Saturday, January 30, 2010

30 Weeks Down, 10 More to Go!

Well, I am officially 30 weeks along today, which means I only have ten more to go. I'm starting to get very excited about the thought of holding a newborn baby again. Shaela still likes to cuddle before her naps and bedtime - but she's just not a tiny little girl anymore! I'm really looking forward to snuggling my new little one on my chest for hours at a time. Okay, maybe not hours, since I have two other rambunctious ones to chase after! But I'm still excited for it!

So, how have I been feeling lately??? Well, other than huge as a house - which I know I'm not, but still feel like it. I've still been having heartburn almost every single day. This week has been slightly better, but not much. I've gone a few days without the Zantac, but still needed Maalox on the off days, so it's still there - just hasn't been quite as bad. 

This past week I've been pretty tired. My back is starting to get really sore, which makes sleeping difficult. I wake up every few hours needing to roll over, and since my back hurts and the joints in my pelvis are already getting loose, it's a bit of a process. I'm starting to nest now too. I have the uncontrollable urge to deep clean my house, even though I really don't have the energy for it. I have, however, been doing a significant amount of re-organizing and sorting of different things around the house. That seems to take less energy than actually cleaning, and yet I still feel productive! So it's win-win! Although my walls still need washing.....they are currently covered in crayon from Xavier and Shaela - mostly Xavier. That boy sure likes to draw, but you turn your back on him for any amount of time and he likes to create murals on my walls! Silly kid.

Other than the heartburn and the tiredness and the sore back, however, I am feeling relatively well. Feeling lots of kicks and rolls from within and thankfully, they don't hurt all that much yet! I'm not looking forward to a few weeks from now when I start having little body parts wedged into my ribcage all day. I am however, looking forward to the snow melting so we can play outside more often! Although with the minus 30-with-the-windchill weather we've been having this week, it still feels like spring is a long way off!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Fun in the Snow

Well, yesterday was a bit wet and kinda yucky outside with all the slush. But it was the perfect weather for making snowmen. After lunch, Jared and I bundled the kids up and headed outside - Jared and the kids had the task of making the snowman and I had my camera in hand to document the occasion. Shaela mostly just stood and watched, but they had a blast playing out in the snow!

Getting down a couple branches for his arms

Applying the carrot nose - which is a small mini-carrot - it's all we had!

We used rocks for eyes and Jared found a few smaller branches for his mouth.

All done!

The kids stayed out and played for a while after we were done the snowman - Xavier refused to put his mower away, even though it's now winter. He likes to mow the snow for us. :)

This is such a Jared expression right here! She's definitely her father's daughter!

This is one of my favorite shots that I got - even after almost two years, I'm still blown away by her gorgeous eyelashes!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


So I have wanted to post about this day on here for SO long - but of course, that would have given away the surprise, so I couldn't! Now that it is finally over, I have realized I have a great passion for planning surprise parties - it was sooo much work, but oh so fun!

It all started back when my hubby finally finished his Bachelor of Social Work degree at the end of July - I knew I wanted to throw him a party with family and friends to celebrate, but it seemed a bit anti-climactic to do it before he had a job. And so I waited....and waited...and waited some more! Finally, after about 50 job applications (everyone is always looking for someone with experience!) and about 10 interviews, he was offered a position with West Region CFS here in Winnipeg. His start date was only a week and a half before Christmas - which meant planning a party in December amidst everyone's Christmas celebrations would be next to impossible. So, after talking it over with his mom and sister, we decided that Jan. 17th would be a great date. I made up invitations and got them sent out at the end of December. Then I began planning.

In my mind, a party isn't a party without games, so I started coming up with a list of things we could do - and settled on some social work trivia questions and "Pin the Heart on the Social Worker". Sounds kind of cheesy, but I planned on printing out a life-size poster of Jared and using that as the game board. I also wanted to incorporate a "Sexiest Sweater Vest" contest, since they are a staple in Jared's wardrobe. I printed that one on the invite so everyone knew to wear a vest the day of! The next few weeks were spent tracking RSVP's and getting prizes and a food list organized.

After one message on our machine that Jared overheard about the sweater vest contest, he started getting suspicious. We also bought his grad gift (I needed his approval before I bought it, so he knew about it before-hand), but I told him he couldn't use it yet. That also tipped him off that something was up. And then the weekend of the party, a bunch of my family members were in town. So, he gathered that SOMETHING was up - but he didn't know when or where. Thankfully, my family all 'left' well before the party, so when I told Jared we were going to his mom's for supper Sunday evening, he didn't suspect anything was happening that evening.
The week of the party was a bit of a crazy one. I had to figure out when to bake the cake and buy the food and print off this poster - and then somehow get it all over to his mom's place without him noticing. I managed to print off the poster on the Thursday/Friday while Jared was at work and hide it without him seeing it. It gave me a bit of grief trying to get it all printed and cut out and taped together - but it was totally worth it in the end. Friday was also the day I did all the grocery shopping and baked the cake. Then brought it, the rest of the food, the decorations, and his gift over to his mom's before supper and stashed everything in her laundry room until the next day.

Saturday my mom and step-dad were in town to help us fix our back door - turns out it's a bit of a bigger project than we had anticipated, so it will have to wait until spring when it's warmer. But the dilemma after we realized that was how were Mom and I going to get out of the house without Jared to go over to his mom's and decorate??? We had planned on "taking the kids to the mall to play" - but now that the door wasn't going to be worked on, Jared and Ken could have come along. I finally said that Mom and I wanted to shop and it would be easier without the kids - plus Shaela needed a nap, so would Jared and Ken mind staying home with the kids? It worked like a charm and we booted it over to Jared's mom's and spent the next three and a half hours decorating the cake, blowing up balloons, and hanging streamers. That evening we said good-bye to my parents and my sister spent the night after having spent the day at the Bridal show with a friend of hers. The next day she came to church with us, but "left" to go home shortly after lunch.

Jared laid down to nap in the afternoon with Shaela, and I spent the next two and a half hours worrying that he would somehow figure out on the way to his mom's that something was up. I had visions of him getting into the house before I did and missing the entire 'surprise'. Finally, it was time to go, and I had devised a brilliant plan!

 In the van on the way over I told him I really needed to go to the washroom and asked if he could get Shaela out of the van when we got there - that would buy me enough time to run inside to yell "Surprise" with everyone else. Well, turns out our son fell asleep on the way over, so Jared had to carry him inside - but it still worked out. I grabbed Shaela and ran for the door. Got inside a few moments before Jared did - I basically had enough time to turn around and watch him open the door.

His initial reaction was, "What is going on?!?!?!" since there were a whole bunch of people inside the house. Then we all yelled "Surprise!" and he finally realized that this was what all the fuss had been about! He was very shocked and a little overwhelmed at first - but in a good way. After greeting guests for a few minutes, I gave a short speech - thanking his mom for hosting and for all the others who helped make it possible. And also said a few words to Jared about how proud I am of him. We've had a lot of obstacles to overcome in the last four years while he's been finishing his degree - and I'm soooo incredibly proud of his accomplishment in finishing and finally landing a great job!

After that, we enjoyed a yummy supper of buns with meat, cheese, and pickles, pasta salad, chips and salsa, veggies and dip, and lots of chocolates to snack on! After the meal we did the trivia and Pin the Heart and then it was time to judge the sweater vests. I had a prize for the guy and the girl with the best one and it was a lot of fun. After that it was time for cake and then more visiting before people headed home. The only downside to the evening was that the camera battery was almost dead, so I didn't get nearly as many pictures as I had wanted. But it was a great night - I'm so glad I was able to pull it off for him! He appreciated it a lot and it was so great to celebrate this milestone in our lives with family and friends. :)

I was in a bit of a rush to ice the cake - and my icing gun is broken - so it's not as pretty as I would have liked - but it tasted good!

The infamous poster print. Doesn't he look handsome?!?!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Where's My Cape When I Need It?

So, today was a ridiculously crazy, busy day. I thought after the weekend with a surprise party for my hubby to pull off (more on that in a later post!) that I would take it easy today since the party wiped me out. But, somewhere in the depths of my soul I found the energy to the list!

1. 8 loads of laundry - folded AND put away - with three more to go
2. Ran the dishwasher TWICE
3. Washed the remaining dishes that wouldn't fit/can't go in the dishwasher
4. Fed my kids lunch
5. Vacuumed and mopped my kitchen floor
6. Swept and mopped the living room floor
7. Organized a bunch of 'junk' in my kitchen so that I could move a few shelves out of there to make more room for the kitchen table.
8. Moved a few things around in our entryway to make it more workable.
9. Went through my kitchen stuff (pots, pans, baking dishes, etc.) and made a pile to send to the Salvation Army. This also included reorganizing a few cupboards and vacuuming them out as I went.
10. Made supper

.....And changed a bunch of diapers, put Shaela down for a nap, bundled Xavier up to play outside for a while this afternoon.....

After all my productivity today, I feel like Superwoman!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Who Knew?

First of all, I just need to say that yes, I am still alive! Like a friend of mine said on her blog the other day, I'd rather be real and say something (at least somewhat) meaningful on here, than just ramble on about nothing in particular. So, since not much has been happening around here lately, I've felt like I don't have much to write about. Maybe that's the curse of being a mom - you're so busy taking care of everyone else that you don't really take enough time for you. And you subsequently feel like the stories of your day would be boring to others. Maybe they are - I hope not! But I think in some ways, I think they will be, so rather than bore others, I simply don't write at all. Hmmm...will have to ponder that for a while.

Today I found myself being bored with the background and colour of my blog. When I created it I thought the black would look sleek and sophisticated. Lately I have found it boring - and maybe a little depressing???? So this afternoon I have been on the hunt for the perfect blog background. Not an easy task, I assure you. There are hundreds to choose from, but nothing really seemed to 'jump out' at me. Of course, those that know me well, know that I LOVE the colour purple. So I was looking for something that was mainly purple and said "Dana". I think what I found is a fairly good representation. I love gerber daisies and there's enough purple on here to satisfy my longing to see the colour splashed all over the internet. However, if I were more tech-savvy, I think I would create my own. Who knew finding a blog background could be so much work?!?!?!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

More Christmas Pics

I resized them so it wouldn't take so long to upload! First up is our new stockings. We bought 7 of them on clearance last year so that when our family is complete they will all be the same. Got the first four embroidered with our names, and will be adding one more for next year!

Shaela opening her stocking. She was very excited to see something Dora in there - it's foam soap for the bath.

The kids both got a new Disney movie this year - Xavier got Bolt and was SUPER pumped for it!

The kids also got a playdough kit to share.

Xavier had lots of fun playing with the new playdough octopus.....

...Shaela was more concerned with all the Christmas chocolate laying around!

As a chocaholic myself, I can't really fault her for this!

And, the piece de resistance - we had homemade waffles with sauce for brunch. A tradition started last year that I hope to continue for many years to come as it is quite possibly the best breakfast ever!

Christmas Pictures

I've mentioned before that Xavier is a monkey, right?!?!? Here he is climbing the radiator pipes at Grandma Folkert's house.

This was the kids digging into the food while we opened our memory boxes. We decided after this to let them start eating whatever else there was even though the turkey wasn't done because they were clearly starving!

The memory candle that Mom got for us to light every year and share memories of Dad. Thought it was a great idea and will be a very special tradition in future years.

I have more, but my computer is being slow in uploading, so I'll do another post. Enjoy!

A Busy Couple of Weeks

Well, as you've noticed, I've been MIA since before Christmas. Feels like we haven't stopped moving since then! Let's see...Christmas Eve Jared worked half a day, he came home and we all showered and got dressed up for the Christmas Eve service at Riverwood Church. Met Jared's family there and enjoyed some carol singing and a few dramas. It was nice. Then back to his mom's for supper and gift opening. We had lots of fun. Mom had made wonderful memory boxes for us of things about Dad. All the newspaper clippings and some keepsakes from years past. Definitely the best gift this year! We opened them while we waited for the turkey to finish cooking - it was taking a lot longer than expected - and apparently our kids were really hungry because I glanced up and there were Xavier and Shaela sitting on top of the kitchen table, devouring anything they could find to eat - applesauce, stuffing, buns. It made for a great picture, which I'll share shortly.

Christmas Day was slightly more relaxed. We were actually home in our own house that morning (in the past we've always been away visiting family), so it was lots of fun to sit around our own tree and see the kids faces light up as they opened their gifts. We also did stockings this year, which was a big hit and lots of fun! That evening, we joined Jared's family at family friend's of theirs for supper - which means I got out of cooking any sort of big meal this year! We had lots of fun visiting and eating and playing games.

Then Boxing Day we drove out to my parents house. Spent the day with my dad and step-mom and Dad's side of the family. The next day was at my mom and step-dad's house and it was a little chaotic - two of my step sisters were out with daughter and boyfriend, my older sister's boyfriend and children and a friend of hers with his girlfriend and her son, plus my younger sister and her three boys, plus us and our two kids - confused yet?!?!?! It was a housefull! But lots of fun and the cousins had a blast playing together.

Sunday night we came home and the last week and a half have been a whirlwind of activity - we bought a van and bought out the lease on our car - so we are now the proud owners of TWO Honda vehicles. However, we've had a ton of running around to do for that and papers to sign, and our car got broken into so we had to get that fixed. Got a stone chip in our van windshield that needed to be replaced. It's been nuts.

This week, thankfully, things are slowing down and getting into a bit of a more normal routine. I am FINALLY done with daycare kids and am officially a stay at home mom. The first few days of that have been WONDERFUL! Xavier is starting gymnastics tomorrow and I can't wait! He's going to be so good at it and I know I'm going to have a lot of fun watching him learn new skills - and showing off what a monkey he is! And in a few weeks time, we will be starting to potty train Shaela. She's been showing some interest for a few weeks, so we need to get on the ball and start working more intentionally with her. My goal is to get her trained before the baby arrives. I have three months, so we'll see how it goes!

Anyway...enough rambling! Time for pictures! I'll do a separate post for that since I have quite a few to share. Happy New Year everyone!