Tuesday, July 29, 2014

On the Move!

We have signed our life away!

We have a few more things to sign mid-august and mid-september but come October, this little baby is going to be our new home!  We've been looking for over a year on and off hoping to find something for our growing family before the kids got too much older.  Space is tight in 1040 square feet with no yard and two energetic little bodies.  With Number 3 on the way, the pressure was on!  We would have been able to do another year or so until this Little One was up and walking but finding a home prior to his/her arrival would definitely be more ideal.  And so, with IMMENSE help from my inlaws and grandparents, we will moving into a small rancher right across from the kids elementary and a few blocks away from the high school.  What a godsend.  

The layout is great.  It's not quite as roomy as we would like but the layout is terrific and the bedroom sizes are on the larger size compared to many other homes we have seen.  There is a larger bedroom for the lucky two siblings that get to share which gets some nice soft light.  Love the living room's vaulted ceilings and wood burning fireplace.  Love the layout of the kitchen/dining/living areas and how they connect, perfectly excellent for entertaining!  Eventually, I would love to build a patio that extends from the master bedroom to the dining room, with doors replacing the windows to walk out into the yard comme ça:

ok ok ok, i'm already getting ahead of myself!

first things first, it's been a smokers' house so as soon as we get the keys, it will be full on ripping out the bedroom carpets, bulk TSP scrubbing and painting painting painting!  i've been going through all my Pinterest folders for home ideas and i'm getting super stoked!  i sat in bed the other morning with chloe and showed her my Kids' Room folder and i really can't describe how fun it was to see which things she liked and to give her a say in what she wanted.  

she's going to need a lot of love but i am looking forward to making her our new home!

larger bedroom

smaller bedroom.  there is a window behind the shelves.

master bedroom.  if possible, would love to see if we can convert the first set of closet doors into a stand up shower for the ensuite washroom

skylights for washrooms

lots of trees that need to be taken down to give the yard more light to help grow the grass back.  probably have some paved areas as well.  could probably close in the covered patio and convert to a guest bedroom or office/studio space!

we've got lots of work to do.  we gotta start purging and moving a bunch of extra furniture out to my in-laws to prepare our place to sell for September.  gotta rip out the carpet in our bedroom and get new carpets for the bedrooms and den first and foremost.  

i'm so excited!
to think we will be in a new place in 2-3 months just before Baby arrives!

sending a million thanks to the universe


Friday, July 25, 2014

19 Weeks: Queen of the Crop

19 weeks

Congratulations! You've hit the halfway mark in your pregnancy. 

You'll start growing even more rapidly in the weeks to come, so don't be surprised if you find yourself slowing down. If you feel the urge to indulge in an afternoon nap, go for it, if you can. You and your baby deserve it. Your baby's hearing is developing, and she'll be getting used to the sound of your voice. Tiny teeth are also forming in her gums. 

The top of your uterus (womb) now reaches your belly button and will grow about a centimetre a week. Your baby measures about 14.2cm long from crown to rump and weighs about 240g. 

She is swallowing amniotic fluid, and her kidneys continue to make urine. Hair on her scalp is sprouting, too. Sensory development reaches its peak this week. The nerve cells serving each of the senses – taste, smell, hearing, seeing and touch – are developing in their specialised areas of the brain. Nerve cell production slows down as existing nerve cells grow larger and make more complex connections. 

You may have started to feel your baby's movements. If the idea of having a baby still seems remote, nothing makes it more real than feeling her move for the first time. Most mums-to-be start to feel movement (called quickening) between 18 weeks and 20 weeks. 

If you've been pregnant before, you'll feel things earlier rather than later. What you may first think is a rumbling stomach may be your baby doing some back flips. Make note of when you first start feeling your baby and tell your midwife at your next visit. 

The next 10 weeks or so will be your baby's busiest and most active time, until your uterus gets too crowded.

i'm sure many of you come to know me as an emotional roller coaster with gross TMI tendencies but always with a touch of humour.  if you didn't already know, i also have a few (shall we say…) vapid and superficial tendencies.  back in December 2013, when i was fighting 30 days of baby fever and mercilessly tried to get kevin to get me pregnant, i had my 2 very ludicrous reasons among some "sane" reasons for getting pregnant:

1.  My idol, Gwen Stefani, was having her 3rd baby so naturally, I should be having a third as well.  

2.  I wanted to rock my bump with some sweet Crop Tops throughout the Summer.

casual sweater with spiked denim
rhinestone blouse with leather leggings

not too shabby for a mom of almost 3

At week 17 I could feel the faintest movements inside.  This passed week 18-19, the movements picked up quickly and went from feeling internal movements to feeling a few of these movements from the outside!   EEEeeeeee!!!!!!  I'm so excited for them to come a little more often and a little stronger so that Moses and Chloe finally get to feel their little brother/sister kicking and pushing.  I know I may get to the point where it's a little too much action, but I'm crossing my fingers that the excitement and joy they feel will make it worth the future discomfort.

Time is moving fast.  I can only imagine how fast this second half is going to go.  July is over in a week and with two weddings and two long weekends, the rest of summer is going to come to a close just in time for me to have an emotional breakdown over my first child starting Kindergarten.  i have been telling everyone "…not til September…" and September is just around the corner.  I can not begin to think of what my life is going to be like not seeing him for so many hours 5 days a week.  As much as he drives me crazy and as much as I'd like a little more time to myself, I'm going to miss his sweet little face.  

I'm soaking up my mornings with Chloe.  Moses is finally at the point where he sleeps completely through the night and no longer comes into our room.  Chloe still comes in every night and every night I go to sleep, I look forward to waking up beside her to snuggle and giggle together.  These mornings will not last much longer as the baby will likely be taking her coveted spot.  

It feels very strange to think that there will be another person entering our family that we have grown so accustomed to.  Someone who will change everything and yet nothing at the same time.  The busy-ness of family life always makes time fly and the changes from day to day and week to week can hardly be noticed.  There only those brief periods when you catch a breath of air, look around, look at your children, look at your husband, look at your home and wonder… WHAT HAPPENED?  WHEN AND HOW DID THIS ALL HAPPEN?

Nobody, including myself, seems to be able to have a feeling of the sex of Number 3.  It's so exciting to  be having a surprise this time around.  I'm just praying so hard for a healthy baby.  I've been so very blessed with Moses and Chloe but I do not take their health for granted.  I know that life is unexpected and anything can happen, you can not bet on anything.  My cold has returned after a week or so of feeling like it was the end, and it is causing me worry.  Sigh.

Tomorrow night is the first Tsawwassen Movie Night.  I'm excited for the weekend!


Tuesday, July 22, 2014


my appetite is nowhere near what it used to be prior to pregnancy but at least the intensity of smells and aversions have tapered off enough to make life liveable.  i no longer fear to walk from room to room and i don't need to hold a napkin or towel to my face anymore.  kevin is still the primary dinner cook but i'm slowly finding my way in the kitchen again.  

i made my very first batch of granola last week.  i snatched up a reputable recipe from a friend who works at a popular cafe and it turned out great!  the original recipe was massive, so i only ended up doing a quarter of the original amounts which still managed to make 4 baking sheets worth.

the first batch (two pans) began to burn before the given cook time.  thanks to my heightened sense of smell, i caught it burning 5 minutes prior to the set time.  i gave the batch a try and was pleasantly surprised that it was still totally edible.  i blame it on variation from oven to oven. 

the second batch, as you can see is slightly lighter in colour.  i set the time to 10 minutes at 300 instead of 15 minutes at 350 and was much more attentive to what was going on.  it was a lot of ingredients that i didn't want to waste!

i mixed the batches together and filled 2.5 large mason jars.  

did a trial with some dried cherries and another with local blueberries

we're almost done the batch.  
i'm excited to play around with this recipe and create a few more varieties!


Monday, July 21, 2014


my dad would have turned 61 today.  it's been 11 years missing this vibrant smile of his.

11 years ago it was 2003.  this photo was taken with a film camera.  not a digital, a film camera, my mom's 35mm camera that she used til the bitter end.  in a world where our phones have become our portable cameras, fully stocked with apps to crop, resize, filter, and customize photos of our daily meals or our feet in a pair of new kicks to share with anyone and everyone within seconds… i find it so hard to adjust to the fact that photos with my Dad ended in 2003.  there is nothing NEW and RIGHT NOW that i can browse through to share.  i need to actually go through my box of photo albums and look at physical 4x6 prints and even my personal collection is lacking.  when i look back at what i have in terms of photos, there is so much less.  and it isn't because we didn't take a lot of photos, but we didn't take the excessive amount of photos that technology allows EVERYONE to take EVERY SINGLE DAY.  

click click click
email share post update

it's so easy.  it's so immediate.

looking back through the photos i have, also forces me to realize how much older i am getting.  i think this photo was from 2002.  this was my birthday, my last birthday with him as i chose to spend the following year with kevin instead, god knows i can't even remember what we did.  yes, it must have been 2002 because he passed away a year before i graduated from Kwantlen and transferred to Emily Carr.  this was not my last year.  plus, i had cut my hair into a bob with bangs and i remember him telling me how great i looked...

it's been a rough couple of weeks that i have not really discussed.  exhausted and overwhelmed by emotions.  my uncle, eldest brother of my mom's 6 siblings and father to my BFF cousin, was diagnosed with lung cancer back in October.  he passed away Saturday July 12 in the afternoon.  i had just spent 4 hours shooting the Khatsalano Festival and drove straight to the hospital when i heard the news.  i rushed to be with my cousin and her family but arrived late.  in my haste, i was not prepared for the reaction my body and mind would have when i entered the same ground level elevators that i took up to Palliative Care the morning my Dad passed away…

i sobbed uncontrollably.  my aunt, wife of my uncle, got on the elevator half way and i cried harder.  it was so hard to feel like it was happening all over again and my heart ached knowing my relatives were going through the very same pain.  

the family was fortunate to have my cousin's wedding ceremony in the hospital the saturday prior to his passing.  it was originally set to take place the same day he passed with the reception taking place the day after.  the reception, as per his request, still took place following his passing.  it was a bittersweet day for everyone.  my cousin looked beautiful as ever...

the funeral took place this past Friday.  my sister flew in from LA and after the burial, my mom, sister, kevin, the kids and I walked over to my Dad's gravestone to say hello and wish him an early Happy Birthday.  the kids painted pictures for him which we burned in those red metal cans and sent up for him to see.

my cousin, the son, read a beautiful speech at the funeral mass.  he honoured his father and all the great qualities that he really respected.  i felt sad that i had not given a similar speech at my Dad's mass but at the same time, i was so young and still so volatile at 20 that i don't know if i would have had the same maturity to really vocalize how i feel now at age 31.  as my cousin touched on the many great qualities of his father, i couldn't help but think how different my uncle was from my Dad.  i would have focused and praised so many different things in my speech of who my Dad was as a person and who he was to me. 

what i remember most about my Dad was how well-loved he was by everyone.  he was so easy going.  he didn't let things rile him up and he never got into heated arguments over little things.  he let things go.  he respected that everyone was different and that nobody was perfect including himself.  whenever me or my siblings went on a rant about someone, he would always ask us if we were perfect.  he encouraged us to forgive others for their faults and shortcomings since we had our own as well.  he was great at letting us know when we had said or done something disappointing in a way that made us and continues to make me want to be better.  all my relatives loved him and i know they miss having him around.  he was so genuine, so funny and so easy to talk to.  you couldn't help but enjoy his company and so it doesn't surprise me that he also had a lot of friends.

11 years later, though my memories are foggy and my collection of photos is pathetic compared to the collection of photos i have just from this week, he continues to inspire me to be a better person.  i think of him often when i am trying to make a hard decision.  he told me many times during my many years of adolescent revolt and horrible behaviour that it didn't matter how much money i had or the success i achieved in my lifetime, it only mattered what kind of person i was.  what mattered was how i treated others, whether i liked them or not.  that is an ongoing challenge.

i'm sad he isn't here to enjoy his grandkids.  i'm sad he didn't get to dance with me, my mom and my sister at my wedding.  i'm sad he went so very very early in life and that he is missing out on so much love and joy that life has continued to shower on my family.  i miss his ridiculously goofy sense of humour but feel so grateful that it has been passed down not just to my brother and myself, but to the kids as well.  they love my mom and kevin's parents so much.  these grandparents have top billing along with my sister, but i can't help but think that my Dad would have been without a doubt inarguably NUMBER ONE in their books.  he would make them laugh like nobody could ever do.  he would crack Moses up like crazy and he would shake his head at how much Chloe is just like her mother.  we had Dim Sum this weekend with his family before my sister left, and one of my aunts translated for me that my Gung Gung (my Dad's Dad) described Chloe as being fearless and undaunted like her mother.  i can't help but think my Dad would have felt the same.

i'm afraid of forgetting.  11 years was so long ago.  i mean, how much do you really remember of your Dad throughout childhood?  how much do you remember of him through high school?  that's what i had and i am worried that with time, i won't have a lot left to hold on to.  i can't beat myself up about it, but i wish i had done what my cousin did, have my Dad tell me stories of his life and keep them written in a journal.  perhaps i need to tap into stories through my relatives...  

it's been a good year since his 10th anniversary last year.  the headshaving in his memory really helped to heal my heart and mind after many years of anger and regret.  i've finally made peace with myself and hopefully from here on, i can do my part to instill the same things in my kids that he instilled in me.  



Wednesday, July 16, 2014

I love my MNM Family

Matt NéeNée + Baby Myla joined us for a DIY charcuterie dinner last week

they are set to uproot and give life a try in Amsterdam for a few years so this will definitely be one of our last times together for quite a while.  

no words can describe the joy i feel seeing our kids play together.

renee has been one of my closest friends for a long time.  we partied together back in the Glory Days.   and when i got knocked up with Moses, she and i became closer.  she massaged me throughout both pregnancies and was one of the first people to meet chloe in the hospital when she was born.  she came to the hospital with us and helped me through labour and brought me food the morning after.  she has been a true friend and i am overjoyed to see her happily married to one very wonderful and talented man, with a perfect little baby of her own.

Motherhood looks so good on this sweet lady

Myla, a true doll

Daddy Matt

it's going to be crazy to look back on these photos in 20 years

i've been converted.  this next baby is getting its own denim vest complete with patches and miniature pyramids.  god knows kevin has enough leftovers from his punk teen years...

kids practicing having a younger sibling

this face

life is so very very good

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Kitty and The Count

My sister sent a package of goodies a few weeks back which included these super amazing Hello Kitty stick on nails.  Chloe's many requests were met with many broken (forgotten) promises, but finally, yesterday morning she caught me still waking up.  I figured I'd better do it.

they are ridiculous

at first she was pretty stoked

but realized very quickly that these insanely long nails were too impractical as every movement caused them to shift and hindered her ability to scratch an itch.

we had a very intense weekend, so yesterday was dedicated to mega chilling and recovery.  i have grown to love Mondays for this very reason.  these dedicated days of chilling also usually inspire me to spend a little more quality time with the kids doing more creative things...

like busting out the face paint.  

Chloe went for a purple kitty face

A perfect little Cheshire Cat if I don't say so myself!

Moses has been mildly obsessed with Vampires

I need to buy more as I run out of the white the fastest.  The brand I really like doesn't sell larger individual pots of white so I end up collecting palettes of colours with tonnes of red, blue, pink, purple and green with low quanities of white and black.

this cracked me up

and of course a few fun shots of the Summer Halloweenies together

the best part was by the time kevin arrived home from work, all moses had left of his make up were his gigantic eyebrows.

i love face painting.