Sunday, December 04, 2011

Christmas Conversations with a Pre Teen

Me: Alex what kind of cookies would you like for Christmas
Alex: Jalapeno Poppers, Bacon Wrapped Crunchy things, Cheese Puffs..
Me: Alex, I said cookies. Not appetizers
Alex: But we're having appetizers right??

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

The Door Has Openned

It's true, when a door closes another one opens. However hanging on in the mean time can be a b*tch. ;) That was our September/October, a wild and crazy ride. The writing had been on the wall for awhile that my husband's group at work was/would be downsizing, however they'd never gone with less than 2 of what he does for a living. The weekend before my birthday we found out otherwise. I don't think anyone can fully appreciate what that does for the psyche until it happens. Thankfully after a couple of weeks of tears and silence he had not one but two interviews back to back and he started back to work this week. It's not that we were in dire straights but that weight has been lifted. We've held off buying a larger home as this one suits us fine, and when I bought it 7 years ago I made sure it was something I alone could afford on maternity leave. :)

However, that 'we shouldn't spend money' translated into me getting my stitching mojo back. It kind of was shelved when Lily started moving around. Now she's not exploring as much so my work is relatively safe ;) I treated myself with a birthday gift card and bought a felt applique kit. I haven't done one in so long and it was a nice break from the norm, or at least until I find my floss boxes!! I put them somewhere after Lily dumped one and haven't a clue where that safe spot is. Amazing as this house has been cleaned and decluttered from top to bottom!!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Book Worming

If someone had of asked me this time last year what I thought of ereading, they probably would have gotten a very indifferent answer. I may work in the tech sector, but I'm probably the last person to buy a new gadget. Yes, we're that odd family that doesn't have a cell plan ;) However, my awesome parents got me a Sony Reader for Christmas last year and well, the rest is history. For three months it kind of sat there, sad but I was still on Mat leave. Anyone that considers that a vacation is crazy ;). When I went back to work I loaded it up for lunch hours and well, I think I've read more this year than I have in a very long time. Maybe even pre Alex! I love how I can slide it in my purse and not worry about it getting bent or ripped (plus I have the Roots purse specifically designed for carrying a Kobo) and well when we went on vacation this year half of my suitcase was empty because I just threw it in. No more lugging a bunch of books. My hubby is also on board which is good, if we kept anymore of our books at the rate he reads we'd need to have bookshelves in every room, and that's not jiving with my decluttering ;)
So what have I been reading?

Sizzling Sixteen - Janet Evanovich
Wicked Appetite - Janet Evanovich
Smokin' Seventeen - Janet Evanovich
Dead Until Dark - Charlaine Harris
Living Dead in Dallas - Charlaine Harris
Club Dead - Charlaine Harris
Dead to the World - Charlaine Harris
Dead as a Doornail - Charlaine Harris
Definitely Dead - Charlaine Harris
Altogether Dead - Charlaine Harris
From Dead to Worse - Charlaine Harris
Dead and Gone - Charlaine Harris
Dead in the Family - Charlaine Harris
Dead Reckoning - Charlaine Harris
The Lost Symbol - Dan Brown
Plum Pudding Murder - Joanne Fluke
Apple Turnover Murder - Joanne Fluke
The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins
The Girl With The Dragon Tatoo - Stieg Larsson

Reading plans for the remainder of the year? Well I'd like to finish the Millenium Trilogy and hopefully The Hunger Games too. Janet Evanovich has a book coming out just in time for Christmas and in 2012 I'd really like to read The Cottage Tales series and start Dianne Mott Davidson's books as well. That barring books that have interesting movies coming out. The unofficial book club I've proposed involves reading the book before seeing the movie and having a dinner/movie/sans kids night :) Hopefully our first one will be The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. That's about my level of commitment, I just don't have the time to read something I don't pick or to discuss it ;) Now to stick my nose back in my book.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Happy Half Birthday Lily-belle

Here's our little 18 month old beauty all ready for Halloween. Life is too short to not have 'half' birthdays...or at least not have half birthday cake.

Monday, October 03, 2011

Happy Dancing

Yeah...that hasn't been the title of a blog post for a very long time ;) I would probably wager that my last finish was before Lily got mobile, or should I say before Hurricane Lily got mobile? She might have taken her good old sweet time learning to crawl and walk (almost 17 months) but there's no stopping her now. In fact she can walk backwards and jump over a foot horizontally when she gets going.

So a happy where's the picture. Sadly after so long my first happy dance is actually one I can't post until after it leaves the house. The who and when will have to leave some people guessing for a little while ;) Although with summer bidding us adieu and shows to clear off of the pvr, I see plenty of stitching in the cool autumn nights ahead :)

Sunday, September 04, 2011

The FREX Report

So, it was a nice afternoon so we packed up the kids and took them to our local Exhibition I don't know if it's a sign of the tough economic times, our aging population or what but entries were down :/ Mind you I can't say too much, I only had one entry this year as Lily keeps us hopping. I've said it before and I'll say it again, she's our daredevil child.

This piece was beautiful, although upon close inspection it wasn't laced very straight. :/ I don't think the judges in this city appreciate hand dyed fabric either.

This Star Gazer was breath taking. It's motivating me to find time to stitch again. I can't say I haven't been stitching at all, they've just been gift pieces. I need a me piece. Shame on whomever hung that ribbon over her face!!
Yvonne's Grand Champion piece was gorgeous, althogh I wish this picture caught Angela's canvas work piece better in the top corner. She is an amazingly talented stitcher who's stitching is immaculate.

Some additional entries but as I said before, not alot this year to compete with. I remember the years where there was a much bigger haul :/Pieces from the unframed category, and some hardanger. I really need to do hardanger again!!!
And here's my sole entry...great job presenting it huh? The last of the SB stockings I'll be stitching unless my brother moves home from Argentina...or if either of them get married. I was so psyched to place first. Any other time I entered one of the stockings they only came in second. Hey when you're not in competitive sports anymore you've got to take your competitive spirit somewhere right?? ;)

Looking forward to FREX 2012...that Grand Champion ribbon will be mine...yeah right!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

What's Shaking?

Well apparently my office building was. Last Tuesday, a bunch of us stumbled out of our cubes thinking we had vertigo...and the blinds were shaking, and well that's a big coincidence! I don't ever remember experiencing an earthquake before, nor the aftershocks. Apparently we were feeling the earthquake that hit Washington up here. My office is fairly close to the river and apparently sits on alot of clay, while the towers downtown were swaying there weren't any other reports of quaking in the rest of the province.

Also apparently my backside is shaking too...Well, I knew that was happening but I just thought I'd throw it in there. However since June it's been shaking it's way to being shake proof ;) I wasn't down to my goal weight when we got pregnant with Lillian, the closer you get to 35, the less you want to put things off waiting for everything to be perfect. Factor in a csection that had me laid up for about 8 months due to some issues, a glorious round of SSRI's to combat the depression that set in when I can't be active and stupid breast feeding medication, well I back filled every inch of my abs that pregnancy stretched out and then some. I shudder when I hear people talking about elective csections, or that are so obsessed with breast feeding that they demand Domperidone before leave the hospital and they give their bodies a chance to do what it's supposed to do on it's own. Bf'ing doesn't happen for everyone, people need to lay off the breast is's best if it's in the best interest physically AND mentally in the case of both mother and child . These things have long term ramifications :/ I'll step off my soap box now. Regardless, I've hit a minor milestone of 15 lbs down. The road to slim, or in my case 'sporty' is a long one but the journey has begun :)

But Katie, what about stitching? Well the annual exhibition is about to come to town. It's kind of depressing that I don't have a large piece to put in. I'll be entering Lily's stocking but that's about it. However that's extremely motivating to getting my stitching groove back, now that a fitness schedule has been achieved. Now if a newly toddling daughter allows for my stitching plans remains to be seen ;) LK's Christmas Rules is looking mighty tempting at the moment, with it's little pieces to concentrate on and finish. I need my mojo back, the ornament issue is just around the corner ;)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Catching up, photo style

May - Trip to PEI!! My little brother graduated from Vet school :)June - My big baby turned 11And Graduated from Elementary SchoolJuly - We Ziplined across the Grand Falls Gorge, twice!Alex made a 'friend'Lily thought this was hilarious

Taking the Saint John ferry to Digby, Nova Scotia We visted Upper Clements Park upon arrival to the province

The kids loved the zoo in AylesfordWe stormed the Halifax CitadelAnd turned Lily into a raging Cows Ice Cream Addict August - Alex was a Junior Calithumpian for a weekLily's standing on her own and walking upwards of 12 steps at a time now. I also painted this room and did a massive declutter, loving the results

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Paging Potter

Or more like Weasley :) Tomorrow marks the end of Alex's run as a junior Calithumpian and he has the 'part' of Ron Weasley. They tend to inject pop culture people into their plays about local history or social issues and well Alex was a shoe in for that role with his flaming red hair. I wonder if I can be Molly and Lillian could be Ginnie? ;) I had to dig out my old witch costume for him tonight to make him look a little 'Hogwarty'. They're doing an anti bullying play, ironically one of the kids that Alex would peg as a bully is playing one in said production

For those interested in catching Alex's performance the junior Calithumpians perform at 12 pm at Officer's Square, or at Barrack's square in the event of showers.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Summer...Busy, Busy Summer

When people said, having two kids not only doubles your load, it increases it exponentially...I should have listenned. ;)

We have been incredibly busy this summer, but we do it for our children. At school's end we had a mere 2 weekends until September that were just for us. For those that have given us flack about our schedule, try getting your head around never getting a weekend to just rest when you work all week and call me in the morning. Thanks to my wonderful parents we gained a third weekend as they offered to drive Alex back from one of his camps, however we quickly went back to 2 to accomodate company. However there are days I feel like I'm not very well liked for not being able to visit everyone....but really it's too bad. The kids come first and that's it, and they are far from spoiled. They're only going to want to be around us for so long, Alex has a camp budget and he's maximized every dollar in it. ;)

So what have we been up to? Well let's start from Canada Day and move on from there ;)

Weekend 1: Visited the inlaws as Mathieu also had his 20th reunion up there. Again my parents are amazing, instead of trying to coordinate a time for us to get back to Freddy and meet them as Alex was going to basketball camp on the Miramichi they came to pick him up in Grand Falls :)

Weekend 2: Unexpected weekend off, Mom and dad drove Alex back, which was good because Lily was teething and I was exhausted

Weekend 3: Our official weekend off, so I started painting our family room, something I really need to wrap up soon!! Alex was at the UNB basketball camp the following Monday-Friday

Weekend 4: Our first family vacation as the fantastic four :) Sunday we drove to Saint John, caught the SJ to Digby, Nova Scotia ferry then drove to Upper Clements Park in Annapolis Royal. The kids had a blast. Monday we continued on through the Annapolis Valley stopping at Oaklawn Farm Zoo in Ayelsford, Joe's Food Emporium (my old hang out from my Acadia days) in Wolfville, past the Church camp grounds where I spent many a summer in Berwick and then rested for the night in Windsor where I finally got to see my friend Shannon after 10 years!! Tuesday we headed to Halifax, toured the Citadel, took the kids to the harbor for some Cows Ice Cream (Lily is hooked, the little bugger was sucking my chocolate bits out of my ice cream), then we did a little shopping. The boys took in their first IMAX movie (Harry Potter in 3D, I'm so jealous) that evening, but someone had to watch Lily right? Wednesday we headed for home, stopping in Moncton at Crystal Palace and Matt's favorite restaurant Saint Hubert

Weekend 5: U2 Baby! We headed back to Moncton, braved the rain and it cleared up before we got to the gates. Thank god we were in the stands, as it was muddy++++. I've learned I'm not meant to stay up until 3 in the morning anymore either. Came back from Moncton, grabbed a nap and headed to the Miramichi

Weekend 6: I'd planned and prepped to leave for home by 10-11 am...and woke up to Lily having a boil and an infection all through her bum cheek. We had an 8 hour hospital experience including IV's and some minor surgery to drain the abscess. I'm envious of their hospital, I was treated better there than I was at our own after major surgery. :/

Weekend 7: Inlaw visit. Not exactly easy to do when your daughter required a dressing change and bath after every #2. The boys were able to take them shopping while we napped and then to the Calithumpians Haunted Hike so that occupied most of the evening

Weekend 8: Well that's this coming weekend. We were really excited, the Calithumpians were selling off their free spots in their daycamps at a drastically reduced rate for this week. The original 170 was way over the camp budget, but 99 was doable. Alex is having a blast, it's nice to have his camps balanced between sports and other interests. This weekend we're off to Brown's Flats outside Saint John to drop Alex off at Caton's Island Summer camp. Yes, it's on an island!! He wanted to try a different camp this year and this one has more rock climbing than the camp he went to for the past 3 years, and they have horses. It should be interesting

So as you can see, not alot of stitching time. Any brief 'Me' time I get I've been working on a couch to 5k program which has helped me lose around 14 lbs since June :) Now to do that how many times to get back down to my 'hot' weight?? Ughhh, slowly but surely right?

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Happy Birthday Miss Lily

It's hard to believe I was finally getting to hold my little girl around this time last year. It was such a crazy delivery, and disappointing to not have her immediately on my chest like I did with my son. It was torture watching everyone else get to hold her but me, but we survived and now I can't put her down ;)

I took today off to spend with my little girl. What a treat. We had our check ups (I've had alot of issues post surgery) and she's doing well at 21 lbs and 30 inches. Me? I still have a ways to go, my iron and blood count have barely improved, no wonder I'm zonked all of the time. We then picked up some stuff for her upcoming party this Saturday, scooted over to the school to pick up Alex and had a nice quiet afternoon napping. We followed that up with a couple presents, some cake and a nice family trip to McDonald's. She loves slides and it was getting cold so eating with the indoor playground was a must.

I think she had a pretty good day, but I'll let you decide based on some pictures ;)

Monday, April 04, 2011

We Survived!

Day one of back to the real world, that is. Sadly maternity leave is only a memory. Lily did fantastic at Tracy's and well, work wasn't so bad. Having a new project to look forward to helps alot! Five years of working on the same project left me feeling a little pigeon holed, but now I get to do a new project and work with some new people and needless to say I'm excited. However I'm beat! Taking Lily in today was kind of a moving day for her, the playpen, bedding, extra diapers in case her cloth supply runs out for the day, food...was a lugging experience to say the least that I'm glad I don't have to put up with tomorrow.

Momentarily I'm going to put my feet up and stitch a special secret project that I'm aiming to have done by the end of the school year and catch up on some tv with the hubby. But first some pictures of Lily's first day at daycare.

Lily all set in her big girl car seat

Lily and Tracy, the fantastic sitter who took care of Alex for 10 years. I would have taken another picture of her actually looking at the camera, but I was too excited to get her back in my arms.

Saturday, April 02, 2011

It's Time To Party...Almost

T-minus 1 week until Lily's first birthday bash. Needless to say I'm more than a little excited. Not necessarily about the absolute migraine juggling guest room arrangements can be. The little nut's birthday is actually Wednesday, which I'll be taking off work. Needless to say I'm pretty sad about starting back Monday, I adore my little girlie and love spending time with her (and her brother too when he's not to preteen hormonal ;)) We decided on a mid afternoon event to give people that need to travel time to, and to give the little miss a chance to nap.

The most exciting part? The menu... Not because it's stellar but in my blogging absence I tore off the wallpaper border in my kitchen, got over my previous failures in painting, went through 5 test pots of paint and now I have a kitchen closer to the way I imagined it. The crappy floor is still there, however it's a bit less noticeable now IMO. I feel so recharged when I go in there now and inspired to cook again. I even did a little reorganizing to make working in the kitchen flow better. U shaped kitchens look cool but it takes alot of organizing to make them practical IMO. Now back to that menu of fantastic finger foods...

Buffalo Chicken Egg Rolls
BBQ Chicken Egg Rolls
Cheese Puffs
Jalapeno Poppers
Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts
Smoked Salmon Devilled Eggs
Extraordinary Cheese Dip and Fritos Scoops
Stuffed Mushrooms (surprisingly simple with herb and garlic cream cheese and bacon bits)

And of course the usual assortment of
Veggie Tray
Fruit Tray
Shrimp Ring

A Children's table of
Sliced cheese cut into adorable shapes
Chips and cheesies and crackers
Toddler friendly treats
and either Rice Krispie squares or Jello Jigglers (haven't quite decided on that one)

Oh...and an Elmo cake from Monkey Cakes. It wasn't my original plan for a cake, I was thinking more princess themed but little miss Lily picked Elmo invitations right off of the shelf when we were shopping and declared her plans for a party theme. It'll be quite the treat after my first week back at the office.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Goodbye Is The Saddest Word

Yesterday wasn't the easiest day. It marked Alex's official last day at the sitter he's had for pretty much the last 10 years. We didn't know up until this week if he'd be able to go back when I went back to work, the original plan was for me to accomodate the other parents relocating their children where I'm still on leave. However the stars and moons have not aligned and Alex won't be able to go back (thanks province of new brunswick) when I go back to work in April. Now begins the daunting task of finding him somewhere to go! Who wants to occupy a slot for a kid for three sole months? It's one of those times I really wish we had some family closer. I haven't been getting much help from the other adult in this house with regards to the matter which is even more frustrating. Why it always has to be me to sacrafice my career and vacation time I don't know. I wish more men had great male role models like my dad.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

The Many Faces of Lily

Last night I was talking to my mother about how long it takes us to get through a store when I have Lily in tow. I mean people stopped when I had Alex but Lily seems to attract ALOT of attention, which I don't understand. However my mother pointed out when I'm not looking some of the expressions she makes while shopping are priceless, so I thought I'd share some pictures of some I've been able to catch. This is actually quite difficult to do because she's a natural camera poser, the second she hears the shutter open she's usually starting at the camera. ;)
How you doin?
Big Smiles

Pucker up

The Gangster

Just too darn cute

I will only tolerate this for so long...

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Something Positive

Well, there has been one positive thing so far this week. An actual stitching finish! I finally stitched an ornament for Lily, now to get caught up and finish Alex's sock monkey onament. Lily's Mill Hill Kitten Stocking Ornament

Lillian's Stocking, also finished. Needless to say I'm glad to be done sewing!!

Bump in the Road

With just over 2 months until I return to work we hit a slight unexpected bump in the road. There are days when I think the rest of the world didn't get my 'I'm trying to be more positive in 2011' memo.

Yesterday morning I was working away at my part-time work assignment when the phone rang and our awesome sitter was on the phone...which was quite odd considering that Alex wouldn't have been due to arrive there until 3:30 so he couldn't have possibly done anything to get himself in trouble yet in the day ;) I could tell she was very upset, so I my mind started racing to a pet death or something I'd have to talk to Alex about later but it wasn't.

One thing that is very important to me, if I'm going to be using my education and working, is that my children be raised in an environment that's very 'home' based. While I know regulation of child care is in the best interest of safety for children, I cringe at the site of cubbies, schedules and charting for infants/preschoolers and that's lumped in with regulation in this province. I'm no hippie parent but that atmosphere makes me feel like my children are numbers and lab rats. They get enough of that when they hit the school system, and for all of this pressure to 'grow up faster' I don't see any wowing results.

So what happened? One very vindictive resident of our childcare provider's subdivision decided to call the province to have our childcare investigated. If this individual honestly had the best interest of children at heart the two other unlicensed daycares would have also been investigated. To make a long story short, the four afterschool kids have to go immediately, which includes my son. Apparently the brief 30 minute lay over my son has there still counts as a number. Now with some maternity leave, and some juggling there isn't a long period of time before he's able to come home on his own. But seriously, the regulations do not take into account the number of adults on the premises, let alone Red Cross certified babysitters. The ratio of Adults and sitters to kids was 4:7 (4 of which being short term afterschoolers) where else am I going to find that kind of ratio?

What about Lily? She'll still start in April thank goodness, I couldn't imagine anyone else taking care of my little carrot. Ironically Alex will more than likely be going to a friend's home which will have more kids than his original arrangement. One of the babies that would have been coming will not be able to which is quite sad. Those kids have all grown up like one big family :/

Needless to say we'll survive but my heart absolutely breaks for Tracy, she's had some of those kids, since they were infants. It's one thing when one kid grows out of daycare or moves away but to take away 4 of them at once cannot be easy. Let alone what this does to her own families income. Some people are so cruel. Especially where her kids are never off the premises and are escorted from the bus stop. I've almost run over (and anyone that drives with me knows how slow I go) kids from the other daycare who are darting on the road without an adult in sight. Sigh.

Ridiculous Fact: In the province of New Brunswick, if you have twins or two children under the age of 24 months and happen to be getting help from your family (including your parents) and if you happen to have any other children, they are technically violating the Child care act and have too many children. Eventhough in most cases your parents are retired and both of them are on the premises...meanwhile if you quit your job to be a stay at home mom, you're on your own with three or more, and that's ok.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Birthdays and Stash Shopping

Saturday was our first 'us' trip of the new year. To some that might not seem like a big thing but we have no family here in town but just close enough away that juggling travelling decisions can be huge. Mind you when I go to my parents it's like a mini vacation ;) A few weeks back Lily received her first birthday party invitation, and we were eager to jump on board. I've been looking for an excuse to get to Moncton for a long time, I really wanted to get to the region's cross stitch shop Because You Count, I had some boy clothes to hand down but neither of the two alone was enough to justify the trip. A party definitely swayed things in that direction.

Friday was frustrating, I could not for the love of goodness locate my Ornament issue and I really needed some fabric. Add in a snow storm and it's inevitable clean up, a teething night rolling baby and a power outtage and I could have cried Saturday morning when I looked outside and could estimate the clean up time for the driveway. We did make it out however, with just enough time to make it to Because You Count before the party (it closes early on Saturday). I had to drop my Roots outlet store stop but in all honesty, Lily isn't hurting for just would have been a fun trip ;) The party was really fun. My Matron of honor's little boy was turning one and having Lily out and about with kids her own age was really nice to see. Plus catching up was nice too! The time flew by and before we knew it it was an hour after the party, time to drop by Old Navy and grab some dinner at St Hubert and it was well passed someone's bedtime and time to hit the snow covered roads back home.

So...what was in the latest stash purchase? Not as much as normal because I was rushed and brain dead after a night of little sleep.
-JABC Mitten buttons for Alex's sock monkey ornament
-Lizzie Kate's Snowman 2010
-Heart In Hand's Winter Bird (or as some of us lovingly refer to as part of the bird 'pooping' series)
-Fabric for a small Shepherd's Bush piece
-Fabric for this year's Victoria's Sampler ornament, except sparkly!!
-More ornament Fabric
-A frame for Imaginating's Three Kings...which has been finished for years and sitting rolled up :/

Now for some birthday Pics
The Birthday Boy Wyatt
Wyatt's gorgeous Mickey Mouse Cake
Present TimeLily's Garb for the Occasion

Alex after eating a black fondant ear

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Happy New Year

It's amazing how fast a year passes when you aren't sleeping through most of it. At least we ended 2010 with Lily sleeping a little more consistantly. They say a parent loses 550 hours of sleep in the first year...and with this one I'm inclined to believe it! Lily started sleeping just in time for the Christmas rush, so I'm only starting to enjoy her sleeping schedule :)

We had a really nice Christmas. It was the first Christmas we've spent in our own home and it was perfect. My parents and one of my brother's joined us and it just goes to show, it's not where you celebrate Christmas but who you celebrate it with. Childhood is fleeting and it's essential to make your own holiday traditions, and those that don't support that can suck it with their selfishness. ;) I also finished Lily's stocking on time. I was beginning to think that wouldn't happen, we had flooding with a freak storm a week before Christmas and it really through the preparations for a loop, let alone the renos...whose materials were blocking access to my sewing machine. This stocking was the smoothest sewing job I've ever taken on, maybe afte 7 stockings I finally have the hang of things.

2011 hasn't brought as much stitching as I was hoping...yet. It's kind of hard when you're living room is continually being turned upside down. However the beadboard is now up, as is most of the new chair rail and baseboards so after a few paint touch ups the furniture will be back to normal and so will my stitching. The only thing left will be finishing the corner where the tv is, Matt is still deciding on what network wires to run but that shouldn't involve moving all of the furniture.

Now to share the pictures we had taken of the kids for Christmas :)

Alex & Lillian