29 Jun 2012

Monthly Sponsorship Swap + maternity photo-shoot

Hello hello Friday!

i wish i could say i’ve been procrastinating the whole week. but NOP i’ve been busy putting together my maternity photo-book.

it is a task that takes lot of photo editing, arranging and re-arranging. in the end i got something decent.

A SNEAK PEEK?

yeah why notmaternityshootnature{BAD LIGHTING, but thumps up for hubby co-operating with few- really FEW photos}maternityshootyellow{self portrait of a pregnant lady}maternityshootpink{ hubby did a great shot}

all the photos were taken by hubby and i. i am sure you can tell it is homemade maternity photo-shoot, but we wanted to be frugal.

i like they way the turned out, hopefully they will look good when printed via shutterfly.

____________________________

did you read the title?

then yes, for a limited amount of time i am introducing Monthly Sponsorship Swap.

accepting 5 lucky readers

it is a FREE advertisement/exposure

this is a fun way to help each other promote our blogs and stand out like COOL bloggers.

if you need a button and don’t have the time and energy to sit in front of the computer, at a very LOW cost, i will create one which you can display on every website.

so what are you waiting for? just my email i guess

drop me a like at msbabyplan @ gmail.com

28 Jun 2012

The Daunting Task of House Hunting

In one my previous post i mentioned that we are house hunting and viewing. I must it is overwhelming.
We saw some potential homes for our young family. I really liked one with beautiful open and airy windows but the basement was not big and ready to rent. You see we would like to have a basement for rental potential - it is a help for the mortgage and in future a place for our growing family. It is a 1912 renovated house, they say the structure can be weak.
We also saw two bungalows with great basements and gardens, one was already occupied by a lovely couple, but living space upstairs was not spacious enough. I guess we can't compromise with space after being spoilt living in this 1200sq house.
We saw the house with all the space we need and basement nicely done ready to rent but it was way out the ideal location for me. It is great for hubby because he can cycle to work in 15 minutes and he has a with great view overlooking the river but it is a drive to the centre - not that I go downtown very often but there is something I don't like about that house and I don't even know what.
We asked to have second viewing of the house I liked but it is already SOLD and the same applies to the house next door.
Well it was a sign, we are not ready to buy. We've decided to take a break from all the house hunting because it takes energy and the housing market seems it is about to crumble. They say one to two years. If we see something we like - hopefully the one I really like falls through – we will buy but for now we don't want to house hunt anymore.
Questions: How long did it take you to find your house? Do you think the housing market in Canada will crash as it happened in USA and Europe?

25 Jun 2012

Good Monday

Hello everyone.

so Monday is here, eh. monday

since we moved to Canada I kind of love Mondays because it means that I can start writing again. Weekends are reserved to quality time with family.

my weekend started on Friday, while hubby was at work we, AOI and I, went to the swimming pool with a couple of girl friends and their children. it was the 35th birthday of one of the mums. we bought her cupcakes and jasmine plant. the boy of the birthday mummy likes AOI, every time he sees her he comes close to her and smiles at her. both boys are sweet to her, hope they will be best friends forever.

we swam and relaxed by the pool.

Saturday we chilled at home, then we went to buy an amplifier for hubby’s guitar. i wanted to buy this biketrekbikecruiser{via}

but it was out of stock – i might buy it online, because the staffs were not very helpful. in the evening we went to a festival in town. Feist was singing, but that was closed show so we couldn’t see her.

yesterday, we went to the swimming pool with a couple and their sweet two years old boy was so sweet with AOI. she was wearing his hat so he would look at her, smile then hide from her. at one point she wanted to kiss him or bite him, we were not sure. i hope the friendship continues even when we all move on from Canada.

in the evening we watched To Sir, With Love. a very nice film.

well, that was our weekend. how was yours?

have a great week.

21 Jun 2012

Lauren: She Rocks

Who Am I?

Before I even write another word, let me just state the obvious.  Being a mom is HARD.  It's the most difficult, yet most rewarding job I've ever had.  It's long nights & early morning feedings.  It's life on a 3 hour rotation instead of doing what I want when I want to do it.  It's coming to the end of the day and trying to figure out just what in the heck I accomplished in the last 12 hours.  It's becoming a servant to the smallest person imaginable and having some sense of hope knowing that she can't fire you for doing a bad job. 

Up until now, most all of my posts about motherhood have been all about how amazing it is and how wonderful our daughter is...and both of those things are still VERY VERY true.  Being a mom is amazing & the love I have for my daughter is something no one could have ever explained to me. 
However...the other thing that no one could have ever told me was how conflicted I would feel almost daily when I try to balance all the other roles in my life.  Because the day I became a mother, I didn't lose all of those other titles.  Mother simply just got stacked on top. 


I'm a mom.  I'm a wife.  I'm a daughter.  I'm an employee.  I'm a friend.  I'm a co-worker.  I'm a Christian. I'm a housecleaner and a chef.  I'm a SAHM (stay-at-home mom).  I'm a working mom.  I'm a daughter who's an employee of her fathers'.  I'm a wife who's a co-worker with her husband. 
Yeah. That's a lot of roles.  At any given time I'm required to be all of the above, and yet figure out exactly how to do all of them to the best of my ability.  Don't get me wrong, I love my life and my life is pretty stinkin' great.  But trying to figure out which hat to stack on next can be exhausting.  And it can be so hard and so humbling. 

Stumbling through this new life, I'm just trying to put one foot in front of the other & take one day at a time.  I'm also working really hard to find time to do a few things for myself.  Which is why as soon as I hit publish on this post, I'm shutting my computer, turning off the tv and going to try and catch a quick nap before the end of the current 3 hour segment.  It's also why tonight I'm going with a good friend to Zumba where I'll look like a fool while I miss so many of the moves...but I will sweat for an hour and for an hour I won't have time to think about any of my roles because if I do I'll end up falling on my face. 

Figuring out my true identity might be even more difficult than becoming a mom.  Keeping a bit of myself has become crucial.  With all the chaos & busyness of spending my days selling insurance, singing "The Little Green Frog", kissing my husband, picking up Sophie the Giraffe for the umpteenth time, talking with my mom on the phone, and folding just another burp rag to be put away, having a few simple moments to myself is certainly the only way to keep my sanity. 

Who am I? 

I'm still the same woman I was almost 4 months ago.  The woman who needs some time for herself and some time to get away from it all.  The woman who married a man who seriously makes her better and forces her to laugh even when that's the last thing she wants to do.  The woman who puts her whole self into a friendship because having close girlfriends is one of the greatest blessings in life.  And after four months, that woman is even better than she was.  She's better because of the little girl who's sleeping in the next room and has taught her so much about being selfless and being humble and loving unconditionally even if I do have a stack of 10 hats on my head.

_______________________________

lauren_thumb[2]Lauren is a mother, a wife, a blogger who writes about her daily life with her beloved at The Lucky Layman’s. Don’t forget to stop by to say hello.

____________________________________

Thank you so much Lauren for allowing me to re-post this lovely account on womanhood and motherhood on my blog.

*****CALLING FOR MORE ESSAYS*****

I am still looking forward to more essays for the She Rocks series, so please if you promised one essay send it in. I LOVE reading how other women keep their individuality ALIVE.

Please help me call in more women who are willing to share how their ROCK in their role as a mother, wife, single… sharing how the WOMAN within each one of us ROCKS!

20 Jun 2012

Cinnamon Rolls Recipe

cinnamonrollfor father’s day I wanted to prepare something special for hubby. one of his favourite sweet are cinnamon rolls. i could have bought them from our favourite bakery, but instead i decided to use my kitchenaid to bake some myself. i went on pinterest and found many recipes but the easiest and quickest was this one. i DID NOT follow the recipe as a first class student would have
INGREDIENTS
dough
¾ cup lukewarm water (+plus 2 tablespoon of water)
2 tablespoons 70% vegetable margarine
2 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon bread quick rise yeast
filling-
1/3 cup granulated brown sugar
2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons 70% vegetable margarine
coating
1 teaspoon powdered sugar
cinnamon
in the early hours of Sunday, after feeding AOI she didn’t want to go to bed and I didn’t know what to do, but fortunately i remembered my surprise for hubby. i got out of bed, i wrapped AOI on my bad and began my work as a baker.
as per my usual i didn’t take photo for each stage – my hands were full of flour.
PREPARING THE DOUGH
put water, butter, bread flour, ¼ cup granulated sugar, salt and yeast in a mixer and mix until dough smooth.
Meanwhile: in a small bowl mix cinnamon and granulated sugar.
when dough is complete roll it out with a floured rolling pin on a floured surface into a (rough) 9” square.
spread the 2 tablespoons of softened butter over the dough and top with the cinnamon mixture. roll up the dough tightly. cut into (roughly) 1” slices and place [about 12 rolls] into a lightly greased baking dish. cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise for 1 hour.
Meanwhile: before the hour is up preheat oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit
after the hour is up, remove plastic wrap and bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until golden. once they are baked, coat cinnamon rolls with powdered sugar and serve.cinnamonrollserve
enjoy.
xoxo, TOI

18 Jun 2012

Month 7 – Wonderful Active Baby

HAPPY 7th MONTH OLD. you are doing wonders. i am so happy to be able to document most of these milestones.
Your front lower teeth are out – ouch, you can bite.
a week before your 6th month birthday you made your first crawling movements but it was until 22nd May that you made the bold move to crawl and stand up holding yourself on the sofa. it was such an incredible feeling to way patiently for you to lift and it was more than a privilege to video and photograph your achievement.AOIfirststand
it reminded me of a sprint runner on the marks ready to crawl. initially you lifted yourself on your hands and feet, in a down facing dog, then you went on your knees and began to crawl. since then you haven’t stopped moving and getting my attention. you practically go every where possible. under the dinning table, licking the table clean – you are such a help but i don’t want you to keep licking the table and the glass cabinet, not very hygienic. tastytable
Few days after your 6th month birthday we went for your vaccination and regular check up. You weigh 12kgs and you are tall 66cm. you are healthy, you love your solid food: pureed potatoes, carrots, zucchini, broccoli and rice cereal. today i introduced boiled normal rice mixed with a little bit of unsalted butter. you love it.
week 27 you started to teeth. I took a note on Friday 25-05-2012:
right now {14:50} you seem to be your old self again: bubbly and active, smiling at me from your play mat.
But this week you have been crying a storm. you are teething and i think it is bothering you a lot. it makes you so delicate and it pains me to see you in such state. i wish i can take all the pain away from your sweet little body. in fact i don’t mind you pressing your gum on my nipples if that gives you some comfort. though the teeth are not out yet, i believe you started to teething the last week were in Devon, UK. because you had many bowel movements.
i wanted to try to transition you in your own bed but you want me near you so i will wait until your teething adventure leaves you along.
the following week 28, Friday 01-06-2012, i noted
This week you didn’t cry as much as last week. i believe teething is settled. i can see the white of your future lower front teeth through the gum and if i rub the finger i can feel the sharpness. sometimes when you are feeding you bite the nipple, look up at me to check if i tell you off. if i say NO, IT HURTS, you think i am playing, i have to tell you couple of times, you start to cry, i comfort you and we return to feeding. this scene can repeat for couple of seconds.
You are mobile, that’s a great thing because you are my new personal trainer, AOIcrawlsi have to follow you every where to prevent you from going into the kitchen or trying to lick my crocs which i use in the garden. when you are trying to do something, i try to correct you. sometimes you listen, other times you look at me and pretend you don’t understand. other times you leave what you are doing stand up by helping with the chair or crawl to me and open your arms. that’s your saying pick me up. if you want to go back down you lunge, in this case i have to be extra careful.
daddy calls you his little wriggler, because you are fast and always moving if you are not eating or sleeping. you are one little  wonderful active baby. i love your curiosity. i wish you keep it forever, always explore and question, because in my opinion QUESTION is KNOWLEDGE, KNOWLEDGE is POWER.
your daddy is the best, you are inspiring him to make lot of wood work gadgets for you. he made this booster/chair for you.chairyou are our blessing.
yesterday, you woke up at 5:03am, normally after i feed and change you you would go back to sleep but this time you didn’t. after some minutes i remembered the surprise i wanted to prepare for daddy – bake him some cinnamon rolls – thank you for reminding me. you are such a thoughtful daughter. AOIplay
i love you so, SOOOOO, SOOOOoo much.

Our Long Weekend

What a weekend.

Saturday was sunny and lovely. We went to some friends' house to return some baby stuff they lend us and have a chat. But before that we went house hunting. Sunday was grey and wet but, after church, we went house viewing. What?

House hunting/viewing? But why?

Because two doors from our rented house there is a house for sale, so we decided to look for houses to buy because buying is better than renting if we want to live here for the next five years. But we are in no rush because we want the perfect house.

For father's day AOI reminded me to bake some cinnamon rolls for daddy's breakfast

cinnamonrollshe also gave him a card with some of pictures with daddy.

I will share the recipe on Wednesday, but for now enjoy the view.

I was tired for walking too much this weekend but today I did yoga and I am feeling well.

oh and daddy made this buster/chair for AOIchair she is such a lucky girl to have such a wonderful daddy.

How was your weekend? What did you give your father for his special commercial day? if you have a child, what did your child gave their daddy?

16 Jun 2012

Cloth Diapering My Experience: Part 1

Few new mums and future mums requested I write about my cloth diapering experience. Finalmente, after nearly seven months of parenting, I have time to write my experience with cloth diapers.AOIstanding

Most of you know that i wanted to use cloth diapers as soon as AOI [aka Berry] was born. so i did my research and i was glad to get feedback. during the search a very kind cloth diaper retailer on etsy was kind to give me more information on the various diapers. she also advised me to not worry cloth diapering my new born, because babies grow so fast and it is a pity to waste money on something that the parents were going to use for few weeks.

I was so glad for her honesty but I knew I was going to use cloth diapers no matter what she said. But I was thankful because she had a business to run but she was kind to let me know the disadvantages of cloth diapering a newborn. Throughout this time I discussed my discoveries related to cloth diapering to hubby. I wanted us to be both enthusiastic about it. He supported my determination to find the right product for our baby.

I made a cloth diaper baby registry but at the baby shower a couple gave us 90pieces of disposable diapers, another friend gave us 90pack. When AOI was born due to meconium we decided to use the disposable diapers. Just before i have birth a friend gave us eight newborn cloth diapers so few weeks after meconium was cleared we tried our first cloth diaper. AOI skin didn't take it well, rash was all over her little tush, because her skin had to get used to the change [it happened with disposable as well]. Fortunately the rash didn’t last long. Slowly I used cloth more than disposables. Another friend gave us more eight cloth diapers. Now, I am slowly stocking up.clothdiaper

We’ve been using cloth diapers full time since May. So far we’ve spent about $100 on disposables and $190 on cloth diapers. 

I believe it is convenient to use cloth diapers, because in the long run you save more and if you are planning to have more babies then your diapers are stocked.

Next time I will write about the different types of cloth diapers I am using and which ones both hubby and I like. I will also make calculate the costs for disposables vs cloth diapers.

If you are considering cloth diapers but you want more info, please ask me any question related to this topic. I will make the post relevant to your request.

12 Jun 2012

Trendy/Trashy?: How Short Is Too Short

I was looking through my European photos when I noticed this photo.

wardrobemalfunction

Whoever took the picture didn’t notice the extra person in the picture {I’ve edited the original picture for this post}

When I was young I wore shorts, maybe not as short as these days girls are wearing them, but I wore shorts because I was young and they looked nice. clearly the girl above had a wardrobe malfunction day. I wish I saw it at the time to tell her.

Well, the picture made me question how short is too show.

As always I like to go to our celebrities to make the post viable

SOME WEAR SHORTS BECAUSE THEY ARE YOUNG

shortshortsyoung

SOME WEAR THEM BECAUSE THEY HAVE THE BODY/LEGS

shortshortslegsshortshortsbeyoGisele-Bundchen-Wearing-Short-Shorts-LA

SOME WEAR THEM JUST BECAUSE – shortshortsceleb

OTHERS WEAR THEM and you question HOW SHORT IS TOO SHORT?

***BE WARNED***

GRAFIC PICTURE AHEAD!!!!

 

 

 

shortshorts

what do you think, how short is too short? when is a short shorts trendy or trashy?

11 Jun 2012

Hello Monday

Well, well… hello everyone.
Sure time has passed, 10 days away from the blogsphere… well, I needed some time out for soul searching, writing and reading.
whilst away, I found blogs on limb differences and it is incredible how internet can direct you to places you would never find easily. I am glad my community of bloggers is expanding.
How was my weekend?
Saturday I wanted to go to the Farmer’s Market but it was pouring, so we stayed indoors lazing around, watching movies and old reality shows – okay, only me watching The Amazing Race.
Sunday we went to church, we haven’t been for the last two weeks. it was good service. AOI was very good unlike the first time we went back after our European trip.
After church we invited some friends over to watch Nanny McPhee and play with little AOI.
Outside might have been gray and wet but indoors we had our sunshine to entertain us with her skills Smile
pianobabycheck out her concentration
she LOVES music, and takes her piano and guitar moments very seriously. she can sit on the chair by herself but I have to keep close eye because she is moving around very fast.
life is going in the fast lane.
How was your weekend?

1 Jun 2012

Letter To June

Dear June,

when i woke up this morning i didn’t know i was going to write you a letter. But here i sit writing you a letter.

you are one of my favourite months and i want to let you know that i really love you. i love the early summer days you bring along. i can feel you are going to be BEAUTIFUL.bird{VIA – okay maybe i didn’t need a picture of this lovely parrot in this post, but isn’t it CUTE?}

l that’s why i am writing to let you know how much i love, at the same time i want to ask you few favours.

with you here it means the year is half way gone. well, please bring us more health, happiness, love, strength, peace of mind, confidence, patience. let me eat healthy food, do a little bit of workout.

please let me write more and stop wasting time catching up with old episodes The Amazing Race – i would LOVE to participate with my sister. well, watching, planning and dreaming will lead me to that goal!

let me finish one photobook project.

make me write better posts for my blog.

i WELCOME with all my heart, mind and soul.

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