Sunday, June 21, 2009

Moving Right Along

It’s been an eventful few weeks. We celebrated Iain’s second birthday party a few weeks early (on June 13th) so that the big event could be celebrated without A) me going into/being in labour and B) a brand new newborn. That plan went well as baby number two is still safely (though heavily…) contained within. Here are some shots of the big day.

The van's official introduction to 'Mommyhood':

The outdoor decorations (unfortunately, after a couple of rainy days, it was too wet to host most of the party outside. We moved out later in the afternoon):

Some of the guest shoe collection:

Iain loves balloons and so did all of his guests! These balloons provided endless entertainment and made it all around the house:

The finished cake. This was a bit of a coup. I like having a theme to plan a party around and Iain loves horses (which he calls 'neighs'). Therefore, the invitations I designed had a horse on them. I wanted to decorate a cake with a horse but the cake pan from Wilton was discontinued. I checked locally for a cake pan but wasn't willing to part with $30 for the only beaten up one I could find. Enter ebay (which I rarely use) and a $6 USD pan and here it is!

And here is the birthday boy!

I picked up Mudder from the airport this past Tuesday. Anyone who knows my mother will know that this was a big deal as she is terrified of flying. However, after considering her options (e.g. driving here by herself or taking the bus/ferry/bus which would take over two days), she decided that flying might be the best option of all. She seemed to do well or at least was feeling good enough about the whole one way experience (she will be returning to the island via ferry with us on July 24th) to give Iain lots of big waves and smiles as she came down the escalator to arrivals. For his part, once he saw ‘Gramma’, Iain didn’t stop smiling. He wasn’t quite brave enough to run into her arms however, one she bent down to give him a hug, he wanted ‘Up!’ immediately! They have, pretty much, been inseparable ever since. They are upstairs playing a rendition of golf/hockey as I type.

I am working on designing thank you cards for Iain’s birthday (I made his birthday invitations) and then getting onto the new baby announcement and thank you cards (designed already in my head which is a wonder). I am also doing some knitting. I finished a set of 100% Misti 2 ply chunky baby alpaca fingerless mittens (I got mine from Wool-Tyme online) from this Tangle pattern (and just realised that I have them upstairs, ready to send in the mail and forgot to take a final picture – argh!). It’s a really quick and fun pattern if you’re not me and want a quick and fun pattern. I may have started these this time last year and only finished them about a week ago. Ahem. Moving right along, I have another glove almost finished for another family recipient. Another late birthday gift but not as late as the ones above which were due in July. Of 2008…! I’d hang my head in fibre shame but I’m so pleased to have a genuine knitted FO that I’m too proud! Oh, the alpaca is gorgeous and I have leftovers from knitting two gloves - yeah! This is also a one skein project.

As for baby number two, there are no signs of an imminent release program apart from the fact that the baby has really dropped. S/he is giving me some cramps but not too many and, thankfully, I can eat again. In fact, since Mudder arrived and I’ve been put on a ‘nap at least once a day’ program, I’ve been feeling pretty good. Still tired but almost human. It’s been wonderful – my mother actually LOVES to do laundry. Seriously. She loves it and loves to hang it on the line, take it in and fold it. Too bad I didn’t inherit that gene! Then again, she also does not mind cleaning up after a meal one bit and I MUCH prefer for cook or bake and have someone else clean up after me. Therefore, we’re a great team.

DH has two weeks left in the Canadian Forces. He has mentioned that me having a baby early would help him retire ‘early’ but I’ve been ignoring his and Mudder’s offers for me to go and wash walls. After all, the baby isn’t due until July 4th and my recollection of the whole labour experience is just less than two years old (aka fresh in my mind). Regardless, I likely should get my hospital bag packed. Right now I have about three piles designated to go with me but really haven’t concentrated on getting too organised with putting it all in one bag.

Here’s a belly shot from June 7th. I know, I know, I’m overdue for a new one. I’ll keep that in mind for this week.

Friday, June 05, 2009

The Five Hour Sweater

You might want to sit down for this one because Fibreholic has an FO! A KNITTED FO no less!

After knitting three dishcloths, I decided I might be ready to commit to something a little more intense. I was taken with a sweater entitled ‘The Five Hour Sweater’ on Ravelry (love that site. Too bad I visit it so infrequently). I thought to myself,

“Self? Do you think you can dedicate five hours to pulling something together for the new baby?”

But even as I accepted the challenge, I was not bold enough to assume I could actually knit this sweater in only five hours. And, I didn’t. However, I did start and finish it in 16 days. For me and my limited (and interrupted) knitting time, that really isn’t too shabby. Here are the details.

Five Hour Sweater pattern available for free here (and, before you get all excited, ignore the "Baby Boy Five Hour Sweater" title. I intentionally knit the sweater in a lovely neutral colour and happen to like buttons on the side I placed this one on because it is easier for this new Mommy to do up on a newborn! I still don't know more than you do...).

Materials Used:

Blue Sky Alpaca’s Organic Cotton

I used 1 skein plus a bit of another because I decided to make my sweater longer than the pattern called for. In fact, I believe the yarn I used is likely a larger worsted weight than called for in the pattern but the sweater seems proportionate to me.

Time to complete: May 19 to June 4th (yes, I was holding out on you. With so many unfinished objects in my house, I was too shy to say that I was starting something else new!).

I think it’s cute, soft, soft, soft and am thrilled that I will have something Mommy-made for the new baby!

Here's a little video of what Iain and Para were doing in our backyard yesterday afternoon to tide you over until I get a chance to post again. Enjoy!

Note: In case you really wanted to see Iain and his new words from this post, I finally managed to get it uploaded to YouTube. As I mentioned before, it is a long one.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

More June News From Here

A few weekends ago, my neighbour had a great garage sale with lots of larger children’s play items. I went a little crazy but, hey, I’m getting too uncomfortable to be out at o’dark early scoping out garage sales. Getting up and over to her drive way within 15 minutes is much more my style! Amongst the loot collected were a Little Tikes kitchen set (Iain LOVES it and it even cut short his outdoor play time for the week as he kept wanting to come back in the house to cook!), a grocery cart, a doll and stroller, and a Little Tikes picnic table.

Here he is taking such good care of his new baby that my heart just melts.

The bear on top of the doll is his special bear put there because his baby needed it, according to Iain. DH and I figured him having a doll would be a great introduction to the concept of a real live baby living at our house. At just below two years of age, he does not understand everything that my expanding waistline entails. However, just today he strolled in with his baby and told me that he needed to wash her bottom, like we do with him for diaper changes. He is adorable (and I am truly biased!).

DH was away the week before we left for NL and he put me on a mission to catch pictures of Iain in a few of the variety of hats he has to play with. I fell short on that project (but you did get to see Iain in his Santa hat in the previous picture) but here he is showing off his ‘say cheese’ silly face in his ball cap.

He is really funny when he is wearing a ball cap or his sun hat as he insists on wearing it right down over his eyes. Therefore, you see him doing this a lot:

One event that DH missed (and greatly regretted) while he was away was an airshow held at CFB Greenwood dedicated to the Centennial of Flight celebrations this year. It was Iain’s first airshow and, as he is very taken with airplanes, I just had to take him. Despite the walk from the parking lot to the show itself, I managed alright with Iain usually contained in his stroller (he runs way too fast for me to catch right now and the crowds were big!).

Here he is flying his first airplane:

Iain and I sharing our picnic blanket with friends.

We watched The Snowbirds and the CF-18 show from this spot. The Snowbirds snuck up on us and were loud so Iain spent their show buried in my shoulder. However, I heard the fighter jets coming beforehand and was able to cover his ears in time for him to not be too startled and to watch the show, as long as my hands were clamped tight over his ears. I noticed other parents had brought big ear defenders for their children. A great idea for future airshows.

Iain and one of Daddy’s airplanes (an Aurora).

“Look! A helicopter!”

I didn't think I would fit in and out of the doorway of this aircraft (an older airplane called an Anson) so one of my friends took him in for me. It was all fun and games for Iain until he realised that he wasn't going to be able to go 'up in sky' for a ride! Luckily, with an airplane trip that Sunday, I was able to appease him by promising a trip 'up in sky' in the near future!

The aircraft that started it all: the replica of The Silver Dart.

One of the things that I really like about Iain is that he always wants to help. One of the things that drives me the craziest about Iain is that he always wants to help! On another day a couple of weeks ago, he decided to brush up the ‘mink’ (his word for ‘pink’. He was running around that morning, in his PJ’s no less, crying “Mink fall! Mink fall!”) blossoms from our apple tree.

Note the ever present dishcloth in his hand…

I had to add this one. Proof that Iain does get dressed when he is outside on occasion. My little Sunshine Boy!

There, you are now up to date.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009


Things have been rapidly moving along here even if you have not heard much about it. Another catch up post and I’m afraid it’s going to be picture heavy!

We got back on Sunday after a week in Newfoundland trying to find ourselves a new house. Here is what Checkers thought of us leaving.

Checkers and Tobi stayed at a cattery while we were away. The house is still for sale and we felt it was too much to ask a friend to cat sit for us and ensure the house was kept up to spec for showings. I was lucky enough to find The Valley Cat Hotel online and was very pleased with the lovely owner and the facilities. Unfortunately, Checkers and Tobi did not want to come home with us… Para stayed at her usual kennel and seemed to fare alright. We requested that she be groomed while we were away and she came back to us more gorgeous than ever! That reminds me – I must get a picture of her gorgeousness.

Before we left, I had been trying to get Iain to repeat the word ‘Grandma’ and ‘Grandpa’ for several weeks to no avail. The minute we drove up to Grandma and Grandpa’s house, Iain said,

“Grandma!” just like that! He says ‘Grandpa’ too. Well, he says an Iain rendition of ‘Grandpa’ which is ‘Grumpa’. Grumpa doesn’t seem to mind.

Iain and Mudder had such fun this past week. Iain has started to parrot everything and will point at things so we will say what they are and he can repeat the word(s) (as an aside, DH was reading him a book on Kwanzaa last night and he kept hearing Iain saying ‘Kwanzaa’ over and over on the monitor after he put him to bed – too cute!). They visited the ‘osheay’ daily and even went to a sandy beach and to visit ducks on some days. We also beat Grandma out and left her with a cold that we brought (sorry, Mudder!) that I thought was allergies before we left Nova Scotia. Despite all of that, she is still coming to help us out on June 16th until we move.

Unfortunately, you will not be seeing any new house pictures in this post. We did not find our dream house. Prices in the St. John’s area have gone through the roof and we were not comfortable spending a lot of money on something that made us go ‘Meh.’ It looks as though we will be staying at my parents for at least the first few weeks and, perhaps, renting for awhile. Our material possessions will be moved into storage and, likely, we will start looking for a piece of land to build on. We had two criteria on our trip 1) to live right in the heart of the city with all its amenities and, hopefully, a gorgeous historic house or 2) to live just outside the city with a gorgeous view. Here is a sample of why we know there are gorgeous views out there – the view from my parents kitchen and dining room.

Apparently we are too picky so will keep looking.

I have booked our trip from Nova Scotia to Newfoundland on Marine Atlantic. We will be sailing back to Newfoundland for good on July 24, 2009 with three adults (Mudder will be with us), a toddler, a newborn, two cats and a dog.

Our other news is the latest addition to the automotive side of our family – our new 2009 Volkswagen Routan.

Here is a picture of DH driving it off the lot

(I will be driving it most of the time so I thought he would enjoy the thrill of driving one of the few brand new vehicles we will likely ever own off a lot.

He did enjoy himself too and has spent the last two nights in the driveway worshiping it! Mind you, he would likely say that he is not worshiping it but is going through the users manuels ;)). We are taking both vans on our trip home. Without moving into our own house as soon as we arrive, DH and I are anticipating having the vans loaded with excess to make settling in wherever we end up as smooth as possible.

Now that we are home and over the stress of trying to find a house in a week and flying with a toddler (the Canadian Forces, bless them, paid for Iain to have his own seat.

It made things SO much easier. Mommy doesn’t have much in the way of a lap these days), I am settling down to the joy of anticipating a new baby. Not that that means I’m not busy. We have planned Iain’s second birthday party well in advance and that will occur on the 13th. On the 14th, friends are hosting a new baby shower for us. Mudder arrives on the 16th and Iain, my belly and I are having a photo shoot on the 18th. Baby number two has really suffered from a lack of appropriate attention with everything else going on and I thought a partial family portrait would be a nice touch. S/he is already low on the ultrasound pictures (one compared to five or so for Iain) so I wanted to do something extra special for this particular child. I really hope they turn out and have every confidence in the photographer.

Apart from that, I have one more cooking show scheduled for Sunday afternoon. I also have two catalogue shows running currently but they are so easy as I simply accept the orders, punch them into my little ordering program and send them off. The orders are couriered to the hosts and I just get on the telephone after the deliveries are made to see if everyone is pleased/not pleased with their products. Even a nine month pregnant woman can handle that.

Yes, nine months. I have just crossed the threshold to a larger belly (believe it) and weekly OBY appointments. Here is a shot from last Saturday evening.

Mudder cannot believe I still have a little over a month to go still.