Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Another snowy Dec 27th

It's wet and snowing and it reminds me of another day like this 7 years ago..... The day I got married. So for one day I get to stop being the glue, pull out my inner princess and enjoy the sole company of the man I married. I miss the kids a little but am loving visiting the Art Gallery on Ontario without them. Here is a wedding picture to commemorate the day.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas day Giveaway winner

Sorry for the slightly delayed post. I wasn't messing about with a number generator though, I was busy with a very sick baby. As it turns out I didn't have to use a number generator after all, the winner is Ashlie Benham, one of the prettiest brides I ever photographed and blogess extraordinaire. Congratulations Ashlie please send me your email via FB.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Top five places to eat a cookie

5. Next to a glass of milk
4. Curled up on the couch with a good book in hand
3. With a good friend over a cup of tea
4. Straight out of the oven in a hot gooey mess
1. In a laundry basket

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Glue moment - should I be proud?

Guess what? We discovered last night that Zaid can finally write his name all by himself!

He even dotted his i. (The big circle near the top thrid of the i) So yay! We should be celebrating except that Zaid has written his name on the guest bathroom wall. If am going to be accurate - it's more like he carved his name into the wall whilst he was taking a poop. He was in bed at the time of the discovery so I have not congratulated him yet on his achievement = ). Not sure how to get this out, if any of you experienced moms have any suggestions I would love to hear them! 

Christmas Day Giveaway - closed

In the spirit of the season, I would like to bestow upon one lucky reader, the chance to make a real difference in our world! Sounds like a tall order right? Well actually there is an organization out there who makes this easy to accomplish. Have any of you heard of Kiva? This is what they do:

 "We are a non-profit organization with a mission to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty."

What does that mean? They enable people to lend money directly to a person in economic crisis to help them overcome their financial difficulties and achieve their goals - online - isn't that great? They have profiles of individuals in need,  the reason why the money is needed and you get emailed progress reports as the money is paid back. At the end of the loan, you can take your money out of Kiva or you can lend it to another person, so there is a potential that your one loan can help multiple people.

There are a few things you should know about Kiva's loans. These aren't traditional loans. You don't earn any interest on them. Additionally a small $3.75 optional fee shows up when you are making a loan to help with Kiva's operating costs, but you can opt out of it.

So what am I giving away? I am giving away one $25 gift card to Kiva so that you can experience the joy of giving to the fullest this season. Here are the rules to enter this competition:

1. Go to Kiva
2. Read the stories of the people applying for loans
3. Choose the person you would like to make a loan to.
4. Post a comment with the name of person that you would like to lend to. Also be sure to include an email address where I can contact you if you win. ( I will be using a random number generator to choose a winner)
5. This contest will end at 6 P.M. on the 25th of Dec and I will be announcing a winner at 7 P.M. (It might take me some time to figure out how to use a random number generator =)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Crafty Christmas wrapping

I am pooped! I just spent the better part of an evening wrapping presents for all the various early childhood educators that look after my kids whilst I am at work. I got them jewelry, but the store didn't have cute packaging so I made my own! This is what I started out with:

And then tada! This is what I created:

I wrapped ribbon around these round plastic containers and then I blinged out the lid. My husband wasn't a big fan, but I thought they were cute. What do you think? Crafty or tacky? Leave me a comment and let me know - if you guys agree with my husband then I might go with a more traditional wrapping approach (read gift bags and tissue paper - I suck at wrapping)

Saturday, December 17, 2011

I am married to a bonifide artist!

He's always been an artist. His grandmother has pieces of art he created at the age of two. You can often find him scribbling away, drawing scary looking super heroes or villains, it just second nature to him.

On Friday we had a artisan and craft show at work. I had his work for sale at the show and guess what? Two of his pieces sold! Here is a picture of our booth!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The great cookie exchange

It was awesome. The cookie exchange was hosted by the one woman in our neighborhood who doesn't have children yet. Her house was immaculate! She has a wonderful design sense check out her tasteful Christmas tree. It was covered in snow-babies which she start collecting in grade one when her grandmother gave her her first one - isn't that such a sweet story!

We sat around for a long time eating the lovely appetizers she had put out and chatting about having babies. (One of us is pregnant and expecting in early Feb.) We almost scared our lovely hostess with labor room horror stories! I met a woman who volunteers at my son's school at lunch on Fridays. She says one Friday he spent the whole lunch hour holding her hand. It's great to know my son has such kind people around him to make his transition to JK a wonderful experience. I was touched!

Here is a picture of the cookies. these are just a few, there were 11 different kinds. Note - my lemon white chocolate chip cookies are the yellow ones in the right corner.

This is a picture I took as I was running out the door, hence the blurriness. Our hostess is the one with the cute smile, third from the left. The kind mom is the second in from the right. 

I have never had such lovely neighbors! I'm looking forward to book club in January!

Cookie making machine

I spent last night baking one hundred cookies! For most of you this is no big deal, it's Christmas, lots of people bake hundreds of cookies at Christmas. For me it is a big deal, because you see, before this I thought I could not make cookies! Every batch I ever made burnt. I even managed to mess up the Pillsbury ready made cookies, you know the ones that come with the dough already made. All this changed last night. I had agreed to go to a cookie swap kindly arranged by one of my neighbors. I asked if I could bring store bought cookies, but was informed that buying cookies would defeat the whole the purpose of the cookie swap. I made 100 divine lemon white chocolate chip cookies. Just in case I can never do it again. I have documented my efforts below:

Here they are ready to go in the oven:

Here they are on a plate:

Here they are in a foil container, ready to go to the cookie swap

There were a few other pictures but they were not so pretty.

I will let you guys know what my neighbors think about the cookies after the cookie swap tonight!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Forgive the silence

Wow it is hard to blog and be a working mom so my hats off to all of you blogging moms that post everyday! When I first started this blog I was on vacation for half a week, hence my frequent posts. I don't want to stop blogging though! I feel like I have so much to say, to share with the world, to learn from other bloggers! So I am hoping that my lack of posts has not killed the interest of my readers. Please come back! I promise to keep posting! (Not daily though as I am not superwoman) Update to my post from last week - I did practice my "come hither" look and I did get my husband up on the dance floor at the company Chistmas party.

My New Come Hither look

We haven't danced in such a long time that my husband kept saying he felt awkward, but I had a blast and he look so cute dancing to sexy and I know it. Sigh, I am a woman in love! (At least today I am). My husband also singlehandedly put together a mammoth Ikea entertainment center. It did take him a full day and he did complain a little about an aching back but overall I think he is a superstar for getting it done!

Living Room before (during kids' birthday party - it was a bit crazy)

Living Room after

I love IKEA!

Monday, December 5, 2011

About my boy

I've mentioned my daughter quite a bit so far but haven't said much about my son, so I thought I would dedicate this post to him. My son amazes me almost daily. A few weeks ago, when we picked him up from daycare, they told us that my son had written a letter to the mayor of London to ask him if the kids in his class could plant a tree in the park. I was astonished on many levels. Firstly my son cannot write. Sure he can scrawl out his name but he is still learning his letters. Secondly, my husband and I have never talked to him about the mayor, politics, the city, the environment etc. as we assumed that he is too young to comprehend all of it. We thought maybe he learned this stuff at daycare, but they told me he came up with this idea all on his own. They were discussing a walk the class had taken in the park with the kids and my son piped and said that they should plant a tree in the park. After discussion he was busy scribbling away and when they asked him what he was writing he said it was a letter to ask permission to plant a tree in the park so that it could make people happy. They translated his scribbles, put everything in an envelope and asked him who he wanted to send the letter to. He told them to send it to the mayor. The teacher in my son's daycare class suggested that since city hall is only a few blocks away, the kids could go hand deliver the letter. (Isn't she amazing? I love she inspires the children.) So last Thursday the class took a field trip to city hall and my son got to hand deliver his letter and since then they had a reply. The mayor said yes! This spring the kids in his class are going to plant a tree in the park! How cool is that! To celebrate my son's uniqueness, here are a two pictures:
1.Picture my son took of my daugher, he captured the sweetest smile.

2. A picture of me and my little love

I would love to hear what your little ones done to amaze you - leave me a comment!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

An Arabian Night

We were invited to a friend's engagement party. It was the first time in a long time that I took the trouble to dress up to go to an event. Here I am glammed up with my family:

The kiddies weren't invited and I felt bad leaving them behind, but the babysitter reassured us that they had a fun night. We had a good time too. It was a big fat middle eastern engagement party. I wonder what the wedding is going to be like! Here is a pic of the bride and groom having their first dance after exchanging rings:

Then the man of the hour got carried precariously around the dance floor.

Then there were men dancing exuberantly in a line, there were many women in the line too, but they were dancing sedately (opposite of most North American weddings I've been too).

 Then there was a man singing and beating a drum in the midst of the dancing guests.

This is the look I gave my husband when he refused to join the dancing.
Either I need to practice my come hither look or my husband is completely immune to my charms! I hope I have better luck getting him on the dance floor next weekend at my company x-mas party =)

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Pseudo date night

Yesterday we decided that we were going to have a family dinner at my favorite restaurant in London (ON) Ben Thanh. On the way there both the kids fell fast asleep. When we got there the kids were still asleep so we asked for a booth, let the children sleep in the booth and pretended that we were on a date! It was awesome! We had a nice quiet meal, my husband had me laughing at his jokes and at the end of the meal we got some take out for the kids and headed home. Here's a shot of the kids on the way home, totally clueless about the great meal that they had missed. Mind you we had to pay for letting them nap so late at bedtime.

Bye Bye baby stuff!

Now that my little princess is no longer technically a baby and we've decided that we are done having babies on purpose, (you never know what fate has in store for you), I've started collect a bunch of baby things to donate. Whilst going through this process, I've realized that there are certain products that I couldn't have lived without and others that were a total waste of money. Today I thought I would make a list of what in my opinion were the best baby products. Funnily enough, they are mostly feeding related =). Here it goes:

1. Mothercare change mat: This was an expensive change mat at 11 pounds ( that converts to roughly 20 canadian) but it was extremely sturdy and turned any surface into the perfect place to change a diaper. It also survived both babies and saved my back as I could use it on the bed on the floor, anywhere, without fear of errant poop despoiling any surface.

2. Avent Brush brush: (no this is not a giant toothbrush) This brush got all the icky powdery milk stuff out of the bottles in one fell swoop, definately cut down on bottle washing time

3. Munchkin Deluxe Drying Rack : this thing did double duty, it got the bottles dry but also kept the nipples and bottles organised. Before this magical contraption came to live it my house, bottles and nipples were strewn around my kitchen, taking over all the counterspace

4. Munchkin Deluxe Dishwasher Basket : I was washing bottles by hand until someone gave this to me as a gift. It changed my life and I stopped having scaly dry knuckles!

5. Bib clips. I bought mine from kula klips, but it looks like they don't make them anymore. Apparently these are easy to make, here is a tutorial I came across. . I love these! I went out and bought a big vinyl table cloth for $5 from walmart and cut it up into 12 inch squares and this is what I used as a bib with these clips. They are easy to clean and so big that it contains all the mess!

6. Mimitens! Ok - so I actually sewed some socks on to some mittens to make my own mimitens, but only because I was in a bind and so desperate for some gloves that would stay on my daughter's hands that I couldn't wait for shipping. I do however want to say that what I made looked way worse than the actual product and I do love this company, it's run by a mompreneur and it is Canadian so here is the link

7. Gymini Playmat - I put both my children in the gymini when they were only weeks old. They both started interacting with the toys at a very early age and I think it helped them ultimately develop the ability to play independently. My little guy used to play in it and then fall asleep!

8. Jumperoo - My daughter used to play in this until she fell asleep, it kept her busy for hours! As you can see maybe there is a pattern of my liking toys that tire my children out =)

9. Swaddle Me - both babies loved being swaddled, but being a very sleep deprived mom, I could never figure out how to swaddle them properly with a regular receiving blanket. This product made swaddling them fast and easy!

10. Milk Dispenser - This was a life saver for me, especially late at night. I would measure out the right amount of powder and bring bottles filled with the right amount of water into the bed room so that in the middle of the night, I could make a fresh bottle of milk without having to go to the kitchen.

So that's my list! I hope that the things I will be donating will be of some use to another mother! I wonder what would be on your list of top ten baby things?

Little red dress

Hanging in my closet, amongst all the big billowy clothes that I own, rests a little red dress. It no longer fits me, but I am loathe to give it away. This dress has magical powers. My husband says that when he saw me in this dress, he decided that I was the girl he was going to marry. He pursued me with a single- mindedness that took my breathe away. So I have a mission of my own. I would like to fit into my red dress by my husband's birthday which is in May. To achieve this goal I have been doing Zumba twice a week and spinning twice a week and have changed my eating habits. Here is a typical day for me:

1/4 cup oatmeal with one cup of skim milk
One boiled egg

Two cup of baby spinach, one cup of romaine hearts with 2.5 ounces of chicken

Cup of no fat cottage cheese

1/2 cup of rice and chicken

Night snack:
Handful of almonds

I've been doing this for the last six months and I've lost 9 pounds already. Just a gazillion more to go!

The night my husband decided to marry me - my 26th birthday

Friday, December 2, 2011

Dressing for Diastasis recti

For those who don't know, diastasis recti is a condition where a woman's stomach muscles separate during pregnancy. For most women the separation is not too much and the muscles re-adhere after birth, but for the unlucky few, like myself, the separation is too great and the muscles cannot re-attach without undergoing surgery. Just a little disclaimer for those of you out there that maybe scared, - it doesn't happen to everybody and this will only happen if you get this big:
Only six months preggers, but looking like I'm overdue

Since I don't have 5k at my disposal to spend on my outward appearance, I having been trying to learn how to dress for my new body. Another thing I should mention is that wearing spanx is painful for me so I have to work with my current shape. Here is today's attempt - please ignore the toilets in the background!

I got the red sweater dress at Walmart for $15! I paired them with fitted black pants and the whole ensemble reminded me of the shalwar chamises (an indian outfit) that my mom used to wear in the 70's. 

Here's an example: Ok this outfit is much more colorful, but it has the same feel to it, long top with tight pants.

Style maven I am not but I refuse to wear maternity clothes anymore! The main person I dress for is my husband. As long as he thinks I look good I am happy, and luckily he is an ass man so as long as I can still shake what my momma gave me, he will still think I am hot =).

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Balancing act

This post is actually a prayer. I am asking for strength today as I working from home and taking care of a sick child at the same time. I am starting of the day with the sinking feeling that I won't be able to excel in either my work or at looking after my child. Of course I'll still get what needs to be done accomplished, but I just hate being mediocre. Well my connection to the office is up, so off I go!