Saturday, 31 December 2011

Coming July 2012.....

Here it is, the big announcement post.

You see where I'm going with this right?

Yes, it's true.  We're having another baby!  And no, it's not because we wanted a girl.  I'm already sick of the girl comments.  When we decided to add another child to our family, what we really wanted was a healthy baby.  Just thought I'd get that out of the way first off!

So we will soon be parents to 3 instead of 2.  Are we crazy?  Perhaps!  Sometimes I wonder how I can handle 3 when the 2 I have are handful enough.  I don't look forward to the early months, the sleep deprivation (I am not going to pretend I think this new baby will sleep through the night much before a year!), the constant feedings, the potential for another refluxy, colicky baby, or any of the other less glamorous things that come with having a tiny baby. 

I see how much easier things have gotten with my boys after they passed the baby stage and I think, we must be crazy to go through all that again.

But it's just temporary, and we know this.  Whenever I would think about adding a new child to this family, thoughts of the baby and toddler days aren't all that would enter my mind.  I would think of 3 children, growing up together, having each other to play with, and looking out for each other.  I would think of the future, of all the love and joy each child brings to our family.  I would think of when they are adults, and have families of their own, and the big wonderful clan we are growing here.  It's not just about wanting to be pregnant, or wanting another little baby, or anything like that.  It's about wanting a family.

Tyler and I both come from families with two children.  No complaints from either of us there.  But whenever I would see my friends or cousins who had many siblings, there was something there that I just never had growing up.  There is a closeness between all of them, very special bonds.  My brother and I are very close and always have been, so I can only imagine how much more amazing it could be if there were even more of us in the mix.  Sometimes in life, your siblings are the people closest to you, who know you the best.

I am so excited to be starting on this new venture.  Am I scared of the lack of sleep that is inevitably going to be upon us?  Am I wondering about how I am going to wrangle 3 toddlers by myself when we are out and about at the park and playdates?  Am I slightly scared of all the whining, the fighting, the difficult times?  Of course I am!  But it is an adventure we are fully willing to take on, because having our children has been the best thing we have ever done, and I can't see how adding one more would be any less great.

The estimated due date for this bubs is still up for debate.  It should be around July 9th, but at the ultrasound I had today the tech put my EDD at July 2nd.  As much as I'd love to be a week ahead of what I thought, I think I will stick with the first date for now since it makes the most sense for me.  Not that due dates are set in stone, still it is nice to have a general idea of where I am at.

This pregnancy has been great so far, much like my other ones.  I am a very lucky pregnant lady, free of morning sickness, nausea, heartburn, digestive issues, or any of the other yucky aspects of being pregnant.  I haven't even been that tired through the first trimester and have managed to keep up with life as usual, whether that has meant chasing the kids around or hitting the gym.  I have felt great, and feel very fortunate that I can say that because I know so many ladies aren't so lucky with their pregnancies and don't get a chance to enjoy it the way I do.

The cat is out of the bag and the official announcements have been made.  We are the types of people who tend to stay hush hush for the first 12wks while we process everything and make sure it's on track.  I did tell my friends almost a month ago now as we had a girl's holiday night and they would have known anyway when I wasn't drinking.  For our families we saved the big announcement for Christmas as we thought that would be a fun time to share the news.

To announce it to our family I made the boys shirts that hinted about the new baby.  T's said 'Leader of the Pack', and F's said 'Monkey in the Middle'.  I thought they were clever and obvious enough, but not for everyone I guess as some people still needed to be told the news despite the shirts!  Everyone seems excited though which is great as I had been worried we'd get a whole lot of 'Really, a third?' sort of responses.  Here is a pic of the shirts (I wish I had one of the boys wearing them, but trying to get both to stay still together long enough for a picture is a near impossible task).

The boys don't know what is going on yet.  I haven't really felt the need to explain anything to T as it is still so early and July is so far away.  Kids don't have any conception of weeks or months so I'm worried that if I get him excited about the baby too soon, he'll start getting impatient.  F is still too young to understand I think, though we will start to explain more to him as time goes on and he gets older.

It's hard to believe though that when T was F's current age of 20mos, we were just about to have another baby.  It was tricky having them that close.  This time the age gap between F and the baby will be 26mos.  I'm still not sure though if that will be much easier!  Still, we are up for the challenge.

This baby is going to be a surprise.  We found out with both the boys what we were having as I was just too impatient and needed to know.  This time I don't feel I need to know, and since it is likely our last we have decided to go for the whole experience.  It doesn't matter to me what we have, though I know Tyler is kind of hoping for a girl!  In my mind, there is no point wishing for a boy or a girl.  It already is what it is, and we will love it all the same.

Needless to say this is very exciting news for us, and we are very happy about adding another to our clan.  We look forward to this next year, and all it has to bring.

So long 2011!

A lot can happen in a year, so it's not surprise when there are good and bad to look back upon.  For some there may be more of one than the other.  Hopefully for you there was more good than bad.  I seem to be hearing a lot of mixed reviews about 2011 through FB and other such mediums.

So how was 2011 for us?  Well, let's see.

The first several months of the year did not shape up too nicely.  Early in January Tyler lost his beloved Aunt Lisa very suddenly, and her passing was shocking and devastating to us all.  Within a few months we lost two more special ladies in my family, my Aunt Rachel lost her battle with cancer, and my great Aunt Gisela (known affectionately as Auntie) passed away suddenly and unexpectedly the same week.

Earlier this year as well a special friend of mine was diagnosed with breast cancer at the young age of 30.  She fought bravely and her strength was not to be overcome.  I am happy to say she is now cancer free, and I hope that she goes on to be that way for many many years to come.  While I am sure she will be happy to leave 2011 behind and look forward, I'm sure she will also never forget it.  In a few weeks time I will be doing the Tubbs Romp to Stomp out breast cancer, and I will be walking (um, snowshoeing) in her honour.

2011 was not kind in other ways.  Tyler's grandmother had a stroke which she is still recovering from, and we hope for continued improvement though it is still hard to say if she will fully recover.

And finally, not to let the year pass by without one more loss, sadly my dad's very close long time friend Taeman, once again another sad victim of that horrible cancer that affects so many.

But we must consider the good as well, though sometimes it is so hard to see through the bad.  This year we had a wonderful summer, and we made a lot of new friends here.  This is the year that we came into our own here since moving.  There have been a lot of ups and downs, but I think in this department there were more ups. 

I turned 30 this year.  Not sure whether to consider this the bad or the good!  While I wasn't looking forward to leaving my 20's behind, I have felt fully ready to embrace my 30's, so I suppose it was a good thing.  Circumstances surrounding my birthday meant that the big event really didn't get to be as exciting as I had hoped, but my wonderful husband made sure it was still special for me.

Tristan started Montessori this year which was a huge change for all of us.  Initially it was hard adjusting to (I think harder for me than it was for him!), but we soon saw what a great thing going to school was for him and he has grown and learned so much since starting there.  Now I can't imagine having never starting him there this year, it just seems like the best thing we could have done.

Probably the biggest and most exciting thing for us this year, was when Tyler's parents bought their property and decided to move up here.  At the beginning of 2011 we would have never believed the turn our lives would take with this endeavour, but it has truly been an amazing blessing.  Their project to start a hops farm has given so much meaning and motivation to our family, and to Tyler especially.  I have seen such a positive change in him since he was given the opportunity to quit his previous job and work on this project with them.  It really is something he was made to do, and he loves doing it.  I am so happy to see him doing something that he fully enjoys 100%.  This project has been so exciting for all of us, and it's nice to see it taking shape.  I can only imagine how much more it will take off in 2012.

And finally, another exciting thing 2011 has brought us, is the discovery of a new addition to the family.  That's right, while I haven't made my official announcement post yet, I will whisper it here.  We are expecting another baby!  More on this big news to come.

So will I be happy to see the back end of 2011?  Well, we don't have much of a choice in the matter.  In less than 12hrs it will be gone and we will be on to the next year, full of surprise and promise.  I say so long 2011.  You have brought much sadness, and much happiness, but the bottom line is I prefer to keep looking forward.

See you in 2012!

Friday, 23 December 2011

Watch This Space!

Christmas craziness is upon us.  Starting today the next 4 days will be filled with food, family, food, friends, food, fun, presents, food, and all the good stuff this season brings (did I mention the food?).  I can't wait!  We've been so busy preparing and still have so much to do.

But, when I get back and have some time to actually sit down, I've got some exciting things to say!  So stay tuned!

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Best Butternut Squash Soup Ever


2 tbsp butter (or more if needed)
1 small onion
1 celery stalk
1 medium carrot
2 medium potatoes
1 medium squash
5 or 6 sprigs fresh tarragon
32oz chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 cup cream or less (optional)
salt and pepper
1 tsp curry powder (my husband's secret ingredient, he tries to put it in everything)
1 tsp pumpkin spice (nutmeg & cinnamon)
plain yogurt and parsley for garnish

Melt butter in saucepan and sautee vegetables for about 5mins.  Cover with broth and simmer for about 40mins.  Once vegetables are cooked, add tarragon and cream (if you prefer a creamier version) or more broth if needed, and spices.  Use a hand blender to blend everything until smooth, add more broth if thinner consistency is desired.  Garnish with a dollop of plain yogurt and some chopped parsley.

I think this makes about 6-8 servings but I'm not sure.  I always end up chopping up a bit more vegetables than the original recipe called for, and since I don't have a very large pot I had to use two.

This is the best butternut squash soup ever, hands down.

Friday, 9 December 2011

Still At It

Life is much as it's always been around here, busy with kids' activities, school, playdates, going to the gym and so on and so forth.  What is not happening around here much lately?  Blogging and housework.  I was much more motivated to keep up with both in the spring and summer.  I think that is always the way though, as winter approaches and the days get shorter and colder, it just seems harder to keep up with everything so somethings slide.  No big deal, I'm sure the motivation will be some point.

So my house is in a bit of a constant state of disaster.  I do the bare minimum to get by, but that's about it.  We do need to do a pretty thorough cleaning soon, but I'm not losing sleep over it. 

As for the blogging, well I have no excuse!  I'm just not as interested in keeping track of every little thing as I have been in the past.  There will be other phases of mega blogging, but for now it's like the housework, the bare minimum gets done.  Not that anyone else really cares!  But it's for me anyway, so it can get done when I feel like it.

Tristan is doing great with school and he still loves it.  His teachers enjoy having him there and he has made so many friends.  We're so thrilled that he is thriving there, it really seems to be such a great environment for him.  Next week is his Christmas concert and I can't wait to go see him.  The kids have been practicing songs for it and he likes to sing them at home.  "Deck the Halls" is his favourite.

Things are great with Finn too.  He is talking loads now, though only I understand him as he pretty much only uses vowel sounds.  But the words are there, and he is really trying, so I'm sure the rest will come with time.  He is loads of fun, and he's really growing in confidence.  Just in the past week he has started enjoying going to the childminder's at the YMCA, and he doesn't cry when I leave him there.  He even enjoys playing with the other kids and toys while I'm gone.  The ladies have commented that they've noticed such a change in him.

I'm still trying to work out as much as ever, though it never seems to be as much as I'd like, probably only 3 or 4 times a week.  I'm excited for the new winter schedule as there are lots of programs that I can do.  There is hula hooping workshop that I am going to register for that should be loads of fun, but most exciting is, zumba is back!  YAY!  So my week is pretty full between spinning, zumba, 20-20-20, hula hooping, and trying to get into the gym here and there to do a bit of strength training.  The good news is, all this exercise has got me feeling great!

The holidays are upon us and as much as I enjoy Christmas, it really is such a stressful time of year.  Between wanting to spend money on presents but not being able to, and juggling all the family events that we have, it usually ends up being a chaotic time.  We are last minute people and are never prepared for the holidays.  It sneaks up on us every year and we are always left doing all our shopping at the 11th hour.  You'd think we'd learn our lesson but we never do!  Every year I resolve to be more organized but it just doesn't happen.  Maybe next year.....

So that is life with us right now.  Not terribly interesting and yet never a dull moment.  Can't believe another year is winding down and excited to see what next year has in store for us!