Home Again

Hey y’all, just a quick note to let you all know that I’m back home.  I know I never actually said I was leaving, but I did! We took a 10 day vacation down through the States to end up in Kansas for one of my cousins’ wedding celebration.  We hit up new states we’d never been to, ate FAR too much food, revelled in the southern accents all around us, and had a great trip.

I will post pictures soon!

 

6 Years…And Only Getting Better? (Right guys??)

Well, I came on here to post something quickly just to help us all move on from needing to stare at the three month letter I wrote my son TWO WEEKS AGO (I suck, sorry), and WordPress kindly informed me that today was my 6 year anniversary of having this blog.  

Whoa.  Six years.  Not that blogging is an anniversary really worth celebrating, (although feel free to mail any gifts my way), but it sure does put in perspective how quickly time does fly.  I’ve crammed A LOT of things into six years, many of which I’ve written about right here.  We have moved 4 times, added 2 kids to the mix, travelled many places, made new friends and kept lots of old ones, and just in general, have gotten older. (And hopefully wiser).

Let’s also acknowledge that my first month of blogging, I wrote thirteen posts.  THIRTEEN.  Geez, I was an eager beaver.  The only other time I’ve written that many posts in a month was this past September when I had to CHALLENGE myself to write every single day.  I guess the novelty wore off a bit, since you guys are lucky to hear from me twice a month these days.  But going back and reading some of those posts (as truly lame as some of them were), I am reminded that although this blog is pretty meagre and humble in the world of blogs -I do love looking back.  Often the things I’ve written are small and insignificant, and are such a good reminder of things I totally would have forgotten by now.   Like this.  Although I guess it could probably be argued that stuff like that is ok to forget :)

Anyway – thanks you guys.  Although I love looking back and having a space to write the things in my head and on my heart, I wouldn’t do it if NO ONE read.  So thanks for reading, commenting, following, and telling me I’m funny even when I’m most likely not. Whether I know you personally, or don’t, you are most welcome here, and I hope 6 years from now, you’ll still be reading (and I’ll still be writing), eye infections and all.  (see? If you didn’t click the link, you’ll have NO IDEA what I’m talking about…so go ahead, go back and click it, I know you’re super intrigued now.)  And then feel free to leave me a happy six years comment! It’s the least you can do since I showed you such an unruly morning picture of myself. (See? Now you REALLY should go click that link…)

Happy Six Years!

Three Months

Zeke, how is it possible that you are already three months old? Didn’t I just write your two month post? (Um, yes, I probably did, because apparently, I SUCK at getting these things written on time)

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Well, it’s true that you are three months old, and although I can’t quite believe that, I have no choice but to accept it.  I was thinking about what to write to you this month and realized that if I were to pick a theme for this month, it would be that we know you.  Not that we didn’t know you last month, or even the moment you entered this world – because be very sure, dear boy that the minute I laid my eyes on you, I knew who you were. You were my boy. The one I knew was a boy throughout the entire pregnancy.  The one I knew God had very much purposed for this family – but this month, we have really started to know you.  And I love it.

We know that you are such a people person.  Oh Zeke, you just LIGHT.UP. when someone makes eye contact with you, and it gets me EVERY TIME.  I’m pretty sure you and your sister are equal in the realm of being smiley babies, but the difference is that your smile could not possibly get any bigger.  You exude such joy when someone interacts with you, and it just makes me want to put my entire world on hold to talk with you. 

We know that you are ticklish right under your chin, and that as long as I keep fake sneezing you will keep chuckling.  But only if you’re a little bit tired.  Things are always more funny when you’re a little bit tired.

We know that if you wake up from a nap and get picked up, we had BETTER be feeding you because heaven help us if we put you back down to change you or something. You get straight up mad, and sweet mercy is your mad cry ever cute, and oh so dramatic.

We know that you are a baby of routine.  I don’t know why, kid, since your parents aren’t so much.  I had fully intended on letting you be a loosey-goosey newborn for a while longer yet.  You know;  take you everywhere I go, let you stay up as late as we do since you’d be awake anyway, let you fall asleep wherever and whoever’s arms were closest; stuff like that.  And don’t get me wrong – we still do all of those things – but you kind of just fell into routine all by yourself.  You love sleeping in your bed, all swaddled up (it’s how you like it best).  You’re TEXTBOOK in how much you are awake, and how often you eat, and in how much you sleep.  The E.A.S.Y pattern just kind of happened with you! (And yes, only a small demographic of my readers will know what that means, and they will shudder at the memories of having to read books on getting their babies to fall asleep) And you have yet to cry without us knowing what it could be.  Basically, son, you’re being so easy on us, it’s ridiculous.  All I can say is that I’D BETTER NOT PAY FOR THIS IN THE TEEN YEARS.

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We know that you love sleeping with something on your face.  (Don’t worry, we didn’t figure this out by smothering you)  Ever since you were born, and I’d put you in bed with me, you would worm your way over to me as close as you could possibly get and turn your face to snuggle with mine.  I thought you would outgrow that.  That this was just a newborn trait that brought you comfort, but so far, it’s stuck around.  And I absolutely love it.  When we put you to bed now, we put your little puppy blanket (Much like Ellie’s Ducky, for those of you that have been around here long enough to know what I’m talking about), right by your face and you just turn and nuzzle that thing like it’s your job.  We put a plush soft blanket on the other side of your head and then you turn and nuzzle that for a while too. 

And when you’re upset and not quite ready to fall asleep, I pick you up and put my forehead up against yours and touch my nose to you and just shush you.  And I can feel your forehead crinkle against mine as you raise your eyebrows to desperately try to keep your eyes open.  And oh my boy, if there is one thing that I’ve locked away in my memory it’s that.  That moment when you feel the safest and most secure because your face is as close to mine as it can possibly be. 

Zeke, I know we won’t always do that.  There will come a time when you won’t need that anymore, and a little part of me will be sad.  But know that I will always do my best to make you feel the safest and most secure in whatever ways you need it.  You are my boy.  The one I have known long before you were actually born, and will keep learning about and knowing day after day.  So whether it’s putting my face against yours, or whatever you need as the months (and eventually, years) pass on, I will do it.  Every time, I will do it.

 Happy three months Zeke,

Love Mama.

Who Needs Cinnamon Buns When You Can Have Chickpeas?

The last few weeks Ben and I decided to forego sugar.  This wasn’t for Lent, or even for any specific health reasons, other than the fact that lately, we just had been eating a lot of it and we just thought we should scale back.  

Especially me.  Like, embarrassing amounts.  Somewhere between having a baby and feeling like I could finally indulge in something sweet without thinking I was giving my unborn child diabetes, and Christmas, and having a bit of extra baby weight and knowing I could sneak in a few extra treats without them really making a huge difference, I got into the habit of eating sweets every.single.day.

We could probably call the first few months of 2014 “The Winter of the Cinnamon Bun”.  And yes, it was every bit as awesome as it sounds.  Nothing is quite as nice after being up in the middle of the night with a newborn, than sitting down with a hot cup of coffee and a home made cinnamon bun the next morning.   But all good things must come to an end, and so, a few weeks ago, Ben and I decided to take a week off of sugar.

I’m not going to lie – on days one and two, I snuck a handful of chocolate chips.  And I could not BELIEVE how hungry I was.  Isn’t that ridiculous? It took my body like 3 full days to come off the need for sugar.  It didn’t seem to matter what I put in my body -it just kept saying “ARE YOU KIDDING ME? WHERE IS MY CINNAMON BUN, LADY??”  But I persevered, and finally, around  day four, I felt like I could eat normal amounts of food and not feel so hungry all of the time for sugar.  

I am so glad we did it, and we actually extended it for another week, just because we felt like we could. (To be clear, we didn’t eliminate ALL sugar…it’s not like I looked on the back of things like ketchup at the ingredients, and banned them from my diet…it was just straight up sweets (and pop, and things like that) that we eliminated).  

The nice thing about being conscientious of what you’re eating is that you make more of an effort to eat healthy, and I really enjoyed coming up with some healthier snacks that I could eat when my body was on a hunger strike.  I figured I would share those snacks with you guys, in case  they are of interest, or helpful to build your repertoire of healthy alternatives.  Don’t worry – someday, I’ll do us all a favour and also post my mom’s cinnamon bun recipe as well….because let’s call it like it is – I LOVE me some cinnamon buns.  

First, these cookies have been a go-to of mine for quite a few years now.  They are completely sugar free (Well, unless you add chocolate chips, like I do….but they don’t really count now do they?) and the texture and taste are both so great.  Because of what’s in them, you can eat them for as an on-the-go breakfast (Which I would do), or just enjoy them with a mid-morning coffee (which I would ALSO do).  And because they are so healthy, I knew I could give them to Ellie guilt-free as well.breakfast cookie

You can find the recipe that I used here.

Second: Salt and Vinegar Roasted Chickpeas.  You can find lots of recipes for these online, and I’m pretty sure I just Googled it and followed a recipe that I found.  These are SUPER easy to make, (bring 1 can of drained chickpeas and a cup of white or apple cider vinegar to a boil, and then remove from heat and let sit for 20 mins…then toss in olive oil and salt, and bake for 30 mins or so at 425)  and they do a pretty good job of filling the craving for a salty snack.  I am still perfecting the roasting time so that they are come out nice and crunchy (but not overly so), but overall, they are a great alternative for around 4 pm when I am starting to make supper and also think it’s the perfect time to graze through my kitchen and EAT EVERYTHING IN SIGHT.  

These spicy buffalo Cauliflower bites were a new addition.
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 I made them mostly for Ben, who likes spicy wings with blue cheese dipping sauce and thought these could be a healthy alternative to a Friday night movie snack.  The verdict? Not bad at all! We actually really liked them, and for me, who doesn’t love anything too spicy, they were still ok and really, you could just alter the recipe to use whatever sauce you wanted. (Much like they do with wings).  I will definitely make these again – they are easy to do and really did make a great snack!  Find the recipe I used here.

Ok, so there you have it – three go-to’s that have been filling my kitchen this week!  Let me know if you try any of them out!

Quick Takes

Oh you guys, how I have neglected this space.  I know I don’t need to hold any guilt about that, but truly I do love this little corner of the internet that I call my own, and love reading over old posts, and so it does nag at me when I leave it quiet for weeks at a time.  But here I am, so instead of moping over what wasn’t, how about I just fill you in on what has been mmmmk?

I truthfully can’t believe the lack of brainpower I seem to have these days.  That is really why I haven’t written as much here lately.  It’s not even because my time is limited (although that part is kind of true too), it’s because when I get to the end of the day, I only seem to have the capacity to melt onto the couch and watch mindless tv for a bit before bed.  The other day, I said or did something dumb (can’t remember), and I fully said out loud…”at least I can blame this on the pregnancy brain”.  Umm…I am SO NOT PREGNANT anymore.  THAT’S how diminished my mental capacity is.  Soooo…who wants me to do their taxes for them?

These days are good.  I truly am loving being at home with the 2 kiddos, and oh are they ever awesome.  I keep pinching myself at how much we have lucked out with Zeke’s demeanour, sleep schedule and contentment.  What a sweet boy. That is all.

We said goodbye to our brother and sister in law (and niece) on Sunday. (Ben’s bro and wife).  They are moving to Nicaragua for a longer period of time (at least several years) as missionaries and sheesh was it hard to say goodbye.  It’s always tough to say goodbye to people you love, but now that there are kids in the mix, it somehow makes it tougher.  Ellie and her cousin are only 3 months apart and they are just getting to the stage where they are playing together and find many things to laugh about (which good golly is cute to listen to). When we left, Ellie asked if Myra (our niece) could come in our car more (we had her over a few days earlier and they loved driving together in the car), and it kind of tore at my heartstrings to tell her it would be a while before that would happen again.  Don’t get me wrong, we are SO excited for their family and send them off will full support and blessing, but we will certainly miss them deeply and fully. 

Speaking of our niece – we invited her over for the day last Friday.  It’s her birthday at the end of this month and we wont’ get to celebrate with them, and so we wanted to spend a day with her, and treat her to a fun day.  We also wanted one last hurrah for her and Ellie together. I am SO glad we did this.  We took the two little girls to an indoor playground.  It was something we had thought they would both really enjoy and had it in the plans, and then when this past Friday was the only day that worked to have her over, we stuck with that plan -even though it was MARCH BREAK.   Yes, that meant we (thankfully Ben was around and didn’t have to work until that afternoon), took three kids 2 and under to a massive two storey indoor playground with EVERY OTHER CHILD IN THE CITY.  Good golly, we are CRAZY. But it was so fun.  There was an overwhelming roar of kids all the time, but it was fun.  I just had to try really hard not to think about all the feet germs that were all over everything we were climbing on.  

We bit the bullet this week and are now potty training.  I am still not convinced that Ellie is ready, but figured if we don’t give her the chance to learn, we won’t know.  If this week is a failure, that is just fine and we’ll wait a few more months – I’m not obsessed with needing to have her out of diapers yet, but figured we should at least try.  I have had a few thoughts over these past few days:
1) I am DANG glad we don’t have any carpet on our main floor
2) HOW can this girl POSSIBLY have this much pee in her?? 

We have told Ellie she can have  a treat when she does go on the potty, and I was originally thinking that we would give her stickers and chocolate chips.  You know what she asked for yesterday when she went pee?  PEANUTS.  I’m going to call that a parenting WIN when our kid thinks peanuts are a treat worth peeing for.  Whatever you want kiddo.

Well, there’s a few quick takes on our lives these days – and truly, here’s hoping I’m back to blogging a little more regularly (because, I know reading about our potty training escapades is why you keep coming back, right? RIGHT??)

 

 

Two Months

Zeke,

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You are two months old.  (You’ll learn quickly that your mama has a knack for stating the obvious).  And oh my sweet boy, what a month it has been.   These days are whipping by faster than any ever have before, and I truly can’t believe you’re into your third month of existence already.  Didn’t you JUST come into this world a week ago?  I think that so often….but then I look at how big you are, and I’m VERY thankful that you didn’t just come into this world a week ago, because, YOUR HEAD.  (It’s big)

There are a few things we need to discuss, ok Zeke?

First off, your smile:

You continue to be a fantastic baby, and are pretty much the easiest kid to get to smile.  And oh what a smile it is.  The best part about your smile is that your cheeks are so big, that I can even tell from behind you when you’re smiling, because all of the sudden your cheeks pop out the sides.  I’m sure I felt this way with Ellie, although I can’t remember it, but seriously child, I can physically feel my heart swelling when you smile at me.

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Your words:
You (obviously) currently have none, but still, you also have much to say. This is probably only cute to parents, but good golly do I ever love having conversations with you.

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Your laugh:
I clearly remember Ellie being 3.5 months when she first busted out a laugh, and so to have you already laughing has already made having you SO WORTH IT.  You have a chuckle like no other, and I will do whatever I can to produce it in you.  (You’ll also learn quickly that your mama can be weird).  I look forward to so many more laughs with you kiddo.  (Finally, you’ll learn quickly that your mama has a WAY better sense of humour than your dad, at least, in her humble opinion, so come to me with your jokes)

Your sleep:  
My goodness child, you are SLEEPING THROUGH THE NIGHT.  (And all of the angels rejoiced).  You have been such a great sleeper, and were giving us 7 hour stretches by the time you turned 2 months old.  (Since then, this week, you’ve gone 9 pm-7 am – which is most definitely worthy of a WOOT WOOT).  Can I be a little bit honest with you Zeke?  I kind of miss the middle of the night with you.  Because Ellie was still up so much during the night at this point, I kind of prepared myself for those times with you too, but ever since you were born, you’ve known your nights from your days.  And there was something so special about feeling like there was no one else up in the world except me and her, and I’m a teeny bit sad that you and I won’t have those same memories etched in my brain.  BUT, you know what memories we will have? Memories of our cozy warm beds sleeping the night away.  And THAT, my boy, gets a high five.

Lastly, Zeke, you took your first plane ride this month, out to Saskatchewan to celebrate the life of your great grandpa Giesbrecht. You never met him, nor will you remember this trip, but I sure will.  There is something so sacred about time with relatives, and especially on an occasion like this, when we are honouring someone’s life, you get a great perspective on legacy.   My grandpa was a godly man who loved God, his family and his grandchildren.  And the proof of that was when all but one of us gathered in Saskatchewan, coming from all across the country to both celebrate that life, but also be together – because he created a legacy of family who loves each other, laughs a LOT together and shares a common bond of faith.  Part of why your dad and I had you, Zeke, is that we hope to do the same.  We hope to instill in you a legacy of faith and family and I will do my best to teach you that you are a part of a special family, one that is greater than just the four of us.  

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(And as a side note, a huge blessing to our trip out to Sask was that you DID get to meet your great grandma Epp.  I am so thankful that meeting got to happen!)

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Happy two months little boy,

Mama.  

We Now Return to Our Regular Scheduled Programming…Almost

It’s no secret I’ve sucked at blogging these days.  I’m not going to lie – I’m watching A LOT of Olympics.  Oh man you guys…I can’t get enough of it.  But it’s ALMOST over – at which point I’ll come back and start documenting my life again.  (Honestly, there isn’t much to write about when I’m spending as many hours as I am watching TV….)

It’s been a GREAT few days to be Canadian (sorry to my American readers…but actually not really), and there’s a fairly significant hockey game happening on Sunday…but AFTER that, I’ll be back.  

In the meantime, just like with other Olympics, there are all kinds of memes, pictures, articles and websites with stuff about the Olympics.  This is probably my favourite article and sure made me proud to be Canadian.  

This one is a close second (but then USA started winning more medals…and it kind of became irrelevant…but it still makes me smile)

I love being Canadian for lots of reasons – many of which have nothing to do with sports and the Olympics, but there’s something about these 2 weeks every couple of years that just make my heart swell with national pride.

Enjoy the last few days of the Games, no matter which country you’re from!