Friday, August 30, 2013

preparing for baby

I am one busy momma today running after my two year old and trying to get a few things done around the house before my daycare kiddos arrive, but I wanted to share this post with all of the moms-to-be.

I have been asked many times if there was one thing you would do before baby arrives what would it be? Simply, my answer is preparing food which you can freeze and reheat once baby arrives. Having a handful of meals prepared and ready to quickly reheat or put into the crockpot to eat when the time comes can be one of the most rewarding feelings. Once you arrive home from the hospital there are so many things taking are trying to recover, you are getting to know a new human being, visitors come and go, other children still need to be taken care of, and you are battling fatigue. The last thing you want to be doing is thinking about what you will make for dinner and finding the time to shop and prepare the meal.

I have planned to take some time this weekend to finish up a few more batches of food. With that said, we are one lucky family as my mother showed up at our home the other day (an hour drive) to drop off a huge amount of prepared meals. I could not thank my parents enough as I know how much these meals will help us out and the best part was I didn't have to stand on my feet for hours to make them!

I have had a few friends who are expecting and have asked what meals we like to prepare ahead of time. Well, here is a short list of meals that I feel freeze well and taste nearly as good as if they were fresh:

  • Lasagna
  • Manicotti
  • Mexican Lasagna
  • Chicken and wild rice casserole
  • Soups
  • Tomato sauce
  • Chili
  • Stews
  • Chicken/pork cutlets
  • Meatballs
  • Scallopped potatoes
  • Swiss steak
  • Cabbage rolls
  • Pizza
  • Muffins
  • Waffles
  • Pancakes

Happy Cooking Everyone!!

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Thursday, August 29, 2013


"It's busy around here" is an understatement. Our family has been going here and there non-stop for the last few months. With our little one due to join our family any time now, we are trying to find a few moments to sneak away from all the hustle and bustle to joy some family down time.

Sometimes it is hard for me to stand back and allow myself to leave the house when I know the floors could be vacuumed or the laundry could be done but the other night, we packed the kiddos into the car after dinner, headed to DQ to pick up some dessert and then headed to the airport to watch the planes come and go. The kids are into planes right now and absolutely love love love watching them in action. We didn't travel far or spend lots of money but our little getaway for an hour was just what we needed. I will forever cherish moments like these.
My little man is growing up. Eating his ice cream all by himself.
All smiles. She said it was awesome because there were brownie chunks in it.
Here comes the plane.
Baby D likes to call out if the planes are big or small. 
Momma and her girl.
We almost have it.
I can some day see this little guy being a pilot.
This is Little Miss L.'s face after we told her to stop playing in the dirt.

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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

37 weeks

How far along?: 37 weeks
How big is baby?: Baby weighs 6 1/3 pounds and measures a bit over 19 inches, head to heel (about the size of a bunch of Swiss chard).
Weight gain?: Up 31 pounds.
Stretch marks?: Love me some EVOO.
Maternity clothes?: Yoga pants and tanks are the only clothing I have been sporting.
Food cravings?: I haven't any in the past week.
Sleep?: Sleep...oh, how I miss you! Toss and turn is all I do. I am missing my shut eye time as it takes every bit of energy I have to get up in the morning and make it through the day.
Gender?: Getting excited to meet our son.
Exercise?: Well, I am hoping baby makes his appearance before too long, so I better start walking.
What's been going on? I am in the home stretch now and can say I am officially full term. I am getting beyond excited to meet our son but my anxiety about labour and delivery are starting to kick into high gear. We are making some progress around here. I can say I finally have my hospital bag packed and ready to go. Baby is almost covered, just a few things here and there. Still working on the all important name but at this point, I have come to the conclusion his name will be chosen once we are able to hold him and see his face. Big brother and big sister are also getting super excited to meet their little brother. They are making sure he has lots of toys to play with.

Check out week 37 with baby #1 and #2 here. Pin It

Monday, August 26, 2013

first day of school

Our little girl is growing up and has started a new chapter in her life. She is now a full-time student. I can't believe our little girl who was just learning to walk and talk a few years ago is now entering Kindergarten. Last Monday marked the first day our little girl attended school for a full day and took the school bus for the very first time.

Little Miss L. had mixed emotions but when it was time to board the bus, she giggled as she climbed up the stairs and didn't look back. As mommy held her tears in, I knew our little girl would be entering into a world where she will thrive. I may have been one of those crazy moms and demanded my husband to follow the bus to school but I wanted to know the route (ok, just wanted to make sure she didn't jump out the bus window on the way there.) Either way, I was happy when the hubby called to report she had made it to school and happily lined up to enter school with all of her peers.

As I went through the day, I wondered if she was happy, made it to the bathroom on time, was making friends, could open her lunch container by herself, and hoped she was not scared. I was excited when it was time to hurry out the door to meet the bus. Panic started to set in when the bus was 30 minutes late - did she not get on the right bus? Did she get off at the wrong stop? Did the bus forget to make it down our road? A few minutes later, we saw the big yellow bus turn the corner and I breathed a little sigh of relief. As the bus doors opened, I was greeted by a smiling little girl who jumped down the stairs and gave her brother the biggest hug and kiss I have ever seen as she told him how much she had missed him. Our little girl skipped up the driveway telling us about all the new friends she had met, the activities they had done and her experience riding the school bus.

We are off to a good start, let's hope it continues...
School time!
Her brother had just rolled out of bed, but there was no way he was going to miss his big sister getting on the bus for the first time.
Her biggest supporter.
Here comes the bus!

Never once looked back. 
She made it through her first day and ended it with lots of smiles.

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Friday, August 23, 2013

36 weeks

How far along?: 36 weeks
How big is baby?: Baby now weighs almost 6 pounds and is more than 18 1/2 inches long (about the size of a head of romaine lettuce).
Weight gain?: I have been packing on the pounds. I am up 30 pounds!!
Stretch marks?: Lots of extra virgin olive oil to help with my stretching skin.
Maternity clothes?: Nothing feels comfortable. I have been really hot, so I mostly turn to shorts and a tank.
Food cravings?: I haven't really wanted to eat much these days. Drinking lots of water.
Sleep?: Sleep has not been too bad when I actually have the chance to get some. I am up a few times a night for the good ol' bathroom break or a leg cramp.
Gender?: A little boy.
Exercise?: I haven't been up to much as I have been experiencing intense Braxton Hicks contractions when I walk or bend over.
What's been going on? I am behind on this post as I turned 36 weeks on Tuesday. I have been slow moving these days and had a little panic attack last Friday. Let's just say I was having a lot of contractions and thought I was going to have to head to the hospital but thankfully they disappeared after 7 hours. After that little wakening, I realized we are definitely not prepared - no hospital bag, no clothes washed for baby, no name... the list goes on. The next week or so we are going to be in overdrive to get our list ticked off. I know you can never fully be prepared as we have done this twice before but as the nesting instincts set in, this momma wants to bring her little man into the best home possible. Maybe baby x sensed all the excitement lately as his big sister started school and his big brother just celebrated his birthday. I have a feeling he wants to join the party. Momma will be happy if you wait just a bit longer.
Excuse the not-so-great photo., the hubby was in a rush.

Check out week 36 with baby #1 and #2 here. Pin It

Monday, August 19, 2013

are you ready for school?

The school year is almost upon us... are you prepared? This year, our family will be entering a new chapter - our little girl is growing up and will be attending school for the very first time. As parents, we only want the best for our children and, with that said, preparing our children for what lies ahead in their school years can be one of the best services we can provide them. Whether you have a first time student or are getting your children out of summer vacation mode and back into their school routine, it is challenging. After speaking to several parents, attending seminars and preparation courses, I can now share with all of you a few tips to better prepare ourselves and our children for the coming year:

-Establish a set bed time
Sleep affects our children's mood, health and ability to learn. Often, children get used to staying up late during summer months. Rather than letting them struggle when school arrives which could leave them tired during the first few weeks of school, prepare by gradually transitioning them into a bed-time routine.

-Establish a morning routine
Practise having your child wake up at the time required during the school year. Guide them through their morning routine by reminding them to get dressed, complete hygiene-related tasks, eat breakfast, pack school bag including lunch, then wait at the bus stop, walk or drive to school. Completing the following tasks will allow your child to feel comfortable with their new routine when the time comes to put it into place.

-Develop new lunch habits
For some, this will be the first time they will experience a packed lunch. Prepare your child's lunch and place into a lunch container. Have your child find it in their school bag, practice opening and closing containers. Discuss what foods should been eaten as snack and what should be eaten as their main meal.

-Visit the school
Most schools have the opportunity for children to come and view the facility, meet their teachers, and locate important rooms such as their classroom and washrooms. Familiarize your child with were they will be dropped off and picked up - this will help ease the first time jitters and also has safety benefits.

-Ride a bus
For many, your child will spend a significant portion of their day on a school bus. They will socialize, play, sleep and/or study on the bus. Reduce anxiety with riding the bus by boarding a bus at the school – should that option not be available, head to a museum and ask one of the many school bus drivers, likely parked out front and bored, if they can give you a tour of the bus.

-Encourage open discussion
Many children and parents both have anxiety about the coming year. It is important for our children to know the lines of communication are open any time they may need them. Creating discussion around issues that may be bothering them allows you to solve insecurities before they become larger problems.

-Names and address
For children who may be taking the school bus, it is important your child is able to communicate their name, parents' names and their home address. Many children are used to saying mommy and daddy but they could be placed in an emergency situation where they will need to know full names. Knowing their address is important if they were accidentally dropped off at the wrong location or they have a supply driver who is unsure of their location.

Going back to school or going to school for the first time can be a wonderful or traumatizing experience for a child that they will remember for the rest of their life. Luckily, we have an opportunity as parents to enable a positive experience and lay the ground work for a happy and healthy school life.

Happy back-to-school!
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Saturday, August 17, 2013

and now you are two!

Dear Son,

It feels like just yesterday I sat down to write you a letter for your first birthday. Time has been passing by and I am still in shock my baby boy is celebrating his second birthday today.

As I sit here writing this letter, I click through photos we have taken of you over the past two years. You have changed so much but yet you are still very much the same. You continue to be the comedian of the house, always playing tricks on others. You are still compassionate and loving, always the first to give a hug or kisses to others. Your giggle is still infectious and can light up a room.

You have mastered several milestones over the past year and continue to thrive. I could sit here forever listing all the things that make us smile each and every day but it would be one LONG list. At two, you now:
-have all your teeth - we are just waiting for two more molars to complete your set;
-can now sing "Twinkle, Twinkle little star" all by yourself;
-can put your own shoes on;
-use a fork and knife to eat your meals;
-can brush your own teeth;
-like to pick out your own clothes;
-can climb the play structure all by yourself;
-will sit through the movie Toy Story because you love it;
-are obsessed with toy cars and will spend hours playing with them;
-know how to use your lungs;
-love to keep things organized and always lend a helping hand to clean up;
-and can count to 10 in two languages.

You are becoming such a big boy, and will have a new responsibility before too long. You are looking forward to meeting your little brother. Each day, you shower mommy's belly with hugs and kisses. You are always looking out for your brother by telling others to be quiet because he is trying to sleep. I know you guys will be great friends and I look forward to watching you grow together.

Happy 2nd Birthday to my handsome son. I love you more and more each day which I didn't think could be possible, but it is.

Lots of love,

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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

35 weeks

How far along?: 35 weeks
How big is baby?: Baby doesn't have much room to maneuver now that he's over 18 inches long and tips the scales at 5 1/4 pounds (about the size of a honeydew melon).
Weight gain?: Holding strong at 25 pounds. I haven't gained anything in the past week but that could be due to the fact I am sick again.
Stretch marks?: Lots of extra virgin olive oil to help with my stretching skin.
Maternity clothes?: Love my maxi dress and skirts.
Food cravings?: I haven't really wanted to eat much these days.
Sleep?: Sleep... what is that again?!?!?
Gender?: A son.
Exercise?: I can barely walk up the stairs without feeling like I just ran a marathon. Slacking in this department.
What's been going on? I am getting really excited to welcome you, our little bundle of joy. Big sister and big brother talk to you each day as they give you big hugs and kisses. They tell me it will be okay when you cry because they will help hold you, feed you and sing to you. I look forward to them finally meeting you in person. We are slowly working towards being ready for your arrival. Give us a few more weeks and then we should be all set. Momma has been very tired and sick. I hope this means you will give me the best possible labour to make up for it. I have now hit the point where I have weekly OB appointments - I love hearing your heartbeat and can't wait to hold you in my arms.

Check out week 35 with pregnancy #1 and #2 here. Pin It

Monday, August 12, 2013

showered with love

This past Saturday, Baby x and I were showered with love by an amazing group of ladies (and little ones too.) Being the third child to arrive in our family, I didn't expect to have a baby shower. Well, I was surprised when my girlfriend Jenn sent me a message telling me to make sure I cleared my calendar because the girls were getting together to celebrate the impending arrival of Baby x. I could not have been more excited and honoured.

As I walked in the door, I was greeted with lots of smiles and quite the spread - I am telling you, it is a pregnant woman's dream to walk into a scrumptious brunch with lots of sweet treats to fill my belly. If you know me, you know I have a sweet tooth and love love love my candy... well let's just say that sweet tooth was satisfied.

It was a wonderful afternoon catching up, having a few laughs, being spoiled with goodies, hanging out with the little ones who brighten our lives (I decided to leave my kiddos with daddy so mommy could have some alone time,) and stuffing our bellies.

I can not thank you enough Jenn for hosting such a lovely afternoon and thank you to my ladies for always supporting and showering our family with love. We are truly blessed.

Okay, I had to share a few photos, but I will warn you that if you are hungry, you may not want to scroll down.
I love Mason jars and Jenn found these awesome blue ones.
Fruit kabobs and strawberry shortcake cupcakes.
These were absolutely delicious. 
My favourite part :)
Veggie and ham quiche which were heavenly.
I love me some salad.
Little Miss E. loved the food as well.
Mr. B showing me his serious face. 
I love this face.
Group shot.

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Friday, August 9, 2013

baby d's baptism part 2

I know, I promised you guys this post last week but I am so far behind on my blogging that I am trying to pull out any energy I have to share what's been going on around here. It seems like life has been a bit of a blur lately and I am hoping to slow things down soon. Before we head into the weekend, I wanted to share the final instalment of Baby D's baptism with all of you.

We lucked out and had the perfect day to host Baby D's baptism at our home. The sun was out and it wasn't overly hot, so the kiddos enjoyed playing outside and the adults could enjoy few cold beverages outdoors. We decided to go low-key this time around, mostly because I am not up to much these days. We invited everyone back to our place for lunch and went with the theme "make your own." Our guests were greeted with a salad bar, make your sandwiches and of course we had to have Baby D's favourites too - chicken cutlets and pasta! If our guests were still hungry they could fill their bellies up with the sundae bar and lots of sweet treats like cookies, cheesecake and so much more. I decided to go with simple decorations such as mason jars with baby's breath and lots of butcher paper. I felt this suited the day as Baby D is no longer a little baby, the theme needed to be a bit more mature, yet down to earth, like the man of the hour.

We can't thank our friends and family enough for coming out and joining us on such a special day for Baby D. - he is surrounded by so much love which was very evident on this day.

First let's check out the grub....
Salad bar.
The spread.
Dress-up your sandwich.
Dessert table (my favourite)
Sundae bar with lots of sweet treats and fresh berries.
I love summer time fruit.
The drink station.

Now let's check out the company...
Beautiful Aunties!
Baby C chilling with his mommy.
The girls getting ready to hit-up the pool.
Time to eat.
No caption needed here.
The girls enjoying their sundaes.
A wonderful couple.
Baby D hanging with his cousin.

We can not thank you all enough for your generous gifts and love to our little man...

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