 1

Yes mom, we stayed at La Sabana hotel last night.
Yes dad, of course we ordered in from Rosti Pollos for dinner.

And yes, the continental breakfast was just as fabulous this time :)

Miss you guys!


1st leg complete!

Today we successfully got up at an awful early hour, flew to Toronto, had a delay for a few hours, flew to San Jose, found (ALL!) our luggage and car rental dude, got our car and headed to our hotel for the night. And now we're here.

Lag 1 complete!
Phew... Am I tired!

Jay was INCREDIBLE for the journey. That kid rocks at traveling! Sleeping during the night while traveling? Often not so much. But hey, I'd rather a kid that traveled well and needed more help at night than a nightmare traveler that slept well.

Tomorrow's journey includes a bit of shopping then heading out to Tuis de Turrialba. Yes, we will be reunited with our Costa Rican family tomorrow! For me it's been just over a year since I've seen them. My friend and I came for a visit last October. For Tom, however, it's been nearly 20 months. It is going to be so great to see them and so many others we share fond memories with!

Hasta luego!


9 months

On December 1st, our little man turned 9 months old.

This week has been a big one for him.

First, he has now officially been 'out' longer than he was 'in'.

Second, he waves bye-bye.

Third, he says mama...

sometimes even in reference to me :)



Today was try number two for Tom to take his birthday flight...
And he did!

He did so well on the flight training/simulator that the pilot let him take off, fly, AND land the plane!!!


I'm so glad he really enjoyed himself, he deserves it, especially after having to wait over 4 months to cash in on his birthday gift!

I was very happy with my experience purchasing and booking through TryThat. Between their great customer service and the awesome experience Tom had today I would definitely recommend them!


it's great to be home

Leaving Winnipeg was tough. Being there for so long led to deepening of relationships and rekindling of old ones. We are so appreciative for the time we were able to spend there for those very reasons. Oh yeah, and Jay got to spend a lot of time with the fams :)

The road home was a bit rough at first, then we settled into a grove and the rest of the trip went swimmingly. Which is really cool considering there was an infant in the car.

Our time in Elkhart was very insightful. I am looking forward to seeing how God leads from here. We're all ears!

But being home? Being home has been WONDERFUL! Here's a few things that I'm really digging about being back:
  • Apparently I own more than the 4 shirts!
  • Being able to sleep in my own bed.
  • Getting to make a mess and not feel guilty that I made a mess in someone else' place.
  • Not being so concerned that Jay will out grow ALL of his clothes. I now realize we have buckets of larger sized clothes. Before we were limited to what was in the suitcase.
  • Getting to wear warmer clothes. When we left it was beautiful (+25!) out and although I tried to pack appropriate gear, space was tight to cover summer, fall, AND winter.
  • Getting to use my new winter coat. I snagged this awesome down-filled long winter jacket at a garage sale this past summer for $5. Problem is, the weather is too nice right now to sport it. Soon enough I'm sure, right?
  • Jay gets to sleep in HIS room! It was during the trip that we started putting him to bed in a separate room from ours, so this is the first time he's sleeping in his very own room. I love his room and it warms my heart to see him using it. I think I should post a pic...
  • Making dinner. I love to cook for my family and I get to again.
  • Montreal's Kijiji. There's something about a population of 3 million that leads to some great deals.
  • Our church family. It was so nice to see (most) everyone again this past Sunday.



Sweet home :)

homeward bound

Today is the last lag of our journey. It's been over 10 weeks and 10 thousand kilometers and we could be happier to have taken this trip.

We are so thankful the Lord orchestrated all the details for it to happen, for keeping us safe along he way, and for teaching us lessons we needed to learn. We are also so thankful that home is nearly in sight :)


Updated Christmas wish list

If anyone cares to know ;)

It's here.

With links for your viewing pleasure!

Back in Canada, but not for long

Crossed the border into Canada from Detroit to Windsor last night. We are making really good time. Going to be home a day early at this rate!

Today we have a few meetings in Cambridge, going to stay the night there with friends then head home to Montreal tomorrow. It will be a loooong day of driving, but we may make it all the way if Jonathan continues to be the trooper he has been in the car. Yay Johnny!

Thankfully he adjusted well to being on the road. The first two nights weren't so hot, at all, but it's been drastically better ever since. I think it was more us that needed to adjust to his needs while on the road. Thank goodness we've figured it out a bit, because the traveling isn't going to end soon. December will be a busy month for us. With Tom returning to work in January and a plan for our future beginning to take shape, we realize that this may one of our last opportunities to visit our friends in Costa Rica. Yes, we are returning. And soon. We fly in less than 2 weeks!



In Elkhart

Chicago was fantastic! And for those of you who thought the museum was an odd choice for us, you need to know that it was all about an umbrella. An umbrella that was a long time in the making. I'll tell ya all about sometime. Just not tonight. I'm tired.



Day 3 - Southern bound and lovin' it

The weather has been dramatically better now that we're heading south. Thank goodness! That stormy stuff is awful to drive through.

Currently we're in the car (big surprise, I know) about 2 hours outside Chicago. We loved Chicago last time we were through and are really looking forward to the next few days in the area. We are ahead of schedule road-trip wise, so we get to slow down and take it relatively easy today and tomorrow and still get to Elkhart on schedule (we have meetings there throughout Tuesday and Wednesday).

We have big plans for today in the Windy City. First up: The Museum of Contemporary Art. Hey!! Why are you so surprised?


Day 2 on the road, bleary-eyed and stormy

I'm glad I basked in Johnny's awesomeness yesterday, because I sure wasn't last night. I'm also really glad we got a good night's rest before hitting the road, because we sure didn't last night.

It's also storming. Blah!

So far I can say with certainty that road trips in late September are far better than road trips late November.


first day down, quite a few to go

Johnny was a CHAMP today! Not only did he sleep over 12 hours last night (a round of applause, please!!!) he was a dream passenger in the car today. Three 1 hourish naps plus contented self amusement (plus a few minutes of mommy in the backseat for entertainment, plus 2 pit-stops) gave us a little over 530 kms and a crossed border. Yay Johnny!

Don't worry, I'm FULLY aware his awesomeness in the car can come to a grinding hault tomorrow. I figured I'd bask in it while it lasted.

We are currently nestled into a hotel suite. Naturally, Johnny is fast sleep in the bedroom, his little travel crib parked beside the comfy king size bed that will remain undisturbed... Tom and I have set up camp on the lumpy hide-a-bed in the living room side. The price you pay for not joining in on a 7:30pm bedtime.

C'est la vie, eh?

On the road again

After an amazing sleep last night we packed up the car and ourselves and headed out this morning. We're trying to get ahead of a snowstorm that is set to cross the northern states this weekend.

Please pray for safe travels (and looong naps in the car for Johnny!)

It was so great to see you all!!!!


Christmas wish list

Over on Pamela's blog she's started a Christmas wish list for anyone who's interested. I'm not nearly as organized as her to have pictures/specifics on the items, nor do I expect a gift from anyone, but it could be fun to dream none the less.

  • A cute apron. Sorry, don't have any additional details other than 'cute'.
  • Sewing skills... Hhmm... Is there such as a thing as a Sewing for Dummies book? (Apparently there is!) I have access to a good machine, just no idea how to operate it.
  • A new bread maker. One that makes horizontal loaves. I should blog about the current state of my bread maker.
  • Cloth/fabric shopping bags. I'm going to try and go plastic bagless next year. I may need a few of these to have some here, there, and everywhere so I can accomplish my goal.
  • Tuition (and time) for a photography course. This is waaaaaaaay up there on my wishlist, just don't know how it can become reality.
  • One of those tall, large, red and white striped mugs currently being sold at Safeway for $4.99. They look perfect for a cappuccino!
  • Yoga pants from Lulu Lemon (for those of you who won the lottery this year). Specifically the Groove Pant in black, size six, tall. ;) A girl can dream, can't she?

  • Reusable snack bags, like these. As Jonathan is getting more into finger foods, these will be awesome for healthy snacks on the go. Available at most kid supply stores and eco-friendly shops. Including the Baby Bin Boutique on Corydon.

  • A subscription to Fluff of the Month club!! A brand new (guilt free!) cloth diaper in the mail once a month would be truly awesome! Plus it would take up no room at all in the suitcase back to Montreal after Christmas ;) A perfect gift for Candice!! (Or, for Jonathan, lol!) If you're interested, please check 'doesn't matter' for diaper type and JayJay is currently in the 16-22 pound category :)

  • A diaper sprayer. True luxury for a cloth diapering mama. I'd be thrilled with this!

  • Of course reusable produce bags would help round-out the plastic baglessness that I want to tackle in the new year.

Probably to be continued...

**Please note: Links are provided for reference only. Although I love the items in the links, they don't HAVE TO BE those exact items, know what I mean?


This one is for you, Deb

Just wanted to make sure there'd be something new here for you.


Today we said goodbye to Baba and Grandpa for the last time this trip :( We're currently in the car heading back to Winnipeg. The babe is sleeping, both Tom and I are quiet in thought. We will be continuing our journey back to Montreal this coming Friday. It's funny, I've been talking so big about itching to leave, but now that the time has come I don't really want to do it. Maybe I just knew this would be hard and didn't want to face that part.


First snow

Unlike Sonya and Pamela, I didn't take pictures. But I did think it was cute that they posted about the same thing only a few hours apart. This wasn't the first time they've done this. Nor will it be their last.

The snow was indeed beautiful this morning, but I couldn't help but think of the loooong ride home we have coming up and how much longer it may be if there's snow on the ground. I'm starting to get the itch to get on with it already. The snow just intensified it.


Sleep. Sweet succulent sleep.

How our evenings used to look:

Nurse, rock, rock, rock, carefully transfer to crib after he's (accidentally) fallen into a deep sleep. Sneak out of room.
Enjoy your next 15 minutes because they may be your last of the evening. Heck, maybe you should use them to brush your teeth then head to bed. Yes, it's only 8:00pm, but you have a loooong night ahead of you.
Baby wakes squawking, nurse, rock back to sleep, place in crib, sneak into bed. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.




Repeat. Oh! It's 7:00am already. That wasn't too bad, now was it?

How our evenings have been looking recently:

Give baby a bath, read a book or two, nurse, and rock till drowsy. Place in crib still awake, exit. Listen to a squawk or two in protest, then watch baby on monitor roll about in the crib and babble to himself for a few minutes. Then fall asleep on his own.

Baby wakes about 8 HOURS later for a quick feed, then goes back to sleep on his own without protest and stays there for almost 3 more hours.

Wake well rested, with renewed patience, and energy for the day.

Baby is better rested and is less likely to be an only child.


dates are set

Looks like we have a plan people!

The journey home begins November 18. I'd like to follow that with a sad face :( and a happy face :) We have lots of things to do before then, during then, and after then.

Things are shaping up, schedule is falling in to place, and I'm going to try to relax and enjoy the ride.


8 months

Ummm.... Anyone have a baby gate I can borrow?


3rd annual Blogger get together!!


See you soon ladies!!!!


Say Cheese!

No this post has nothing to do with dairy.

Tomorrow we are getting a family portrait done with my side of the family. You wouldn't believe how difficult it is to arrange a day where all 7 of us travel happy people are in the same city.

But we did it.

And arranged a photographer too.

Please don't rain!!


Sleep training.

Hello. My name is Candice.

(Hi Candice.)

And I'm resorting to letting my baby cry it out so we can all get some sleep at night.


I know. I know. I never really thought it would come to this... I always had it in the back of my mind as a back-up plan I never planned on using. But after nearly 8 months of pretty sleepless nights I came to the end of my rope. I really thought my rope was longer than that.

Yes, we tried co-sleeping. Yes, we tried bunking in the same room with different bed. Yes, we tried to meet every single need he has ever had, even during the night. But then I started to crack a little. The great big mommy give-a-thon was wearing me thin. So daddy started taking a more active role at night. Don't get me wrong, he has always helped at night, but he started taking the lead on it some nights... Which only resulted in NO ONE getting sufficient sleep.

I've been praying for more sleep for all of us for months now. Months. But this last month it has been getting progressively worse:

It started with wakings at night every few hours. What could be worse than that, right? We can only improve from here, right??

Then wakings every 2 hours... What could be worse than that? We can only improve from here, right????? Improvement must be only a night or two away!!

Oh, but they weren't.

Then wakings every hour at night... I didn't dare ask what could be worse. I didn't want to find out.

We grinned and beared it, thinking it was completely our own faults because we've dragged him across the country and kept moving in between houses. Surely he'll sleep when we get home, right? But then we remembered he didn't really sleep there either. Sure he slept through the night from 2 months to 4 months, but then that came to an abrupt end. FOUR MONTHS AGO. FOUR. We haven't been on the road for 4 months.

Then a few days ago I got to the end of my rope. I really, really thought the rope was longer. But, apparently not. After a really loooong night in which Tom was up the entire time and I didn't get any shut-eye either because of the drama, we came to the conclusion it was time.

Time for the back-up plan.

Time for the back-up plan I never wanted to use.

We did some reading on it. Tom went out and bought a video monitor. I gathered a bunch of pointers and tricks from experienced moms online. We had access to a large house with no one else around for the training period.

And we went for it. I cried. A lot.

Tom gave me a set of earplugs and told me to sleep upstairs. He's been sleeping downstairs with the baby in the next room and the monitor by his head.

The first night wasn't too bad. Last night was a bit rougher, but still within the range of humane. I covet your prayers for tonight. Oh, and also your encouragement that this works and confirmation that Tom and I aren't monsters.


a trip into the amazon rainforest, Part III

If you haven't read Part I or Part II, then you'll have no idea why we landed a single prop plane in the middle of the Amazon rainforest to visit one of the communities Nate Saint tried to make contact with, or why we are now heading off to another community with one of his spearers on board.


We taxi back down the grassy runway strip and are airborne right before having to cross a creek. Tom and I stare at each other in disbelief. Not only were we just face painted with plant dyes in the jungle, but Dyuwi is on board. We took a picture, to be sure :)

The flight is short. We feel the plane lowering again and I spot another grassy clearing in the thick jungle canopy. This time when we land there is a whole community waiting. The pilot tells us to sit tight. He assumes our pick-up is waiting amongst them and wants to save time. After a brief discussion with a man with a backpack he digs out the sixth seat from the plane's undercarriage. Apparently there are 2 pick-ups here.

As the men climb aboard I recognize one from the 'extra features' bit in the movie we watched the night before. Mincaye. The leader of the tribe when Nate made contact. Seeing our faces the pilot leaned toward us and whispered "You won't believe this. Our pick-ups are the other two spearers that are still alive. I had no idea. I've never seen them all in one place before... And I've been doing this for over a decade!"

The men climb aboard and sit behind us. Dyuwi is sitting shot-gun to the pilot, we sit in the row behind them, and Mincaye and Kimo sit behind us.

A six pasenger plane. The pilot + us + the three surviving spearers that took the lives of Nate and his friends'.

We begin to taxi. Some kids run along side us trying to keep up with the plane. We inevitably speed off and are airborne in seconds...

We learn upon arrival that the three men are flying to Shell to help with a bible translation project. All three are Christians, with a heart to spread the Good News to others.

What a story of redemption! I mean, if these men can be forgiven for what they've done, surely so can I. And if these men can decide to dedicate themselves to expanding the Kigdom in spite of their past mistakes, then surely so can I. And if God can take such a tragic event and use it for Glory, then surely he can use me, too.



a trip into the amazon rainforest, Part II

If you missed Part I, be sure to check it out or you'll have no idea why we just landed a single prop plane in the middle of the Amazon rainforest about to visit one of the communities Nate Saint tried to make contact with.


Now, where were we? Oh right, we just landed in the single prop plane in the middle of the rainforest about to visit one of the communities Nate Saint tried to make contact with.

The view from the air was incredible, but now we were on the ground we couldn't help but look around in awe. It reminded us a bit of Sinoli, an indigenous community in Chirripo we hiked to when we were back in Costa Rica.

The pilot told us that this was the home of one of the three killers of Nate Saint that are still alive. The man, named Dyuwi, is now a Christian and often comes to pray with those who visit the community. "He may have heard the plane overhead and land... He may come to meet us." Until then we were tasked with tracking down the person we were to pick-up. Well, that and hanging out with the different members of the community that came to see what the plane came for.

We hiked up a path to a clearing in the jungle. There stood a wooden square structure and a bamboo shelter. The pilot told us the wooden one was a church. We all went 'inside' it. Some kids sang a song for us, many more just peered at us through the slits of the wooden walls. We must have been a curious sight, to be sure.

Within a few minutes a man, about 5 feet tall and over 70 years old, emerged from the jungle and stood at the doorway of the church. He was Dyuwi. He was one of Nate Saint's killers. At first we thought he had come just as the pilot said he may, but eventually it became strikingly obvious to all three of us that he was the person we had come for. He was our pick-up.

We gave him shotgun in the plane.

And now that we had our first pick-up on board, we headed off to community number two...

**Pics to come, they are on the other computer.


a trip into the amazon rainforest: Part I

A year and a half ago or so, we were in Ecuador serving as missionaries in the small town of Shell. Shell is probably most known for being the home of Nate Saint, a missionary to the area in the late 1940s/early 50s. Nate Saint is probably most known for being a martyr - killed by the very indigenous people he was trying to spread the Word of the Gospel to. Maybe you've seen the movie End of the Spear? That's the story I'm talking about.

Let me summarize for you:
Nate Saint and a few of his closest friends were trying to reach a remote people group in the amazon rainforest, just outside of Shell. They first spotted the group from their plane, flying overhead, and over time began a bit of a friendship through the exchange of gifts (lowered down in a basket from their airplane). Then, eventually, Nate and his friends landed their plane on the riverbank to meet the indigenous people person-to-person. Unfortunately, the indigenous men were not okay with this, and speared Nate and his friends to death right there on the beach. Although that part of the story is terribly tragic, especially considering the men that were killed had young families, the wives picked-up where they left off and continued to evangelize to this group resulting in Christianity being spread through the indigenous tribe in the area. Three of the original killers are still alive today. All three are Christians.

The time Tom and I were in Shell spanned over Tom's birthday, so as a surprise to him I arranged with Mission Aviation (another missionary group working in the area) for us to accompany one of their pilots on a flight over the amazon rainforest. We were sure to watch End of the Spear the night before our big flight to get acquainted with the arial views and have details of the history fresh in our minds.

We met the pilot early in the morning at the tiny Shell airport. We were surprised to see the pilot push out a 6 passenger plane from the hanger, not the 3 passenger I had originally booked. The pilot informed us that we were in for a treat, he received two pick-up requests from two separate indigenous communities. So, not only were we going to get an arial view of the rainforest, but we were scheduled to land in two indigenous communities. We were stoked.

Once the pre-flight checks were done, Tom climbed into the co-pilot seat and I into the back of the little single prop plane that was going to take us out into history.

Care to join us?

Here's footage of one of our landings:


Kijiji Queen

My father has dubbed me the Kijiji Queen.

I kind of dig the title ;)

Since being pregnant, I've been buying and selling all sorts of baby gear on Kijiji. So much so that it's become a bit of a sideline. Once one knows the market well enough (supply/demand type stuff) and what the market will bear price-wise, it becomes a bit of a game. Knowledge of the products, how to navigate Kijiji searches to find them, what questions to ask sellers, and how to market items to increase sales are obviously good asets as well. I don't make much, but I do get great satisfaction out of it. Oh, right, and actual use of the items in the meantime. Then I get my money back after selling. So, essentially, use of awesome baby gear for free, or, sometimes, at a small profit. Which is totally thrilling for me! My specialty is cloth diapers, of course, but it definitely hasn't been limited to that.

JayJay and I have spent many a drives going all around Montreal picking-up and dropping off goods. Heck, I've even made purchases in Montreal that I've sold here in Winnipeg (major supply/demand difference between the two locations!). The lady in Montreal was happy to have received her asking price and have her items sold, the lady in Winnipeg was thrilled because the items are so hard to come by here, and I got use of the items in between. Sweet deal if you ask me.

To be sure, I make sure all things are fair and ethical. I always ensure the seller is happy (no need to rip anyone off!!), the buyer is most often thrilled, and I highly enjoy being the one in the middle that gets to partake in the exchanges (and sometimes reap some benefits!)

I've even branched off from baby-gear when someone asked me to find an item for them. I did my homework and got them a great deal. Everyone was happy. I was thrilled.

And yes, I know this makes me sound crazy!


long overdue

Dinner and a movie.

And it was great!


Full(er) House

Today my parents arrived to stay with us for the weekend. I'm quite excited, not only to see them, but also this means Tom and I get to go out on a date tomorrow night to celebrate our anniversary. We haven't gotten away just us for, oh, quite some time. Come to think of it, since Tom's sister visited us in July. And before then? Since my mom was in Montreal back in April!

So yeah, it's overdue. Here we come date night!!



Today, 4 years ago, I married the man of my dreams.
Thankfully, the story just keeps getting better from there... :)

Who knew that prince charmings still existed?
Who knew that there was a knight in shining armor out there who was waiting just for me?
Who knew when to introduce him, how quickly we would fall in love, and how we would be perfect companions for each other?

God knew.
That's who.

And I thank him every day.


Geckos can stink.

A while back, we were living in Costa Rica. We had our own little house, with it's own little entrance area. After living in the house for a few weeks we noticed an odd smell developing in the entrance. We checked our shoes and determined that no, it wasn't some weird fungus growing in our footwear. We checked under the bench, I washed the mat, we swept the floor. Nothing seemed to help. Oh, and the smell? Getting worse. Almost putrid.

Then one morning I opened the door and noticed something hanging in the doorframe. Although it wasn't surprising to see it was a gecko, which are everywhere, it was surprising to see that it had a flat head. And that it wasn't running away when I poked at it. In fact, when I poked at it, it fell to the floor and didn't move at all. Death by door. Poor thing.

In case my story isn't clear enough: Little gecko was flattened when someone slammed the door shut. Then it began to rot and stink up our entrance way. How's that for spelling it out for ya?


Never mind an onion

I'm layered like a rose.


Baby got food. And some digestive issues.

JayJay loves eating. Always has.

His technique as a nursling has never been great, but he's always eager to eat; that definitely hasn't changed since starting solid foods. So far my little man has devoured baby cereal, banana, avocado, squash, sweet potato, peas, carrots, prunes, applesauce, and green beans. He's always delighted to see his little green and orange bowl come out of the cupboard.

The food, he just loves, but twice now he's broke out in hives after a meal. Not cool. I'm still trying to track down the common denominator, but haven't had any luck. Hopefully it will never happen again and we won't have to worry about it, right? Hopefully.

Eating has also wreaked havoc on his little guts. We've been battling constipation a few times now, poor kid. Thankfully he loves prunes and I have a blender that liquifies those puppies in 10 seconds flat. We're going to stick away from constipating foods for a while, but does anybody have any other remedies/preventative measures I could try? (We've done the Q-tip/finger tip thing when times were desperate, with no luck.)


Dear Manitoba,

Thank you for making a trip to the grocery store just a little more tricky with a baby in tote by requiring a stupid silly coin deposit for a shopping cart. I didn't have enough to organize and cart around with me already.



friends for life

Today we got to hang with some of our bestest friends.

They are the type that you can show up hours late due to a rough night and sleep deprivation, and the first comment is how happy they are that you were able to make it at all.

Now those are real friends.

We love you guys!


girls night in


I went and, of course, it was fun. But I think I need to clarify something before someone misinterprets this post. It wasn't like I was sitting around in my lounge wear wondering if I should go or not... I wrote this when I was putting the kid to sleep and thinking about all the things I should get done before our trip the next day (and sleep looked so succulent!). I was tied to the chair anyways, so I blogged about my head conversation...

Sheeshk, why do I even let you in my head?

* * *

There's a girls get together tonight that I was graciously invited to. The funny thing is, my to do list is sooo long I doubt I'll make it. But then I think, doesn't that means I NEED to go?

Then I think of the process of actually going (you know, finding clean clothes, redoing my frumpy pony tail, and slapping a bit of colour on my face) and it seems overwhelming. So i think about going to bed instead. Way easier. But then that would be terribly rude, wouldn't it? "Sorry I couldn't make it, I went to bed."

Hmmm... Not exactly the impression I want to give.

Have I told you I have terrible antisocial tendencies? I wonder if that's what's really kicking in here. I would blow myself away if I just got in the car as I am, sweat pants and all, and showed up as me. But then people would think I'm not fairing well or something. Like seriously, you don't lounge around in comfy whole-y clothes when you're at home? Oh! It's common social graces to wear something half decent.


I should probably just go get ready already.


evidence that becoming a mom has changed me

It used to be that when I saw children lashing out and making a scene at the grocery store (or wherever) I shook my head and thought disapproving thoughts.


I give a smile of condolence to the parent and think: Oh goody, that's what's to come!


Back in the 'Peg

Harvest is done.

Thanksgiving was great.

Back in the Peg.

Owner of house installed hot tub while we were away...

So not a lot of time to blog tonight!!! lol!



Christmas came early!

Christmas came early

for one lucky little boy.

Thank you Grandpa and Baba!!


reusable baby wipes

I think I've mentioned once or twice that we're avid cloth diaperers ;) but did you know we are cloth wiperers as well?

If you're doing diaper laundry anyway, then using cloth wipes is a natural extension of cloth diapering.

This is what's working for us:

  • A few packs of cheapo baby washcloths from Walmart (three $4 packs of 12, I believe). Baby washcloths work well because one side is soft for wiping and drying, and the other side is a bit rougher for cleaning up messes.
  • Homemade wipe solution: 2c water, 2 tbsp baby shampoo, 2 tbsp sweet almond oil, and a few drops of tea tree oil. Pour all ingredients into a refillable squeeze bottle (we use a cleaned out used shampoo bottle) and shake well to mix. I also keep some in a small peri bottle for the diaper bag for traveling. One 'batch' will last well over a month.
At diaper changes, simply give the bottle a little shake, squeeze some solution out onto the corner or one side of a washcloth, wipe baby clean, then dry the area using the rest of the washcloth. Toss washcloth in with diaper laundry. Wash. Reuse. The initial $20 investment has given us over 7 months of wipes so far, and we're still going strong.

I've found the homemade solution to be a great for cleaning baby's bottom without drying out sensitive skin. Nor do we need to routinely use diaper creams, which I'm definitely not a fan of. We've doing this since birth (aside from a few trips when we decided to go the disposable route) and we've only now had our first diaper rash (and I'm pretty sure that has more to do with dietary change than anything).

So there you have it! Another eco-, budget-, baby- friendly alternative in the cloth diapering world that has really been working for us. And believe me when I tell you, it's way easier to do than you think!


fall means new beginnings

I've always loved fall. The colours, the crisp nights, the crunchy leaves, the sent of harvest in the air. And, of course, the new beginnings.

Fall always brought with it great anticipation.

The impending school year.
My departure for university.
And then, eventually, my upcoming wedding.

Being the farmer's daughter I am, fall also meant many hours of solitude on the combine to contemplate these changes.

Who was I going to be this year at school?
What will it really be like moving away from home?
How am I ever going to hack it as a wife?

So this year it is so suiting to be here, on the combine, again contemplating the future with great anticipation.


hearty harvest pasta

While the fam was out hard at work this afternoon, I whipped some homemade pasta sauce from my mom's garden vegetables (plus some straggler veggies in the fridge). I quartered the tomatoes, chopped up some onion, red and green pepper, and threw in a few cloves of hearty homegrown garlic - basted with olive oil, sprinkled with a few spices, and roasted it all in the oven for about an hour.

I had two baking pan worth of veggies - one I blended (yes, I'm traveling everywhere with my beloved blender) until liquid, the second I only put in for about 3 seconds to add some chunky texture. Simmered it in a pot with roasted venison garlic sausage and dinner was made! (Along with whole wheat pasta and garlic toast, of course).

Okay, I admit it, that isn't an actual picture of mine.

I forgot to take one.

But thought this post would be even dried without one ;)


7 Months

About a week late,
Jay and I headed out this afternoon

to capture him at 7 months old

Note to self: 7 month old are fascinated with leaves.

So much so,

the camera no longer matters.

The only thing that matters

is how leaves taste

When we had about as much leaf consumption as mommy could handle,

we switched locations.

Oh yeah and, umm...

Had a wardrobe change.

Sweet baby Jonathan, you are such a character!
I love you more than words can explain
and am so honoured to be your mommy.

Happy 7 months, kiddo.