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Resolutions.

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I love making New Years resolutions. It feels like such a fresh start, the beginning of the new year. I don’t think I made one last year, since I had a three day old child and moved on New Years Day. If I had made one it probably would have been something like, “figure out how to keep this child alive.” This year now that my life is thankfully much more calm, I have a lot more time to think about resolutions. So here are mine.

1. Keep sewing!

2. Have people over to my house more. Truth be told, people come over a lot and it’s usually because they invite themselves. I love when people do that, but I should really do the inviting more often. Katelyn and I were thinking about having weekly crafting (I hate that term) creative nights here – since Kent works a few evenings a week my house would be a good place to have them. So, if you are reading this, live in the London area, and are friends with me (actually, we fully welcome newcomers as well) and are interested, please let me know. If you don’t feel like making anything and just want to hang out, that’s cool too.

3. I’m sometimes back and forth about my blog. I love having one, but it seems so narcissistic sometimes and I don’t want people thinking that I think my life is so interesting that it deserves a blog, you know? On the contrary, since there’s a lot of things I’m never going to write about, and let’s face it, I’m a stay at home mom right now, sometimes having a blog makes me feel like my life is very mundane. But I do love writing in it and love when people read it and comment and it’s such a source of joy in my life. Whenever I consider not having one my thoughts always end with “…and then in a year I’ll start a new blog.” So that tells me that I should just keep this one. On one day where I was all, “I don’t want to have a blog anymore!”, someone I follow on Twitter tweeted to me that she loves reading it (thanks Brittany!) and it made my whole day. I love reading others blogs (probably a little too much) and I never think that other bloggers are all about themselves, so I don’t know why I feel like having one makes me seem totally narcissistic. I wish that everyone in my life had a blog… well in theory, but I would get absolutely nothing done ever. I just got totally off track. So my third resolution is to “embrace the blog,” make it prettier (or pay someone else to do it, more likely) and keep blogging as much as I can once I’m back to work.

What are your resolutions?

Baby’s first Christmas (and a phone scam.)

Casey is hardly a baby anymore but it was still his first Christmas! He missed last year’s by three days. It was a little overwhelming as we were gone for three days and went to three different family Christmas parties in that time. Our car just kept getting fuller and fuller! Now that we’re home and it’s all cleaned up and the cardboard has been put to the curb, I don’t know who is loving his new toys more – Casey or me. It’s fun showing him how everything works and to see what he can figure out.

My parents got us a La-Z-Boy recliner. Kent has been lusting after one for years so I forfeited my Christmas present from them so that we could get this chair for the office. I must say though, it’s ridiculously comfortable. It’s also good to have another comfortable spot in our small house – if one of us is playing with the babe or watching TV in the living room and the other wants some quiet it’s a perfect spot. We named her Mariah, after a woman from Florida (from a Timeshare company, we later found out) who called us last night trying to convince us that we had won not one, not two, but three vacations. She even convinced Kent to get me on the other phone, told us about how wonderful our vacations would be for a good twenty minutes (Kent even believed her up to a certain point, I however did not) …and then told us that we needed to pay her $250 a person right then and there over the phone. The conversation went something like this at that point:

Mariah: So I have this Visa that begins with a 4 and I will charge the amount to it now. [No idea how she got that... we do have one Visa but haaardly ever use it. I figured she got our info through the company we booked our trip to Cuba with, but we didn't use a Visa card. I don't know.]
Kent: Oh, no, we’ll need you to email us the information and then we’ll decide.
Mariah: Kent, you don’t want to miss this! The information I said I would email you is the trip itinerary that you get after you pay. So I’ll charge the amount to your Visa now.
Me: Please don’t charge anything to our Visa.
Mariah: $250 for all that we are giving you, plus you can bring two extra couples for free is an amazing opportunity. Did I mention the “swim with the dolphins” experience in the Bahamas? It is truly amazing. So I’ll now be charging that amount to your Visa.
Kent: Mariah, you really aren’t going to get any further with us, so for your sake we should end this conversation now.
Mariah: Many vacation companies book trips just like this one through the phone. It’s a totally legitimate way of doing business. So I’ll now be charging your Visa.
Kent: …Is this a recording?
Mariah: Why would you say that, Kent?
Kent: Because you aren’t listening to a word I’m saying…

We even hung up at one point because it wasn’t getting through to her… AND SHE CALLED BACK and continued right on with this schpiel. This woman was relentless and wanted her commission like no other. It amazes me that people can do this to others and still live with themselves. In the end, Kent let her down gently and basically hung up on her because otherwise I have no doubt we’d be on the phone with her for a few hours. The problem was by the end we both really liked her – her sales pitch skills were incredible and she’d be so much better off working for a legit company and do really well. Oh, well. Afterwards Kent was so disappointed because for a few minutes he had thought we really had won a vacation. He was all, “But people really do win vacations, right?” I said, “Yes.. but we definitely didn’t.”

Anyways! Back to Christmas. I wasn’t expecting to go off on that tangent, making this the weirdest Christmas recap of all time. We didn’t take many pictures – the only ones we took were from Christmas morning. We were at Kent’s parents’ house, in case the house looks unfamiliar.

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What I love about bathtime.

I love letting Casey crawl to the bathroom after I take his clothes off in his room. Seeing that naked bum waddling away just about does me in every time. Today I decided the moment needs to be documented before he starts walking and I don’t get this treat every second day.

Video evidence would capture the waddle better, but that can’t go in my photo album and I doubted that anyone other than Kent and our moms would bother watching it, so I took photos instead.

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I mean, just look at this.

(His doorway is where I’m standing in the photo. The door straight ahead is a linen closet, to the left is our room, and to the right is the bathroom. To the right of me are the stairs, and that’s our whole upper level. That quilt wall hanging was a wedding gift from my Oma. It was so cute – she told me it wasn’t ready yet, then she surprised me by hanging it up in the tent at our wedding which was in her backyard.)

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And wondering what the heck his crazy mom is doing.

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Then deciding that he’s taking a bath, with or without me.

Don’t worry, I got to the tub before he did.

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Then we had our usual post-bath giggle fest.

PS Casey’s first bath photo shoot blog! So teeny!

A Christmas survey.

I was reading through Five Blondes and found this survey that Lauren took.

1)Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate?
White hot chocolate! Last year Kent and I drank white hot chocolate every time we waited in the hospital before our prenatal class started, and he bought some for me every day of our four day hospital stay after Casey was born. So needless to say, white hot chocolate has some wonderful connections for me. Except that last week I tried to create a white hot chocolate date downtown for us with the babe and it totally bombed. So we might have to recreate that one because I’d like it to be a yearly tradition.

2)Does Santa Wrap Presents or Just Sit Them Under The Tree?
He wraps them in these bags!

3)Colored Lights or White Lights.
I have white because they are attached to my fake tree. I think I might like coloured better – never really thought about it though.

4)Do you hang Mistletoe?
No, but I totally should!

5)When Do You Put Your Christmas Decorations Up?
Sometime in the end of November or beginning of December.

6) What is Your Favorite Holiday Dish?
Turkey, mashed potatoes, caesar salad, meatballs. My comfort food.

7) Favorite Holiday Memory as a Child. Getting up really, really, really ridiculously early with my sisters every year.

8)When and How Did You Learn The Truth About Santa? I don’t remember at all… probably wasn’t that traumatic. I think I was in grade two.

9) Do You Open a Gift on Christmas Eve? We have a family get together on Christmas Eve with a gift exchange.

10)How Do You Decorate Your Christmas Tree? Umm, I put ornaments on it? I don’t do a “theme” tree or anything like that. I’m not that hardcore.

11)Snow! Love it or Dread it? Love it for a month or two, then dread it.

12)Can You Ice Skate? Yes sir.

13)Do You Remember Your Favorite Gift? Hmm, Kent made me a scrapbook once. I love getting homemade things.

14)What’s The Most Important Thing About The Holidays For You? Spending lots of time with family and friends, and from now on it will be making the holidays special for Casey.

15)What is Your Favorite Holiday Dessert? Pavlova!

16)What is Your Favorite Holiday Tradition? Holiday Home Tours, parades, Christmas Mass, coming up with great gift ideas, going to the mall when it’s ridiculously busy (I know most people hate it, but I love it. As long as I’m done my shopping, or most of it), getting together with my family and Kent’s, decorating my house, all my sisters being in one place at the same time. As Casey grows up I need to start creating our own little family traditions.

17) What Tops Your tree? Nothing! How sad is that! I’ll put it on the garage sale list for this summer!

18) Which Do You Prefer: Giving or Receiving? Giving, when I know the gift I picked out is really good. I don’t really like opening gifts in front of crowds at all.

19)What is Your Favorite Christmas Song? O Holy Night

20)Candy Canes…good or bad? Good!

21)Favorite Christmas Show? To Grandmother’s House We Go. I can pretty much quote the entire thing.

22) Saddest Christmas Song? Silent night – that was Lauren’s answer and I’ll agree.

While we’re on the subject of gift wrap.

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One year I was looking for a seasonal job. I got an interview with a popular home decor store and sat on a bench in the mall with the interviewer. At the end of the interview, she asked this question:

Interviewer: How are you at gift wrapping?

Me: (Ughh, not very good. But I can’t say that because this job obviously involves gift wrapping. I’ll just go home and watch YouTube videos to teach myself.) Oh, I’m pretty good!

Interviewer: What would you give yourself out of ten?

Me: (A four? Can’t say that…) About an eight.

Interviewer: Wow, an eight? No one else has said anything higher than three! Why don’t you come into the store right now and wrap something for me.

Me: (TOTAL SENSE OF DOOM.) Sure!

So I followed her into the storage room where she presented me with a tiny table, a huge empty box (have you ever tried to wrap a huge empty box? No, you have not because it is not normal to wrap huge empty boxes. It caves in on you like crazy), and a giant roll of plaid wrapping paper – meaning any lines that weren’t perfect would be painfully obvious.

The result was not pretty. When the interviewer examined it she said, “Not bad… I don’t think it’s an eight but maybe it’s a six” (I think she was just being nice.)

Did I get the job? I got called in for a second interview – I know, a second interview for a two month seasonal job in the mall? I didn’t even have a second interview for substitute teaching! I didn’t need to take the interview though because I got another job in the meantime.

So maybe this is part of why I now stick to handmade bags.

How are your gift wrap skills on a scale of 1-10? Have you ever had to prove them?

(Photo credit: Pretty Petals)

Handmade linen gift bags.

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For awhile I’ve been wanting to learn to sew. I blame Pinterest and all of the pretty ideas that make you think, “I could make that!” If you’re on there, you know the feeling. So when it came time to wrap my Christmas gifts and I didn’t want to use wrapping paper on account of the small boy that would rip it to shreds, I decided to make my own bags. A quick Pinterest search brought me to Petite Purls and I fell in love with her cute and simple bags.

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I started with nothing – literally. I didn’t even have a sewing machine. I went to see my mom, who has an extra sewing machine and every sewing supply you could possibly think of. She gave me everything I needed, right down to a pincushion with some pins in it. She also gave me lessons, made a prototype with me, and sent me home with enough supplies to make lots of my own bags, including the extra sewing machine and instructed me, “Don’t break it. These are really in demand.”

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For the past week I’ve spent many evenings and naptimes being a sewing machine (pun intended), making these bags like crazy. I’m in love with them. After Kent came home the first evening I showed him the bags I made and he was all, “Those are so nice! We’re giving them away? Don’t give them away! You should put a tag on them.” At that time I only had three – now that our house is filling up with them he’s probably ready to see a few go. When my mom came over a few days after our lesson she said, “Those are good. Like, really good.” That, from a woman who has made three wedding dresses, felt pretty good especially considering this is the first sewing I’ve done since I was a kid.

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I haven’t broken the machine so far. I ran out of bobbin thread and my mom had to talk me through replacing it over the phone which resulted in my sewing machine area looking like it went through a war. I now have a cut on my finger and can barely bend it. This is why I don’t play contact sports. Confession: I actually called her and told her I needed to buy new bobbin thread because I didn’t know you filled it up yourself. My sister found out and laughed at me.

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I’ll be giving them all away because giving a gift to someone then asking for the bag back just seems all kinds of wrong, and I like the idea of my bags floating around the area. I was tempted to make more that weren’t Christmas themed so people could re-use them for any occasion, but it just feels so festive, making Christmas themed bags at this time of year. I did make one elephant, because it’s actually a birthday gift. Because elephants and 25 year old girls’ birthdays go hand in hand, you know.

Update: I was reminded (and called a bad sister but I can take it!) that Katelyn made her own holiday gift bags too and that was part of what inspired me to make mine. You can see them here! In her blog she said that I inspired her to make something, so just look at us. A little cycle of sisterly inspiration.

Returning to work after maternity leave.

Casey’s almost one which means that very soon I’ll be headed back into the big bad workforce. If you asked me six months ago I probably would have told you something completely different, but now I feel like I’m ready. It helps that I know where he will be all day and that we’ve been visiting the daycare once a week in order to help ease the transition for everyone involved. It also helps that Casey is very independent and I can pretty much guarantee there will be no tears when I drop him off there. He’s been around other kids lots this year and I leave him with strangers and strange kids at the gym daycare all the time and have never had a problem. He happily plays when I leave, but when I return has the good sense to let out some big laugh/cries and crawl over to me as quickly as he can.

As for me… I think the part I’m looking forward to the least is the getting up early in the dead of winter to get us both ready, scraping off my windshield, snowblowing the driveway making sure Kent has snowblown the driveway – who’s bright idea was it to have a baby in December, anyways? But aside from that I feel really positive about it. I think it’ll be good for Casey to be around other kids all day and good for me to be around adults all day. With Kent working late a lot of the time, by the evenings I’m sometimes starved for adult interaction if we haven’t been out and about too much during the day. The school days are so short – ending at 3 or 3:30, that I really don’t feel like I’ll be away from him for that long.

I’ve loved having the year off with Casey and wouldn’t want to have missed the chance to be there for almost every second of this precious time in his life but overall I don’t think I’m the stay at home mom type. It’s never been my dream to be a stay at home mom, even though I totally admire women who are. With one baby it’s not the hardest job, but as I can see from Katelyn’s life, boy does it get harder (and more rewarding, I’m sure.) My best friend’s mom to me is the epitome of a stay at home mom to me – she’s always in the kitchen cooking and cleaning and is amazing at putting her family over herself. Her kids stayed at home far, far longer than anyone I know because she just makes it such a wonderful and homey place to be.

That being said, I admire career women too, because they kind of have to do it all – even if there is a husband in the picture, my guess is that 99% of the time the woman does the majority of the cooking, cleaning, parenting, scheduling, event planning, shopping, and just everything that goes into making a house a home. This will have to be me soon, which scares me a little bit (not that Kent won’t help out, but he’ll still be working much longer hours than I will.) But mostly I think I’m excited to be really busy again – I kind of miss that. It’s not for everyone but I think being a working mom will make me a better mom overall.

What boat do you see yourself in – working mom, stay at home mom, or somewhere in between?

Wordless Wednesday (Christmas style.)



11 months.

Now that we’re halfway through the month I thought it was about time I wrote Casey’s 11 month post. Halfway through the 11th month… that means in 17 days this baby will be a one year old. And this marked the first month that the laying down picture was just not going to happen. He laid down for approximately one millisecond before flipping over and crawling away. Last month I said it was a miracle we got it… this month it would have taken much more than a miracle.

This month Casey finally quit the seal crawl and now he crawls the regular way. Still, he always prefers standing up on furniture to crawling. He does not stay still. We pretty much have this conversation all the time while I try and get him to cuddle with me: Me: “But I just want to hug you for awhile!” Casey: WAHHHHHHH! Me: No… we’re just going to hug now! Casey: WAHHHHHHH! (You can guess who wins that battle.) He’s most definitely not a cuddler unless he’s swaddled. And yes, he’s still swaddled. I would like to get him to quit it before he goes to daycare next month. I’ve tried a couple of times in the past week but always ended up putting him back in the swaddle after a bit. Maybe I should start with one arm out.

Casey also lost one of his biggest fans shortly after he turned 11 months. Kent’s Nana passed away and we miss her very much. It always amazed me how, even though she lived on the other side of the country, and even though she has dozens of grandchildren and great-grandchildren, I always felt like Casey was so special to her, as special as if he was the first. I bet that all of Nana’s grandchildren and great-grandchildren felt like they were equally as special to her as I felt that Casey (and Kent) were. It’s really an inspiration to me because I hope that each of my children one day feel like they are my favourite, one day.

Family photos: annnd they’re in!

When we were younger our mom joked that she wanted a lawyer, a hairdresser, and a flight attendant in the family, for the perks. That didn’t happen (although whenever I’m on a plane I do wish that I was a flight attendant) and none of our jobs have perks that she can cash in on… but personally I would like to add photographer to the list. Katelyn’s a photographer as more of a hobby right now but she’s so good at it that more and more of our friends and family are hiring her to do their photos. It was so nice to have someone that Casey – can I call him that on here now? Because his nickname has evolved and right now I call him “Beanie” and Kent calls him “Sweetiebee” or “Swaddabee” along with many others that pop up all day long, and I can’t keep changing his name on here. Okay, I feel better now.

Like I was saying, it’s so nice to have someone that Casey knows behind the camera – much better than sticking him in front of a total stranger and hoping that he smiles for them. Plus she kind of knows how he ticks. And since I’m her sister and all, she wasn’t afraid to sing him songs to get his attention.

Here are a few of my faves!




I told Kent we should be making millions off our baby’s cuteness, but he said he would never do that to him. Darn.





Now you see why I like having a photographer in the family?

If you are a real life friend or family member, let’s just say it’s “print your favourite family picture if you want one, because you aren’t getting a Christmas card” this year. Just so we’re clear. I love getting cards in the mail from other people, but just don’t feel like sending my own this year. Or any years in the past. And possibly future. But I do have a blog, and that has to be better than getting a card signed with our name in the mail, am I right?