Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Baby Shower

**Please note that today is Thursday and that I wrote this on Tuesday. My internet stopped working while I was trying to upload pictures so I couldnt post and I really dont wish to change the entire entry to make it today.**

This Saturday is my "sister -in- laws" baby shower.

Her mother, my own, her best friend and my sister all met Sunday afternoon to discuss last minute details and find out who is doing what.

As we were sitting, discussing what we should do for favours, Amanda's mom looked up at a vase of origami iris' I made my mom and commented on how she liked them. It was then decided that I would tackle the favours by making the flowers, one for each guest with attatched chocolate.

Last night I ran to pick up the materials we needed (I have them all here somewhere but have no idea where I packed them so a new bunch it is) and today I got started. May I just say that making paper art is difficult when you have little people around. I turned around and found Matthew at the table taking my paper and crumpling it up and throwing it into the basket... his contribution to the party I suppose. "Here, dont forget to take your crumpled up piece of pretty paper!"

Anyways, here is what I have accomplished so far:

20 flowers. No stems or candies attatched and likely no where near enough flowers. Good thing its only Tuesday.

Tomorrow is a shopping day for a game I am playing at the shower. Amanda has to wear a blind fold and guess what items are that are all inside a bag. It should be fun and I hope to find some items that are more challenging to try and stump her.

Anyways, another post tomorrow on how everything is coming along.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Friday, May 27, 2011

City Dwellers Just Need Time

Last Saturday was a beautiful day. It looked like this:

I love my clothesline. I get to look at our blooming crab apple tree and see beautiful greenery while hanging my fresh smelling laundry.

Its rare these days that we have a day that looks like this. Today, for example, it is pouring rain and gray (like pretty much every other day this spring). SO when the day looks like this I get very excited and try to think what I want to do with it.

I love to get out of the house. Running errands, doing fun things... I just enjoy getting out and seeing things.

I have found that since being in the country walking is kind of aimless. To take the boys for a walk means going to the road, walking somewhere just to turn around and come back. Now, dont get me wrong, I love the idea of walking in the country. I look forward to when there are no mosquitos trying to drain me of my blood and Im not so large I can barely move so that I can get out and really exercise. The thing is, right now, I cant. So, I drive places. Thats just what you have to do.

In the city I could load the boys in the stroller and walk to so many different places with purpose or even just for pleasure but actually have a destination in mind. Now, the library needs the car, the park needs the car, groceries need the car... walking is a thing of the past.

So this past weekend, on a beautiful day when many city dwellers would want to get to the country to enjoy nature, I packed the boys into the car and we headed to the city so we could go for a walk.

It was a very enjoyable day. In and out of shops, sun shining, lots of walking, some yummy treats (lunch out and a coffee) and good company.

By the time the walk was over we were all beat. Connor had joined us and it looked like he was ready to pass out from a mix of exhaustion and bordom and I was ready for a nap.

Both the boys fell asleep in the car on the way home and what was even more amazing is that they both transfered into the house while remaining asleep. I managed to get Matty up to his bed and Levi rested on the couch:

Thursday, May 26, 2011


My sister in law and her husband just delivered a baby boy today- 2 something this morning.

Welcome to the family Edmond Anthony. Isnt that a cute name?

No pictures yet but they delivered at home, he is a big boy at over 9 pounds and he is the first boy to be added to two little sisters.

Eleanor and Brenna, you two will love having a baby brother around.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Pom Poms and Spoons

Yesterday the boys were getting bored so I decided to introduce a new activity to them that Matthew enjoyed and Levi played in his own way very happily.

I bought little pom poms from the dollar store a while back for Matthew to sort into containers by various colours. However, that has become boring so we decided to do a transfering activity.
I got out some ice cube trays and handed Matty two spoons. Using the spoons he was to pick up the pom poms and put them into the little holes of the ice cube trays.

He concentrated really hard on this activity and really enjoyed himself.

Levi enjoyed getting in on the action and actually needed to get right on the table to do his part.
Simple yet captivating for them. What more could one ask for?

Friday, May 20, 2011

A Few More Changes

Last night Dave was able to do a bit of work on the inside of the house. Its amazing what a few little things make the house feel like.

He screwed in our garbage holder so I no longer pull it all the way out of the cupboard and usually end up hurting my leg on it.

He also hung my cork board

And he put in the lights and hooked up the electrical in the entry. I now have light where our couch is. No more reading at the kitchen table.
And I have a few of my plants to cheer up the diningroom.

I love that just a few little things make all the difference when you know about them.

Thursday, May 19, 2011



Now, I admit that because I used a small cake pan it took a lot longer to bake (almost 30 minutes extra) and it made the top of the cake crispy while the inside was moist... I have to say the crunchy bit was my favourite.

You can taste the citrus as well as all the spices... So good!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Apple Cake

I currently have a cake in the oven. It's the first time I have baked in weeks but I saw this recipe and thought I would just HAVE to try it.

Instead of waiting to see if it turns out, I figured I would post it now and then review it later. The truth is, if it is really good, no saying I will remember to post about it and then everyone would suffer not getting to try this recipe. If it sucks, I wasted a few minutes... either way seemed worth it to me.

So, here it goes. Some things you should know before you start: eggs should be a room tempreture for 30 minutes, it has to bake for an hour or so and it needs to cool for quite some time.

Apple Cake

2 beaten eggs
3 C flour
2 tsp. finely shredded lemon peel
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. allspice
1/4 salt
1 C sugar
1 C Brown sugar packed
1 C cooking oil (I used melted butter)
1 Tbsp. vanilla
3 C chopped and peeled apples
1 C chopped and toasted pecans or walnuts ( I used pecans)

**Allow eggs to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, grease and lightly flour a 10- inch baking tube pan ( I have no idea what this is so I used an 8 X 8 baking dish and may have to change cooking times because of it); set aside.

** In medium bowl stir together flour, lemon peel, baking powder and soda, cinnamon, allspice and salt. Set aside.

** In mixing bowl combine sugars, oil/butter, eggs and vanilla. Beat with electric mixer on med. speed for 2 minutes. Add flour mixture and beat on low speed just until combined (its really thick). Fold in apples and tosted nuts. Spoon batter into pan.

**Bake in 350 degree over for about an hour or until wooden toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool cake on rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan, cool thoroughly on wire rack ( could take up to 2 hours), sprinkle with icing sugar.

**Should be covered and stored in the fridge if not immediately consumed.

So, tomorrow I will hopefully let you know how it went. All I know is that all the ingredients together sound heavenly and while it bakes I can really smell the lemon. yummm!!!!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Whats the point?

Do you ever wonder why it is you do things when the moment they are done, someone has come and undone it before you even got a chance to enjoy it?

That is often how I feel about cleaning.

Some examples:

I cleaned up all the toys and vacuumed the floor so that I could get out the steam mop and give a nice clean to the floors. A few hours later, Dave came home, didnt want to have to take his boots off so walked through the house on the nice clean floors with his muddy work boots on. Clean floors gone,

I scrub the bathroom once, sometimes more, a week. It just so happens that the day I happen to do it on Dave chooses he is going to have a bath. This wouldnt be a big deal for most people but because of the nature of Daves work, when he soaks in the bath it leaves several different rings of oily black residue on the nice, white, clean tub. So, I need to scrub it out all over again.

Organizing books on our bookshelf is something I feel I have to do once in a while. Its is only kids books but they get so badly treated sometimes because the boys dont know how to get them back on the shelf. Unfortunately, the nicer looking the shelf is, the more attractive it is to little hands and before I know it, every single book is lying on the floor pleading to be put back on the self.

These are the trials of keeping a home. You work hard just to have someone else undo it so you can do it all again another time.

It does make me wonder, though, why I bother sometimes.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Chili Corn and Potato Chowder

I've never been a chowder eater bacause I always associated it with seafood- not a fan. However, this mothers day I made a chowder for Daves mom and family and it was a huge success so I thought I would give you all the recipe to try if you are interested.

2 tsp butter
1 C Chopped cooked ham
1 C each diced onion, carrot and celery
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, minced (I didnt add this)
2 T all purpose flour ( I used corn starch due to allergies to wheat in the family)
1 t chili powder
1 t dried oregano
1/4 t pepper
4 C chicken stock (sodium reduced- the ham is pretty salty)
1 1/2 C diced peeled potatoes
2 C milk (I made a seperate littler soup without the dairy for those intolerant)
1 1/2 C fresh or thawed corn kernels
1 C Cheddar cheese
2 T Chopped fresh corriander or green onion ( I had both available)

* In dutch over, melt butter over med. heat; cook ham, onion, carrot, celery, and jalapena pepper, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 mins.

* In small bowl, whisk together flour, chili powder, oregano and pepper; add to vegetables and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Whisk in chicken stock and bring to boil; reduce heat, cover and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 7 mins.

*Stir in milk and corn; simmer until corn is tender, about 5 mins.

* ladle into bowls; sprinkle with cheese and corriander and/or green onion.

*** If made in advance: let it cool for 30 mins; refridgerate uncovered until cold. Refridgerate in am airtight container for up to 24 hours.***

It makes 6 to 8 servings.

I doubled the recipe and it was mostly gone after 8 people had their fill.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Forgotten Garden

Tara lent me a couple of books and suggested I started reading this novel first. I have to say, I was not disappointed in the least.

I loved every minute of the book. I wanted to try and solve the mystery as I was reading ( I actually managed to solve some of it and was quite impressed with myself). I found Kate Morton's writing a style that was readable and enjoyable.

It follows the lives of several different ladies in different generations and how their stories tie them all together. There wasnt one story I prefered over the other. Each person was someone I was attached to and eager to learn more about.

If you enjoy fantasy and mystery with a little history worked in, I think you would really enjoy this book. I think I will be hitting the library soon in search of more of her books. I am a fan.

Thanks Tara.

Fighting My Thoughts

Today the Lord answered a prayer of mine. A plead really. I had a doctors appointment and I just prayed that there would be someone who would be able to see me and figure out what is going on with my body. Why Am I so uncomfortable? Why wont it get better? How will I function? What more can I do?

I entered the clinic and was honest with the nurse:

"Hey Katie, How are you?"
"Honestly, pretty miserable. This is the worst pregnancy ever."
" You are still itchy?"
"Yup, everywhere!"
"The rash on your neck, it looks worse"
"Ill be right back"

Off she went and quickly returned with the report that I was going to quickly get changed into a robe because they just happened to have a dermotology expert at the clinic today and she was going to come and have a look. Afterwards I would have my regular appointment to check on baby.

"Wow, Lord, thank you!"

In she walked with two other doctors and began to examine.

" Wow! Is that ever irritated and so inflamed."

Thanks, like I hadn't noticed.

Anyways, she had the other doctors give their opinion and set to work on a plan. Prednizone it is. I am now on a steroid for 5 days to see if it can remove inflamation and some irritation so that the doctor can see better what might be going on. Do I have an answer? No not yet. Is there hope? YES!!! Someone is going to be figuring it out.

One of the possibilities is that I have Puppps that has just gotten much worse with each pregnancy and spread. It means in all following pregnancies it will be worse still. There are also other possibilities that there is an infection or some other factor... I guess I wont really know until this trial medication has its go on my body.

My evenings are spent bathing and drying and cleaning and attempting to get my mind ready for sleep.

"Dont think about it katie, sleep will come if it comes. Dont think about itchy skin or long dark nights without rest. Dont panic about trying to raise two really busy boys with no sleep. Just live life one moment at a time."

I spend my sleepless nights jumping from various posts. Read my bible, pray, have another bath, get a movie going while on the couch, do laundry, tidy messy spots... You name it, I do it if I can.

My mind wants to go into angry and desperate state. "Why is this happening to me? what purpose does it have? Have I done something to deserve it?" But then I remember that this is a light and momentary trouble. That this is but a fleeting moment in a much bigger picture. That God is my strength and with Him I can get through this, and only with him.

My mentality has shifted a bit. About motherhood, that is. I just cant do it all. I liked having my little ones so close together but with this health issue my life is falling apart. I cant function for my family. What I need to do is rest. Give my body a rest for a change. I catch myself getting upset with the thought of slowing down. Silly right? Then I think of what a blessing it will be to have my three boys and husband to myself for a few years. Getting back in tune with my healthy body. Not growing another little one inside and having hormones raging all over the place... at least for a time. Then if God wishes to bless me with another one down the road, we will rejoice.

Sometimes I fear that planning to not have a baby is bad. I know it isnt. I know I need it. Its just something I have to keep giving to God. He knows what I can handle and what is best. I just keep praying he lays on my heart the exact right thing for me.

Until then, every moment at a time. Praying thoughout it all for strength and patience (two things I feel I lack in abundance these days). I pray for a tongue that will be held when I feel like I could scream out of frustration and fatigue. I think God is really trying to work that fruit of the Spirit into me. Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Goodness, Kindness, Gentleness, Self Control. I see how this trial is teaching me to ask for them all daily. I can't do it without His strength filling me and pushing me forward to accept them.

God has a purpose. I am his child and he is not doing this to harm me or cause me to stumble but instead to strengten me. Please pray with me that I can remember that. That daily, in every moment I see that God is good and is growing me through this trial. He is my loving Father and he works things for his good.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mothers Day

Mothers Day is always a two day affair for us. One day with my mom and the next with Daves. This year it started on Saturday with my mom.

After our annual church clean up we all headed back to my parents place to hang out and make a nice lunch/dinner for my mom. BBQ grilled sandwiches with chicken and veggies and special cheeses and some salads.
The men got to work on the BBQ. Roasting, basting and cooking while the women folk chatted.

Then we all ate and were merry. They were fabulous sandwiches. None of us have enjoyed any more.

Sunday was Mothers day at Daves parents place. First I got breakfast made for me and was able to take my precious time in the bathroom cleaning and primping. So rare it is to have so much time. Dave took care for the boys with Taras help.

After chuch we went to the van der Meers. I brought makings for sandwiches and a chowder soup that I had never made before. It sounded good and I knew everyone could eat it so I gave it a shot. I was very happy when it turned out to be a success. I think we all enjoyed our lunch and then we had a bit of time outside.
I had Matthew in his little plaid coat and then Daves mom showed me she had another one just like it so we got Levi into one as well and had matching boys. So cute.

Matty loved pulling the wagon. Levi loved riding in it.

It was a wonderful mothers day weekend. I love my moms and I love being a mom. Theres nothing like a day of being spoiled too. Everyone needs one of those once in a while.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Enough To Drive One Mad

Reactine, Benadryl, Proctosedyl, Nitrol in Petrolium, Colace, Apo-metronidazole, Eucerine... All of these items are things that I have to use and take every single day. Why? ITCH!!!

Its been almost 3 weeks now where I have been plagued by itch. It started in one area and then moved to my entire body. I have red spots all over my body and when they get irritated they get bigger and look like mosquito bites.

I couldnt sleep and I was on the verge of loosing my sanity. All I could think about was being itchy, wanting to tear my skin apart because for just a moment I would find some relief. An ailment that consumed every single one of my thoughts.

How does one parent at a time like this? I couldnt. I was losing my patience because I couldnt sleep and could focus on nothing else but myself and discomfort.

Finally I was diagnosed with pregnancy itch. That means that this wont leave me until our baby is born. Three more months of misery.

I take Benedryl at night to knock me out and I take Reactine during the day so I can function. I rub Eucerine all over my skin at regular intervals during the day to sooth the rash.

I had no idea how miserable pregnancy could be. Ive always had a relatively easy time. Not so this time around.

I plan on taking a much needed break after this baby. Maybe 2 years... my poor body and mind need a much needed rest.

One of the hardest parts is knowing that if I choose to snuggle one of my children I will be itchy because they touched my skin. How horrible is that? The other day i carefully lifted
levi up and when I put him down my arm was bright red with rash that had been hidden under the skin. Being deprived of baby snuggles really sucks.

If you think of it during the day, please pray for me and my family. For patience, strength, healing and speedy time to the delivery of our baby. We could use all the prayers we can get.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

More Progress

Easter weekend, Dave was home a little bit and decided to do some work in our home. He did some beautiful paint jobs:

The master bedroom

The kitchen-dining room

and he put together our closet:

Do I not have the most awsome walk in closet? So many drawers and places to hang my clothes!

I organized a bit of the bathroom.
Its a temporary solution but one that works very well for me.

I love seeing how things come together.