stuff breaker

I’m having a problem with Husband. He keeps breaking my stuff. I’m not joking.

The list now includes:
– my favourite extra large ceramic bowl
– my Just Us travel mug
– my cookie jar
– the lovely white clock in our guest bathroom
– plus he dumped out my new house plant because “it was just a flower and was going to die anyway” … ah, no! It was a plant that would last forever as long as I kept it alive.

What’s a gal to do?*
*Yes, I am writing this to tease Husband. But yes, he has really broken all of these things. Good thing he’s cute.

nerd alert

Oh man, you guys, something has changed my life and I’m so excited to share.
I got a new household appliance on Friday. I hesitate to call it that though, because I’m pretty much ready to make it an honourary member of the family. It’s a Black and Decker Steam Mop.
I have been in the market for a steam mop for a while, but there are so many to choose from. Just about every cleaning brand has their own version, and they’re all quite similar. I knew for sure though that I wanted one that boasts the ability to kill 99% of germs on your floors. With a baby and a cat who like to lick get up close and personal with the hardwood, the idea of cleaning without chemicals was pretty appealing.
I decided on the Black and Decker mop after reading a great review by Mag Ruffman in my newspaper’s Homes section. I then read several blog posts recommending it, too. I was convinced, and I’m happy to say it’s everything I hoped it would be.
– It heats up in seconds. The light on the front changes from red to blue when it’s ready to go.
– It comes with three washable pads — no need to buy any expensive refills.
– It runs on water alone. No chemicals.
– The swivel head rotates so easily around edges and in corners.
– I could instantly see how much cleaner it makes the floor.
– I really can’t think of anything. If I had to say something, I guess it’s that I now have another appliance to store, but it’s still more convenient and cleaner than a traditional mop and bucket.
Plus, listen to this:
Me: Oooo it’s awesome! Husband, do you want to try it?
Husband: [thinks about having to do another chore] No … knock yourself out.
Me: [happily steaming the floor] Ahh this is so satisfying, and easy! Look how clean the floor is!
[Five minutes later]
Husband: OK, can I try now?
Any appliance that can make Husband ask to do an extra chore is worth its weight in gold, wouldn’t you agree?

a productive summer come and gone

I set a few goals for the summer months and, as far as I’m concerned, once school has started, we can pretty much consider summer officially ended. Here’s a round-up of my efforts. What’d you get up to this summer?

1) Grocery shop less. I feel like I did well with this. I wasn’t on a strict budget, but I tried to think about what we already had in our cupboards before going out to buy the things that I just wanted instead of needed. We got out to farmers’ markets several times for fresh, local produce, which was part of this goal. Now, we’re in the midst of revamping our family budget plan, so I’m trying to see how inexpensively the three of us can manage. There will be more to this as the month goes on. So far, a success!

2) Find more time to read. Enter The Litwits! Thanks to our new book club, I’m working on my second book in the past month and I also have a beach read going on the side.

3) Take Jacob to the beach and dip his toes in the ocean for the first time. Take millions of photos.

Here you go …Bold

4) Journey to visit family. This includes NB, CB and anywhere in between. Done and done! We had some wonderful time with family this summer and hope to visit even more this fall.

5) Go camping. This was a lofty goal with a less-than-one-year-old, and it didn’t happen this summer. We’re super excited to take him out as soon as it’s warm enough next year, though!

6) Keep my hanging basket alive. All. Summer. I’ll spare you the photographic evidence on this one. I’d lie, but I know my neighbour friend reads my blog and would rat me out. The basket is dead. Dry, crunchy, dead. Never to be revived. Maybe next year I’ll fill it with artificial flowers.

7) Sleep in. Please. Just once. Jacob was a peach this summer and many times Husband and I woke up before he did, which qualifies as a sleep-in for us. Waking up on your own, naturally, and refreshed feels so good.
8) BBQ. A lot. We did. Again and again. We filled the propane tank for a second time this year and we will BBQ well into the fall.

9) Wash both cars inside and out. We did clean both cars already, and just recently gave the Kia a second vacuum and wipe down. Being down to one-car family, for a while made it simpler, but we’re a two-car household once again and I’m making it my mission to keep “my” car spotless.

12) Purge. Success as shown here.

13) Fix the DIY curtains I made for the front door. I haven’t done this yet, mainly because I still don’t know what I want to do. Must hit Pinterest for ideas.

14) Do a few little home-improvement projects, like touch up some paint, etc. This was so easy. In less than an hour, we patched holes in the Gyp-rock and re-painted some spots. Plus, we exchanged our kitchen hardware, which made a huge difference.

15) Scrapbook (or come up with a reasonable alternative). Even though I still have lots of scrapbooking supplies, I’ve put them aside in favour of organized photo albums for now. Rather than doing a rushed job on our scrapbooks, our albums will serve to keep our memories until I have enough downtime to do it properly. I also cashed in Pampers Gift to Grow points for a free Shutterfly photo book of J’s first year, which may be my forever alternative to scrapbooking — it’s so easy!

What are your most important to-dos for fall?

an ode to awesome

Today, Husband turns 27.

He’ll be celebrating this day with Baby J because they are spending their whole summer together. So far this week, they’ve been to story time at the library, swimming at the beach and attended a pool party with friends.

And then today at lunch*, their outfits matched.

And that’s awesome.

Happy Birthday to you, Husband xo

*We had lunch at the Armview, which apparently is our big-occasion place. It’s where we had our wedding rehearsal dinner and where my water broke.

summer to dos

Seeing as how it’s actually summer, despite what the weather may have you believe, it’s time to make a trusty list of seasonal to dos. They’re not all exactly summer related, but all projects/initatives that are in desperate need of tackling.

1) Grocery shop less. I love to buy groceries. Yes, I know it’s weird, but I love browsing the aisles, thinking up recipes and getting a good bargain. And the fact that my new office is within a five-minute drive of a massive store that not only has groceries, but clothes and housewares, too … you see where this is going. Well, enough. I’m cutting my shopping trips down to twice a month. As part of this, I would like to visit the farmers’ market at least once a month to stock up on fresh, local produce.

2) Find more time to read. Complete at least six books before Labour Day. Seriously, this shouldn’t be that hard. I am embarrassingly far from my 26 books in 52 weeks goal. Time to step up.

3) Take Jacob to the beach and dip his toes in the ocean for the first time. Take millions of photos.

4) Journey to visit family. This includes NB, CB and anywhere in between.

5) Go camping. OK, this is ambitious with a nine-month-old. And it may just be in the backyard, but hey, that still counts.

6) Keep my hanging basket alive. All. Summer.

7) Sleep in. Please. Just once.

8) BBQ. A lot.

11) Wash both cars inside and out. Golf clubs = mud and grass. Guess this one is Husband’s job.

12) Purge. I abandoned my yard sale dreams in favour of getting crap outta here. I’ve filled one bag of clothes and one bag of miscellaneous items. There’s still an overflowing walk-in closet, among other crazy spaces, to be dealt with. ASAP.

13) Fix the DIY curtains I made for the front door. I’ll post more about this later to give you a little context.

14) Do a few little home-improvement projects, like touch up some paint, etc.

15) Scrapbook (or come up with a reasonable alternative).

OK. That’s enough. There’s more, but I really need to be realistic, and if I get some of this done, I’ll be pretty pleased.

What are you up to this summer?

the first of many

Dear Husband,
Since the moment we knew we were expecting, you have been an amazing dad. In the days we waited for Jacob to arrive, when we spent late nights reading pages of baby books aloud to each other and when you started learning lullabies on your guitar, I knew that this is a job you are meant to have.

Once he was finally in our arms, everything changed. Our love for him is indescribable, and the love I have for you is forever changed in the very best way.

I love standing just outside Jacob’s bedroom door, listening to you two talk, laugh and play. It is the sweetest sound.

You’re already teaching him so much — to catch and throw, to say new words, to love and be loved.
Thank you for being the best Dada for Jacob and the most wonderful husband for me.

Always remember there is nothing worth sharing
like the love that lets us share our name.

growing by the minute: 9 months

Vital stats: Jacob had his nine-month check up this week and got a big gold star from our doctor. He weighs 22 lbs. (75th percentile) and measures 29.5 inches (75th percentile). This month, I think it’s worth mentioning his melon, which, at 47.5 cm, puts him in the 95th percentile for head size. All the better to house that growing brain!

Milestones & firsts: Crawling! He started crawling after things he was curious about, like the vacuum or the cats, but now he crawls all over the place and we love watching him. With his added mobility, he’s also learned to pull himself up on anything he can reach. He generally prefers standing to sitting, and will hold his hands up in our directions for assistance. Cue melting heart.

Jacob started riding in his big boy car seat a couple weeks ago and he loves it. We’re still using the infant carrier in our secondary car, because it carries up to 32 lbs. It’s super convenient to switch between cars now without having to move a seat.

Buckets. He loves them. He puts toys in, takes toys out, tips them up to his mouth like a cup and puts them on his head. Silly baby.

Teeth: Still two, but totally popped out and adorably visable when he smiles now. No real signs of the upper pair yet.

Speech: Other than his regular string of gaa gaa and blahh blahh, he really only says Mama and Dada. We’re working on helping him learn ball, up and water, but he’s not quite there yet.

Zzzzzzz: We had a few long nights recently, mostly due to a cold and congestion. For the most part, Jacob still wakes once in the night to nurse. I had considered weaning him from the night feeding, but now that I’m back to work, I discussed it with our doctor and have decided to keep the night feeding for now, so he can get a bit more milk in each 24-hour period, plus the extra snuggle time with him honestly trumps that little bit of lost sleep.

Om nom nom: As I’m sure you can imagine, there’s not a whole lot out there that Jacob doesn’t like. This month, he’s enjoyed homemade mac and cheese, pasta with tomato sauce, watermelon, whole wheat english muffins, cheese, different flavours of yogurt, corn niblets, turkey and tofu. The one thing he hated was cottage cheese, which I assume was a texture issue. My friend K gave me a great tip though — mix the cottage cheese with the pasta and tomato sauce. Worked like a charm, Jakey gobbles it up and gets that extra hit of protein.

Likes & dislikes: He loves the view from his new car seat. It sits more upright, allowing him to scope out everything outside the window. It’s also more comfortable for sleeping because the head rest keeps his neck straighter.

He loves to play with anything he thinks he’s not allowed to play with. This includes, but is not limited to, my cellphone, the camera and video camera, the bookmark that is holding my place in my novel, and my car keys. He very much dislikes when he gets his mitts on one of these items and I take it away from him.

Challenges: Baby proofing. Now that Jacob has mastered crawling, he’s more and more interested in climbing. We moved the coffee table against the wall, limiting the number of sides he has to scale. We’ve plugged our electrical outlets, too, but we’re having a tough time finding cabinet and drawer latches to fit our unique buffet and hutch cabinet as well as Jacob’s dresser.

Separation anxiety. Not sure who this is worse on, me or him. Jacob has yet to cry when I leave him in the morning (thank God; I don’t know if I could handle it). I, on the other hand, can’t help but think about him all day and countdown the minutes until I can smother him with kisses.

Special moments: The look on his face when he sees me come through the door at the end of the work day is unlike anything I could describe — it makes my heart skip a beat just thinking about it.

I’m trying to savour all of our nursing time, because the countdown really feels on to the end of breastfeeding.

Lately Jacob leans away from me and puts his arms out toward Dada. I’m not offended — I love when he reaches out to Husband and a huge grin spreads across both their faces when I pass him over.

not me monday

This is a doozey.
I did not get Husband’s hopes up when I talked about the “treat” I was making him on Saturday.
I always re-set the timer, instead of leaving the contents to cook “a few more minutes” only to remember about them 10 or 15 minutes later.
Oh wait, that’s not the best part. My slightly charred cupcakes didn’t look like sunken potholes. Upon tasting them, I didn’t think they seemed a little gritty. And after talking it through with my Mum on the phone, I didn’t have a major “duh” moment when I realized that when the recipe called for 1 cup of coffee, it meant BREWED coffee, not a whole cup of coffee grinds.
I didn’t take my mother-in-law’s super tasty chocolate cake recipe and turn it into the biggest baking fail of all time.