Friday, August 7, 2009


Tonight we head out to the airport to go on a 3 week vacation to Ontario. We are SO excited!!!!!!!!! It's a red-eye flight, and we arrive 6am tomorrow Ontario time, so I really hope it goes well (pray that the kids sleep!). We have a lot of visiting and traveling planned for while we are there, it will be busy for sure! But we will get to see our family and friends, and it will be a lot of fun. I am looking forward to spending time at the cottage (where Dave and I got married), seeing old friends, and going camping.

I may or may not be able to update while we are gone, just to warn you. And I definitely will not have time to read other blogs. I will miss you all! Don't let anything too exciting happen while I'm away, ok? =)

Have a wonderful 3 weeks, and I'm sure that I will have lots of stories and photos to share when we get back!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Park Fun

The kids love the park by our house.

Judith can finally reach the bar!

I was trying to get a photo of Judith swinging, since she is finally learning to pump her legs and swing herself so she doesn't need a push all the time. But Gideon kept walking on front, haha.

She can do it!

Gideon LOVES the swings too! As soon as I put him in it, he started screaming "Higher! Higher!" Seriously, it's the cutest thing ever.

She ran...

And jumped... and fell on her butt. It's not quite as soft as the kiddie pool...

Pretty girl.

"Say your prayers, Mr. Dandelion!"

He seriously loves dandelions.

On our way to the store to get treats!

I really wish summer lasted longer here! It's my favourite.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Mama's Butt Crack

My gifts this week:

76 - All of the amazing random things Judith says and does that makes me laugh. My favourite this week was "Mama, your butt is cracking!" (in reference to the sunburn on my lower back that was peeling).

(this is Judith wearing Dave's pj pants)

77 - Hot hot weather, finally!

78 - Officially becoming a full-time SAHM.

79 - Counting it an honour to have been part of the SA Foundation for 2 years.

80 - Making the best ever jam!

81 - Having lots of lists to keep my sanity as I pack and clean for our upcoming vacation.


83 - Gideon giving hugs and kisses on demand.

84 - Judith memorizing books and "reading" them to me and/or Gideon.

85 - How Gideon automatically waves if I say "hi" or "bye", claps if I say "yay", gives a high five to my outstretched hand, and blows me kisses. <3

86 - Judith learning how to fold tshirts and pants, and she's actually good at it!

87 - Gideon saying "Uh oh, d'oh" (uh oh, spaghettio) when he intentionally drops something from his high chair.

88 - How Judith keeps Gideon safe and in line when I am busy. =)

89 - Staying up until 2am watching Ice Road Truckers with Dave.

90 - Trying Mini-Donuts for the first time ever!

91 - Watching Gideon try Mini-Donuts for the first time ever!!!

92 - Listening to Gideon sing and dance. If he hears a tune, he can copy it EXACTLY. He's got talent.

93 - Watching Judith make gymnastics circuits out of our furniture and random objects around the house. She is very creative (and brave).

94 - Feeling the baby dance in my belly at night as I am failing to find sleep and suffering from heartburn. It helps the time pass. =)

95 - Jumping on the bed with the kids.

96 - The excitement on Judith's face when we actually caught the ice cream truck for once.

97 - Grape juice, mmmmmmm....

98 - Dave getting to work today despite the rain (we can't afford him to miss work this week since he is taking 3 weeks off unpaid for our vacation!).

99 - Getting so much accomplished in anticipation of our trip!

100 - The fact that I really do enjoy the constant company of Dave and the kids, even though they make me crazy sometimes. =)

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


Hey, remember how we went strawberry picking a little while ago? Well, I actually managed to make 4 jars of jam out of the berries we didn't eat immediately (ie less than half of what I picked, but we couldn't help but eat them, they were so good!). See!

My jams are so cool, haha.

Anyways, here is how I did it:

First I washed 2 jars and lids with soap and water. Then I put the jars (not lids) in a tall pot and boiled them for 10 minutes. Once the 10 minutes were up, I took them off the burner and put the lids in and let them sit along with the jars in the "hot water bath".

While that was going, I cut off the stems and sliced the strawberries (the first time I did 3 cups, but it didn't quite fill both jars, so I recommend doing 4 cups of sliced berries). I mashed the berries with a potato masher, but there were still lots of chunks in it. Then I squeezed the juice out of 1 big lemon (was a little over 2 tbsp). I put the strawberries and lemon juice in a wide pan, and added 1 cup of sugar and mixed it.

Then, once the jars were done boiling (because I only have 1 working burner on my stove) I put the pan on the burner over high heat, mixing continuously. It took about 10 minutes for it to seem "ready". The berries I used were very juicy, so they took a bit longer than usual. Apparently it normally takes 5-8 minutes. It's a lot like making candy I found. When it first boils it's really frothy, but then as it keeps boiling and you keep stirring, there is less and less foam, and it starts to look more glossy. I tested it once there was no longer any foam (I kept intentionally mixing it back in, and when there was no more foam I just had that feeling that it was ready). I had put a small plate in the freezer when I started (put the jars on to boil), so I took that out and put a little jam on it. I let it sit for a minute or so, and then tipped the plate up to see how runny it was. If it's the consistency of, well, jam, then it's done!

So then I took the pan off of the burner, and took the jars and lids out of the hot water using tongs and a magnetic grabber. I used a funnel made for mason jars, and filled up the 2 jars (leaving a little space at the top). I put the lids on tightly (using a towel, they were hot!), and then used the tongs to put them back in the pot of hot water (making sure there was at least an inch of water over the top of the jars), and boiled them for 10 minutes. Once they were done, I put them up on a pot holder on the shelf to cool for 12-24 hours.

I did 2 batches of this, and the second time there was a bit leftover because I used 4 cups of berries instead of 3, so we ate the left overs in the pan with some bread and it was SO GOOD. A couple days later I made some home made bread, and we cracked open a jar and tried it. It was perfect, and so yummy! I felt very satisfied knowing that I had made that entire snack from scratch. It was way better than store-bought stuff. I'm not sure if I will ever buy jam again!

Here is a video of how I made it (Youtube has played a vital role in teaching me how to cook, btw).

So, just in case you are wondering, it IS possible to make jam in a ridiculously small kitchen with only 1 working burner.

Monday, August 3, 2009

15 Months

The age of 15 months is definitely my favourite of the "little" stages. I love that at this point they are so eager and excited to explore the world, but they can't quite outrun me yet (they achieve that around age 2, haha). I love that they are independent little people, but still have no problem needing Mama. I honestly enjoy my kids more and more as they get older, I'm not really a baby person, and I've found it is usually at 15 months where things level out for me.

For those out there who don't know me, I had a really rough go with Judith when she was a baby. She had reflux and spent most of her first 5 months screaming. Our breastfeeding relationship was quite strained for that period of time too, although thankfully I was stubborn enough to persevere. It caused some pretty severe depression in me, especially since the other new mothers I knew didn't seem to be having as tough of a time. The sense of failure I lived with every day was overwhelming, but that story is for another post (I have been meaning to post about my postpartum depression experience since I started this blog, but honestly I have been terrified to, there are some things I haven't even had the strength or courage to tell Dave about yet, although I think it would be good for me to be able to let it all out).

ANYWAYS, I remember things getting a lot better once Judith hit one year. She started walking on her first birthday, and then suddenly transformed. She was no longer angry at the world. She has always been so gross motor skills-oriented. Things started to level out then, and by 15 months I actually thought I had this whole motherhood thing figured out (HA!). Then she weaned at 19 months, and I got pregnant a few weeks later. Annnnnnnd, then everything was hard again. And I knew nothing again. And Judith started watching tv.

But 15 months... 15 months was a wonderful time. Both of my kids started sleeping the night every night at 15 months. Maybe that's why I suddenly felt like I could conquer the world again at that point. Even this time around, even though I have 2 kids and am pregnant (in the easy 2nd trimester, mind you), I am doing quite well these days. I'm totally loving and enjoying Gideon's 15th month. I know that things may very well go vastly downhill as the cold sets in and I get further along in my pregnancy and then will have a newborn again (while being stuck indoors during the winter), but I'm not going to worry about that now. Today, I am TOTALLY enjoying my kids, my pregnancy, and this summer. I'm so thankful that I can enjoy Gideon's 15 month stage, it's seriously the best.

So for fun, here are some comparison shots of Judith and Gideon each at 15 months:

Isn't this stage SO cute? I'm totally loving this time in our lives.