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Sunday, November 3, 2013

Adventures In Craziness

Summer has past, the snow is now falling, the late-night call-outs have begun: winter has arrived.
We are now living in a house. We lived in a trailer for the summer as well as September, and after the initial rough first few weeks, I think we did it quite well. Sure it wasn't the most ideal space, but really, we adapted. There was a lot less cleaning. I made a point of going out every morning and I was more than grateful that the summer weather lasted so far into September (and even some of October!). And we became a much cozier family. It truly wasn't as bad as everyone kept telling us it would be.

But due to circumstances that fell upon us, we are no longer living in a 14 foot trailer. Hallelujah. I mean, I know that we were planning on upgrading to a bigger size around the same time that we moved into the house, but come on, how many times can one girl handle whacking her head on a bunk bed made of solid wood? And I mean, I love my baby, but really, three bodies in a bed smaller than a double was really beginning to cramp my style...literally...

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Adventures in a Trip Home

Just a couple of short weeks ago I made the trek home with my two babes. It was a last minute decision. The day I left was the day I decided that I was going to go (and Ben so graciously agreed to let me go). Everyone keeps commenting on how brave I am to have driven down with two little ones all by myself. I personally think it's more appropriate to comment about how brave it is of me to just be on a trip with my two littles alone for so long! They were so good on the way down...but now I think that being away from "normality" is starting to take its ware on them...and me...KUDOS single moms, kudos...

Monday, July 8, 2013

Adventures in Golden Glitter

When it comes to birthdays, there are a few "big deal" birthdays that people really seem to celebrate. Sweet 16. 25. 30. 40. 50. 60...you know, the decade ones. Well I think there is another "big deal" birthday, one that many haven't actually heard of: your Golden birthday, or Champagne birthday. It's when you turn the age of the day you were born on such as turning 15 on the 15th day of the month.

I celebrated my 27th birthday on the 27th of September and my lovely husband threw me a BBQ with lots of my loved ones. We had sparkly cupcakes and at the end we even had a delightful bottle of champagne. Well, my little lady won't get the chance to plan her own Golden Birthday, so I did it for me...I mean her ;)

Friday, June 28, 2013

Adventures in Reno's

Well we can finally say that we own our own home! When we received our tax return we were finally able to pay off some personal debts (praises for awesome tax returns!) and we were able to allot some of the money to something fun for us as well.While it wasn't my first choice, Ben knew right away that he wanted a trailer, and so after searching for a couple of months in several cities we found a small little trailer for $800! Not only was it a good deal, it was actually in Grande Prairie!

Originally we were only going to do a few renovations to it, and then Ben decided to do a much larger renovation! The gentleman that we bought it off of was single, lived in it, smoked and drank, and then we found a mouse-house in it too...so I'd say it was pretty fitting that we changed out a bunch more than originally planned!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Adventures in School

Well the day has finally arrived!! After nearly three years of being together, three years of struggling through E.I, three years of travelling (well thankfully the 3rd year his class was in the same town that we were in!), three years of "hunny...you should really be studying..." Ben is FINALLY a Journeyman Electrician! Hallelujah!! It's so incredibly exciting to have a dream and a goal finally come true! To finally have a big 'to-do' crossed off the list!
And it's so incredibly nice to know that we will not ever have to be on E.I. ever again! And to know that we are finally able to start chipping away bigger chunks of our debt at a time! Ben is more than pleased with himself (and oh so modest about it too!) 
We are incredibly grateful that we have finally finished one adventure of apprenticeship and have now entered into our new adventure of owning our own business! We kinda feel like grown ups now...hahaha!
And we are very proud of Ben for pulling through and for enduring through the "hardships" during the school times...Way to go Hunny!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Adventures in the Rain

I feel like we're back living in the Fraser Valley. It's been raining here for what feels like an eternity. Really, it's probably only been a couple of weeks, but still, that is a long time!! I am ready for the sunshine to break through them clouds and bring some life and energy back into these damp bones!!

Anyway...so last night we started to go a little stir-crazy and I decided that if you can't beat the rain, you might as well join it! So we got our boots on, grabbed the rain coat, and jumped into the truck to head down to the river. Ady was super excited to be getting out. This little girls thrives off of social settings! She needs to get out and be active and just have a little bit more freedom than she sometimes gets in the house. And last night was definitely a night in which we all needed to step out....

Friday, May 31, 2013

Adventures in Crafting

I quite enjoy "crafting." Creating and designing. Painting and scrapbooking. Cards and pictures. Really a variety of "crafts" pique my interest. Quite naturally, because of my own personal enjoyment I receive from creating things, my wish & hope is that my children will also have a love to create things.

So the other day I went onto my "Ideas for Kids" Pinterest board and found, what I thought would be a fun little morning craft. It included glue, salt, dark paper, and water paints (obviously water & paintbrushes also). The idea came from a neat little blog called jojoebi designs.

The idea of the craft is to put glue down on the paper in some neat design and then cover it with salt. After shaking the excess salt off you then use your paintbrush and water paints to lightly touch the salt areas and watch the colour spread.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Adventures in Community

There should probably be a lot of blog posts with this title. Because well, lets face it, we all tend to have a lot of "adventures" when it comes to community. It's not always the easiest to participate in; we don't always like who we're "doing" it with; we don't always agree with everything that goes on in and amongst it. But it's necessary. We were designed to be and live in community. We were created for it. And so we must try. We must learn to live together and learn together and grow together, and do this thing called life together, in community.

Ben and I feel that community is integral to our walk through life. It is a vital part of our growth as individuals, as a married couple, as parents. It is vital to our growth in our relationship with the Spirit, Jesus, and His Father. But just because we feel something is integral...vital...necessary...it doesn't mean its easy...

Friday, May 17, 2013

Adventures in Welcoming Spring

Spring has finally arrived! It has been one long winter...and when I say long, I mean loooong. It got to the point where I thought it would never end. Around Easter we had some really nice weather, and we thought we were in the clear. Then BAM! Another big dump of snow.
But alas, its gone, and spring is here!

Adelynne, Lexianna, and I welcomed in spring the other by blowing bubbles on our deck and running in the grass. Well, Lexi didn't run in the grass or blow bubbles, but she sure did enjoy the sun! And so did Adelynne. Oh my did she ever! And she loved blowing bubbles.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Adventures in Birthing at Home

**This post is may be a little TMI for some and is quite personal. Please keep that in mind while you are reading and possibly sharing our story**

If you haven't heard already, we welcomed our newest family member into our home Thursday, February 28th, 2013, at 6:58am. And yes, when I say "into our home" I literally mean it.

Ben and I had been planning a home birth, and well, we got one! At approximately 3:00 a.m. on Thursday morning I began noticing that my abdomen was quite tight and beginning to hurt. It was worse lying down, so I got up and tried to do other things. At first I really didn't think much of the minor contractions I was having; I had read that braxton hicks can be more noticeable in the second pregnancy, and false labour was also normal. Plus I had another two weeks until my due date. Around 4am the contractions began to become stronger and closer together, so I ran myself a bath in hopes that it would help as it did with my first pregnancy; no such luck. I eventually called Ben in for some moral support and to call our birth attendant. I wanted him to call our birth attendant (BA) so that she could tell me how far dilated I was, but I didn't communicate this to Ben.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Adventures in Pregnancy

As of today, I have less than 3 weeks until our little baby is "scheduled" to enter the outside world. The second time around has been much different than the first. The first was a shocker. And I was looking forward to the end right from the beginning. I was sick and nauseated for pretty much the entire time. There was a decent amount of pain while my body made the necessary adjustments. A week before the due date I decided enough was enough and I tried every "natural remedy" to invoke labour. This time, nothing has been shocking about it. I was only nauseated for a short time, and thankfully only threw up a couple of times. I got a ton of energy in my second trimester, which has even carried over into my third trimester (and seeing as I have a very active toddler I am beyond grateful for this!!). The pain is much less as my body has already done this once before, and I have no intentions of trying to get this little baby girl out anytime soon. Both baby girls. Both pregnancies very different.

Yet both pregnancies have been quite similar as well. I am carrying the exact same way, even down to the side where I feel the foot in the ribs and the hiccups near the pelvis. I have the same lower back pain. And around the same time I began craving one thing and pretty much one thing only: with Adelynne all I wanted was milkshakes, this time, all I want is pie. I cannot get enough pie!! Mmmm...seriously I love pie! And I stayed small throughout my entire pregnancy.

This is where a lot of misconceptions come in. So many are under the impression that something must be wrong if you haven't looked like you gained an entire person. This isn't true. Every pregnancy is different - just like every woman is different. Our bodies are all different, and respond differently to different foods, different exercises, different stresses. So why would our bodies all look the same during pregnancy? I understand that I am not a large pregnant woman, but I also have had FOUR ultrasounds to prove that the baby growing inside of me is growing at a decent rate and is healthy, not underweight at all.

For me, I feel that there are a few factors that come into play when it comes to my "tiny" pregnancy tummy. First, I have a very long torso; it's so long that my midwife/doctor made a point of mentioning it during my first pregnancy. He was quite impressed at how long it is. When one has a long torso, there isn't as much need for the stomach to grow outward because the baby has more room length-wise. Second, I made it a priority to be back at my pre-baby weight before I became pregnant again. I heard the phrase "nine months in, nine months out" and took it to heart. I also heard/read that if you become pregnant again without losing all of the weight gained, then you can't call it baby-weight any more. So I took it seriously to lose all of the weight and to get back into shape before I became pregnant again. I also eat relatively healthy and exercise - both unpregnant and pregnant. And, I have a very high metabolism. I'm also not that large of a person in general.

Now in saying all that, it doesn't mean that my next pregnancy won't be quite different. I may look like I'm having twins with only one baby growing inside. What I am saying is that everyone is different, every body, every woman, every pregnancy. If one wants to have the chance of a "better" pregnancy, then eating healthy, exercising a regular amount, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle BEFORE becoming pregnant is a good way to heighten that chance. Again, nothing is a guarantee though, those things just help your chances.

It's really nice staying so small during pregnancy though. I can keep up with Ady relatively easily and I fit my regular clothes for quite a long time (even though I don't feel like wearing some of them again after pregnancy). What I don't like is being looked at as though my body is inadequate and unfit and my baby must not be a good size because I am so small. A friend of mine told me that everyone wants to be involved in the life that is to come into this world. She put a nice positive spin on how people generally come across when commenting on my size. It is a good view point to take, and I will try to process these comments differently now, I just think that there is a better way to put things, such as, "you look so good!" or "you must take good care of yourself" or even "you carry a baby well." These are very tasteful and comments in which I feel much more comfortable responding with a lovely smile and a thank you. The best part of her perspective was the "comeback" she came up with: I know I look great, don't I!? Ahhh yes....

In the end, please don't buy into all of the pregnancy mumbo-jumbo that's out there. There is some solid, good information out there, but there is also a lot of crap (for lack of a better term). Find some good sources and trust that your body is different than all the rest :)


The weight I do gain goes straight to my hips!!

I've got an outie!
My two favourite people

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Adventures in advancing to Toddler-hood

Well, my baby isn't so much a baby any longer :(
Last week we "upgraded" her to a lovely toddler bed. She LOVES it! I can't believe that she is actually sleeping in a "big girl" bed!! The first time she slept in the bed was for nap time. It was actually quite difficult to get her to nap that day. BUT bed time was a whole other story! We had daddy put her to bed, and there were no big issues!! She did fall out of bed once, but it was because she was playing, and then daddy went back in to cuddle with her and she slept through the night with no problems! In the morning I think she was a little unsure, but now she does super great with it all. I can't believe she's getting so big!! Now all I need her to do is actually use the potty and not just know what it's for!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Adventures in Speech

I'm sure some have been wondering why I haven't returned e-mails & messages, and I do apologize, things have just been a little hectic around here. We ended up moving last minute; we found a place, packed up our house, moved to the new place, and cleaned the old place all within three days. Needless to say the time before we moved was busy with work, Christmas and deciding what we were going to do, and the time after has been busy with work and unpacking. And all this is/was being pregnant and with an active toddler...so I'm sorry if you've been waiting for an e-mail response from me; responding is on my list of things to do!! I will be sending out "change of address" cards soon, but if you'd like our new address sooner, then please don't hesitate to ask :)

So as mentioned, I have an active toddler. Adelynne is now 18 months old, and well, is busy, has an attitude, is particular, and just plain old lovely. And at 18 months her vocabulary is growing each day - both her verbal vocab and her signing vocab.

I love the fact that Ady signs; it's incredibly helpful for when she is asking for something and trying to communicate. The other day she asked to go swimming; and she is able to ask for a bath when she wants one (other than just running to the bathroom pointing at the tub). She's also able to tell me some of the foods she wants to eat, like an apple or popcorn (she asks for popcorn A LOT), or if she prefers milk or water. She signs sleep if she is tired and wants to go to bed. And recently she has learned the sign for help and for hungry. These two signs are super helpful...but...she does use "hungry" to stay up later hahaha. I have found that signing is helpful for teaching manners. Please and thank-you go a long way. It's also fun when she does the actions to songs, and then she tells me when she wants to sing certain songs, like the "Slippery Fish" song. She can show me both of the different fish signs, as well as shark. Signing is fantastic and I highly recommend it to anyone to teach their little ones. But it can also be confusing because there are so many signs that are very similar for babies, (like water and eat can come across very similar in the beginning), as well as if the sign isn't done exactly how you've been trying to teach it, it can be quite the guessing game. For example when Ady first signed book she was holding her hands way out to the side, almost like she was saying 'I dunno' or something; but book is hands together in a prayer like position and then open and close them. Needless to say, she was VERY excited when I finally clued into the fact that she was asking me to read her a book :)

Some people don't want to teach their babies sign language for fear that it will delay their actual speech. But, I would disagree; in my experience I'm positive that sign language has actually helped with Adelynne's speech. She is literally adding new words everyday to her vocabulary, and with clarity. We can understand so much of what she is saying. And she has now learned to add the end of words, for example she use to only say the beginning of 'duck' as in, 'du' but she says the whole word, and quite clearly too. She also now says "daddy" in it's entirety too. Recently we bought an alphabet puzzle that has pictures underneath each letter, and so we've been teaching Ady the ABC's. It's been a ton of fun; she picked up quite quickly where many of letters go and the pictures underneath them. She can say 'a' 'b' 'd' 'e' 'g' 'i' 'k' 'l' 'm' 'n' 'o' 'p' and she knows where the 'q' 'r' 's' 'd' 'e' 'o' 'a' and 'f' go for sure. Adelynne can now also say some of her body parts: eye (and shoves her finger in who's ever eye she is pointing to), arm (and grabs onto each of her arms), knee (touches her knees), and of course she knows where several of her body parts are when asked :)

It's a lot of fun watching Adelynne learn and repeat things. I am amazed at how much she picks up in a day and at how much of a copy-cat she is. This month alone seems to be a big growth period for her: she says "um" when asked which song she wants to sing, and sits there thinking about it; she can say "two" and hold up two fingers to match it; she says "uh oh" when something has dropped; she says a very pronounced "nnnnoooo;" she puts her hands on her face and says "oh no!" and in just the past couple of days she has learned to say milk, bib, and mango, as well as the letters and words I mentioned above. She also says "YAY" very excitedly, and "varoom" for a car sound (and crosses her arm across her body in the action too), and she also knows "hoo hoo hoo" when asked what does an owl say. It's really cute too because she knows her name, and she points to herself as well as to pictures of herself and says very excitedly says her name :)

Well, clearly I could go on and on about my incredible daughter, as I'm sure I've mentioned before ;) She truly is a sweetheart with a humungous personality and a growing vocab. These little adventures in her ever growing speech have been delightful :)

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Adventures in Christmas Part 2

I think this is the fifth time I am attempting to type this blog post. So I think this time I'll keep it super simple. Originally we weren't going to be "doing" Christmas; we didn't have the funds to buy gifts for Adelynne or one another. And we were more than OK with this, we realize that this season isn't just about giving gifts and it gives us more freedom to focus on what we feel is important with this season.

Well, when Ben went back to work (a week before Christmas) he began working with someone who absolutely LOVES Christmas, and he was quite appalled that Ben wasn't able to buy a gift for either myself or Ady. The next day he came to work with a little monetary gift so that Ben could buy us a couple gifts, as well get decorations & lights for a tree (a tree that they cut down in the woods after work).

We had fun buying a few gifts for Adelynne, and had even more fun watching her notice the little Elmo doll in her stocking and open up her gifts. She freaked right out when she noticed Elmo. It was the cutest thing I've seen. I wanted to video it, but Ben did it too quickly and I was trying to make some toast; thankfully I did get a few pictures though.
Other than the little Elmo doll we also got Adelynne some books and a baby doll because she is obsessed with babies. (Seriously, if she see a baby, or even just sees a stroller or a car seat she starts "bay bay bay bay" {she only says the first part of the word, she hasn't really added the "bee" to the end} and repeats it until we fully acknowledge that yes, there is a baby.) It was a joy and a treat to be able to watch Adelynne get so darn excited about things she loves; we are so very grateful that we were blessed this Christmas season to be able to partake in the joy of gift giving.

It was also my very first time hosting Christmas. We had Ben's brother Jesse and their cousin over for the day and for dinner. And, like I'm sure most of you could guess, I didn't cook what some would consider a traditional Christmas dinner. It was delicious though!! Everyone enjoyed it! This is what I made:

Breakfast

For breakfast I made Red Velvet Waffles with frozen berries and Lemon Cream Cheese Topping. SO GOOD! You'd never guess they were gluten free and had beets in them :) Jesse was quite surprised to hear that they contained beets! I got the recipe out of my Quinoa Revolution cook book.




First Course
 

This broccoli soup is actually called "Detox Green Soup Recipe with Broccoli, Spinach and Ginger." found on the Gluten-Free Goddess blog. And the picture to the left is taken from the website where I got the recipe from (I didn't get as many photos of the food as I wanted because I am a bad judge of time and dinner ended up being later than I thought...and...well...whatever). Like most people, the guys were kind of skeptical of the green soup, and I didn't tell them the real title of it until they actually tried it -turns out they all enjoyed it :)





Second Course

Chicken with Cherries and Kale. For this dish I went to nearly every single store trying to find frozen cherries, with no avail. So I had to buy the expensive fresh ones. Thankfully this dish was delicious enough that it made the cherries worth the buy. The recipe can be found at Elana's Pantry. (Again, this pic isn't my own, I borrowed it from Elana's site.)





Winter Rice Bake. Another delightful dish. I'm actually loving rice-bakes currently, and this one didn't disappoint. Well at least it didn't disappoint me. Because I am kinda bad at timing, it did begin to dry out a bit...but for butter lovers, I'm sure this wouldn't be an issue ;) This recipe came from the website Delectably Free (this photo is also taken from the website).




Carrot Beat and Apple Slaw, also found through Delectably Free, was refreshing. Ben found it to be a little sour, so he didn't enjoy it quite like I did, but that's OK. Nothing's perfect, right? :) (Again, the photo is from the website.)





Dessert

Non-traditional Christmas Cake. This was yummy! I won't be making it too often because there are a few ingredients that Ady & I shouldn't really be eating, but it was delightful and we all enjoyed it.I found this recipe also through Elana's Pantry (this lady has some other recipes that look terribly good; just browse through her site! And this picture is her's too). 



I also made some yummy Puffed Quinoa Balls (which were a big hit and also came from my Quinoa Revolution cook book) and some Holiday Nog. I decided to make some Holiday Nog because of Ben's love for Eggnog, which is usually full of so much junk, and we are trying to cut some big specific things out of his diet (another blog post on that one). I ended up serving this when some of Ben's cousins stopped in, and sure enough everyone was a little skeptical in giving it a try, so I didn't tell them what was in it until they tried it. Sure enough, everyone was delightfully surprised with how good it actually was. But, while everyone else enjoyed, Ben was slightly disappointed because he was somewhat expecting it to taste like Eggnog...even though it has none of the main things that Eggnog has in it. The Holiday Nog is full of deliciousness though: pears, almond milk, chia seeds, lucuma powder, sweetener...if you're up for something new I do highly recommend you give it a try :) The recipe comes from the Diet, Dessert and Dogs blog.

Overall, we all quite enjoyed our little Christmas up here. We had great company, ate great food, and had great joy watching our little girl. We hope that you too were able to have a lovely time with family, friends, and of course, food.

Here are just a few photos that I did actually take from Christmas (I'll be posting more at our picture site very shortly!)

Adelynne LOVED the Christmas tree with lights & ornaments!

Excited to see Elmo

Very Excited!!

Wine, coffee, tea, chocolate covered coffee beans = A Happy Man!

Opening up her "bay" (baby)


Very very excited to have her very own baby

Enjoying some new books by the lovely tree