Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Baby Love

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     I find in those quiet moments with Mya, it really hits me. It's incredible when you really stop and think about it. This beautiful little being, who grew so perfectly inside my belly not so long ago, is now looking at me--her mother, and expecting me to teach her to be the person who she is going to be in life. Thankfully she has an incredible daddy as well who also holds that exact same weight of responsibility and who takes it just as seriously as I do.
      I remember the first time that I felt Mya kick inside of me, it was not only amazing and wonderful..but it also made me start to realize the reality of what was to come. Terry and I are now responsible for helping to make this tiny little human being into a loving, caring, responsible, successful, confident, wonderful human being. Her childhood and the way that we raise her will in many ways impact the paths that she chooses in life, the way that she feels about herself, the way that she feels about others and the way that she lives her life as an adult. Her childhood is a pretty powerful thing and knowing how critical these first few years are to anyone's development and sense of self, we don't take it lightly. She will one day look back on her childhood, years from now...and I don't want her to think of it as anything but magical. I want to create incredible memories for her that she will cherish and want to relive with her own children one day. I want her to have memories of chocolate chip pancake Saturdays where we sit in our jammies at the kitchen table and watch dad flip pancakes and smother them in icing sugar and much as you'd like, because that's ok if it's only once a week. I want her to remember early morning snuggles in bed together, crawling in between her mom and dad and getting smothered in kisses from both sides. I want her to remember baking with her mom, measuring all of the ingredients, licking the spoon and getting egg shells in the cookie dough..which is ok, because it's how we learn.

Pancake Saturday!
I want her to remember the silly impromptu dancing that we do together in the kitchen as I make dinner and sing show tunes at the top of my lungs to her as she giggles and wiggles that sweet tiny body of hers. I want her to remember the random duets that her mom and dad sing together on long car rides to keep her from crying in the backseat--and she happens to have a dad who never in a million years thought he'd be caught dead singing..but he does it because it makes her laugh, keeps her tears in, and works every time. I want her to feel the excitement that I feel around the holidays (every single holiday) and be thrilled to wake up to a house decorated with hearts and candies on Valentine's Day and have special Christmas traditions that she'll begin to expect and love each and every year.

 I want her to live with a mom and dad who are happy--not stressed, sad, snippy or angry. I have learned from my own wonderful parents that when a child's parents are happy, it makes them feel secure, safe and happy themselves. I want that for Mya. I want her to remember the little love notes that I'll write her and sneak into her lunchbox at school, just to remind her that I love her and that I hope that she has a good day. I want her to remember her mom and dad helping her into her swimsuit when it's raining outside so that we can all go run and play in the pouring rain together. I want her to come home after school to the smell of cookies baking in the oven, ready just in time for her to try the first one. I want her to have memories of a house full of laughter and love and ultimately a childhood that she can look back on and not want to change.

      Whenever I'm feeling overwhelmed, frustrated, sleep deprived or impatient throughout this journey of parenthood, I always remind myself that Mya will remember everything. I remind myself that every experience in her life will help to shape who she is and every choice that I make towards her or around her will impact her in one way or another. I want her to look back and see that even in times of struggle and stress, she was loved and adored. The familiar line "I am the way I am because my mother/father did [insert negative memory here] when I was little" rings in my ear as I think about how I want to raise Mya. This sweet little girl will watch my every move, will hear my every word and will learn how to be a girl/woman by seeing my example. She will also learn how to be in a relationship by watching Terry and I together. She will learn how she is supposed to be treated by men by watching how her dad treats me and she will see how she is supposed to treat her spouse one day by watching how I treat Terry. What an incredible responsibility both Terry and I have...and we love every exhausting, hard, incredible, wonderful minute of it!

Friday, 20 January 2012

I Love Lucy Cake

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Cars theme cake

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Alligator Swamp Cake

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Thursday, 19 January 2012

Tutu Table -so cute, so girly (so cheap!)

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      When I finally got pregnant I was thrilled to pieces. I always thought that whenever we decided to start a family it would just happen whenever we wanted it to, like I saw happen time and time again to all of the friends in my life. However, it turned out that it wasn't a quick or easy process at all for Terry and I. Instead it was a process full of waiting, heartache and longing for the baby that we wanted so badly. So when that millionth pregnancy test finally showed up with that beloved second tiny faint little line on it, I couldn't believe it.

     I was by myself when I found out. Expecting yet another false test, I casually took another one after work one day just to ease my curiosity. And when I watched in awe as that tiny line started to emerge, I literally screamed out loud "No way! No way!" and I ran downstairs desperately willing Terry to come home early from work. I've never been so thrilled in my life.  All the waiting, all of the tears, all of the fears that had haunted me of never being able to carry my own child were washed away in one single moment. It was too overwhelming I could hardly stand it. I didn't know what to do with myself. What do you do when you find out the most amazing news in the entire world, but you can't obviously tell anyone until you tell your husband..and I knew I didn't want to tell him over the phone. I just had to wait. So I stumbled into the living room in a daze, not knowing what to do. I was not only in shock, but in a bit of denial that that little dollarstore stick (yes, those Dollarama pregnancy tests work!) could be correct. I think I sat on the couch and stared blankly at the television for a few minutes, but I mostly remember continually getting up over and over again to stare out our front window just begging that silver car to pull into our driveway. 
     In reality, as I look back, I think that I only had to wait about 25 minutes before he actually walked in the door--but it felt like an eternity. I remember watching him walk up onto our porch, arms full of work stuff, not having any idea that in a split second his world was about to be changed as he turned that doorknob into our home. My heart was racing and I felt knots in my stomache as I tried to pretend like nothing was different as we locked eyes and he put down his bags. But he knew. He knew right away. I now wish that I had come up with some fun, interesting way to tell him my amazing news..but I guess what we had instead was a real, raw moment of true happiness and disbelief between a couple who was beginning to think that it just wouldn't happen. Oh, and then we ran to the nearest pharmacy and got a REAL (expensive) test, just to make sure!! Maybe next time (if we're lucky enough to get pregnant again) I'll be all sly and get out to the grocery store and buy a bun and put it in our oven for Terry to find or something. But for now, what we had that afternoon was just pure excitement and joy about our little wee one (to be).

      I still don't think anything in life will top that moment of knowing that there was actually a little life growing inside of me. Then when we found out that we were going to be having a little baby girl I couldn't help but be even more excited about the reality of our future and thoughts of all of the fun and wonderful things that we had to look forward to with our little daughter. Also, I can't lie...I was pretty excited envisioning all of the pink girly things that come along with a new baby girl! So when we started to plan her nursery,  I had a million ideas but just needed to put them all into place.
      One of the things that I knew that we would need for the nursery was a little side table beside her rocking chair. It's amazing how many things you need within your reach when nursing a baby all day and all night long. A glass of water (for those intense moments of dehydration that nursing brings), a burp cloth, a mini light...just to name a few. So with that being said, I went on the hunt for a cute girly side table--but came up with absolutely nothing (well, there were some cute things out there, but they cost a fortune). So I decided if I wanted what I wanted, I'd have to make it myself. So that's exactly what I did. I went to several different thrift stores, with an 8 week old baby in tow, looking for a round side table (not willing to pay more than $20). And when I hit one thrift store I found exactly what I wanted--and it was the ugliest thing I had ever seen. It looked like it was from the 70's, it was wobbily, it was scratched, it was brown..I wish I had taken a pic of it at the time, but I got my hands on it too quickly with the paint that a before pic was nothing but an afterthought. Oh, and it was only $15..what a steal. So after buying the pink tulle and then using ribbon and paint that I already had at home this entire table cost me about $28--and it's so freakin' cute.

     Anyways, here is how I did it:

1) Start by picking your paint colour and buy a good primer. I knew I wanted mine to be white since it matched the white crib, rocking chair and dresser in Mya's room (all of which I painted myself since they were hand-me- downs, minus the crib which was new). So I just used some of the left-over white trim paint that we had in our basement and some of the primer we had lying around as well.

2) Start painting with a paintbrush, then use a mini paint roller to smooth out all of the paint lines. You'll need to do about 3 coats total. You're probably technically supposed to do all sorts of fancy sanding and all...but honestly, I didn't have time for that and I didn't want the mess, so I just went for it (and it's been about a year since I made it since I actually made this table when Mya was only about 2 months old and it hasn't chipped or peeled or anything yet). But if you want to do it right, give it a good sand if it makes you feel better about it all.

3) Go to a fabric store and buy at least 8 yards of tulle (if your table is about the same size as this one). You`re better off having too much instead of too little, especially since this particular type of fabric is pretty cheap. And you can always make little tutu skirts with any left overs!

4) Measure from the top of your table to the floor and cut the tulle in strips (appprox a foot wide) to the appropriate height.

5) Get your glue gun out, flip your table over and start glueing the end of each strip underneight the top of the table.

6)  Keep flipping the table over so you can see what it looks like upright, and fill in the gaps as you go with more tulle.

7) Use your glue gun to add little dots of glue along the edges of the table top and add your ribbon. Then tie a bow with a separate piece of ribbon and glue it onto the table as the finishing touch and voila, you`re done! So easy, so adorable and so cheap!!

Mini Mouse Cake

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Monday, 9 January 2012

Picture Perfect: Easy & Simple Framing Trick

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My sister (Jen) Vana White'ing our almost completed display
Point proven...a little of Mya, a little of Oliver :)
     It's interesting how the major events in your life start to claim all of the picture frames in your home. When I graduated from University all of a sudden my frames were full of my grad pics, friends I met in University or fun, crazy moments throughout my 4yrs in school that we had captured and framed. Then when I got married all of a sudden those frames became full of Terry and I grinning ear to ear in our wedding best, perfectly posing or candidly caught enjoying our day. And then (the big one)...we had a baby. And then it just gets ridiculous. I don't think I've ever taken so many pictures in my life and I certainly know that I have never cared so much about capturing so many small moments in our day as I do now that Mya is in our life. I can't tell you how many times the words "quick, get the camera!" have been yelled throughout our house and it's not slowing down any now that my sister Jen just had a baby 3 months ago. Baby Oliver (my nephew) and Mya are chased down by parent paparazzi's all day long. So, with that being said, I decided that I really wanted to create a family photo wall where I could display some of our favourites. Naturally then, I went out and bought the frames myself and told Terry that he was going to give them to me for Christmas. Is it just me, or do other women do this too? I love a good surprise, so I don't want to know all of my gifts...but if I see something I like I figure I may as well get it as a gift so it's not like I'm really spending extra's a gift, right?..sure. That's what I tell myself. And really, I'm helping Terry out too. So win-win. He really is a good gift giver though--spoils me rotten with surprises. Anyway, I randomly found these frames at Walmart in a pack of 13 (all different sizes and all coordinating, which is what I was looking for), and it only cost $18.99, so I couldn't resist. If you're looking for these same ones, they came in a huge rectangular box--HUGE. Jen and I took out about 10 different people while we were pushing this beast through the aisles of Walmart with 2 babies in tow. These are the moments in life when I wish I had a personal videoographer following me--you just can't fully explain the humour in this unless you saw it in person.
     Anyways, after being very surprised on Christmas morning when I received such a wonderful gift from my hubby, my sister, mom and I got started on mapping out my family photo wall. People ask me the same question a lot "how do you do that with a baby?". So I realize now too that I should have taken pics of the actual reality of this project. If I had taken enough pics, you would have seen me standing at the bottom of the staircase holding Oliver and bouncing like a madwoman trying to keep him from crying (little guy was ready for a nap), while my mom held Mya as she wiggled and squirmed trying to get to me. As I asked Jen to move each frame a little to the left, or a little to the right, it wasn't exactly a picture perfect or easy process. However, the thing is..we did it..and we did it quickly! 

    Anyways,  here is how we did it:

1) Grab some old newspapers. Place each frame on the newspaper and cut around them, so you have the exact size of each frame, but in paper form.

2) Get some tape and the biggest paper frame that you have. Figure out generally where the middle of your wall is (or the middle of wherever  you want your collage of frames to be) and tape the paper frame to the wall.

3) Grab the next biggest size of paper frames and place them around the largest frame.

4) Grab the smaller frames and fill in the holes until it looks how you want it to.

5) Place your screw or nail at the very top & middle of the paper frame and screw it into the wall.

6) Then pull the paper off of the wall and place your real frame there instead. Continue with each frame until all of your real frames are perfectly placed.
Make sure to get a mini level and make sure all pics are straight. In these pics we hadn't done it yet since I hadn't put all of our pictures in yet. So you can see that it would make a big difference once you're completely finished.
7) Insert pictures, and you're done!  Or, if you don't want to add pictures, you could always add scrapbook paper or patterned fabric to create instant artwork.  
Voila!! (Now we just have to fill them with all of our pics!)
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