30/10/2011

3rd annual Blogger get together!!

TONIGHT!!!

See you soon ladies!!!!

29/10/2011

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!!

28/10/2011

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.

(GASP!)

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.

27/10/2011

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.

Amen?

25/10/2011

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.

24/10/2011

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:

video



23/10/2011

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!





22/10/2011

long overdue

Dinner and a movie.


And it was great!

21/10/2011

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!!

20/10/2011

4

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.

19/10/2011

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?

18/10/2011

Never mind an onion


I'm layered like a rose.

17/10/2011

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.)

16/10/2011

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.

Sincerely,
Me

15/10/2011

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!

14/10/2011

girls night in

UPDATE:

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.

Gotcha.

I should probably just go get ready already.

13/10/2011

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.


Now!?


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

11/10/2011

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!

:D

10/10/2011

Christmas came early!

Christmas came early


for one lucky little boy.






Thank you Grandpa and Baba!!



09/10/2011

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!

08/10/2011

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.

07/10/2011

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 ;)

06/10/2011

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.

05/10/2011

Self-conscious about my Bloggy-self

I usually have great blog posts drafted in my head; only the fairly neutral ones make it to print.

Sometimes I wish I could be bolder in the blog world. My friend Tiffany is an awesome blogger. She doesn't shy from including a little opinion in her posts, but does so with such style and wit that no one's offended. (No pressure on today's post Tiffany! ;)

I'm always too concerned with offending someone and it hanging there in the eternity of the internet for them to stew over. Honestly, I could probably last all through Blogtober just by hitting publish on posts I've drafted but never published because they weren't neutral enough. I won't, of course. But on the other hand, wouldn't that liven things up around here? lol!

I've also noticed I blog about sunshine and roses a lot. Have you noticed that too? I wonder, how is that helpful to anyone? I guess I'm concerned readers may judge me based on blog content alone because we live a few provinces away from most and they have little else to go on. But really, if they want to judge, won't they anyway? I was sure nut butter wouldn't offend, but apparently it was enough to judge. Maybe I like dwelling on the positive (or neutral) things happening in my life instead of spending valuable time and keystrokes on negatives?

{Side note: I read this blog, the author is fantastic at keeping it real.}

Or maybe it's because it takes me a while to sort through things and my opinions morph over time. No need to hit publish on a thought that's not fully developed yet... Or maybe more like no need to have a strong opinion published in case it shifts over time, then I'd contradict myself on my own blog. Maybe that's it? Or maybe I just suck at articulating my thoughts... This post is proof of just that.

Looks like I'll be sticking to stories, facts, and pictures for now I guess.

Am I the only one that gets self-conscious about their bloggy-self?

04/10/2011

Workin' it

As some of you know I started back at work. Well, not at work, but I am workin' it. I'm blessed with a workplace that allows me to work from a far, which makes things like traveling across the country with your family that much easier. I'm not working a lot, only about 10 hours a week or so right now, but none the less I'm working. To be honest, I've been working for a few months now since Johnny was born. I've had (and have) mixed emotions about it, but as long as they respect my desire to keep it to a minimum and realize that my family comes absolutely first, then this relationship may, ummm, work.

03/10/2011

Harvest

Today we spent the day driving out to Dauphin. Upon arrival Tom threw on his farmin' clothes, jumped in the grain tuck and headed towards the field my parents were working on to go help out. I love that he loves farming! We are both looking forward to when Johnny is old enough to be excited about it too.

It's such a late harvest this year, but we are so thankful that we could be here to help and that the weather is holding out. Here's to a great week of harvesting!

02/10/2011

I'm going nuts


Making nut butters!


Today's creations:
Smooth Honey-Nut butter & Crunchy Cashew Peanut


I must say, both are delicious!

01/10/2011

What I'm lovin' right now

  1. Autumn. Warm days, crisp nights, beautiful leaves, bountiful harvest. Seriously, what's not to love?
  2. Double-stuffed Oreos. So delicious and surprisingly dairy free.
  3. My 7 month old. Yes, Jay is 7 months today!
  4. Tom home on parental leave. There are no words to explain how awesome this is!!
  5. House-sitting in Winnipeg. Close to family, but in our own space.
  6. Soy cappuccinos. I have one every day.
  7. Traveling. I think this one is obvious.
  8. Macro photography. I had the opportunity to take some shots of a bearded dragon's eye last night. I kid you not. Will share soon.
  9. My iPhone. It's the only access to the internet we have while at the house. We'd be lost without it.
  10. Blogtober. I can't believe it's been a year already! If you'd like to join me, Tiffany, Sonya, Pamela, Ange, and others in the fun and challenge of blogging every day for the month of October, get on board now because we start today! Also, be sure to let one of us know you're joining so we can link up and follow each others' posts this month! Happy blogging!