Sunday, July 31, 2011

Funny Family Fotos

Earlier this week I posted a family photo from our week at the cottage. The below picture is pretty much as good as it gets when you consider what you're working with :)
The process this year was actually pretty painless. We set timers on three different cameras to take ten consecutive pictures each. When you have five children, ten adults, and one dog, the outtakes can be pretty funny.

Run, dad, run!
Oh no, one of the children in the bottom left has escaped!
Bama, smile and look at the camera!
Are we good? Almost!
And just think, next year there will be one more child to contend with!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Gone Fishin'

One of my 36 in 365 goals this year was to go fishing for the first time. Well little did I know, I have been fishing before! While flipping through some old pictures, I found this beauty...
I look to be around three or four years old perhaps? I have no idea where this picture was taken but I'm hoping my dad remembers some of the details. He's got a pretty sweet moustache going on, eh?

Before I found this photo though, I was determined to fulfil this goal during my week at the family cottage. And so I did! Armed with my nephew's Buzz Lightyear rod, M and I went fishing off a pontoon boat with two of my brothers and their kids.

How was it? So very boring, but then exhilarating! I didn't catch anything but I did get quite a few bites. The water was so clear that I could see the little fishies coming and stealing my worms. And speaking of worms, ew! Have you ever seen the guts and goo that come out of those suckers when you spear them onto your hook? Thank goodness my oldest nephew acted as my right hand man and loaded me up with bait every time.
Am I going to become a fisherwoman? That's a big NO! But, it was fun and I'm glad I completed this goal (for the second time around?).

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Cottage Week 2011

Another family week at the cottage has come and gone!

This year was especially fun for a couple of reasons: Bama the dog came, plus we rented a cottage in a new location, which means different places to explore!
Along with the regular house, we also got a log cabin, steps from the lake. There wasn't much of a beach area and it was quite murky close to shore anyway, so thankfully we had a pontoon boat that we'd drive to the middle of the lake to go swimming each day. The water was beautiful! Clear and warm!
Here's my dad, taking us out for a ride. Do you like his du-rag? He forgot a hat so he made a killer looking du-rag from a kitchen hand towel. HAHA, what a special guy.
There was a nice playground area for the kids to run around in plus lots of walking trails in the backyard area.
Being able to leave Bama off leash for the majority of the week was spectacular. He absolutely loves water and could swim and play fetch with his frisbee for hours.
I spent the week relaxing in anti-gravity chairs, reading, sleeping in, biking, eating amazing food (including smores of course), and relaxing with not a care in the world. It was grrreat.
One night, we took the boat out for a sunset cruise and my sister-in-law got some pretty nice pictures! I like how our clothing sorta matches the background.
And, what would a family vacation be without a family picture? Here's the whole gang!
I'm looking forward to next year's cottage week already!

Friday, July 22, 2011

33 Week Update

I should have written this post a few weeks ago but didn't have the chance, so even though it's now outdated, I figure better late than never! Time for belly comparisons!

June 10th (30 weeks)
June 17th (31 weeks) vs July 1st (33 weeks)

The picture below is also from July 1st, but this time while I'm wearing regular clothing rather than my cat burglar outfit:
It keeps growing and growing and growing! I didn't realize the belly growth that occurred over those three weeks until I compared the pictures just now! The human body is truly amazing.

At 32 weeks I finally received my first comment from a stranger about being pregnant! And guess where I was at the time? The beer store! I was helping my mom return a bunch of bottles and the cashier told me I shouldn't be carrying something so heavy. I almost jumped for joy even though the comment was completely unnecessary! Being pregnant does not make me an invalid and I'm pretty sure I can handle maneuvering ten pounds of beer bottles around :)

Baby's movements at this time were becoming rolls and turns, rather than kicks. I could lay on the couch and be content watching my belly flip flop around for hours. Other than Baby bumping into my ribs sometimes and the occasional bout of heartburn at night, I truly felt great. During weeks 31-32 I visited my parents at home and having access to their pool was wonderful. I'd often lay weightlessly on a pool raft on my belly! I haven't been able to lay that way for a long time!

The only bad thing about visiting my parents was that when I went back to Chicago and had my next doctor's appointment, I learned I had overindulged a bit much (it seems to be a common theme when I visit home) and gained a few pounds in a small amount of time, for a total of 12lbs overall. Which now when I think about it.. who gives a rat's a$$! I visited with family or friends almost every single night, ate really good food, and enjoyed myself immensely!

In the next few days I hope to post my 36 week update so if you think I had a belly back on July 1st, you should see it now!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Doughnut Vault

Remember this post where I mentioned wanting to go to the Doughnut Vault? Well, a few weeks ago when my parents were visiting Chicago, we got up early to stand in line for what turned out to be pretty darn delicious donuts!

We drove the fifteen minutes to River North, easily found street parking, and claimed fifth spot in line at 8am. The Doughnut Vault opens on weekdays at 8:30am so we didn't have to wait too long and by the time half an hour passed, the lineup was winding around the corner.
Here we are, in the bakery, or shall I say hole in the wall. This little alcove is quite truly the entire place. It can hold four or five people total - you step up to the counter, order, and get out quickly!
We ordered one of each donut plus two coffees, which totaled $16. Expensive but do I dare say worth it?
Starting in the top right corner and moving clockwise we have pistachio, vanilla, chocolate, a 3-piece stack of gingerbread, and buttermilk old fashioned. I was extremely surprised at the hugeness of these donuts, but I guess we are in America after all!
My parents and I decided to cut each donut into four because the plan was to bring M the leftovers at work. Yes, I brought my own knife and it was the best decision ever.
We decided that a quarter of each donut was way too much, so we ended up eating an eighth and here is what we were left with after filling our bellies to the max...
That's a lot of donut leftover!

We took a nice walk (not nearly long enough to burn off those calories!) along the river to M's work and dropped the leftovers off to him to share with his colleagues.

Now, for my favourite? Hmm, all of them were truly delectable, but the pistachio was so unique tasting that I'm leaning toward that one simply for its creativity! I just asked M what his favourite was and he said vanilla (why? because it tasted good). Men! Overall, I would highly recommend trying a donut at this place at least once! Would I go back? Not likely, simply because I don't eat donuts very often, but I could be swayed if someone visiting had a big craving for donuts and really wanted to go!

PS - I just looked at the Doughnut Vault website and saw they posted two pictures of my parents and I filling our faces. We're famous!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Baby Nursery Complete!

Well, it took a month or two but I now I can cross a huge task off my to-do list - the nursery for Baby is done done da done! I wrote here about how our nursery isn't a traditional nursery per se, more of a shared room for guests and Baby, so keep that in mind when you look at the following pictures! There is no theme, but we tried to use browns and greens as our colour scheme.

Here's what it looks like from the door. Tight squeeze! We have barely enough room for the crib, bed, and chair with ottoman.
And here's a view of the room while standing at the windows. It's nice that we can close the closet doors and the clutter disappears!
Now for the details! There are two shelves in this room that I would love to tear down because they're ugly and in the most awkward spot ever. But, filled with old teddy bears and a few new gifts from our baby shower, they are much less hideous! I'm in love with the three soft blocks my sister-in-law made for us. She's so crafty.
One of the most difficult things when completing the room was deciding on window coverings. The blinds we currently have let in every bit of sunlight and I think it's really important that the room be dark so that the baby can sleep easily. We searched and searched for drapes but because of the way the windows are placed, they would have to be hung from the ceiling. Instead, M found what I think is the best alternative - blackout Redi Shades. These are temporary blinds made of what feels like construction paper that stick with adhesive to the top of your window. The downfall is that there is no cord to pull them up, they need to be pinned with clips. At $6 a piece, you really can't beat the price and they block out all of the light. Because our windows are so huge, the Redi Shades are technically a couple of inches too short, but seem to get stretched out nicely, which works perfectly for us!
Our crib is the DaVinci Emily 4 in 1 convertible and mattress is by Safety 1st, both gifted to us by M's parents. I love the espresso colour of the crib. The picture frame you see sitting inside of the crib is one of my favourite purchases. It's a Wish Tree from Stinkerpants, a blogger I follow who specializes in artwork, stationary, clothing for babies, and a ton of other cute things. I'm going to ask everyone who comes to visit the baby to write a wish in one of the leaves and then when it's full we'll hang it in the space above the crib!
My brother and sister-in-law gave us a First Year calendar where you can fill in milestones and daily events. This was a nice surprise because I used to be obsessed with Flavia calendars and greeting cards!
Since we don't have space for a dresser, we really needed an extra storage place to put random stuff in. We found this green over the door organizer at Crate and Barrel and while not exactly what I was looking for, it'll do!
The picture below shows the inside of the closet. What you see hanging are all of the baby clothes we have been gifted with from baby shower guests and my mom who found a few really nice gender neutral things for $1/each at some flea market. It's so difficult to find gender neutral clothing so I haven't bought anything myself yet. When it's time though, I'll definitely be hitting up sales because I cringe at the thought of spending so much money on clothing that will be worn for only a few months.
The white shelving units in the closet are filled with my junk but the metal shelving unit is where all of the folded clothes, blankets, towels, washcloths, etc. will be kept. You can see the newborn cloth diapers that I've bought in the top compartment, which come to think of, I've stayed away from discussing on this blog because people have big issues with using cloth that I don't want to get into.. yet.. until I can proudly exclaim from personal experience, how cloth diapering is the best thing since sliced bread :)

There is no room for a change table, so we will be using the end of the bed. My mom bought us the lime cooshee changer which I'm very excited to use since it has great reviews. This changing pad is quite expensive ($65) but one of the magical things about it is that it requires no pad or cover, which means less laundry! The material stays warm, it's made with anti-bacterial foam and can be cleaned with a baby wipe. It's also waterproof and can be used for sponge baths when the baby is small.
Doesn't poor Bama the dog look so sad? He has no idea what is about to come! He's actually not too sad, just enjoys sleeping with his head hanging off the bed. Bama used to be forbidden from coming into the guest room but since we don't want him to hate the baby, he's now invited into the room all the time. Don't worry (mom) I always put fresh sheets on the bed when guests come over.

When M and I were shopping on the weekend, I saw the frame below at Bed Bath and Beyond. I passed it up but went back yesterday because I thought it was too sweet, and with a printable coupon I found online, it was cheap! The little quote says "When they placed you into my arms, you slipped into my heart." Awww :)
And that is pretty much all there is to show! Now that the room is finished I can focus on other things like.. laundry! Oh joy.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Godmother Duties

A few months ago my brother and sister-in-law asked me to be the Godmother for their newest little addition. I was THRILLED! This past weekend was the baptism. Doesn't my little Amish niece look so cute in her gown and bonnet?!
My sister-in-law asked her brother to be the Godfather, and here we are before the ceremony, preparing for our duties.
This precious girl has the funniest facial expressions I've ever seen. When the holy water was poured over her head she started to wail! She has a good set of lungs, that's for sure.
And now presenting... Simba?
The ceremony was very nice - small and personal, with one other baby being baptized at the same time. The priest even involved the grandparents and great grandparents, which I thought was a nice touch.
And here's the happy family!
The happy family plus Godparents!
And what's a baptism without a cake?
I am so honoured to be this little one's Godmother! Thank you C&S for thinking of me! I promise to be the best Godmother around!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

A Woman's Work is Never Done

My dad often decides to start huge projects at the oddest times. For my wedding three years ago he decided to redo the whole upstairs level of my parents' house. This year, for my baby shower, he decided to put a new liner in the pool, get a crazy space age cover, plus cover the wooden deck with all weather tiling.

Of course he was running around last minute trying to finish up this huge project in time, so I offered to help click together the deck tiles. So yes, at exactly 32 weeks pregnant, I can boast about how I installed the pool deck flooring :)
It actually wasn't very difficult at all. After 3-4 hours and with a little help from my BFF (poor girl just stopped by to drop things off and I put her to work) the deck was complete! The tiles clicked together easily and just needed a little hammer action to fasten them together.
After covering the sides of the deck and doing what felt like 300 squats, I got smart and finished the largest part of the deck by sitting on my butt in one place and pushing the completed tiles down to the end. This was so much easier than kneeling and continuously moving myself backwards!
After all that hard work, I spent the rest of my days like this...
or this...
and sometimes like this...
and this!
Having a pool to deal with the summer heat is WONDERFUL. I really don't know how I'm going to stay cool now that I'm back in Chicago and pool-less!