April 8, 2011

nursery

well i'm a little late on this post, but lately ideas have been coming to me that i didn't have a chance to post or just plain forgot to (i'm still learning at this blog thing).
anyway, i thought i would share the finished product of kinley's nursery! it's the ONLY room in our house that is 100% finished, and it's something i'm proud of. i really don't like our home at all, it was a hasty purchase from j's grandparents and it's just too small and not well laid out for a young family. but it will do for now, until i am teaching full time and j is finished his apprenticeship. however, kinley's room is something i am proud of! everything was free or refurbished, so i think the total of the room cost us $300! it cost $200 to finish the hardwood floors (previously there had been carpet that we ripped up). i paid $20 for her change table/dresser, $10 for the little table beside the rocking chair and $60 for the crib mattress and $20 for the material for the window valance! that's it!
so on with the show...

the wall that the crib is on is a lovely teal colour. we chose that as our starting off point and is the accent wall in the room. i framed 3 photos to put on that wall. originally it was 3 maternity photos that i had taken, but after kinley was born i chose one of my favourite pictures of her and placed that one in the middle. the rocking chair was a gift for my mum from my dad when i was born and was passed on to me. my mum picked up the rocking chair pads at St. Jacob's Mennonite market in Kitchener, Ontario. i scored that cute little table from Goodwill for $10 and refinished it in white.


i made the window valance myself. her crib bedding is a beautiful paisley pattern and the teal matches the accent wall. it did come with a valance, but cost $50! i found fabric very similar and the colours matched perfectly, so with a little help from j's aunt, i sewed one up really quick! her changetable/dresser was $20 from Kijiji and i painted that the same colour white as the little table and added some crystal knobs. the little cabinet beside it was something i had from university and had the same paisley pattern as her crib bedding (score!), so i painted the rest of it white to match. the other 3 walls (which is hard to tell in the photo) are a white/cream colour.

so that's it, kinley's nursery. i really wanted to steer clear of the "baby" themed nursery, so i opted for something (i felt) was a little more sophisticated. i think it's pretty girly, but in the off chance that she popped out a boy (because even after 3 ultrasounds it was only an 85% chance) i figured the nursery would still be suitable for a boy. i think it's something that can grow with her and require very little changes as she grows older.
the photos really don't do it much justice, and i really should have retaken them when i had better lighting, but the days slipped away from me!

April 1, 2011

so long my friend...

our goofy puppy 

we have lost an important member of our family recently. actually it was a month ago, but it's taken me that long to come to terms with it and post about it.
when kinley was first born, our dog ernie (a cocker spaniel) was incredible. we would often find him laying right beside her in bed or on the couch.
but as she got older and more interested in him, he became less interested in her. he would take to growling at her, barking and was VERY skittish as she learned to move closer. we tried to correct this behaviour, but he had always been a stubborn "alpha" dog from the start and it was difficult from day one to even train him. i hate to be another statistic that "gave up" on our dog, but we honestly just did not have the time to dedicate to training him with kinley. i know that's a lousy excuse. we thought it would be best if we could find a family for him that did not have young babies. i was worried what might happen as she became faster and even more mobile and could do more than just reach her hand out to try and touch him but start grabbing and chasing him around the house.
we posted an ad on kijiji (like craigslist) and waited and waited and waited. one friday night a wonderful family with a little girl emailed me. they came to visit ernie and i noticed something about the little girl. her eyes just lit up and it was so obvious he was the highlight of her week. turned out i teach at her school once in a while. i chatted with her teacher the next time i saw her. this little girl has some learning disabilities and other issues, and sadly, does not have many friends. we knew that ernie was the perfect dog for their family. when i chatted with her teacher again the next time i was in, she told me that they were having celebrity day and this little girl had expressed that she wanted to be ernie! it made my heart melt and it was *that* much easier to come to terms with not having ernie around, knowing he's making her so happy.
i'm sad he isn't part of our family anymore, and i'm sad that kinley does not get to experience the same joy she did when he was around, but i do think it's for the best. i won't lie either and say that my cleaning routine has gotten much easier and her little bottom is no longer covered in dog hair as she scoots around the house (yes we have a scooter, not a crawler).
a tearful goodbye

sweet puppy kisses

it's still so hard to look at those photos without getting choked up, but i know that one day we'll have another pet to fill our home, and for the time being ernie is making another little girl SO happy, because he's her best friend.

March 24, 2011

spring has sprung?

well it was supposed to have.
this past weekend it looked like this:


and as of wednesday it looks like this:
not fun anymore.

baby dedication

a few weeks ago we asked our pastor if he would dedicate kinley at our church. of course he was thrilled (since we met through him, and he married us and we worked so closely with him for youth). it was such a great experience to have so many of our close friends and family share that day with us. i was baptized as a baby, so the concept of baby dedication was new to me, but i think i almost like it better!
as parents we decided to dedicate kinley to the Lord. this means that we made a promise in front of our church family, and to God that will be raise kinley in a Christian home, and do everything to ensure that she grows to know Him. however, once she is old enough to make her own decisions, it will ultimately be her decision whether she will still choose to follow. should she decide this, she will then baptize herself to the Lord! i like that it will ensure she is receiving many opportunities to follow, but ultimately it still leaves her with her own choice. of course we pray that she will choose to follow, but time will only tell through our Faith and through her own.
one thing that was really special to me was that kinley wore the outfit that my grandmother made for me when i was her age to be baptized in. my mum saved it in her cedar chest and i was in gorgeous condition. my grandma was a fantastic knitter, and could knit the most delicate pieces. i hope we can keep it for many more years!

our wonderful friends agreed to be kinley's Godparents (he was the best man in our wedding)

during prayer, i noticed kinley was unusually quiet. the whole time she was up front she was basking in the attention, chatting away and smiling at everyone, waving hello, etc. but then it got verrrrry quiet. i snuck a peek (and thankfully someone snuck a photo) and there she was enamored with pastor matt (pmatt)'s facial hair and playing with it. both j and i tried our best not to crack up, and even pmatt was trying to hold it together.


March 8, 2011

spot the dot

it seems my blog has a common trend these days.
can you spot the dot?
i'll give you one guess what we've been dealing with (hence my lack of posting).

honestly, i am SO ready for this looooooong Canadian winter to be over.
we started off the year with roseola (baby measles) followed by a cold, followed by an ear infection, followed by a double whammy of a throat infection AND CHICKEN POX!








miss kinley seemed to be getting a little sick but because she had just finished her round of antibiotics for an ear infection i thought maybe it was just the remainder of that illness getting out of her system.
boy was i wrong. i woke up on thursday morning to that little chicky-pox on my little chicky.





i think it's an understatement to say i'm exhausted. and sometimes your exhausted mind does funny things. mine convinced me that i was a terrible awful rotten horrible no good HOW could you do this to your child? i truly felt as though i must be doing SOMETHING wrong as a mother that she was getting sick all. the. time. luckily my own mother pointed out that she's in a home daycare setting when i teach a few days a week, and that it's a normal part of childhood, she just did it earlier than most kids!
*sigh* nonetheless, i would like it to be over, it's been an eventful first 9 months as a parent.

February 21, 2011

down and out (again)

the beginning of the week started out great! then i noticed kinley was a little stuffy and she seemed to be getting worse, but she was still in great spirits! i had to work on tuesday, so she went to the babysitters. she didn't notice any change in her behaviour, the only thing she noticed was that she was stuffy. she wasn't displaying any other signs, but at bed time when i would lay her down she would scream and scream like it was torture. then her nose started to run but it was green (super gross!). j took her to the walk-in clinic, poor thing had an ear infection. so since we started the new year we've had baby measles, a cold and now an ear infection. my poor sweet girl. i then caught something, so we were both under the weather, although it made for LOTS of cuddles, which i LOVE!

February 14, 2011

love

just wanted to wish everyone a...


whether it's spent with a girlfriend, boyfriend, husband,wife, best friend, little munchkin, mum or dad.... enjoy love day today, and tell someone "i love you".

take a seat

our dining room is coming together slowly, but surely. actually our entire house is coming together slowly but surely. it's kind of tough when you 1) have a 9 month old who has just learned to get into EVERYTHING and 2) when you are on limited funds and doing everything bit by bit as you can afford it. we basically do one small project a month (if we have extra money, which isn't always the case). with me on maternity leave still (a full year here in Canada) and j doing his apprenticeship, sometimes money is tight. but we want to get this house flipped so that in another year or so we can put it on the market and move into our forever home (which will be do-able because j will be a journey man!)

anyway, i got side tracked. we scored this awesome table from the fine store known as kijiji (well not really a store!). it is solid solid solid (i swear 200 lbs)



it was in great condition other than the seat covers. the colours weren't really jiving with the decor of our dining room, but they had been VERY well loved by some kids. so i found some fabric, and reupholstered them myself! not too bad for a first timer (if i do say so myself!)

BEFORE:



AFTER:



now to just finish up the floors (we need some quarter round) and i would like to make a window valance and add some accessories and it's DONE! i think that will be the ONLY room in the house (other than kinley's nursery) that will be finished. (which i realize after trying to link to a post of kinley's nursery that i NEVER shared.... i will do that!)

February 11, 2011

feeding time

yesterday a good friend of mine and i got together to get busy in the kitchen. ever since kinley started eating solid food, i've vowed to make all of the food she eats. i'm not all on board with the all natural, 100% organic food. i do buy it if it's on sale though. i know you could argue until you're blue in the face that it's SO much better and that i'm not really doing her much more of a favour, etc. but j and i don't eat like that, so it's unrealistic to have kinley eating like that. we eat healthy food. mostly fruits and veggies, lean meats and products only with ingredients we can pronounce. so i figure that's a good start.

anyway, i'm a little sidetracked. i chose to make her food because quite honestly it SCARES me that baby food on the shelf, has a shelf life of 3 years. they claim there are no additives or preservatives in them, but really, really how can food last that long?? like that's probably WAY worse than the regular fruits & veggies i buy in the grocery store.

i did my research, and i checked out tons of sites and books for ideas etc. i did the basics (sweet potato, peas, apples, pears, etc.) but now that she's older and starting to eat more finger foods (and more of what we eat) i knew i needed some other kinds of recipes. i did a lot of baby-led weaning, so she often times just eats smaller chunks of what we are eating. but sometimes, on those nights when we have something she can't eat (think tacos ~ maybe a little rough on a tiny tummy) then i need something else for her to eat.

one of the best websites that i came across was Wholesome Baby Food. it is a great resource for when to introduce food, ideas on how to make things, and it has a GREAT guideline list for those "no no" foods (like peanut butter, strawberries, egg whites, etc) and new guidelines regarding when you can introduce them to baby (i've given kinley all of the above, even peanut butter gasp!)

i also came across this amazing book!

i have honestly been searching and searching for something exciting rather than the drab peas and carrots combo or "you can mix blueberries and bananas for your little one for new flavours ~ how exciting". this book has so many interesting recipes that are tummy friendly (like baby curry!) and have flavour combinations but also food group combinations that make them healthy and complete meal choices and they are SO easy to make. i am really excited to give kinley a taste of some of the new recipes!

any other tips, recipes, websites, suggestions?

and now just for sheer cuteness - enjoying a yummy meal of pasta & meat sauce (she's also signing "all done" in the photo)!

February 7, 2011

livin' the luxury life

j and i had the opportunity to a very special night out on saturday! we had some good friends of ours come over to watch kinley while we took a little trip over the river (aka to the USA) to watch the Buffalo vs. Toronto hockey game at the HSBC arena in Buffalo, NY. now, not only did we get to watch the game, we got to share the experience with j's parents, brothers, cousins, and aunt and uncle. it was my very first NHL game ever.......
and we had PRIVATE BOX SEATS!
yes, you heard correctly! unlimited wine, beer and cocktails, shrimp platters, chicken wings, beef on a bun, nachos, pizza, salad, fruit trays, pop and then a delicious dessert surprise after the 2nd period (which i learned while at the game, was NOT called "half time" haha). while i may be Canadian, that does not mean i know a thing about hockey.
needless to say, it was a really cool experience, and i don't think i will ever  be able to go to a hockey game unless it's with swanky box seats... i mean that's just not cool...
our view from the box







February 2, 2011

baby painting

a little while back another mommy friend and myself were chatting about fun things to do with our little ladies. they are only 8 months old, but sometimes i feel like i'm not "doing enough" with her. anyone else feel that way? so i'm always trying to come up with new and creative things for her to do that allow her to explore new things and have new experiences.
anyway, we decided that they might enjoy getting down and dirty with some finger paints and creating their own piece of artwork!
we ended up hosting quite the party and had about 12 or so mamas and their babies ranging from 2 weeks old (!) to a year. we gave each baby a canvas, laid some cheap dollar store table cloths down on the floor and made some non toxic paint (you know, just in case they wanted to taste....which they did).
it was SO much fun to see their expressions to the feeling of the paint in their fingers, and toes and mouths and to watch as their eyes lit up when they realized that THEY were making all those wonderful colours on their canvas.
kinley has insane fine motor and hand eye coordination (think picking up the smallest speck of dust off my floor that is located halfway across the room) so it was really neat to watch her create in comparison to the other babies. most used their entire palm and slapped their hands down and waved them about. kinley was so articulate, using just one little finger to draw about on her canvas.
i would highly suggest giving this a shot, it is definitely something i will do again!




baby paint recipe: equal parts water, flour, salt and a drop or two of food colouring

January 30, 2011

fairdinkum

aussie aussie aussie - oi oi oi!
she's a fairdinkum  aussie at heart....
stay tuned for a fun post on baby painting (no i didn't paint kinley....she got down and dirty with the paint!)

January 20, 2011

today was not a good day

do you ever get those days? where it's just an overall bad day. nothing in particular goes wrong, but it's just an overall lousy day?
today kinley cried. for an hour straight. for no particular reason. i couldn't figure out what was wrong, she didn't want to be held, or put down, or nap, or eat, or play, or watch tv, etc.
i got upset, and yelled at her. what kind of crazy yells at their 8 month old little girl? this one.
then i felt awful, and drained.
and today i did not feel like being a mother, or a wife, or a friend, or cooking dinner, or tidying up, or anything of the sort. today i felt like sitting in my pj's and lying in bed. i did not feel like being me and it was all so overwhelming.

but i had to. because that's just what mum's do, and this little girl needs me. and i know tomorrow is a new day and will hopefully be much better. and i look at this, and it reminds me why i do it.
please tell me other women have days like this (mothers or not).

January 19, 2011

photography 101

last Christmas (2009) i purchased myself a canon eos camera with some Christmas money. i bought it with the intent on taking wonderful, gorgeous, stunning photos of kinley. while it does take some awesome shots (you can most certainly see a difference in quality vs. a point and shoot camera) i realized that other than the "auto" setting, i truly knew nothing and that it's not really so much the camera, but the person behind the camera.
so, i've embarked on a new adventure! i mustered up the courage and have gone out of my comfort zone and enrolled myself in a 12 week photography course at the local college!
we had our first class tonight, and while it was just introductory things, i am SO excited.  i am excited for the mundane little assignments on handing in 4 photos showing different shutter speeds, etc.
so wish me luck, an i promise to share some of the work that i produce, hopefully as the course goes on we'll see a change in my work!

January 18, 2011

help

so our living room is finally on the way. just a few minor details to complete (finish laying the tile in front of the fireplace and some quarter round) and the room will be done. except for the hard part. the "little" things. so i need your help, and opinion.


first of all, i really hate the bookcase/shelf unit that is currently housing kinley's toys, but i'm not so sure what to put in it's place. suggestions? please link! what can i do to spruce up the mantle a bit? thoughts on painting the brick white?


the walls are looking a little bare, so i need to add something, what do i put? also see that coffee table? i need some kid friendly suggestions (and dog friendly too, that's ernie's favourite perch to window watch).


the wall above the couch needs something too....


something in this corner perhaps?


what can i do to spruce this up?

i'm not sure i love love love the pillows either, while they match the tones of the room and add some colour, i was thinking of going a little softer, more floral.... i'll have to see what fabric i can find.

so load me up with ideas. what do you like, what do you not like? what should i add, or take away, should i change the furniture around?

what can i say

i really should let her get more sleep....

January 14, 2011

i'm back

no seriously, for real this time. i took a little break to sort some things out, take a breather, get refreshed. i've creeped all sorts of other blogs and i am inspired again.
i also got a lovely new one of these
so it makes blogging a little lot easier. because it doesn't take 12952357323053823 minutes to load and open a photo.
so i'm back ~ to all 3 of you readers out there.