Tuesday, December 29, 2009

{ A Little Girls Room }

I'm sure you've all been on the edges of your seat waiting with anticipation for this very post.
Ahem. Anyways.
We did finally get Denay moved into her new princess room on Christmas morning. We had been told that the transition between rooms might take some getting used to and we were prepared for it, but this girl had no problem whatsoever. If you ask to see her new room she'll march right upstairs and runs down the hall to show off all her books. You click on the photos to get a better peek.

I just got a curtain panel today as well as some shelves and brackets that I hope to get on the walls sometime this week. I raided my parents house and found some great nostalgic stuff that I used to have in my room as a girl and I can't wait to get everything in it's place.

We're looking forward to some old/new furniture coming from the across the water on the weekend as well.
As we accessorize I'll keep you posted!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas At Opa and Oma's

Christmas at my parents came a day early for us. We're always done gifts and dinner and Christmas Eve as a tradition so Wednesday night we got together for turkey, ham and all the fixin's.
Enjoy a couple snaps of our Verhoog Christmas.

Uncle "Evie" got a mini-shotgun lighter for Christmas and just had to get a picture of Denay holding it.

Genius here forgot to bring her camera to Christmas on the mainland last weekend so as soon as I get the pictures I'll be sure to post again.

We had such a wonderful time with Denay this season. She was so taken with the lights and the tree and of course, the presents. If there was a present being opened within a 10 foot radius, she was helping. Her new chair is in her new room so as soon I get pictures you can see it. She just loves it!

I hope that you all had a wonderful Christmas celebrating the birth of our Lord!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

:: The Christmas Train ::

On Wednesday night, after Christmas dinner, Trevor, Denay and I as well as my parents, my brothers and my brother's girlfriend went to the local Forest Museum to ride their annual Christmas Express. Trevor and I did it when we were pregnant with Denay and my dad had never been.
:: Group shot, Denay with Uncle "Evie" and the MaC Family ::
:: The train, and Denay's first visit with Santa ::

Denay sat with Uncle Evie the whole train ride and was just awe-struck with the lights and the train whistle.

I can definitely see this becoming a family tradition!

Friday, December 25, 2009

It's 10:00pm on Christmas Day. The baby is sleeping, and my feet are up. I've yet to change out of my jammies or leave the house. We spent today with my brother and dad relaxing, eating, tinkering around the house and laughing.
I've edited and organized my picture folders, and burned some picture CD's. I thought since all that was done, I could update you a little on the goings-on around here.
We did manage to fix our floor fiasco in Denay's new bedroom. Trevor did the second coat on Tuesday and this morning we moved our little lady into her new girly room. I've uploaded some pictures I took Wednesday morning along with some pictures of what the room looked like during our first viewing before we bought it. The angles aren't the same but it gives you a good idea of what we were dealing with. Then try and picture the top half of the room blood red. That's what we started with.

There is still some decorating to be done but I will try and get some photos of all her furniture in there sometime soon.
I can't even describe how good it feels to have all the labour-intensive parts of this project done and have Denay settled. The room is quite a bit smaller than her other room but everything fits quite nicely. We are looking forward to a big girl bed and hand-me-down dresser (that was Trevor's Gramma's) coming over from the mainland to swap out with her crib and my old dresser.
We're breathing much easier around here!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

:: Yummy Yummy Lipalicious ::

Okay, I'll going to buffer this email by saying that I am not being paid to blog about all of the product I've been endorsing! I just have so much on my "to blog about" list and I'm trying to get caught up.
While I was working in Edmonton with my SIL I couldn't help but notice her lips. Sure, that sounds weird, but not being a lipstick or lip color girl, I try to keep my eyes peeled for something that looks natural and looks good.
She let me try her C.O. Bigelow Mentha Lip Tint.

Let me tell you ladies, this stuff is seriously awesome. It's made with real peppermint oil and so it doesn't taste like petroleum and it makes your breath and mouth taste fresh. It's not sticky and it gives a slight natural tint with lots and shine. Not only that but it really works to moisturize and protect my lips and it never dries them out.

Shawna had offered to pick some up for me next time she made a trip south but it turned out that there was a B&B Work in the West Ed Mall (where they were making a trip) and she picked me up a few so I won't run out for a while!

Let me stress that I don't do lip gloss/tint/stick or anything but Burt's Bees Wax lip balm. I've used Mac's PlushGlass before but find it sticky and always used chapstick underneath.

To summarize, this stuff rocks!

FYI & Update

Hey all! Just thought I'd take a second here to do a couple things.
First thing, please make sure and check out my photography blog here.
Secondly, just an update on our floor refinishing project (because I know ya'll have been on the edge of your seats wondering how it's going). Long story short I put a coat of stain on last night and it looks horrid. By the looks of things we (meaning mostly me because I was in charge of the room perimeter) didn't get all of the previous varnish off so the stain didn't take and it just looks awful something fierce. So we're going to get in touch with the company that refinished our downstairs wood floors and see about hiring them to sand and we'll do the rest.
We're laying low today. Denay got super stuffed up last night and couldn't suck her thumb so she was very upset and hoarse and we're dealing with a snotty nose from the depths. But it gives me a day to be in my jammy's and clean and do laundry and read lots of books to Denay!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

:: Alphabet Photography ::

This is by far one of the coolest, most unique things I have come across in a long, long time. I first stumbled upon this company when I was working with Cranberry Creek in Red Deer and fell in love. My big problem is that I have a really hard time making decisions sometimes so I didn't buy until a month later while I was in Calgary.
You can find their website here.
The website is extremely well done and I would encourage you to take a look around and especially check out the story behind the business.
Plus, at just $5 a photo they can make a great and very personal gift! I found my frame at Walmart for only $25.
I met the husband of the women who takes the photos and they are such wonderful people. There are even a few celebrities, including the PM of Canada, that own AP art.
Check it out!

Monday, December 14, 2009

:: Kicking Some Home Improvement Butt ::

We have lived in our house for over three-and-a-half years and our touch has been left of all but one of the spaces. I'll try and dig up what this room looked like when we first bought the house but you can see some remnants of the hideous four color border that has been the thorn in my existence. A couple years ago I had a serious lapse in judgement and painted the room blood red. Yeah, don't ask.
Back in January my mom bought Denay an adorable, girly poka-dot rug from Target and it's taken me this long to get my act together. The room Denay is in now has carpet and our spare room is the only one upstairs with wood floors so I've had it in the back of my mind to finish it so we can put her rug to good use on the wood floors. We bought primer and Trevor did that back in November (FYI-Benajmin Moore Paint RULES). Just before I left for Edmonton I finished the two coats of Misty Lilac paint. We were still left with the ugly painted border that was done so thick you could easily see the ridges under our new paint. We thought about beadboard but it was pricey and labour-intensive. The next best thing was a chair rail so last week after dinner we shipped off to Home Depot and came home with all the wood we needed. The next call was to my dad to ask if he would help me with all this tools and toys. So on Saturday he came for breakfast and we worked for six hours creating a three layer "custom" chair rail........

It goes without saying which the before and which is the after :) Yesterday I spent the bulk of my Sunday taping and then painting and painting and painting and managed to get it almost all done. Today was spent removing tape and doing touch-ups and then in the midst of our first snow storm I packed up Denay and it was off to Rona to rent a floor sander and to Home Depot for blinds. You can see best in the first collages the difference in the floors. Trev did a blitz when he got home from work and managed to get them sanded in just a couple hours. Then it was back to Rona to return the rental and buy everything else we need to stain and seal the floors.

Can you tell I am so tired of having an un-done, sloppy room in my house? We hope to have the floors stained and blinds hung before the weekend! Then we're going to move Denay into her new room.

As a side note, the wall color is much closer in person to the before picture than the after. On second it looks quite pink but it's a very soft lovely lilac purple and we plan to stain the floors a medium chestnut brown.

I can't even explain how satisfying it is to final have this project on it's way to being done! Can I get a holla from all those do-it-yourself mommas out there?!

~ Trimming The Tree ~

What do you do with a Christmas tree when you get it home? You decorate it of course!

It was so much fun with Denay being older this year and really being able to participate in all the activites. She was so proud of herself after each pine cone she put on the tree all by herself.
I saw on a fellow blogger friends FB status today that her young daughter saw the snow and yelled "bubbles". Denay did the exact same thing when she saw our snowfall today. Now she just says "no" for snow. She is quite taken with all the lights and calls them "riby" (pretty).

Her totally awesome Christmas present is in the closet upstairs and I can't wait for her to see it!

Hope all ya'lls Christmas preparation is going well!

| Picking The Perfect One |

One of the first things on my to-do list when I got back from Edmonton was to get a tree up in the house! I don't like getting one up too late because I like to get as much evergreen smell in my house as possible. We got another fresh cut local tree from a the same vendor as last year. Eventually we'd like to do the cut-yourself-from-a-farm route but this works great and we were very happy with our tree last year.
We made sure to get Denay's approval of course! Check back soon for pictures of the decorating process.

Smile, Your Normal.

I got this poem in an email for a momma friend of mine and I just had to share!
Have you ever asked yourself, “Do I Have ADHD?”

It’s a thought that crosses the minds of many stay-at-home moms. Why?

Because they think about the number of chores they need to do but don’t get to, or the projects they start but don’t finish, or the tasks they actually do but don’t do well.

“I don’t have a job. I’m home all day,” you may tell yourself. As such, you think you should be able to complete a simple task like sorting through the bags of hand-me-downs your neighbor dropped off. But you can’t get to it. Or you actually do start working through the clothes, but by day’s end your bedroom is filled with piles of clothing, which your kids then find and jump in. Since you now have to sort all over again, you herd the clothes into a large pile for dealing with on another day.

When your husband sees the mess and asks, “Why did you start sorting the clothes if you weren’t going to finish it?” or “What’s so hard about sorting clothes?” you either get really angry or you can’t answer, because you can’t think of a good reason why you didn’t finish the job. You hadn’t left the house all day, except to drive the three-year-old to and from preschool, and later to meet your kindergartner at the bus stop. You haven’t even made dinner, because you’ve been so busy sorting the clothes. What happened?

What happened is that instead of accomplishing a big task, you’ve performed dozens of tiny, uninspiring, seemingly meaningless tasks and chores and errands, each of which took a little bit of time but, when added together, consumed the entire day.

For instance, imagine you’re at your computer, trying to pay bills online while your toddler is entertaining herself nearby with toys. About five minutes into the banking your child approaches you with a runny nose:

* You get up from your chair to get a tissue.
* You return to your child and wipe her nose.
* You see that your child’s shirt is messy, as are your fingers.
* You remove the child’s shirt.
* You go to the kitchen sink to wash your hands.
* The sink has dishes in it, so you rinse the dishes to put them in the dishwasher.
* But the dishwasher is full of clean dishes. So you empty the dishwasher and then fill it with dishes from the sink.
* You tell your child to play with her toys while you go upstairs and get her another shirt.
* On the way, you toss the shirt into the laundry room.
* Passing the bathroom, you realize you actually need to use the bathroom. You do, and you use up the toilet paper.
* You go to the hall closet and get more toilet paper.
* You return to the bathroom to replace the roll.
* The bathroom trash is full, so you grab the bag and replace it with another.
* You go to your child’s room to find a new shirt.
* While there, you see that a sippy cup, full of milk, is in her bed, and that she’s left a wet overnight diaper on the floor.
* You put the diaper in the trash bag you’re carrying. (Wow, that was efficient!)
* You make your daughter’s bed and gather the sippy cup.
* On the way back downstairs you pass the laundry room and realize you should do a load of wash.
* You open the washing machine to discover there’s a wet load inside.
* You start to put those wet clothes into the dryer but the dryer is full.
* You pull the clean clothes out of the dryer and put them in a basket.
* You put the wet clothes in the dryer.
* You put the dirty clothes in the washing machine and start a wash.
* Since you don’t have time now to sort the clean clothes, you leave the basket of clean laundry on top of the dryer.
* Back in the kitchen, you put the sippy cup into the dishwasher.
* You try to shove the bathroom trash into the kitchen garbage but the pail is full.
* You take the all the trash to the garbage cans in the garage.
* You come back into the house and put another bag in the kitchen trash container.
* You find your child.
* Her nose is running again, she has gotten into the bills and papers you were working with, she needs a diaper change and it’s lunchtime.

How much time did it take to wipe that child’s nose? Fifteen minutes? Twenty minutes? A half hour?

Imagine variations on this scenario playing out dozens of times a day. Imagine that same scene, except with additional offspring in the house. You’re not incompetent, and you don’t have ADHD. You have children!

:: Time-Saver Alert ::

So I have a confession to make.
I am meticulous when it comes to housework. I have a great appreciation for a tidy, organized and very clean home.
However, I hate cleaning my floors. And I don't mean vacuuming, I very much enjoy that actually. It's applying a liquid of some sort and slopping it around to remove dirt stuck to the floor.
So, frankly, I just never do it.
Near the end of October I got my SIL Shawna's birthday/Christmas list and right near the top she had asked for a steam mop.
Long story, short it got me thinking how I might just actually clean my floors if I didn't have to get out a mop and bucket and chemicals to do it. Turns out a steam mop with great reviews was on sale for $25 off at London Drugs (which just opened in town a little while ago).
So I am now the proud owner of a SteamTek Steam Mop.
This mop is fabulous! It makes getting my hardwood and tile floors clean and sanitized without chemicals a total jiff. I feel so much better, having a little one around, that I'm using as few unnatural products in the home as possible. To make things even better, it's great for rugs and carpet and I've also used it to steam my mattress and pillows.
It's one way that I can make cleaning quick and easy and I'm all for it!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Near the end of November Trevor, Denay, my dad and myself drove down to Victoria for the annual Santa Claus parade. We were very close to cancelling last minute because we'd had a very busy day and it was rainy and cold here. But just before we hit the outskirts of Victoria, the roads were dry and the sky was clear!
Denay would have nothing of her stroller or someones lap, despite the chilly wind. She wanted to sit on the curb like a big girl.
We went last year when she was not even five months old and hope and plan to make this a special family tradition every Christmas season.
I couldn't have imagined, almost a year and a half ago, that I would such a smart, keen, hilarious and perfect little daughter.
Thursday was Denay's 17-month birthday and what a girl she is. She learns new words every day and is constantly amazing me with how observant and aware she is.
*click to enlarge*

She is the most helpful little girl I've ever seen. Always trying to help me with putting things in the garbage, putting her laundry in the hamper or loading laundry into the wash machine. A day doesn't go by where she doesn't notice me doing something and then try and help by lifting or moving something or passing me something or cleaning up a mess she made.

She knows lots of different animals and has funny versions of the noises they make. Doggies say "fffff" or woof and birdies say "twee twee" or tweet tweet. She is still a book fiend and her newest favourite is Dr. Suess's "One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish" that I probably read at least three times a day.

We're still a little slow in the tooth department but she does have a couple coming through right now. We certainly make up for that in the hair department though! I can't get enough of it.

It appears that our diligent and mostly consistent discipline and training are really shaping her into an obedient and thoughtful baby girl. I feel so blessed to have such an amazing husband who is willing to give as much energy into teaching and instructing as I am and am humbled at how God is working through us to guide us in the raising of our Nay-nay.

Denay, you are my one and only Sunshine.

Friday, December 11, 2009

I guess it goes without saying that I'm a wee bit behind in my blogging.
I got back from my last stint with Cranberry Creek in Edmonton on Sunday and have been focusing on laying low and spending time at home with Denay (who is now 10 months old, I might add) and making up for all the time I was gone.
I feel almost too far behind to catch up but this is just a shout out to anyone that may actually still stop by here every once and a while, that I haven't forgotten you!
It's only two short weeks until Jesus' birthday and with our gorgeous tree up and decorated, I couldn't be more ready.
"See" you soon......