Saturday, September 25, 2010

More Baby Pictures

 Back by popular demand, it's the new babe! This time it was so co-operative, the whole ultrasound only took 15 minutes. In the picture above you can see the lovely spine we saw so much of the first time.
 This picture is my favorite. On the right there you can see two little feet. I can't wait kiss those little toes and put little booties on them.
This one, I personally find kinda creepy. This is looking at the baby's face straight on. It looks like some sort of dinosaur to me. You can also see a little arm in there too.
The overall outcome was good. Everything is just fine, good heart, good size. My placenta is anterior but healthy. So all-in-all just what we were hoping for!

Vancouver Island Baby Fair

Today I went to the annual Vancouver Island Baby Fair with a friend of mine who is also expecting. It was actually a really fun experience to be in one area with so many other new and expecting parents. We picked up some great information on Hypnobirthing (not sure if we are going to invest in trying this one but it was interesting to learn about it), cloth diapering and breastfeeding. I listened to an interesting presentation by Eva Bild, the owner of Mothering Touch, on breastfeeding. I didn't get to hear the whole thing but the part I heard was about how to nurse a baby who is fussing and signaling that they are hungry but are having trouble calming down enough to get a good latch. It was interesting and I'm glad I caught that part.
I was also really interested to see all the different types of cloth diapers out there. We are definitely planning on using cloth diapers and I already have a variety going. I want to make sure I try different styles so I can find the type that fits and works best (so I've got pre-folds, fitted, all-in-ones and one size).
We also checked out the huge variety of children's toys that were on display. I'm really taken with all the natural wood toys. There were some really beautiful toys out there. I'm hoping to stay away from all those plastic (not really BPA free plastic either) and enameled toys. I love the stack-able wooden houses, rainbows and trees. They had wooden push bikes, wooden cars and just a whole bunch of really cool things. I'm going to try not to buy toys though until Jon has finished building the toy box.
Finally, my friend and I both got an awesome maternity dress. It's organic bamboo and it was 60% off. It was a major score. I also got a coupon that I later used to get some bamboo leggings to go with my new dress. Definitely a good day for maternity wear!
In the end I left with some good info and some good deals. I also entered a bunch of draws so fingers crossed that we win at least one of them! The fair is on tomorrow as well so for more information visit their website.

Friday, September 24, 2010


As some of you may recall from last year, we thought we might never get grapes again (after some workers cut out a huge tap root). So far this year we've gotten about 3 lbs of grapes from our vine. They are this beautiful (and healthy) red grape. They are a little on the tart side but I like it that way. The grapes themselves are quite small but I've been thinking that perhaps that is from the lack of water this summer (I did my best but the heat and morning sickness got the best of me). There are still a whole bunch of green grapes out there so we may double our tally for the year. I'm really happy with the grapes this year, they are a big improvement over the 5 little grapes we got last year.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


The quickening has begun. I wasn't really sure at first that what I was feeling was movement but the past two days I've definitely felt little flicks and twitches deep in my belly. It's still a little difficult to distinguish baby from gas but I enjoy the moments when I know for sure.
I've had a wicked cold for the past 6 days so I wonder if the baby is moving around more from the stress I've been under. I've been doing my best to rest (sleep isn't really happening since I'm having so much trouble breathing at night) and get lots of vitamins.
I like these little flutters I feel. I wish they stayed this faint and magical but I know I'm in for some solid kicks and punches as the baby gets bigger. Oh well, at least I know you are still there baby!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Butterflies and Birthdays

This weekend I celebrated yet another birthday. I started the day off by sleeping in and then waking up to a homemade waffle breakfast and a house full of flowers (isn't my hubby the sweetest?). It was kind of a crummy day in terms of the weather so we decided to visit the Butterfly Gardens. I've lived here since I was 4 years old and I've never been to our local Butterfly Gardens.
Butterfly Gardens was probably the best place of visit on a cold day, it was so warm and humid. It was almost like a mini vacation. You are greeted by flamingos and koi as you walk in.
The number of different varieties of butterflies is amazing. We had an absolute blast walking around with our little identification chart trying to finding each different butterfly.

Look closely at this guy. You can see his little tongue curled up in front. They had little trays of citrus fruit out for the butterflies to feed on. It was neat to see them land there and uncurl their tongues.

This guy here on the right has this interesting brown design when his wings are closed but when he opens them up they are a beautiful iridescent blue (we tried to get a picture with the wings open but they are just so darn quick!)

Can you spot all the butterflies on this bush (click on the photo to make it bigger)?

Butterflies are not the only residents at the butterfly gardens. We managed to catch a glimpse of several tropical birds including budgies and little finches.

The whole place was really peaceful, interesting and serene. Towards the end of our visit we sat down on a bench just let the butterflies surround us as we listened to the sounds of the waterfalls and the birds. It was a really nice way to spend the day.
After that we had lunch at a local farm/bakery that grows their own wheat and mills it into the bread they serve with lunch. It was really nice.
Finally as the day was wrapping up (and I was realizing I was getting a cold) we headed to my parents house for some awesome Thai soup. What an awesome way to spend your birthday!
(Sorry for the weird formatting, Blogger and I weren't getting along today)

Friday, September 17, 2010


I'm 20 weeks pregnant! I am thrilled to have reached the halfway point. I feel like this is the point when I should start enjoying being pregnant. So far things have been pretty unpleasant (what with all the sickness and exhaustion) so I'm looking forward to the days where I feel well enough to sit back and be happy.
Don't get me wrong, I'm really happy and excited to be having a baby but I'm not enjoying pregnancy. I want to be one of those women who fully embraces the body changes and talks to her belly all the time. I just feel fat, my boobs hurt, my belly is itchy from the skin stretching and talking to my belly seems really strange to me right now.
The one thing I have been doing is increasing my time playing music. I've been playing my piano more and singing a lot more so the baby learns to love music from the moment he/she starts to hear. I'm the only really musical person in my family so I'm very much hoping that my child takes to music and we can play together!
As I round the bend into the last half of this pregnancy, I've started to prepare myself for the changes ahead. I've started thinking about what I want and need from this birth, what are my fears and what works for me to stay calm, relaxed and present? I've also started reading Birthing from Within. I'm not very far into it and I know it's still early to be getting fully prepared for birth but what I want to start doing is getting myself into a different mindset where I can focus on the end result and do what's necessary to get through it. I tend to be the kind of person who crumbles under stress and I'm also prone to anxiety in situations where I feel I've lost control. I want to control this type of reaction and be prepared mentally for what's ahead (not just birth but also parenting). Birth (and parenting) is not something you can really control so I need to be confident going into that experience so I'm less likely to cave and have an anxiety attack while in labor.
Overall, I feel that this pregnancy is going well and I'm feeling excited about the little person who will be joining us in about 20 more weeks.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Jose Smith

My Uncle Joe (aka Jose Smith) is such a talented musician. When I was only about 2 years old he introduced me to the harp. I thought it was just about the coolest thing and about 10 years after that I started taking harp lessons myself. There is no doubt in my mind that my Uncle Joe helped stir a true love of music within me and for that I will be forever thankful.
He plays more than just the harp though, he is also quite talented at the guitar. Jon has decided to learn the guitar and I know he and I both wish my Uncle Joe was near by to share his wonderful gift with us.
I completely admire him for his wonderful ability to share the joy of music with others. He regularly plays at a children's hospital in California, providing music as a form of therapy and healing. He is such an amazing person.
Below are a couple of his YouTube videos. He also has a website where you can purchase CDs or book him for events.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Peppermint Extract

A while ago I saw a post on Sensible Living about making your own peppermint extract. I decided I had to try it this year. Last year I just hung my mint to dry and used it in tea but it would be nice to have some more diverse options for using all the mint from the yard.
You just take clean fresh mint leaves and bruise them a bit in the bottom of a jar. Then pour in enough vodka to cover all the leaves. Let sit for a month or so.
I'm really hoping this works out because this will be perfect for all my holiday baking that's coming up!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

More Garden Bounty

This is from a couple days ago because much of what you see here has already been canned and stored. But we got about 1.75 lbs of tomatoes, 4lbs of beans, 4.5lbs of cucumber, 3lbs of scallopini and 2 little lemon cucumbers. We also pulled out a few more onions. At the end of the growing season I'll tally up all the weights and see how much I got of each this year.
Soon I will be getting more tomato, cucumber and zucchini from the garden. It look like my apples and pears are almost ready and my grapes are starting to darken. My pumpkins are also starting to turn orange and I should get at least 2 or 3 acorn squash. I must say, I didn't think I'd get anything from the garden this year but here we are canning and preserving surpluses anyways. What a pleasant surprise!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Canning Craze

I've been doing a fair bit of canning lately. Not a ton since standing over a pot of boiling water doesn't do great things for the pregnant lady, but enough that I feel I've accomplished something.
So far, I have made 6 jars of Garlic Dill Pickles, 3 jars of Spicy Pickled Beans, 6 jars of Blackberry Jam and 1 jar of Crushed Tomatoes. My tomatoes are just starting to be ready for picking so I'm going to be making a lot more jars of tomato stuff (I might try homemade ketchup this year).
I'm particularly proud of my jam. It took a really long time to reduce down to the right consistency but I think it will be excellent (I licked the spoon afterward and it was pretty yummy!). I might make a couple more jars of the jam if I can get more blackberries off the bushes in the backyard. I also see more pickles in my future since I have a TON of cucumber still out in the garden! Any other suggestions about how to preserve cucumbers?

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Look what I'm making!

Yup! I've been working on it for a while now and it's finally starting to take form. They are estimating completion to be around the end of January or early February.
I've been feeling pretty yucky lately. I've been really nauseous, had terrible migraines and a really sore belly. My food options are really limited right now because I can't really eat meat or vegetables so basically my diet is based on dairy, fruit and water with the occasional bean dish thrown in there.
Today was the mid-pregnancy ultrasound. We went for diagnostic purposes, to check for any defects. However, the little bugger had a different plan. It lay with it's back to us the whole time. Occasionally we could see an arm and we could definitely see that it has a lovely spine but we couldn't check the heart or even see the umbilical cord. I lay there for 45mins with a very full bladder and them jabbing my belly trying to get the baby to turn around but it's stubborn already. Thanks little one, now we have to go back.
Oh well, at least we got a decent picture.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Saanich Fair 2010

This Labour Day weekend we went to the annual Saanich Fair. It is a farm fair out in the heart of Saanich. I will admit that it has been a while since I've been to the fair. Last time I went, I got talked into going on a very spinny ride and ended up being so sick I had to go home and take some Gravol.
This year I really enjoyed seeing all the farmers and especially seeing all the different 4H club members.
Aren't all the colorful fruit on this just gorgeous? I love all the beautiful colors in nature. I love events like these that encourage local farming.
I will admit that as a child I very much wanted to be in 4H however my parents aren't really "animal" people so it took many years to get the one pet I did have. I think I would like to encourage my own children to participate in this great organization. I think it teaches wonderful care and responsibility and as well as making our children think about where our food comes from and care about how even meat animals are treated. Many of the animals that were shown by the 4H clubs were sold at the fair. I imagine some are bought for pets (most likely the horses, rabbits and guinea pigs) and others for breeding but I won't doubt that some will become dinner one day.
Aren't these goats sweet? When I finally have the farm I've always dreamed of, I will have at least 4 goats. I love the spunk that goats seem to have, plus they are cute!
Ducks are another animal that I would really like to have on my farm. I dream of a farm that is bordered by a lake or pond. I would love to have a whole bunch of ducks that just hung out in the pond all day. (Actually as we were driving to the fair we saw a farm for sale with a pond border pasture. I also died, it would have been perfect but way out of our budget).
My favorite animal there, and a must have on my farm, were the LLAMAS! I love llamas. I think they have the coolest faces, are fun to have around and have the softest hair. I was thrilled at all the llamas at the fair this year (I even got to pet a couple!). I will definitely have a llama one day.
We also checked out some of the arts and crafts done by local kids. This display was my favorite. While I like to discourage "playing" with food, this I loved. All these adorable figurines made mostly out of local produce. Too cute!
Finally, how could we leave the fair without going on any rides? I learned my lesson last year so this time I just watched. My friend's little girl and husband went in this and thought it was a totally let down (actually I think her daughter loved every ride she went on). My hubby only went on two rides. He really like the first ride which involved being lifted up above the crowds then free falling back to earth. Not my cup of tea but whatever makes him happy is fine by me.
Aside from horrendous traffic and a sunburn, we really enjoyed the fair! I can definitely see myself back here one day (maybe teaching my kids about the value of 4H)!