Monday, February 28, 2011

Day 563 - February 28, 2011

I'm 29 weeks today and feeling overwhelmingly blessed by the generosity of family and friends this past weekend at 2 baby showers for itty. I am so thankful to have married into such a warm and loving family and I know itty has so many people who love her and are praying for her already.

My wonderful sister-in-law made some adorable sugar cookies and absolutely gorgeous cupcakes for the shower yesterday. And yes, they tasted just as delicious as they look!

I can't wait for itty to meet her Daddy's extremely talented family and hopefully some of that talent will rub off on our little one!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Day 560 - February 25, 2011

Spending the day preparing for what's sure to be a wonderful weekend of showers celebrating our little itty bitty!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Day 559 - February 24, 2011

Excuse me, ma’am?” the TSA worker said.

Oh no, I thought. What do they think they found in my luggage? Am I about to get a pat down?

Are you having a boy or a girl?” he said.

A girl,” I replied.

See, I told you,” he said giving his female co-worker a nudge.

You win this time,” she joked.

I have noticed that pregnancy brings unexpected kindness from strangers. In the last week alone, I have had countless people greet me with big smiles and congratulate on my pregnancy, a lady with only 3 items in her cart urged me to go ahead of her in the checkout line despite the fact that she had been standing there for several minutes already, 2 people asked if they could walk me to my car under their big umbrellas the day it rained, and now I had a couple of sweet TSA workers guessing my baby’s gender. If only the world were always this friendly and smiled as much as this boy does!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Day 557 - February 22, 2011

I'm heading home tomorrow which means that today will be spent making sure my husband has everything he needs to survive 2 weeks without me. The laundry is done. The bathroom and kitchen are clean. And between the large quantities of egg salad, fireside turkey chili, pad thai, black bean soup, enchilada lasagna, and bran chocolate chip muffins I made and refrigerated or froze in the last week, along with a ton of fresh fruits and veggies, I don't think he'll go hungry. In fact, he could probably eat well for about a month.

The past two summers, I headed home on my own for friend's weddings, to spend time with family, and to celebrate 2 of my nephew's birthdays. I was gone anywhere from 5-6 weeks and since my hubby and I always video chatted every night, the distance didn't seem so great. I'm not sure exactly what it is this time, (I have a funny feeling it has to do with itty) but 2 weeks seems like a lifetime away from Greg. I know she's still inside, but I hate to take his little girl away from him. I don't want him missing out on the fun we'll have back home and celebrating itty's precious life at a few baby showers. When I return, itty will be an inch longer and 3/4 of a pound heavier and I'm sure my belly will be noticeably larger. This pregnancy has brought us even closer together than I ever thought possible.

I know I'm going to miss Greg, but I also know I have 2 sweet little boys who will be waiting with open arms and cheeks to kiss when I get home tomorrow night.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Day 556 - February 21, 2011

I'm 28 weeks today and preparations for itty are in full swing. We went looking at cribs today and think we finally made a decision on the perfect crib for our little girl (and all the other little munchkins that it will cradle someday).

For years now, I've been in search of the perfect bedtime story. That story that we'll read to our children each night before saying their prayers and tucking them into bed. For some, it's "Goodnight Moon" or "Love You Forever." But for our family, it's going to be "God Gave Us You." I've had my eye on this book for a while and it finally arrived this afternoon. I couldn't get through more than a few pages before the tears began to fall.

"Every night, I prayed for you, my special child. I prayed that your bones would be straight and your heart would be strong. But most of all, I prayed that someday you would love God."

"Your [daddy] and I wouldn't trade you for the world." "Why?" Little Cub asked. "Why? Because God gave us you."

Are you crying yet? Maybe someday I'll take the time to blog about why it seems that the words in this book were written just for us, but for today I'm just so thankful that God gave us our little itty bitty.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Day 555 - February 20, 2011

Philippians 4:8

Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable -- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy -- think about such things.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Day 553 - February 18, 2011

I'm finally getting around to posting my 6 month photos. This past month has definitely been the most noticeable in terms of physical changes. I'm looking and feeling quite pregnant. There is no hiding this belly any more and every time I step out of the door, I get at least one "Congratulations!" or "Look at the little bambino!" as our neighbour likes to say.

My t-shirts are slowly getting shorter and while I can still button my pre-pregnancy jeans, it was definitely time to invest in a new bra. I took several bras into the dressing room with me yesterday and had to go back to the rack twice before finding my new best fit. I never thought I'd see a cup size this big without implants (which, despite living in the land of plastic surgery, I have absolutely no desire to get, by the way). Probably too much information for any men reading. Sorry.

Anyway, I'm at the point now where I can't really remember what it was like not to be pregnant. This belly has just become a part of me and without pictures to remind me, I couldn't imagine my leaner pre-pregnancy shape. Although, I had an odd moment the other day, when I put on a cute sundress that I hadn't tried on since becoming pregnant. When I went to the mirror to see how it fit, my belly actually surprised me. I had never seen this dress on with a belly before and I guess that deep down somewhere in my mind, I thought my tummy would just disappear and I would look the way I did last summer. No such luck.

Hope you all have a wonderfully relaxing long weekend!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Day 552 - February 17, 2011

Rachael Ray Porcelain Enamel 18" x 10" Double Burner Griddle Review

I've been a huge fan of Rachael Ray's cookware products since I first got my hands on several of them as wedding gifts a few years ago. So when CSN Stores offered me another opportunity to review a product from one of their 200+ stores, I jumped at the chance to own another great piece of cookware that I knew wouldn't disappoint.

The Rachael Ray Porcelain Enamel 18" x 10" Double Burner Griddle is the perfect addition to any kitchen. It is such a versatile product that can be used to make breakfast, lunch, and dinner. For breakfast, cook up pancakes on one side and eggs or bacon on the other. And how about grilled cheese for lunch and turkey burgers for dinner? Sounds yummy doesn't it?

I decided to try out the griddle for the first time by making homemade Turkey, Apple and Cheese Burgers, an absolute favourite in our house. Since moving into our new place several months ago, we have been without a BBQ. This has meant cooking everything from burgers to chicken in a frying pan over the stove. Well, not any longer. The double burner griddle heats evenly, unlike my frying pan, and can cook 6-8 burgers at a time, as oppose to the 1-2 I was cooking in that same frying pan.

One of the things I love most about this griddle is that it spans two gas burners which means I can easily control the heat on each side of the griddle. I was able to cook my burgers through on one side and toast my whole-wheat buns on the other.

The non-stick interior makes clean up so easy! No more sending my hubby outside to scrub the BBQ grill clean after dinner. Just a little soap and water and any grease and leftover food comes right off! I know I'm sounding like a commercial right now, but I'm seriously in love with this product.

I suppose if I had to come up with one downfall, it would be that it's not recommended that you put the griddle in the dishwasher, which for some busy moms would be a problem, but because it cleans so easily with no scrubbing at all, I just can't complain.

I would definitely recommend the Rachael Ray Double Burner Griddle and it's also hubby approved! I look forward to making Mickey Mouse-shaped pancakes on this griddle for our itty bitty for years to come!

To learn more about the Rachael Ray Porcelain Enamel 18" x 10" Double Burner Griddle or to purchase one for yourself (on sale) for only $49.95, please visit:

Disclosure: The Rachael Ray Porcelain Enamel 18" x 10" Double Burner Griddle was provided to me at no cost, for review purposes, thanks to CSN Stores. All experiences and opinions expressed in this post are strictly my own and have not been influenced in any other way.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Day 551 - February 16, 2011

Wordless Wednesday...

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Day 550 - February 15, 2011

I'm officially in my 3rd trimester! Only 90 days to go (if she's punctual like her Mom and Dad)! I remember thinking this day was so far away back in my second month. And now we're in the home stretch.

I remember when my sister announced she was pregnant for the first time. Those 9 months seemed to drag as I awaited the arrival of the sweet little boy that would make me an Aunt. For some reason the waiting was a lot harder and felt so much longer. Being the one carrying a child seems to make the days fly by. I'm sure I'll change my tune come May when I won't be able to wait any longer to meet my little itty bitty.

Look what arrived yesterday!

Thank you so much, Mom and Dad...or should I say Oma and Opa! After much research, I'm so excited about this car seat and its ability to keep our little itty safe. I took the car seat out of the box immediately and now it sits in our living room as a sweet reminder of what's to come. I find myself staring at it several times a day and daydreaming about our precious little girl's first car ride. She's going to be so cute in there!

My hubby took my 6 month pregnancy pictures this weekend and I'm slowly narrowing them down and editing some keepers. Here's a little sneak peek so you can see how much I've grown this month. Yep, itty's definitely getting big!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Day 549 - February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!


Sunday, February 13, 2011

Day 548 - February 13, 2011

Romans 12:10

Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Day 547 - February 12, 2011

My Valentine!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Day 546 - February 11, 2011

Every year on my birthday, my mother would bake a double layer heart-shaped cherry chip cake and decorate it with bright pink icing and red cinnamon hearts. I was her Valentine's baby and it became a tradition to celebrate my birthday with pink hearts and candy. Growing up, I loved that tradition and looked forward to my Valentine's themed birthday cake. As I enjoyed a slice of cake each year, I imagined carrying on the tradition and baking heart-shaped Valentine's cakes and cookies for my children. I can't wait to make itty bitty her first pink cake!

Since the heart-shaped pan my mother used is back in Canada, I knew I needed a different plan for my birthday cake this year. (I really need to just go out and buy a new pan of my own.) Anyway, when I first saw this cake on i am baker, my jaw dropped. It was the most gorgeous cake I had ever seen and I knew I just had to recreate it for my 27th birthday!

It didn't quite turn out as I had hoped. The roses aren't as uniform as I wish they were. The icing was a little too warm which made some of the side roses fall a bit. There are gaps between some of the flowers that I wish I had filled. I know it was my first time piping beautiful roses on a cake and that every new skill takes time to perfect, but I just really wanted it to be beautiful the first time.

There were many times while decorating the cake that I was tempted to scrape the icing flowers off and start from scratch, but then I would think of itty bitty. I don't want my daughter to grow up thinking everything from colouring a picture to icing a birthday cake needs to be perfect. I'm a perfectionist and I've decided I need to let that go for itty's sake. I need to teach her to do her best and not beat herself up over a misshapen rose the way I often do. I want her to know that it's okay to colour outside the lines and that icing a cake is about being creative and having fun. Life is not about perfection. God surely doesn't expect me to be perfect, so why do I expect perfection of myself?

So this year on my birthday, I'm giving myself a pass. This year, I won't beat myself up over little things. I'll try to be the best wife and mother I can be, but recognize that I will be far from perfect and that's okay. It sounds easy enough, but I know it will be a struggle for me. This year, I am praying that God will help me let go of my need for perfection.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Day 545 - February 10, 2011

Look what arrived just in time for my birthday!

Looks like hubby's off the hook for gifts this year. :)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Day 544 - February 9, 2011

Almost Wordless Wednesday...

I have always loved this picture I took of my husband on our honeymoon. I'm not sure exactly what it is I love so much about it, but it's one of my favourites!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Day 543 - February 8, 2011

We're on the hunt for the perfect crib. I've actually been searching for months now with only so much luck. I recently fell in love with a crib only to find out that is no longer being sold in stores, so I continue to spend my days reading reviews and comparing prices. We're planning on having a big family so we want a crib that will last through several children. I've heard and read some great things about Delta cribs, but we would prefer a dark wood crib and unfortunately we're not big fans of the styles that they come in. I've recently begun looking into DaVinci convertible cribs and would love some advice from moms who have tried these cribs. Anyone own a DaVinci crib? Is it solid, sturdy, and safe? I'd love to hear any feedback on the cribs you love or could live without.

In other news, after over two and a half years, I finally got around to printing our honeymoon pictures. Winning a free photo book definitely helped to push me to finally completing this task. In a few months, it will be all about baby and our beautiful wedding and relaxing honeymoon will feel like ancient history. But I wouldn't have it any other way.

We can't wait to meet you baby girl!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Day 542 - February 7, 2011

I know I've been absent the last few days, but for good reasons. Saturday was spent picnicking on the beach with good friends of ours. And Sunday was a day of rest and football. Hubby and I are dedicating our weekends in the coming months to spending quality time together before our little itty bitty is born.

Speaking of itty, she's not so bitty any more. I asked Greg to take a quick picture of me and my girl while we relaxed by the pool pre-Super Bowl. I can't believe that there is a 14 inch long babe, weighing about a pound and two-thirds in my belly. I'm 26 weeks already! Aside from the daily rib pain, I'm loving pregnancy and hoping the third trimester doesn't come with too many new aches and pains.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Day 539 - February 4, 2011

We're an Apple family. When it comes to desktop computers, laptops, cell phones, portable music players, and other devices, we've always looked to Apple first. My brother even worked as an Apple representative at the university he attended a few years ago. And when it comes to teaching the next generation about Apple technology, we like to start them young. My 3 1/2 year old nephew, Micah, is a whiz on the computer. He knows exactly how to pull up his favourite Playhouse Disney games online and has been doing this since he was 2 years old.

And when it comes to the iPhone, he knows more than me. I'll try finding games or photos on my brother's iPhone and get so lost. All I need to do is hand the iPhone over to Micah and he'll get me exactly where I need to be. No joke.

So anyway, since I began blogging about a year and a half ago, I have discovered the wonderful world of blog giveaways. You've read my posts about cookbooks, small kitchen appliances, baby items, and many other amazing prizes I have won. But I think this win tops the list.

This morning, I opened my email and my jaw dropped! I couldn't believe my eyes.

I won an iPad!!

Yes, you read that right. A brand new 64 GB iPad! I immediately called my husband at work and we both just sat stunned. Every time I win something, I'm anxious to tell my hubby about it and he's always excited for me, but his congratulations usually follows with something like, "Why don't you win me an iPad or something?" Honestly, I have heard that question for months now. Well, honey, I did it! I won you (well, us) an iPad!

I am feeling so grateful today. With my birthday only a week away, I couldn't have asked for a better gift. I can't wait to get my hands on that iPad. Although, I'm thinking I may need to fly Micah down to teach me how to use it.

**Thank you so much to Mark for this generous giveaway!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Day 538 - February 3, 2011

Growing up, I never imagined I would live in a place where palm trees lined the streets. A place where you look left and see snow capped mountains and then you look right and see a vast ocean stretching out before you. A place where, when you step outside, you can't help but smile each day as the warm sun beats down on your skin.

Growing up, I never imagined raising children in place that didn't see snow every winter. But here we are. As I look forward to the birth of our little girl, I am thankful that our family can hike through the mountains, play in the sand, swim in the ocean, and picnic in the valleys. And I am thankful for my 3 1/2 year old nephew who has agreed to call his baby cousin and teach her all about snow!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Day 537 - February 2, 2011

Wordless Wednesday...