What A Year Makes

It’s been a year. Actually, it’s been a bit over a year lol. How much has happened during that time you ask? Well let me tell you. I had my baby. I guess that’s pretty obvious… unless I’m an elephant. Which I’m not but certainly feel like these days.

The little turdlet (yes I address my second child as a turd) is 10.5m old now. B has actually turned into a good baby. Him and his big brother have differences as all sibling do. B was born at 36 weeks. The goal was to make it past 34 weeks; which was when my oldest was born. Anything after 34 weeks was a bonus. His birth story was a bit traumatic so I won’t haunt your dreams with it. As with my first, B was born by forceps at 6lbs 2oz and had a 2 day stay in NICU. The transition for Riley was probably better than I thought it would be. There was no jealousy issues and he didn’t want to hurt the baby… at least not intentionally.

B_born

I wasn’t sure what I was thinking at the time but when I was in my third trimester and was ordered by my doctor to stop working, I thought it would be a good idea to try and potty train my then 2 year old. BIG MISTAKE. It didn’t work and both Riley and I were frustrated and upset with the whole experience. I pretty much made up my mind that Riley would just start kindergarten still wearing diapers lol.

B_3m

B @ 3m old

My sister and her husband also moved in with us temporarily at the end of June last year. They were living with my BIL’s family in a basement suite and his sister and BIL decided to sell the house and move into the ‘burbs. Which then prompted my sister and her husband to buy their own place.
They bought into a new townhouse development about 8mins away from my place but it wasn’t going to be ready until the middle of October, so they shacked up with us because my sister was also pregnant at the time and she didn’t want to move an hour away from work and 30mins away from the hospital where she would be delivering.
Let me tell you that having 4 adults (2 of which were pregnant), 3 dogs (they had to bring their dog with them) and a toddler living in a 2200sqft house was pretty tight. Oh and did I mention that this was the beginning of one of the hottest summers on record? Yeah… good times. Fortunately my husband and I were starting to work on our house a bit last year and he had promised me that he would have a heat pump installed so I wouldn’t melt into puddle of sweat while I was pregnant. Their townhouse ended up being completed a couple weeks ahead of schedule so they were able to move in at the beginning of October. And not a minute too soon! B was growing a lot fast than I had anticipated and he needed to be moved out of the bassinet and into his crib.

We also took a trip to Mexico at the end of January this year. Unfortunately we couldn’t bring Riley with us as it was Ryan’s work trip and we didn’t really feel like shelling out $2000 out of our own pocket for Riley lol. I know… bad parents. B was free to fly and was also free for the hotel stay, plus he was still nursing at the time and there is no way in hell that Ryan was going to go to Mexico for a week without me!

B_mexico

First flight and first time out of the country!

B actually did really well on the flight and during the whole trip as well. We didn’t follow much of a routine while we were there. He basically ate and napped whenever he was hungry and tired. It also helped that the time zone was 3 hours ahead so Ryan and I were able to stay out a bit later than normal while at the same time we were able to keep B’s internal clock the same for bedtime.

Riley also turned 3 in May. He ended up potty training himself when he was about 2.5 years old. One day I just asked him if he wanted to sit on the potty and he did… and the rest is history lol. The transition for him to go on a potty to going on the toilet was actually petty easy. All it took was getting the same toilet ring that my mom has. For whatever reason Riley would only go on the potty at home but at my parent’s place he refused and would only go on the toilet. I tried getting him to sit on the toilet at home but he refused so I went out and bought the same toilet ring my mom has and he had no problems after that. Weird I know! And now he can even go on the toilet with out a ring when we’re out.

bros

Riley @ 3yrs old, B @ 9.5m old

Until next time!

(and I promise a little less baby talk!)

Free Samples?!

Yes please! I mean really who doesn’t love getting things for free!

Last year I discovered this little gem of a website Sample Source from some mom’s in Riley’s birth group. You have to sign up in order to receive the sample packs and the packs come out and are offered about 2-3 times a year. You have to be quick on it though because it’s only available for limited times.
Mine arrived this week.

Free Samples from Sample Source

Free Samples from Sample Source

It was like Christmas all over again lol.
When you get notified of a sample roll out, they ask you a questionnaire each time to determine which samples suit you best and what to send you to test out. Some items require you to log back into the site and fill out a review of the product.
This is actually my second sample pack. The first one, I can’t really remember what I got now but it also included a free limited subscription to a magazine. I chose some hockey magazine for the hubs.

This is what I got in my new sample pack:

My goodies!

My goodies!

The Brookside Chocolates were really good. The first sample pack I got for Brookside was of the chocolate covered blueberries. This time I got the chocolate covered berry crunch which was just as good!

Go sign up and try some samples for yourself!

Get Ready for 2.0

Well… this happened

Baby 2.0 aka Terminator

Baby 2.0 aka Terminator

We’re having another baby! Baby 2.0 is due in mid-August. Right now Riley is 22 months old and really doesn’t quite understand why Mommy’s belly is so large and why Daddy is constantly rubbing it lol. The first time he saw me holding a baby was back in December when my SIL had her second daughter. Riley was not impressed to say the least. He immediately burst into tears. But since then he seems to have changed. We saw my in-laws again in March for hubby’s bday and Riley was fascinated with his now 3 month old cousin.

I’m currently in my 20th week of pregnancy and the above ultrasound was done last week when we also found out the gender. Riley is going to have a little brother!
Hubs and I were really hoping for a girl and I have to admit that I was extremely disappointed when we were told it would be another boy. Gender Disappoint is a very real thing. I’m not saying that I won’t love this child as much if it were a girl, just that we had hoped for a girl and really wanted one of each. It took me a little while to get used to the idea of having 2 boys but now I have accepted it.

3D imaging of 2.0 sucking his thumb

3D imaging of 2.0 sucking his thumb

2.0 already looks like his big brother and seems to be as stubborn (or quite possibly, even more stubborn!) than him as well! He also looks to have some of the same characteristics too… sleeping with his hands behind his head, hiding and sleeping face down during ultrasounds etc.

We’re all very exited for the arrival of our new addition and gearing up to move Riley out of the nursery and into his big boy room.

Review: L’Oreal Mousse Absolue

I have a confession. This is not my real hair colour… yes, I dye my hair lol. Actually it’s as close as I can get to my real hair colour which is a really rich dark brown. To the naked eye it’s black.

In my much younger days when I was finally free to dye my hair, I had a really bad experience and stopped dying it after that.
I asked for nice caramel highlights all over my head but ended up with blonde locks all over instead. The “stylist” had left the dye in far too long and it caused irreparable damaged resulting in my hair just breaking off. I slowly did some colour correction back to a darker colour and have since stopped dying my hair. No I will not show you any pictures!

Fast forward about 12 years, a crazy amount of stress, a baby and a new house, I found my first grey hair. Well really I found it a couple years ago after my son was born lol. What started out as one quickly multiplied. They’re all currently located at the sides of me head but are hidden beneath the top layers of hair. The only time anyone see’s them is when I have my hair in a ponytail… until now; they’ve started coming up around my face. I dyed my hair a couple times last year to hide them but have since gotten a little lazy (and busy!). I didn’t want to pay $100 at the salon so I thought I’d try the drugstore variety.

L'Oreal Mousse Absolue

L’Oreal Mousse Absolue

I forgot to take a before pic of all the nasty greys… my bad!

I was watching tv one day and the commercial for this new L’Oreal reuseable hair dye came on. The one thing I didn’t like about dying my hair at home was getting the dye all over the place. My mom and sister dye their hair at home and back when I was still living at home, there was dye ALL OVER the bathroom.
I went out to buy a box of the Mousse Absolue and decided to give it a go. At the time, their website was also offering a $3 off coupon so I printed one off, waited till it went on sale and ended up paying $10 + tax for it.
I have medium length hair and the box says for medium length you will have one application plus one touch up. Depending on how much you use you can probably make it last for 3 applications. I went with the darkest brown they had and it matched my hair perfectly. If I was only doing the greys and roots, I could have probably easily gotten 4 uses out of it.

This is actually the first time I’ve done a home-dye but I’m pretty happy with the product and results. Application is very easy and is pretty much mess free.

DIY: Shower Curtain

I’m not a really great crafty DIY-er. Everything I want to make always looks better in my head than it does when it’s finished. But one of the things that I am pretty proud of is the shower curtain that I made for Hub’s bathroom downstairs. The entire downstairs area (excluding the crawl space and laundry room) is actually “his area” lol. He laid claim to it when we decided to buy the house.
The idea was that because the lower floor is a cold zone, hubs would be using that bathroom in the summer for showers etc to refrain from waking the baby. That never actually happened. In fact the only time that shower was used was when I was giving the dog a bath. Somewhere along the way that bathroom had turned into a home brewery. Don’t ask.

To shield our guests from the unsightly mess down there (and with the intention that SOMEONE would at some point be using the shower, I wanted to put up a shower curtain. I decided on the colour navy blue and wanted a blue and white stripped curtain. Finding it proved a little harder. It was either the width of the stripes wasn’t what I wanted or when I did find what I like, it was too expensive. Hubs had bought me a sewing machine for Christmas a couple years back so I decided to put it to use.

Navy and white stripped shower curtain

Navy and white stripped shower curtain

This project was actually pretty easy. The inspiration for it actually came from Pinterest. This was EXACTLY what I wanted. I bought the fabric from Fabric.com and it’s the Bekko home decor line from Michael Miller. The tutorial I used to make it can be found here.

I didn’t punch holes in the fabric and used grommets, instead I just bought regular curtain clips to hang it.

The whole project cost me about $45 because I also bought the fabric when it was on sale.

Cost
Fabric: $35
Thread: $2
Curtain Clips: $7

Say Hello To My Little Friend!

Meet Spike!

Meet Spike!

We have a new house mate! Every time we go to a plant nursery I always look for these little guys. They’re air plants and about as maintenance free as a cactus. They range in price from $2.99-$20 depending on the size, variety and where you buy it. This little guy was $5 and is about the size of my palm.

I’ve always wanted to get one but something always stopped me. Then one of my co-workers showed up to work with one and has it on her desk. So the next time we hit the nursery again, I finally got myself one. I try to spray it with water every 2-3 days and it’s recommended to be soaked in water once every 2 weeks.

I’m more of an outdoor flower planter type of gal but we do have a variety of house plants at home. Hubs insisted we place a plant in each room of our house to “clean” the air since our house was brand new when we moved in and still had the smell of paint and we had an infant. Currently, there’s a Peace Lily and Rubber Tree plant on the kitchen counter in front of a window and there’s my Coffee Tree plant on the floor next to the balcony door.
Upstairs we have a fern in the master bedroom and a Snake plant in Riley’s room. In the basement we have an Aloe Vera… that’s in need of some serious watering and a bigger pot (oops!).

We were in Ikea one day, a year and a half ago, hubs decided that we needed a plant in the living room. He was eye-balling two plants so I compromised and said he can get only ONE. He decided on an Elephant plant. A couple days later, hubs was at work and I had just fed the baby and he was down for his first nap. I was walking back into the kitchen to put my breakfast dishes away when I noticed something off the corner of my eye. This is what I saw:

What the hey?!

What the hey?!

I stood there immobilized for a couple minutes just STARING at it. I was trying to figure out if it was alive and where it had come from. It was mid-September at the time and we lived at the bottom of the woods so I thought the little thing might have found it’s way inside our house when we had the door open somewhere.

Is it trying to jump at my jugular??

Is it trying to jump at my jugular??

I backed away from the kitchen sink and ran into the living room to grab my phone. I sent a text to hubs saying “There’s a lizard in the house!!!” Needless to say his first thought was if I had smoked something. I sent him the two pics and he was as flabbergasted as I was. I called him telling him that there is indeed a LIVE lizard in the kitchen… he couldn’t believe it. We got off the phone and hubs sent me another text telling me to trap it lol. I didn’t know if the lizard would jump at me or get frighten and make a run for it when I got close so I grabbed a small water glass and trapped it.

Trapped!

Trapped!

I didn’t know if it would have enough air to breath in there and I didn’t have anything small enough to lift the cup to let it breathe without it escaping so I would periodically lift the cup up and let some air in. Hubs talked to some people at his work and they concluded that the lizard had hitched a ride on the Elephant plant from Ikea and had been roaming around our house for the last couple of days. One of hubbies co-worker’s sister actually works at Ikea and she said that it happens all the time. Every now and then the stores would have a gecko infestation and they would have to wait till the store closes and trap them.
I didn’t want to let the little thing loose and freeze to death outside and we didn’t want it destroyed (which would have happened if we had called the wildlife number) so hubs bought a small tank to house it in with some live crickets, until we could find a new home for it.
Luckily one of hub’s co-workers roommates wanted it so he took him home. Hubs named it Sven while it was living with us and apparently he’s thriving in his new home and has grown quite a bit!

Needless to say I check ALL our new indoor plants for stowaways now!

Santa Pics 2014

Yes I know I’m about 3 months late lol. Things got pretty busy for us before the xmas holidays last year and now I have a lot of catching up to do!

I’m trying to make it a yearly tradition (like every other parent out there) to take Riley out and take Santa pics. The year he was born was great. We had my immediate family and we took pics all together. This year we couldn’t make the schedule work so it was just the 3 of us.

Here we are waiting in the line up:

Trying to keep the kid occupied

Trying to keep the kid occupied

We made sure that Riley was well rested and had his lunch before heading to the mall. I think we were in line for about 30-45mins.

My fav pic of the two

My fav pic of the two

And cue the tears!

This is not the smile of a happy child

This is not the smile of a happy child

I knew there would be crying and tears, I just didn’t expect the immediate reaction! I thought I would try putting Riley on Santa’s lap and see if he would notice. Usually there’s a good 10-15 seconds before the kids realize they’re sitting on a stranger’s lap but Riley’s response was immediate. The second I took my hands off him the screeching started… and wouldn’t stop even when I held him and put him on my lap lol. Not even a candy cane stopped the tears. His face was as red as a tomato. The only time I had seen him that upset was… well, never.

The Santa was a good sport though. Didn’t seem fazed at all with the screaming and tears. His smile was in place the whole time and was very pleasant throughout. But I guess having a gig like that, one would have to have an ocean’s amount of patience and an intense love of young kids.

Maybe this year? Lol

Kris Kringle Cookies

Kris Kringle Cookies - Image from Kraft

Image from Kraft

“I’m not a baker!” That was repeated to hubby over and over again last night as I was baking these cookies. The last time I baked anything (other than dinner) was about 2 years ago. I also only cook periodically when the mood strikes.

I found this recipe on the Kraft website a few years ago when I was looking for a holiday cookie recipe that would be fairly easy to make. They are sooooo good. The recipe is pretty foolproof… unless you’re me *sigh*.

Mixer

I got this Kitchenaid mixer from hubby for our wedding anniversary a couple years ago. I think he was more excited about it than I was… especially since this was also the first time I used it since I got it and Ryan had already used it a few times lol. Generally speaking gifting your wife/gf/significant other an appliance as a gift for any occasion is considered a nono but I’m not your regular type of gal. I had to beg… BEG Ryan to buy me a Dyson vacuum. I finally got it 4 years later lol.

Doughy Goodness

Doughy Goodness

So the last time I made these cookies (which was also the first time I ever made cookies) they turned out to be giant cookies because I thought one tablespoon scoop was too small lol. This time I knew better.
We have a gas range and I’m still trying to get accustomed to using it. Previously we had an electric stove so it takes longer to cook and bake things.

Disaster 1 & 2

Disaster 1 & 2

This is when I started reciting “I am not a baker”. I was so excited to take out the cookies when the timer went off… and then I saw that. Two batch of cookies destroyed. I figured it was possibly because I had sprayed the trays too much with cooking spray or I had left it baking too long so I wiped it all off and put another smaller batch in and set the timer for 8mins. This time I was going to watch through the oven door to make sure it was okay. It wasn’t.
I took the tray out after 4mins and was pretty upset that it just wasn’t working out at all. Ryan came over to comfort me and asked if I had followed the recipe correctly and I said yes. Then something in his head must have clicked because he asked me if I had put in enough flour. The recipe called for 2-1/4 cups of flour. I looked at the recipe and then looked at Ryan and said “Well of course I put in the right amount of flour. Only an idiot would put in two 1/4 cups of flour!” Burn. I had misinterpreted how much flour the recipe actually needed. There was still half of the batter left in the bowl so I mixed in another 3/4 cups of flour and put a small batch in the oven to test. They came out perfect.

Yummy Goodness!

Yummy Goodness!

I had forgotten how sweet these cookies actually are and I think the first time I made them, I had cut the white sugar down to only half a cup so when you make these you may want to adjust the amount of sugar to suit your needs. Next time I would also cut the butter down as well because they’re quite oily.

Enjoy!

New Closet: Part 1, Painting Stripes

*Sigh* Where do I begin. Before I started this ambitious project (and I say ambitious because this is really the FIRST home improvement project I have done. Period.) I looked around on Pinterest for inspiration on how to remake my closet. Because our house is a pre-sale and we didn’t want to pay for the all “extras”, all the closet racks were the plain and simple wire ones. Did I mention that ALL the walls in the house is white? This will be a never ending project. Good thing we plan on staying here awhile!
In my excitement of starting the reno, I forgot to take a pic of what my closet looked like with all my clothes, shoes… and other crap. Here’s what it looked like when Helpful Hubs started removing the yucky wire racks:

Helpful Hubs

Helpful Hubs

Yes my friends, that is indeed a chandelier you see. If you’re asking how I managed to get hubs to agree to let me put a girly chandelier in there, the answer is quite simple; this is MY own personal walk-in closet. Yes MINE. ALL MINE. And now you’re wondering how I managed to kick hubby out, well he also has his own. Our master bedroom has two, I repeat TWO, walk-in closets! It’s paradise. It would be Utopia if my closet were just a tiny bit bigger but I digress. I’m happy not having to share closet space as it is lol. On another note, hubs has made a few comments about me putting a chandelier in there not to mention the fact that he doesn’t understand why I need to paint it either.

I decided I wanted to paint black stripes in my closet and went about reading on how to go about doing it. All the sites I read say that it’s “easy” and “simple”… they’re not true. Well at least not in my case. There was a lot of trial and error not to mention a crap load of patience and an insurmountable amount of determination. But having gone through it all now, the next time I decide to paint a striped wall it will definitely go a lot faster and easier.

It all started when the calculator app I used on my iPad gave me the wrong calculation. The walls in my closet are 90.5″ in height and I wanted an uneven number of stripes because I wanted the very top and the very bottom ones to be black. So I divided 90.5 by 9. Now this is where it all started. The app on my iPad gave me a calculation of 13.64″ for each stripe. Helpful Hubs used a tape measure and went about the room marking 13.64”. Now hubs is quite notorious in our household for not making straight lines so I was a bit skeptical of his abilities. After he finished his markings we started to tape. This is when Helpful Hubs turned into Angry Hubs. I questioned his measuring because it didn’t look very straight to me. He started taping starting at the very top because I wouldn’t be able to reach that high and I started painting over the patched up holes with the base paint (more on that later). Before I could tell hubs where the tape was supposed to go he had already started on the third stripe. I decided to keep my mouth shut and just redo it all the next evening. We finally finished taping about 30mins-45mins later and that’s when I noticed that something was wrong. The last stripe on the bottom was about half the width of the others. I scratched my head about it for a bit and the next day I used my calculator app on my phone to recalculate the numbers. 90.5 divided by 9 = 10.05!!!!!!! A few specific words ran through my head. How could I have not noticed that it was miscalculated in the first place?! Fortunately I was going to redo the tapes anyways. I ran out to Home Depot on my lunch to grab a laser level. The one I bought was the Johnson HOT SHOT. I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on one and since I was planning on remarking and taping the stripes myself and didn’t want to put nails in my wall, I decided not to get the chalk line. Review of the Johnson HOT SHOT will come in a later post.

When hubs came home I told him that there was a miscalculation and I would be redoing the measurements and the tapes. He came up to help me a few mins after I had started.
This proved to be the most frustrating part. I relied too heavily on the laser level and thought that all walls should be level with one another, because really… why wouldn’t they right?! *Sigh* I ended up only marking the new correct measurement in ONE spot and only ONCE. I realized my error when I started to apply the tape on the second wall. The marks didn’t match up. Turned out that the laser level was shifting on the wall. The sticky tack that keeps it on the wall was actually not so sticky. Back to the beginning we go. Fast forward an hour, while I was almost half way done retaping, I asked hubs if he could start priming the edge of the tapes for the stripes that were going to be painted black.
Because the walls were already white to begin with and I wanted black and white stripes, I only needed to buy black paint. Hubs had picked up a small can of touch-up paint for us to cover up the patched up holes. The paint was supposed to be same colour of the existing colour of paint on the walls but we couldn’t get in the smaller sized can because that specific colour of paint was only available in the gallon sized cans. The girl at the store said it was 99% the same colour. I’m pretty sure she’s colour blind. Either that or she played a pretty mean prank on us.

Ready for the first coat of black paint!

Ready for the first coat of black paint!

This was the result after two coats of the “same” colour of paint. Now, I would recommend you prime the tape even though it adds more time to finish your project. The reason for that is because this actually helps seal the tape and prevent any of the paint from bleeding. I did two coats of this because hubs used a foam brush (!@#$%^&*) to do the first coat of the first couple of stripes and it just didn’t look like it would do much of anything. I also marked the ones to be painted black with tape.I would also recommend the use of wide painters tape. As you can see in the picture below, I only used the thinner ones because that was what we had on hand and yes, I did paint over the tape a few times.

First coat of paint

First coat of paint

I should mention that I had to cancel all my plans that I had for the day to finish painting my closet. I didn’t really have to do it all that afternoon but by the time I had finished the first coat of paint it was already 2:30pm. Even with the taping done the night before, it took me until 5pm to fully finish that one little room *sigh*. I did make time for a shower, lunch and a quick clean of the house before starting on the second and final coat of paint.

Isn't it beautiful?!

Isn’t it beautiful?!

Voila! Part 1 of my new closet is complete!

Paint I used:
White touch-up paint: Cloverdale
Black: Behr, Carbon

Vancouver Snow!

Contrary to popular belief, yes Vancouver does get snow… on the rare occasion lol. We Don’t get much of it but when we finally do it’s a cause for celebration. Well, for some of us at least!

We finally got our first snowfall on the last weekend of November. Hubs had inventory at work so it was just me and the boy. Fortunately we didn’t have plans to go anywhere so we hunkered down at home. Good thing too because before the snow started it had rained thus creating a layer of ice underneath.

First Snow of 2014!

First Snow of 2014!

Riley is now 1 year and 7 months old so this isn’t his first Christmas or his first time seeing snow. We had taken him up to Cypress last December but he likely has no memories of it.

Cypress Mountain Dec. 2013

Cypress Mountain Dec. 2013

Needless to say Riley was pretty excited when we got all bundled up and headed outside. It was actually kinda funny because we would walk a little bit and then he would just sit down wherever he was and start playing with the snow lol.

Snow2

At one point he was laying on the snow and playing with it.

Snow1

We plan on taking him back up to Cypress after the New Year some time to go tubing. I’m sure the little guy is going to have a blast!

Riley’s Clothing Details:
From 2013
Hat: Baby Gap
Mitts: H&M
Puffy Jacket: H&M
Pants: The Children’s Place
Shoes: Puma

From 2014
Toque: H&M
Superman Mitts: H&M
Jacket, pants and boots: Hand-me-downs