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I HAD A BABY!

Finally here!

Finally here!

Well!  It would be an understatement to say that life has taken over since I last posted (almost two years ago).  I kind of lost my edge for a while.  I now have exciting new things to write about (most days).

Just over a year ago we found out we were expecting a baby (January, 2013).  We were splendidly surprised by this news, embraced it and haven’t looked back since!  We were due September 5, 2013.  As soon as we were able to, we found out the gender of our baby-to-be.  GIRL GIRL GIRL!

We were fortunate enough to have two Baby Shower’s thrown for us.  One by my friends at work and one that combined both my family and CB’s family and friends. We were both blown away by the generosity and the love that everyone showered upon us.  So lucky!

I stopped working about ten days before we were due.  I was still feeling great but was secretly hoping to deliver early (I didn’t want my daughter to have to deal with her birthday landing on the first day of school her entire life).  Work helped me keep active during my pregnancy.  The last few days at work I felt like I dragged my butt, no one was really expecting much from me at that point though.

I tried not to let myself worry about labour and delivery (I am a notorious over thinker). I managed to keep an open mind and not let myself get panicked – what needed to happen would happen and everything would be fine! I think that the baby calmed me on this.  Thankfully that is exactly how it happened.

Labour Day weekend hit and I was still pregnant.  My Mom came up to visit in the hopes she’d be lucky enough to be here if I went into labour.  CB, my Mom and I headed in to the city on Sunday to pick up a few odds and ends for the baby’s room and really just do something to keep busy.  We had a great day shopping and grabbed lunch.  We were home late and our downstairs neighbours were having a party.  I attempted to be patient with the party and managed to get a few hours sleep through the noise.

My Mom headed out-of-town early Monday morning as the weekend came to a close. By the time she got home (about  2 1/2 hrs later) I was pretty certain I was in labour. Of course!  I was pretty cool and calm – figuring this would be a long process, I headed to have a nap.  Around 4:00 pm I decided that maybe I should start timing my contractions.  They were coming quite often but not consistent in length so we waited.  (I was going on the theory 5-1-1, 5 minutes apart, 1 minute in length for 1 hour – HA!)  CB was anxious.  I told him to go ahead and start making dinner and if anything were to happen we’d just put dinner in the fridge and head out. And that’s exactly how it happened.  CB finished cooking and he decided enough was enough (luckily he did).  We were headed to the hospital around 5:30 pm, checked in by 6:00 pm (4 cm dilated) and pushing by 10:00 pm.

We welcomed Baby SB at 10:20 pm, September 2, 2013, 7 lbs 4 oz and 20″ long. She was perfect (and still is)!

We did it!!

We did it!!

 

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Still Settling In

I have left you hanging for too long.  We have recently made another transition in our lives and moved to a new city.  It took a little while to get everything unpacked and tucked away.

I haven’t quite found my groove so far here in Peterborough, in our new teeny apartment.  I have been slowly pushing myself to apply for jobs (which I find to be one of the most difficult things to do).   To help keep my sanity the first week here I whipped up a batch of my favourite chocolate chip cookies for CB to take to work for his staff.  They were as delicious as ever but I didn’t take pictures or save any of the details to post here.  The recipe is one that I MUST share as it is my go-to recipe and hasn’t failed me yet!  More on those cookies at a later date!

I have shifted my focus away from baking a little to try to find interesting meals to make for dinner.  We hit a winner last week when I made Spicy Bean and Rice Burritos.  The recipe is vegetarian but we had leftover chicken breasts that I shredded and added.  I wouldn’t mind completely eliminating meat but CB said he would prefer it with a good portion of meat.  I think that adding cooked, thinly sliced steak would be great.

So because this post was just a quick one to let you know I haven’t forgotten about you and lacking a little bit of excitement I will introduce you to my fur-baby.

Jewels in her first few days in my life.

This is Jewels.  I adopted her from the OSPCA when I started my first career job in Stratford, Ontario.   I read the cat profiles online before I headed in and something about this girl grabbed me.  When I entered the shelter I was so pleased to find she was as wonderful in person as her profile described her.    We are going on two years together and I can’t imagine life without her.  She’s been travelling around with me ever since!

I think she likes me a little bit as well.

I promise to work on some fun recipes or explore a new place in Peterborough that I can share with you shortly!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

I tend to flip-flop on whether or not I want to celebrate Valentine’s Day.  It’s great to have an excuse to fancy yourself up, go out for dinner and focus on the love between two people (which can so often be placed on the back burner).  But when it falls so closely to my Birthday I don’t really NEED the extra fuss and there is a special group of people who claim it is a Hallmark holiday so really, why bother?!  This year I have decided it is a great idea but have chosen to make it a do-it-yourself celebration (on my end).

On Saturday I was inspired by some of the “100 Reasons I Love You” lists I came across on the web.   I figured I could come up with some neat way to present the list but first issue first: I needed to come up with my reasons.  I love my boyfriend CB for so many reasons but how on earth would I put all those mushy feelings into words let alone come up with 100 reasons.  I wanted the reasons to be personal and meaningful.  Instead of stressing myself and scrapping the project I told myself to record as many as I could and see where I ended up.  On my first attempt I came up with eight.  Well eight wasn’t going to suffice to I thought about a few of the things we do together and what makes those times special and the ideas started flowing.  I kept the idea in my mind as I continued to browse the web for presentation ideas and kept adding to my list.  By the time I found a perfect way to present the reasons to CB I was well over 50 reasons.  That would be enough for now!

At first I figured I could decorate a Mason jar and cut the reasons into strips on pretty paper which CB could draw out to read.  This idea was simple and would do the trick but it just didn’t feel right.  I finally remembered seeing this neat idea on Pinterest which was a toy for kids but could be altered.  This idea luckily came with a great how-to on Instructables to make the Low Tech Cardboard TV Toy.   This was it!  The perfect idea!

I wasn’t making mine into a toy TV but more of  a Love Box with a scrolling list of things I love about CB.  I decided I would place the words “I love…” directly onto the box and would have the list of reasons scroll through the cut-out in the box.

I started by finding a cracker box and an empty wrapping paper tube (to use as the handles).  I formatted my list into two columns, printed and cut them out.  Once I had my list prepared I followed the instructions on the Instructables page to create the scroll.  Once I had all the holes cut in the box I decided I wanted to cover the Love Box in an old Valentine’s Day bag that I cut to match the outline of the box and taped it into place.

I was almost giddy when it was finally assembled and it actually worked!  The reasons scrolled properly, the box looked fabulous in the V-Day paper and it only took a few hours to get it together.  After a quick break for dinner I labelled the box and set a time to meet up with CB.  He insisted I was not allowed to give it to him yet (this was only February 11) but I was WAY to excited to hold on to it any longer!

The Love Box

I showed up to his house and forced it into his hands and taught him how to scroll through and I was so pleased to see the small grin creep across his face as he read through my reasons.  He loved reading the reasons and I loved seeing the smiles and laughs I created.   Definitely one of the most heartfelt gifts I think I have ever given and I love that he can keep it around to scroll through when you sometimes need a reminder of how much you’re loved.

Now that isn’t the end quite yet.  It’s tough for me to pass up the opportunity to bake and a holiday like Valentine’s Day is much too perfect.  So I threw together some cookies to give out to those I love.

I whipped up my favourite Peanut Butter Blossom recipe (I use peanut butter).  This recipe was initially made up for Halloween but I usually substitute plain Hershey Kisses or Hugs to make them more universal.  For Valentine’s Day I wanted to love them up a little bit so I found heart-shaped chocolates at Wal-Mart (not hard to come by at this time of year).  These are the ones I picked up:

Chocolate Hearts

I baked off the cookies as instructed in the recipe and pressed the un-wrapped chocolate hearts onto the tops of the cookies when they were still warm.

Just Placed the Chocolate Hearts

The finished product is pretty and delicious!

Valentine's Day Blossoms

Please feel free to try this recipe!  It is easy and yummy to the max.

Have a safe and happy Valentine’s Day.  And for those anti-Valentine’s Day people, you should still make these cookies, they are reason enough to be happy!

Leave me a comment below telling me what you do to make Valentine’s Day special.