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!