Sunday, December 18, 2011

growing by the minute: 15 months

I let the monthly updates slide after Jacob turned one. Now, to my utter disbelief, he is already one quarter through his second year.

Vital stats: At his check up last week, Jacob weighed in at 25 lbs and measured 81.5 cm, which puts him around the 75th percentile on the growth chart for his age. 

Milestones & firsts: So many. Running, full tilt, with confidence; climbing furniture; adding words by the day to his vocabulary; befriending Scarley; started going to Miss Allie's House during the week; learned to identify head, hair, nose, ears, eyes, belly, feet, as well as objects, animals and a few colours; moved into a new house and a new room and has made himself quite at home ... I didn't realize how eventful the past three months have been!

Teeth: Nine and counting. We recently went through a tough week of teething, and now he has four in the front, on top, three in the front, on bottom, and two upper molars.

(Teeth are great for eating cake pop treats!)

Speech: I can't even begin to count how many words this kid says. He never. stops. talking. Which comes to great delight to people who love to point out who he gets that from coughmecough. Some of his most-often said and best understood include: hi, ball, dog, mama, daddy, hot, don't touch, I did it, no, please, water, apple, banana, oh wow, cheese, oh no, bottle, bath, guitar and the gamut of animal sounds, such as moo, woof woof and meow.

Zzzzzzz: Dare I put it in writing? Sleep is good. Very good. Generally, Jacob sleeps 12-13 hours per night without waking, though sore teeth or head colds wake him from time to time. His usual bedtime is around 6:30 p.m. He also takes a noon-time nap at Miss Allie's house each day, which can vary from 45 minutes to 2+ hours.

Om nom nom: Jacob likes most everything, but his tastes vary depending on the day. Recently, he was on a huge pb&j kick, on everything from English muffins to tortillas. He loves all veggies, especially broccoli, and eats tons of quinoa and beans. He's certainly not a vegetarian though; he eats chicken like it's going out of style. Oh, and don't let him see a banana, or he'll pester you until he gets it.

Likes: Hide and seek, stacking towers and knocking them down, sitting in his chair, toting toys from room to room, trying to dress himself and playing outside.

Dislikes: Laying still to have his diaper changed. I seriously can't think of anything else. He's a pretty easy-going dude.

Challenges: Jacob had a bout with a fever and rash that made for a rough weekend recently. It's never fun when he's under the weather or uncomfortable.

Special moments:
Here's one perfect example: one night, when J was teething and having a hard time getting to sleep, we brought him into our bed for some cuddles and he just snuggled in between us and went to sleep. He stayed there, snug as a bug, all night. Felt so good.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

have i mentioned that i love being a home owner?

I owe you a follow up to this post, wouldn't you agree?

We started with a dark room and we are in the progress of completing several intentions.

#1: Rip out that terrible, old, dark carpet. CHECK.
#2: Remove wallpaper throughout the basement. CHECK.*
#3: Choose paint colours. Paint. HALF CHECK.**
#4: Have new carpet laid.***
#5: Put our feet up in front of the cozy wood stove.

* The wallpaper removal process seemed like a breeze, until we realized that the play room was still, in fact, papered. Under paint. What a mess. I couldn't bare the thought of leaving it that way. It's our home, I resolved, and it must be done completely, and done right. Well, after layers of paint thinner, wallpaper remover and loads of elbow grease on Husband's part, we've decided to crack fill and smooth it as best we can, and then paint over that sucker. I think it'll look pretty great once it's finished. And only I will know there's paper hiding under there. Well, and you'll know, too, but you won't tell, right?

** Paint has been selected and purchased! Yay! Now we just need to finish the job in asterisk No. 1 and we can move on to this satisfying stage.

*** Oh Home Depot. We are developing a love-hate relationship. It used to be all the former, but now I'm starting to drift toward the latter. We went in on Dec. 3 (yes, six days before we closed, because we're caraazay like that) and picked our carpet, paid the deposit and were told we'd hear back at the first of the week about a measurement appointment. Nada. Eight days later, the installer called on our quiet Sunday morning to announce that he would be there in 10 minutes. Super-awesome-advanced-notice-much? I was in my bathrobe and stayed dressed that way until he had come and gone. So, we promptly went into the store on Monday to pay our balance and book our installation. Three days later, still waiting. I'll keep you posted, but aim your eggs at HD until further notice.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Day 5 in the new house, and things are starting to look a little different ...

Behold, the BEFORE:

Horrible. Hideous border. Dark carpet. Even worse forest green on every bit of trim.

Then, the most wonderful thing happened ... Husband scraped off that border and took down the blinds ... and it was like a Christmas miracle:

Then up came one layer of carpet:

And then another:

Isn't this the most glorious pile of trash you've ever seen?

I wonder if the neighbours are starting to talk ...?

And this is only the beginning.

Friday, December 9, 2011

closing day!

It's Friday! But more importantly, it's CLOSING DAY! The last 28 days have been a whirlwind (yes, that's all that spanned between the day we offered and the day we closed).

What you can't see here are the lovely mature trees in front, closer to the street. I love that yard. 16,000-square-feet of pure bliss, and it's all ours.

So, I think it goes without saying that we've got our weekend cut out for us. What are you up to?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

financial bucket list

Do you have a financial bucket list? Things you would do when and if you could save the money? I recently started reading Give Me Back My Five Bucks, a Canadian blog about finding financial independence, and it's given me inspiration to be even more aggressive about paying down debt.

Here are a few of the things on my personal financial bucket list:

1) Pay off debt as quickly and efficiently as possible. This includes student loans, two car payments and our new mortgage.

2) Create an emergency fund. Ideally, this would be enough funds to live for six months if something unimaginable happened.

3) Increase our retirement contributions. Who doesn't want to be set up to retire comfortably?

4) Increase our investment into education savings. Hopefully our children will pursue higher education and we want to be prepared to help them as much as we can with that.

These all seem quite logical, right? What are your financial priorities?

*Another huge bonus? Give me back my five bucks is hosting a great giveaway, so pop on over to learn more.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

countdown to christmas

I blogged for The Chronicle Herald on Wednesday about wanting to start a Christmas countdown tradition in our home. The idea that I liked best, of out all of the great ones I found on Pinterest, was a holiday activity for each day of December.

Here's what we're planning:

December 1: Sing Christmas songs.
December 2: Send letter to Santa here.
December 3: Bake Christmas cookies.
December 4: Watch Elf on CBC.
December 5: Colour Christmas pictures.
December 6: Make paper ornaments.
December 7: Take festive family photos.
December 8: Shop for stocking stuffers.
December 9: Send Christmas cards officially from our new address.
December 10: Deck the halls in our new home!
December 11: Watch Home Alone on CBC.
December 12: Make DIY Christmas gifts for friends.
December 13: Read Christmas stories.
December 14: Take an evening drive to look at Christmas lights.
December 15: Make paper snowflakes.
December 16: Go on a winter walk.
December 17: Do a good deed.
December 18: Build a snowman (weather permitting) or make an indoor version.
December 19: Make snow angels, inside or out.
December 20: Play outside.
December 21: Sip hot chocolate with candy cane stir sticks.
December 22: Read Christmas more stories.
December 23: Drive home for the holidays! Listen to lots of Christmas music along the way!
December 24-29: Celebrate Christmas with family.
December 30: Make a list of family plans and resolutions for 2012.
December 31: Stay up late, enjoy treats, and ring in the new year as a family.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

five things

Five things.

List five things we don’t know about you.

1) I can't iron. I hate to iron. I don't do it. Ever.

2) I can't watch violent movies.

3) I talk in my sleep. Often in full sentences.

4) I gave birth to Jacob naturally, without an epidural.

5) I've been pulled over twice for speeding. Received zero tickets.

Five things you’re knowledgeable about.

1) Cooking and baking. I am, by no means, an expert, but I love to try new things, so I'm always learning more.

2) Crafting and DIYing. I consider myself pretty creative and will try and project that comes my way.

3) The written word. I am an editor, after all. And yes, I know, the grammar on this blog isn't always to the letter of the English law, but this is my outlet. I'm allowed a few liberties.

4) Swimming, synchronized and otherwise.

5) Motherhood. I'm not going to pretend that I'm not learning as I go, but parenting takes up a surprising amount of brain real estate as of late.

Five things you know nothing about.

1) Football. I've been taught before, but I can't seem to retain all the rules.

2) Math beyond add, subtract and multiply. Don't ask me how to do long division.

3) Harry Potter, Star Wars or Lord of the Rings.

4) Current music, besides what's repeated over and over on my morning commute.

5) Gardening. I'm an absolute brown thumb. Don't tell the homeowner police, but I am likely going to destroy my yard.

And five things you believe.

1) I truly believe everything happens for a reason.

2) I believe in my instincts.

3) I believe in the good in people.

4) I believe in love. It is the glue of the strongest bonds in my life.

5) I believe in karma and the Golden Rule.

Thanks, as always, to Mama Kat for the writer's prompt.