Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas!!


Hope you all have a wonderful holiday season and remember the true meaning of the season!

Love Myrna, Jamie, Sarah & Charlotte
xox

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Where I Found Sarah One Day...

Sarah, overall, has been great with the new addition.

She wants to constantly hug and kiss her to the point where I sometimes think Charlotte will be smothered.

She wants to 'help' with feedings, even tho' I am breastfeeding. You can probably imagine the conversation I'm having with my 3 year old about "boobies" and where the milk comes from.

She wants to share. Of course, Mommy nearly had a heart attack when that sharing meant trying to feed Charlotte a candy one day! Eek! Another reason on my "Why to never trust a 3-yr-old for even 2 seconds" list.

She wants to bath the baby which usually consists of squirting Charlotte in the face with water from all manor of bath toys and making her cry.

She wants to soothe her. This means sticking her little finger in Charlotte's mouth and saying "Shhhh, shhhh, shhhh...it's ok, Mommy's here..."

But sometimes, Sarah still just wants to be the baby...

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Tshirts and Purses

The hubster said I couldn't possibly want another purse for Christmas.
"You already have a million!" he said.
"Well," I said, "I don't have even close to the number of purses as you have in tshirts".
"What?!" he exclaimed, "I only have about 30 tshirts. You have about 50 purses!"
"Oh, no way! You definitely have that backwards!"

So, today I counted.
I have 21 purses. And yes, I could possibly want another.

The hubsters tshirt count: 70!!!
Yep, that number would be a 7 followed by a 0 - SEVENTY!!
No joke! The man is obsessed with tshirts but yet wears the same dozen or so over and over.

We'll have to wait and see if Santa ups the count. Whatever happens, I think goodwill is in need of being stocked up on tshirts AND purses.

What is your obsession?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

It's hard to find a good OB/GYN these days!

He delivered Charlotte on HIS birthday. After telling me to go home because I wasn't in labour, to wait another two weeks until my due date. I knew he was a jack-ass!

Click on the link:
Shock and dismay in reaction to charges against city doctor - Local - News - The Western Star

Saturday, November 06, 2010

This is What Happens...

when Mommy allows her 3 year old access to scrapbooking supplies and then leaves the room to feed the baby...



Have a great weekend! The girls and I are off to Ontario for 10 days to visit my sister and her family...and hopefully do lots of Christmas shopping :)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Bad Tummy Time

She sleeps best on her tummy. If I put her down during the day on her back or side, she's up within minutes. On her tummy, she's good for a while. It might be because she seems to have an achy belly a lot, maybe the pressure feels better.

At night, I always put her on her side. On her back, she's always gagging and waking herself up. So, on her side, at 2 weeks old, was the first time she managed to roll herself onto her tummy! My gosh, what is this kid doing to my nerves?! I'm in a constant state of paranoia and always checking for breathing.

Go figure I'd have a child who would go against the "rules" right from the start. Charlotte, don't you know we're not allowed to put babies to sleep on their bellies??!!


Charlotte with her purple mouth (we were being treated for thrush with very purple gentian violet!)

Charlotte's pooky "Made in Canada" cloth diapered tooshy.

Bye for now from the busy mamma,
Myrna

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Out of Commission

I've been a little busy having a baby and all.

After feeling "unwell" for a few days, on the evening on August 30th, I decided it was time to go to the hospital, only to have the doctor on call send me home again because I was having "false contractions".

Well, False contractions my ARSE! Hubster decided we were NOT making the hour and a half drive back home and we booked a hotel room. But a couple of hours later we were back at the hospital, and I was getting a shot of nubane for the pain. The nurse still wasn't convinced I was really in labour but said the nubane would get rid of the false labour contractions. Real labour would continue, of course, and did. A couple of hours more and I was 5cm dilated. At this point I was starting to ask for the epidural. A couple of more hours after that and I was 8cm's dilated, BEGGING for the epidural, but told it was really too late. The doctor came in to break my water at 9cm's and before we knew it...

We were welcoming:

Miss Charlotte Joy
Born August 31st @ 7:59 a.m.
Weighing 8lbs 13oz (Exactly the same as big sister Sarah)
Measuring 52 cm long





We are all doing well. Baby isn't sleeping well and I am DEAD tired. Baby also has Thrush which have spread to the "girls", making breastfeeding the epitomy of discomfort but we are getting through. Hopefully we'll have the kinks figured out soon. After all, I do realize how quickly this newborn time flies by and I'm trying to enjoy it as much as possible, even through all the crazy emotions and exhaustion.

And for the record, just because I did this birth SANS epidural does not mean I would ever want to do THAT again. If we should decide to have a third baby, I am more on board for the drugs than ever before...Yes sir, thank you very much!

I will apologize in advance for my lack of postings in the near future as our home computer died and I have only the very occasional moments of laptop use. Stay tuned, I'll do my best to keep you updated.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Today...

I'm copying Christa and her "Today..." posts...seems like such a nice way to give you all the lowdown...

Today...I got up super early and had a nice breakfast by myself.
Today...I realized how much bigger I've gotten in just the last week when a dress I've worn all along is now very snug!
Today...I was annoyed at the hubster for not attending church with Sarah and I.
Today...Sarah "read" her new book from start to finish (I guess she's heard it a few times).
Today...I felt, again, that labour might be starting, only for the "pains" to go away.
Today...I had a nice bbq supper with the in-laws.
Today...I got 4 scrapbook pages done after not doing a single page since May!
Today...I want a new SmartPhone but have no idea which one is best (without being too expensive).
Today...I'm tring to decide if I should work this week or call it quits.
Today...I showed Sarah her Newborn pictures, she didn't recognize me in the photos, and when I said, "That's Mommy!" she asked, "What's wrong with your face?!" Ah, the joys of labour!

And with that...a Good Today is now Good Night!

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

# 25. Send Vicki's VERY late Christmas gift

Vicki was just here in Nfld for a week-long vacation. I was so happy to see her and got to visit with her a little. I didn't have to "send" her Christmas gift, I ashamedly gave it to her in person. Shame! Shame! Shame on me for being such a terrible friend!

Anyways, here's the gift - a print from Jasmine Becket-Griffith of "Kali", who reminded me so much of Vicki, I just couldn't resist! I personally think her sweet face looks very similar to Vicki. I love the contradiction of how she's all innocent and sweet and fairy-like but at the same time is dancing around a fire with skulls around her neck - and Yes, that did indeed remind me of my awesome friend!



If you'd like to check out Jasmine's amazing art, her website is www.strangeling.com

Friday, July 23, 2010

Happy 5th!

Today is the hubster and I's (that doesn't sound like proper English) 5th Wedding Anniversary! Happy Day to us!

We have no plans. Unfortunately, life is very busy. Hubster is off work today until 7pm. I'm working all day and off at 7. Go figure!

We started it all off with a beautiful beach wedding in PEI with a small group of wonderful family and friends. And I've been thinking about what we've done for 5 years since:

- We went camping and forgot our first anniversary until the day was half over.
- We vacationed together alone and realized we need to vacation in a group to maintain our sanity as our views on vacations are quite different!
- We vacationed with a group (Phew! That was better!)
- We bought our first house.
- We had our first baby.
- We bought a business.
- We moved our family back home to Newfoundland.
- We bought another house.
- We await baby #2.

And in between all of that:
- We have laughed and cried;
- We have snuggled on the couch or sat as far apart as possible;
- We have talked or kept silent;
- We have argued and then kissed and made up;
- We have shaken our heads at each other in both joy and annoyance;
- We have judged and understood;
- We have questioned and relied on the sanity of the other;
- We have shared happiness and sorrow;
- We have lost and gained;
- We have withheld and discovered;
- We have coldly folded our arms or warmly opened them to embrace;
- We have been frustrated and relieved;
- We have opened and closed doors;
- We have felt, depending on the day, that 5 years is short and long.

Through it all, I think Dave Matthews sums it up very well:
"The space between the tears we cry
Is the laughter keeps us coming back for more..."

Happy Anniversary Jamie! Here's hoping for many more years of all of the above, with enough of the good stuff to keep the scales tipped in our favour!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

#88. Make Wedding Cake: Jason and Holly - Cupcakes

Congrats to Jason and Holly who were married this past weekend, July 10th, here in wonderful west coast Newfoundland.

Holly asked me to make her a cupcake cake and after some research, trial and error, here's what we came up with...didn't they turn out awesome?!




Photo Courtesy of Jason and Holly's wonderful and amazing photographer, Christa Hann...Thanks Christa!

Cupcake cake idea courtesy of Kylie Lambert at Le Cupcake.

Cupcake stand tutorial courtesy of Cake Journal.

For more info on how you can order your very own cupcakes (or other yummy stuff!) contact The Chocolate Moose Bakery and Cafe at 709-453-2262.

Friday, July 02, 2010

Author: Krista D. Ball

We met back in the early 90's, mid-teens, starting to experience glimpses of life outside the confines of a parents wing. I cannot say I remember where we met, under what circumstances, what we said.

What I do remember is the letters. I loved to write, she loved to write. We were instant penpals, scribbling frantically back and forth week after week, talking about boys and school and disagreements with our friends. I was the pristine penpal - excellent penmanship, floral stationary paper with matching envelopes, stamp placed perfectly square in the top right corner.

She, on the other hand, wrote as she thought - much too fast for her hand! She would start out in "proper" form with "Dear Myrna, Today I ...blah blah blah..." and then suddenly you could see her thoughts taking over with no care for aesthetics. There were circles of words, words written off the page, sentences run out of space and continuing down the outside, flipped over to the back of the page, upsidedown. Stationary and envelopes were often recycled before recycling was the "in" thing - it was crumpled brown wrapping paper posted in an envelope someone else had sent her, turned inside-out and taped back together.

I loved receiving those crazy letters - I looked forward to the mystery that was inside, piecing together the details of whatever fantastical highschool journey she had been on that week.

And so, I was not surprised in the least, when we "met" again on facebook after several years, and she was in the middle of working towards her first published novel, "Harvest Moon".

Let me introduce to you my friend, Krista D. Ball, in her debut blog tour interview:

A Writer's Essential Blog Tour Foods

Hello everyone! I’m Krista D. Ball, a science fiction and fantasy (SFF) writer from Edmonton, Alberta. Today begins my blog tour, which I’ve seriously named “Krista Taunts the Internet: The Officially Unofficial Blog Tour.” Between now and August, I’ll be visiting a number of different blogs all over the web and doing guest spots.
Now, blog touring is a lot of work and a girl has to keep up her strength. My emergency blog tour snack kit will include:

· (Canadian) Smarties
That’s right. Smarties are not the same the world over. This shocked me to discover on my first trip to the US. Then, people tried to convince me that our Smarties were like M&Ms. Oh heavens, no! For maximum blog touring energy, Smarties should be mixed with ice cream.

· Walker’s Shortbread
There are very few store bought cookies that are better than homemade. Walker’s Shortbread is at the top of that elite list. Leave it to the Scottish to make the best cookie on the planet. Do not purchase if you are on a diet.

· Poutine
French fries. Gravy. Cheese curds. It’s gooey heaven. One of the best things about cooking a turkey is that you can use the leftover gravy to make homemade poutine the next day. Yum!

· Newfie Screech
As a writer, I believe it is important for me to continue the stereotype that all writers are half-cut most of the time. Being a Newfoundland gal myself, I would be remiss if I didn’t have a 40 ouncer of Screech in the cupboard. In case of emergencies, of course. Not for 10 am drinking.

· The Spud’s Onion Rings
There are only 5000 or so people in the world lucky enough to have visited The Spud. It’s like a chip wagon, only in a building. They make onion rings so good that I have been known to arrive in Deer Lake, NF after a 10 hour flight and asked the cab driver to take me straight to The Spud, even if it’s 2am.

· Mc Lobster
There is something so awesome and terrifying about eating lobster at McDonald’s. Yet, every year, McDonald’s in the Eastern Provinces (and I’ve heard some US states) serves up its famous McLobster. It’s been a decade since I’ve had one, but I demand several to survive a summer tour.

With this group of foods, I’ll make it through this summer tour with flying colours!

A special thanks to Myrna for letting me kick off my tour on her awesome blog.

For more information on Krista or her upcoming novelette, Harvest Moon, check out her website at http://www.kristadball.com/

Thursday, June 17, 2010

#55. Write Poem: Pregnant Miss Muffet?

A pregnant miss Myrna
Pinned her clothes on the line.
It started to rain
Before it was time.
She headed back out
The laundry to fetch,
And felt a soft tickle
Right there on her chest.
She pulled out her collar
And when she looked down -
There was miss spider
Walking around!
Well, pregnant miss Myrna
She shrieked and she danced,
She pulled off her shirt
She undid the clasp.
She flicked off poor spider
in 2 seconds flat
No thought to the fact
that her belly was fat!
Miss Myrna, she sighed,
with her hand to her cheek,
Oh dear! She'd forgotten
the neighbours might see!

The end.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Photo Update

Okay, okay, stop nagging already! lol. I know! I am the absolute worse at uploading photos! So here's the latest....

One of Sarah in all her sadness as she prepares for the VCUG at the Janeway. In this photo, she is specifically crying because she didn't want to take off her Dora shirt to put on the gown. As always, bear is in tow.

We had a fox in our backyard. It was the day we arrived back from St. John's and Jamie was busy unpacking the truck. We were suddenly alerted to the presence of Mr. Fox by Sarah, who playing outside, began hollerin' and screamin' such bloody murder that we thought the fox must have attacked her! Turns out she thought we might invite the fox to stay in the house and she didn't want that...I can't imagine why! It's not like I've ever allowed wildlife in our house before.

And here we are at 25 weeks. We meaning ME and Sarah and baby in da belly. I'm measuring about 23 cm's at the doctor but my ultrasound shows as being right on track with my own dates. So far, 14 lbs gain - most of that in the past month! And please excuse my gorgeous bed head hair and mish-mash old t-shirt/Charlie brown pant pj's - Sarah and I had just gotten up.
And here's a super cute pic of Sarah, last Sunday, playing outside. I know I may be slightly biased but isn't she just the cute-EST!
Last but not least, the cupcake wedding cake I made today...I'm quite pleased with it! Isn't it nice?

Thanks to Kylie Lambert at Le Cupcake for the idea...my imagination cannot take the credit.

(Holly, if you see this...this is similar to how your cupcake cake will look as well. Except you'll have lots more cupcakes on the table (I understand we're not adding more layers to the stand because you'll be on a potentially rocky BOAT...yay!) and you have chosen to have cupcakes as the top layer as well instead of the double-layer cake. And, yours will be black & white. It's gonna look great!)

Don't be surprised if my next uploads are not until about 6 weeks after baby arrives in September :)

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Craving Cheese

Not literally.

This morning I got up and made my usual breakfast of toast and tea and a glass of milk. I set it all out on the table atop a Dora placemat. I pulled out the chair onto our (fake) hardwood floor..... nothin' but a big screeeeeeech and scrape!

"I need chair socks", is what I thought in my head, "those little ones Nan knit for the bottoms of her chair legs." No more screeching and scraping my floors. "I wonder who could knit 24 of those terribly intricate little things."

I sat down to eat and looked around at my efforts to be somewhat stylish and modern in my home decorating and thought, "Chair socks! My goodness Myrna, what are you thinking?! Could you crave something a little less cheesy next time?". It's seems pregnancy isn't always about the food.

The craving didn't pass. I've just arrived at the office and I'm still thinking of chair socks. I don't want the little felt circle thingies that go stuck (and hidden) on the bottom of the chair legs. I want the newfie hand-knit "what the heck were you thinking?" conversation-piece SOCKS! I want them...I want then now!

(I also sometimes find myself using a....um....plastic floral tablecloth!)

Do you ever crave this kind of cheese?

Monday, May 31, 2010

Back from St. John's

The hubster and I (accompanied by Grandma) had to drive to St. John's on the weekend to bring Sarah to her annual urologist appointment.

Some of you may remember past posts on Sarah's condition. Basically, she has reflux in her left kidney. Normally, if everything is functioning correctly, urine will flow from the kidneys through the ureters and into the bladder. However, Sarah has an obstruction in the ureter. This causes the flow of urine to be partially blocked, making it flow back into the kidney (reflux). This pushing back of urine into the kidneys can cause permanent damage if not closely monitored. At the moment, Sarah's left kidney is functioning at about 60% with a reflux level of about 3.

On the bright side:
- This is a treatable condition in most cases and is fairly common.
- Sarah's reflux could be worse - she is a level 3 (with 1 being best, 5 being worse)
- Many children will gradually "grow out of it"

On the negative:
- We have to take meds every day and Sarah hates taking medicine!
- Having a VCUG done every year is NOT fun at all! (especially when Mommy realized she wasn't allowed in the room this time being prego and all - xray...duh! Good thing we had Grandma cause Daddy is just no good at that stuff!)
- We have to drive 8 hours to St. John's every year to see the specialist as there isn't one in our area.
- Sarah's test results reveal her condition is slightly worsening every year.

Here's what the doctor thinks:
We still have some time to work with as Sarah is still only 3 years old. Studies at the moment show that 8-9 years of age is the cut-off for the condition to improve on its own without surgical intervention. So, we'll go back next year in May for our regular tests (VCUG and ultrasound) to check again on the development of the reflux. IF there is no improvement or if the condition has worsened again, then they will probably want to perform a day surgery procedure to dilate the obstructed area of the ureter. We will then have a follow up VCUG a few months later to check if the dilation is helping. Hopefully it will. Our option otherwise, a few years down the road, would be surgery to repair (with a stent?) or replace the ureter. I don't have the full details on how this surgery would work - I'll need to do more research.

So let's cross our fingers for little Sarah for improvement over the next year.

P.S. According to our ultrasound, it appears that baby#2 has all of its little kidney/bladder/ureter parts in tact :)

If any of you have to go to St. John's for medical testing or treatments, the place recommended to us (thanks Wendi!) for our stays has worked out very nicely and gives a discount with a copy of your doctor requisition. Click on Hillview Terrace Suites for more information. Rather than a hotel room, these are furnished apartments (at about the same cost of a hotel) with 1, 2, or 3 bedrooms and a fully stocked kitchen - ideal for an extended stay.

Monday, May 24, 2010

No. 24 and No. 28 - Sorting and Organizing Through one of THOSE days!

For me this long May 2-4 weekend was not about get-aways or camping (although those would be nice). Rather it was about trying to get some things done around the house.

Well, what a disaster that turned out to me. I didn't know I could have such emotional turmoil over attempting to finalize spring cleaning.

It started on Saturday morning. I awakened to the sound of the lawnmower outside. The hubster stayed home from the store to get some yard work done (much needed and appreciated - Thanks babe!). I got up, Sarah got up, and we had breakfast. Fine...so far so good.

I had planned to hang clothes on the line - much too windy, looked like rain. Disappointment #1.
I started to gather laundry - ALL manner of the hubsters clothing strewn on the floor on his side of the bed. Annoyance #1.
Thoughts of the long drive to St. John's this week for Sarah's dr's appointment - Worry #1.
Sarah decides she wants to watch Beauty and the Beast and the TV won't work. I reach behind the TV to check the plug-in, come up and hit my head HARD on the corner of the shelf above the TV - Hurt #1.

And then I started to cry. At any other time, I probably would have cursed a little (inside my head, of course) and gotten furious at my lack of spatial awareness regarding the shelf. On this day, I cried. And then I sat on the floor and cried. I got up and went to the bedroom, saw this disaster of clothing needing to be sorted in the closet and cried some more. Sat on the bed, started thinking of all the other stuff on my "to-do list" not getting done and literally sobbed. I don't know that I've ever felt so overwhelmed. It was crazy. I'm not usually like that.

#24 and #28. Sorting toys and clothes into bins/purging "give-away" items.
I spent the majority of the morning in fits of tears but managed to still sort a bunch of stuff - I gathered up a huge garbage bag of items for good will. I put away winter items and won't-fit-this-year summer items and took out all my maternity clothes. I told the hubster I was feeling very overwhelmed and unorganized. By the time I looked up, he was already headed back outside. I called him back to carry some bins for me. And then he left. And then I cried some more because he didn't even seem to hear what I had said. Urgh! But when he came back inside he brought a bunch of things up to the attic for storage so he was somewhat redeemed. We headed out to Deer Lake to run an errand for the store and I felt much better after getting dressed, putting on some makeup, and getting some air.

I had Sarah's toys nearly all sorted into bins already - one for dress up clothes, one for toy dishes and food, one for small-motor-play (aka Junkie little McDonald) toys. But I also got out the crayola bin and sorted all of the crayons (good vs. broken), markers, leds, stickers, paper, etc.

Phew! Glad that's over! I don't think I could handle being an overly emotional person. How does one ever get anything accomplished? How do you handle days like this?

Hope your weekend was better than mine. Happy Victoria Day!

Happy Birthday to my wonderful sister! Hope it was a great one!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Diaper Stash and Ultrasound Update

Doggy loves our new Jamtots Berry Plush Cloth Diaper!

Pros:
So far, the softest diaper we've tried - feels so smooshy and comfy.
Has a snap in liner for easy laundering.
The cover can be used separately with a prefold or fitted diaper.
Made in Canada! (I love that part)

Cons:
On the expensive side at approx. $28.50 each. I wouldn't have tried it at that price but I got a $10 off deal.

I don't think we'll be ordering more of these diapers. Unfortunately, the price is a little too high. But it's nice to have one of them in my stash for wee baby. And the one I have is a size small which should fit nicely from birth. Many of the one-sized diapers actually start fitting closer to about 12 lbs or so.

As of a few days ago, I think I now have enough diapers ordered. I know it's soon but I warned you - I'm obsessed!
(Thanks scrapbooking ladies for the gift ($) - which I used to finish purchasing my diapers)
I've been keeping my eyes peeled for deals and have gotten all of my diapers on sale! Bonus!
I even found a lady who made me a diaper for $9 out of my own "O Canada" flannel! Of course, as with any addiction, there are still some diapers I'd love to buy. Like these and these and these!
Lucky for me the hubster has been very patient with me. But I'm sorta thinkin I may be pushing it if I order more right now simply because they are "oh so cute!" But seriously, aren't they?
And what's even more exciting than cute colourful cloth diapers? Seeing baby for the first time, of course! Today was our ultrasound and we got to see baby's heartbeat, tiny little feet, and mouth opening and closing - absolutely fascinating!
At first the baby seemed to be sleeping - no movement at all and his/her hands were up covering his/her face so the ultrasound technician wasn't able to get the profile pic she needed. How cute is that?! Sarah always slept with her hands up by her face too. The old wives tale says this is a sign of a happy baby...I sure hope so!
After about 20 minutes or so, baby starting squirming all around and poking and prodding mommy everywhere. I tell ya, there's just no better feeling! I didn't realize I was crying until I felt a tear run down my cheek.
We were also happy to learn that this baby has a 3-vessel cord (normal) whereas Sarah only had 2-vessels which is most likely the cause of her kidney issues.
On the negative side, Newfoundland doesn't allow you to go home with a photo of baby from the ultrasound. I was very disappointed at this, especially after having about 8-9 u/s pics of Sarah. Quite frankly I think it's rather silly and I'd love to know why this is. The ultrasound tech had no idea. She said she thought I could "purchase" the photo from my doctor....huh?
Picture or no picture, it was a very happy day for us!
Jamie said "I think it looks like a boy". lol...I highly doubt it but I guess we'll see in about 4 months!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

I knew WE would have to be on this List

MSN Front Page this morning had a headline that caught my eye.

The Star Style Hit and Diss section from Cannes also caught my eye but I'll leave that one alone.

Top 10 Friendly People around the world
Chris Robinson's Top Ten Favourite Places

My first thought upon seeing the title: "Obviously we Newfies have to be there..." and so I read on:

Having met so many wonderful, giving people during my travels (I've even been offered a bride) I take the liberty of sharing my favoritism towards the friendliest cultures. Here is my top ten list of friendliest destinations.

1. Irish
Emerald Isle, diamond people – without question, it's the warmth of the Irish people that stays with you long after you return. Total strangers treat you as close friends and the 'craic' – party spirit – of the Irish pubs is legendary. Maybe it's the magical properties of a pint of Guinness?

2. Thai
The most gentle people on the planet. The Thai Buddhist culture underpins their genuine desire to please travellers. They naturally offer up their cultural heritage and make it easy for visitors to experience. I was once picked up on the streets of Bangkok by a local who took me to his family temple and then to his home to meet his family - all without a word in common.

3. Newfoundlanders (yay...here we are! I knew it!)
What makes people who live on a rock so friendly? Could be their Celtic heritage, their self-reliance or their remoteness from stressful big cities. Whatever the cause, their spirit is irresistible. If you survive being 'screeched-in' and kissing the cod, you are ready for anything.

4. New Zealanders
I probably relate so easily to The Kiwis (or they to me?) because they are the closest people in spirit to Canadians: they, too, have a beautiful homeland, a big brother neighbour, and they take great delight in showing off their home to travellers...but always, as befits a kindred Canadian attitude, in an understated way.

5. Tahitians
The best way to describe the overwhelming friendliness of Tahitians is with this example: my wife and I were travelling with our ten week old baby and treated ourselves to an upscale dinner in Papeete,Tahiti's capital. Just as our meal arrived, baby Pip started to cry. Without hesitation, our Tahitian server scooped Pip up in one arm and served meals with the other until we had finished our dinner…much to Pip's delight.

6. Bajans
Nature has provided Barbados with many attractions, and the people of this Caribbean island complete the package. I have run the Barbados Marathon twice, and the enthusiastic support of the Bajans lining the route is what carried me both times. The amazing part is that they clearly thought we runners were crazy, but they cheered nonetheless.

7. Greeks
Have you ever tried to visit a Greek home and not end up eating with your host? It's impossible! They are possibly the most hospitable people in the world - in Greece or wherever in the world they have settled. And, yes, I have actively participated in a crazy, plate-smashing dinner party at a Taverna on the island of Kos that I will never forget.

8. Bolivian Aymara and Quechua Indians
I once spent many weeks trekking around Lake Titicaca high on the Bolivian and Peruvian altiplano. I had no tent, nor were there any hotels to speak of. I simply staggered into a village at the end of each day and the wonderful locals shared their homes and their food with me.

9. Kurds
Years ago, a small group of us were camped out near the Turkish/Iranian border. A band of armed Kurds surrounded us and invited us to join them at their camp, where we were feted until dawn. Their spirited hospitality was overwhelming.

10. Sherpas
In the Himalayan valleys of Nepal live a self-reliant people unlike any others I have encountered. They help Westerners who come in search of high altitude adventure to feel welcome. They seem to rise above hardship. Their quiet nobility literally embraces travellers who journey there. When I trekked in the Helambu region north of Kathmandu, their hospitality was simple, gracious and oh so appreciated.

By Chris Robinson
Chris hosts Canada's top rated radio travel show - the Chris Robinson Travel Shows on Newstalk 1010 CFRB in Ontario and CJAD 8000 Montreal in Quebec. www.chrisrobinsontravelshow.ca

Friday, May 14, 2010

My Favourite Gift

Just wanted to share what the hubster got for me for Mothers Day.

No flowers.
No candles.
No romantic dinner.

Just one big giant Cadbury Hazelnut bar...the perfect gift every time!



Thanks Babe!

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

No. 32 - Video Sarah Singing

She loves to sing. Sings constantly. Wants me to sing her to sleep every night. She makes up songs about everything imagineable - quite the little songstress!

In this one - it's all about Jesse crying loud, a Jesus church hymn, and a princess deciding to go to another house...I think :)

Monday, May 03, 2010

A Quick Peek for Krista n Pete

I'm not a photographer by any means. But I do love taking photos! So when Krista called and asked if I would shoot her wedding, I was nervous as heck, but said, "Yes!"

As I said, I'm no pro, and it shows in many of the shots I took, especially when lighting was an issue. But I'm also super pleased and think I did pretty good considering my inexperience.

It was a c-c-c-cold day but luckily the rain stayed away. And it was a beautiful wedding with a beautiful bride and groom - so in love with each other, it's awesome!

And the bridal party were fantastic too - Thanks guys and gals for sticking out the frigid temperatures for your bride and groom!

So without further a-do, may I present Mr and Mrs Peter and Krista Cammie...

First, the pretty rings...if you zoom in super close, you can actually see Krista's reflection in Peter's wedding band...neat!
There are many shots I love of the bride but there's just something about this one...
Love this one of Peter...very handsome...
The old fallen down apple tree made a perfect backdrop for the bridal party...
The beautiful couple...
And what's a wedding without some silliness...here's to Paul, the A.D.D. twin brother and his...finger? (Come on, Paul, you knew it was gonna end up on the internet somehow!)
Thanks so much for the opportunity you two - I see how happy you are together as a family and wish you nothing but joy and blessings for the future! (MANY more pics to soon follow).

Love, Myrna

P.S. Thanks, Christa (Christa Hann photography), for the pointers and support!

Twenty Weeks

I'm half-way there!

It's scary to think that the second half of my pregnancy is probably going to go even faster than the first half with the summer season approaching and life getting busier by the second.

I'm excited, anxious, and (I think) even more nervous than I was having the first baby. Life is already hectic with a business and a 3-year old and I often wonder how I'll keep up or if I'm really cut out for this mommy business. Don't get me wrong, I love being a mom - it's a rewarding job that fills your heart with so much joy you think sometimes you just might burst! But it's a job filled with constant guilt and worries and I often find myself questioning whether I deserve such blessings.

This 20 weeks has been different than with my first pregnancy:

Pregnancy #1: Tired only at the beginning, felt better than ever the rest of the time
Pregnancy #2: Still waiting for that burst of energy to kick in!

Pregnancy #1: Super organized with cleaning and tidying
Pregnancy #2: I sit and look at all the mess and wonder why it's not getting done ;)

Pregnancy #1: Felt lots of crazy movement starting at about 15 1/2 weeks
Pregnancy #2: Felt tiny movements early but it's sporatic, lighter, and not nearly as often.

Pregnancy #1: Slightly more weight gain early on
Pregnancy #2: Only 5 lbs so far - and actually have weeks of (unintentional) weight LOSS

Pregnancy #1: Was well into the 3rd trimester before peeing at night became an issue
Pregnancy #2: Holy constant pressure on the bladder!

Pregnancy #1: A lot of heartburn and swollen feet from the beginning
Pregnancy #2: So far so good

Pregnancy #1: Didn't have a clue about morning sickness
Pregnancy #2: A lot more nausea (at night at the beginning) but have thrown up only once on Easter Sunday morning.

Pregnancy #1: No cravings, save my normal desire for chocolate
Pregnancy #2: I seriously made a huge plate of french fries with hamburger meat and gravy one night at 10:00 because I was STARVING for it and just couldn't get it out of my head - bad! bad!

Pregnancy #1: Dreamt I was having a baby girl
Pregnancy #2: Dreamt about having a boy (although I still think it's another girl, and I'm totally fine with that!)

Things that are the same:
Lots of headaches
Very congested (especially at night)
Most people say they can't tell yet that I'm pregnant - showing but not a lot and still fitting into most of my regular clothes.

If you've had multiple pregnancies, were they the same? or all different?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

No. 50: Re-evaluate My Schedule

And it is a crazy schedule.

A few months back, I became involved in the committee for VOBB (Voice of Bonne Bay) Community Radio.

Currently, VOBB airs only part-time (for example during the upcoming Trails, Tunes, and Tales Festival). The committee is trying to make the station more official and more ongoing. Great idea! Great Committee!

BUT, I just don't have the time and I really feel I don't have the passion or energy to continue with it.

So, this morning I "resigned" with the following letter:

Dear VOBB folks,

Thank you for welcoming me to your committee only a few short months ago when I expressed my interest. I appreciate your patience with me while I'm unable to attend the meetings in person and am often preoccupied on the phone-line with my crazy 3-year old.

With the summer approaching, business picking up speed, renovations happening at our store, agenda items piling up at the Town Council, that 3-year old to entertain, and baby #2 on the way, etc....I am simply finding I have neither the time nor the energy to commit to VOBB in the way I had hoped. I don't like to be involved in anything half-heartedly! And so, it is with regret that I must take leave of the committee.

As the Town Clerk in GBS and an active member in the community, please feel free to contact me should you need help and I will assist in whatever capacity I can. I believe I am scheduled for a little interview on the radio during the TTT festival - and I am hoping to attend some of the events this year.

Once again, thank you so much for the opportunity to be involved with VOBB. I wish you continued success and hope to see (and hear!) plenty more from you in the future.

Most Sincerely,
Myrna Hynes

Item No. 50 = DONE!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Chocoholics Top 10

I'm working in the store today.
I am surrounded by chocolates and candies and sugary treats of all sorts.
My will-power is definitely losing the battle.
This makes me think:
"Self, it's about time you shared another list."
This one is actually in perfect relation to my blog title.
That doesn't happen too often around here.

My all-time FAVORITE candies!
(and by candies, I mean mostly chocolate, of course!)
In no particular order because I don't want to come off as having candy-prejudice:


#1. The one-cent sour candy that you can VERY RARELY buy anymore...sometimes at "The Bulk Barn". Seeing them makes my brain do sugary sommersaults and I have to do a little dance in the middle of the store. No lie. The purple ones are the best.


#2. Cadbury Easter Creme Eggs: Is it because they only come out at Easter that makes them even yummier? The fact that when March rolls around you remember sitting on your couch in October DYING for one...and then you have to buy by the dozen (just like REAL eggs)? My friend Vicki knows I love them so much she even put some in with my baby shower gift for baby #1.


#3. Lowney Cherry Blossoms. You can get these any time of year in the single bar-size (approx 45g) OR you can buy the mini ones in packages at Christmas. (Of course, I can eat the entire package). These are best kept in the freezer.


#4. Ferrero Rocher. My absolute favourite "holiday chocolate". I'm so happy they're not just out at Christmas in tree shaped packaging. But also in heart-shapes for Valentines and Bunny-shapes for Easter and just plain square packaging almost all year round. Mmmmm!


#5. Neilson Macaroons and Rosebuds: I'm grouping these together in the same category because I can't pick up one box without the other. And then I open both boxes and alternate between eating them. These are also best when refrigerated.


#6. Bakers Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips: Yes, I can sit and eat a hand-full of these, just the same as any other candy. Shameful? Yes, I know.


#7. Hazelnut bars. Hazelnuts being my favourite nut, if there's hazelnuts in it, it's definitely a favourite. If the hazelnuts are surrounded in dark chocolate, then it's even better!


#8. Creamy orange-filled or ganache-filled chocolates like the ones in Pot of Gold or at Laura Secord or Godiva. Yummy Yummy Yum!

#9. Mom's Recipe for Homemade Fudge...ooey gooey yummy. So yummy, in fact, I can sit and eat the entire batch. (shhh...don't tell anyone I just admitted that).

#10. Neilson Chocolate Chunks. Remember those? They were 25 cents back in the day and came in Solid, Caramel (my personal fav), or peanut. Where did they go? They were so awesome, I still think about them sometimes....sigh!
There is a facebook page devoted to "Bringing back Chunks" - Now there's a group worth getting into!

I'm ending at 10 because my chocoholism seems especially ridiculous after that - but trust me, I could go on.
What's your favourite?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Beginnings of my Stash

Since deciding to cloth diaper baby #2, I've become absolutely obsessed with ALL things related to cloth diapering. Seriously obsessed - just ask the hubster, he's worried about me, I'm certain of it!

I admit it was VERY overwhelming at first but I'm a research junkie so the constant online searching didn't bother me one little bit.
I've learned about all of the different varieties of cloth diapers out there - from prefolds to fitteds to pockets to AIO's and AI2's.

I've learned about the available fabrics - cotton, hemp, bamboo, flannel, terry - and the wetness barrier options - PUL, ZORB, wool, fleece.

I've learned about the best choices for newborns vs. infants vs. toddlers.

I've learned about liners and doublers and the bio-degradeable options.

I've learned about snaps and velcro and laundry tabs and wet & dry bags and washing instructions and laundry detergent.

I've learned that there are free patterns to make your own diapers and covers if you have the sewing skills.

I've learned about "mommy items" for breastfeeding and postpartum care.

I've learned it all and then searched for reviews on every imagineable brand-name on http://www.diaperpin.com/

I've learned that there are a ton of cloth diaper shops online, most of which host sales of overstocks and seconds and discontinued colours - great to grab up brand name items for super cheap if you don't mind searching.

And then I've learned that ETSY has a TON of Work-at-home-Moms who make most of this stuff for a much more reasonable cost than the brand-names...and there are fabulous reviews for them as well.

Best of all, I've learned all this will save me a TON of money in the long run since disposables cost $2000-$3000 and about 500 years in the landfill. Cloth diaper costs vary anywhere from about $250-$1000 and 2-3 extra loads of laundry per week.

Without further a-do, may I present to you my first online cloth diaper "samples". The hubster even agreed (after listening to my voice of reason -- that's probably the voice he refers to as "beaker") to letting me purchase sale items online so I can figure out what I like best.

Sarah's dolls and bears, my diaper models, have been loving all the attention.

Option #1: Prefolds with Cover

Pros: Cheapest option, easiest to launder and dry, cover can be used over several times unless it becomes soiled.
Cons: Requires pinning or Snappi making it more tedious than other options, Not dad-friendly

This one is a Chinese unbleached prefold in Infant size ($2.50 regular price) and a Stacinator fleece cover in size small ($10.00 on clearance)


And here is Sarah's stuffed dog with folded and Snappi'd prefold all ready for the cover. And honestly, it doesn't really take all that long once you get the hang of it. However, taking the time to fold and Snappi a squirmy toddler might be very tricky indeed.

P.S. The SNAPPI is the little white plastic gadget you see along the front of the prefold - for someone, like me, who's afraid of poking their baby with a sharp pin.
Option #2: Pocket

Pros: Can be stuffed to achieve any level of absorbency you desire, "normal" drying times as stuffer and cover remain separate in the wash, many come in one-size options from about 12 - 35 lbs making it a reasonable price option, velcro option can be dad-friendly
Cons: Don't fit newborns very well in the one-size options, stuffing can be a pain in the butt (particularly for daddies), both the stuffing AND cover need to be changed.

The red diaper on the left is a "BABY KANGA" ($15 on clearance - no liner included). I love that the pocket opening is a zipper in the front, meaning there's no touching the inside of the diaper to pull out a soiled liner. It is made in Canada - added bonus! The Baby Kanga shown is also in the one-sized variety (all those snaps have a purpose - they make the diaper smaller or bigger to fit your baby!)

The doggy print diaper on the right is made by Etsy mom "Lil Impressions". I love the fabric choices and the price ($13 including shipping and terry cloth liner). Note the pocket opening is inside in the back of the diaper. A very nicely constructed diaper and easy for Dad with a velcro closure.

.
Baby Kanga pulled out to its biggest size option.

Option #3: AIO's (All-in-Ones)
Pros: Goes on exactly like a disposable, no extra stuffing or covers needed, VERY dad friendly, nice fit for a newborn.
Cons: Takes longer to dry because of the layers all-in-one, more expensive since it is a SIZED diaper, meaning your would need to purchase sizes for each stage your baby is in.
Doggy is wearing an AMP Made in Canada diaper in a beautiful chocolate brown colour, sized Newborn. $20. Super easy. I love this one the most!
Option #4: FLIP (that's the brand name as opposed to the style, as I'm not really certain which style this one falls into -a hybrid perhaps?)
Pro: Cover and insert are separate making wash times reasonable, cover can be reused with a new liner until it becomes soiled, a one-sized meaning it fits babies approximately sized 10 - 35 lbs meaning less diapers to buy.
Con: Still on the pricey side at $20 per system (diaper cover and insert together), not a big colour range (yes, that's a con for me)
This flip is my least favourite that I've received so far. Personally, I find the way the liner goes in a little awkward. I'm not sure it would actually stay in place with no snaps or velcro.

To end off, I have to say, I obviously cannot make a really informed decision or give a precise review on ANY of these styles of diapers as I've no baby yet to try them out on. My opinion is based merely on discussions with the hubster after trials on ease of snaps/velcro, construction, fit on stuffed doggy (lol!), etc.

I'm still waiting on a few more samples to come in the mail - including a fitted and a trainer from another Etsy mom, two more cover types (a berry plush and a bumkins), and two more fitteds (an AMP and a Happy Heiny's).

I would love to hear your recommendations and advice! Stay tuned for Cloth Diaper post #2.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

101 in 1001

Christa did it.
Jody did it too.
And now I've gone and done it....FINALLY! After taking forever to complete it, here's my:

101 in 1001

Start Date: Monday, April 19, 2010
End Date: Monday, January 14, 2013

Vacations/Sightseeing/Family adventures
1. Take another trip down southApril 12-19, 2011 Went to Dominican Republic for Steph and Ed's wedding
2. See an iceberg August 7,2011 Saw my 1st iceberg at St. Lunaire-Griquet, NL en route to St. Anthony
3. Visit Lanse Aux Meadows August 7, 2011 Loved it!
4. Meet a puffin in person
5. Visit a castle (hopefully somewhere in Europe)
6. Go snorkelling
7. See Cirque du Soleil
8. Take a ride on a horse (horseback or wagon-drawn)
9. Climb Gros Morne Mountain
10. Go snowshoeing
11. Take my Dad ziplining
12. Do a cave tour
13. Visit a museum August 8, 2011 Visited the Grenfell House Museum & Interpretation Center in St. Anthony - Absolutely beautiful & Educational.

On the Home Front
14. Renovate our bathroom - add a soaker tub, new tile, updated cabinetry
15. Hang pictures/decorative items in the master bedroom (currently there are NONE)
16. Complete the downstairs guest room
17.Paint the kitchen and dining room in BRIGHT colours (Red for kitchen/Purple for dining room perhaps?)December 2011 - my kitchen and dining room are now both bright purple! Yay!
18. Put up new curtains
19. Plant a flower garden
20. Add some plants to the house and keep them alive!
21. Frame and hang one of my own sketches/paintings
22. Fix the pull-down stairs to the attic so I can access it better for storage
23. Purchase a climber/slide set for the backyardSummer 2010 - Sarah is very excited about her new slide and swing set :)

Get it Together
24. Sort and purge bins of old clothes - give it all away or yard-sale itMay 23, 2010
25. Mail Vicki's VERY LATE Christmas 2009 (Yes, I said "Christmas") present August 1, 2010
26. Organize the kitchen cupboards
27. Burn photos onto disks
28. Organize Sarah's toys into binsMay 23, 2010
29. Sew buttons back on to that stack of pants

Firsts for Sarah
30. Take Sarah on her first amusement park ride (kiddie coaster/ferris wheel)
31. Teach Sarah how to do "Cats Cradle"
32. Video Sarah singing May 4, 2010
33. Take Sarah berry picking September 2011 at Lomond Farms in Stephenville and we got poured on!
34. Teach Sarah to swim
35. Take Sarah to a show or movie
36. Teach Sarah how to print her name
37. Teach Sarah how to tie her shoes
38. Have a dollhouse built for SarahCouldn't find a dollhouse builder so we purchased a wooden dollhouse for her, Christmas 2010

For Offspring #2
39. Choose a name August 31, 2010 Charlotte Joy
40. Design and paint the nursery Summer 2010
41. Breastfeed for at least 6mths Ended breastfeeding April 2010, just over 7 months
42. Record baby's first steps (I missed Sarah's)
43. Have maternity photos taken Done by Christa Hann Photography
44. Find a vintage children's book to use as wall art for the nurseryJune 2010, Found one at the local library, scanned and copied the pages - I'm pretty sure I'm not allowed to do that :/
45. Photograph baby #2 with 4 generations

Me, Myself, and I
46. Get contacts
47. Wear a bikini again April 12-19, 2010 during our trip down south - and I didn't look half bad ;)
48. Finish reading the "Outlander" series
49. Get another tattoo
50. Re-evaluate my busy schedule - drop what I don't love April 27/10
51. Buy a good nursing braMay 2010
52. Paint my toenails red
53. Have a girls night out
54. Try a new food
55. Write a poem
56. Visit Clayton's grave
57. Open up my Etsy shop again
58. Win a contest
59. Get natural tan lines (no fake-n-bake)April 12-19, 2010 during my trip down south, got tanlines galore and burn-lines in some places...ouch!
60. Try a new ice cream flavourMay 27, 2011 while in St. John's tried the Laura Secord super dark chocolate ice cream at Laura Secord, yum!!
61. Research to educate myself on a new subject matter

The Hubster
62. Go out for dinner to celebrate our 5th wedding anniversary
63. Make a habit of greeting the hubster with a kiss/hug when he comes home from work
64. Put together a 1000-piece puzzle - together
65. Complete Jamie's family tree
66. Watch a movie together for each letter in the alphabet
67. Surprise the hubster with "something" he's been wanting Got him that new bbq that he really didn't need but wanted soooo badly...it's a nice one :)
68. Buy hubster a new pair of Mavi jeans (they fit him best and only has the one pair)

Family Stuff
69. Apply for native status
70. Turn off the TV for an entire weekend
71. Pay off credit card debt
72. Open a savings account (education fund) for each kiddo
73. Interview my Nan about her life
74. Attend my Nan's 80th birthday party (if I'm not in labour at the time) Unfortunately this could not happen - Nan got very sick at the time and had to be hospitalized.
75. Send a card and note to a loved one to tell them how much I appreciate them
76. Mail Christmas cards December 19, 2010 better late than never (my life motto)

Health Stuff
77. Lose 25-30 lbs February 3, 2011 have officially lost 30 pounds!
78. Go an entire weekend without chocolate
79. Eat the required servings in all categories on the Canada Food Guide for at least ONE day
80. Organize a fitness/leisure group specifically geared to Seniors in the community

Being Green
81. Sew cloth "non-paper" towels and baby wipes
82. Set up backyard compost
83. Plant a veggie garden
84. Cloth diaper baby #2 Started September 2010
85. Use Low VOC when painting the nursery

"Work"ing on it
86. Take a full year off for maternity leave
87. Learn a new cake decorating technique
88. Make a wedding cakeJuly 10, 2010
89. Renovate the store front - counter/windows/paint
90. Learn how to make bread

Hobbies
91. Get Isabella's and Olivia's scrapbooks up to date
92. Complete a wedding scrapbook for Mom
93. Complete a scrapbook for Clayton's mom January 2011 Clayton's mom started attending my scrapbooking class herself and, therefore, is doing the album herself :)
94. Learn more about my Nikon & implement to take better pics of my family
95. Complete my crazy quilt
96. Host a full day of scrapbookingScrappy Sunday: May 16, 2010

Being Charitable
97. Donate my hair to "Locks of Love"
98. Send a gift to my sponsor child
99. Purchase a chicken or rabbit or seed packets at World Vision or Samaritans PurseDecember 2010 purchased guinea pigs as Christmas gifts for Papa and Poppy from Sarah and Charlotte.
100. Donate $1 to Charity for every item not completed on this list

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

What Shows

I met a girl. Someone I could be friends with. When I first saw her I have to admit I was thinking, "My goodness, what a slob!".

Now, I'm certainly not always put together, tucked and tidy, makeup and hair in order. No Sir-ry, I am not!

But I'm talkin' out and about in the drabbiest, slouchiest clothes, hair greasy and unkempt, teeth clearly unbrushed.

And the first impressions part of me wrote her off. And I learned how terribly superficial that was because this girl is really a wonderful person, super nice, friendly, a good mom.

I want to say I learned my lesson - that first impressions don't matter. But they do! I want this girl to realize how wonderful she is. I want her to care about her appearance so that people don't look at her the wrong way. I'm a firm believer that we outwardly reflect how we feel about ourselves on the inside. And sadly, if you don't care about you, then how can someone else care about you?

I know I can't go up to this girl and say, "Ok, you seriously have got to do something about that hair...those terrible mom jeans...the yellow teeth." I just can't.

But I do know what works for me, even when I'm not having a great day:

1) I try to take care of my skin. I cleanse, I moisturize, and I use SPF. I don't do tanning beds (although I did a few sessions to prepare for my wedding). My daily makeup routine is simple and natural looking. I always make sure the makeup is scrubbed away before bedtime.

2) I keep my hair and nails clean. No, I don't always wash my hair every day, I don't need to. You may need to. My nails are not done in a salon or tipped in the most fashionable of polishes. But I like to do a nice hand scrub, keep my nails evenly trimmed, and use clear polish. And if it's sandal season, my feet are scrubbed, nails trimmed and polished. Am I perfect at this ritual? Absolutely not. But are my hair and nails dirty? Not unless I'm in the middle of digging in the veggie garden!

3) I get dressed in the morning. Story: When I had my first baby, I thought how easy it would be to sit around all day in my comfy pj's. I decided right from the start that THIS - this mommy thing - was my new job. Just like I had to wake up and get ready for the office, I now had to make a point of getting dressed for my daughter. There were days when it didn't always happen right away, but it really helped me feel better on the "down" days. Even if I felt sad, I didn't look sad. Was my hair always "Done" - No! Did I break out the dress pants and button-down shirts? - No! Ponytails - yes, lots of 'em! Comfy yoga pants with a decent shirt - yes, lots of that too. But was I out at the store in my pj's with a giant 80's scrunchie in my hair - absolutely NOT!

4) I Smile. I brush and floss and rinse. I visit the dentist. Do I do checkups often enough? No. But I do recognize the importance of having clean and healthy teeth. I don't have what I call "nice" teeth, they naturally have grooves and yellow quite easily. But I try to do the best with what I have.

5) I don't wear the hubsters clothing. I don't care what shape you are, there is apparel out there for you that will fit...in the womens section! Saggy-assed jeans and square-shaped Reebok t-shirts are a huge no-no unless you are painting your house! I went through a grunge-phase in grade 9. I snapped out of it. End of story!

I don't think those things are hard. They are common sense and most basic to me. I'm not the most stylish. I don't have the most funky updated haircut. I don't visit the spa for treatments. I don't purposely buy brandnames. Do I have a problem with people who are/do all these things? My goodness, no! I even envy them sometimes... because do I need major overhaul once in a while? Definite YES!

And I also want to note that going crazy in the opposite direction with TOO much emphasis on "looks" puts one at risk of seemingly lacking in confidence as much as the girl who doesn't give a crap what she looks like. Because let's face it, beauty IS only skin deep and layers of makeup and the latest fashions can only cover up so much.

But at the end of the day, I like who I am. I like how I look. I like what I wear. Not always - but mostly, I feel good about me. And I hope it shows. What about you?

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Big Cut

Today was the day for the big cut. 11 inches, to be exact!

After having many excruciating headaches, I decided my heavy hair was certainly not helping the situation, and needed to be GONE!

My friend Tara was a huge inspiration when she decided to grow her hair out purposely to give to Locks of Love, an organization committed to making wigs for children. What a great idea!

I thought, "Well if I'm getting it cut anyways, I may as well cut enough to give." And that's what I did.

I wasn't sure how to go about doing the Locks-of-Love thing and so decided to put a message on facebook asking for help. I found out I could go to my local hair salon and send the hair in myself. Great!

I made the appointment.

The hubster kept asking, "Are you sure? Did you change your mind yet?"

"Nope"

And off I went.

But first, a couple of before pics:
That's a LOT of hair right there!



Of course, I forgot to bring my camera to take a pic of the actual cutting!
But, here's the after, with ponytail...and Sarah (she was fascinated by my new 'do)...in tow:
(it's a little messy from me raking my hands through it so much...lol)



Holy! Talk about feeling like NO hair! I feel so light and free...haha!
And I'm very happy to be giving my 11 inches to a great cause!

If you're interested yourself visit www.locksoflove.org

Friday, March 26, 2010

The Return

I spent nearly the entire winter devoid of criticisms and snoody remarks.

Returns my grandmother, who had been away visiting relatives for the season, back home a couple of weeks ago.

After only a couple of days and the second time seeing me, she says, "Go put something on your face, for goodness sake, you look terrible!"

I assume by "something", she means makeup. Normally, she wouldn't approve of such cosmetic enhancements but apparantly my porcelein skin was looking particularly pale.

And I'm brought back to my childhood...I've heard it so many times:
"Go put your hair up Myrna, you looks like a streel, I could turn you upside-down and use you for a mop!"

Did I mention I'm getting my hair chopped off next Tuesday and sending at least 10 inches of it to Locks of Love?

I suppose my confidence needed to be brought down a notch. And 80-year old grandmothers lacking filters are just what the doctor ordered. I imagine when I'm 80 I probably won't see much point in hiding the truth either.

Oh My...I wonder what this summer of pregnancy will bring? I'm fully expecting lectures on appropriate & modest ways to dress to hide the growing bump. Either that, or comments on how big my butt and thighs are getting, in the name of predicting the sex of the baby of course!

I'm actually kinda looking forward to it. Funny what you miss when it's not around.

Tell me I'm not the only sucker for punishment from a slightly sadistic grandparent...?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

We are the World

I guess I'm a little behind but I just (FINALLY!) watched this video in its entirety ...what a beautiful tribute!



And then this one...another beautiful song to Haiti by Michael W. Smith



Talk about tear-jerkers? Wow!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Where Are You From?

I came across THIS post on Sandra's "Aging Disgracefully" blog and thought I'd give it a go...

• I am from the rock tumbled ocean side and jagged cliff slate, the ebb and flow of tides, bright moon shining, seagulls screeching overhead.
• I am from a front yard full of whales and a backyard full of moose.
• I am from Saturday morning cartoons on one channel only - CBC!
• I am from Sunday nights home from church with my grandad watching Walt Disney and eating fried eggs with far too much salt.
• I am from the hands of an almighty God who created imperfect me in his perfect image.
• I am from road hockey, beach combing, worm digging, mud pies, splinters taken out with sewing needles, swimming brooks, and home at dark.
• I am from snow forts, garbage bag “sleds”, skating on the bay, frozen wool mitts, watching dad cut wood, and crying over fingers and toes thawing by the wood furnace.
• I am from respect for teachers & preachers, and calling everyone “older” aunt and uncle.
• I am from a mother and father who never went to bed angry with each other.
• I am from four meals a day - breakfast, dinner, supper, and lunch (before bed) with tea and homemade bread and pies and cookies to finish each of them.
• I am from raising chickens and ducks and organic vegetable gardens.
• I am from acid-washed jeans, side ponytails & scrunchies, neon slouch socks, gimp friendship bracelets, big teased hair, and a grunge phase of baggy jeans and oversized plaid shirts.
• I am from music I listened to in secret - Michael Jackson, Tiffany, Cyndi Lauper, Madonna, George Michael, Def Leppard, Bon Jovi.
• I am from the hymns I tired of as a teenager, but that have become the songs of my soul as an adult. How Great Thou Art!
• I am from ties broken and re-tied.
• I am from a time of searching in cities away only to return to the home of my heart with a call of salt water in my veins.
• I am from many loves and finally finding the one who puts up with me when I’m being completely irrational.
• I am from the road less traveled.
• I am from the need for ink spewing from my pen in the form of poems and lists and sketches and ideas and the dream for that ink to flow in time to the completion of a book with my name on the cover.
• I am from an ancestral desire to speak to trees and sense the spirit of the stones beneath my feet (and wondering why I always felt this way only to discover my native geneology).
• I am from star gazers and rose smellers.
• I am from tears cried at the mere thought of losing my babies and tears cried over the loss of friends and strangers babies.
• I am from bedtime stories and nursery rhymes.
• I am from the need for endless research and obsessing over current interests.
• I am from lifelong friendships with sisters as friends and friends as sisters.
• I am from forgiveness and refusal to hold grudges.
• I am from a life blessed with many riches except those in monetary form... and I am thankful for it!

Where are you from?

Friday, March 05, 2010

Our Princess


Happy Birthday "baby" Sarah!

I can't believe she's 3 years old already....where does the time go? Can anyone tell me?

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Slump

I can feel it...it's a blogging slump...it's been coming on for a while.

Maybe it's a pregnancy thing.

The last time I was pregnant, I blogged less...and then less again after I had the baby.

I'm having writers block. Pregnancy makes me super dumb.

No, seriously! It's like I can barely speak, let alone express myself in written form.

My brain is on grow-baby mode and all other non-essential functions are on pause.

So please forgive me for my lack of posts.

It's killing me because I, honestly, LOVE to write. But there you have it. It can't be helped.

It's either blogging or reproducing. My eggs are aging so I have made my choice.

Bear with my...stick around if you can...I'll be here once in a while as proficiency allows.

11 weeks.
Getting over a nasty cold.
Can't breathe through my nose.
Getting a little extra pookiness.
Thinking about nursery colors/decor already!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Beakers Ballad

Ok, you have GOT to head over to LOSE THAT GIRL and check THIS out

Beakers Ballad = Hilarious!!

The fact that the hubster *lovingly* calls me beaker sometimes is a rant for another day!

Friday, February 05, 2010

Raspberries and Rainbows...and Volleyball?

I've added a new Ticker
Over there ---->>
I sometimes refer to growing baby as "baby bean", "Little peanut", etc.
So when I saw this ticker with the size of wee bebe compared to fruit and nuts and berries and such...well, I just thought it was perfect!

8 Weeks
Still tired
But, overall, feeling good :)

Today, I'm making a rainbow birthday cake.
And not just ANY rainbow cake.
Little E wants a rainbow.
So, not only am I decorating a rainbow on TOP of the cake....
I'm also colouring the cake mix all different colours and making the cake ITSELF rainbow too!
When she cuts it...MORE rainbows!
Isn't that exciting?!
Well, maybe not to you.
But to little E it will be very exciting indeed!

Have a great weekend!
Boys Provincial Volleyball tournament happening here at our school...just like old times!
Girls, don't you just feel the boy-crazy 14-year-old in you itching to come out?! haha :D

Friday, January 29, 2010

The Secret is Out

I just can't keep it a secret any longer.

I tried. I thought maybe just maybe I'd be able to stay silent for a while longer.

Remember THIS post?

It seems once the decision is made, the decision is final...

I told someone that all Jamie really has to do is look at me funny for it to happen...I think that's what I'll tell Sarah when she's older and asks: The Daddy looks at the Mommy "funny" and VOILA!

7 weeks.
Very tired.
Don't-ya-dare-touch boobs
Occasional bouts of nausea
But otherwise, great!!

Looking forward to welcoming baby #2 sometime around the middle of September...wish us luck!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Help for Haiti

My friend Tara booked a Missions Trip to Haiti for December 2010. Booked it before the earthquake. She already had a passion to go. And now she's even more passionate about helping the people of that island nation that is in such dire need.

Tara is doing SEVERAL things in an effort to raise funds and buy food and supplies to accompany her Missions Team.

Find out out you can help by FOLLOWING TARA'S BLOG HERE!

Give a donation!
Buy a pair of $5 Earrings!
Sew a rice bag!
Buy the rice!
Pray!

So proud of you Tara...I know your work is going to be richly blessed!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Sleep Therapy

Since Clayton died, it's hard to sleep.

It's not so much FALLING to sleep, it's when I am awakened in the middle of the night (by snoring hubster or thirsty child) that I can't seem to get BACK to sleep.

Often, when there's something on my mind, the best therapy for me is to get it down on paper. Journal. Scribble. Blog.

Or sometimes write a poem.

Here is my attempt at getting my Clayton-filled mind back to peaceful slumber.

Untitled (So I Can Sleep!)

I saw you last,
Tho’ it’s been years,
Leaning lazy on the fence,
Your fingers curled
around the wire
to watch your boys,
with interest, run
circles ‘round the field.

Your hand runs on
your stubbled head,
and I remember fondly
long dark hair,
the bluest eyes
gazing back beyond
the tears we shed
that night you left us here.

I hear you laugh,
that nasal sound,
infecting as the smile,
the charming grin,
and glint of secrets
laid beneath,
the lure of which
a girl could scarce resist.

The little ones,
they sense the love
and nearness of an easy soul,
of good and safe,
throw caution to the wind,
run to your arms,
tossed in the air
on wings of pure delight.

And now the world
seems silent void.
With empty arms and broken hearts.
Laughter stilled.
Sleepless nights.
Our memories run cold,
your warmth compared
to what our lives have lost.

-Myrna Hynes
January 17-18, 2010
In Memory of Clayton Coates

Friday, January 15, 2010

Back in Full Swing

I thought this time of year was going to be less busy. Boy, was I wrong? I've left home at 8am the last 2 mornings and arrived back home between 9:30 and 10:30pm!

I'm having serious guilt about not being home with Sarah more. She's so little and time goes by so quickly. On Wednesday I saw her for about 30 minutes maximum the entire day. Yesterday, I did have a couple of free hours in the afternoon so I picked her up early from the sitters and spent a little bit of time playing outside.

I need to change something. It seems I have gotten involved in too much. I own a business!, work at the town office, work as a temp at the post office, run the fitness group and scrapbooking class (which I love), sit on the committee for the VOBB (Voice of Bonne Bay) Radio station and the Tourism Sustainability Accord, teach Sunday school every few weeks, am booked for a teleconference for community gardening, have a fitness session being held for the family resource center, am helping set up meetings with a Climate Change Adaptation group who are studying our community, as well as training sessions for Council. Um....how can one adequately be a mommy with all of this going on?

And the thing is, I would love to do more...I'm in the process of writing up a proposal to get some financial assistance for seniors to be more involved in community activities linked to social participaction (games, exercising, etc)...and I am trying to figure out a "Youth Movie Day" where I could transform our town recreation building into a theatre for a day/weekend and host new releases, complete with popcorn and hotdog vendors, etc.

So, it's my own fault...I really want to be involved in my community. But I am seeing that, unfortunately, it's the same people over and over again who volunteer for things and then get burnt out from lack of help. I am already getting burnt out. I see now that I need to quickly re-prioritize and hold onto only the things I LOVE, and regretfully say "No" to the things I don't.

Ever felt this way? How did you get back on track to spend more time with your family and get your priorities straight?

I need a nap just thinking about it...

Monday, January 11, 2010

Loss - In Memory

I lost an old friend this past weekend.

A son. A brother. An uncle. A grandson.

Vicki called me on Friday night to tell me bad news. I knew from the tone of her voice something was wrong, but you always expect that it's a grandparent, someone older, who has passed, but not this! Clayton had been killed in a car accident!

And then the breath leaves your body and you must sit down.

I didn't even believe it for the longest time. Something like that can't be real. It's too sudden.

But yesterday I went to the church for visitation. Standing at his casket, noticing every detail of where makeup (ineffectively) covered the bruises on his face, his hands. And I sobbed and had to step away.

I stepped away to the display of photos . There was a cute one with him holding a spotted pink-earred elephant when he was only 2 or 3 years old, school pictures with that long hair we all remember, some from his brothers wedding, many with his parents and grandparents and friends.

And one picture of me. Standing next to him at his highschool graduation. And I remember he didn't speak to me that entire night. Barely spoke to me for weeks prior. We broke up and I started seeing someone else. He promised me he'd never speak to me again if I dated this person. But he still wanted me at his grad. I was so confused and heart-broken, even though the heartbreak was my own fault. Years later, when I saw him last, he still didn't speak to me. It hurts when I think of how our friendship ended way back then. But he was a person who held secrets dear and kept his promises.

So, there I was standing over his casket telling him how sorry I was, telling him goodbye, trying to remember the good moments - the times we would spend hours on the phone and mom would get mad at him for calling me so late, the school nights he hitch-hiked to my house and dad would tease him about being a "long-haired goomer", the little koala bear he gave me for Valentines Day (i still have it), the skidoo rides on his old "12" up to the church marsh, the first time my 15-year old heart fluttered with glee when he said he loved me and I was too nervous to say it back. Happy memories. Memories to last forever.

Memories that, for many, have been cut much too short.

It's been so very long, Clayton, but I miss you like it was just yesterday that we were young and sneaking out between classes at school to see each other. R.I.P. old friend.

Clayton Robert Coates
March 15th, 1976 to January 8th, 2010