More nursery updates

Since today is my due date, and Darth Vader is not showing  any signs of coming out tonight, I thought I'd post some of the updates that have been going on in the nursery.

here is the dresser decked out with the changing pad (aka sheepskin, I'll put a mat down when I'm actually changing). The shelf is vintage IKEA in its third paint colour. The plants were favors from my friend Megan's wedding, and there is a lovely painting of Renato to complete the vignette.

 This is a mirror I took from mom, painted white and put a decal my friend Kurtis gave me. I haven't decided where to put it yet because Renato still hasn't decided where to paint some additional interest on the walls.

 On the largest (blank) wall in the room I put one of my favorite vintage biology poster. I can't think of anything more appropriate for a baby room than embryos! I am sure some people may find this creepy or strange, but I think its awesome!

I've been working hard making curtains for the room (and other rooms in the house)

Its not easy when your sewing machine is broken, but it sure passes the time! The fabric is the exact same fabric that was used as table runners at our wedding. I have a lot of these left so you may see some more sewing projects in the same pattern. The fabric is from IKEA

Renato has been working very hard on the crib. Not that he is running out of time, Darth will be living in our room for the first few months of her life. The base is completely done. I think its oak. The slats are done too but have to be painted.

Last of all I am so excited Kristie has sent me this little sign for the car seat (among the billions of other things she has sent me and I am so grateful for!) Since its flu season I don't want Darth to be handled by every stranger that sees her, hopefully this will deter them a little!



Corner shelves can look cool!

Renato finished a new carpentry project! This is our fancy new corner shelf. I found the inspiration on apartment therapy and just a few days later he came home with it!

The pottery on the shelf is by Katrina Chaytor, a wonderful friend of ours. Someday soon we will paint the walls and get rid of the horizontal blinds, but all in good time!


Results from Harvest

crabapple goodness

In a previous post I wrote about the harvest we got from our shared garden. Now I thought I'd talk about what was done with that food!

The most exciting thing done by far was canning. I made crabapple jelly, strawberry mint jam, applesauce and canned peaches (the peaches I bought from the farmers market). All are stored in our little basement storage room.

the dungeon has food!

For the first time I got to use a food dehydrator. I borrowed it from my neighbor Wendy, and now want one for my very own! We dried tomatoes (to make sun dried tomatoes) and strawberries (for cereal)

I also froze some food. this includes more crabapple. more peaches, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, zucchini and soon there will be butternut squash in there. We are lucky to have bought a small deep freeze with some of the gift money from our wedding. I think it was a good investment.

Theres a lot of food in there

Potatoes and beets were the last things to harvest, and we failed on the beet front (we took them out of the ground too late, they were soft =(. Luckily most of the potatoes were salvaged, and spent some time drying in the kitchen.

Dry damn you!

It was fun to bring a big bag of potatoes next door and keep a big bag for ourselves too!

I have also been freezing meals so when Darth Vader arrives it will be easy to cook food. Most of these meals are very meaty... but there are also some soups and curries in there. Its strange preparing for a time you won't be able to cook much. I have jars of pre-mixed bread ingredients waiting in the cupboard so they can be thrown into the bread machine.

Ready to go! 

I've also made muffins, but I'm still trying to think of what else I could make. In any case... time is running out, so what I have in the end will have to do!


You can come out now!

We are all ready for Darth Vader's arrival... because yesterday we bought the most important of big-ticket baby gear... the carseat!

It was probably the most relaxed time we've had at the baby store to date. Usually Renato and I walk into the store and slowly get more and more anxious with all the STUFF we could possibly buy. The store is set up kinda like IKEA: first you walk through clothing, then there are highchairs, carseats, strollers and safety stuff. Next there's a section with bedding and changing things (we have never actually looked through this section, its the easiest to avoid) followed by the massive furniture sets of different woods and finishes that match perfectly, and then before the counter there are the thousands of miscellaneous items your child obviously can't live without.

But we had a plan, we brought our stroller after all so there was only one thing to look at. I shouldn't bash this un-named store too much as it is pretty awesome in respects that its locally run and you can try out everything. We were able to both see what fit in our stroller the best and see if it fit in our car. I think we spent an hour staring at these things. Figuring out how they attach to the bases and how easy it is to remove, fit in stroller, remove. Some we never figured out, one the sales lady didn't even figure out. In the end we bought one (of course, not going through this again) and the sales lady said that it only came in this one colour and didn't match our stroller. I wondered if she thought I was going to burst out crying or storm out because of this. She even looked disappointed when I said 'meh, im glad its not pink' We then ran straight towards the cash register with our stroller carrying the gigantic box!

Behold the stroller, carseat, and diaper bag together in their full glory!

(I know, they don't match, we are gonna be such lame parents!)

Come this Thursday I'll be 9 months pregnant, so I think the Darth should just pop out now right?

PS. Carseat boxes make fantastic cat toys.


Big headed Kitty!

It took me 4 days to make this thing. Much frustration, but totally worth it. I got the pattern for free off the Wee Wonderful website and it is for my sister (Kristie)/niece (Tessa). Kristie has been sending me loads of baby clothes, every time my niece grows out of a size I get a box in the mail. She has also supplied me with a full maternity wardrobe, one I would not have been able to afford on my own, so my sis is the bomb!

I sent this with some other things, but the kitty was a surprise, and matches her pink/brown nursery, from what I hear she likes it!


The final product

This book represents 4 years. It's close to 300 pages long and full of some very nice scientific illustrations.  If you read it, you will learn that the shape of the wishbone is very hard to link to any other aspect of a birds life, and it may nave no use.

The shape of the wishbone and other chest bones in birds (excluding ostriches and their relatives)

The little gems in this book (in my opinion) are my illustrations. I took a scientific drawing course a couple years back and became determined that I would have good quality scientific drawings in my manuscript (especially since my photography was so crappy). So I drew all the bones, muscle placements, and comparison diagrams. The research in the book is good too, don't get me wrong, but being a bio thesis it's not the most exciting story ever told.

Starling sternum!

Budgie scapula!

Different wishbone shapes!!

Budgie muscles!

I'm very happy it's finished and final. There are things I wish I could have changed about the whole process, but hey, it's a degree, if I didn't learn anything then it wouldn't have been very educational! One of these copies is mine and the other is for Dad (Dad, if you actually read this I will be very impressed!).



This summer we worked together with our neighbors to make a bigger, more productive garden. Some things failed (onions and broccoli especially) but most plants impressed us incredibly. I good layer of sheep manure helped immensely.

Our garden in the early summer


 I was able to harvest bags of crabapples, many many tomatoes, lettuce, peas, beets, carrots, corn, potatoes, and zucchinis, and... last night before the first frost hit we brought in the SQUASHES!



Yup, that's 2 pumpkins you see, and a lot of  spaghetti squash. The little disc like ones are summer squash called scallopini and the long little yellow ones are also summer squash called yellow crookneck squash. We also found a forgotten zucchini last night and brought that in too.

I've been canning and preserving as much as possible. Will have to show off the results soon!


My lovely belly

I had the wonderful opportunity to have my belly painted by Shyra DeSouza using henna. It was a really great experience. We chatted for the 4 hours it took to apply the design. I had to protect the results overnight so I covered it with a black bellaband. A few days later, Shyra came over and did a second application (to only select areas). The second application gave the design an interesting dimension to it.

I can't say more about how having a painted belly increases one self esteem. I know having a big pregnant belly is beautiful, but sometimes you become very self contentious of it for no real reason other than the fact that it's SO obvious. Having a painting on it makes you want to show your belly off to the world (although I don't, its getting very cold outside) it gives you pride and so much happiness. I marvel at how the design changes when my little one shifts positions.

The bonus to it is that it makes you really take care of your belly. I've not put so much oil and moisturizer on my belly then these past few weeks. After all, you want it to last as long as possible.

My henna is now starting to fade away, this it's third week so its not unexpected. It still looks amazing tho. I recommend it to anyone who can afford it.


Understanding my Gdiapers (before the baby gets here)

I decided early in the pregnancy to go the cloth diaper rout because:
a)I'm an earth muffin
b)My mom used them on me b/c I was allergic to disposables
c)budget income
d)access to a laundry room

After reviewing the literally HUNDREDS of types of cloth diapers out there, I decided to go with Gdiapers. Not only was there a great promotion going on their starter packs at the time, but I've seen them in action, and I like that I could switch to disposable liners if I am in dire need.

The promotion was a discount on their 6 pack, so I bought one pack each of smalls, mediums, and larges. I know I will need more later, but I figure its a good starting point.

The next step was to get some cloth liners for the things. There are a lot of ppl on Etsy and Ebay that sell hand made liners. and the company themselves sells cloth liners

Being on that budget I went an alternate route after finding a tutorial on how to make Gdiaper inserts at home (I've since found many more, but this seemed the most thorough and easiest). The writer recommended using microfiber cloths, but there is a fantastic online store called Wazoodle that sells fabric specifically for cloth diapers, so I ordered the most absorbent stuff you could get (ZORB!!!) and asked my mom to put them together for me (as an aside, I would have done it myself but my sewing machine is broken, and besides, she's so good at sewing!)

My mom quickly made a bunch in the small size and sent them to me in the mail. Here they are!

They look pretty big compared to the little diaper, but they fit very well. I'm very happy
Next I have to make some microfleece liners to put on top, so that poo can be quickly removed. I'm really hoping this system works out.


Starting to decorate the nursery

Renato and I have thought a lot about how to make a cute room for our little girl on a BIG budget. We are very lucky in many ways tho, because Renato has woodworking skills and we have lots of friends that have helped out and given us some great things. We also have a great landlord that will let us paint the rooms of our apartment any colour as long as it goes back to primer when we leave.

The room will in no way match the in the way you can get custom bedding, curtains, accessories ect for a baby room. However, I'm trying to stay with a colour theme because I want bright bold colours but do not want it to get out of control. The inspiration I have decided upon comes from this fabric.

I bought it in a bundle of fat squares on Etsy, and fell in love with it when making a mobile for my niece. Since then I have ordered 2 yards of it. I don't know what to do with the fabric, but it will be exciting to use in any case.

I decided the walls of the little room will be the turquoise colour in the design. Renato was a little worried about that, but now that the walls are painted he loves the results (photos to come)

To add to this I am refinishing a dresser, which will be a changing table and dresser in the end.

I have lots of old picture frames and vintage Ikea stuff I've been gathering, they will be painted off-white. I also have some beautiful vintage biology posters to put up.

Finally Renato is building a crib, and a dollhouse, and will paint a mural on the wall in either off-white or red.

We have lots to do, and some is done, but I thought I would space out each part in a separate blog post for kicks.


Sweating out the hard times

Its amazing how in one day, or a few days things can explode in ones little world, and you feel life is out to get you.

it was 33 degrees yesterday, 31 the day before. Everyone said 'you are so lucky the biggest part of your pregnancy will be in the fall! Fall? Isn't it supposed to be fall now?
I have a beautiful wool maternity coat I want to wear (from my most generous sister), and long sleeved shirts. Where are you fall? I wait for you, please come here.


The guy who lives in our basement (an apartment on its own) has been having a hard time getting a roommate. He finally got one, but this kid (I think he's 17, not that I have anything against 17 year olds) is turning out to be an idiot. He smokes a lot of pot and has recently lost his job. He wakes up in the evening and falls asleep in the morning. He broke the lock on the door connecting our two apartments this morning, and has his druggie friends over to... you know... smoke pot all night (and uses other substances, or so I just learned).

Yesterday was the last straw for me, as I woke up in the morning to our apartment smelling and the lock. I told the landlord, and apparently a meeting of the 3 went well. The kid is leaving at the end of October! I hate to be a big bitch about all this. But Ren and I discussed and discussed, and we have more to worry about than just ourselves and our stuff. We now have the responsibility of a little being (and I don't mean the cats... although they are a responsibility too). I'm doing my best to have her developing body not come in contact with things that may harm her. And I've got a hell of a lot of other things to worry about outside of the apartment downstairs. What would the public health nurse think if she visited and there was a lingering pot smell in the air?

Oh, and one of our tires is flat. Must buy a new tire yay!!

The day is over now, hopefully this is the only bad day for a long time. I have something wonderful to show you soon, so worry not!

Getting back into blogging

I haven't been on in months.. sigh... the last months have been crazy, but the craziness is going to get even crazier!

The biggest reason for not being on is that I defended and have a graduate degree. I actually have to pick up my bound thesis at the printers, but they told me they only take cash or cheque so I have to find some cash to do such things.

My ideals on what to do in my life have changed. I wanted to get my PhD, teach anatomy at a university or collage... but writing and defending the thesis has changed that. I don't hate acadaemia but do I love it? Unfortunately no. The things I love to do are teach others, dissect animals and work with live animals. After many discussions with many mentors I have decided to try (again) for veterinary school. I am now armed with an extra degree and a lot of experience, so it can only help right?Now that we live in Alberta there is a higher chance of getting in as well. But I have to live here a year and not be a full time student before I can apply (crazy rules!!)

To pass the time I got pregnant
Well, thats not the only reason, we had decided to get pregnant and the doctors said it could take a year or more for it to happen. We figured this would be a good time to start and see where it took us

Now I'm 8 months (and a week) pregnant!
The crappy thing is I'm unemployed. But hey, I have lots of free time.
We are extremely excited and of course nervous of the whole endeavor. I worry about the pain of labor, my ability to keep her alive (its a girl)but in the end I think we are quite able in all needed areas.

The biggest snag in the whole production is money. Since I can't get a job (what, you won't hire a pregnant lady?) and Renato works at a not-for-profit, its a very rewarding field but tough when providing for oneself and I and a soon-to-be offspring who needs all this stuff! We've figured out a lot. I'm all about cutting the cost of everything and buying a lot of second hand baby stuff, as thats all I can do. I'm sure it will work out

Here's the offspring, we call her Darth Vader right now.

18 weeks

28 weeks


New things at my house

I don't blog much anymore do I? Oh well. Here are some changes occurring at my place

Barbarella is now as big as (or larger than) Sal

I replaced some artwork (that the artist borrowed) with some other artwork. This is a print Renato did at school. I put an old frame Mom gave me around it to make it stand out more

I organized my towels!

And then there is the furniture I found. The university sometimes throws out perfectly good furniture! I am always tempted to take it. Renato gave in on this one, tho he does not find it too attractive. I love how it is low, and on casters. I may recover it someday

And THIS is my new credenza! I bought it at a university sale for $25. It is thick oak with a pleather top, and has some scratches. It needs a little work but it already looks fantastic! I may have to move some stuff around...