Monday, October 31, 2011

Trick or Treat

It is SO nice being in a house for the first time ever on Halloween (other than my parents house when I was growing up, of course!)!  Graham wasn't too excited about it, as they don't really do much in England, but once the kids started knocking...HE LOVED IT!

We had some VERY polite kids and although the night started off SLOW (since when do people START trick or treating at 7pm???), it ended up being quite busy!  I had made 100 treat bags (yup, I am one of THOSE people Graham says, that has to be known as the "cool" house that gives out LOTS of candy!) and had some singles leftover, in case we needed it.  We only had 2 kids that weren't dressed up, neither of those being teenagers. 

The best costumes were:

A family: Mom as McDonald's fries, Dad as a Milkshake.  Costumes made by Mom!

A group of "tweens" dressed as: Harry Potter, Hermoine and Ron!

A 5 year old dressed as: Darth Vadar!  HE WAS AWESOME!

There were a LOT of other fun ones, but those were our tops.  Our neighbourhood really does it up on holidays and it sounds like the Christmas competition is now ON!  One house did an entire haunted house, another did a graveyard, including dry ice around the corner and our Neighbourhood Watch neighbour, across the street was the Texas Chainsaw Massacre, chainsaw and everything when kids knocked on the door!  FUN!  Next year, we are dressing up and going to have WAY more fun with it!  Love this neighbourhood!

Here's the good stuff!

Some of the 100 loot bags ready to go!

Some of the leftovers from filling the treat bags!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Saturday, October 29, 2011


I came home from work today and my dear husband had bought me probably the most random thing he had ever gone out and surprised me with!

I have not been getting very good sleep lately, so Graham went on a mission to try to find me a pregnancy pillow to sleep with.  You know, something that supports my back, but I can also put between my knees.  I love to fall asleep on my back, but lately, it's not been the best.  I need to train myself to sleep on my side and stay there, so he went out and bought me the rolls royce of pillows!

He was so proud when he got home and set it up for me in bed.  It's HUGE and makes it seem like there's a 3rd body in our bed, but I've finally been getting some better sleep (that is, when I don't have to get up to go to the bathroom, or wake Graham up due to his snoring! HA!).

See, told you it's huge!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Frosty mornings.

Well, it looks like the seasons have changed!  We've had one solid week of frost in the mornings here.

Graham's sad, as it means that he'll have to rip out his vegetable garden and now it's back to grocery store veggies for the winter.

We knew that this day would come...we just had hoped that we could make it through October without it getting this cold.  We're both not looking forward to the days that we have to wake up and deal with this:

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Baby Clarke's first appearance...

I guess it's time, now that our GREAT news is out, that our little "squidgel" (what Graham used to call squirrels) makes an appearance over here...

I keep getting asked how I am feeling and honestly, I am so happy that God has blessed us with this baby, that I couldn't care less, how I feel right now!!!!!!!  I'll take anything that comes at me, with hope and prayers that it's not super difficult.  It's been a journey to get here and we feel very blessed.

Things have been going pretty good, growing our little one daily.  The hardest weeks, I THOUGHT, were weeks 6-8.  I.WAS.EXHAUSTED.  My thyroid has been going NUTS.  I keep hearing, "Don't worry, you'll get your energy back in the 2nd trimester". 


I'm there and unfortunately, am more exhausted than EVER.  I thought I kicked nausea's butt to the side, but the last 10 days, have come on with a vengance...maybe because I am getting more and more hungry as days go by.  I eat and I swear 30 minutes later, I could eat a whole meal again!  IT'S CRAZY!

We have been very blessed to share some AMAZING moments with our family in this process, even though they are all over the world.  We have some classic annoucements on video and have shared some laughter and a LOT of tears in the last 14 weeks.  We are VERY thankful for the love and support of everyone.

Yesterday was one of the most special moments that I could have imagined at this time.  I had the chance to take Mom with me to our ultrasound.  It was something that was such a special moment for the both of us and baby danced, flipped and showed us everything was growing just fine!  It's amazing to see a little heart beating away, the brain developing, eyes forming and cute little hands and feet!  WOW!  I get tears everytime and the icing on the cake was both of us hearing that little heart beat away!

Here's our little Squidgel!  Below is a picture of me yesterday!  I have started to pop, which Graham JUST LOVES!  He's counting down the days till baby kicks and can't stop talking to ANYONE and EVERYONE about becoming a Dad.  It's amazing how much more you can fall in love with someone!

Baby was flipping upside down and hiding it's face...until it fell asleep!  It was rolling and flipping and then when Mom came in, it started rubbing it's eyes and rocked itself to sleep.  What an amazing thing to watch!

Close up view of the whole body.  Baby fell asleep here! Arms in the air, legs curled up and pursing it's lips.  The techs loved it's little belly forming and big "puppy dog" eyes.  So cute.

Yup.  That's me at 13 weeks 5 days.  I am nervous to pop this early, knowing I will only get bigger, but at least the belly panels on maternity pants keep it looking a bit smaller than it is.  It was fun to have an ultrasound and know that the baby has moved from my pelvis (where it was last time), to between my kidneys and belly button!!!

Oh DEAR!  Here's to hoping Squidgel doesn't grow as big as I will!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Who says popsicles are for summertime?!?!

It was a bit of a rough and tiring day over here!  Both Cole and I didn't sleep well, Graham of course, slept like the rock that he usually does (I mean, he slept through a 30 minute fire alarm in our condo once!!!!!!!!!!!!).  It was a night of wake up calls, either because cole had to pee, or I did! HA!

Nap time didn't fair much better, so the both of us were a little cuddly, tired and ready for an afternoon on the sofa.  We did spend the whole morning out, so I thought, "Why not have a lazy afternoon"?  We watched a movie and by the time it was over, it was time to pick up Graham.  It was not an easy feat getting two tired people out of the house, especially being so cold, but we did it! :)

Graham made dinner tonight, so that Cole and I could play (read: his energy kicked in and I spent an hour with him running around like a crazy person!).  After dinner, I thought that there would be nothing better, than to end the night with a popsicle.  Who doesn't think that popsicles make anyone feel better?!?!?  Am I right?

I was BEYOND excited to find a WHOLE BOX OF BANANA flavoured popsicles at the grocery store today!  They were my favourite as a child, as oddly enough I LOVE things flavoured banana, but HATE real bananas (it's a texture thing!).  I haven't seen JUST banana in a box for years and was thrilled!  I was even more thrilled that there was no allergy issues for Cole, so he could have one...or two...or three!!!!

Three it was!  I remember trying to give him and Cayenne cold things when I nannied them.  It was always a NO GO, unless it was super hot and the sorbet started to melt quite a bit.  I didn't think it would fair any better today, but BOY WAS I WRONG!  Not only did he finish mine, but he had one of his own and another half (not before finishing his dinner first though!).  What a ham he was!

"It's COOOOOOLD"!!!!!!!!

"Anodder, please"?

"Yay"!!!!!  "Thanks"!!!!

See, popsicles really DO make the world go round!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Craft time and Play time!

Today was a busy day!  It was filled with potty training, book shopping (Once Upon a Child is amazing.  If you've never been, GO!  I got 10 books, a few that are old favourites of mine for under $20 and in GREAT condition!  Love, love, love that place.  What's wrong with gently used, when you can save so much $$$?!?!?!  It was a bit hard to pull Cole out of there, without him wanting to buy EVERYTHING, but we managed to leave with just books.  I gave him the $20 I had in my wallet and told him that we could only buy stuff, that was less than that amount.  He loved getting to hold the money and pay the lady at the counter!

We then went to go and pick up a few craft items, so that when Graham got home, we could do some crafts (what else is there to do when it rains NON stop?).  We found some fun ones at the dollar store, finishing the afternoon, by going out for lunch!  Cole had a nice nap in the afternoon and then we walked to go and pick up Graham from work!  He was so cute, as 2 minutes before we ran into Graham, outside of work, it started to rain.  I bent down at one point, not really hearing what he was saying, to which Graham came up and said, "Is Cole singing, it's raining, it's pouring, the old man is snoring"?  YUP!  so cute!

We got home, had dinner, did crafts and then played downstairs.  The "man cave" as Graham calls it, became a soccer field, with Cole and Graham wrestling each other to the ground to get the ball and score against each other.  It was fun to take photos, sit on the sidelines and really see Graham have fun.  He's going to be an INCREDIBLE Dad!

Time for some hand plastering!  I wasn't sure if Cole would like it, but he was so giddy!

Pure fun, boys getting their hands dirty!

While, I forgot to take a picture of the finished product, it was SO cute and he was so proud that I carved his name in it afterwards!  While, it's a bit of a better craft if you're older, he LOVED it!

All clean and time for some cuddles with Lee-Anne!

Soccer time, downstairs!  Cole "specially" picked out these pyjamas for the "game"!

There were SO many moments of HYSTERICAL laughter!  What a face on this boy!

Wrestle time!  Boys WILL be boys!

At this point, he was giggling SO MUCH, we were worried about him being too hyper to go to bed.  1 hour of trying to settle him later, proved us right!  All we heard from his monitor in that hour was, "I not READY for bed!  I AWAKE!  HELLO?  Time to play again!".  HILARIOUS!

What a fun night had at the Clarke's!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Babysitting for a few days!

We have Cole for the next fews days, to help out Brad and Sarah.  It's so nice to be able to help out friends when they need it most.

It's been a while since we've had Cole.  So much has changed and it's a joy to see!  He is talking in sentences up a storm now!  He's taking in EVERYTHING, as much as you think he might not be paying attention, or really listening, he sure is!  He can repeat things that you SWEAR there was no way he could have heard, word for word!

I could make a list of things for "Kids say the darndest things", with my favourites being...

"It's rude to make people wait, you know"?  "Don't you know that"?

"Graham made a mess with his clothes on the floor.  He's messy"! (I wanted to hug him to death, when he told Graham this without any prompting, or comments from me!!!!!)

"I did it!  I went in the potty!  I have a skittle now"?  "You went potty too, you have a skittle too, Lee-Anne"!


Graham fell in love, even more than he already had.  He had so much fun playing with Cole, teaching him to go potty, doing crafts with us and reading stories umpteen times!  Everyday that Cole would be here, he knew that it was one day closer to him going back home!  The amount of pouting that came out of Graham, was hilarious!

Here's some of the fun that we had today...

The boys decorated outside for halloween!  Cole loved it!

"Bones, Lee-Anne!  Bones!"

We took Graham's HUGE pilates ball outside to kick it around, while Graham finished the decorations. Cole was FASCINATED by the fact that this ball was almost as big as him!

"I kick it, Lee-Anne!  I kick it!"

Cole came in, knocking on the door, asking; "Is dinner WEADY yet?  I hungreeeeee!"

One happy, hungry boy, eating dinner!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Time flies when you're having fun!

Two years ago today, almost around the time of this post, I was anxiously awaiting my BOYFRIEND to arrive through customs...becoming a permanent resident by the time that he arrived through the arrivals double doors.

My boyfriend.

Wow, how things change in two years!!!!!!!  Unbelievable.  This time last year, we were celebrating his immigration as an engaged couple.  This year, we are celebrating it, with a growing baby on the way.  I guess this time next year, God willing, we will be celebrating, with a baby in our arms.

I remember the process of emigration like it was yesterday.  It was a long, emotional process.  One that we didn't know if we'd make it through in the end (long distance is hard...even harder when you've been the only people each other had as "family" constantly around for 2 years), but we did...with a few bumps and bruises along the way.  We are very blessed that we are together now and have come so far with each other in the 5.5 years we have known eachother!

Graham, the day after we met in New York!  Man, he has changed!!!

Our first summer together in Crete.  The summer that I got offered a job and 2 months later, moved to England!

Graham's first trip to Canada to meet the family!

Our last photo together before I emigrated back home to Canada in 2008.

The phone call from Graham, that would change our lives FOREVER!  His Canadian VISA!!!

Who knew that the picture before this and the current photo now would be so completely different, but both so happy!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Back to working weekends...

Going back to working weekends is something that I never thought I would have to do, or choose to do again...but sometimes you have to do what is thrown at you.  I also thought that I would never do shift work again, but, that too, is now on my list of things that has to be done (at least no night shifts!).

I find the most difficult thing about working shifts or weekends, is that you miss out on opportunities to get together with the rest of the 9-5 working crowd that works Mon-Fri...and for me, the fact that I don't get to see Graham much.  If I have a busy work week, I tend to work 2-3 shifts that are from 1-9pm and both Saturday and Sunday ALL day.  It makes my time with him, short and sweet.  It makes the days on the weekend that I have off, all that more special!

Some weekends, when I get home from work, almost the entire "to-do" list is completed, which really warms my heart (if you know me at all, this would give MAJOR bonus points!).  He tends to have the lawn cut, the laundry finished (I start it), the bathrooms cleaned and the house vacuumed and dusted.  Usually, all that's left for me, if meal planning, groceries and some cooking.

What usually makes the end of my work day even better than coming home to a clean house???  When he picks me up from work, says he didn't plan anything for dinner and proceeds to take me out on a much needed, impromptu dinner out! 

Last night, we again, went to our favourite PHO place (we could eat here EVERYDAY!), but decided to branch out on the menu instead.  As this baby seems to LOVE REALLY spicy food, more than I can usually take, I had the VERY spicy coconut soup.  It was by far, the yummiest thing that I have had for dinner in ages and it was nice to go to a place that serves my favourite soup with more than 4 mushrooms, tomato chunks and 2 pieces of chicken!  It was stuffed full of yummy veggies, pineapples and more chicken than I could eat.

I am so thankful for my amazing husband and all that he is doing to pick the pieces up, while I am too tired or working my weekends away!

Friday, October 21, 2011


Tonight, was a MUCH needed ladies night at Kathryn's.  Everytime I see her, I am so thankful for our friendship and everything that we have gone through together in the last 2+ years.  It's always felt like we've been friends for a lifetime and I just LOVE that about her!

We had dinner with 5 of us girls and then watched Rocky Horror Picture Show.  A movie I have never seen and I can safely say, will never see again.  It was weird, confusing, twisted and just not a "me" type of movie.  I'd find it hard to recommend to anyone, as I just...well, hated it is a strong word.

I am very thankful for the night and the ladies that I got to meet, catch up with and spend time with. 

Thanks so much Kathryn and ladies for such a great night!!!!  Let's do it again soon!

See, creepy, weird and just plain...I don't know what to say!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Neighbourly etiquette!!!!!

I woke up this morning at 5am, not something uncommon, but I was confused.  I couldn't figure out if the storm was making me hear weird noises, or if some tree was knocking the house or WHO KNOWS WHAT?

I got up to go to the bathroom and realized that...

The neighbour, who is having their roof done, had guys out there trying to beat the rain, by finishing the roof!  WHAAAAATTTTTT?  They were hammering and banging and shouting like crazy.  I mean, I understand trying to beat the rain when it comes to construction, but 5am!!!!!!!!!!  COME ON!

If I was spiteful, I would get up tomorrow morning and mow the lawn at 4am, starting it and the weed whacker, right outside her bedroom window.  But instead, I'll take the high road.  Although, it'd be fun to consider this...

JUST KIDDING...kind of.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Thankful for OHIP.

I know, we all complain about our FREE health care system sometimes, but today, I was thankful for OHIP (Ontario Health Insurance Program, for you non-Canadians/Ontarians).  The only thing that I usually complain about, is the fact that if you need a specialist or surgery, it can take up to a year + to see someone...not convenient, if you have real issues that can't wait.

Today, I had to use OHIP services 3 times for 3 different Dr.'s!  I felt like I was living in a Dr.'s office today. 

What made me so grateful or realize today, that no matter how bad an hour or two wait can be to see my Dr., I didn't get a bill afterwards for $700, like a patient did today.  Ouch.  I do remember coming home from England and having to wait 6 months to restart my OHIP coverage, having a Dr.'s app't that cost $150, but $700????  All the poor guy had was an app't, a physical and bloodwork.

So, if you have forgotten how great FREE health care really can be, just remember, if you broke your leg, like I did when living in the US years ago, you don't have to pay the $30,000 bill that is given to you...unlike the rest of the people who don't have coverage!

Praise God for the healthcare that we do have!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Body, meet couch.

Ever have one of those days where you just can't or don't want to peel yourself off of the couch?  I'm not a stay in bed late person, or really stay in bed when awake person at all...leaving myself prone to visit the couch most days anytime between 5 and 6:30am.

Whether it's to catch up on emails, watch a little PVR'ed TV (there's nothing good on that early) or to just try and get back to sleep, or enjoy watching the sun come up, I have found it hard to get myself off of the couch lately. Early mornings no longer equal productive days for me anymore...

I can appreciate that although I am up really early most days now, if I am not working, I can nap FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER!  It's refreshing to catch a half hour or hour here and I get excited that I had a little snooze!  Who knew I'd be a fan of napping off and on?

I wait for the days that I can stay awake past 9pm, but for now, I'll take whatever sleep I can get, interrupted in the middle of the night for one of many reasons or not.

At least we have a SUPER comfy couch!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Go make this NOW!

I made this soup tonight and it was HEAVEN.  I doubled the recipe, as I was hoping it would be a hit all around and IT WAS!  Graham absolutely LOVED it and I can't wait to eat lunch tomorrow and enjoy it again!

I used a food processor to finely chop all of the vegetables to make it a quicker recipe and next time I will try rotisserie chicken, just to see if it's just as good.  I also added 1 more cup of broth when I doubled it (half if you don't), as it seemed a bit too thick for me.  The jalapenos DO NOT make it hot, but they add incredible flavour, so don't leave out.  For our taste, as we like things a bit spicy, i will add 1 more next time.

Seriously, if you are in a rut and want something delicious, go and make this tomorrow!

*photo credit goes to*

*disclaimer* Don't blame me for any weight gain if you decide to search the rest of her recipes...this week I will be making these:


And next family gathering, I am totally making these (I think all 3 of us sisters will be in HEAVEN):

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Making room...

I started my morning to quiet a sight today!  My unusually organized husband decided that he wanted to make our office into the baby's room.  TODAY.  It for some reason, was not something that could wait.  IT.HAD.TO.BE.DONE.TODAY!  And why just stop there?  Why not do the basement, the storage under the house, the workshop and turn the whole house upside down?

Trust me!  I am NOT complaining!  I was happy he had the energy to start it...I just think I'm going to have to finish it (as I am not one to leave things half done for a few days...the clutter and mess drive me crazy!).  He accomplished so much and I am so thankful!  It's now just a matter of what goes where!

Aren't husbands the best!?!

This is his "stop laughing at me" face!

And this is his "I am NOT nesting" face!

He's just too funny!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Productive day!

It's been awhile since we've been home on a weekend, with me not working on a Saturday, to actually get things done!  It feels great when you can team work your way through a massive to-do list!

The house was cleaned, laundry was done, bathrooms cleaned down, spare room tidied, summer clothes officially put away and kitchen massively cleaned.  After the house was back up to par, we decided to tackle the to do list for "other" stuff.

It was off to the Dr. for bloodwork for me (routine lately!) and a follow up for Graham.  Then off to Costco to get Graham new glasses (finally) and out for lunch.  We then did some shopping for me (yay for better fitting maternity clothes...and man, there are some CUTE ones out there!) and ended the day with Shopper's Drug Mart.

It was a categorically productive day, which felt GREAT!  I unfortunately have to work tomorrow, so it usually takes a good chunk out of our day on Sunday...

I love being productive!  I love having a husband that supports me trying to get as much done as I can on days that I have energy to do so!