Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Begging on her behalf!

Go here, become a follower and help my dear friend Tasha win a bet with her husband!

Cuz us wives always have to win! ;)

Go here!

I was directed to this blog by a friend a while ago and have been following it closely ever since.

This family has been through incredible hardships, but the way that they work together and rely on their faith and the strength of their friends and people that they only know through the blogging world is so amazing.

Be prepared to spend some time reading to play "catch up" with what this family has endured, but I promise you this:

You will cry, you will rejoice in their successes and you will be reminded to never take anything for granted.

If this family can make it through these struggles, I can make it through mine, which seem miniscule in comparison.

Mayhew family, you are never far from my thoughts and prayers.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Lotsa stuff

*Bathroom Update:
We are sleeping in our own room again! yay! BUT, it is still under construction. Chris had to head up North for a week for work so everything was halted. He has worked hard since he got home to get the floor tiled, and now all the tiles are cut, but some have yet to be mortared and everything still needs to be grouted. We've been at this for over a month now and it seems like there is still so much left to do before we have our bathroom back! I've really missed my jet tub and so finally Chris cleaned the bathroom enough that I can use it. Nothing more relaxing than sitting in a tub surrounded by tools and construction paraphanelia!

*The boys attended 2 kids parties this Christmas and Levi still has not warmed up to Santa. He loves anything Santa that is not alive, but the moment there is a "real" Santa, he freaks out! Luca was a bit leary of Santa last year but this year he's been all over that big guy!

*Today is the 24th of December and I just finished my last Christmas gift last night. I work best under pressure! Haha
I made most of my gifts this year and it was quite time consuming but there is just something about home made gifts that makes my heart sing. Especially when I know that the person receiving it will be grateful to have something designed and made with them in mind.

*I've spent a lot of time baking this month as well. Too bad most of it has disappeared already! ;)

*Luca and his friend Olivia made "graham houses" (get it?!?!) one day. I think that they were both more interested in eating the candy than decorating the houses!

*I took these pictures out my kitchen window the other day. Perfect Christmas picture, don't you think?

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Snowed In!

Winter has arrived with a vengance! Last week we had no snow and this morning woke up to this:

A backhoe with a blade came and did one pass down our road then left! We are now left with these enormous drifts in front of our houses. Guess we aren't going anywhere today! Or for a few days!

You can't see it in the pictures but our neighbor 2 houses down has an Accura that is completely buried except for a little bit of the roof poking out! That is his black truck that is also almost buried!

Also, if you notice, there are a few houses that have begun to lose chunks of shingling from their roof. These houses are the ones that JUST had the shigles re-done after our insane hail storm this August.
When we bought this house we were so thrilled with the wide open space, the views and the privacy. We didn't take into account that in the winter months we would basically be the windbreak for the whole street! Also doesn't help that our house is one of the taller ones on the street as well.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Birthday Blessings

Yesterday was my 28th Birthday. I felt so blessed! What a great day!

Chris brought home the traditional DQ ice cream cake for my birthday which we had as a pre-dinner dessert. I wanted a piece before I headed out for my birthday surprise with Dee, where I was informed I would have supper. The boys were thrilled with ice cream BEFORE lasagne! Levi just couldn't keep his eyes off the cake! It was his first experience with ice cream cake and I think he was a bit surprised at first but quickly polished off his piece and asked for more!

After cake, I was picked up by Dee for my night out. We then picked up a few more ladies and hit the highway for the city. We arrived at Moxie's and there were 4 more ladies waiting for us! I was so surprised and blessed that so many people made the effort to have dinner with me to celebrate my day. It was awesome! Another good friend came a bit late, after having worked a 12 hour shift in the ICU, 5 months pregnant and undoubtedly tired. How lucky am I that she came rather than heading home and crawling into her bed to catch some sleep before her 5am wake up call the next morning?

We had appetizers, dinner, dessert and drinks and there was so much laughter and good conversation. I see most of those ladies on a regular basis, but we are all moms of young kids and the visits are never quite the same when they are constantly interrupted by kids and have little ears present, too! ;)

I had such a great night out and felt so blessed by those gals!

Oh, also one of the girls gave me lotto tickets in my card and I won $22! Woo hoo!

I am super excited for tomorrow now to see what birthday surprise my wonderful husband has in store for me! All I know is to dress up, not eat supper and that he has arranged babysitting and that he thinks this particular activity might have to become a birthday tradition.....Hmmmmm. I'll keep you posted after tomorrow night!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Today's bathroom pictures

A HUGE thanks to Pat, Dan and Andi for helping out with the tiling today. Most of it got finished and it looks great!
A few small areas left to tile and then the floor!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Post - Surgery update

I forgot to post about this last week (gee, I wonder why it slipped my mind?!) so I will just do ao quick update on what is going on with me, health wise.

I saw the surgeon for a follow up and complained that I was still experiencing quite a bit of pain to which he relplied that it couldn't be my gallbladder because I don't have one anymore. Uh, duh!

He said that often gall bladder is the first assumption when patients complain of pain in that area but that there are two other main issues that can mimic the same symptoms - acid reflux and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). I have had problems with reflux in the past and this feels different but Dr. M explained that the way it presents itself can change.

I also have some symptoms of IBS as well. To make a diagnosis, it is basically just a process of elimination, starting with the gallbladder. Which, by the way, was a problem as an ultrasound did show a stone and the pathology did show irritation of the gall bladder, BUT it was likely not the primary cause of the pain. It would have caused me grief at some point, and I would have had it removed in the future anyway so the surgery was not completely pointless.

So, I am on a course of Losec for 6 weeks to see if it helps with the pain. If it does, then we can assume that the issue was acid reflux. If not, then IBS will be the culprit.

IBS is treated through lifestyle and diet but the dietary triggers are different for everyone so determining what foods to avoid has to be done on an individual basis. Oh ya, and stress is a contributor. Cuz I have none of that right now......

Bathroom Update

I didn't get to posting pictures yesterday so I will start with those:

The boys think that a great big hole in the wall is a fantastic new playplace!

Here I am scrubbing the shower pan. Pretty much my only contribution to the reno...except for helping to choose tile and paint!

Loki is not sure what to make of all the upheaval!

Luca trying to help put some random screws into the wall.

When a screw driver doesn't work, just hammer it in!

Today's pics:

The floor after the mold being sprayed with bleach. The bleach did a good job, I'd say!

The shower pan went in and the backer board went up.

Backer board is up and mortared (not sure if that is a word or not, but I'm declaring it one!)

Chris will get the drywall up, mudded and taped as well as the sub floor in this week so we can be ready for tile next weekend.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Out of the mouths of babes.....

Luca (whilst chasing Levi):

"I'm gonna get you and fart in your nose!"

Me to Chris:

"Did he just say he was going to fart in Levi's nose?"


"Haha, yep, I just told him I was going to do that to him. "

Oh geez. Why do I have to live in a house full of boys?!?!

A hot date!

I had a hot date today with my biggest little man. What a nice day it was!

I rarely get to spend time with just one of my boys.

Luca had swimming lessons this morning so I took him there. He did really well and is starting to let me get a bit farther away from him and he even let the instructor take him for a swim today. Progress! He loves to swim and loves going to the pool but likes us to be close by.

We then went for a Mommy-son lunch at Boston Pizza where we dined on bugs and cheese (him) and spicy perogy pizza (me). We had a nice lunch, just the two of us.

Then we were off to the city to do a bit of shopping at Costco and Toys R Us. Costco was pretty uneventful; just groceries and a few household items. We headed to Toys R Us so that Luca could pick out a present for Levi from him. This concept seemed to be a bit lost on Luca as he wanted everything that we looked at and wanted it for him, right now. We finally settled on a gift for Levi (with some prompting from me) that I assured Luca could be shared with him when they play NICELY together.

On our way home we stopped and got milkshakes. Luca took one sip and declared that he wasn't tired (through a big yawn) and promptly fell asleep. It was a pretty quiet ride home except for the soft snores coming from the backseat.

We had a great day and I love to spend special time with my boys one on one!

Friday, November 20, 2009

A great end to a crappy week

Today was a lovely day!

It started this morning with my darling hubby letting me sleep in - all the way til 830! When you have toddlers, you know that this is a blessing!

Then, I got a surprise call from my favorite girl in the world, Dee. She has been gone since last Friday to Saskatchewan to meet her brand new niece Rowaen and to help her sister out a bit. This week has been tough (as you are well aware if you've been reading) and I didn't have her here to vent to and to distract me from the frustrations. So, a call from her at 9:30 this morning was just what I needed to start my day off right. Can't wait for her to get home on Sunday! When you live 17 houses apart and have been besties for 10 years, a week seems like ages when you are seperated! We had her husband Layne for dinner last night and I really missed her then - its not often we have Layne without Dee!

Then we were off to a playdate with this lady and her son, who was born the same day as Levi! Our boys are birthday buddies! We had a great visit and did a clothing swap. So fun!

I've been working hard (mostly!) to get into shape since the spring and as a result have had a bunch of clothes that no longer fit me. Yay! I cleaned out my closet last week and got rid of SO MUCH stuff. I offered any of my friends a chance to look through my giveaways and take what they wanted. Today my friend and I swapped our unwanted clothes. I came home with a few "new to me" sweaters, tshirts and pants. I love new clothes, even if they aren't "new".

Then after feeding the boys lunch and putting them down for a nap and quiet time, I was off for a girls' afternoon to the Spruce Meadows Christmas Market with my friend Erica and her little pumpkin Olivia. (Chris stayed home with our boys.) We had a great time visiting and checking out all the vendors and their products.

I got a few Christmas decorations and a few other treats as well. Here are some photos of my purchases:

I'm such a sucker for all things Saskatoon flavoured. I tried both of these ciders and loved them and had to have them. I am not a coffee drinker (I just can't learn to like it) but love warm drinks so this is what I will be drinking this winter! I'm actually sipping a cup of the raspberry one right now. Delish!

Mmmmmm, fudge! I got the mint one for Chris, the coconut for myself and the Rootbeer one becasue it was free and I thought it would be fun to try. And its yummy! Tastes just like a rootbeer float!

I just love this. Its a bit too "country" for Chris' taste but I think it is just so beautiful and homey. I can't wait to find a home for it. Also, it was a steal of a deal at only $15! Its big, heavy and handmade by the vendor. My favorite purchase of the day.

I thought that this metal bow/bell would look perfect on our door to the basement. I love the vintage-y look of it.

Chris and I actually got this adorable little guy last week when we were at HomeSense. It is made completely of bark that has been somehow shaped into this figure. Again, a bit "country-ish" for Chris but I thought it was too cute to pass up.
I love Christmas and I love decorating. We've slowly been acquiring Christmas decorations over the years that we can call our own. I'm looking forward to maybe finally this year having my "fancy tree" in the foyer/ formal living room as well as our real family tree in the living room. And by real, I mean not artificial, not real family. LOL
Traditionally I don't begin Christmas decorating til after my birthday on December 1st, but this year I am getting into the spirit of things a bit earlier and am slowly putting things out. Usually the transformation occurs closer to mid-December after we get our tree from the tree lot.
Watch for more pictures as I slowly begin to transform our house into our Christmas wonderland! :)

Bathroom progress

A bit of progress today. This morning Chris had to return a few things that he had bought in anticipation of needing it, but discovered that we didn't need to do a few repairs that we thought we did. He took down the last of the tile and pulled out the rest of the floor.

Next is to finish cleaning all the silicone residue off the shower pan and edge of the tub, finish the poly on the walls, put up the cement backer board and the subfloor. Then we will be ready to tile. I think.

We've got Chris' parents coming next weekend to help with the tiling so I guess I've got another week or so of being without a bedroom. Oh well. I'm actually not sleeping as poorly as I thought I would downstairs.

The poly up on the exterior walls

Floor out and my recently installed wallpaper down. :(

Boy, do Iwish I had a toilet beside my bed in those last months of pregnancy!

This used to be our bedroom. Now it is a garbage pile.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


Hello, my name is Janice and I have recently become an addict of blog hopping.
Many blogs have a list of blogs that they visit along the side of their page.
I go to a blog (I usually start at a blog that I frequent already) and choose a link from the list of blogs and just continue to do that on each page that I go to. It is amazing the stories that you can read from people from all walks of life, in different corners of the world!
It has been my latest obsession when I am procrastinating doing something else.

Go ahead, give it a try! You might become addicted to reading about the lives of strangers as well! Funny thing is, the more you read, the less they feel like strangers. You begin to feel like you actually "know" these people.

I have to admit that I am one of those people that look into the windows of people's homes when I drive by. Blog hopping is the same thing! A glimpse into some stranger's thoughts and life.

I'm a peeper!!!

Catch 22

Not really any progress on the bathroom to report today as Chris was home alone with the boys. I got called into work (which is a good thing, financially!) so unfortunately Chris couldn't get anything done on the bathroom.

We need the money to do the bathroom but Chris can't do the bathroom when I am at work. Here are a few pictures of the bathroom after all the moldy subfloor was taken out:

But, one of the main reasons that he took this week off specifically was that Dee is away this week so we thought that if Chris was home then I wouldn't have to turn down any work due to lack of childcare. So, the good news is that I worked 2 full days this week and don't have to pay for childcare so that means that there is more going toward the bathroom repairs. Plus, I have a day and a half booked for next week already as well.

On another note, most of my Christmas prep is done! I have 3 gifts that I am still working on (they are ones that I am making) and have to pick up a few things that have been ordered or I have something in mind that I have to go get. Yay! Now I get to wrap them all, which is one of my favorite things to do!

Chris and the boys went and got haircuts yesterday. Luca loves to get colored gel when we go into the Chop Shop. This time Levi noticed and wanted some too. Here are pictures of our little monkeys with their red spikeys!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Good news and Bad news

The good news is that the tub doesn't have to come out afterall. There does not appear to be any mold behind our under it. Yay!

The bad news is that the floor is very rotten and moldy. We knew that this was quite possible, but were still surprised at the extent of the damage. The whole bathroom subfloor will have to come up and we will be replacing the floor now as well. Our bedroom floor will still have to wait. Chris has taken out a chunk of the carpet that was a bit moldy and the rest seems to be ok for now.

More pictures:

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Hard to be positive

I know that there are so many others out there that are going thorough unimaginably worse things than a forced bathroom reno, but I am just having a really tough time not being super crabby and negative.

A few days ago things were great- almost all of our Christmas shopping is completed (except for a few of the gifts I am making), and I was starting to feel ok about our amount in the bank. I have worked a decent amount already this month and Chris has 3 paycheques in December. I was feeling pretty good about being on top of things.

Christmas is always a tough time financially, even if you try to be frugal (NOT cheap) and make many gifts (like I am this year). There are always hidden expenses and some not so hidden expenses that make a dent in the savings.

I've been stressed about money for a while (really, who isn't?). In the summer Chris had to take a salary rollback due to the economy and its effect on the company. We haven't really seen much effect yet because Chris' CPP contributions max out in June, but come January he will have to be contributing to CPP again. That is when we will notice the decrease in pay quite a bit.

And because the school board WAY over hired for substitute teachers as part of their H1N1 pandemic plan, I am lucky to get a day or 2 a week. Which isn't awful, I am still making some money AND get to be home with the boys most of the time, but financially its not so great.

So, now that it looks like we have to dip into our money pot again to do the bathroom, I am stressed all over again.

Also today a light burnt out and sparked. Not a big deal, I know, but it was just one more thing. Plus, it startled me. Then when I was cooking supper I couldn't get the oven to turn off. We have a digital oven with a touch-pad of sorts for the controls. And it wouldn't work. I called Chris to come take a look and he touched it and it turned off.

This was enough to put me into tears. All the tension and stress of the day had just built up and I needed the release of tears. I can't say I feel much better, but I know that there isn't much we can do.

The mold HAS to go. And we can't leave the bathroom as it is. So, we have to cough over the money to have it done. Sigh.

We might be eating Kraft Dinner for Christmas this year.

Ok, just kidding, we aren't even going to be having dinner here so I can save the KD for another day!

But, the Christmas gifts for Chris and I this year might be a new shower. Yay! Just what I asked Santa for!

Oh well, it could be worse. I know that. I'm just having a tough time remembering it.

From Bad to Worse

The tiles came down today. What we thought (hoped) was a problem with the shower seems to have seeped behind the tub as well. So, the tub will most likely be coming out, rebuilt and put back in.

Also, there is quite extensive mold behind almost all the tile and possibly into the floor.

We can't afford to replace our floor at this point so I'm not sure if we will be in a bedroom with a plywood floor until we can afford new flooring or what.

It seems every time I went in to check with Chris on the progress he had more bad news. So I stopped going to ask.

To top things off, we can't sleep in our room because of the mold. So, we are back to sleeping on our old, miserable bed in the basement. I guess after this is all done I will appreciate my new bathroom and new bed even more.

Here are some pictures of Day 1 of the forced bathroom reno:


You can see the mold that had built up behind the tile
water damage behind the tile into our bedroom wall

The wall torn apart - this is where we first saw some of the extent of the damage.