Thursday, September 29, 2016

This is it!!

I can't believe this day has finally arrived!! Sometimes it felt such a long way off and I wasn't sure I would make it, both physically and mentally, but here we are. 

We are welcoming our new baby this morning.  I am scheduled for a c-section at 7:45 am.  

I'll be taking a break from blogging for at least a week, so keep up with our new arrival and other happenings on instagram; follow me at @SMacTO

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

What's Up Wednesday

What we're eating this week...
Sunday - Beef Stew
Tuesday - BBQ'd chicken, sweet potatoes and side vegetable
Wednesday - Crunchy Beef Mac and Cheese and Salad
Thursday, Friday and Saturday - Up to the grandparents because I will be at the hospital, having a baby (no big deal)

What I'm reminiscing about...
When we welcomed our little E into our family five years ago, and all of the things we dealt with looking after a newborn.  I kind of forget everything, but I'm sure it will come (screaming) back.  I watched a video about breastfeeding over the weekend, which was a good idea, because I totally forgot most of the steps for establishing a good latch. 

What I'm loving...
I love my new soap that I got at Maison Apothecary in Bloor West Village.  I stopped in to see what they had for natural baby products but ended up getting some soap for me us instead.  It has a light pumpkin spice scent and so moisturizing. 

What we've been up to...
I posted our photos of the baby's room, and I've been completing my September Goals.  I got some party supplies for E's birthday next month and I'm happy to report his Flash costume still fits so that is what he will be for Halloween.  #planningahead

What I'm dreading...
Only one thing, recovering from my c-section.  I've done it before and it wasn't bad, and really doesn't take that long in the end, but I am not looking forward to struggling to get out of bed and holding my stomach while I cough and sneeze, and not being able to drive for at least four weeks.  But I will have lots of help and E is good at understanding that I have a sore tummy so I won't feel bad for not being able to pick him up for awhile.  

What I'm working on...
Finishing up a few things before tomorrow (!).  I have to pack my hospital bag, finish writing my thank you cards, and apply for Employment Insurance (for you Americans, that's the government funded pay for the year I'm taking off work for maternity leave; to be clear it's not 100% of my income by any stretch of the imagination, but it is very welcome). 

What I'm excited about...
For E to meet his little brother.  I am an only child, which is fine, but there is something special about a sibling relationship that I never got to experience.   I think he will be a great big brother and the larger age gap will be great; he can help out, he understands what is going on, and he has a lot of love to give.  

What I'm watching/reading...
We are watching The People vs. OJ Simpson, that I love.  We are watching the US Presidential race (with trepidation, come on you guys, make the smart choice.  Even if you don't like Hillary or the Democrats, she would do so much less damage than Donald Trump.  And you cannot honestly say that he follows the teachings of Jesus, in any sort of way).

I finished up the books on my nightstand and my next book club book has arrived at the library so I will be starting that soon (you know, in all of my free time!).  

What I'm listening to...
Relative quiet for now.  I am rarely at home by myself, so while I am off work the last couple of days, E is at school, and Dave is working in the basement, I have some peace and quiet.

What I'm wearing...
Soon I will be wearing non-maternity clothes.  I got these pink shirts at J. Crew in late summer that I'm looking forward to wearing.

What I'm doing this weekend...
Likely coming home from the hospital on Saturday and welcoming our new son home.  I won't be blogging for at least a week, so if you're interested in newborn photos, follow me on Instagram for updates @SMacTO

What I'm looking forward to next month...
Thanksgiving, E's birthday, Halloween, seeing the Raptors back in action, and the start of E's fall program, swimming and t-ball. I'm also hoping to be looking forward to seeing the Blue Jays in the playoffs. 

Last year's birthday party

What else is new...
Dave has set up his office in the basement. We are waiting for the window to be replaced, and we need some cushions for the bench, but it has really come together.  It's not ready for a photo, but here is a sneak peak.

My favourite fall recipe...
This is a tough one since there are so many good things, but I'll pick a classic, apple pie.  

2 cups+2 tbsp+2 tsp pastry flour (I know, weird amount but trust me)
1/3 lb lard
1 tsp salt
1/3 tsp baking powder
 ice cold water

Cut lard into dry ingredients until crumbly.  Add cold water gradually until the dough sticks together. Don't over mix or it will be tough.  Gather into a ball with your hands.  Divide into two, roll one out at a time on a floured surface.  Place one in a pie dish, don't trim the edges yet. 

6 apples, or enough to fill the pie (I never know, I always have to cut extra to fill up the crust). Use a good pie apple, like spys, galas or macintosh
1 cup sugar
sprinkle nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
1/8 cups cold butter
milk and extra sugar

Slice apples thinly but they don't have to be pretty.  Toss in sugar, nutmeg and cinnamon.  Pour into the pie crust.  Top with thinly sliced cold butter.  Cover with the other rolled out crust.  Trim the edges and pinch to seal together.  Cut some vents in the top.  Brush with milk and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake in a preheated oven of 450 degrees F for 15 minutes, then turn down to 400 degrees F for 30 minutes or until it is bubbling.  You may want to cook on top of a cookie sheet depending on how full it is and it bubbles over. 


Thanks for stopping by today!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Weekend Recap

I finished up work on Friday so we celebrated with some delivery pizza.   On Saturday I did some errands down the street and Dave worked on his office in the basement.  E had his first Sportball session in the morning and then he went to a school friend's house to play for a couple of hours.  While he was gone, I made a salad to take to our friends' house for supper.  I featured it on last Thursday's post.  We had a lovely meal with our friends at their new house.  They have three kids so E was well entertained.  I love visiting with old good friends, it is always so comfortable.  We are all so busy in our lives right now so we are happy to have time to visit every once in awhile.  (As you can see I took zero pictures on Saturday).

On Sunday morning we woke up to a sunny morning and I snapped this photo of my mug.  This photo turned out to be somewhat ironic.  I wasn't really the "Best Mom Ever" when I yelled at E to get dressed for church, and then went to church without him because he was being so slow, and then it turned out he wasn't feeling well and actually threw up later.  Oops.  Not sure what was wrong with him, maybe too much rich food the night before but I should have been easier on him. 

After church and a trip to the grocery store, we did stuff around the house.  Dave cleaned pretty much the entire house, and I did a bit of organizing and then made our supper.  E spent the rest of the afternoon on the couch. 

Simple fall decorations

A little too close to the iPad there buddy!

My "houseboy" doing some cleaning, he doesn't mess around, couch moved, chairs up. 

A nice fall stew ready for the oven

We finished off our evening watching The People vs. OJ Simpson.  I never got to see it when it was originally on TV, but we are able to watch on iTunes which is good.  I was obsessed with this trial when it was happening so I'm really enjoying the show.  It deserved those Emmys. 

Big weekend of sports too: Jays won, Packers won (with Dave's cousin in attendance at Lambeau, so jealous!), and then Rory's big win.  Sad to see that Arnold Palmer had died though. 

Monday, September 26, 2016

Let's Talk - September

Today's topic is Entertainment - our favourite books, movies, magazines, blogs, etc. 

I am always reading something, I usually have my book club book and another book on the go.  I used to have to finish a book before I started a new one, but that wasn't practical when I have a deadline for finishing my book club book or if a book is due back at the library.   My favourite kinds of books are novels by Canadian authors who have been shortlisted or won some sort of prize, like the Giller Prize.  I also like books by mainstream authors like Liane Moriarty, Elin Hildenbrand, etc., but I don't get to read those often.  I also like the odd non-fiction book but only if they have been recommended to me. 

I love Oscar nominee movies and other mainstream ones that are dramatic or romantic comedies.  I do not like horror movies or obscure science fiction.  I shared by top three favourite movies here and those are a good example of what I like.  Other movies I love are The Wolf of Wall Street, The Departed, and The Great Gatsby (hmm, Leonardo DiCaprio fan much?). 

We typically just watch shows on HBO and Netflix, and sports.  I will watch more TV while I am on maternity leave, but it will mostly consist of a lot of HGTV and Food Network.  

I don't buy a lot of magazines but when I do pick one up, the ones I pick are House and Home, Today's Parent, Toronto Life, or Women's Health.
If someone on my Twitter has shared an article from The Atlantic or The New Yorker, I usually read it, they do a great job.  

I listen to two podcasts on a regular basis - This American Life and the Jay and Dan Podcast (the former TSN anchors who are now in California working for Fox Sports One).  They are completely different but keep me entertained on my way to work and back. 

I read about 8 blogs a day:
(and others that I find through Instagram and link ups)
Most people post on a daily basis and I love reading about their lives and learning about new things.

I'm linking up with two of those bloggers today for this link up party:
Andrea and Erika

Friday, September 23, 2016

Friday Favourites

Linking up with AndreaErika and Narci for Friday Favourites.

Today is my last day of work before maternity leave!  Last week I shared some photos of my office. I've cleaned it up a bit more so the articling clerk can use it while I'm gone. 

It has been too hot to burn a candle this summer, but the other day I got out a candle I got a few months ago, and it smells just as good as I remembered.

I made this yummy quinoa salad for our supper this week.  It has mango and coconut among other things and it is really tasty.  I found the recipe here.

I picked up these cute thank you notes at Chapters for our baby gifts.  

My mom sent me this picture from my favourite beach, Roseway Beach in Shelburne County, NS.  This was the first day of fall but it was still a beautiful warm day. 

Thanks for stopping by today!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Fall Food

Fall has begun and I have big plans for pumpkin and apple foods; I even found one recipe that combines the two, this sweet bread.

Whether it's true or not, I always feel like if something has pumpkin or apple in it, then it is considered healthy and can be added to a school lunch without guilt.

We will be making muffins and cookies with both. 

Apple Muffins (or cupcakes)

And for a special treat, these brownies.  Salted caramel, can't go wrong!

But don't stop at desserts, try these ideas for supper:

Any favourites of yours?

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Media Wednesday

This month for our book club, we read Us Conductors by Sean Michaels.

This was the Giller Prize winner in 2014, and I am often a big fan of those books.  I started this book not knowing much about it and it didn't grab my attention right away.  I was about 1/3 of the way in when I finally was engaged in the story and then was very interested in what was going on and it kept me right through to the end.  I ended up really enjoying it and it was pretty heartbreaking throughout (and who doesn't love to be heartbroken while reading).

The book employs a literary device that I like, when there is a hint at something that has already happened so the plot is leading up to this event and we want to keep reading.  The story is about a real person, Leon Termen, a Russian inventor who comes to the United States.  The author bases the novel loosely on true events, but takes liberties (as he says himself) about the details.  I don't want to give too much away if you don't know about him but it is a fascinating story.

The story takes place in the United States and in Russia in the 1920s to 1940s.  I knew a bit of Russian history from reading the Ken Follett "The Century Trilogy", but it was interesting to hear more.  

Aside from the love story, the espionage and history in the book, a lot is about the theremin, an instrument that Leon invented.  I can't even really explain how it works, but here is a youtube video of Leon himself playing the instrument:

And a more modern version of the instrument:

It is really fascinating to see.  This guy had so many great inventions, some of which are still used today.  

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Weekend Recap

As much as I love the summer months, I also love September and getting back into a routine.  We enjoyed the Ukrainian Festival in Bloor West Village this weekend.  On Friday we went to Baka for supper.  There was a rock climbing wall set up on the street and that provided our entertainment throughout our meal. 
We love our neighbourhood where we run into people we know.  E found a friend from school and they went on a few rides together.

We stopped to watch some of the dancers on our way home, and enjoyed our Tiny Tom donuts:)

On Saturday morning, E and I went to the parade while Dave laid the laminate in the basement office.

It started to rain so we popped into The One That Got Away for some fish and chips (and fish tacos for me).  E is repping the NDP since his favourite colour is orange (at least he doesn't like blue the best!).

Rainy afternoons called for movies and cookie making.

We decorated with some sprinkles and some edible markers. 

That night we ordered UberEats from a new burger place near our house, Woody's Burgers. They were very tasty and we love ordering from UberEats, it is so convenient.  Then Dave and I watched Where to Invade Next, the newest movie from Michael Moore.  It was really good, but not an opportunity for Canadians to get a big head about being better than the United States.  They European values that are highlighted in the movie are still missing from what we do here. 

On Sunday E and I went to church and enjoyed the BBQ afterwards. 
We went back up the street to see what was going on with the festival but it was too busy for E to go on any more rides, so we did our errands then went home.  On our way back, one of the kids on our street was selling lemonade so E went down to get some.  He then realized that one of his friends from school is also his neighbour (we already knew this) but he was excited and stayed there for a bit to play.  They have a trampoline in their yard so that was extra fun!
I put some stuff away in teh baby's room so I could take some pictures, that post was yesterday.  After supper I watched the Emmys.  

Monday, September 19, 2016

Come On In... to the Baby's Room

We have made a lot of progress on this room over a relatively short period of time.  First the room needed its plaster on the walls and ceiling fixed, then Dave had to sand down and fix the baseboards, and then paint.  

We had a good idea of what we wanted for furniture, and only had to buy one item (and we took E's dresser, so we had to buy him a new dresser), so that was pretty lucky.  

So now we are ready to show you the room where we will welcome home our second son. 

This is a new piece, a sideboard from Ikea, but I liked that it was at the right height for a change table, had lots of shelves for books and other things, and had some nice style.   Our cloth diaper bin is ready to go.

The crib that we had for E, it is from Pottery Barn, along with the bedding.

Ikea dresser.  Giraffe and blue lamp with antlers are from Homesense.  The chair is a Joya Rocker from Monte Design and the ottoman came with it and has storage for our blankets. Quilt was made for E by my high school best friend's mother.

This is unfortunately blurry, but gives you the idea.  The empty frame (also from Homesense) will house a photo of our new family of four.

Mobile from Toys R Us (five years ago), and the new cuddly pal for the baby is from Pottery Barn.  E says we can't call him "Cuddly Pal" or as he pronounces it "Cuddy Cal".  So we'll have to think of something else, perhaps "Snuggly Friend"?

The closet got a new coat of paint and some new shelves on both sides.  The hooks were already there and will come in handy.  I found that I never really hung anything up with E was a baby, so we decided to forgo the closet bar for hangers. 

View of the neighbour's backyard.  I bought these curtains when I lived in Saint John, and I think I got them at K-Mart way back then.  Now they match the room and are nice and dark to keep the light out. 

Just an idea of what we started with...