Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas Decorating Project 2011

A few weeks ago, I mentioned a new tradition that I wanted to start.  A DIY Christmas decoration for my home! 
I had a few pictures of things I thought would be fun to make.  Well, I still think they would be fun to make, but I did something totally different. :)
I wanted to do something special for Jasmine's first Christmas.  Last year, we bought Ian an ornament for the tree, and I wanted to do an ornament for Jasmine as well.

I decided to make a little handprint Christmas tree ornament.  I totally love how they turned out!
I used a simple salt dough, (recipe below) cut out circles with a regular water glass, and took Jasmine's hand impressions while she was napping. :)

Ian got in on a little bit of the painting, he loved it!  I was pretty impressed with his hand/eye coordination, for a one year old, it was pretty good! :)

He even got to help with the snowflakes! :)

The finished product!  

Salt Dough

1/2 cup salt
1 cup flour
1/2 cup water

  • Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.

  • Mix together, salt, flour, and water until dough is formed.

  • Knead the dough on a floured surface until the mixture is elastic and smooth. If dough is too sticky, sprinkle with flour, continue to do so until stickiness is gone. Do not add too much flour, this will dry out the dough and will cause it to crack before you get a chance to bake it.

  • Roll out the dough to about ¼” thick with a rolling pin that has been dusted with flour.

  • Use cookie cutters to cut out as many shapes as you want.

  • Use a toothpick to make a hole toward the top of the shape. Poke the toothpick into the shape, then holding toothpick straight up and down, make a circular motion as if you were stirring something. Keep circling until the hole is the size you want.

  • Place all shapes onto an ungreased cookie sheet and place into the preheated oven.

  • Bake for 2 hours.

  • Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.
  • Tuesday, December 27, 2011

    Food, Glorious Food!

    We had an Amazing Christmas this year!  There was so much good food, laughter, family times, relaxation, giving, visiting, singing, and in general, enjoying God's blessings! 
    We spent Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and Boxing Day with Stephen's family, and had a total hoot!
    I got to help make a lot of the food over the weekend, which was so much fun for me!  I really love cooking for "big" groups, especially appreciate, hungry ones!  I love really making food look beautiful, as well as tasting good!
    My mother-in-law and I put together this feast for Christmas Eve!   

    Chocolate Fondue!

    Spinach Dip! (A Christmas tradition for me!)

    Deviled Eggs


     Cheese Fondue!

    Yes, good food was enjoyed by all.  I love how a meal like this brings people together in a way that "normal food" doesn't.  There's so much more interaction and fun, it seems!  
    This is one of my favorite types of meals.  I love appetizers and finger foods during the holidays!  It's so much fun planning it out, making sure you have a beautiful variety of each type of food.

    Spinach Dip

    1 cup mayonnaise
    1 cup sour cream
    1 package Knorr vegetable soup mix
    1 (8 oz) package chopped, frozen spinach
    1 (round) loaf sourdough bread

    Mix mayo and sour cream together.  Add the soup mix.  Add the spinach (thawed and drained) and mix thoroughly.
    Cut out the centre of the sourdough loaf and place the dip inside.  Cut the centre of the loaf into bite sized pieces to eat with the dip.
    You can also serve this with crackers, and with vegetables.

    Friday, December 23, 2011

    Our New Home - a Little Peek

    So since I know so many of you have been just *dying* to see what our new place looks like, I decided to satisfy your desire and show you a few snapshots of the place! :)
    Disclaimer: We haven't even been in the place a month yet, so things are definitely not where I want them to be as far as decor etc. goes.....just so you know. :)  

    1. My lovely, huge kitchen. :)  It's actually quite a bit bigger than it looks in the picture.  There's room for a nice sized kitchen table/breakfast nook, which we don't have, leaving a lot of room for playing in the kitchen.  (I mean for Ian to play in the kitchen, obviously! :P) 

    2. Ian's room/nursery/playroom 

     3. Office/sewing room/film equipment storage.  I love this room!  It's so nice to have a place where all the film equipment/electronics can be together, plus, having my sewing machine set up and easily accessible means I'll be using it more!  I'm still working on ideas for how to best organize this room.....

    4. Bathroom #1

     5. Hallway (the open door is to the master bedroom) The closets are awesome!  Storage is something one should never take for granted!

    6. Our front door.  We have the main floor of this house, so we have to go down a flight of stairs to get outside, (or do the laundry).  But it's really not as big a deal as I thought it would be.  I'm so grateful for our beautiful home the way it is! :)

    7. Our beautiful dining room chandelier.  I have to say, whoever picked out the light fixtures here has good taste! :)

    8. Our living room. I know I already posted this, but it makes this post so much more complete.  :)

    Obviously, a few pictures are missing: our dining room, bedroom, ensuite.....but you'll just have to wait on those. :)  My dining room table is currently piled high with scrapbook paper and half finished projects, as well as some completed projects.  I've been having so much fun with all the space! :)  
    More blog posts to come regarding the projects...! 

    Wednesday, December 21, 2011

    My New Favorite Recipe

    I'm not doing a ton of Christmas baking this year.  Which is kind of sad, because I love Christmas baking!  But it's just not practical to fill my kitchen with tons of goodies and sweets when there are only two of us who really eat sugar, and I don't want to totally overload our systems. :P
    However, I did make these cookies the other day, and have completely fallen in love with a new twist on an old family recipe.

    Chocolate dipped shortbread = hello, yumminess! :)

    The original recipe: (stolen, very recently from my sister's blog.)

    Melting Moments Shortbread

    1/2 c cornstarch            1 c. flour
    1/2 c icing sugar           3/4 c butter
    Mix together, form into balls, flatten if desired.  Bake at 350 for 10 minute or until just golden brown.  

    The Twist:
    Melt about 1 1/2 cups of chocolate (I used Bernard Callebaut dark chocolate chunks) along with about 1/3 cup of milk.  Stir until smooth.  Dip cooled shortbread cookies into the chocolate and place on wax paper.  Let cool in the fridge until the chocolate is hardened.  

    Warning: These are very addictive, proceed with caution. :P

    Monday, December 19, 2011

    Growing Roots

    (Our living room, taken from our dining room.)

    I don't know if it's because we're planning to stay here in Kamloops for a few years;
    I don't know if it's because I spent a very happy childhood here in Kamloops;
    I don't know if it's because our home is really nice;
    I don't know if it's because I already have friends here;

    I'm really, really happy here.  I've like every place we've lived in so far, every house, every area, but there's something different about Kamloops.  I'm not even sure what it is.  I think it's the feeling of security and stability that comes with having plans to stay.  Plans can change, as we've experienced a lot of different times, but I feel like here I can really put my roots down, and grow a little! :)

    I feel like things are finally settling down a little bit for us, and we can figure some things out, and set things in place.  I  like moving, I really do.  But I think I'm ready to be done now for a while.  You don't realize how exhausting it is to pack and unpack, and completely set up a new home, routine, daily life, until you do it four times in a row!  

    I've learned a lot about myself through out all of our moves, and that's been fun. :P
    *I like things to be really organized, in every area
    *I'm pretty minimalistic (okay, I already knew this about me, but I think it's gotten better {worse? :P} )
    *I love things to be both useful and beautiful
    *Atmosphere is very important to me
    *I love turning ordinary things (like breakfast, for instance) into something special when we have the time
    *I love DIY projects that enhance either organization, beauty or both
    *I very much prefer quality over quantity
    *I love being in the country
    *I love being in the city. :)
     (I think right now, I prefer city over country, the convenience is awesome! :P)

    I hope you all are having a beautiful "week-before-Christmas"and taking time to enjoy all the little moments that often go unnoticed - but when enjoyed, give your life a beautiful fullness!

    Saturday, December 17, 2011

    Christmas Cards!

    A few cards I put together.....I haven't made cards in forever, it felt so good to be creative in this way again! I tried out a few new (to me) technics that I was pretty happy with!

    Putting my sewing machine to a non-traditional use....

    Using an ink pad for extra texture and a more finished look....

    Sunday, December 11, 2011

    Christmas Decorating

    I thought of a brand new Christmas tradition yesterday that I'm very excited about starting!
    I was looking around, and noticing that we really don't have a lot of Christmas decorations.  Which is kind of a problem, because I love having a lot of beautiful Christmas and winter decorations up. 
    So my solution to this problem was to plan a new Christmas tradition for myself.  Every year, I want to make a new Christmas decoration for my home.  
    I used to think "homemade" meant sub-par, lame, and poor quality.  I'm realizing that just the opposite is true.  Things that are handmade can be so much more beautiful and classy than what you can buy in a store.  Exceptions apply on both ends, of course, but homemade often means better!


    A few years ago, I made this snowman stack with the help of a good friend, and in the company of more good friends.  Unfortunately, that was also the year that my family lost our home in a fire, so I don't have my snowmen anymore.  But ever since then, I've been determined to re-create this adorable stack of snowmen!  Maybe this will be my project this year!

    Saturday, December 10, 2011

    Glimpses of Christmas

    There are so many things I like about this time of year, but one of my favorite things happened tonight as I was sitting on the couch, cuddling my baby girl.  
    I glanced out the window, and to my absolute delight, I saw snow falling in the light of a street lamp almost directly outside my window!  It's amazing how quickly a peaceful feeling follows a sigh like that. I couldn't resist turning off all the lights in the room and just standing by the window, watching the falling snow.  It's one of the most peaceful things in the whole world.  That, and holding a sleeping baby, which I was. :)
    I went out today with my two kidlets and experienced another side of this time of year that wasn't quite as peaceful. :P  Christmas shopping.  At least, that's what everyone else was doing.  I'm doing most of my shopping online this year, and it's so much more enjoyable!  I learned awhile ago that the whole fun of Christmas shopping, the excitement of finding the *perfect* gift, the meandering through shops while sipping a hot drink, the enjoyment of the streets and stores decorated for Christmas, can all be blighted by the enormous pressure that comes by needing to tick off as many items on your gift shopping list in a relatively short period of time, while trying not to get overrun by the other shoppers who have the same objective.  Stress can so quickly creep in and nearly ruin Christmas shopping.
    I can't stand the over-commercialized, quantity over quality mindset that seems to be so prevalent in our culture.  I love bringing things back to simplicity, and quality, and really taking time to enjoy *the moment*.  I don't want to do things for no reason, I want to know why I do things, why my family does things, to live deliberately, and fully.

    Three newly acquired decorations, I thought they were pretty adorable!

    This is the only Christmas tree we have currently.  It's only about a foot and a half tall, but it's so cute, and it's better than nothing! 

    My little Jasmine sleeps with her eyes buttoned up at night, it's so stinkin' cute!  (gold star to everyone who knows where the "buttoned eyes" reference comes from. :P)

    Wednesday, December 7, 2011

    On Moving

    So obviously I haven't been blogging for a while.  But I have an excuse.  A really good one, actually.  We just moved.
    So my life in the past several weeks has consisted of packing boxes, organizing, cleaning, getting rid of stuff, loading trucks (okay, just one truck), driving, unpacking boxes, hanging pictures, Christmas decorating, organizing, oh yeah, and looking after two pretty cute little kids!  So....that is why I haven't had much time for blogging!  However, I'm hoping to change that, as I tell you about our new home, and all the exciting things I'm beginning to tackle again as we get more and more settled!
     Jasmine was awesome the whole time we were moving!  She spent most of her time bundled up against the cold, in her car seat. :)
     Ian is a little obsessed with our new shower. :)  
     It's the little things in life...I really love our door handles! :P
    A new decorating idea I stole from Pinterest. :) 
    Stephen's family does a St. Nicholas day celebration on December 5, and it was the perfect excuse to go back and spend the night there!  Mom Casson had an amazing feast prepared, this is one of my favorite things about Christmas time - appetizers, finger food, and the fun times that nearly always accompany them!

    We stopped in at Starbucks on the way home for a few minutes to give the kids (okay, it was mostly for me, I admit it!) a break from driving. :)  Jasmine has just started really smiling in the past few weeks, and it's pretty much the most adorable thing ever!
    So that's all for now, I have 

    Sunday, November 20, 2011

    24 Random Facts About Me

    Since Thursday (November 17) was my birthday, I thought it would be fun to do a "list post" like I've seen a few others do.  I love reading them, and writing things like this are always fun!

    1. I love going out for breakfast.

    2. I don't like having to wear winter coats, and will avoid them as long as possible, loading on the scarves, hats and gloves instead, to keep warm.

    3. One of my favorite ways to spend a few hours is going to a coffee shop, with a good book, or a good friend, or both, and enjoying a delicious coffee specialty drink.

    4. I sometimes imagine things so vividly that if they're bad things, I actually start crying because it seems so real to me. 

    5. I've never been a huge "baby person", however, I absolutely ADORE my own kidlets! :)

    6. I have always wanted to be able to fly: really fly, I mean, without a parachute.  My own personal set of 
    wings would be the best, but if I could find a way to fly without them, I would. :P

    7. I love dancing in the rain, especially when it's absolutely pouring, and it's been a long day.

    8. I really, really like staying up late, and I don't like getting up early.

    9. I would love to ride an elephant someday.

    10. Cinnamon rolls and coffee are one of my favorite "special" breakfasts.

    11. I would love to travel to far away places someday, especially the British Isles, and Europe.

    12. I love beauty, I love being surrounded by things that are both beautiful and practical.  I love creating 
    beauty, and I love appreciating beauty with others.

    13. I sometimes wish we could live in Europe for the lifestyle there, I have a lot of issues with "normal, North American" culture.  Although I use, and enjoy a lot of technology and conveniences, I really don't like it that so many people don't know what it's like to wait for quality, or be able to entertain themselves without some sort of media device.

    14. I love cooking, and finding new, delicious recipes to try!

    15. If I could be at an olympic level of anything, I would choose to be a gymnast.

    16. I love acting, and would love to do it more seriously in the future.

    17. Including our upcoming move next week, I will have moved 13 times in my life. 

    18. I am very competitive.

    19. I am planning to get my motorcycle licence as soon as I can.

    20. My favorite animals are horses, elephants and tigers.

    21. I want to go ski diving someday.

    22. I love falling snow, trees, autumn leaves on the ground, lattes, the smell of rain, new clothes, reading, laughing, making people laugh, chocolate, funky earrings, my family, sports, organizing, singing, music, elves, imagination,

    23. I think nose piercings are cute and classy with the right person, and the right jewel.

    24. I have the best husband in the whole world. :)

    Thursday, November 10, 2011

    Moving Tips

    Since this is  the fourth time we've moved in two years, I've gotten pretty practiced at packing up, unpacking, organizing, and generally, not losing my mind in the process!  For fun, I thought I'd share with you some of things I do that make moving a fairly streamlined process.....usually. :)

    1. The first thing I do is get rid of stuff.
    I have to admit, this is probably my favorite part of the entire process!  There is something so freeing about de-cluttering!  As I go through my house, I look for things that we never use, things that are really just clutter (i.e. a little pillow with a picture of a nest on it that is supposed to hang on the wall - cute, but I know I'll never use it), clothes that don't fit, or are out of style, etc.  I have a bag ready to be filled with things that can be re-used, and sent to a second hand store.

    2. I pack up things we won't need for a few months.
    This includes toys (I pick a selection of toys to leave out, and pack the rest), cookbooks, kitchen things that I don't use very often, CDs, DVDs, seldom used cosmetics, etc.  I can pack these things well in advance, giving me more time later to clean and pack up the last minute things.

    3. I label all my boxes.
    I'm sure everyone does this, but I have a specific method that works really well.  I label the top of the box with all the contents, and I label the sides of the box with its destination.  

    4. I get free boxes.
    Grocery stores and liquor stores are two great places to start!  One note on this, you may want to head to the grocery stores earlier in the day rather than later.  The main place I was planning to get boxes on our last move were very efficient at getting their boxes out of there once they unpacked the contents.

    4. I save good boxes.  
    Two moves ago, some friends procured some really sturdy boxes for me that were the perfect size for moving.  I have reused them in each consecutive move.  If you have some really awesome boxes, and have the space, save them, you won't regret it!

    5. In the last week, I plan out my menus to the letter, so I know exactly what dishes I'll need, and what I can pack.
    By doing this, you'll end up with a very few items in your "last minute" boxes.

    6. The "last minute, essential" boxes become the "first to unpack" boxes.
    These ones usually contain a few dishes/plates/pots etc. that are absolutely necessary.  They will also contain dish soap, cleaning supplies, rags; things that you will be very glad to have without looking too hard!

    So those are my two bits, I hope you find them helpful, or at the very least, interesting! :)

    Sunday, November 6, 2011

    Life, as I Now Know It

    I've been wanting to sit down and write here for ages now, but the timing has never quite been right.  Mostly because with two little munchkins in my life, I don't have as much time to sit down and thoughtfully write out a blog post. :)   
    It's been a crazy whirlwind of ups and downs adjusting to life with two little ones.  Mostly good, but there have definitely been a few, okay, a lot of times when I've felt like a complete failure as a mom, as I lose my patience yet again with my little one year old, and collapse gratefully on the couch when they're both napping.  I can see a lot of personal growth happening as my children grow up. :P  
    It's amazing how things change when you have children.  I say children, plural, because when you have just one, it really doesn't slow you down all that much.  There are slight adjustments to be made, of course, but nothing too huge.  At least, I didn't find it that way.  However, two children, when one is a little baby, and the other is just gaining confidence to walk, is another story.  
    For instance, a few days ago, I decided to go grocery shopping (first time with two babies!).  I made my decision to go in the morning, thinking that would work better for my day....two and a half hours later, we were all walking/being carried out the door!  There are so many little things, extra laundry, nursing, snacks, diapers to change, floors to wash and sweep repeatedly, dishes to wash....all things that are involved in being a mom.  And honestly, I really love it!  Not all the time, but there are so many times that I take a step back, look at my two darlings, and am just so grateful that I can be at home with them, instead of being compelled by circumstances to work away from home, and spend significantly less time with them!  
    I also have a lot of times of wondering, "Does my life count?  Am I really doing something that is good, and useful?  Should I be doing more?"  Self doubting seems to come so naturally, especially as I begin to think deeper about things, and question why I do what I do, and why I think what I think.  Part of me wants to just turn off the questions, and relax back into comfortable, blissful ignorance.  But another part of me cannot let that happen.  I'm so desperate to really live life!  I want to fill my life up with things that matter, things that will last, that will count for something!  Not everything feels significant in and of itself, but I feel like I'm very gradually grasping an idea of what counts, and what doesn't.  
    I don't always have the time to sit and just really deeply think about issues.  There are so many "practical, every day" things that need to be done on a consistent basis.  I have a really bad habit of separating my spiritual life from my physical life, and then getting discouraged when I have an extremely busy day, just looking after my family and my home, and don't have the time, energy or brain space to sit down and study my Bible.  Not that that is an excuse to not read and study, but I'm learning that this is a season in my life where I'm busier with babies than I will be later on, and sometimes you just have to snatch moments as they become available, rather than having a set time for "quiet time" and then never actually doing it, because you were too busy changing diapers or doing laundry.  
    I'm trying to think of a cohesive way to finish this off, but it would seem that my brain has moved on to other things, so I will just say....until next time!  Thanks for reading! :)

    Saturday, October 29, 2011

    A Birthday Party, and Other Things

    I'm not sure who was anticipating Stephen's birthday more, him, or me. :)  This was the first year since we've been married that we've been home for his birthday.  The first year we were down at the coast singing with his family, the second year we were in Texas. 
    I was determined that he would have a really awesome party this year! I started planning it before Jasmine was born because I knew with two little ones, everything would take a lot more time....and it did! :)
    Our guest lists was relatively small, just a few of his brothers and friends.  It's fun having a smaller group in a party, things feel more cohesive and intimate.  That, and, as it was, we barely had enough room at the table for everyone, meaning things were just nicely cozy! :P
    I had planned out every day this week to do a little bit to get ready, so that I wasn't panicking on the last day.  My wonderful mother-in-law offered to look after Ian whenever I needed it this week, so I dropped him off there on the day that I did all my shopping and cleaning for the party.
    On the day of, (yesterday) I put together all the food, made the cake, finished decorating, and of course, had the party!  
    This was the first time I've done a party in a long time, and the very first time doing anything like this with two babies.  There were definitely some "moments" during the day, you know, the kind where both children are crying, everything's a mess, and you think that maybe you bit off more than you could chew.  But things really did come together, the party was a success, Stephen had a good birthday, and a good time was had by all. :)
    I took several picture throughout the night, but photography was not my gift last night, so I'll only share a few that turned out okay. :P

    I just finished making the chalkboard in the center a few days ago, it was such a fun and relatively easy project!  I saw the idea on Pinterest and thought I'd try it out.  I love it when things turn out the way they're supposed to. :)  Once I hung it up on the wall, it looked really sad, one little frame on the whole big wall, so I got a few other things together to make a bit of an eclectic collection.  I can definitely still add to it, but it did the trick. :) 

     Coffee with tea lights - love the idea, finally did it!
    And I loved the way the jelly bellies looked in the centre, the splash of colors was so fun!

     And I did my first cheese fondue - soooooo yummy!  And easy too!  I have to say, fondue is such a perfect party opener and appetizer.  It's just fun to eat, and fun to sit around a table, on the floor, on chairs, on couches, and eat together!

    I got this cake recipe from Pinterest also. (can you tell it's my new favorite place on the internet?! :P)  It's a chocolate, peanut butter cup cake.  Soooo rich and yummy!  It was so much fun to make!  You can't go wrong when you melt dark chocolate, pour it all over the cake and then proceed to completely cover it in peanut butter cups! :)

    Sunday, October 23, 2011

    Pretty and Simple

    Have you ever gotten a really good idea for something, maybe a decorating idea, a sewing project, an organizing idea, and thought to yourself how easy it would be, or how much you'd just love to do something like that....and then you Never Do It?
    I have. Many, many times.  It's one of the things that bugs me about myself. :P
    Often my excuse has to do with money, or time, or, the best one - I just never get around to it.
    One of my goals is to conquer this weakness of mine, by tackling projects, big and little that catch my attention, and finishing them.  Sometimes they're as simple as buying a pretty glass jug to put my dish detergent in.  

    I saw this idea about two years ago, and I thought to myself how elegant it looked.  It turns an everyday, ordinary thing into something beautiful.  And it's no more difficult to use, it's just as practical.  It's a little embarrassing that something that simple took that long.
    Second hand shops are a fabulous place to things like this, by the way!  Beautiful and expensive do not always go hand in hand!

    A simple wooden picture frame with stiff aida cloth inserted inside, and picture nails nailed along the bottom make a great jewelry display/organizer! 

    Another project that I've wanted to do for years is to figure out some way to store my jewelry, other than a little bag in the cupboard.  I've grown rather tired of untangling a mass of necklaces every time I want to accessorize a little!  I saw an idea similar to this at anther friend's house, and thought it was brilliant.  Why not display jewelry at the same time as organizing and storing it?!   That way, you can enjoy all the pieces even when you're not wearing them!
    I'm discovering more and more how important it is to me that the things surrounding me be both beautiful and useful.  A plastic bin will organize toys just fine, but a basket Looks so much nicer!  And it accomplishes the same thing!   An empty plastic yogurt container and a glass jar can both serve to store dry things in the cupboard, but the jar looks so much nicer! (In my opinion, if yogurt containers fit better with your style, go for it! :P)
    I have several more projects in the works that I'd love to share with you once they're done!  It's actually pretty addicting, once you start attempting new projects, and trying out new ideas!

    Wednesday, October 12, 2011

    Pretty in Purple!

    Jasmine Siera Esther was born on Sunday, October 2, at 10:08 pm!!
    What a thrill it is to have a darling little girl!  I thought I'd share with you a little bit of her "birth story", but if you'd rather not read it.....then don't. :P  I realize that not everybody is into this kind of thing, but since her birth has a bit more of a story to it, and some of you wanted to hear a few more details, I'm going to write it out. :)

    We'd been planning a home birth for the past several months, and were really looking forward to it, not having to go anywhere, and being able to have more control over the environment, among other reasons.
    Waiting was definitely one of the hardest parts for me, especially when I got to, and passed Jasmine's official due date.  But, exactly one week after that, on October 2, like several other days, I began having regular contractions, all through the church service, and into the afternoon.  We were just about to call our midwife, saying that I was in labor, when they stopped.  
    Then, at 7:30, my water broke.  Almost immediately, we began a flurry of phone calls to family, a few friends, and our midwife.  Then, we set about getting the house as beautifully tidied and organized as possible - one of my absolute favorite ways of de-stressing, and a way to make me feel good in almost any situation. :)
    Around 8, I began having real contractions, intense and very painful.  But I was just so excited to finally be in labor, that I didn't even mind!
    Stephen's parents arrived shortly after to pick up Ian.  They stayed around for a bit, helping out in whatever ways they could.  
    The midwife arrived shortly after they did, and by this time, I was in almost straight labor.  
    I'll spare you all the details, but my labor this time was about 2 1/2 hours long, very intense, and very painful.  As a clarification to those of you who may think labor = very intense and very painful, let's just say that although I've had two babies, I actually feel like I've now been through "real" labor after this one. :P
    As soon as Jasmine was born, Stephen told me we'd had a girl, (we'd found out, but were told it wasn't 100% for sure).  She was 9 lbs, 10 oz when she was born!  Much bigger than any of us were expecting!
    It was after this that the complications started.  My placenta wasn't coming out like it should, and the midwife said if it didn't come out soon, we'd have to call 911.  I was also losing a lot of blood, which was also a reason for concern.  They had me kneel up on the bed to see if that would change things.  It didn't, and I fainted as I was lying back down.  I began shaking uncontrollably, and was so cold after that.  They started an IV, and called 911. 
    Within minutes, an ambulance was there.  Stephen was holding Jasmine all this time, and he began to get my things ready for the hospital, while his mom dressed Jasmine.  
    Soon, I was on a stretcher outside, being wheeled to the ambulance.  I remember thinking how beautiful of a night it was, so clear, and the stars were amazing!  I really didn't feel all that bad, considering the circumstances, and was therefore able to appreciate my ride in the ambulance, complete with sirens. (A very weird fulfillment of something I've always wanted. :P)
    When we got to the emergency, there was a ton of people in the room, nurses, doctors, my midwife, and after a few minutes, Stephen and Jasmine.  
    Thankfully they were able to get the placenta out, and stop the bleeding.  I lost about 3 1/2 litres at home, and more at the hospital, making a blood transfusion a necessity.  
    I don't think I've ever been so cold in my whole life.  I am so grateful for heated sheets, and other warming devices the hospital has! :)
    Stephen was such a rock during this whole time, he was so calm, and so in control, even though I could tell he was really worried.  
    Finally, everything was stabilized, and I was doing better, so they wheeled me to a room, and Jasmine, Stephen and I were able to sleep for the rest of the night.
    The next few days were spent in the hospital, recovering from the whole ordeal.  We had a few very welcome visitors, and enjoyed some much needed rest.

    We're home now, and everything is gradually getting back to normal.   It's so amazing to cuddle my adorable little girl, feeling her soft skin against mine, and just being able to enjoy my time with her!   She's such a little darling!

    Thursday, September 29, 2011

    Two Things

    We saw this rainbow on the way home the other day, it was amazing!  If you look carefully, you can see the beginnings of a second rainbow above it too!  My photography isn't the highest quality, especially when driving in a car, and trying to capture the perfect shot of a rainbow between trees, but I wanted to share it with you anyways. :)

    And I found this when I went to check on Ian this morning.  No joke. I didn't pose him or anything, he was just dramatically lying on the pile of shoes he had created! :)  It was so funny, he's such a character!

    Saturday, September 24, 2011

    Still Waiting....

    I know I may be a bit biased, but isn't he the cutest thing!?  Crawling through the grass, with that look of intense concentration on his little face!  
    Lately, with the weather being so amazing, and yet not really feeling like driving anywhere, I've been taking a blanket out, spreading it on the lawn and just sitting out there with Ian.  Me crocheting or reading, and him exploring the world!  I love watching him develop every day, and explore new territory.  I think it's so important for children to have that freedom, and I'm so grateful we live in a place where he can crawl all around the grass and look at leaves and trees, and not be in any danger!

    Several weeks ago, I had a few things I wanted to have done before this next baby came.  One of them was this afghan that I'm crocheting.  I wonder how much power our words's the day before the  official due date, and I'm still not finished the blanket, and guess what? Baby # 2 has yet to make an appearance! :P  I was finished it, once.  But I was not at all happy with how it looked, and couldn't just let it rest, so I'm in the process of tearing it out, and making it again fresh....this is about the fourth time I've torn it out, or at least a part of it, although this time is different, I'm actually using a pattern this time. :P  I have this perfectionist complex which sometimes makes it difficult to learn new things.  I don't always like how my first attempt at something turns out, I want it to look like I've been doing it for years, without putting in the years first!  I'm getting better though, and I really do love learning new things, it's so empowering, even if it is only a simple crocheted blanket!

     (The re-do is on the left, on the right is the one I'm tearing out) 

    For a while now, I've wanted to find the best way of preserving fall leaves in all their glory.  I love them so much, I think I'd decorate my whole home with them if I could!  I've looked up different methods, and I'm currently trying the "glycerin method."  In a few days I should know how they turn out.  

    I've been looking for the perfect "slouchy hat" pattern for a long time, I don't think I've quite found it, but this one comes pretty close.  I was pretty happy that I actually finished it, it only took two days, and it was really easy!  
    It's been such a good few days lately.  Stephen really encouraged me not to try to do everything every day, just to take it slow, rest lots, and not put oodles of pressure on myself.  It's amazing how freeing it was to hear him say that.  The pressure I feel is always self-inflicted, but to have him verbalize that was so good!  
    I've been taking him very literally, sleeping when Ian sleeps, not trying to do too much in a day, and I've been so much more relaxed, less stressed, and even less bothered that the baby isn't here yet.  Obviously, I have moments of being very, very tired of being pregnant, but overall, I've decided that the baby will come when it's ready, and worrying about it won't make it come any faster.  
    Well, until next time....