Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas 2008

I will update later on the past 48 hours and the adventures and challenges I have faced. This will be a Christmas I won't be forgetting any time soon.

In other news...

I realized a little while ago that I have something in common with her and her.

Can you guess what it is?

Monday, December 22, 2008

baking, baking, baking!

I didn't take any pictures this year (I probably will tomorrow when I lay out a spread) of my Christmas baking but believe me - I have done some Christmas baking!
My Mom came down to help me because wouldn't ya know it, baking is a lot harder with a 1 year old toddling around than it is with a 1 month old for some reason. :)
Anyway, together we baked up a storm (why isn't my backspace key working?? Grrrr) and I made the following:
1. "Best Fudge Ever" - I didn't name it this, but it is pretty darn good.
2. My classic Cheese Stars
3. Thumbprint Cookies
4. Chewy Molasses Spice Cookies (or as I call them, Ginger Snaps without the Ginger)
5. Peanut Butter cookies half dipped in chocolate and then in crushed peanuts (decadent!)

Sorry about the lack of recipe for the cheese stars. I found the recipe on in 2004 after I got married and made them that year for Christmas. They were a HUGE hit and I have made them every year since.
I searched online but couldn't find them this year (luckily I've saved it on my computer). If you'd like the recipe you can message me with your email and I'll send it to you.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

scratch my itch, please

Well I am just ITCHING to tell people. Now that we've told some of our extended family I just want to spill the beans.
Maybe I'll send an email on Christmas day or something. That could be fun. Hmmm...we'll see.
Well, the nausea/off feeling I've been having has pretty much subsided which is GREAT although I almost had another tongue-brushing episode a couple days ago. Ick. I keep forgetting not to be so vigourous with the brushing! Oh well.
And while Jamie said a few days ago that he thought I was beginning to show, I finally agreed with him this morning as I looked at myself and KNEW I hadn't just eaten an entire turkey feast so it HAD to be the baby. Exciting! It's starting a LOT earlier than with Noah. I was looking at pictures of me at 13 weeks and I was way skinnier than I was 10 weeks ago but I guess that's to be expected before you've ever had any children.
Here we go!!!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

first midwife appointment

Today was my first appointment with the midwife. She remembered me and Noah (Jamie wasn't there) from Noah's birth (she was a back up midwife but attended the birth) and was really nice.
It was a standard first appointment and I'll have a complete physical at my next appointment in a month from now.
Nothing else is new that I can think of...she took a bunch of blood to do some testing and discussed a bunch of things, I signed some papers and that's about it.
I did throw up this morning but it had mostly to do with the fact that I gagged myself when I brushed my teeth. Less than a minute later it all came up. Note to self: Don't brush your tongue as vigorously during pregnancy.
I'm generally NOT hungry until all of a sudden I'm starving and then I eat something. I think that's how I'll operate until I feel better. It just doesn't feel good at all to put food in my mouth/stomach when I'm not ready.

Monday, December 8, 2008

ultrasound #1

Today we went for an ultrasound (more for peace of mind) and got to see the heartbeat of our little baby! It was really amazing and I think both Jamie and I were renewed in our pro-life convictions. I'm only 7.5 weeks and my baby has a heartbeat, is living and growing and is a human being with a life that should not be taken away for my (or anyone else's) convenience. It made it seem real (all over again!) and I think both of us are still amazed that we are having ANOTHER child.
I will post a picture of the ultrasound when I get it scanned - hopefully sometime this week.
Drinking all that water made me feel extremely queasy and was NOT an enjoyable experience at all!
After I got to use the bathroom I felt much better, though.
Anyway, so that's the exciting news. I've got a bad cold which seems to be contributing to my general lack of well being and I am ALWAYS tired.
Thursday is our first appointment with the midwife but I think I will just take Noah by myself and see how that goes. I'm sure it'll be fine.

Friday, December 5, 2008

This week I was up north for some training with work. I always seem to get sick at these things and I find this extremely frustrating. Not only am I getting less sleep due to staying up later to chat with friends as well as (and the bigger of the two reasons) sharing a room with Noah, but I just happen to get sick and my body rejects late nights and early mornings and just plain lacks in patience and general well being of body and spirit.
But despite being sick, I did have some great chats with some wonderful ladies and I think for me, that made all the other inconveniences worth it.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Oh how I love the Office

This is seriously why I love The Office so much.
Two reasons specific to this clip:
1. Michael uses the words "parcel" and "leisure" in the same sentence. Love it.
2. The uncontainable rage and how Michael's mouth goes slightly wonky during his last "noooo".
So funny.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

nose and stomach

My nose is stuffed again. I had forgotten that when I was pregnant with Noah I had a semi-stuffed nose for the entire 9 months.
Here we go again.
I'm also STARTING to feel tired, but not tired enough to keep me from being ridiculously restless before I fall asleep in bed for the past week and a half. Boo.
Starting to feel a bit "off" in the mornings, but nothing close to nausea. (Thank goodness!)
God must know I am useless and totally suck at dealing with nausea, much less being sick to my stomach.
God bless the women who throw up during their pregnancy. I do NOT envy them one bit.

Best Sports Rant EVER

Every time I see this I laugh. Only a sports celebrity...

christmas/play area set up

So this is our temporary set up with the bookcase and bin thingy (I honestly need to figure out what it's called!) AND the Christmas tree. I'm pleased with the bookcase and need to do something about those gigantic stuffed animals that seem to have infested our house since about...13 months ago I think.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I ♥ Christmas lights

Ikea and Christmas

I went to Ikea today and bought a bookshelf and a bin thingy to help with toy organization. (On a side note, I did this ALL BY MYSELF. Lugged a gigantic box of wood and a smaller but still heavy other box AND a 30 lb toddler. I.Am.Amazing. I just have to tell myself that sometimes. Anyway...I digress.) (Oh and two great things: 1. I found an Ikea gift card I had forgotten about and 2. I got Noah's baby bonus in the mail yesterday. Purchasing large items and having to pay FAR less is so much more rewarding and exciting!)
Ugh. Toys. Childrens books. They are EVERYWHERE! So I thought that with the coming of Christmas this could help me be preemptive in preparing for the enslaught of more toys and books.
And to think...all this for ONE KID! Ridiculous.
Anyway, so I am pretty happy about the set up although I haven't yet built the bookcase. We'll see once it's all put together and set up.
We also set up our Christmas tree this evening so this cuts into Noah's play area. We'll see how that goes and how annoyed I am by the end of the Christmas season of saying, "No touch, Noah".
Oh dear.
Nonetheless...I am pleased with the temporary Christmas set up.

my 30 year plan

Is this not the cutest thing you've EVER seen?
Wow. That's a lot of time, but one day maybe I might attempt this...when the kids are grown up and out of the house.
So like...30 years?
Sounds good.
See you in 30 years, adorable turkey dinner cupcake.

Monday, November 24, 2008

all calm on the home front

Nothing new here. I booked my ultrasound for the 8th of December so we'll get to see the little sprout then. I feel fine, not exhausted (sometimes tired, but not absolutely DONE like before) and I'm trying to drink a lot.
I'm hoping to be able to blog about this pregnancy as much as I can but we'll see.
And I found out that a friend of mine is due within DAYS of me! We'll be pregnant together! So much fun!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Today was a mentally exhausting day. I have a lot on my plate right now and am so behind (at least I feel so behind) in some of my work responsibilities. It's hard to work from home. It's hard to work from home and be a Mom to a 1 year old.
But I hunkered down and got a bunch of stuff done. I feel better, but I don't think I'll feel the weight of my responsibilities will lift until the New Year. :( That is a long time away but it'll be over before I know it, I suppose.
I'm so full of water right now (trying to drink more these days) and I hope I don't wake up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom. I enjoy sleeping through the night.
Better start getting ready for bed...

it's true, it's true

I got confirmation of my pregnancy at the doctor's office today and my doctor said my due date is July 22nd, 2009. (We'll see, though.)
I also called the midwifery clinic and already got in! We have Carol as our secondary midwife and Heather as our primary midwife. Carol was our primary last time with Noah but was actually unable to be at his birth. However, Heather was a back up midwife and SHE was at the birth.
So our first midwife appointment is December 11th and I am going to go for an ultrasound around 8 weeks (so a few more weeks) just to have a bit of peace of mind.
It definitely hasn't sunk in yet...but it's very exciting.
If we could wait, we'd tell family at Christmas, but there's no way we can wait that long. :)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Here we go again!

I took a test this morning trying not to get my hopes up. (An impossible task. They were up.)
A positive test was the result! I'm pregnant again!
I left the test on the counter for Jamie to see and later that morning we were both getting ready in the bathroom and he said, "Babe? Are you pregnant? I don't understand that thing." I laughed and said, "Yep." He was pretty happy.
So that's that. Very exciting and we're looking forward to the continued expansion of our family!
According to an online pregnancy due date predictor, I am due July 24th 2009, so we'll see!
I have a Doctor's appt tomorrow and am already confirmed as a client with the midwives again.
I will always feel apprehensive due to my previous miscarriage before Noah, but I don't think I'm living in fear. Cautiously optimistic.
And then there were four!

Meal Plan Monday

So Meal Plan Monday (also known as Mexican Monday or No Makeup Monday in my little world) was a bit of a write off. Yesterday I didn't get a chance to make up a meal plan (or at least was a teeny bit tired/lazy) though I did think through what I could possibly make.
So here's what I've got so far for the rest of the week:
Crockpot Tuesday
Beef stew
Pasta Wednesday
Frozen Pasta Shells from 2 weeks ago (yes!)
Fish Thursday
? Not sure
Soup & Salad Friday
Um...maybe a broth-type soup but maybe Pumpkin Soup since I've got 2 cans of it in my cupboard.
We just finished dinner and Noah is half-slouching on the ground leaning up against pillows that are near the couch. He's in a daze watching Curious George (seriously - every parent needs one show that their child would stop everything, sit and watch for at least 15 minutes) - the tv show, not the movie. It just so happens to be narrated by William H. Macy. Not a HUGE fan of Mr. Macy, but it holds Noah's attention so I'm not complaining.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A great day!

Today was a very good day. I had a productive meeting this morning and then Jen and I got to take off for the afternoon while our husbands took care of the kids. From about 1-5:15pm we were kid free and happy to drink Starbucks and shop, shop, shop!
Some sweet deals:
I got a down jacket from Jacob for only $37!!! It's flippin' sweet and I'm so happy about it! (Plus it's purple! I KNOW!)
I got 2 Sandra Boynton books for $4 each!
I got a bunch of tank tops (for underneath shirts) for 50% off - about $6 each!
I got some other things, but they were necessarily sweet deals although all were sweetly priced. :)
Thanks Jen (and hubby!) for a great day!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Meal plan Week 2

Mexican Monday:

Chicken/meatless Quesadillas

Crockpot Tuesday:

Chicken Parisienne

Pasta Wednesday:

Spinach, mushroom & ricotta fettuccine

Fish Thursday:

Salmon with Pesto Mayo with sauted asparagus

Soup & Salad Friday:

African Yam and Peanut Soup with ginger and pineapple (Courtesy of Miss Beth Fisher) with Mandarin Almond Salad

Royal Winter Fair Saturday:

Woot! RWF!

Suz & Roz Sunday:

We’re having our friends over for lunch on Sunday so I’m not posting what we’re having since Suz reads this blog.

Butternut Squash Soup Recipe

So some have asked for this delicious Butternut Squash Soup, so here it is:


* 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

* 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

* 2 tablespoons butter

* 1 cup sliced onions (I included ¾ cup green onions instead)

* 3/4 cup sliced leeks (I didn’t include these, but will try next time including them)

* 2 1/2 cups peeled, seeded and cubed butternut squash (I just used one large butternut squash)

* 1/2 cup dry white wine

* 5 cups chicken broth

* 1 pinch ground cinnamon

* 1 pinch ground ginger

* 1 pound cheese filled spinach ravioli (I used cheese and asparagus ravioli)

* 3/4 cup light cream

* salt and pepper to taste


1. Place the cumin seeds and nutmeg in a large saucepan over medium heat, and cook until lightly browned. Stir in the butter, and saute the onions and leeks until tender. Mix in squash, wine, and chicken broth. Season with cinnamon and ginger. Reduce heat, and simmer 10 to 15 minutes.

2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add ravioli, and cook 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.

3. With a hand mixer, puree the soup mixture. Blend in light cream, and season with salt and pepper. Mix in the cooked ravioli just before serving.

Bon Appetit!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Soup and Salad, anyone?

Yesterday I made butternut squash soup (as per the meal plan for this week) and it was AMAZING! Seriously, I am not a gigantic fan of butternut squash, but this soup was gourmet (in the words of my friend Jen). I would DEFINITELY make it again and on top of it all, I bought a hand mixer that you just mix right in the pot to save time and unecessary dirtying of pots and pans. So I'm pumped to make my own soup a lot more as well as salad dressings and fun stuff like that. (Yes, there is ravioli in the soup - the recipe called for it and so I did and it tasted delish as well as filling me up more than just having a bowl of soup).

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

comments from my last post

I should have predicted this question. :)

Anonymous said...

hmmm... have you considered the position of McCain supports war which is also killing / murdering innocent people?

10:36 PM

Blogger Vanessa said...

Thank you Anonymous for being brave enough to leave your name. :)

Actually this is THE MOST common thing I've heard and while I'm not pro-war by any means the death of innocent people due to war is not the final aim of war. Civilian casualties are considered accidents and as I said, the death of civilians are not the intent of any war.

The final aim of abortion IS the murdering of innocent people. AND the number of babies murdered EVERY SINGLE DAY in the US is over 4000.

So if I have to pick between someone who is pro murdering 1.5 million innocent babies every year or someone who is pro war (civilian casualties for this war approx 100,000 per year)...well, I'm going to go with the one who is pro war.

But that's just me.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Abortion and the election

I want to write something about the US Elections. And specifically abortion. Sigh. But it weighs far too heavy on my heart. But here I go.

All I know is that I could never vote for someone who is in favour of abortion. It absolutely breaks my heart.
I admit I don't know everything. John McCain is not perfect and to be honest I don't really know too much of what he stands for. But I admit that the issue of abortion is one that for me is enough to cause me to NOT vote for someone. I'm not necessarily a supporter of John McCain, but I can say with certainty that if I were a US citizen, I couldn't vote for Barack Obama.

As I write this it is projected that Barack Obama will be the next president of the United States of America. I have mixed feelings. There is no doubt that Obama is charismatic. It's clear that he wants to bring something new to table and to change the face of the United States. But will it be for the better? I really don't know. Only time will really tell.

meal planning update

Meal plan update:
Monday's meal wasn't mexican because I didn't get a chance to actually GO TO THE GROCERY STORE so instead I made a Cheesy Chicken & Squash casserole - I made it up and it actually tasted GOOD. I'm not very good at "making up" my own recipes so I am quite proud of myself. We had leftovers for lunch today.
Today I got to the groery store so we are having beef stew as planned. It smells GOO-OOD (that's 2 syllables for those of you who were wondering).
Tomorrow I will attempt to make stuffed shells (with pork) so we'll see how that goes.
Thursday is Jamie's birthday so I'm saving salmon for another day and Jamie and I will go out somewhere (I think).
Friday will be soup and salad as planned but Food Basics didn't have any Butternut squash!!! This is precisely why I shop at Zehrs. They are more expensive, but they have everything I need and it's all DELISH. :)

Also, I'm pretty darn excited that I used up my nasty-looking (I mean...slightly old?) carrots in the stew. They're fine if I cut off the things at the end and peel them, right?

Monday, November 3, 2008

stop me now

I honestly think I could eat 1 Reece's peanut butter cup every 5 minutes for the rest of my life and not get sick of them.

thinking ahead

I just ordered our Christmas card online. I know. It's November 3rd and I'm WAY too excited about this but it's pretty much our nicest Christmas greeting EVER. PUMPED. :) It's a photo and a card all mixed into one.
I figure I'm way ahead of the game now and should have plenty 'o time to sort out addresses and stamps and all that good stuff. :)

Sunday, November 2, 2008

meal planning

I'm attempting to start doing a weekly meal plan. I've realized that in life I am really good and starting new things - it's persevering to the end that I often fail at.
So we'll see how long this lasts.
I'm going to try having a category for each day and then changing up the recipes (because I, a) like trying new recipes and b) get bored with the same thing every week).
So these are the categories I'm trying for this month:

Monday: Mexican food
Tuesday: crock pot
Wednesday: Pasta
Thursday: fish
Friday: soup & salad
Saturday: something easy
Sunday: free for all

I may change up the categories, but these are the ones I will use for the month of November.
For this week my meal plan is as follows:

Monday: chicken fajitas
Tuesday: beef stew
Wednesday: stuffed pasta shells (potentially pork or turkey)
Thursday: maple-glazed salmon
Friday: Butternut squash with ravioli soup and probably an Apple & Spinach salad with Cheese
Saturday: we're out of town
Sunday...scrounge up whatever we can find

So we'll see how this goes. I think this will accomplish a few important things:
1. Eating better - not eating junk or poorly because it's already planned
2. No last minute fumbling around and stress to figure out what's for dinner
3. appropriate grocery lists and eating what is in the fridge
4. Hopefully saving money since only buying what we'll eat.

Now what to do with all this left-over Halloween candy......

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Thursday, October 23, 2008


I think I REALLY want one of these.
My creative juices are starting to flow again and I'm dying to snap away!
In this digital age, I'm craving something more tangible. Changing film, waiting for it to develop, getting your pictures back and looking through them in the hopes that some of them turned out.
Hmm...maybe....we'll see.

LOL (for real)

Oh how I love The Office. In every episode (usually) there is at least ONE line that makes me laugh out loud and long enough to miss what's happening for the following 30 seconds.
When today's episode gets posted online I'll post the part that made me laugh tonight.

Google Maps

A huge step forward for Google Maps.
I just printed out directions for a place in Kitchener that I have never been to and the very last direction stated that I needed to turn Right and that MY DESTINATION WAS ON MY LEFT!!!! This is life changing. (Perhaps on the smaller end of the life changing continuum.) How many times have I wondered if my destination was on my left or my right!?!??!
I *heart* Google.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


So today was my birthday. I woke up grumpy because I didn't want to have to change Noah's diaper, but unfortunately for me, Jamie doesn't read minds. I changed the diaper.
BUT then Jamie played with and fed Noah and I went back to bed. I got scrambied eggs and bacon for breakfast and a new pair of Emus.
Tonight Jamie and I went out for dessert at the new Symposium restaurant (and had $11/glass wine for only $4 - well Jamie did anyway. I went for the Aussie $6/glass). After a delicious and decadent dessert we went across the street to Chapters to mill about, but before we got into Chapters we noticed our old car in the parking lot!!! We knew it was our old Civic because it had the Ron Jon Surf Shop sticker still in the exact same spot on the bumper. It was kinda funny and sad to see it again. We had so many great memories in that car!
When we got home I was hoping to see Alana (our babysitter) on the couch but alas. She was not. Darn. I knew Noah wouldn't stay asleep the ONE night we go out. He's been sleeping just fine when we're home...dang. He's still having trouble settling down. :(
Happy Birthday to me.
27 sounds...old. I don't feel 27. I feel....23. I think. I'm okay with getting older. I don't really worry about it too much. It's just weird. Time keeps a-passing and I understand now how old people can't remember how old they are. "I'm in my 70's I think".
I still hesitate when I give my age. "Am I 26 or 27? I'm pretty sure I'm not 25 anymore...."
All in all, a good day. COLD. But good.
This time last year I was VERY pregnant. And it was like 25 degrees or something.

Monday, October 20, 2008

missing $

Whoa. I just checked my bank account online and saw that I my account was not where it should be. I was all like, what the?
Quickly checked the recent transactions and saw that there were TWO withdrawls of $500 each. SOMEONE STOLE $1000 from me. Called my bank. I gotta call another place tomorrow morning for the fraud on my card. Freaky stuff, but apparently I'll get it back.
How does that happen? My card (and Jamie's card) is still with me. No one stole my card but they were able to steal the info and somehow make a card to take out the cash? I have no idea about how any of this stuff works. There is a big, bad world out there that I have zero clue about.

The Shack

This summer while in Tanzania I was listening to a sermon by Mark Driscoll - I think on the subject of the trinity. He made a quick comment about a book called The Shack and quickly shared his concerns that this was hitting the Christian community, people were gobbling it up and there were some heretical statements in the book. He encouraged his church NOT to read it.
Now of course my curiosity was piqued. One of the girls with us in Africa happened to have it and lent it to me after she was done. I read it. I was swept away by the emotions (powerful and raw) and the story (heartbreaking and tragic) of the book. But I was torn. At the very same time there were some things that felt wrong and bothered me in my heart. Vague statements that alluded to Unitarianism and weird personifications. I've never felt that reading a book before. Being so torn about what I actually feel about it after I've put it down.
When I got home I started hearing more and more about it. Rave reviews. Scathing reviews. I've seen so many people I know read it, love it, and recommend it.
In the end, I don't know that I'd recommend it to very many people. There are too many tricky things in there and as my cousin (in-law?) said on his blog:
"Certainly there is some good teaching in The Shack, but there is so much bad teaching that it becomes a chore to sort out the good from the bad, and you need to ask yourself why it is a good idea to read a book where you will have to spend so much time sifting the wheat from the chaff (and there’s quite a bit of chaff to sift!)."
I also listened to a sermon that Tim (Jamie's cousin) recommends at the end of his blog post on The Shack which you can listen to here. Think very carefully about what you read, even if it is, "just a novel".
*On a side note, I feel like I could go on and on about how concerned I am about so many people loving and recommending this book, but I think there is already far too much hype about this book and I need to let it be and move on. Just check out Tim's blog post (it's lengthy but so good) for more resources and Biblical thoughts on this book.

Friday, October 17, 2008

mirror, mirror on the wall

I've been thinking about getting a mirror for our front entrance (our only entrance I guess...unless you're into scaling 4 storey buildings). Currently it has this:
But sometimes it's nice to look at yourself as you head out the door because who knows? You may have broccoli in your teeth, or a cheerio stuck in your hair...
So I've got my eye on a few, like this one or maybe this one.
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