Month: December 2015

Getting Through The Holidays Preggers

The holiday season can be a busy and stressful time. Overwhelming even. I am unsure why that is! December is such a beautiful month, filled with season changes, the hustle and bustle of Christmas approaching, get-togethers and parties with family, friends and work colleagues, holiday baking and cooking, the list goes on and on. Perhaps that is exactly why it gets to be such ย a taxing time of year. There is just so much of everything. Usually I approach the season with a positive and ambitious mindset. I make gift wish lists in advance, get out the holiday cards nice and early, plan out my baking in the early days of December, and am organized on all of the Christmas activities and parties we intend to participate in. This year has been a very different story! Just so I feel somewhat accomplished, the holiday cards and shopping were taken care of in a relatively timely fashion. Thankfully as I sit here on the Monday before Christmas, those two pesky tasks are not on my to-do list. Go me! The baking however did not get completed so over the next two days I am planning on turning my kitchen into Santa’s cookie workshop. I am sure we don’t need the sugar (or the extra calories) but there is something about having all sorts of cookies on hand at Christmas to nibble on. It’s almost mandatory. I also have some gift-baking to do today and tomorrow so even if I manage to talk myself out of the self-indulgent cookies and cakes, I still need to do the gifts! Activities and Christmas parties seemed to be a far off idea this year as well. A few things contributed to this. One being that we are now living in Kamloops and know very few people. When you don’t have many friends around you don’t have many party invites to RSVP to! We attended one party at our realtors house which was lovely but short lived. Lets just say it was not a party tailored to toddlers and there were far too many stimulating things for the Little Miss to get into. We managed to spend about 40 minutes at the party before she broke three ornaments and tried to redecorate the parlour bathroom with toilet paper. That was our only party! We did go to see Santa Clause and we did make a day out of getting the Christmas tree. There were a couple other activities going on round here but either I didn’t have my act together or the drive to get the family out to them. Next year I aim to do better. With two kids! My oh my. Lastly, I think one of the biggest contributor to being a little less organized than usual this time of year is that fact that I am three months pregnant. Mommy brain remains and pregnancy brain has returned. What a vicious combo! Today for example I look around and see a pile of clean laundry I need to fold, baking ingredients for one recipe out on the counter, a slow cooking dinner in the oven, three crafts on the table that have been started yet definitely not finished, and a pile of gifts and wrapping paper, another task started and forgotten. Pregnancy brain brings an entirely new meaning to puttering (Puttering reads: doing many things at once and not really completing anything properly!). To top it all of, this momma can’t even relax with a Christmas glass of wine! Which brings me to my next few points. I have rounded up a few pointers on how to keep your shit together this time of year, even when you are a crazy and hormonal pregnant lady.

Weight Gain – Embrace the fact that everyone else is trying to watch those Christmas calories, but YOU are expected to pack a few on. Now is not the time to stress about it. So enjoy that extra cookie and don’t feel the need to hide the chocolates. This is one time you can absolutely get away with it! Not to mention seconds of turkey dinner.

Get To Know Your Cocktails – I don’t know about you but Christmas time for me just looks so damn good as a bold glass of red wine, sitting by the fire. I shed a few tears when I realized I would not be merrily clinking my spiked eggnog glass with my family and friends. Luckily, I feel a bit too yucky right now to really miss all the tasty cocktails. However, that doesn’t mean I want to feel left out with my sparkling water and lime. Get to know what sort of cocktails are out there! There are plenty of fancy drinks you can simply minus the booze from and they still taste delicious – throw them in the right glassware and they look good too!

Side Note – stay hydrated! It is easy to think when the weather is colder that maybe you do not need as much water. You need even more! I seem to be constantly thirsty for water with this pregnancy too. I keep my reusable Starbucks Refresher Cup with a straw filled with ice water all day long.

Buy Plenty Of Tissues – Hormones, hormones, hormones. Soppy Christmas movie, holiday commercials that hit the spot, the sight of my baby girl trying to put the ornament back on the tree (or sneakily taking it off), the sight of my husband and baby girl cuddling together watching Rudolph…. All of these beautiful holiday moments seem to reduce me to a leaky mess of tears! Embrace that this sort of behaviour is encouraged this time of year and is meant to be that mushy time of year where you spend all of your moments with people you love. Just keep the tissues nearby.

Rest Up – Winter is the perfect time to grab a cozy blanket and curl up. Pregnant? You are ever more deserving of such an activity! While exercise is important, so is rest. Put those feet up and take advantage of the fact that you can ‘sit this one out’. You are pregnant and do not have to do every bloody Christmas inspired activity that there is. It’s called the Preggers Flag – WAVE IT!

Here we see the art of ‘relaxing’ like a true pro!
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Some DIY Gift finished products:
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Had to share.. My father in-law is a painter adhere is my attempt to create a painting for him this year! (Rookie work!)
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Hope you are enjoying Christmas Week!

An Early Christmas Present

It has been pretty hard to keep this secret but the Hubs and I decided to make a little public announcement today. We are having a second baby! All of my posts prior to this where I vaguely mentioned not feeling well and exhaustion, well now the secret as to why is out. Holy mother morning sickness! This pregnancy is completely different to when I was preggers with Hallie. Achy bones, total exhaustion and not to mention being a very sick girl throughout most of the day. I have no idea why they call it morning sickness as it seems to rear it’s ugly head at any time, including the middle of the night. But OTHER than all of those pesky little annoyances, we are so excited that another little baby will be joining our family. Baby number two is due in July of 2016 which makes me 3 months along on Christmas next week. We will be finding out the sex come February (I think) and though I am pretty eager to have another perfect little girl, Hubby has his heart set on a boy. Of course we will be over the moon happy with whatever the outcome is, boy or girl, I just have so many cute girl clothes to reuse. I also don’t know where exactly we are going to put this tiny bundle of joy, who comes with all of the large bulky baby items you use with newborns, as our house is on the tiny side and we are already splitting at the seams. I am going to put that out of mind for now though because there isn’t a darn thing I can do about it yet. I guess I will start to worry about space and organization in late spring.
So now begins the agonizing of how on earth I will cope with two babies under two. Hallie, already being the free spirit that she is, will no doubt keep blossoming into more and more of an energetic little dear. I wonder if her sibling will share her wild personality traits or if he/she will be more on the chill side. Either way, the two of them will have me running around non-stop. Thank goodness it will be summertime and we can spend most of the waking hours outdoors. Bring on summer! I have been so ill that I do not even miss alcoholic beverages but as the warmer months creep up, I will be parched thinking about icy cold beers and cocktails that I am missing out on! So many things to think about between now and then too. Most of all I need to take a step back and soak up the moments. Even the sick ones. Pregnancy only lasts for a short time and I intend to enjoy it! Well at least enjoy using the preggo card to get extra relaxation time on the sofa, should it ever present itself hah. Not to mention all of the yummy treats this time of year! Turkey AND ham on Christmas next week? You bet. Cookie exchange? Sign my pregnant ass up. Tis the season!

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Meeting Santa Clause!

Last year when we went to meet Santa, my precious newborn babe didn’t even stay awake. She fell asleep on route to see him and we waited until we were second in line to sit on his knee to wake her. She remained awake for all of one minute and then fell asleep again. It’s still a darling picture but she is very much asleep. This year, I had no idea what to expect. Judging by how emotional my girl can be (she slightly takes after her mother there) I was thinking it would probably not be a positive experience. I braced myself for tears and screams. So all dolled up in our Christmas plaid, we set out to meet Santa Clause. The Kamloops North Pole set up at the mall was great. They did a very good job. The Santa, though he be a little on the skinny side, was wonderful too. In my opinion, with Santa, the ‘jollier’ and chubbier the better. But he was great. Hallie however was very unsure of the entire process. There were no tantrums or meltdowns or tears. It was actually just awkward. She was frozen like a statue on his lap and had this funny look on her face. Not quite a smile or frown. Just awkward. She even gave a very uncomfortable wave to the camera. No matter what happens it is still a very special moment for parents and we loved every minute of it. It’s not every day your child really meets Santa for the first time! At least she was coherent this year. =) Children really have a way of making this time of year so extra special. I can’t wait to experience the many more ahead of us. Merry Christmas Hallie!

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Furry Girl eyeing up my Hot Cocoa….
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Gift giving To Little Ones

I can’t believe Christmas is next week! It always manages to sneak up on you, no matter how prepared you are or how early you start the festivities. It is often here before you know it. I have discovered something new this year when it comes to holiday shopping. Once your child is walking, they are no longer a good shopping partner. Christmas shopping is impossible. As if the malls were not overwhelming enough this time of year, throw in an energetic toddler who desperately wants out of her stroller and is vocally going to let the whole place know it, and we have one flustered and fed up momma. I have put the remaining shopping list on hold until this weekend when I can escape to shop alone and Hallie can stay home and play with daddy. It’s just better for everyone that way. With all of this talk about shopping brings me to some of my toddler favourites that I want to share with you, just in case you are still scrambling to come up with the perfect gift idea. There are so many perfect gifts for kiddies! It really is quite hard to narrow it down. Hallie is only 14 months as well so she would prefer to play with the box the gift came in rather than the gift itself. In future years we aim to limit the gift giving too. I am a big believer of the following motto: Something you want, something you need, something you wear, something you read. Plus a gift from Santa of course. So though I have many favourites, I am not splurging on everything that catches my eye! Lets have a little self-control ladies, I know it’s hard. Whether you are looking for big or small, here are some excellent choices for the little ones in your life. (Apologies if these are more girl oriented. I don’t yet have a baby boy and am obviously obsessed with things for little girls. I promise to broaden my horizon soon!)

ToddlerWishList

Toy Kitchen / Land Of Nod Blocks / Play TeePee / Land Of Nod Rocking Piggy / Velvet Elephant Purse / Tartan Pinafore / Winter Parka / Confetti Tamborine

Disclosure:
We purchased the TeePee from Bed Bath & Beyond. It is wonderful though it is not the exact one I have pictured above. There are so many out there to choose from and most I have researched look durable and a good investment. Make sure you check dimensions as they do vary.
As for the toy kitchen, I hummed on this gift idea forever and am now slightly regretting not getting it. I as going to wait for Hallie’s next birthday but I may not be able to wait that long. It is ADORABLE and we have seen a few at different playgroups that we have attended. Hallie gravitates to it instantly and will stand there frying up eggs for ages. Plus it’s white and will not look like another giant and hideous kid toy taking over my adult space. Win, win.

DIY Spice Rack: Gifts For The Foodie In Your Life

I was determined this year, as I am most years, to make some of my gifts. I love making gifts for people. The only thin line you need to be weary of here is that you still want it to be a gift they can actually use. I am sure a lot of my crafty gifts back when I was younger came more from being thoughtful versus thinking of actual functionality. I came up with many ideas for people on my list this year, all of which are cute, easy to construct at home, and will actually go to good use for the recipient. One in particular I have decided to share today.

My Dad loves being in the kitchen. When we used to live closer to him, we would go over at least once a month for a feast of yummy appetizers and his famous home cooked rack of ribs. He even used to host a ‘rib-off’ in the summertime. Though he didn’t always win, I have forever been a fan of his bbq’d creations. I wanted to make him something that he could use not only on meat, but in all of his stovetop concoctions. I found the idea of making your own seasonings on Pinterest, and adapted it to make this little craft you see below. Quite simple and allows you to get creative in your search for different spice recipes. My husband built me the miniature crate that holds them – unfortunately until I get confident on a saw, that part will remain designated to him. Saws and power tools are my springtime goals.

In the meantime, I hope this helps you withย your DIY gift ideas, perfect for any foodie lover on your list.

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Supplies:

Empty Spice Jars – I bought mine at the dollar store. They are dollar store quality too I have discovered a little too late. Bed Bath & Beyond carry a variety too that look like they may be a bit higher quality if you want to spend the extra dollars.
A variety of spices to mix – Google homemade seasonings to decide on your recipes and go from there.
Tags & Twine – these are for labeling your spices and including food pairing recommendations.
A miniature wooden crate – any handy husband should be able to build this for you.

Combine your spices and seasonings according to the recipes. Funnel into your empty spice jars. Label your tags and attach with twine. So easy!

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Getting Ready For Christmas

I am starting off this post with a full disclosure statement. I have been lazy. For like two weeks. Well lazy and sick. With what felt like the worst flu ever, I managed to fight my way through each day, doing the bare minimum when it came to ‘wifing’ and ‘mothering’. It’s not like anyone suffered (but sickly me) but there certainly weren’t any extra trips to the park or gloriously cooked meals. Sometimes you are just not on your game right? Since I am being totally honest, I should tell you that it was almost two weeks of being sick and lazy, the rest being in a sad mommy funk. Have you heard of this? I had never encountered the sad mommy funk before. Must be living in a new city, knowing very few people, and it being such a merry time of year. Funny how the holidays are so happy yet they can make you a little melancholic at the same time. So. What do we do when we have a problem? We google. Or in my case, visit Pinterest. Here is a great read on the ‘mommy funk’ with some excellent suggestions on how to break free. I was delighted to discover this fellow mommy blogger’s post and intend to check back in to her site again soon. That is the best part of looking up your problems. The discovery of new resources! Also, just for kicks when you are so sleep deprived that coffee can’t even help you,ย this post is full of good laughs. Another excellent discovery. Not that I am tired but I sure was a couple months ago! (Actually, I am taking that back – I am always tired. Pretty sure all parents are) Now that I have admitted to my sad mood, one that I am sure will pass with the start of another busy week showing it’s face tomorrow morning, onto more merrier thoughts.

We are in full swing for Christmas here. Santa parade, check. Hunting in the woods for the perfect tree, Griswold Style, check. Failure to find perfect tree so we went to the tree farm instead, check. Found perfect tree, check. I even got my act together and wrote Christmas cards this morning. Though writing is not my problem, actually posting them is. VOW: I will post all of the cards tomorrow. . . .

Miraculously, most of my Christmas shopping is done too! I chock that one up to my shopping problem (that I internally refuse to acknowledge) and fully admit that I have purchased at least seven presents for myself- from Santa of course. Wonder if I can actually get away with opening them on Christmas Day and have the Hubs not catch on…. It’s possible! This weeks Christmas goals include some holiday baking, a DIY craft/gift of different butter spreads (can’t wait to share it with you!) and some Christmas present wrapping. I discovered this morning that you cannot wrap a present with a toddler nearby. It’s impossible and I am pretty sure she ingested half of the said paper. Oh sh!t, and post the Christmas cards. I think that is a big enough to-do list for now, don’t you? Best not to get overwhelmed this time of year.

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David’s Tea Time …. Holiday Advent Tea Calendar
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It’s Not Going In our Yard Russ #lottasap
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