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Monday, December 31, 2007

Christmas Chaos

I was thinking that this year Christmas would be somewhat relaxing. We were going to Abbotsford so there would be no cooking or cleaning to worry about, there would be people around to watch Sierra if I wanted a break and of course I didn't have a job to dread going back to. 'Relaxing' is completely the wrong word for the past seven days. 'Whirlwind' and 'zoo' are more fitting descriptions.
Just getting ready to go on the 24th was chaotic in itself. Travelling is also an event with a six month old but we made it relatively unscathed. The 25th was okay, it was a low key uneventful day which was fine with all of us (Trevor's parents, brother, sister and us) but then in the evening the grandparents from Winnipeg arrived. They are wonderful people but are 85 and add a different dimension to everything. They slept in Trevor's parent's room, we slept in the spare room with Sierra in a playpen in the walk-in closet, Trevor's sister slept in the office and his parents slept in the basement on the hide-a-bed. There was always something going on between food prep/clean-up, the obssessive checkers and pool games for the men, and me keeping Sierra occuppied because she couldn't sleep properly with all the activity. Ack! Anyway, it was nice to be around family and I still didn't really have to cook or clean but we didn't have any quality time together.
We managed to get out a bit for visits with my aunt and uncle and family, and some long-time friends which was great.
It was far from a bad week..just chaotic and I'm glad to be home!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The WORST haircut experience EVER!

Normally I love getting my hair cut. I enjoyed being pampered for just a little bit and I walk out feeling pretty. At our church women's banquest our table won gift certificates for hair cuts at a local, reputable salon. Four of us at the table are pretty good friends and we decided to all go together and make an event out of it. Today we went. I have never in my life been treated so rudely in my life! I almost cried. For those of you that know me, I have been in retail for over ten years and have been treated pretty badly on occasion. Yes, it bothers me but I'm able to let it roll off and continue on. I do not know how David and Casa Moda salon stays in business. I was deeply offended by his manner and seriously, would fire him if I was the manager. I wouldn't have been able to say even one of the things he said to me without a reprimand - and there were at least five. He made feel small and dumb. Fortunately the haircut is okay, I think. I'm too mad to look at it objectively. I didn't dare say anything immatediately afterwards because I was fuming and I want to be taken seriously and who know what I would've said. Tomorrow the manager is getting a call.


I just came back from Sierra's six month shots. They are a great way to put a happy baby in a foul mood and have a small grump for a couple of days. Not that I blame her of course; two needles in each leg can't feel good.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Christmas, & Other, Festivities

We just had another very fun weekend. Christmas can be so great for things like that. This year it has been especially enjoyable because I don't have to worry about a crazy work schedule. On Friday night my entire family went to a family friends' farm. They live in a renovated old house and it's got a certain hominess a newer house can't possess. It emits a warmth that comes from many years of special occasions and love. We had a really nice evening together and Sierra was pretty well behaved.

Saturday evening was our Christmas banquet at our former church in Calgary. It is always soooo good to see those people again; we always feel like we're home. Every year at the banquet they have a silent auction with the money going to the youth group for service trips. It's always a fun and friendly competition to bid. Then there's the excitement of "winning" something. We bought a beautiful original painting from a wonderful Korean man who attends the church. When we asked him his regular prices and he said that he has sold his originals for $4000 and prints for about $800! We got an original and did not even pay print price.

Sunday morning we had Sierra dedicated to God (not infant baptism as we don't practice that). My parents also drove up to support us. It was a bit of a hard decision to do the dedication in Calgary because we also have many good friends at our church in Lethbridge. I think we chose Calgary because it is such a personal act - to give one's child back to God - and the church as a whole feels more like our family than EF Lethbridge does. Not that Lethbridge makes us feel any less welcomed or loved but the size makes intimacy a lot more difficult.

After church we joined a large group for delicious Vietnamese food and then home.

Poor Sierra couldn't nap because there was no place to lay her down (the only way she'll sleep now unless we're driving) Finally after a lot of complaining she fell asleep in my arms at the restaurant. Then she slept the two hours home and napped in the evening before going to bed at 10:15. She is an awesome baby and has behaved very well with all our activities.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Appearance of Chompers..and Other Things.

Yesterday I discovered that Sierra is cutting her first tooth! There's a tiny sharp point poking through her once-smooth gums. The amazing thing is, that beyond a lot of chewing on whatever she can fit into her mouth (which she's been doing a fair bit all along anyway), she's displayed no discomfort. From months two-four she displayed it all - rosy cheeks, diaper rash, drooling, gnawing, cranky etc. Then it stopped, and days after her six month birthday she starts revealing the tooth. It's really kind of cool but on the other hand I'm like - my baby is growing so fast! Then again I wouldn't want her as a newborn again either. Even though I loved that stage she's more fun and I'm more human now.

I've been hired on for a project I've been working like mad on. A friend asked me to make a scrapbook of her husband's dog who passed away this past summer. They are near my parents age and have no kids so the dog was like his kid. I only got the pictures yesterday - and there's easily over fifty of them so now I'm on a mission. It won't be super fancy but I'm determined to make it a really nice memory for him. I have just over a week and this weekend we're busy - auggh! I was told that it's okay if it's not done in time but if I don't finish it by Christmas than it may end up sitting around until who knows when. It'll be fun.

I went on a hunt for a white festive shirt to wear for Christmas. I was only able to find one white dressy shirt. It is the right colour, style, fit, price and goes well with the intended skirt. Yayyyyy.

Monday, December 10, 2007

What a weekend!

This past weekend was our church Christmas production called "The Keeping Candle". It was a musical that ended up being insane amounts of work. But it was all worth it. Our church can seat 800 people and every possible seat was full on all three nights, in fact on Saturday and Sunday they were turning people away! Sunday night by six-fifteen the entire lobby was full of people waiting to get in (doors opened at 6:30 and the show started at 7) It was crazy. What a rush for those of us involved! I personally love performing and thoroughly enjoyed every minute.
I have never been a part of anything so big; I played the flute in the orchestra. Although we were hopeful I don't think the magnitude of it's success was expected. Many, many people from the community came which was neat. CTV came and filmed it on Saturday evening and the show will be aired on SHAW Dec. 20-23 at 7pm. I can't wait to see it because from where I sat, and of course with playing flute, I wasn't able to see the whole show.
Now, after several Saturday afternoon practices, a couple of Thursday night rehearsals and then five nights in a row, most of which required 4 hours of our time, I am tired. Poor Sierra, being with various babysitters and her feeding and sleeping schedules out of sinc has tuckered her out. She behaved amazingly though.
Two weeks until Christmas Eve- I am so enjoying the season this year and as always it is coming and will be gone way too quickly.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Body Talk

As most of us know, having a baby greatly distorts and contorts a woman's body. My muscles, joints and skin became completely unrecognizable both in how I looked and how I felt. I gained forty pounds by the end of the pregnancy and simply getting off the couch was a tremendous effort. I knew that it would take time to get back to my old self after Sierra was born. I have been an avid exerciser for years and didn't expect to be as out of shape as I was. I was constantly tired and my bones ached after a simple walk.
For the last month and a half or so I have been back to regular, fairly intense exercise. I love Tea-Bo DVDs and my treadmill. When I first started I just about cried - I could barely do a sit up! But I persevered and the other day my husband said that my mid-section was noticeably tighter! HUGE points for him. This week I suddenly noticed that my body felt stronger as I did the workouts. I can even do most of the sit ups in the ab DVD! (my abs suffered the most during pregnancy, hmm I wonder why?) I don't feel tired during the day and I sleep better at night. I am actually starting to look forward to my exercise time. Now about what I eat.......

Wednesday, December 5, 2007


I use the word "easy" with hestation because it is in regards to Sierra. The last two weeks or so she has suddenly become a lot more independant. She plays by herself now for longer periods of time. I used to have to sit and entertain her for her every waking moment which got a bit tedious and tiring. I still play with her a lot but I dont' have to all the time. Sierra still much prefers it if I'm in the same room but that I can handle.

Monday, December 3, 2007


What would possess someone to think of boiling together corn syrup and sugar for 45 minutes and then pour it all over tons of pop corn and mold that mess into balls? Say they had a moment of craziness and did this than why on earth would they think anyone else would want to do this? Or why would they ever do it again? Someone obviously did this because there are still popcorn balls in the world today - in fact we now have a box of them.
I remember as a kid and even as an adult going to my Aunt Maggie and Uncle Walter's farm around Christmas and there always being a big bowl of homemade popcorn balls and I loved them! This year I had the grand idea that Trevor and I should make them ourselves. It took 45 minutes for the syrup to reach the right consistency and then we poured it all over the 40 cups of popcorn. This was the easy part. The part that resulted in an enormous mess and swearing and vows never to do this again was forming the balls. The syrup is hot and it is sticky and if you don't start forming the balls almost immediately than it hardens too much. Well that burns. We also had to slime our hands up with butter so they didn't become popcorn balls themselves. As the syrup hardened we had to scrape the bottom of the pan to get the bottom stuff and then the spatulas would stick and then jerk forward and popcorn went flying. It really didn't take long but the kitchen was an explosion of popcorn and everything was sticky. They taste good but no matter what we are NEVER doing this again. I'll just go visit my Aunt Maggie.

Sunday, December 2, 2007


A few weeks ago it occurred to me that when Jesus was born He was basically just like Sierra. He cried, He ate and slobbered, He babbled and squeeled, He peed and pooed, He aggrivated His parents, and He warmed them to the depths of their souls. Today being the first advent Sunday (advent refers to the four Sundays before Christmas) the shift in church has been to the Christmas story. The theme is Emmanuel which literally means "God with us", so those thoughts of Jesus being like Sierra hit me again. Jesus suddenly seems more real and personable than He ever has. Thinking of Him strictly as another adult human who lived long ago seems distant, like the Queen or someone famous who has no clue about real life. Yet when I thought of Him as a baby - like Sierra - I realized is all babies are born equally with the same dependancy and innocence. Jesus did not grow up in a cushy palace either - he was a common carpenter and lived a common life. Wow, in all my years of going to church and believing in Jesus I never grasped the concept that God became human like me. Like, really like me: a common-unexciting-go-about-my-day individual. Of course there's more to Him than that but if I had passed him in the mall I likely would not have given Him a second glance. Crazy eh? Cool, that an all powerful God would do that for His people to be able to genuinely identify with them.