Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Thanksgiving 2015

What a wonderful weekend we've had. It started out a tad gloomy, but the weather changed to balmy sunlight, and stayed that way for the duration of our last long weekend as a family before Winter's cold turns the corner. 
As some of you know, this was Canadian Thanksgiving, one of my favorite holidays! For how it gathers family of course, but mainly, FOOD! ;) I love me some turkey with all the fixings. And I love our tradition. Both Darling and I's families live far away, so it's always been just Us, save for once or twice, where we were invited to someone else's place, or family was visiting. Truth be told, we are generally homebodies, and to prefer a quieter gathering to a loud, free-for-all bash. I always wind up eating wayyyyyy too much at those! LOL!

I spent all day Saturday cooking and prepping the yummy goodies, while Darling caught up on outside gardening and laundry. (He is a GEM!)

Saturday was this little nugget's 10th Weekversary.
I don't know if it's just me, but I swear, the hours, days, weeks, are all a blur. I am doing my best to soak up every moment with these littles of ours, but frankly, there just aren't enough hours in one day to drink it all in.
Oh but look at this wee man, isn't he a gem? He's at such a fun stage right now, discovering his hands, and his voice. So much coo'ing and smiling. It is mind-boggling to see these little ones come into their personalities.

Ah, yes, my homemade stuffing. I refuse to use that MSG laden prepared stuff. So a few years ago, I bit the bullet, and searched out stuffing recipes, tweaked it a bit here and there, and came up with the perfect combination that pleased my family's taste buds.

Me and my babies. Such a warm, raw moment captured by Darling. 
I do complain on occasion that I'd love a bit more Me time, alone, where I don't feel responsible for anyone else's stomach or needs, just for a short while... But the moment I get it, all I do is think of them. I miss them and wonder what they're up to? Wondering if they need anything, because it always seems that when I'm around, nobody can find what they're looking for! Ha! Ha!

We kept it really simple. Wait, "I" kept it really simple! LOL! It's one thing to be busy in the kitchen all day, and being able to get it all done. But I am surrounded by tiny assistants, whom we affectionately refer to as "Insistants", a term coined by Mimi when she was a tiny thing trying to help me, and declared "But I want to be your INSISTANT!!! I love it when kids come up with their own expressions.

Turkey, stuffing, corn, creamy mashed potatoes, gravy, and loads of cranberry sauce (berries IN, thank you!) A perfect late lunch/early dinner meal. 
Which we ate two days in a row! Thanksgiving leftovers ROCK!

Our meal was accompanied with a delicious glass of Fontana Vidal from Riverview Winery , a deliciously sweet, fruity wine. Dangerously delicious in my opinion. This Mama is NOT a habitual drinker, but this was going down way too nicely for someone who hadn't had wine in, wow, about 4 years? I'm a cheap date! LOL!

Good to the very last crumb!!!

And what Thanksgiving meal would be complete without a piece of pumpkin pie, loaded with coconut whipped cream? 
Or as Didi likes to call it "Porcupie"
Add that one to the list of favourite kids' expressions! 

Seriously, we had to hide the pie!

Sunday Pancake Breakfast. Weekday mornings are always such a blur here. Darling rushing around getting ready for work. Mimi in a complete haze, trying her best to remember everything she needs for school. And me, with a needy Didi who wants everything right and now, and a tiny little man who just wants his boobie breakfast, well... Sometimes I don't even get to sit down to my first sip of coffee until 10:00am!
But on weekend mornings, nobody's rushing around. Music is playing, and Mama's in the kitchen, doing what she loves the most: Cooking! My Buttermilk Pancakes are always a hit, and I've had to learn to triple my batch in order to have some left over to freeze as toaster pancakes on those rushed weekday mornings. This has sort of backfired, because then the family eats WAY more than their fair share, seeing as there's a big pile in front of them.

It was an absolutely wonderful long holiday weekend. Lots of activity, lots of work, and lots of LOVE!
And now? Well now we prepare for Halloween!!! 

TTFN Darlings!


Thursday, September 3, 2015

This Too Shall Pass

You know, when life throws you lemons?
Well, let me tell you about shitty days.
They start like this:
Woke up at 6:00am by baby boy, who's diaper is filled at capacity with a blowout. Awesome! 
I can barely keep my eyes open, because I've had (maybe!) 4 hours of sleep. And these are cumulative mind you, not consecutive... I change his diaper, we exchange some pleasantries, and just as I close the last snap on his onesie PHLPFFFFLLLPPDFLLPFPPPaaaaargh.... 
Oh joy, he got to fill a clean diaper, just the way he likes it... (Insert giant eye roll here)

At this point, the 3yr old is already up, bright-eyed and bushy tailed, placing very specific breakfast demands. Little miss wants poached eggs on hash browns, with toast. 

I suddenly remember that I must wake the teen up for high school registration today. She's pissed, of course, because getting up at 7:00am sucks after impersonating Rip Van Winkle all summer. She just doesn't understand that it'll take time to get herself, her sister, and her brother fed, dressed, ready and out the door. Oh wait, ME TOO!! 

And we're walking, because we don't have a vehicle. Not too bad, it's only 15 minutes at most. But it's hot.

By the grace of all the Gods, the baby decides to go back to sleep. This gives me a window to make breakfast - tater tots & fried eggs, don't judge me! - and a small pot of French Press coffee. I swear, I run entirely on fumes and coffee these days... 
I literally inhale my breakfast, because I know my window to get ready is shrinking faster than a snowball in the hot August sun. I rush through a five minute face (BB Cream, a stroke of concealer under each eye - because my bags have bags! - a touch of cream blush, a swipe of cream eyeshadow, eyebrows and mascara), and then try and find something appropriate to wear that is both cute and is nursing friendly, without making me look like an adult entertainer. This is a seriously challenging feat.

I try one wrap dress, only to find that the slightest movement opens the collar up and reveals my bra in its entirety. Something I'm sure the teenage boys at the high school wouldn't mind, but I do. So I reach for one of my trusty "Nana" dresses. Covers everything that needs covering, but still cute.
I finish filling all the forms that should have been filled back in July but weren't, cause I've been a tad busy. 
The kids are fed, dressed, and ready to go. I carry our awesome Phil&Teds double stroller down our front steps, and come back in, only to find that Baby Boy needs a fresh diaper. Ok, I can do this. Rush to the bedroom, change the diaper, aaaand he's hungry. I got this too, I whip out a quick snack for the boy, until I can tell he's full. And just as I'm about to pull him over my shoulder for a burp, he spews. No, I mean like something from the Exorcist. All over himself, my bed, AND my dress! 
The toddler's whining that she wants to get going, so is the teen. Ok, change the baby's clothes, wipe my dress with a wet cloth, and out we go, making sure I've got all the paperwork & money needed for registration. 

I get the baby in the back seat of the stroller, plop the toddler in the front, and breathe a sigh of relief, cause we are ready to GO! 

Then nothing. I look down, and one of the rear tires on the stroller is flat. This thing is brand spanking new! I run back up the front stairs, rush to the basement for s tire pump, Rush back up, out the door, lock it, and get started pumping that tire. Phew, it's working. Put the valve cap back on, drop the stroller on it, and PFFFFFFTTTTTT!!!! All the air comes out. At this point, a string of beautifully colourful French words start streaming from my mouth. I try again. Same thing. 

This stroller is brand.new. We've had it for a week! 
Have I mentioned it's hotter than Hades out there? Now the toddler starts complaining that she wants to go, the baby starts crying, probably from the incredible heat, and the teen is looking at me like "What do I do now?!" 
I make the Teen call her friend up and beg for a ride from her mom. There's no way we're going to make it. I'm on the verge of tears, feeling like an absolute failure, because despite thinking I had it all under control, the shit still hit the fan. 

So now, I sit here, in my dark bedroom, trying not to crumble in tears while nursing our infant son, begging our Toddler to please wait until I'm done nursing her brother and I will get her a snack, and no, she can't go outside to dig in the dirt, and please, PLEASE wait until I'm done, and I will help her change into different clothes. 

Teen girl has been picked up & dropped off, and is waiting in a huge lineup to get registered for one of the greatest stages of her life, and I'm missing it. I wanted to be there to support and help guide her. But now she's on her own. Perhaps it's for the best, I mean, I know she would've preferred to have me there, but now she'll be with her best friend, and it'll likely be much more memorable for her that way. 

And on a positive note, I just got off the phone with P&T's customer service, and they will send us a brand new tire for the stroller. And that just relieved a bit of the stress that was building up.

Nap time is here, and hopefully both little cooperate, and nap together so I can join in. :)

TTFN Dolls!
Tomorrow is another day 😊

Monday, August 17, 2015

Weekend Hangs

Our everyday has been filled with kids' demands, cooking, cleaning, lots and LOTS of laundry, and very very full hearts!

We celebrated my birthday on the 8th by having breakfast at a local greasy spoon, which was also our very first time out as a family of five. Dear Lord, that floors me every time I say it: Family of FIVE! 
We are so busy during the week - Darling at his clinic, me at Home - that we've made it a point to really be present with each other during the weekends. 
Still loads of work to do around the house, but so much more time spent simply being together. 

This week, we went to Williams, and each indulged in some fine deliciousness. 

Hard to believe this little darling is three already. Time has flown so fast, that it really drives home the fact that our three children will be grown and have flown the coop in the blink of an eye. 

Mimi and Didi getting some couch snuggles on.

Ahhhhhh!!! Completely blessed out, milk drunk baby. Is there anything cuter?! 

Though I'm still healing from childbirth only three weeks ago, I have been able to slowly get back to my normal domestic activities. But I am taking it slow, and not doing too much. One thing I love doing, as many know, is cooking; and let's be honest, my family is totally into that too! ;)

Most Sundays are Big Breakfast Day (health permitting), and this week was no exception. Made my delicious Buttermilk Pancakes, and thought I'd play a little joke on the girls. You see, I've had to take drastic measures to prevent them from eating the whole stack of cakes as I'm making them. (I swear, they'd eat them off the griddle!!) 
So I made a few little cakes for them, and served them on little plates. Very well received by two girly girls who inhaled the "Oh So CUTE!!" cakes in about 60 seconds flat! 😂😂😂 

I had mine with fresh, juicy, ripe nectarines, and just a smidgen of real maple syrup. 

The Wonder Weeks tell us that all the fussiness we've been getting from this wee man are due to his first Leap. If you are a new parent, please, do yourself a favour, and look into TWW, either the book, or the app. It will do wonders (hah! Pun!) to help you understand all of these milestones your baby is hitting, and hopefully save your sanity. Nothing worse than dealing with an inconsolable, clingy, crying baby, and not have a clue what's going on. Even harder on the little ones, I'm sure. 
Thankfully, there was no shortage of arms ready, willing, and able to hold this little guy! 
And in Nana Linda's arms, who drove up from Brantford to meet her first grandson for the very first time. To say she was smitten would be an understatement 😏

TTFN Dolls!! 

I'm hoping to have a nice post written up for our birth story soon. 


Monday, May 25, 2015

All In The Family

It was a long weekend in Canada, Victoria Day falling on Monday, and we scored some quality Family time. 

Mimi needed to get a few things for an upcoming school trip, and Darling wanted to show us the huge aquarium at Bass Pro Shop. So we decided to hit our newest Outlet Mall in Niagara On The Lake. 

 I swear, this treat nearly killed me last night. The pound cake and fresh fruit would have been just right, but the Cool Whip gave me THE worst heartburn. 
I am grateful Darling postponed his fishing and stayed home this morning, so that I could catch up on all the sleep I didn't get last night. 

Monday, May 11, 2015

Sunday Well Spent

You know when you wake up on a Sunday morning, still exhausted? No? Gosh you're lucky! ;)

 Well, no rest for the wicked, as they say.  ha! ha!

Of course, the best part of one of these mornings, is when you're able to just wake up slowly, taking in your surroundings, and getting your bearings. I am not a morning person. At All. But my kids have insisted for the last 13 years or so, that this is my reality now.

Morning "mykelele" jam sesh with the nugget. She likes to dress herself lately, just, you know, FYI ;)

And that was my cue to get up, ha! ha!
Besides, the little one in incubation was demanding nutrition.

One thing I'm really appreciating about my cravings during this pregnancy, is that they are for foods of the healthy variety.
Breakfast fixins, waiting to be slapped together, for a delicious 'mostly' egg-white omelette (I added the remaining 2 eggs we had) with fresh spinach, cremini mushroom, crushed garlic and some delicious Jarlsberg cheese grated on top and melted to perfection.

Another weekend breakfast staple for us is oatmeal.  

I like to mix rolled oats with large flake oatmeal, the texture formed is both creamy and crunchy. Darling liked to call it Hautemeal, because of all the extras in there. I like throwing in dried fruit, nuts, and seeds. Anything I've got on hand.  This breakfast packs a punch, and keeps us full all morning long. 

I've also started liking my green smoothies again lately. I've had a few strange food aversions, which are finally starting to wane.
I balance the greens with sweet ripe fruit, like bananas, mangoes or pineapple. I've also been partial to a dash of cinnamon in there as well.
Here's one of my favourites:
1 cup of fresh baby spinach
1 long celery stalk
1 chunk of fresh peeled ginger (the size of this piece really only depends on the heat you personally like in your smoothie, I use an ice cube sized chunk.)
1 large ripe banana
1/2 a large mango, peeled and diced (frozen works as well, and will give your smoothie a creamier texture)
2 cups coconut water, and then top the container with filtered water.

I must admit, we absolutely love having a Vitamix. We got it about 18 months ago, and I can honestly say that it gets used at least every other day (we make larger batches of green juices at once, so they last a few days. But I don't much like it passed the second day. The fresher the better. 

Our oldest out on a Daddy Daughter date at A coffee house. I don't think she's ever met a cake pop she didn't like ;)

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Learning To Let Go

Sometimes, the hardest thing to do is to let go of something you once had great passion for. Taking a step back, re-evaluating, and clearing your mind will definitely help put things back in perspective. I also find that purging is often necessary to get back to what is truly meaningful. A few months ago, while planning some future renovations to the house with Darling, I started looking around at all the superfluous stuff we had just laying around. I decided that to help make space for us to work, I'd start packing any and all unnecessary items up in order to facilitate work. 
Box upon box, upon box started piling up, and filling up our storage space to capacity. 
I'm talking hundreds of books, tons of clothes I was keeping (some for our youngest to grow into, some I was hoping I'd shrink back into, seasonal items...), and miscellany like lamps, vases, dishes, flatware, just general clutter one accumulates over the years, and keeps "just in case". I tried to be tough, and pack only the things I thought we really couldn't do without, but it was still SO much stuff!
Then one day, while browsing (ok, stalking!) some of my favourite Instagram profiles, I stumbled on a post which mentioned a book. It was Marie Kondo's  "The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up", and I was so intrigued by it, I searched it out on Amazon, and bought it on the spot. Two days later, this little gem was delivered straight to my doorstep. I broke into the box, pulled out the book, and read it practically cover to cover that very afternoon. It was so filled with interesting tidbits and anecdotes that felt as though they were directed at me personally. The rules of the book are to read it in its entirety before starting, but I couldn't help myself. The next day, while the little one was distracted by one of her favourite movies, I started with the clothes. It should be said that my bedroom closet is not big, and, it's shared with our toddler. Most of my clothes are on hangers, but I also keep a few see-through plastic bins to keep out-of-season items and accessories, to save space. I emptied the whole closet onto my bed. Every box, every hanger, every drawer, every single item was dumped onto my bed. Seeing all of my clothing in all its splendor displayed haphazardly on my bed gave me both a feeling of pride, and embarrassment. Pride, because I could see a lot of good quality items I'd taken very good care of over the years. And embarrassment, because how could I dare look at this humongous pile of clothes, and ever utter "I have absolutely NOTHING to wear!"

The problem wasn't that I had nothing to wear. It was that most of what I was keeping didn't "Spark Joy". Too tight clothes and shoes that pinched, or weren't exactly comfortable. Ill fitting - too loose, too tight, too short, too long... - out of fashion, no longer 'age appropriate' (am I really going to wear that layered fringe miniskirt any time soon?), never looked exactly right items. Many I was keeping out of guilt (but I paid SO MUCH for this!), some had been gifted (like the first dress Darling bought for me on our first ever Christmas together, which he had noticed I'd fallen in love with at that little boutique in Niagara On The Lake, which, unless my bosom shrinks back to the size it was 20 years ago, I'm afraid the stress I put the spaghetti straps under isn't safe...)
So I culled. And culled, and culled, and culled. Until I was faced with a discard pile so large, I started thinking I might have lost my mind. I filled eight (EIGHT!) of these 45L recycling bags, all with clothes from MY closet. Just mine. I'll tell you, the urge to keep diving back into each bag to retrieve an item or two, because I wasn't sure it didn't spark joy hit me more than once. And I did retrieve a few items, to feel them again, and even try them on. But my initial instinct always proved right. I wasn't utterly and completely in love with them. So I brought it all to the garage, where every item culled in the last 7 weeks has been sitting, waiting to be dropped off at the nearest thrift store.  

Next were all the books. I wish I could say that they were shared, but honestly? I'm the bibliophile in the family, and out of all the boxes you see here, two were filled with Darling's books, and three of them were filled with Mimi's books. The rest? All mine! My goal? To keep just enough books to fill our existing book shelf shown below.

It's not perfect yet, and there are still a few things that need a different home (like our games for family game night, and the kids' art supplies, which are kept in the closed compartments), but it's getting there.

This book is changing my life! See that pile of books on our table? Those are 30 more books that I've decided to add to the donate pile AFTER purging over 12 big boxes full. Hundreds of books later, and I just keep taking more out of the shelf! 
It feels amazing! I literally feel lighter, happier. Even Darling has commented repeatedly how good it feels and looks. It is mind-boggling the amount of stuff we weigh ourselves down with, or hang on to "just in case". I thought of selling the books to local used book stores, or passing some on to friends, but I decided to donate them all to the Nova House, a local shelter for abused women and their children. Each year, they hold a Book Riot, where the proceeds go to supporting Nova House.

The ladies were floored when they saw all these boxes; 14 boxes of books, each holding at least 40 books. I estimated about 560 books donated in all. I hope they'll all be happy their new homes! ;)

Marie does not recommend purging others' items, and I wholeheartedly agree with this. As I'd hoped, the more I went through my own items, the more my family made comments on the improvements in our surroundings. Less clutter, less dust, less sneezing, more space, all of our pretty things were more visible. Darling didn't think he'd have much to go through, but he was just as surprised at how much he tossed. Even our "Oh no, I can't throw ANYTHING out!" teen embarked on the culling mission. 

After giving her at least one week's notice, the morning we got to the task, she said "I really don't think I'll be getting rid of much Mom. I use everything". I explained that she would be surprised at the amount of stuff she no longer used, wore, or even looked at. And I was right! Oh my goodness, 4 big blue bags were filled with clothes, toys, shoes. She couldn't believe it. And once we were done, and finished reorganizing everything, she was so happy. We spent the better part of a day doing her room alone, and she now finds it to be restful and pleasant to hang out in there, even after learning how to fold her clothes in little 'stand up' bundles. She can find everything, and she loves that every item Sparks Joy. (A term she found ridiculous, but now understands). And I love that I can do the weekly vacuuming without having to go in and clear the whole floor ahead of time.

I decided to do our Didi's clothes myself, since she's just (almost) 3. It was much easier for me, her primary caregiver, to know exactly what fit, what worked, and what toys I knew she still played with and loved. 
I also went through all the long outgrown clothing of Mimi's I was keeping for Didi to grow into. I've come to the conclusion that I am one big sentimental sap. As I touched every little dress, pair of shoes, pants, shirts, I could vividly recall Mimi wearing them. But there's the rub, the clothes don't make the memory. I'd forgotten about most of these clothes, but not the memories formed when my oldest child wore them. I had made a decision that I would keep only enough of the best quality clothes to fill the big grey bin for Didi to grow into, and one of the clear plastic hinged-lid bins as a keepsake box. The rest, well, I was a smart cookie! I took it all to Once Upon A Child, and sold it for a small profit, which I turned around and purchased clothing and other baby items for the wee man who'll be entering our lives come July. Now I don't know about you, but I'd call that a Win-Win! I'm reclaiming space in our Home, making a few dollars, and getting good quality new-to-us clothes for baby, in an affordable manner. And honestly, when you have kids, every penny counts. Darling LOVED that! ;)

We went from this...
... To this! 
The big piles on the floor are now gone! Two big bins, three big reusable shopping bags, the blue bag, and a large duffel bag: all empty!

We're quickly filling boxes and large bags with items, and though at first, all we could see were dollar signs flying out the door (we thought of having a garage sale, but frankly, I'd rather not have to deal with all the stress and effort behind it, and just donate everything so that it's all out of the house), now, when I sit at the dining room table, on the couch, at my studio table, all I see are Joy Sparking items. And that's an amazing feeling. 

One of the things I had not expected to happen was not only the happiness and joy from the extra space, but I mentally started feeling lighter. Not just mentally, but physically as well. Suddenly, the clothes I kept that had a little wiggle room (I tried every single item on!) was falling off of me. Not off the bump, mind you, but sleeves and pant legs were looser. Shoes and rings too. It's like all the stuff I was hanging on to was making me hold on to that 'hard to lose' extra padding I was sporting. 
I thought it was all in my head, but even Darling started noticing and mentioned how I was shrinking. Not a bad deal if you ask me! LOL!

I've yet to go through all of our Komono (miscellaneous, tchotchkas...), but I gotta say, it's getting easier and easier to spot the Joy Sparkers. I also suspect I'm not the only one who finds that this will be done in more than just one shot. As much stuff as I discarded already, because it's becoming so easy to identify the Joy, it's easy to look around the house and say to myself "This doesn't really make me happy", and I no longer find myself needing to keep stuff just in case. In case I need it six months from now. In case I lose more weight and it finally fits me after sitting in a plastic bin for 10+ years. In case my teenaged daughter finds that she likes this now-vintage top I owned in my twenties (holy crap, how scary is that?! Ha! Ha! Ha!)

I'm loving this new feeling. A feeling of newfound freedom. Freedom to say no to family who'd like to pass on generations-old furniture or dishes. Freedom to let go of old items that no longer serve their purpose. Freedom from the guilt in thinking "but I paid so much for this!". Freedom to surround myself purely with things that Spark Joy. 
I'm far from done, but getting closer and closer to my goal of a purely minimalistic look each and every day. 

I look forward to sharing more of this adventure with you :)

TTFN Loves!


Monday, April 20, 2015

Greenhouse Exploration: Country Basket

I keep meaning to post more often, but, well, life. 

Our days have been increasingly busy lately, with hubby attending a seminar in Vancouver last week, Didi getting ready to enter the Troublesome Threes (trust me, they're a thing!), and Mimi just enjoying the general business of a 13 year old. 

I can't believe we're already prepping for her 8th year Grad, which is just a few months away. And then July will bring the Big Arrival of little man Ryker, along which a mixture of excitement and a little trepidation. It still boggles my mind that we'll soon be a family of 5!

My wonderful Mom decided to pay us a visit, and extend her stay while Darling was away, so I wouldn't feel so alone, just me and the girls for five days. It's always nice to have Mom over. She loves to take me to all those places we don't usually have the opportunity to visit, due to our lack of vehicle. One such place is Country Basket, a local greenhouse which never disappoints when it comes to a healthy stock of plants in great variety. I love getting our annual herbs from them, and usually will find a few houseplants that suit our lifestyle. Namely, the hearty type that don't mind a little neglect... because unlike my husband, I was not blessed with the greenest of thumbs. 

The first Spring visit to any greenhouse always feels like such a treat to me. The beautiful heat wave that hits you the moment you walk through the doors, then all the greenery, and the mixture of intoxicating scents. It feels positively tropical after being cooped up inside for a whole harsh Canadian Winter. We always wind up suffering from a little cabin fever, and this year's record breaking cold certainly helped deepen those feelings. 

It's funny to think that just a few weeks ago, we had to layer in thermal underoos, multiple shirts, scarves, hats, gloves, heavy winter coats, and clunky utilitarian (see: terribly unflattering) boots before heading out. And now, that's all traded in with just a few light layers, a straw hat, sunnies and a smile :)

Mom and Didi found a few new additions to the greenhouse: About a dozen peepers have decided to make the indoor pond their home. Didi was quite impressed, and loved peeking in on the little critters from the pond's edge, which looked like they were basking in the indoor heat. 

Look at the excitement on her little face!
It was all fun and games, until the gentleman who was helping us decided to catch one, and show it to her up close and personal. That... Well, that didn't go over so well. ;)

She would have absolutely nothing to do with that slimy creature, and had to climb up to mommy's arms.

Mommy's arms make everything better!

We finally left those frogs behind, and started exploring the rows upon rows of beautiful plants. And this little bunny had a blast smelling all the flowers and helping Mommy pick a few new ones for our herb garden.

I was so in love with the wide variety of "Monkey Faces", formally known as Pansies ;) I love all of the vibrant colours they come in, and their sweet perfume is intoxicating!

I've had an affinity for Bleeding Hearts since childhood, when one of my aunts had a large bush, and used to let me take a branch every so often as a gift for my Mom. I was always fascinated by the perfect little heart shape each pendulous flower formed. 


A chalkboard sign right at the entrance, with a quote too perfect to pass up a little photo op. 


Thought this might also be a good time to do a little bumpdate as well.

We are now at 28 weeks (I still can't get over how fast it's all happening!), I've been free of the dreaded 24/7 sickness since week 19, but it seems to be trying to make a comeback. Methinks it might have something to do with the fact that Baby Boy is starting to grow, and taking up a lot more abdominal real estate. The only thing that helps is to keep a nice light snack on the bedside table every night, that I can eat first thing in the morning before my feet even hit the floor. Nothing too crazy, just a banana and some pure coconut water - that I now need to put two of each on the tray, since a certain little someone started thinking that Momma was putting it all out there just for her.
Sour candy seems to help as well, also to Didi's pleasure, since she gets to have an occasional taste of my treats here and there.
My cravings: vegetable matter, especially raw, but also cheese. I could put cheese on everything! And eggs. Poached, fried, hard or soft boiled, scrambled... Just give me all the eggs!

I haven't gained too much weight still, likely due to how sick I was in the beginning, but I am now definitely in maternity wear. I've been pretty lucky so far, in that a lot of my summer dresses will accommodate my growing bump, but I did splurge on a few maternity pieces, just so as not to stretch some of my favourites too far.
The belly button is just about at full on outie stage, and is bugging me like the dickens. However, I've found this awesome little product that has helped me deal with the discomfort of it rubbing on my clothes: Pretty little Bump Bows, perfectly sized colourful stick-on bows that give you just the right coverage and protection. I got a set each in Blissfully Blue, and Gleefully Green.

Darling likes that he can see them through lighter fabrics, he thinks they're cute! 

Well, that's it for now. I've been working on a few new recipes to share with you. I'm hoping I'll get to those very soon. Toddler permitting;)

TTFN Dolls!